Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The central bank of Bangladesh resumed purchasing the US dollar from the commercial banks directly on Monday aiming to keep the inter-bank foreign exchange market stable, officials said.

“We’ve bought $30 million from three banks directly at market rate to protect the interests of exporters and migrant workers by keeping the exchange rate of the local currency against the greenback stable,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka.

The US dollar was quoted at Tk 77.92 in the inter-bank foreign exchange (forex) market on the day against BDT 77.95 of the previous working day, market operators said.

“We may continue purchasing the US dollar in the near future on the basis of market requirement,” the central banker said without elaborating.

A total of $4.14 billion was bought from the commercial banks in the last calendar year 2014 as part of the BB’s intervention in the market.

The country’s foreign exchange reserve rose to $21.68 billion on Monday from $21.61 billion of the previous day following the US dollar purchase.

The central bank resumed purchasing the greenback from the banks after around two months because of lower demand for the US dollar in the market, a treasury official said.

The depreciating trend of BDT against the US currency started in the middle of November last year and continued until last working day of this calendar year due to higher import payments.
The demand for US currency increased in the last couple of months due to settle import payments for petroleum products, fertilisers, capital machinery, scrap vessels and other essential items, they added.
Earlier on November 24 last, the BB resumed intervention in the foreign exchange market through selling of the US dollar to the commercial banks directly after nearly two years and a half to keep the market stable.
As part of the move, the central bank has so far sold $357 million to the commercial banks to meet the growing demand for the greenback.

BBN/SSR/AD-13Jan15-11:53 am (BST)