Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The central bank of Bangladesh sold US$15 million to state-owned Agrani Bank Limited directly on Monday for settlement of import bills, particularly for those on account of fuel oil.

“We’ve sold the foreign currency to the state-owned commercial bank at market rate to settle outstanding letters of credit (LCs) against imports of petroleum products” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN, adding that such operation will continue in accord with the market requirement.

The US dollar was quoted at BDT 84.37- BDT 84.40 in the inter-bank foreign exchange market Monday against BDT 84.25-BDT 85.35 of the previous working day, according to the central bank statistics.

The central bank has so far pumped in $685 million directly to the commercial banks to meet their increasing demand for the greenback in the current fiscal year.

“Such foreign currency support has been exerting pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserve,” another BB official said, adding that the country’s foreign reserve stood at $9.28 billion on Monday after the sale of $15 million by the central bank to the SCB.

BBN/SSR/AD-23Jan12-11:48 pm (BST)