Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The central bank of Bangladesh on Monday provided overdraft (OD) facilities worth US$18 million to a state-owned commercial bank (SCB) for settlement of Petrobangla’s outstanding gas bills with an international oil company.

“We’ve provided the foreign currency support against the government securities to the SCB to clear gas bills with an international oil company,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, told BBN in Dhaka.

He also said the central bank will continue its foreign currency support to the commercial banks mainly for making payments of fuel oils, fertilizer and food grains import.

On November 12 last, the BB also offered OD facilities for $30 million to another two SCBs for settlement of payments for petroleum products, the BB officials said.

The BB continues its intervention in the inter-bank foreign exchange market by selling and buying US dollar directly and providing such short term facilities to the banks aiming to keep the market stable.

As part of the intervention, the central bank of Bangladesh bought $139 million from a foreign commercial bank recently.

The BB started intervention in the market by selling the US currency directly to the authorized dealers from October 29, 2007 to keep the market stable.

The central bank has since sold $735 million to the commercial banks as part of its intervention in the market, they confirmed.

BBN/SI/SS/AD-18Npvember08-10:43 AM (BST)