Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The central bank of Bangladesh purchased over US$ 1.50 billion from the commercial banks in the fiscal ended on June 30 to keep the inter-bank foreign exchange market stable.

“We’ve bought the U.S. currency from the banks directly to help them comply with the net open position (NOP) rules on holding foreign exchange,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, told BBN in Dhaka on Monday, preferring anonymity.

As part of the move, the central bank of Bangladesh purchased $37 million from four commercial banks on the day on the same ground, the BB official confirmed.

He also said the central bank has continued its intervention in the inter-bank foreign exchange market through selling and buying of the US currency directly besides providing overdraft facilities to the banks for keeping the overall market stable.

A total of $1.511 billion was bought in fiscal 2008-2009 (FY) against only $202.50 million of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank statistics.

Market players, however, welcomed the BB’s move saying that such intervention is needed to keep the market stable.

“The central bank is playing its regulatory roll giving comfort to us,” Vice-Chairman of the Bangladesh Foreign Exchange Dealers’ Association (BAFEDA) and Chief Executive Officer of the Janata Bank Limited S.M. Aminur Rahman told BBN in Dhaka on Monday.

A senior treasury official of a foreign commercial bank said such measure will benefit both exporters and migrant workers who send home billions of US dollars each year.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-07July09-12:44 am (BST)