Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The country’s foreign exchange reserve has crossed US$9.0-billion mark for the first time, after a substantial amount of fund was received from a multilateral donor agency, officials said on Tuesday.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released funds worth $630 million as part of the special drawing rights (SDR) allocation, which has been made to all 186 IMF members.

The foreign exchange reserve rose to around $9.18 billion on the day from $8.53 billion of the previous day following disbursement of the fund by the IMF, the central bank officials said.

“The country’s foreign exchange reserve crossed $9.0 billion on the day setting a new record in the history of Bangladesh,” Deputy Governor of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) Ziaul Hassan Siddiqui said.

He also added the foreign exchange reserve may decline slightly this week after a routine payment is made to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU).

The central bank is set to pay $530 million to the ACU against imports for the July-August period of this calendar year, the officials confirmed.

“We expect that the foreign exchange reserve would stay at around $9.0 billion even after making payment to the ACU,” Mr. Siddiqui said without elaborating.

The Washington-based multilateral donor agency would provide additional $105 million shortly to bolster the country’s foreign exchange reserve in the wake of the global economic recession, the BB officials said.

The total $735 would be given not as loan, but as part of a global financial watchdog’s stepped up effort to inject liquidity in the central banks across the globe, they added.

The G-20 countries raised the fund size of IMF by $250 billion in April to increase SDR quota of members proportionately and the disbursement would be completed in September this year.

Currently, Bangladesh has a quota of SDR 533.30 million or $834.63 million in the IMF.

Besides, the central bank continues its intervention in the inter-bank foreign exchange market through purchase of the US currency directly from commercial banks, which has also pushed the foreign exchange reserve up.

As part of the move, the central bank of Bangladesh purchased $1.024 billion from commercial banks until September 1 this fiscal.

In fiscal 2008-09, the central bank bought a total of $1.48 billion directly from the commercial banks against only $202.50 million of the previous fiscal, the BB’s data showed.

The ACU is an arrangement among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to settle payments for intra-regional transactions through the participating central banks on a multilateral basis.

Under the existing ACU provision, settlement of any balance and the accrued interests is made among its member countries at the end of every two months.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-02September09-2:29 am (BST)