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Forex reserve hits all time high at $15bn

  • Published at 01:59 pm May 7th, 2013
Forex reserve hits all time high at $15bn

The country's foreign exchange reserve yesterday crossed Tk15bn for the first time on the back of higher remittance inflow and falling import payments, officials said.

It stood at $15.069bn to register all time high, which would be enough to meet four months of the country’s import payments, said an official.

“This is because of strong remittance flow and declines in import payments,” said AFM Asaduzzaman, a spokesperson of Bangladesh Bank.

He said the upward trend of the forex reserve might continue in the coming days as BB has earlier taken some steps to encourage expatriates to remit through banking channel.

In the first 10 months (July-April) of the current financial year, expatriates remitted $12.30bn, an increase of 15.89% from the same period of last year, BB data showed.

The overall import bill payments in first nine months of the current fiscal posted a negative growth of 10.40% to $24bn from $26.77bn a year earlier. The import order has recently been hit by the ongoing political turmoil, said an official.

However, a bumper harvest of rice due to the BB’s agriculture loan policy also curbed import payments, said the official.

The central bank is continuously making efforts by providing policy supports to the banks, and increasing awareness among expatriates about using formal banking channel, instead of illegal 'hundi', for sending their money home.

Earlier, the BB took a series of measures to encourage expatriate Bangladeshis to send their hard-earned money through the banking channel to boost the country's foreign exchange reserves.

On the other hand, the central bank is purchasing the US dollar from the commercial banks directly that has also contributed to increase the forex reserve in the recent times.

A total of $3.601bn has been bought from the commercial banks, so far, in the FY13 as part of the central bank's intervention in the market, said a BB official.