The country’s foreign currency reserve increased by around 50% or US$5bn during the just-out financial year that ended on Sunday thanks to robust remittance growth and slowed-down import expenditure as compared to the previous financial year.
According to Bangladesh Bank figures, total foreign currency reserve stood at $15.3bn as of June 30; a $5bn increase upon the $10.3bn the same day of last year.
The present reserve would be enough to meet five months of import payments.
From the beginning of the year 2013, the forex reserve witnessed upward trend and it stood at $13bn as of January 8.
Bangladesh Bank continued to purchase dollars round the financial year to keep the value of the greenback strong against taka to the benefit of exporters, said a senior executive of the bank.
The forex reserve crossed a record $11.34bn in March, 2011. However, due to soaring import bills for fuel oil to run the costly rental power plants, the reserve declined to $9bn in January and hovered around $10bn for the last few months.
The declining reserve also affected the value of taka against the dollar with the local currency hitting more than Tk85 against a dollar in January-February.
As soon as the reserve started climbing upwards the taka started getting stronger, with the value standing at Tk81 per dollar.
BB official said the forex witnessed the upward trend mainly due to increased remittance inflow.
From the beginning of the 2012-13 fiscal, remittance inflow took an upturn touching its highest monthly receipts of $1.4bn in October last. It witnessed a slowdown since February, before moderating slightly by the next month (March).
In January, remittance receipts were $1.32bn, in February $1.1bn, in April $1.19bn and stood at $1.07bn in May.