Forex reserve crosses US$23 billion making a new record
28 February 2015, Nirapad News: Foreign exchange (forex) reserve of the country crossed the US$23 billion-mark for the first time on Thursday, following lower import payment pressure, mentioned the officials.
The reserve rose to $23.03 billion on the day, setting a new record, from $22.90 billion of the previous working day. It was $22.05 billion on August 07 last.
“The forex reserve has crossed the $23 billion-mark, mainly due to steady growth of both export earnings and inward remittance despite the ongoing political turmoil,” told the general manager of Forex Reserve and Treasury Management Department of Bangladesh Bank (BB), Kazi Sayedur Rahman. The central banker said the country will be able to settle seven months’ import bills with the existing forex reserve. He also said falling trend of overall imports along with lower prices of petroleum products in the global market also helped to raise the country’s forex reserve. “We’re saving more than $200 million each month because of lower prices of petroleum products in the international market,” he noted.
The country’s overall imports fell substantially in January, mainly due to the ongoing political unrest. Opening letters of credit (LCs) against imports, generally known as import orders, decreased by more than 7.0 per cent to US$ 3.20 billion in January, from $3.45 billion in the same period of the previous calendar year. On the other hand, settlement of LCs, generally known as actual imports, dropped by 7.54 per cent to $3.04 billion during the month under review, from $3.29 billion in January 2014.
Besides, purchasing the US dollar from the commercial banks has contributed to raising the forex reserve recently, another BB official explained. He also said the forex reserve may fall within the first week of the next month, after making a routine payment of around $1.0 billion to Asian Clearing Union (ACU) against imports during the January-February period.
The central bank is directly purchasing the greenback from the commercial banks continuously to help keep the inter-bank foreign exchange (forex) market stable. As part of the move, BB bought $47 million from four banks at market rate on Wednesday.
A total of $1.87 billion was bought from the commercial banks between July 2 and February 25 of the current fiscal year (FY), 2014-15, as part of BB’s intervention in the market.