Bangladesh's central bank mulls exchange rate hike amid fall in forex reserves

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DHAKA, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh's forex reserves reached 34.10 billion U.S. dollars on Nov. 23, declining from 34.30 billion dollars on Nov. 17, showed the latest Bangladesh Bank (BB) data.

The foreign currency reserves fell again in recent days, after a slight rise, due mainly to an increased demand for the U.S. dollar for meeting import-payment obligations, local leading English newspaper The Financial Express reported Thursday.

The reserves hit 35.72 billion dollars on Nov. 1, but started falling after a regular bi-monthly payment of over 1.30 billion dollars to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) on Nov. 8.

After that, the reserves moved up slightly again to reach 34.30 billion dollars on Nov. 17 from 34.25 billion dollars on Nov. 9 because of comparatively lower import payments during the period.

A central bank official said the reserves declined by around 200 million dollars in the last five days.

He said the banks' demand for the greenback continued to grow to meet their foreign payment obligations, and on the other hand, the earnings from exports and remittance were on the wane.

"These are probably the reasons behind the fall of the forex reserves," the officer said, adding that the bank was planning to raise the exchange rate of the Bangladeshi currency, the taka, against the U.S. dollar, and that would mean a U.S. dollar will be traded at 100 taka, up from the existing 98 taka by the end of the calendar year.

"It would help protect the reserve a bit as buying dollars from the central bank is still comparatively lower than the interbank rate," said the official who preferred to be unnamed. Enditem

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