Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves rose to $10.07 billion at the end of February, the highest since November, from $9.38 billion in January, thanks to an improving trade balance and strong remittances, the central bank said on Thursday. However, the reserves were down from $11.16 billion a year earlier.
Foreign exchange reserves hit a record $11.32 billion in April last year but have since eased due to soaring imports, mainly of oil, while exports and remittances have grown more slowly amid a faltering global economy. “The scenario has started to change owing to a slide in imports while Bangladeshis working overseas sent more money home,” a senior central bank official said.
The reserves could fall again due to scheduled bi-monthly payments of around $700 million to the Asian Clearing Union.
Meanwhil, Bangladesh is in final discussion to get a $1 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund under the Extended Credit Facility. Analysts, however, said the rising trend could be short-lived if the government fails to secure the IMF loan and continue costly oil imports for power generation.
The South Asian country routinely runs a trade deficit but remittances, key foreign exchange earners along with readymade garments exports for the $100 billion economy, helped offset the trade shortfall.