November 9, 2023
DHAKA – Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves fell to $19.5 billion today after the Bangladesh Bank cleared import bills through the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), said a top official.
Today, the central bank’s $1.17 billion of import payments was cleared through ACU, an arrangement for settling payments for intra-regional transactions among eight countries, including India, one of the largest trading partners of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserve was $20.6 billion as per the calculation based on the International Monetary Fund’s Balance of Payment Manual 6 on the first day of November, according to data of the Bangladesh Bank.
The amount of gross reserve was $26.42 billion on the same day, the BB data showed.
After the ACU payment, gross reserves stood at $25.21 billion, said BB Spokesperson Md Mezbaul Haque.
The new figure of reserve comes after netting the payments and receipts, he said.
The latest data shows that Bangladesh’s capacity to clear import bills declined below four months, which is higher than the IMF’s benchmark of minimum reserves of three-month import cover.
Haque said the amount of forex reserve may increase in the coming weeks as multilateral lenders are expected to clear some instalments.
He said IMF may release second instalment of its $4.7 billion of loans the next month.
The country’s foreign exchange reserve has been falling gradually as the inflows from exports, remittances, and trade and short-term credits have been lower than the outflows to meet international payment obligations including import bills.
On November 1 last year, Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserve was $35.7 billion.