BB halts dollar purchase
The central bank halted the purchase of dollars for the past two days after a three-week intervention to keep the inter-bank foreign exchange market stable, officials said yesterday.
Since January 15, Bangladesh Bank (BB) had purchased $94 million from different banks, mainly private and foreign commercial banks.
The central bank last bought $10 million on Sunday at Tk 68.90 per unit from a private bank.
“The central bank purchased the dollars to enable financial institutions to comply with the net open position (NOP) rules for holding foreign exchange properly,” a BB senior official said.
NOP depends on a bank's paid-up capital. According to BB rules, a bank cannot hold more than 0.5 percent of its paid-up capital.
Private bank officials said they have more dollars in stock because of a slowing trend in opening letters of credit against imports.
The official said the BB might resume such intervention to minimise a mismatch between demand and supply of the greenback.
Nearly 10 banks have already decreased their rates of dollars at customers' level after the flow of dollars to the market increased, bankers said.
The local currency has appreciated against the dollar marginally -- by Tk 0.05 at the beginning of current week.
Import LCs worth $780.64 million were opened in the first three weeks of January against $1.252 billion in the same period a year ago, according to the central bank statistics.