4 days ago

Foreign currency reserves drop below $30 billion

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Bangladesh’s foreign currency reserves have dropped below the $30-billion mark after clearing import bills amounting to over US$ 1.1 billion to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), according to news outlets.

Bangladesh Bank’s updated data showed the reserve dropped to $29.97 billion as of May 25.

According to The Financial Express, the country's foreign currency reserve was over $31.06 billion at the end of April.

The ACU is an arrangement through which the member countries settle payments for intra-regional transactions among the participating central banks on a net multilateral basis. Bangladesh recently paid import bills for March and April through the ACU.

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are members of the Tehran-headquartered ACU. The member countries of the union clear their payments every two months.

The significant fall in reserve, particularly the greenback, is deemed as a matter of serious concern for the economy, which is facing difficulties to meet the NIR (net international reserve) target of $24.46 billion within June, as set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Seeking anonymity, a BB official said the downward trend in the foreign currency reserve continues because of low export earning. Although remittance earning is growing, it is still not at the expected level.

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