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Saturday, September 5, 2015, Bhadra 21, 1422 BS, Zilqad 20, 1436 Hijr

FX reserves hit record $26.17b, remittances up 1.1pc in Aug
Business Correspondent
Published :Saturday, 5 September, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 19
The foreign exchange reserves of the country hit a record $26.17 billion at the end of August while remittances rose 1.1 per cent in the same month, according to the central bank data.
The reserves hit the record backed by steady exports and inflow of remittances from expatriate Bangladesh workers abroad. The reserves are sufficient for seven months of imports.
The slower pace of import growth, on the back of a drop in global commodity prices, also helped boost reserves, which at the time data release, was 19 per cent higher from the corresponding period last year.
Last month the central bank said it planned to provide funds of $2 billion from the foreign exchange reserves to develop the country's infrastructure, in hopes of spurring economic growth.
Meanwhile money sent home by Bangladeshis working overseas in August rose 1.1 per cent from a year earlier to about $1.19 billion.
However the figure was lower than $1.39 billion remitted in July, when the amount fell 7 per cent from a year earlier in the first annual plunge since February.
Millions of expatriate Bangladeshis remitted $15.31 billion in the financial year that ended in June, up 7.6 percent from a year earlier.
Remittances from more than 10 million citizens abroad are critical for the South Asian nation and are a key source of foreign exchange, alongside garment exports, which account for 82 per cent of total export earnings of $31 billion a year.
Steady inflows of remittances in recent years have helped build foreign exchange reserves, which stood at an all-time high of $26.17 billion at the end of August.
Most Bangladesh expatriates work in the Middle East and Gulf countries, from which come almost 60 per cent of the remittances.

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