The price of US dollars jumped to Tk 120 in the kerb market on Wednesday amid persistent short supply of the greenback against the growing demand from importers and those going abroad for education and medical treatment.
The new unofficial kerb market rate of dollars was higher by Tk 20 to 25 than its official exchange rate against Bangladesh currency fixed by Bangladesh Bank.
The greenback maintained its upward trend despite the central bank’s recent steps to punish six major private banks and 10 money exchange houses for irregularities in trading of US dollars.
Read: BB warns exchange houses against manipulation of dollar price
Last Monday the dollars sold in the kerb market at Tk116.60. Riding on high demand after Ashura holiday Wednesday, the price soared up to Tk 120, traders said.
On Wednesday Abu Taher, a small businessman, went to the kerb market in Dilkusha to buy dollars he needed for his business trip abroad. The high price chased him away.
“The price has been beyond my means,” he told UNB. “I’ll wait to see if it comes down.”
Taher said he offered to buy dollars at Tk 117, but there was no taker.
While the soaring price has been attributed to short supply some traders blame it also on syndicates which manipulate the rate.
Some syndicates which hold the dollars until if they get the desired price are partly to blame for the crisis, said Osman Goni, a vendor at the kerb market.