US dollar rate
Bangladesh urged IMF to downsize required reserves to $20 billion for next loan instalment, says official
Bangladesh has now requested the International Monetary Fund to lower the requirement of foreign exchange reserves at $20 billion as a condition of releasing the second installment of the $4.7 billion loans, an official of Bangladesh Bank confirmed this on Monday (October 16, 2023). The request was made to the visiting IMF delegation that reviewed with the officials the progress in meeting its conditions. Read: Myanmar ambassador meets with FBCCI, keen to start direct flight Despite different measures taken by including cutting unnecessary and luxury goods imports, in the last three months, gross reserves declined by $2.58 billion. Two main sources of foreign exchange earnings –inward remittances flow saw a record decline to $1.34 billion in September and export earnings failed to achieve the target. Considering the situation the central bank proposed to the IMF mission led by Rahul Anand to revise the reserves down to $20 billion. Under the terms of the $4.7 billion IMF loan, the actual reserves were supposed to be maintained at $24.46 billion last June and $25.30 billion in September. At the end of December, Bangladesh must maintain at least $26.81 billion in net reserves. Read: PGCB, GIZ set up lab to advance country’s clean energy transition The net forex reserves are now less than $18 billion, according to the calculations of Dr Zahid Hussain, a former lead economist of the World Bank's Dhaka office. However, the IMF also suggested that BB fix the exchange rate of US dollars on competitive market price, which is now being set by the Bangladesh Foreign Exchange Dealers’ Association (BAFEDA) in the concentration of the BB. The central bank earlier relaxed the exchange rate of the US dollar gradually and now the official exchange rate is Tk112 per dollar. Economist Dr Ahsan H Mansur said that Bangladesh has to maintain strict monitoring of trade-based money laundering along with cutting unnecessary imports to check the downslide. Read: IMF lowers growth forecast for current fiscal to 6 percent
1 USD at Tk 120: Individual traders selling dollars through networks, money changers say they’re empty-handed
Public dependency on the open market for US dollars has increased, where per dollar is being sold at Tk 120-121. The dollar crisis in the kerb market became more acute after Bangladesh Bank and law enforcers raided money changers with allegations of higher exchange rates. In this situation, a number of individuals are selling dollars, through their networks, at Tk 120-121 per dollar. They are becoming the lone source of dollars for those who are traveling abroad for treatment, education, and other emergencies, sources said. Read: Bangladesh Bank introduces dollar booking policy for max 1 year Jamal (not his real name), owner of a money exchange house in Dhaka’s Motijheel area, told UNB today that they cannot buy a dollar even at Tk 115. “How can we possibly sell per dollar at Tk 113.30?” — he asked. Many other money changers and individual floating traders of the US dollar remain idle due to the supply crisis of the currency. In the span of a month, the exchange rate of the US dollar in the kerb (open) market reached Tk 120-121 per dollar from Tk 112. The central bank and law enforcers recently raided money changers and asked to sell per dollar at the previous rate of Tk 113.30. Read: Selling dollars at higher prices: What is Bangladesh Bank’s action against treasury heads of 10 banks? Market insiders said there is a severe shortage of US dollars in Bangladesh. The price of foreign currency is increasing uncontrollably and the value of taka is falling. As a result, the price of the dollar in the kerb market has crossed Tk 120. Talking to various exchange houses and those involved in dollar trading, UNB learnt that most money changers do not have dollars. Secretary General of the Money Changers Association of Bangladesh, Sheikh Helal Sikder, said that Bangladesh Bank has set the dollar price for money changers. In this case, the buying rate is Tk 111.80 and the selling rate is Tk 113.30. Read: Dollar goes off kerb market after central bank-led raids of money exchanges “No one is getting dollars at this price, so the money changers are now sitting empty-handed,” he said. Replying to a query about the dollar shortage in the kerb market, Bangladesh Bank’s Executive Director and spokesperson, Mesbaul Hoque, told UNB that dollars are being traded, but not everyone is selling them.
Bangladesh Bank has introduced a US dollar booking policy for maximum 1 year, at a higher rate, to meet future requirements. According to the new rules, after one year, the bank will be able to charge a maximum of 5 percent more than the current dollar price with a 'SMART' rate. The central bank issued a circular in this regard on Sunday. Despite Bangladesh Bank Governor’s decision to not raise exchange rate before election, dollar rate hiked again Under the new rules, dollars can be kept with bookings for up to one year. For this, the buyer has to pay extra. It will be determined by the method with which loan interest rate is determined now. Currently, the dollar price for import is fixed at Tk 110.5. If anyone wants to book a dollar for future, he/she will have to pay Tk 123 per dollar after one year. Selling dollars at higher prices: What is Bangladesh Bank’s action against treasury heads of 10 banks?
Despite Bangladesh Bank Governor’s decision to not raise exchange rate before election, dollar rate hiked again
Bangladesh Bank decided not to bring major changes in the US dollar exchange rate before the upcoming national election. The central bank’s Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder informed of this decision at a meeting with managing directors and CEOs of banks recently. At that meeting, the governor said that Bangladesh Bank will not make any policy changes regarding the dollar market or the foreign currency market before the national election. Despite this decision, the dollar rate has been raised by Tk .50 or 50 paisa in all cases. The price of the dollar has increased to Tk 110 in case of export and expatriates’ income, and to Tk 110.50 in case of import. Read: Selling dollars at higher prices: What is Bangladesh Bank’s action against treasury heads of 10 banks?The dollar rate was hiked again yesterday, which is effective from today. The dollar crisis in the country has become evident since March 2023, following the downturn caused by the Russia-Ukraine war. To deal with this crisis, Bangladesh Bank fixed the dollar price at the beginning. This worsened the crisis. Later, last September, Bangladesh Bank withdrew from determining the price of the dollar. Read: Bangladesh Bank seeks explanations from 13 banks for selling dollars at higher prices This responsibility has been given to the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB) and Bangladesh Foreign Exchange Dealers’ Association (BAFEDA). Since then the two organizations have been jointly setting the dollar price for export, remittance earnings, and payment of import liabilities. Read more: Dollar goes off kerb market after central bank-led raids of money exchanges
The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has sought an explanation from 13 banks for selling US dollars at high prices. The summoned banks belong to the private sector, including a Shariah-based Islami Bank. The central bank confirmed the information on Monday (September 04, 2023). The letter was sent to different banks on Sunday (September 3) and the banks have been asked to provide an explanation in this regard within the next five working days. Also read: Dollar goes off kerb market after central bank-led raids of money exchanges The bank’s Executive Director and Spokesperson Md. Mesbaul Hoque told UNB that the trading licences of seven money changers have been suspended for selling dollars at higher prices. An explanation has been sought from 10 more money changers following similar complaints. In addition, banks are also being monitored. Punitive action will be taken if concrete evidence is found, he said. In August, the maximum import price of Tk109.5 was set, but some banks sold dollars up to Tk117, and bought it at Tk116. Also read: Bangladesh Bank working to normalise inflation and dollar crisis despite geopolitical challenges Dollar transactions are inspected by Bangladesh Bank's Financial Integrity and Customer Service and Foreign Exchange Inspection Departments. Recently, the central bank sent for inspection due to the increase in the price of the dollar. After collecting the information, the issues of dollar sales are being verified. In 2021, the central bank ordered to spend Tk 500 crore on the CSR sector from the profits of 12 banks due to excess profit. There were two foreign-owned banks and 10 private sector banks on that list. The dollar crisis in the country has become evident since March last year after the start of the Russia-Ukraine war. To deal with this crisis, the central bank fixed the dollar price at the beginning, but the crisis continued. Also read: Bangladesh Bank introduces 'market-based' dollar exchange rate with rate cap
With the price of the US dollar skyrocketing, Bangladeshi travellers are directly affected by fluctuating exchange rates. Should you then drop your travel plans until the price of the US dollar becomes stable? Is there any way to deal with this dollar crisis and still travel? Let’s look at some alternative ways to travel abroad without purchasing US dollars. WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER ALTERNATIVES TO BUYING US DOLLARS Traveling abroad can be an exciting and enriching experience, but it can also be expensive. One of the biggest expenses of international travel is the cost of converting Bangladeshi taka into the currency of the country you are planning to visit. Travellers usually carry US dollars when visiting any foreign country. The recent price hike of US dollars has made the exchange rate high regardless of the base currency. Therefore, it would be wise and cost-effective for travellers to consider the alternative ways. Read More: Bangladeshi passport’s ranking improves in 2023, still behind Iran and Sri Lanka as per Henley Index WAYS TO TRAVEL ABROAD WITHOUT BUYING US DOLLARS · USE CREDIT CARD Bangladesh Bank advises taking dollars through an international card (dollar-endorsed VISA/Mastercard) in case of traveling abroad. It has given this advice due to rising exchange rates and supply shortages in banks and open markets. The difference between the cash dollar price in the open market and the bank is currently over Tk 10. It is cheaper to endorse dollars on your credit card. In the current situation, it may save you around Tk 5 to 10 per US dollar. However, currently, the exchange rate for cash and card endorsement is the same, which is Tk 106 (as of January 12). According to a news in August 2022, when it cost up to Tk 109.50 to buy one US dollar in the open market, the price of buying dollars through a bank or card went up to Tk 95. Read More: Beach Bucket List: 9 Magnificent Sea Shores in South Asia “This is why we are recommending travellers to request their banks to ask for travelcards instead of asking for cash, so that they pay less,” Bangladesh Bank spokesperson Sirajul Islam told media at that time. · BUY THE LOCAL CURRENCY OF YOUR TRAVEL DESTINATION Buying the local currency of the country where you are traveling can reduce your exchange cost. The exchange rates of different currencies against the US dollar have also gone up. So, you can check if buying your destination country’s currency reduces the cost or not. For example, if you are travelling to India, buying rupees from Bangladesh may give you more currency than converting to the US dollar. You · USE DIGITAL WALLET Many countries now accept digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet. If you plan to travel to a country that accepts these types of payments, you can avoid the need to convert your currency altogether. You can load currency using a third-party service. Read More: 10 Best Professions for Travelers · TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FOREIGN ATMS When you are in a foreign country, it can be more cost-effective to withdraw cash from an ATM than to convert currency at a bank or currency exchange shops. If you have a dollar-endorsed card from Bangladesh, you can withdraw money in the country you are traveling to using the local ATMs. However, check with your bank to ensure that your card will work in the country you are planning to visit and see if there are fees for using foreign ATMs.
Expatriate Bangladeshis will get maximum Tk 107.5 per US dollar instead of Tk 108, for remittance from October 1, 2022. Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB) and Bangladesh Foreign Exchange Dealers’ Association (BAFEDA) have set this rate for remittance next month – to stabilize the forex market. Economists are saying controlling the exchange rate would have negative impact on the current inward remittance flow. Read: Bangladesh received over $1 billion remittance in Sep 1-15 Economist and Chairman of PRI, Ahsan H Mansur, told UNB that this is not the right decision to attract more remittance when the kerb market rate is over Tk 114 per dollar. It may encourage sending money through illegal channels, which does not help in resolving the forex crisis, he said. Professor Mustafizur Rahman, distinguished fellow of CPD, also said that controlling exchange rate is not helpful when market demand for forex is expanding. Read:Uniform rate: Tk 108/dollar max for remittance, Tk 99/dollar for export income from tomorrow He said several rates for US dollar will create discrepancies and discourage remittance flow. The illegal sector will be encouraged while exchange rate difference between banks and kerb market will be widened, Prof. Mustafizur said. According to the decision of the meeting held on Monday, remitters will get maximum Tk 107.5 per US dollar. Earlier on September 11, ABB and BAFEDA fixed the maximum price of a dollar at Tk 108 for remittance. Read Explainer: What it means to let taka float The dollar rate of export income monetization will remain at Tk 99 per dollar as before. In the case of payment of import liabilities and inter-bank transactions, price of dollar will be Tk 1 higher than the average price of a dollar bought from expatriate and export earnings. At the end of the meeting, BAFEDA Chairman Afzal Karim told the reporters, “There was supposed to be a price review from time to time to keep the dollar market normal.” “In continuation of this, we have decided the new price. The new price will be effective from October 1,” he said. Read How to safely send remittance to Bangladesh?
Bangladesh Bank (BB) suddenly changed the US dollar rate at the interbank exchange rate on Tuesday. The central bank says that the selling price of the dollar in interbank transactions on Tuesday was Tk106.15. And in the interbank transaction, the purchase price of the dollar is Tk101.67. But it is not the central bank rate, it is the dollar trading rate between the banks themselves. The price at which banks trade dollars is called the interbank rate. Read: Uniform rate: Tk 108/dollar max for remittance, Tk 99/dollar for export income from tomorrow Recently, the price at which the central bank used to buy and sell dollars was referred to as the interbank rate. The BB has been publishing that price on the website. But today (Tuesday) the central bank suddenly changed the price. Last Sunday, the selling price of the dollar was shown at Tk95 on the website. Yesterday (Monday), the price of the dollar was increased by Tk1 to Tk 96. Today (Tuesday) the selling price of the dollar is shown on BB’s website as more than Tk106. And the purchase price is showing around Tk102. However, even today, the BB has sold $4.5 crore from forex reserves at the rate of Tk96. Read: Illegal dollar trade: BB summons account details of 28 exchanges The central bank officials say that the price at which banks will buy and sell dollars will be the interbank rate. That will be published on the website. But the central bank will not sell at this rate. The BB Executive Director and Spokesperson Md Sirajul Islam told UNB, "The price of the dollar was increased to Tk 96 yesterday. Even today the central bank sold dollars at this price.” He is not aware why the price of dollars is being shown so high on the website.
The exchange rate for an American dollar jumped to Tk112 in the unofficial (kerb) market on Tuesday, witnessing the worst-ever slide of Bangladeshi currency. Traders of the kerb market, where out-of-bank cash dollars are sold and bought, told the UNB that in the last couple of weeks, the exchange rate of dollars increased drastically. Abdul Malek, owner of an exchange house in Motijheel said they sold a dollar for Tk 105 on Monday. Read Ecnec postpones Tk 236-crore project of Teletalk to save dollars But it jumped up to Tk 112 on Tuesday, the highest single day increase of the dollar ever in the country, he said. Private banks sold dollars at Tk103 to 104 on Tuesday for foreign trading and opening LCs for imports. On July 26 last year, the American dollar traded at Tk 84.80, meaning there has been an 11.67 per cent loss in the value of the local currency in a year. Read: Dollar price jumps to Tk 105 in kerb market, amid BB’s move to stable it The kerb market traders said that there had been a surge of demand in US dollars, compared to the short supply. They said syndicates involved in dollar business are partly to blame for the chaos. The surge happened as a large number of buyers, including tourists, small importers, students going abroad for studies and patients bound for treatment frantically looked for the dollar at the kerb market in Motijheel. Read BB warns exchange houses against manipulation of dollar price Despite the BB’s move to sell the dollar and relax policies to increase the inflow of forex in the country since June this year, the dollar market is yet to stabilise.