Vol. 4 Num 217 Sun. January 04, 2004  

Forex reserves hit 8-year high

Foreign exchange reserves hit an eight-year high of US$2.65 billion yesterday.

After hitting the highest $3.077 billion in June, 1995 the reserves started declining in 1996 and slid to only $1 billion in 2001.

However, the reserves showed a steady recovery in the next couple of years and crossed the $2.50 billion-mark in the second half of 2003.

The strong reserves reflected higher remittance and export earnings, disbursement of foreign aid and foreign investment, government officials said.

The country witnessed a high remittance growth in last fiscal year. In the first five months of 2003-04 fiscal, expatriates remitted $1.285 billion which was 4.33 per cent higher than that of the corresponding period of the previous year.

Bank officials said the flow of remittance is increasing ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.

The country received $209.2 million in foreign aid in the first four months of the current fiscal year. Besides, export earnings saw a 10 per cent growth during the period.

Foreign direct investment is also increasing. According to Bangladesh Bank, the country received $15 million in FDI in the first two months of the current fiscal year which was $7 million in the corresponding period of the previous year.

However, the foreign exchange reserves will lose about $200 million following payment to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) this week.