DHAKA May 4 Bangladesh's foreign exchange
reserves reached a record high $20.37 billion at the end of
April, more than 37 percent higher than a year earlier, the
central bank said on Sunday.
The higher reserves, which stem from a widening
current-account surplus, can to cover more than six months of
At the end of April 2013, reserves were $14.83 billion. The
total last month was $1.06 billion above the March 2014 level.
Rising exports and slow imports have helped build reserves
despite a drop in remittances due to fewer Bangladeshis going
abroad to work.
In the first three quarters of the fiscal year that began
July 1, exports were $22.24 billion, up 13 percent from a year
earlier, largely due to stronger garment sales.
However, Bangladesh's garment industry has been hit by a
string of fatal factory disasters, including the April 2013
collapse of a building housing factories 2013 that killed more
than 1,130 people.
In the first 10 months of the fiscal year, the central bank
purchased nearly $4.2 billion from local commercial banks to
stem the rise of the domestic currency.
Economic growth is expected to slow below 6 percent in the l
year ending in June, after the country was gripped by political
turmoil leading up to an election in January. In 2012/13, the
economy grew 6 percent.
(Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Richard Borsuk)