Bangladesh foreign exchange reserves fall in November

DHAKA Sun Dec 1, 2013 10:26am IST

DHAKA Dec 1 (Reuters) - Bangladesh's foreign exchange reserves slipped to $17.11 billion at the end of November from a record high of $17.35 billion in October, but were up from $11.75 billion a year earlier, the central bank said on Sunday.

Reserves fell in November as a result of scheduled bi-monthly import payments to the Asian Clearing Union totalling about $800 million, a senior central bank official said.

The reserves are enough to cover more than five months of imports.

Rising exports, the slow pace of imports and steady remittances from Bangladeshis working overseas have helped build reserves.

Bangladesh's exports in the period from July to October rose 16.5 percent on the year to $9.75 billion, boosted by stronger clothing sales, as the low-cost country retains its allure for cost-crunching global retailers despite deadly accidents.

The country's $20 billion garment industry, which supplies many Western retailers, has been in the spotlight after several grim incidents, including a building collapse in April that killed more than 1,130 people.

Economic growth is expected to slow to less than 6 percent in the year to June 2014 from 6 percent the previous year as political uncertainty and turmoil ahead of elections set for Jan. 5 take their toll. (Reporting by Ruma Paul)

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