DHAKA, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves rose to a record $18.12 billion at the end of January from $18.07 billion a month earlier, the central bank said on Monday.
The higher reserves, which stem from a widening current-account surplus, are enough to cover six months of imports. At the end of January 2013, reserves totalled $13.1 billion.
Rising exports and a slowing of imports have helped build the reserves despite a drop in inward remittances as number of Bangladeshis going abroad to work in the Middle East has declined.
In the first seven months of the financial year that will end in June, the central bank purchased more than $2.5 billion from local commercial banks to help keep the local currency stable. In the previous financial year, it bought $4 billion.
Bangladesh’s pace of economic growth is expected to slow to less than 6 percent in the current financial year, due to political turmoil. In the previous year, the pace was 6.2 percent.
$1 = 77.75 taka Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Richard Borsuk