The Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) of the central bank will hold talks with various intelligence agencies and leaders of the Money Changers' Association of Bangladesh on 4 September to adjust the prices of the US dollar in the kerb market.
An official of the BFIU on condition of anonymity said, "The price of the greenback suddenly rose to Tk120 due to various rumours about dollar dearth and manipulation by some fake institutions."
The intelligence agencies and Bangladesh Bank are conducting drives to control the open market dollar price. But many money changers do not know what they are doing wrong, he said, adding that BFIU will hold discussions with open market dollar sellers to make them aware of these issues.
As the price of the dollar is falling in the bank, the price is also falling in the open market. On Thursday, most exchange houses in the country bought the greenback at Tk108 and sold it at Tk109.
On 10 August, the price of the US dollar crossed Tk120 in the kerb market due to false rumours about a mass shortage. The price, however, gradually dropped after the intervention of the Bangladesh Bank.
As various irregularities have been found in the recent inspection of the central bank, BFIU will also investigate whether any money changer is involved in money laundering or Hundi – an informal system of money transfer. Bank account details of 26 money changers have been subpoenaed by this anti-money laundering unit.
Besides, the central bank suspended the operations of 5 money changers at the beginning of this month and issued warnings to 42 money changers on various charges.
The dollar rate remained stable throughout the last week due to the various actions of the central bank. The rate is ranging from Tk105 to Tk106 in import Letter of Credit (LC) settlement for a few days. Most banks settled LCs at such rates on Thursday while some banks settled below Tk105.
Banks are getting a rate of Tk102-103 for encashing export payment dollars of exporters. Besides, the central bank is selling dollars to state-owned banks at the Tk95 interbank exchange rate.
Bangladesh Bank sold $86 million on Thursday. Some $2.05 billion have been sold from the reserves since July of the current fiscal year. Foreign exchange reserves stood at $39.36 billion at the end of Wednesday.
The head of the treasury department of a private bank told The Business Standard that the demand for dollars in the market has decreased slightly as imports have declined. On the other hand, remittances have increased in most banks. As a result, the price is coming down.