Customers ‘shun’ money exchanges in Dhaka as dollar fluctuates against taka

Money changers say the customers may fear another sudden hike in the dollar price

Sheikh Abu TalebStaff Correspondent,
Published : 28 July 2022, 05:25 AM
Updated : 28 July 2022, 05:25 AM

Sales have dropped sharply at money exchanges in Dhaka as the price of the US dollar continues to fluctuate against the taka.

The exchange rate fell to Tk 108 per dollar on Wednesday after hitting a record Tk 111 a day earlier, but customers have shunned the exchangers in Paltan and Motijheel.

The exchangers say customers may be staying away due to fears that the dollar price may soar suddenly.

Shops selling foreign currency shops are usually abuzz with customers and those who want to know the current rates for their purchasing plans. But, on Wednesday, the stores were largely empty.

Some of the traders believe the crisis will ease after two more weeks when Eid holiday travellers start to return from abroad.

Some traders and people who need foreign currency for overseas travel are saving dollars, anticipating that the price of the greenback will increase further. Travellers are both the major customers and sources of dollars for the exchangers. Many buy the US dollar from the exchangers to avoid paperwork at banks.

Md Faruk Hossain, a director of the PAF Money Exchange at Paltan, said he managed to buy $300 on Tuesday despite a shortage.

“Now I am waiting for customers with my computer open. I will sell and endorse the dollars if someone comes with a passport. But all the counters are free.”

Officials of the Bangladesh Bank and some government agencies visited the exchangers on Wednesday amid the crisis.

No one came to sell dollars in Paltan until 2:30 pm. Md Shaheen Alam, a Bangladeshi expatriate, was the first to sell euros and dollars around 3 pm.

“They [a money changer] want to give me Tk 106.5 per dollar. I didn't sell it to them. I will talk to some others,” he said, as he was expecting a higher rate.

Md Mosharraf Hossain, managing director of Meximco Money Exchange, said the dollar price rose slightly to Tk 109 in the late afternoon. “The price will fall when new dollars arrive in the market next week. This is a short-term crisis,” he said.

The price of the dollar in the open market affected the exchange rate at banks, who sold the currency at up to Tk 109, in unprecedented parity with the kerb market rate. Usually, the rate at banks and that in the open market differ by at least Tk 4-5.

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