BANGLADESH DEVALUES CURRENCY YET AGAIN

BANGLADESH DEVALUES CURRENCY YET AGAIN

Bangladesh's central bank devalued the value of the local currency by another 1.8 percent against the U.S. dollar effective Monday under pressure to keep the country's exports - especially textiles and apparel - competitive against Southeast Asian nations.

The new buying rate to the U.S. dollar is 46.15 takas and selling rate 46.45 takas, against 45.30 takas and 45.60 takas earlier respectively. ''The adjustment has been made to encourage export promotion and inflow of remittances by Bangladeshi nationals overseas,'' said the Bangladesh Bank in a statement.The bank devalued the currency last November as it kept a continuous vigil on regional developments. It was the 12th devaluation since the present government took office in July 1996. The currency was devalued by more than 6.3 percent in calendar 1997. The latest devaluation was done under heavy pressure from the country's textile sector - mainly apparel exporters - who fear that their products have been rendered uncompetitive in the face of massive currency depreciations of Southeast Asian nations.