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Bangladesh's looming debt bills to China, Russia fuel forex fears

Dhaka must be 'very careful' with reserves as infrastructure loans come due

The multipurpose Padma bridge connects Dhaka with the south of Bangladesh. The repayment of a Chinese loan for a railway portion of the bridge is due to start soon.   © AP

DHAKA -- Bangladesh's public finances are coming under increasing strain as mounting loan repayments for Chinese, Russian and other infrastructure projects are poised to put a deeper dent in the country's foreign exchange reserves.

The South Asian country is to begin repaying two China-funded megaprojects, the Karnaphuli river tunnel and the Padma bridge rail link, in November and December, respectively, according to officials. Payments on a portion of two large Russian loans, totaling $11.88 billion, for construction of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant began earlier this year, although the money is currently being held in an escrow account.

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