Banknotes and the Lunar New Year

Two stories about the preparation for the festivities in Singapore and Macau regarding the Lunar New Year (10 februari 2013). Traditionally people want new and special banknotes as a gift for loved ones... but also to speculate. 

Macau has authorised the Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU) and the Bank of China from 2012 to 2023 to issue a maximum of 20 million special notes with a face value of 10 patacas for the forthcoming Lunar Year of the Snake. Last year with the Year of the Dragon 'only' 10 million notes were printed which led to ridiculous speculation. Especially the banknotes with one or more 8's at the end of the serial number were sold for top prizes.

Singapore in the meantime has a tradition of presenting clean crisp new banknotes to family and friends for Hong Bao, the Lunar New Year. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has urged the people of Singapore to use "good as new" notes instead of the crispy new ones. In the past MAS would print and issue an additional 50 million notes to meet the temporary demand for uncirculated notes, but this was much more than the economy actually needed to function. By encouraging the public to accept these "good as new" recirculated notes, MAS hopes to cut its production costs and is also marketing the effort as good for the environment.

Happy Lunar New Year!

Steven Monday 14 January 2013 at 2:21 pm | | news
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