Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Development of Polymer Banknote in South East Asia

Polymer banknotes were developed by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Australia was the first country that issued a polymer banknote as its country currency in 1988. The main objective of developing the polymer banknote is to increase the durability of the currency and to enhance the security features against counterfeiting.

The first polymer note in South East Asia issued by Singapore in 1990 in conjunction with its 25th Anniversary of independence.

In South East Asia, Singapore was the first country that issued its first polymer banknote in August 1990. The first polymer note was issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in form of $50 commemorative note in conjunction with its 25th Anniversary of independence. Subsequently, the MAS has issued the polymer circulating note in the denominations of $10, $5 and $2 in the year from 2004 to 2007. A special $20 commemorative polymer note also issued together with Brunei in 2007 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Currency Interchangeability Agreement between both countries.

Bank of Indonesia issued its first polymer note in 1993 to commemorate the successful 25 years of Indonesian Development.

On 1 March 1993, Bank of Indonesia (BI) issued its first ever polymer note in the denomination of 50,000 Rupiah to commemorate the successful 25 years of Indonesian Development from year 1969 to 1994. The second polymer note was issued by BI in 1999 in 100,000 Rupiah as a general circulating note to increase the money supply to overcome the worried by computer Millennium Bug in year 2000.

First $1 circulating polymer banknote issued by Brunei in 1996.

Brunei was the earliest South East Asia country that issued the general circulating polymer notes or non-commemorative polymer banknote. The first circulating polymer note was issued in denomination of $1, $5 and $10 by Bank Negara Brunei in 1996. Subsequently, the higher denomination polymer notes in $50 and $100 were also issued in 2004. Brunei has completed its circulating polymer note in December 2006 with the issuance of the highest denomination notes of $500 and $10000. The $10000 note issued by Brunei is the highest face value note in the world (approximately USD6,800).

Bank of Thailand issued the 50Baht polymer banknote to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol's accession to the throne.

Thailand was the subsequent country that issued its 50 Baht commemorative polymer note in December 1996 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol's accession to the throne. In August 1997, the Bank of Thailand issued another 50 Baht polymer note as a regular circulating banknote in the country.

1988 commemorative polymer note issued by Bank Negara Malaysia in conjunction with XVI Commonwealth Games.

Malaysia is the 5th country in South East Asia that issued its commemorative note in 1998 in conjunction with the Kuala Lumpur '98 XVI Commonwealth Games. Bank Negara Malaysia has also issued the polymer circulating note of RM5 in 2004.

The first commemorative note issued by Vietnam in conjunction with its 50th Anniversary of State Bank of Vietnam.

Vietnam issued its first commemorative polymer note in 2001 to commemorate 50th Anniversary of State Bank of Vietnam. Despite its late issuance of polymer banknote compared to other South East Asia country, Vietnam was the first country in the region that has fully converted its regular circulating banknote into polymer note. Vietnam started to issued the circulating polymer note in 2003 with the denomination of 50,000 Dong, 100,000 Dong and 500,000 Dong. It has completed its polymer series note in August 2006 with the introduction of 10,000 Dong, 20,000 Dong and 200,000 Dong. Vietnam was four months ahead of Brunei in term of completing the polymer circulating note.

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