Has a possible new competitor arisen to the Swiss 1,000-franc note as
the future high-value currency of choice? Probably not. A story in
Bloomberg Business on Feb. 25 reports a number of changes to
the money system in Belarus, including the introduction of a new
500-ruble note that will have the highest face value in eastern
Europe, the equivalent of $231 at exchange rates.
central bank of Belarus will issue its third paper money series since
1992 by dropping four zeros off the ruble and will make the 500-ruble
note the highest denomination. The highest denomination currently in
use is a 200,000-ruble note valued at about $9. Russia’s largest bill
is the 5,000-ruble note ($65).
new currency is a response to the nation’s many problems. Its overall
rating in the World Democracy Audit, on a scale descending from 1 to
150, is 141. It ranks in the bottom tier in measures of political
rights, civil liberties and press freedom. Its corruption ranking is
93 on the 150-point scale. It is also fighting inflation that broke
100 percent three years ago, and the hope is that the currency
overhaul provides an economic spark.
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predicts the 500-ruble note stands little chance of becoming a money
of choice for launderers, terrorists and tax dodgers; it is not a
convertible currency, and whether it can retain its value for long is
doubtful. It is ranked as the world’s fourth worst performing currency
against the dollar and the euro.
redenominated bank notes were printed in 2008 but were stored in
vaults in response to the global financial crisis. The new notes will
be put into circulation starting July 1.