Paper Money

Central Bank of Egypt begins transition to new polymer notes

The Central Bank of Egypt is replacing its current 10-pound and 20-pound (shown) notes with new versions made of polymer rather than paper.

Images courtesy of Central Bank of Egypt.

Add Egypt to the growing list of the dozens of countries that issue at least some of their bank notes as polymer instead of cotton paper.

Egypt Today reported on Sept. 10 that Central Bank of Egypt Governor Tarek Amer confirmed an earlier announcement that the country will print new 10-pound ($0.63) and 20-pound ($1.27) bank notes out of the plastic compound starting next year. He added that they would not cancel the money now in circulation. The 10-pound note will be the first one issued.

The new notes will be issued after the government moves its headquarters to the new administrative capital now under construction east of Cairo. The Central Bank said it is allocating four lines in its new printing house for the production of money made from synthetic polymer.

Egypt also issues 5-, 50-, 100-, and 200-pound notes as paper. No word was given as to their fate, although in his remarks to the media in Cairo, Amer said, “The new currency is made of a better material so they can endure frequent use,” perhaps an indication that the 5 pound will be next.

The bank cited the usual reasons given by polymer adherents: Enhanced security features, longer life, environmental friendliness, and lower long-term costs.

Australia was the first to issue polymer currency in 1988.

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