50-Riel Note Comes Back Into Circulation

Officially taken out of circulation by the National Bank of Cam­­bodia several years ago, the 50-riel note is making a comeback. Between 10 million and 12 million of the notes were distributed through the markets and commercial banks starting Thurs­­day, National Bank officials said.

The notes were circulated to meet the growing needs of the people, especially the poor, said Tieng Seng, general cashier of the National Bank. The notes will be useful to the poor and those living in rural areas so that they can buy smaller amounts of goods, such as vegetables, and not lose money in the transaction, he said.

The notes were expected to be welcomed by the public, National Bank officials said.

An exchange shop owner said Thursday that people were enthusiastic about the new notes.

The new notes were circulating at their full value, she said. No one would have to cut their value be­cause they were new, she said.

After 30 years of civil war, many Cambodians are used to see­ing money change with re­gimes. But the 50-riel denomination is nothing new.

Coins in 50-riel denominations, as well as 100-, 200- and 500-riel, circulated during the 1980s. But the current regime has on­ly minted paper money, which is cheaper to produce, with the small­est denomination being 100  riel.

The new notes feature the Banteay Srei temple, in Siem Reap province, on one side, and Kandal province’s Tuk Thla dam on the other. Like other notes, it has 11 different features to prevent counterfeiting, such as colors that appear under ultra-violet light and a graduated color strip that foils photocopy machines.


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