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No Direct Public Sale Set for New W50,000 Banknote

Posted May. 15, 2009 08:02,   


Koreans can no longer form long lines in front of the Bank of Korea to get newly issued banknotes on the first day of the bills` release.

A central bank official said yesterday that the 50,000-won (39.46 U.S. dollars) banknote to be issued next month with early serial numbers will not be directly offered. Instead, more of the new banknotes will be put up on online auctions.

The state-run Korea Minting and Security Printing Corp. is printing the first batch of the new banknote, and 200 million of them will be released in mid-June.

The bank decided against directly selling the new banknote because of the chaos that ensued in January 2007, when hundreds of people swarmed in front of the bank`s headquarters to grab the bills early. Some even slept on the cold winter street for days.

At that time, the bank sent new bills with serial numbers from one to 100 to the Bank of Korea Museum, put those with serial numbers from 101 to 10,000 up for auction, and sold banknotes from serial numbers between 10,001 and 30,000 to the public at the bank headquarters.

This time, the central bank plans to increase the number of banknotes put up on online auction by 20,000 to 30,000 without direct sales. Profits from the auctions will be donated to charity organizations.