Olympic Spirit? Bank on It!
A photo taken on July 11, 2008 shows a new HK$20 bank note commemorating the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The Hong Kong commemorative Olympic notes, which are sold individually for nearly seven times its face value, will be available to the public on Wednesday at designated Bank of China (Hong Kong) (BOCHK) branches. [Xinhua]
Hong Kong's newest banknotes probably won't see much circulation.
It's more likely they'll be framed or placed between two clear, plastic sheets.
That's because they're limited edition collectibles commemorating the upcoming Beijing Olympics.
Just two days after tens of thousands of mainlanders filled with Olympic spirit lined up outside banks to purchase new 10 yuan notes, Hong Kong unveiled its own 20-dollar notes on Friday.
The notes are the first to feature an Olympic theme in the history of the Games.
The Hong Kong notes will be available to the public on Wednesday at designated Bank of China (Hong Kong) (BOCHK) branches.
A total of 4 million notes were made, and 3.76 million will be sold in Hong Kong at prices ranging from HK$138 to HK$1,338. The remainder will be available in Macao and overseas.
He Guangbei, vice chairman and chief executive of BOCHK, said that as a note-issuing bank in Hong Kong, BOCHK is honored to commemorate the Beijing Olympic Games with this banknote.
"The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games is a momentous international event that all Chinese will be proud of," he said Friday. "We share the pride with all Hong Kong citizens."
The HK$20 banknotes are being sold individually for nearly seven times their face value.
Additionally, 4-in-1 sheets are available for HK$338, about 4.5 times their face value; and 35-in-1 sheets are available for HK$1,388, or nearly twice the bills' face value.
The sales period will be divided into two phases. The first phase is from July 16-31 at 50 BOCHK branches. The second phase is from August 8-22 at the venue of the Olympic Equestrian Events, BOCHK said.
The notes will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis at the branches. Each person will be limited to purchasing one set of each type, per visit.
Ann Kung, head of channel management at BOCHK, said that each designated outlet bank will sell 1,000 single notes, but the bank may adjust the sales quantity of the single notes depending on demand.
All the notes will be sold randomly, meaning customers won't be allowed to select designated serial numbers, she said.
The front of the banknote features the remains of the ancient Olympic stadium, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games' emblem and the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong. On the back is the Beijing Olympic Stadium, known as the "Bird's Nest".
It shares the same color and size as the HK$20 note issued by BOCHK in 2003. The new banknote also incorporates new security features, such as bright-and-highlighted watermarks and color-changing windowed thread.
The issuer indicated that the banknote may not be accepted by vending and ticketing machines. BOCHK will only exchange it according to its face value.
All the more reason not to spend it.
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