Thursday, May 15, 2008
Zimbabwe Introduced $500 Million, $5 Billion, $25 Billion and $50 Billion Notes
Thu 15 May 2008, 7:35 GMT
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's central bank introduced 500 million Zimbabwe dollar notes worth just $2 on Thursday in the latest sign of spiralling hyperinflation, only a week after issuing the 250 million bill.
The new highest denomination note would buy about two loaves of bread.
Farmers normally have to carry huge stacks of bank notes after selling their produce to state agencies, while consumers often carry large piles of cash with them for simple daily transactions.
The country is currently in the middle of the tobacco and maize marketing season.
"The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is pleased to announce the introduction of special instruments to cater for the marketing needs of our farmers in the form of 'special agro cheques' whose lifespan will run through December 31 2008," the central bank said in a statement.
It said the cheques were freely tradable and would start circulating on Tuesday, while the new currency notes are available immediately.
The Zimbabwe dollar, which had been officially pegged at 30,000 to the U.S. dollar before exchange rules were relaxed recently, currently trades at about 250 million to the greenback.