Collectors have been snapping up HSBC’s HK$150 commemorative banknotes, hoping they will be worth a lot more in the future.
Queues of mostly older people not used to online banking had formed outside HSBC branches as early as 7 a.m. Thursday, hours before sales began, according to Ming Pao Daily.
The bank opened an hour early to distribute order forms.
The banknotes, which will be sold until March 21, were issued to mark HSBC’s 150th anniversary.
Each is priced at HK$380 and buyers can apply for a maximum of three single notes.
Three-in-one uncut notes are available for HK$1,380 per set. A set of 35-in-one uncut notes costs HK$23,880.
Several stores on Taobao, the online shopping mall of Alibaba Group Holdings, are quoting 35-in-one sets at 32,000 yuan, equivalent to HK$39,602, or 65 percent higher than the original price, the report said.
Demand was so high several branches in the New Territories ran out of order forms on Thursday.
A branch in Sheung Shui was out of forms within two hours of opening.
HSBC is hiring temporary workers to help distribute the forms and help ensure the sales are completed within the subscription period, a spokesman said.
The bank is also encouraging buyers to order the banknotes online.
– Contact us at [email protected]