Starting today, HSBC is taking subscriptions for its HK$150 commemorative banknotes, which are expected to spur a wave of speculations, especially from mainland buyers.
The banknotes, which are being released until March 21 to celebrate the banking giant’s 150th anniversary, are offered at HK$380 each, Ming Pao Daily reported.
Those aged 18 and above with valid Hong Kong ID cards or foreign passports are eligible to submit their application forms online or at all of the bank’s branches in Hong Kong.
People can apply for a maximum of three single notes, one set of 3-in-1 uncut notes at HK$1,380 or one set of 35-in-1 uncut notes at HK$23,880.
An auction will also be held for banknotes that carry special serial numbers and prefixes, such as “HSBC”, “AA” and “HK”.
The ruby red with gold banknotes show four images of the bank’s headquarters in Central over the past 150 years along with the two bronze lion statues standing in front of the building. The design, which depicts street scenes from the 1950s, reflects the city’s development over the years.
HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver said on Wednesday the banknotes will show that the bank has been a part of the city over the past 150 years.
The bank is the second lender in Hong Kong to issue such notes. In 2009, Standard Chartered issued the first-ever HK$150 commemorative banknotes, which were sold at HK$280 each.
Several stores on Taobao, the online shopping mall under Alibaba Group Holdings, have begun to take orders from buyers interested in the banknotes from Wednesday, with pre-payment set between 300 yuan (US$47.87) and 2,000 yuan.
Hong Kong Numismatic Society president Ma Tak-wo said Hong Kong buyers may not absorb all of the two million HSBC banknotes, and their value is not likely to rise without speculation from mainland collectors, who are expected to be enthusiastic as they had had few chances such as this in recent years.
However, interest from mainland buyers may be tempered by the ongoing anti-corruption campaign and the country’s slowing economy, Ma said.
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