BOC centenary banknotes not expected to create buying frenzy

September 26, 2017 15:00
The BOC commemorative issue is twice as large as that of HSBC in 2015. Profits from the sale will go to a local charity after deducting costs. Photo: HKEJ

Bank of China (BOC) is rolling out commemorative banknotes starting Thursday to commemorate its 100th anniversary.

A total of five million banknotes with a face value of HK$100 will be made available to the public from HK$288, Apple Daily reports.

The special-edition banknotes will be packed as single note, three-in-one uncut notes and 30-in-one uncut notes and will sell for HK$288, HK$988 and HK$13,888 respectively.

The bank has also selected 388 charity sets for public bidding.

BOC said that all profits will be donated to a local charity after deducting costs.

Citizens aged 18 or above with a valid Hong Kong ID may register for the commemorative banknotes through the BOC website or at its branches between Sept. 28 and Oct. 18 this year.

Each applicant can buy up to five single notes, one set of the three-in-one uncut notes and 30-in-one uncut notes. Interested buyers can choose to pay with their personal BOC bank accounts, credit cards, cheque or cash.

Should demand exceed supply, a draw will be held to pick the lucky winners and the results will be announced on Nov. 1. The applicant must pay for the banknotes and retrieve them in person within a period of time.

To avoid chaos experienced in a similar event held by HSBC in 2015, the BOC has decided to allow applicants to collect the single notes at 100 different branches, while the uncut notes must be collected at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre or the Kowloon Bay International Trade and Exhibition Centre (KITEC).

The BOC issue is twice as large as its HSBC counterpart.

Chan Wing-fai at Gold Field Coins said that since there are so many commemorative banknotes on offer, sales would be slower than usual.

Chan said collectors would be looking to snap up the notes, and these could be popular with mainlanders also.

However, Chan said there is “not much room for speculation” since supply is ample.

Chan said he has yet to hear about any mainland buyers approaching their company for the commemorative notes.

The company will consider whether to turn the banknotes into gift sets for sale.

HSBC’s 150th anniversary and 2012 commemorative banknotes fetch about HK$400 in the second-hand market.

If the serial number is not considered auspicious, the price could drop below the selling price HK$380.

Chan said the three-in-one uncut notes are more attractive to other buyers.

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