Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Belarus knocks four zeroes off rubel

By Dzmitry Ulasaw, BelaPAN

Belarus knocked four zeroes off the rubel at midnight on July 1 in a third currency redenomination since August 1994.

The change will see the end of extremely high denominations such as 100,000 and 200,000 rubels, which resulted from years of high inflation.

One new rubel is now valued at 10,000 old rubels ($0.5 at the National Bank’s current exchange rate).

The existing banknotes in denominations of 100, 1000, 5,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, and 200,000 rubels will be gradually replaced with bills denominated with face values of five, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 rubels, as well as coins in denominations of one kapeyka, two, five, 10, 20 and 50 kapeykas and also one and two rubels.

The five- to 200-rubel notes depict historic buildings, while the 500-rubel note bears an image of the National Library in Minsk.

The obverse and reverse face motifs of each of the seven notes represent one of Belarus’ six regions or the city of Minsk. The denominations of bills are matched to regions based on the alphabetical order of their names. For example, the five-rubel bill depicts the 13th-century Belaya Vezha tower in the Kamyanets district, Brest region, and early Slavic settlements, and the 10-rubel bill features the 12th-century Transfiguration Church in Polatsk, Vitsyebsk region, a book printed by Polatsk-born enlightener Francisak Skaryna and the 12th-century Cross of St. Euphrosyne of Polatsk.

The old banknotes will remain in circulation as full legal tender between July 1 and December 31, 2016, together with new ones.

Individuals will be allowed to exchange old banknotes for new ones between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2019 at all banks and other Belarusian financial institutions, and at the National Bank between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021.

There were two previous currency redenominations in the history of independent Belarus, in August 1994 and January 2000.

In 2000, the National Bank knocked three zeroes off the rubel and put into circulation new one-, five-, 10-, 20-, 50-, 100-, 500-, 1,000- and 5,000-rubel notes.