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Zimbabwe introduces $500 million note

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George Washington’s Blog
Friday, Dec 12, 2008

Zimbabwe’s central bank is introducing a $500 million note — the highest current denomination — as the once-prosperous southern African nation battles against spiraling hyperinflation.

Finance Minister Samuel Mumbengegwi made the announcement about the new note in a government gazette set for release Friday. On the back, the purple cotton bill will feature pictures of dairy cows being milked mechanically and a miner drilling underground, he said.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) last week introduced a new set of denominations, including a $100 million note, but that has not helped to clear long lines for cash at banks. Some people sleep outside banks after failing to get cash.


The RBZ said a $200 million note would be in circulation Friday, together with the $500 million note.

The $500 million note is worth about 8 U.S. dollars and enough to buy just eight loaves of bread. Thursday, the greenback was trading around ZW$60 million and is expected to shoot up in light of the new note’s introduction.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Prices change on an almost daily basis as businesses now peg their prices against the U.S. dollar.

Zimbabwe has had higher denominations than the $500 million note in the past. But over the past two years, the country has slashed zeros from the amount of its worthless currency — the latest being 10 zeros in August.

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This article was posted: Friday, December 12, 2008 at 5:15 am

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