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CROWDS RUSH TO PURCHASE NEW CHINESE OLYMPIC COMMEMORATIVE BANKNOTES
Last week we discussed a new Chinese banknote commemorating the 2008 Olympics. In a break with recent tradition, Chairman Mao will not appear on the note. This week we have reports from all over of citizens are rushing to purchase them. -EditorDong Changchun was a happy man Wednesday, after his patience was rewarded with one of the 6 million commemorative 10-yuan banknotes issued by the People's Bank of China (PBOC) to celebrate the Beijing Olympics. "I spent the whole night outside the bank to make sure I got one of the 100 banknotes it was issuing," Dong, who was first in line at the Chedaogou branch of the Bank of China in Beijing yesterday, said.
An anonymous client manager at the Huixinxijie branch of the Bank of Communications said: "People started queuing last night, and the 50 bills were sold out in less than half an hour after we opened at 8:30."
This latest issuance is the third time the central bank has printed special notes to commemorate a major event. The first was in 1999, to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, and the second was in 2000, to celebrate the new millennium.
The new 10-yuan note is greenish-blue in color and measures 148.5 mm by 72 mm, making it slightly larger than the regular note in circulation.
To read the complete article, see: Collectors queue all night for notes (http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/olympics/2008-07/10/content_6833669.htm)
Hong Kong is issuing commemorative notes, too. -EditorOlympic fever is spreading across China. Thousands of Hong Kong residents stood in long lines on Tuesday to snap up special banknotes to commemorate this summer's Olympics. And that's more than a day before their official release.
Despite bad weather, long lines began forming as early as Monday. That was more than two days before the Olympic commemorative banknotes were due to be issued on Wednesday.
In the financial hub of Central, Hong Kong residents, including young children and pensioners, flocked to the main Bank of China branch at the crack of dawn. Some even hunkered down inside tents for a lengthy wait.
Although a severe thunderstorm on Monday night drenched thousands, the Bank of China was forced to issue banknote purchase vouchers to finally disperse the crowds. But fresh lines have quickly formed again.
To read the complete article, see: HK residents rush to get Olympic notes (http://www.cctv.com/program/bizchina/20080716/104608.shtml)
Another article notes that some people paid others up to $350 just to wait in line to buy notes. -EditorThe first, a woman from Chongqing, declined to reveal if she's getting the notes for herself or was paid to get them for someone else.
Many other China nationals in the queue also declined to be interviewed and avoided the camera.
A group of 10 people from Guangzhou took a train into Hong Kong after failing to secure the limited-edition notes back home, reported South China Morning Post.
A Guangzhou woman said: 'I think the banknotes are really valuable because a 10-yuan note on the mainland has become worth more than 1,200 yuan.'
She added, 'But even so, I am not going to sell them.'
Those in the queues include the elderly, families and young people.
Most had umbrellas for cover from the rain and the sun while some arrived with straw mats, plastic chairs and newspapers to prepare for the long wait.
Mr Tsui Chiu, owner of the Luen Fat Stamp and Coin Shop, said he had assigned more than 20 of his staff to line up at different Bank of China branches.
'The demand is huge,' he said. 'I've received a lot of calls from mainland and Hong Kong customers interested in buying.'
To read the complete article, see: Some are paid $350 to queue (http://newpaper.asia1.com.sg/news/story/0,4136,170925,00.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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