We've covered this topic before - there is still a speculative frenzy going on in Hong Kong over commemorative banknotes.
Frenzied scenes erupted outside Bank of China branches in Hong Kong as speculators dived in to make a killing on new banknotes.
The special notes - commemorating the bank's centenary - changed hands for more than six times their value immediately after.
People determined to get their hands on the notes, which are selling like hot cakes, again queued overnight to be first in line when the banks open this morning.
Yesterday, the branch at Olympian City stopped services when the fast buck mayhem outside threatened to get out of control.
Most of the notes - or 1,100,000 sets - are single HK$100 notes costing HK$150 each.
There are also 100,000 sets of uncut three-note sheets for HK$600, and 20,000 sets of uncut 30-note sheets at HK$6,000.
Long queues formed outside some branches from late on Sunday as speculators joined collectors.
The frenzy at Olympian City turned to chaos after a man claimed he spent HK$70,000 buying 77 purchase slips from people in the queue - only to find out they could be used only by the original holders.
Earlier in Central, a man named Tong said he arrived with his mother at 8am yesterday to find hundreds in the queue already. "The first man in the queue arrived at 11pm on Sunday," he said. "He brought along his sleeping bag."
Tong eventually bought four single HK$100 notes for HK$600 - two to sell through internet auction sites and two to keep.
He expects the selling price to soar next week when the stocks are sold out.
Another man in the queue, Wong, bought four sets but said they were for his family and not to make quick money. "These banknotes mark the bank's centenary and are worth collecting," he said.
He bought special Olympic banknotes in 2008 and the Standard Chartered's 150-year commemorative issue in 2009.
Banknote dealer Chan Wing-fai, who runs two coin and stamp shops in Mong Kok and Lam Tin, said he bought about 1,000 sets, which he immediately sold to a mainland souvenir company for HK$200,000.
But he said the HK$1,000 being demanded by some speculators for the banknotes is high and could drop soon.
"I expect the price will be around HK$600 rather than HK$1,000 when demand slackens," he said.
To read the complete article, see:
Notes of frenzy
A handful of governments have gotten into the commemorative banknote business. The U.S. has done commemorative coins to death, but the closest thing it offers in banknotes is special packaging for ordinary notes, such as the "America's Founding Fathers 2012 Currency Set" now being sold by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. I took a look at the BEP web site and was surprised to learn that they are also offering "Lucky 7" notes in tacky packaging: "These genuine $1 Federal Reserve Notes feature a serial number beginning with no less than three number 7s in a row. The note is protected in a vinyl holder and housed in a decorative folder." How long before they start setting aside more popular serial numbers for sale as a premium?
To visit the BEP products page, see
Wayne Homren, Editor
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