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Maldives central bank extends deadline for new currency exchange

Fathmath Shaahunaz
25 July 2016, MVT 13:29
A man counts a stack of notes at a MMA counter. MIHAARU FILE PHOTO/MOHAMED SHARUHAAN
Fathmath Shaahunaz
25 July 2016, MVT 13:29

Maldives central bank has extended the deadline to exchange the old currency series at banks from the previous deadline of July 21 to December 31.

According to an official of Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), the authority has further decided to provide exchange of old currency notes for the new series “Ran Dhiha Faheh” for five years from July 31 at MMA. Accordingly, the old series can be exchanged for the new notes at MMA until July 31, 2021.

“We’ve also discussed with the banks to allow deposit of [old] cash notes at deposit ATMs in addition to bank counters, which will be another advantage for the public,” said the official.

The official added that teams are currently travelling to some northern islands where the old cash notes are still greatly used to exchange them for Ran Dhiha Faheh. Cash exchanges are also possible at the boats of the main bank, Bank of Maldives (BML), travelling to the islands until the end of this month.

MMA declared that the president has deemed cash notes sans MVR 5 of the old currency series will not be considered as legal tenders after July 31. Meanwhile, MVR 5 cash note of the old series will be in use until MMA unveils the new MVR 5 coin which is part of Ran Dhiha Faheh.

The president had also officially declared that the old MVR 2 cash note cannot be used in transactions beginning August 1. Though the use of MVR 2 cash note had highly diminished in favour of the MVR 2 coin, its status as legal tender had not been officially lifted before. With the president’s new development, the rare MVR 2 cash note will be officially removed from circulation by the end of this month. However, the public may exchange it for MVR 2 coins at MMA until a period specified by the authority.

According to MMA’s official statistics, currently only 9 percent (MVR 261 million) of the old cash notes are still in circulation by the end of last Thursday. MVR 2.9 billion had been in circulation on January 25 when the new Ran Dhiha Faheh currency series had been released.

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