New notes mark 50 years of currency accord with Brunei

A set of two $50 commemorative polymer notes - one B$50 note (left) and one Singapore $50 note - was launched at the Istana on Wednesday.
JULY 06, 2017 - 6:00 AM

[Singapore] A set of special $50 notes to commemorate the Currency Interchangeability Agreement between Singapore and Brunei was launched on Wednesday as the two countries celebrated 50 years of bilateral cooperation.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei jointly launched two $50 commemorative polymer notes - one Brunei $50 note and one Singapore $50 note - at the Istana on Wednesday.

PM Lee said: "The Currency Interchangeability Agreement is a hallmark of our long-standing and unique relationship, and this policy of freely convertible currencies has benefited our economies and our peoples."

He added that the agreement has eliminated foreign-exchange risks and minimised transaction costs, thus facilitating the growth of trade and investment. "Singapore is one of Brunei's top 10 trading partners, with total bilateral trade in excess of $1 billion in 2016. Investments have flowed into fast-growing areas. A Brunei-Singapore joint venture recently invested $20 million in a high-tech vertical aquaculture farm, the first in Brunei."

Sultan Bolkiah said the agreement "provides us with certainty as it continues to remain relevant in facilitating trade and financial relations between our two nations amid changes in the global landscape".

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Under the agreement signed in 1967, the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam, the central bank of Brunei, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore accept from banks the currency notes and coins issued by the other, and exchange them at par and without charge into their own currency. Banks in both countries also accept for deposit, from the public and businesses, the currency issued by the other country at par.

One million pieces of B$50 and two million pieces of S$50 commemorative notes will be available for public exchange at face value. For the first time, banks in Brunei and Singapore will be co-distributing a set of two commemorative notes - one Brunei Darussalam $50 note and one Singapore $50 note - at retail banks.

A maximum of five commemorative note sets and 10 pieces of the Singapore $50 commemorative notes can be exchanged per transaction in Singapore.

The public can exchange these commemorative notes and sets, at face value, at the branches of DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, UOB, Maybank, Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, Citibank, Bank of China, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China from July 7 onwards.