October 02, 2009 11:25
The Bank of Korea has put a total of W1.7 trillion worth of W50,000 notes into circulation ahead of the Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving holidays, a peak time for money gifts. The BOK on Thursday said during the 10 working days before Chuseok between Sep. 18 to Oct. 1, a total of W4.45 trillion in cash were supplied through banks, including the W1.7 trillion worth of W50,000 bills, accounting for 38.2 percent of the total.
The new W50,000 notes, which feature the image of Shin Saimdang, a prominent 16th-century artist and calligrapher, were introduced on June 23 of this year. Signs of an economic recovery and the massive printing of W50,000 notes led to a 39.9 percent rise in the amount of cash supplied for Chuseok this year compared to 2008.
Since the introduction in late June, a total of W7.75 trillion worth of W50,000 notes have been put into circulation, 22 percent of it during the 10 days before Chuseok. A total of W40-50 billion worth of W50,000 bills or between 800,000 to 1 million notes were released daily, rising to W170 billion or 3.4 million notes per day this last week.
"The increased circulation for W50,000 notes is due to greater demand for gift money, and people prefer to carry the new bills when they go to their hometowns rather than carrying stacks of W10,000 notes," a bank spokesman said.
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