Hong Kong dollar notes in everyday circulation are $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1,000. The $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1,000 notes are issued by the three note-issuing banks. The Government has been issuing the $10 paper notes since 2002 in response to continuing public demand and the $10 polymer notes since 2007. The $10 notes issued by two note-issuing banks in the 1990s remain legal tender, but are no longer printed.
The Government, through the HKMA, has given authorisation to three commercial banks, namely The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, the Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited and the Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, to issue banknotes in Hong Kong. This authorisation is accompanied by a set of terms and conditions agreed between the Government and these three note-issuing banks. Banknotes are issued by the note-issuing banks, or redeemed, against payment to, or from, the Exchange Fund in US dollars, at a specified rate of US$1 to HK$7.80 under the Linked Exchange Rate System. Banknotes issued by the note-issuing banks are printed in Hong Kong by Hong Kong Note Printing Limited (HKNPL).
In April 1996, the HKMA on behalf of the Government, acquired the note printing plant in Tai Po, Hong Kong from the De La Rue Group of the UK. The plant has been operating under the name of HKNPL since then. The acquisition enables the Government, through the HKMA, to be directly involved in the production of Hong Kong currency notes, which is in line with the responsibilities conferred upon the Government under the Legal Tender Notes Issue Ordinance and the Basic Law. In March 1997, the Government sold 15 per cent of its shareholding in HKNPL to the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation. In October 1997, the Government sold another 30 per cent shareholding, at 10 per cent to each of the three note-issuing banks. The Government continues to exercise management control and maintains a majority stake in HKNPL, with the Chief Executive of the HKMA as the Chairman of the company.