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Press Releases

New Hong Kong Banknotes

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the three note-issuing banks (Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited and The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited) today (Monday) announced the issue and unveiled the designs of the remaining three denominations of the new series of Hong Kong banknotes.

The three denominations, $20, $50 and $1,000, will go into circulation in October 2004. The first two denominations, $100 and $500, of the new series have been in circulation since December 2003.

As with the first two denominations issued in this new series, an important aspect of these banknotes is the standardisation of security features, and, in particular, of their location on the banknotes. A number of advanced security features have been added to the new series of banknotes to enhance their anti-counterfeiting capabilities. These new security features are:

  • denomination numeral in optical variable ink (the colour of the denomination numeral shifts between gold and green when the banknote is viewed at different angles)
  • fluorescent machine readable barcode (machine readable barcode visible under ultraviolet light)
  • holographic windowed thread (a 4mm-wide security thread with holographic images woven in the paper)
  • iridescent images (shimmering iridescent image showing bauhinia flowers when the banknote is tilted under a bright light).

The new banknotes also retain security features used in the old series of banknotes, including concealed image/denomination, intaglio printing, invisible fluorescent fibres, multitone and highlight watermarks, security thread, see-through feature and serial numbers.

"The new Hong Kong banknotes contain improved and standardised security features," said Mr William Ryback, Deputy Chief Executive of the HKMA. "This will make the notes more difficult to counterfeit. Like the new $100 and $500 notes issued last year, the designs of new $20, $50 and $1,000 notes have all managed to combine the need for security with excellent designs with Hong Kong themes."

"The HKMA and the three note-issuing banks will launch publicity campaigns to educate the public about the designs and security features of the new banknotes before they are put into circulation," Mr Ryback added.

All new banknotes are printed by Hong Kong Note Printing Limited. The design of the notes is the responsibility of the individual note-issuing banks, subject to the approval of the Financial Secretary.

The colour of the new HK$20 banknotes will be standardised in blue. The colour scheme of HK$50 banknotes will be changed from violet to green. The new HK$1,000 will remain yellowish gold in colour.

Mr He Guangbei, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited, said, "This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Hong Kong dollar notes issuing of our bank in Hong Kong. In comparison with the premiere of our notes issued in 1994, we have adopted four new scenic spots in this new series. Over the past decade, there have been quite a number of internationally recognised magnificent constructions developed in Hong Kong. It is our belief that with further economic advancement in Hong Kong, there will be many more scenic attractions in enhancing our pride in this city."

"Standard Chartered is delighted to be unveiling the remaining $20, $50 and $1000 notes from our new series of banknotes. These new notes follow the previously released $100 and $500 notes in continuing our theme of Chinese mythological and supernatural creatures. The refreshed designs on this new series of notes maintain the heritage of our overall theme, while adding modern design elements and state-of-the-art security features to enhance the aesthetics and security of our banknotes," commented Mr Peter Wong, Director of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited.

Mr Raymond Or, General Manager of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, said, "As the largest note issuer in Hong Kong with a long history of note issuance, HSBC is pleased to introduce our complete series of new notes which is designed to reflect the unique colour, culture and character of Hong Kong. Our in-house designers have incorporated into the series a collage of images depicting traditional Chinese patterns, modern and historic landmarks and the Bank's bronze lion to illustrate the vibrancy, continued strength and prosperity of Hong Kong."

All existing banknotes continue to be legal tender. They will continue to circulate along the new banknotes and will only be gradually withdrawn from circulation when they become physically unfit for circulation.

Illustrations and explanations of the security features of the new series HK$20, HK$50 and HK$1,000 banknotes are available in a press pack. A leaflet explaining and illustrating the new security features for the whole series banknotes is available for the public from the three note-issuing banks and the HKMA. The information is also available at the HKMA website at www.hkma.gov.hk and the HKMA Information Centre at 55/F, Two International Finance Centre, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong.

For further enquiries please contact:

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Jasmin Fung, Manager (Press), at 2878 8246
Thomas Chan, Senior Manager (Press), at 2878 1480

Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited

Ms Angel Yip, Deputy Head of Corporate Communications Division, at 2826 6159
Ms Clarina Man, Deputy General Manager, at 2826 6175

Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited

Barbara So, Senior Corporate Affairs Manager, at 2820 3085
Avis Kong, Senior Corporate Affairs Manager, at 2820 3009

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

Vinh Tran, Manager External Relations, at 2822 2924
Gareth Hewett, Senior External Relations Manager, at 2822 4929

5 July 2004

Last revision date: 1 August 2011
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