New bank notes amid Zimbabwe cash crunch

Zimbabwe’s central bank is to introduce higher bank note denominations next week as the country battles high inflation and cash shortages which have fuelled a currency black market.

In a circular, the bank says the Z$10 note (worth about 40 US cents; 30 UK pence) will begin circulating on Tuesday, while a Z$20 note will be introduced in early June.

The central bank also revised upwards the daily cash withdrawal limits from Z$300 to Z$1,000 a day.

Until now, the highest value currency was Z$5, at a time when a loaf of bread costs more than Z$20.

The new denominations feature a famous national rock formation and another natural wonder, the Victoria Falls, reminiscent of Zimbabwe’s original currency.

In January 2009, the central bank abandoned the use of the local currency in favour of international currencies, after inflation peaked at 231m% in 2008, according to official statistics.

The highest note then was Z$100 trillion.

The government reintroduced the Zimbabwe dollar last June, but inflation has soared to more than 676%.

In March it once more legalised the use of US dollars.

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