São Tomé and Príncipe returns to cotton for new banknotes

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São Tomé and Príncipe, a Portuguese-speaking island nation off the west coast of Equatorial Africa, issued three new banknotes on August 26 – a 5 Dobra note, a 10 Dobra note and a 200 Dobra note.

In a change from the recent standard, the country’s central bank is reverting from polymer to cotton as a substrate. The reason, the bank said in a statement, was that the 5 and 10 dobra banknotes in particular suffered from excessive wear, including security features on the banknotes, from the climate of the island, in which the temperature. average is never below 81 degrees and relative humidity is always above 77%.

The new 5 and 10 dobra banknotes retain the different species of wildlife in the design of the banknotes they replace, but do not have a transparent window. Polymer versions will be phased out over the next two years.

The 200 dobra banknote is a brand new design. The previous 200 dobra banknote was withdrawn in June 2019, when the official STP-Press news agency said the central bank’s board had advised the government to withdraw the banknotes from the market, for “serious reasons. technical failures ”and“ due to irregularities. which compromised the credibility and security of the national financial system, ”adding that the recommendation was not political. Other sources claim that the reason for the action was the illegal export of banknotes by the administration then in power.

Since January 2010, as part of a financial cooperation agreement with Portugal in which the former colonial ruler provided up to 25 million euros in aid, the dobra was tied to the euro at the rate of 24 , 5 dobra per euro. During a monetary reform in January 2018, three zeros were removed from the dobra, with for example 5,000 dobras becoming 5 dobras.

Currently, there are around 20 Dobras to the US dollar.

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