Singapore—Due to “strong public interest,” the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced that it will issue two million additional Singapore bicentennial S$20 notes, which are expected to be made available to the public later this year, around October or November.
The monetary authority “will inform the public when the new S$20 notes are available for exchange.”
The new note was released last Monday, June 10, in nine of the country’s biggest banks, and was quickly snapped up. At least 15 OCBC branches ran out of the new bills by lunchtime, and over half of POSB and DBS branches found themselves out of the commemorative notes even before the day ended.
By the same day, the notes were being sold on online platform Carousell for S$488.
An initial report from Stomp said that the price range on Carousell for the commemorative S$20 bill was between S$25 and S$444. The report also said that one user was selling five notes for the amount of S$1,688.
However, by Tuesday, June 11, the price of the commemorative bill had been jacked up to an astonishing S$988.
While selling these notes online is not illegal, MAS advised against it. “We encourage Singaporeans to collect the SB (Singapore bicentennial) notes as keepsakes as they are a one-off issue to commemorate Singapore’s bicentennial,” the authority said.
All in all, every single one of the two million pieces of the note was exchange within a week.
Each of the commemorative bills comes in a specially-designed folder. MAS also released 5,000 limited-edition numismatic sets of the S$20 notes available for sale, with each set composed of an uncut sheet of three S$20 commemorative notes.
Popular demand for the new bill on the first day
People quickly grabbed the chance to get the new S$20 notes from the first day these were released into circulation, even lining up before banking hours for the chance to get the notes.
The bill was issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in celebration of Singapore’s 200th birthday. The front part of the note shows Singapore’s first president, Yusof Ishak, with eight other pioneers on the back of the note. These individuals were vital to laying the country’s foundation. The eight pioneers shown on the bill are Munshi Abdullah, Henry Nicholas Ridley, Tan Kah Kee, P Govindasamy Pillai, Teresa Hsu, Alice Pennefather, Adnan Saidi and Ruth Wong.
Customers are allowed to exchange a maximum of 20 pieces each.
Around 33,000 notes were exchanged across seven of Citibank’s branches on Monday.
Meanwhile, lines formed at HSBC Singapore before opening hours, according to Anurag Mathur, the bank’s head of retail banking and wealth management.
Only three-fifths of the supply of commemorative S$20 notes remained at the bank by early afternoon.
Jean Oh, the head of branch service and risk management at OCBC said that “overwhelming public interest” in the commemorative notes caused nearly 80 percent of the bank’s stocks to be exchanged by day’s end on June 10.
She added, “Within the first three hours of our branches opening, six to seven branches had already run out of notes.”
At DBS, POSB and United Overseas Bank (UOB), half of the branches reported running out of S$20 notes./ TISG