Zimbabwe's central bank will introduce a $50 billion note -- enough to buy just two loaves of bread -- as a way of fighting cash shortages amid spiraling inflation.
Zimbabwe's dollar is virtually worthless with foreign currency now being used to purchase basic items.
The country's acting finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa, made the announcement in a government gazette released Saturday.
While Chinamasa did not give the date on which the $50 billion and new $20 billion notes would come into circulation, an official at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said the notes would be distributed to all banks by the end of Monday.
Zimbabwe is grappling with hyperinflation now officially estimated at 231 million percent and its currency is fast losing its value. As of Friday, one U.S. dollar was trading at around ZW$25 billion.
When the government issued a $10 billion note just three weeks ago, it bought 20 loaves of bread. That note now can purchase less than half of one loaf.(more)
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Zimbabwe introduces new $20 & $50 billion note