Central Bank Withdraws 32 Million Banknotes

THE Bank of Namibia withdrew 32,2 million banknotes from circulation in 2013 compared to 49,1 million pieces in 2012, reflecting a decrease of 34%.

The bank said in its 2013 annual report the reduction was due to improved cash management strategies introduced by the bank including the issuance of new versions of the N$10 and N$20 notes in June 2013, which are of better quality and have remained in circulation longer.

At the end of 2013, the amount of banknotes in circulation increased to 42,5 million pieces up from 36,6 million the previous year. The number of coins also increased from 373,7 million to 422,9 million.


The central bank said the N$100 note remains the most widely circulated banknote despite a reduced issuance of 6,5% observed during 2013.

The report said an increase of 83% in the issuance of the N$200 note was experienced and this was mainly due to the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) dispensing formula used by commercial banks when programming their ATMs.

The increase in the N$10 and N$20 was 28,2% and 18,7% respectively, while the issuance of the N$50 note increased by a marginal 4,4%.

On 17 June 2013, the bank issued a new series of N$10 and N$20 banknotes with improved technical specifications. The enhancement of the notes was necessitated by the need to address a problem observed in N$10 and N$20 banknotes of 2012 which were aging faster than expected, as well as to address the breaking up of the diamond feature.


The bank is required to repatriate rand notes that are deposited at the bank, to the South African Reserve Bank. South African coins are repatriated by the commercial banks.

A total of R1,8 billion was repatriated to South Africa during 2013, which equates to a 9,1% increase compared to 2012. The increase was attributed to high volume of traders and visitors from South Africa as well as other African countries where the rand is widely used.

The total number of counterfeit dollar banknotes remained unchanged at 383 pieces in 2013. The ratio of counterfeits per million notes in circulation in the N$10 and N$20 category remained unchanged at zero.

“However, for the N$50 and N$100 notes, the counterfeit ratio per million went down in 2013. The high value banknotes are the most targeted with the N$200 notes counterfeits being the most prevalent and accounting for 55% of all counterfeits received by the bank.” said the bank.

As in 2012, the old series of banknotes remained the most counterfeited in 2013, with 205 pieces, compared to 178 pieces of the new series. “This gives evidence that the new series of banknotes with improved security features remains resilient to counterfeits,” the central bank said.

Source : The Namibian