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Central bank to auction banknotes with special serial numbers

2016/06/17 20:33:37

Taipei, June 17 (CNA) Taiwan's central bank said Friday it will auction off Taiwan dollar notes with special serial numbers starting on June 30 to boost government revenues.

People in Taiwan tend to favor banknotes with special serial numbers and are willing to pay large sums for them, as has been seen in seven similar auctions held by the central bank in the past four years.

Among the most coveted notes are those with serial numbers with one or more 8s, such as "000008" and "000088," because the number eight sounds like the word for "making a fortune" in Mandarin.

The central bank said it has entrusted state-owned Bank of Taiwan, the country's largest lender, to conduct the auction online, which will start at 10 a.m. on June 30 and run through 10 a.m. on July 5.

The proceeds from the banknote auction will be handed over to the central government.

Shih Tsuen-hua (施遵驊), director-general of the bank's Department of Issuance, said the upcoming auction will be comprised of four groups of special serial numbers.

In addition to the banknotes with a serial number containing one or more 8s, Shih said the bills to be put up for auction will have a serial number composed of consecutive numbers, such as 123456 or 654321, or one with the same numbers, such as 111111 or 222222.

The other group will feature bills where the first digit in the serial number is a number and the other digits are zeros, such as "100000" and "200000," Shih said.

The four groups will generate a total of 6,417 banknotes to be auctioned after taking into account two English letters ahead of the serial numbers and another two English letters right after the serial number, Shih said.

The banknotes will be further divided into 127 sub-groups for the online auction.

Based on the composition of each sub-group of banknotes and face value, the floor prices in the auction will range between NT$1,000 (US$30.86) and NT$56,000. The total floor price will be NT$4.24 million.

It will be the eighth banknote auction held by the central bank since it launched the first sale in 2012, the bank said. The previous seven auctions have raked in NT$36.93 million for national coffers.

(By Chiu Po-sheng and Frances Huang)