Macao people scramble for Olympic banknotes

2008-07-16 06:07:32 GMT       2008-07-16 14:07:32 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

MACAO, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Despite the sweltering July day, Macao residents rushed to local branches of the Bank of China (BOC) to buy the Olympic banknotes being released on Wednesday.

Long queues showed up outside BOC branches for the commemorative notes this morning before BOC branches across Macao opened at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday. Local police were present to maintain public order.

Some residents even started to wait outside BOC branches Tuesday, so that they will not miss their chances of grabbing the 20-pataca (around 2.5 U.S. dollars) note with the all-too-important Olympic logo on it.

According to the Monetary Authority (AMCM) of the Macao SpecialAdministration Region, four million pieces of commemorative notes with a face value of 20 patacas each will go on sale to the publicstarting from July 16, with the first phase of the sale period lasting until July 31.

Buyers are only allowed to buy a single quantity for every selection with cash on a first come, first served basis.

The face of the note features the emblem of the Beijing Olympics and image of the ruins of the ancient Olympic stadium, aswell as an image of the Bank of China tower in Macao. On the otherside, the note shows the "Bird's Nest", Beijing's National Stadium,with the background of traditional Chinese lucky clouds and a lotus which is the city flower of Macao.

The second phase, which has no restriction on identity of purchase required in the first one, will start from August 8 to August 24.

After public sales have been finalized, an auction of sets of 35 connected notes and notes which carry special serial numbers will be held by the BOC in Macao, according to the AMCM.

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