Banco de Guatemala to issue polymer Q1.00 bank notes



Banco de Guatemala
Press release

[Unofficial translation]

By means of resolution of Monetary Meeting JM-160-2006 of the 20.12.06, the printing of 60 million new polymer banknotes in the denomination of Q1 was approved.

To print the banknotes, the companies of Giesecke & Devrient, Note Printing Australia, Joh. Eschedé and Canadian Bank Note Co. were invited to participate. On the 19.01.07, printing contract was awarded to the Canadian Bank Note Co. for the printing of 60 million banknotes of Q1.

Advantages: Polymer notes are three to four times more durable compared with the life span of paper bank notes, thus lowering production costs. Polymer notes also provide a clearer printing definition, while the notes are cleaner and more hygienic than paper bank notes.

Currently the following countries use polymer bank notes: Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei, China, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kuwait, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Samoa, Singapore, Salomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Zambia, and now Guatemala.

The design and characteristics of the new Quetzal polymer bank note resemble that of paper bank note. An important characteristic is the incorporation of a transparent window, made possible through the polymer substrate. Durability of polymer notes is considered to 3 to 4 times that of paper notes. Although the cost of manufacture of polymer notes is greater than that of paper notes, in the long term this cost is compensated by the polymer notes' durability.

Issue of new bank notes: 60 million new notes are scheduled to be placed in circulation over a period of two years. Because of their durability, they will remain in circulation for 6 years. It is expected that the distribution of the new notes will begin on the 20.08.07. The new Q1 polymer notes will circulate simultaneously with Q1 paper notes.