SAMOA’S CENTRAL BANK OFFERS CHEAP WALLETS TO SAVE NOTES

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SAMOA’S CENTRAL BANK OFFERS CHEAP WALLETS TO SAVE NOTES

APIA, Samoa (September 16, 2002 – Radio New Zealand International)---Samoa’s Central Bank is offering wallets for sale for about 25 U.S. cents in its latest attempt to slow down the disintegration of bank notes.

Samoa uses Australian manufactured plastic coated notes but tropical conditions are not suiting them.

The first generation of plastic notes -- among the first in the world -- quickly turned to clear plastic under the sun.

The Central Bank believes that putting notes in a flat position in a wallet will slow down wear and tear from constant handling and folding.

Wallet use is not common in Samoa because of the cost, and notes are known to be wrapped around coins and stored in pouches.

The initiative has been followed by the country’s two commercial banks, ANZ and Westpac, which now also are selling the wallets at their branches.

For additional reports from Radio New Zealand International, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio New Zealand International.

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