Burmese kyat


Burmese kyat
Burmese kyat
Kyat.png (Burmese)
1 kyat (1990) 1000 kyat (2004)
1 kyat (1990) 1000 kyat (2004)
ISO 4217 code MMK
User(s)  Burma
Inflation 7.7%
Source The World Factbook, 2009 est.
Subunit
1/100 pya
Symbol K
Coins 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 pyas, K1, K5, K10, K50, K100
Banknotes 50 pyas, K1, K5, K10, K20, K50, K100, K200, K500, K1000, K5000
Central bank Central Bank of Myanmar

The kyat (Burmese: ကျပ်, pronounced [tɕaʔ]; ISO 4217 code MMK) is the currency of Burma (Myanmar). It is often abbreviated as "K", which is placed before the numerical value.

Contents

History

First kyat, 1852-1889

The kyat was a denomination of both silver and gold coinages in Burma until 1889. It was divided into 20 pe, each of 4 pya, with the mu and mat worth 2 and 4 pe, respectively. Nominally, 16 silver kyat equal 1 gold kyat. The silver kyat was equivalent to the Indian rupee, which replaced the kyat after Burma was conquered by the British.

Second kyat, 1943-1945

When the Japanese occupied Burma in 1942, they introduced a currency based on the rupee. This was replaced at par by the kyat in 1943. This kyat was subdivided into 100 cents. The kyat became worthless at the end of the war when the rupee was reintroduced.

Third kyat, 1952-

The present kyat was introduced on 1 July 1952. It replaced the rupee at par. Decimalization also took place, with the kyat subdivided into 100 pya.

Coins

First kyat

In 1852, Mindon, the second last king of Burma, established the Royal Mint in Mandalay (Central Burma). The dies were made in Paris. Silver coins were minted in denominations of 1 pe, 1 mu (2 pe), 1 mat (4 pe), 5 mu (10 pe) and 1 kyat, with gold 1 pe and 1 mu. The obverses bore the Royal Peacock Seal, from which the coins got their name. The reverse contained the denomination and mint date (in the Burmese era, which starts from A.D. 638). In the 1860s and 1870s, lead coins were issued for ⅛ and ¼ pya, with copper, brass, tin and iron ¼ pe (1 pya) and copper 2 pya. Further gold goins were issued in 1866 for 1 pe, 2½ mu and 1 kyat, with 5 mu issued in 1878.

Second kyat

No coins were issued for this currency.

Third kyat

In 1952, coins were introduced for 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 pyas and 1 kyat. 1 pya coins were last minted in 1966, with the 5 and 25 pya last minted in 1987 and the 10 and 50 pya in 1991. In 1999, a new series of coins was issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 kyats.

In late 2008, the Burmese government announced that new 50 and 100 Kyat coins would be issued. According to newspaper articles, the new 50 kyat coin would be made of copper, with the usual Burmese lion on the obverse and the Lotus Fountain from Naypyidaw on the reverse. The 100 Kyat coin would be of cupro-nickel and depict the Burmese lion on the observe and the value on the reverse.

1991 Series
Image Value Technical parameters Description Date of first minting
Diameter Weight Composition Edge Obverse Reverse
[1] 10 pyas 10 mm Brass Rice plant, "Central Bank of Myanmar" in Burmese Value in Burmese numerals 1991
50 pyas 24.6 mm Brass Rice plant, "Central Bank of Myanmar" in Burmese Value in Burmese numerals 1991
1999 Series
[2] 1 kyat Chinthe, "Central Bank of Myanmar" and value in Burmese Bank title and value in English and Arabic numerals 1999
[3] 5 kyats 20 mm 2.73 g Brass Plain Chinthe, "Central Bank of Myanmar" and value in Burmese Bank title and value in English and Arabic numerals 1999
[4] 10 kyats 23.5 mm
[5] 50 kyats 23.85 mm 5.06 g Cupronickel Reeded Chinthe, "Central Bank of Myanmar" and value in Burmese Bank title and value in English and Arabic numerals 1999
[6] 100 kyats 26.8 mm 7.52 g
For table standards, see the coin specification table.

Banknotes

First kyat

No paper money was issued for this currency.

Second kyat

The Burma State Bank issued notes for 1, 5, 10 and 100 kyat in 1944, followed by a further issue of 100 kyat notes in 1945.

Third kyat

A 5 kyat denomination note featuring Aung San

In 1953, the Union Bank of Burma introduced the first kyat notes, in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 100 kyats. These were very similar in design to the last series of rupee notes, issued earlier the same year. In 1958, 20 and 50 kyats notes were introduced. The 50 and 100 kyat notes were demonetized on May 15, 1964. This was the first of several demonetizations, ostensibly carried out with the aim of fighting black marketeering. The Peoples Bank of Burma took over note production in 1965 with an issue of 1, 5, 10 and 20 kyat notes.

In 1972, the Union of Burma Bank took over note issuance, with notes introduced between 1972 and 1979 for 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 kyats. The notes were printed by the Security Printing Works in Wazi, Upper Burma (established circa 1972) under the technical direction of the German firm Giesecke & Devrient. On November 3, 1985, the 25-, 50-, and 100-kyat notes were demonetized without warning, though the public was allowed to exchange limited amounts of the old notes for new ones. All other denominations then in circulation remained legal tender. On November 10, 1985, 75-kyat notes were introduced, the odd denomination possibly chosen because of dictator Ne Win's predilection for numerology; the 75-kyat note was supposedly introduced to commemorate his 75th birthday. It was followed by the introduction of 15- and 35-kyat notes on August 1, 1986.

1986 35-kyat banknote

Only two years later, on September 5, 1987, the government demonetized the 25-, 35-, and 75-kyat notes without warning or compensation, rendering some 75% of the country's currency worthless. The resulting economic disturbances led to serious riots (see 8888 Uprising) and eventually a coup d'état in 1988 by General Saw Maung. On September 22, 1987, banknotes for 45 and 90 kyat were introduced, both of which incorporated Ne Win's favorite number, nine.

Following the change of the country's name to Myanmar on June 20, 1989, new notes began to be issued. This time, the old notes were not demonetized, but simply allowed to fall into disuse through inflation as well as wear and tear. On March 1, 1990, 1-kyat notes were issued, followed by 200-kyat notes on March 27, 1990. On March 27, 1994, notes for 50 pya, 20, 50, 100, and 500 kyats were issued, followed, on May 1, 1995, by new 5- and 10-kyat notes. 1,000-kyat notes were introduced in November 1998.

In 2003, rumours of another pending demonetization swept through the country, resulting in the junta issuing official denials, but this time the demonetization did not materialize. In 2004, the sizes of the 200, 500, and 1,000 kyats were reduced in size (to make all Myanma banknotes uniform in size) but larger notes remain in circulation. 50 pya, 1, and 5 kyat banknotes are now rarely seen, because of their low value.

5000 Kyat

On October 1, 2009, banknotes were released with a value of 5000 kyats and it is 15cm by 7cm. On the top is written Central Bank of Myanmar in Burmese and in the center is white elephant. On the back is a picture of the Central Bank of Myanmar with "5000 kyat" written English. This new release of notes, has a significantly higher value than the next highest value banknotes currently in circulation, being 1000 kyats. Public response has been mixed, with some welcoming a higher value bill reducing the number of banknotes which need to be carried. Other responses have suggested a widespread fear that this will simply fuel the current rate of inflation, which was supported by a jump in the blackmarket exchange rates following the public announcement of this change.[1][2]

The Current Series
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description Date of issue Remark
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Watermark
[7] [8] 50 pyas 110 × 55 mm Obverse: Purple and orange
Reverse: Multicolor
Saung gauk Guilloché pattern "BCM" March 27, 1994
[9] [10] K1 Blue-purple Chinthe Boat-rowing at Kandawgyi Lake, Yangon 1996
[11] [12] K5 130 × 60 mm Brown and blue Chinlone cane ball game Chinthe May 1, 1995
Chinthe bust over value 1997
[13] [14] K10 Purple A karaweik (royal regalia boat) Chinthe May 1, 1995
Chinthe bust over value 1997
[15] [16] K20 145 × 70 mm Green People's Park and Elephant Fountain, Yangon Chinthe bust over value March 27, 1994
[17] [18] K50 Orange-brown Lacquerware artisan Chinthe March 27, 1994
Chinthe bust over value 1997
[19] [20] K100 Blue, green, and pink Temple renovation Chinthe March 27, 1994
Chinthe bust over value
[21] [22] K200 165 × 80 mm Dark green Elephant teak-logger Chinthe March 27, 1990; 1998 Value below watermark
Chinthe bust over value
[23] [24] 150 × 70 mm Chinthe bust over value 2004 Value above watermark
[25] [26] K500 165 × 80 mm Purple and brown A General Mahabandoola statue being painted Chinthe March 27, 1994 Value above watermark
Chinthe bust over value
[27] [28] 150 × 70 mm Chinthe bust over value 2004 Value below watermark
[29] [30] K1000 165 × 80 mm Green and purple Ministry of Finance and Revenue Chinthe November 1998 Value above watermark
Chinthe bust over value
[31] [32] 150 × 70 mm Chinthe bust over value 2004 Value below watermark
K5000 Orange/pink Elephant Elephant profile over value October 2009 Value below watermark
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

Current MMK exchange rates

Since 2001, the official exchange rate has varied between 5.75 and 6.70 kyats per US dollar (8.20 to 7.00 kyats per euro). However, the street rate (black market rate), which more accurately takes into account the standing of the national economy, has varied from 750 kyats to 1335 kyats per USD (985 to 1475 kyats per EUR). Black market exchange rates (USD to MMK) decrease during the peak of the tourist season in Burma (December to January).

The following exchange rates are official and are primarily stagnant, since the kyat is officially pegged to the SDR. They do not indicate the true exchange rates paid.

  • 1 USD = K 6.51
  • 1 EUR = K 9.3723
  • 1 GBP = K 10.5613
  • 1 JPY = K 0.0702
  • 1 CNY = K 0.9541

Rates are as of 4 January 2010.

According to The Irrawaddy, which provides accurate estimates of the black market (street rate, and hence unofficial), are as follows:

  • 1 USD = K 1280 Rates are as of 15 February 2007
  • 1 USD = K 1350 Rates are as of 21 September 2007
  • 1 USD = K 1325 Rates are as of 15 October 2007
  • 1 USD = K 1100 Rates are as of 14 March 2008
  • 1 USD = K 1240 Rates are as of 21 October 2008
  • 1 USD = K 1130 Rates are as of 1 August 2009
  • 1 USD = K 960 Rates are as of 20 November 2009
  • 1 USD = K 1040 Rates are as of 21 January 2010
  • 1 USD = K 890 Rates are as of 22 October 2010
  • 1 USD = K 830 Rates are as of 12 January 2011
  • 1 USD = K 823 Rates are as of 11 May 2011
  • 1 USD = K 752 Rates are as of 10 August 2011

According to Shwe Rooms, a Burmese website which updates exchange rates daily, the exchange rates are as follows

  • 1 USD = K 870 Rates are as of 21 January 2011
  • 1 USD = K 895 Rates are as of 20 February 2011
  • 1 USD = K 754 Rates are as of 12 August 2011
  • 1 SGD = K 690 Rates are as of 20 February 2011
  • 1 SGD = K 613 Rates are as of 12 August 2011

References

External links


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