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6th issue of Kuwait banknotes
New Kuwaiti banknotes out today; fifth issue still valid All denominations available through banks, ATMs

KUWAIT CITY, June 28, (KUNA): The Central Bank of Kuwait has finalized its preparations for the release of the sixth issue of the Kuwaiti banknotes into circulation on Sunday, affirmed the CBK Governor, Dr Mohammad Y. Al-Hashel on Saturday. “All denominations of the new banknotes are to be available for the general public through all branches of banks operating in the State of Kuwait, as well as through ATMs and the ATMs of the Shared Electronic Banking Services Company — K-Net,” Dr Al-Hashel added, in a statement to KUNA. “The 6th issue of Kuwait banknotes is made as per the Cabinet’s Resolution passed on the 10th June 2013 endorsing the recommendation of the CBK’s Board of Directors for the 6th issue of Kuwait banknotes — incorporating their design, colours, security and technical specifications for all denominations,” he stated.

The Governor pointed out that the new issue of banknotes reflects the CBK’s ability to keep pace with best international central banking practices and, in particular, the application of new state of art technologies afforded from the banknote printing industry.

This is manifested in improved security features and the use of high quality paper which permits an elegant yet secure design. The new issue of banknotes reflects efforts made by the CBK to maintain its responsibilities with regard to the law and to secure the Kuwaiti currency through the use of the best and most modern printing industry standards bearing in mind that it is 20 years since the last release of new currency notes.

Dr Al-Hashel further explained to KUNA some of the procedures for release of the 6th issue of Kuwait currency notes into circulation, as follows:

First: New denominations of the 6th issue of banknotes are the same as those for the existing 5th issue — ie, Quarter, Half, One, Five, Ten and Twenty Dinars.

Second: The release of the 6th issue of Kuwait banknotes does not affect the validity of the currently circulated 5th issue of Kuwait banknotes — which maintains its legitimacy as legal tender until such time an official decision for its withdrawal from circulation is announced. Such announcement is to be made in the due course of time. For the time being, however, the 5th and 6th issues of banknotes will be in circulation in parallel with each other.

Third: Beginning the 19th May 2014 the CBK launched an awareness campaign for the 6th issue of Kuwait banknotes, so that the public could be informed of its specifications — in particular those relating to the new designs for the different currency denominations and how to identify the security features of each note. The campaign used several forms of media including TV, radio and printed publications — thereby ensuring that the public was made fully aware of the design of the new notes and their security features. Moreover, a professionally scripted video was produced to introduce the detailed specifications and security features of the 6th issue of banknotes. The video was subsequently shown on a number of TV channels and uploaded on the CBK website. The CBK will continue its awareness campaigns so the public is made fully conversant of the design and security features of the new banknotes as well as addressing any other related matters that may arise in the meantime


Fourth: Local banks’ staff have been instructed and have been well trained beforehand on the technical and security features of the new currency notes, so as to assist in the successful launch of the 6th Kuwaiti banknote issue.

The Governor concluded by saying that the CBK is committed to staying abreast of global developments concerning central banks so as to strengthen the financial and economic stability of the State of Kuwait. The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) will put into circulation on Sunday the sixth edition of the Kuwaiti currency, coinciding with advent of the holy month of Ramadan. Kuwait flag is a main feature of the new bills, in affirmation of the national identity.

Each paper shows the Kuwaiti desert and marine environments, along with historic sites namely Failaka island, the first minted coin bearing the name of Kuwait and heritage sites such the old Kuwaiti gate and industrial potentials and zones, including an oil tanker and a refinery.

The newly-released papers bear other features, namely the dhows, the pearl diving, along with landmark structures including Seif Palace, the National Assembly building, the Kuwait Towers, the Liberation Tower, the Grand Mosque and the Central Bank of Kuwait headquarters. Each banknote is distinguished with different drawings and ornaments; some are coarse so blind people can identify value of the bill by touching.

Background of the miniature pictures depict Islamic heritage and the Kuwaiti genuine identity. Currently used banknotes will remain valid till an official decision is taken to withdraw them. From a historic perspective, banknotes and coins have been in circulation in Kuwait since more than 200 years before BC This theory has been substantiated with discovery of silver and copper coins, with engravings of head of Alexander the Great, on Failaka island. Other coins dating back to the times of the Seleucids Kingdom have been discovered on the same island. In later times, namely in 1753, when the Kuwaitis settled in the country and chose Sheikh Sabah I as their ruler, the natives sensed the need for coins for trade dealings.

The first was called “taweelat Al-Hasa,” resembling hair clips. It was in circulation in Al-Ihsaa a long time before Kuwait was founded and later it was brought in for trading till 1790 when the Austrian Riyal became the trading currency. Several other coins, such as the Persian currency, the Ottoman Gold Lira and other little known ones, named “Al-Sharkhi, Abu Dbailah and Al-Shahiah, had been traded in Kuwait in the old times. When the natives developed their businesses, sailing to far countries such as India, and expanding the craft of pearl-diving, the Indian Rupee became the dominant currency.

The Kuwaitis were aware of the necessity to issue a national currency of international standards. In 1959, the Indian Government said in an official announcement that it was incurring heavy losses due to exportation of huge volumes of the Indian money to the Arabian Gulf countries. In an attempt to tackle this problem, New Delhi issued a different series of the currency for circulation in Kuwait and the Gulf.

This step had nudged the natives of Kuwait to issue a national currency. On October 10th, 1960, an Amiri Decree was issued declaring that the dinar will be the basic denomination of the Kuwaiti currency, and accordingly, the Kuwaiti Monetary Council was set up, tasked with releasing the national currency. In April the same year, the Kuwaiti dinar was officially put into circulation.

This paper money was divided into five denominations; the 10 dinars, five dinars, one dinar, half a dinar and quarter a dinar. It bore miniature picture of (the late) His Highness the Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al- Sabah, along with key national facilities such as Al-Shuwaikh high school, a major cement factory and Kuwait Port. Second edition of the Kuwaiti money was on November 17, 1970, and the third was on February 20, 1980.

Following the 1990 Iraqi aggression and the occupiers’ burglary of huge funds of the Kuwaiti banknotes deposited at the Central Bank of Kuwait, the legitimate Kuwaiti authorities during the occupation declared the Kuwaiti money in circulation was invalid, replacing the monetary units with the fourth edition of the Kuwaiti bills. The fifth issuance of the Kuwaiti banknotes was launched on April 3, 1994, with features designed to make counterfeiting impossible. The sixth edition, effectively scheduled on Sunday, takes into consideration decoration beauty and safety, along with the drawings that reflect the country’s history, culture and heritage.

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