BEIRUT – A smaller 100,000 Lira note is officially in circulation as of Dec. 1, 2023.
While the old bill’s size is 147x82 mm, the new note’s dimensions are 135x66 mm.
People can still use the older 100,000 LL bills, which will co-circulate with the new ones.
Banque du Liban (BDL) attributed the recent change in the bill to a mix of factors and explained that every central bank is required to reprint, renew and remove old bills circulating in the market every now and then.
The smaller new design will save the BDL on printing costs.
Lebanon’s local currency has depreciated by 98 percent since the beginning of the crisis in 2019. The Lebanese economy has since shifted towards being more cash-based, forcing people to carry stacks of bills in their pockets and purses.
Once equivalent to $66, 100,000 Lira is now worth about a dollar.
The new design has also been launched in anticipation of a possible amendment to the monetary and credit law, which would allow the central bank to print higher-value currency bills to simplify transactions that have been affected by inflation.
An executive at BDL explained to L’Orient Today that a 500,000 Lira bill (if it comes into existence) would need to be bigger than the 100,000 Lira note to reflect its higher value.
The current size of the 100,000 Lira note is already big as is, so it would be inconvenient to have even larger bills, he added.
Such an amendment to the law has yet to be confirmed.