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CURRENCY DEPARTMENT
 
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Key Currency Statistics    
 
Managing Dollars and Cents
 
The Currency Department (CD) proactively manages the currency stock to maintain the integrity and quality of the Singapore currency in circulation. As at 31 March 2004, the gross and active currency in circulation was S$14.6 billion and S$13.1 billion respectively. The gross currency in circulation increased 5.2% over the year. During the period, S$29.5 billion worth of notes and coins were issued to banks and S$28.9 billion returned.

The Currency Interchangeability Agreement between Singapore and Brunei continued to operate in both countries. For the year in review, total Brunei currency repatriated to the Brunei Currency and Monetary Board was S$678.7 million, S$8 million less than in 2002. The amount of Singapore currency repatriated to Singapore decreased S$2 million to S$3 million in 2003.

The year 2003 marked several milestones for Singapore numismatic issues. In July, MAS issued a commemorative coin to honour our healthcare givers for their exemplary efforts, courage and sacrifices in battling Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). In August, we launched our very first base metal proof coin set. In December, we completed our second Chinese Almanac Series with the issue of the “Year of the Monkey Coin”.

CD introduced several initiatives in 2003 to improve our productivity and costeffectiveness. One initiative increased the number of notes recycled, without compromising the quality, for re-issuance to banks. This reduced the operating costs by about S$200,000 annually and improved productivity by 2.5%.

As part of our continuous effort to improve the durability, quality and security of currency notes, CD will introduce S$10 polymer portrait notes this year. As a start, 10 million notes will be issued. CD will also be reviewing its currency stocking policy and note distribution framework to further enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of circulation notes. This year will also see the inauguration of the third Chinese Almanac Series, with the issue of the “Year of the Rooster Coin”.