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W50,000 bills account for 80% of cash

Aug. 7, 2017 - 16:13 By Son Ji-hyoung
Nearly 80 percent of the entire volume of currency in circulation, or more than 80 trillion won ($70.9 billion), was in the form of South Korea’s largest-denominated 50,000 won banknote in the first half of 2017, data showed Monday.

According to the Bank of Korea, around 80.4 trillion won was circulated in 50,000 won notes as of June, up 6.1 percent compared to the end of 2016. This accounted for 79.2 percent of the entire volume of money in the domestic market.

About one-fifth of 50,000 won note circulation, or 15.6 trillion won, moved in the form of the second-largest 10,000 won banknotes.

June this year marked the first month the volume of 50,000 won notes in circulation topped 80 trillion won in Korea. 

Liquidity of the highest-valued note also surged, BOK data showed. About 61.8 percent of 50,000 won banknotes returned to the central bank during the first half of 2017, the highest in five years. Some 12.3 trillion won was issued in 50,000 won notes, while 7.4 trillion won was retrieved by the Bank of Korea in the form of the notes.

The 50,000 won banknote was also found to be the most in circulation in terms of the number of notes in June, a continuous trend from May.

Out of 4.98 billion notes circulating in the domestic market, the number of 50,000 won banknotes accounted for a third, or 1.61 billion, outnumbering the 1.56 billion banknotes of 10,000 won.

The number of 50,000 won banknotes in circulation outnumbered 10,000 won notes for the first time in May.

Korea created 50,000 won-denominated notes in June 2009. Since January 2011, the note has surpassed 10,000 won notes in terms of volume of circulation.

The Bank of Korea issues banknotes worth 50,000 won, 10,000 won, 5,000 won and 1,000 won.

By Son Ji-hyoung (