New Issue: Bank of China issues commemorative banknote marking centenary

The Bank of China (Hong Kong) (BOCHK) will soon issue a commemorative banknote marking the centenary of the Chinese bank’s entry into the then-colony’s banking sector.

The commemorative banknote is denominated in $100 HKD (about $16.25 Cdn.), and a total of five million notes will be issued with 3.24 million sets in three different packages that were available for subscription before Oct. 18. The notes were available as singles (2.9 million units) priced at $288 HKD each; uncut sheets of three notes (300,000 units) priced at $988 HKD; and uncut sheets of 30 notes (40,000 unites) priced at $13,888 HKD.

Proceeds from the sale of the commemorative notes are going towards local community projects and charitable causes according to Yue Yi, vice chairman and chief executive of BOCHK. Although the note is legal tender in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, it’s not intended for general circulation and was sold at a a higher price than its face value.

The commemorative note was available in uncut sheets of 30 notes (shown above); uncut sheets of three notes; and single notes.


The obverse of the banknote features a famous local landmark, the Bank of China Tower, superimposed by an image of the Bank of China Building, with the old Bank of China Hong Kong Branch and Bank of China Head Office in Beijing on the side.  Also shown are the Great Wall of China and an ancient building pillar, which represent the bank’s strength. In addition, an antique gold coin is embedded with the word “commemorate” written in Chinese Zhuan calligraphy (Seal Style) with the phrase “the BOC’s centenary of service to Hong Kong” adjacent to it.

The reverse side features an image of a newspaper advertisement for the grand opening of the Bank of China Hong Kong Branch, which was upgraded from a sub-branch in 1919, and the logos of 12 of the member banks of the Bank of China Group in Hong Kong in 1983. The first Hong Kong dollar banknote issued by the Bank of China in 1994 is also shown, depicting both sides of Victoria Harbour viewed from the peak.

Bank of China established a sub-branch in Hong Kong on Sept 24, 1917 with fewer than 10 employees. In 100 years, the branch has evolved into a group with 12,000 employees.

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