Myanmar (Burmese) state media on September 24 announced the distribution of new currency notes from the central bank of Myanmar. The new notes are in 5000 kyat denomination, and will be started distribution on first October. The new note will be the same size as other notes currently in use in Myanmar. Currently, the largest currency note in Myanmar is 1000 kyat, which is approximately US$ 0.90. Rumors of new 5000 kyat notes had been circulating in Myanmar since 2006. Due to massive inflation in Myanmar, many Myanmar people have to carry hundreds of one thousand kyat notes whenever they go shopping. It is not unusual to see people carrying thousand kyat notes in large plastic bags in the markets of Myanmar. Many people welcome the news of new 5000 kyat notes by the Central Bank. However, it also causes some panic among locals in Myanmar, which causes unofficial (black market) US dollar – Myanmar kyat exchange rate to rise. US dollar exchange rate in Myanmar was 1070 kyat for one dollar before the announcement. The next day, on 25th September, the rate shoots up to 1160 kyat for one US dollar.
In another related news, locally published The Voice Weekly News Journal reports the news of incidents in Yangon where some people put 20 kyat notes in between 1000 kyat packs. The two currencies are of the same size and color, and can be easily mistaken if not checked carefully.