Bicentennial S$20 notes on sale for as much as S$988 on Carousell as banks run out of stock
SINGAPORE: Singapore's bicentennial S$20 notes are being resold for as much as S$988 on online marketplaces such as Carousell and eBay, as banks run out of stock one day after the launch of the commemorative notes.
A check by CNA on Tuesday (Jun 11) found more than 400 listings for the bicentennial note on Carousell and eBay. At least 380 listings for the notes were on Carousell, while eBay had about 35 listings.
The majority of listings were priced between S$25 and S$30, although several notes with auspicious serial numbers were priced at hundreds of dollars.
One listing on Carousell showed a note with the serial number AE159888. The asking price? S$988.
Another seller on Carousell was asking for S$88,888 for his bicentennial notes. In his listing, he asked interested buyers to send him a private message and noted that the bicentennial notes would "go to the highest bidder".
In a collector's shop in Chinatown, Fang Zheng Trading told CNA it was selling the notes at between S$26 and S$30.
"There are people interested, but it depends on the price," said trader Ms Fang, adding that she had yet to sell a single note.
"So far there are only people looking."
The shop will also consider buying the notes from sellers, depending on the condition of the notes and their serial numbers.
"We need to see the notes, and see our demand," Ms Fang added.
Issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the S$20 notes were launched to commemorate Singapore's bicentennial and represent the country's journey to nationhood.
Two million pieces of the commemorative notes were made available at the branches of nine major banks on Monday.
Each person was allowed to exchange up to 20 pieces of the S$20 notes.
On the first day of the exchange, snaking queues began forming outside several branches of Singapore's major banks from as early as 8am.
By mid-day Monday, at least 15 OCBC branches had run out of the notes, while more than half of DBS and POSB branches had run out of the notes before the end of the day.
By Tuesday, most of the nine retail banks had given out their allocated supply of the notes.
In an update on Tuesday evening, MAS said that limited quantities of the notes were available only at selected branches of OCBC Bank, Citibank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and HSBC.
The MAS said in response to queries from CNA that while the law does not prohibit a person from selling the commemorative notes online, it would advise against doing so.
"We encourage Singaporeans to collect the SB (Singapore bicentennial) notes as keepsakes as they are a one-off issue to commemorate Singapore’s bicentennial," it added.