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Dollar at a premium for old notes

Dual foreign exchange rates are now prevailing in the city!

Small currency changers are now offering to buy demonetised notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 in exchange for the U.S. and Australian dollar, and the euro.

For instance, a currency changer in north Bengaluru is offering $ 1 at Rs. 90 for demonetised notes, while the same US dollar would cost Rs. 71.50 if other notes, including the newly released Rs. 500 and Rs. 2,000 are offered.

Similarly, a euro is being exchanged at Rs. 100 for demonetised notes, and Rs. 76 for any other note.

Another money changer in Yelahanka was willing to trade $ 1 with demonetised currency for Rs. 75. All these ‘deals’, however, have to be done discreetly and quickly, he warned. He quoted Rs. 52.50 in exchange for 1 Australian dollar for new notes, while it was Rs. 64 for old notes.

Inquiries made by The Hindu on Tuesday at close to a dozen shops revealed that many of them were willing to accept old currency, but at a higher cost. While many of the professional foreign exchange currency shops were not willing to trade in old currencies, several small shops, such as travel agencies who also double up as foreign exchange stores, were willing to accept old notes. The currency exchange deals, they said, could be done for any amount, and all that a customer had to produce was an identity proof.

“If you need to exchange more than Rs. 5 lakh, then you will have to wait for three days. Amounts less than Rs. 5 lakh can be exchanged immediately,” a dealer said, adding that they could be exchanged for a mix of both U.S. dollars and euros.

The dealers said the cost of exchange is expected to increase in December, when the deadline to exchange demonetised currency ends.

When this reporter visited a currency exchange shop in Basaveswarnagar, it displayed a big ‘Old Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 500 notes are not accepted’ poster.

However, a few minutes of conversation with the shopkeeper, had him sing a different tune.

He revealed that foreign currency could be arranged with the old notes but for a higher cost.

A customer at the store said, “Agents are saying they will give Rs. 3.5 lakh of new currency for Rs. 5 lakh in demonetised currency notes. I will lose nearly Rs. 1.5 lakh. So I decided to buy dollars, as the rates may go up and my loss will probably be less.”

‘Exchange can be done for any amount, and customers

have to produce identity proof’

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