The Brunei-Singapore CIA

Last year, Brunei and Singapore marked its 40th Anniversary of Currency Interchangeability Agreement between Brunei and Singapore. When I was at MOF, we used to call the agreement the CIA. If you remember your history of currency notes, up to 1967, the three countries of Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore used the same currency notes issued by the Malaya and British Borneo Currency Board. Come 1967, all three countries decided to issue their own notes but kept the exchange at par with one another until 1971 when Malaysia decided not to keep it at par. Their economy was going strong at that time with the primary commodity market shooting high. Only Brunei and Singapore kept their CIA going until now.

Last year, to mark the 40th anniversary, the two countries issued a set of currency notes with similar serial numbers. The special issue notes sets went like goreng pisang and by the end of the day, none was left. This time round the two countries issued a set of currency notes with silver ingots. I don't know what's the take up rate for this one but based on last year's, this one should be very laku as well. Only 470 sets are available here in Brunei and another 1,100 sets will be sold in Singapore.

The box contains two currency notes with similar serial numbers, two ingots, each has 0.999 silver, weighing 31.0 gm, 2.5 mm thick and size 51 mm x 30 mm. It's already sold on ebay for an opening price of US$395. So, what are you waiting for. The Brunei Currency and Monetary Board is located at the ground floor of the Ministry of Finance Building. Bring $370 or a credit card....

Comments

Reza Faizal said…
Hi Mr BR. Was it 1971 Malaysia decided not to keep it at PAR?

I remember using the Malaysia currency when i was small and I'm born 1975.
Rozan Yunos said…
It should be 8th May 1973 and not 1971 as I stated. For a while, the Malaysian and Brunei currency even though no longer at par, were still used interchangable depending on the traders. In fact Malaysian currency value was higher than ours for a few years. But I remembered by the 1980s, we stopped using Malaysian currency.
baba said…
sir, i think brunei is losing out on ths socalled CIA... its basic economics i.e. of supply and demand which means S$100 and B$100 are both valued simultaneously but differently in the forex all over the world. the sing currency obviously in higher demand and hence our currency shud lose out on the exchange rates, cant disclose more than ths etc., i m very sure of it. so its time go it alone coz there's no advantage to us and i love my country and also singapore very smart ppl :p

ps;
unless u can explain to us all how it benefits brunei in the long run of course hhehe
Rozan Yunos said…
I wrote about the benefits/cons about Brunei-Singapore CIA more than 2 years ago. You can read it here.
baba said…
sir, i missed that article of urs! i cant believe i had overlooked it. hehe, anyway, control of currency is the issue as u pointed out but my question who benefits more from it, brunei or singapore? how does it really benefit singapore? esp as it was pointed out during ths oil price boom. Qatar is good example,their currency is rising and i hav no idea how that affects their economy but their gdp per capita is highest in the world. another issue was wheter its good for brunei to hve a central bank? however as i understand, currency boards system is quite unique in the world not many uses it. so, maybe my view is quite narrow,as i only see in the why singapore wud want to be pegged to brunei...that remains a mystery to me :/

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