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Sierra Leone knocks 3 zeros off its bank notes, reintroduces coins

Sierra Leone has knocked three zeros off its banknotes with the launch of a new currency.

The leone is being replaced by the “new leone”, so an old 10,000 leone note has the same value as a 10 new leone bill (the equivalent of just less than $1 or £0.60).

Coins are also going to be re-introduced.

According to Ibrahim Stevens, deputy governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, the currency redenomination will not affect the purchasing power of the currency.

But some are afraid their financial situation could worsen.

Many scrambled to change their money into US dollars in the build-up to the official release of the new leones on Friday.

Sierra Leone knocks 3 zeros off its bank notes, reintroduces coins
Some have been anxious to exchange their old leones into US dollarsImage caption: Some have been anxious to exchange their old leones into US dollars

Banks are expected to work till late into Friday evening in order to allow more people to change their cash.

The West African country’s economy is unstable because of rising inflation, foreign exchange fluctuations and a huge dependence on imports.

The prices of food items have more than doubled in the last six months.

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