Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
💎 Access the Market Tools Trusted by Thousands of Investors Get Started

Venezuela says to issue bigger notes 'very soon' as inflation surges

Published Dec 02, 2016 08:35PM ET Updated Dec 02, 2016 08:41PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. A man sells coffee at the Simon Bolivar international bridge in Cucuta

By Alexandra Ulmer and Deisy Buitrago

CARACAS (Reuters) - President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday Venezuela would issue higher denomination bills "very soon" as soaring inflation and a crumbling currency leave the crisis-stricken country’s largest note worth just 2 U.S. cents on the black market.

Still, the long-awaited entry of 500 and 5,000 bolivar notes will only bring a brief respite amid rapid money printing and a weakening currency.

Today 5,000 bolivars buy just over $1 on the black market, which exists because Venezuela introduced currency controls in 2003 but does not offer enough dollars to meet demand.

Venezuela is believed to have the world’s highest inflation, although no data has been published for 2016. Money supply rose 12 percent in the last two weeks while the bolivar weakened 65 percent in the last month.

As a result, Venezuelans often carry backpacks full of bills and cash machines frequently run dry due to long queues.

"Several million bills of 500 bolivars and then several million bills of 5,000 bolivars will enter circulation very soon," Maduro said in a televised address, noting that the central bank would provide details on Sunday and Monday.

Adding to the currency chaos, Venezuela's credit card readers, already shaky, suffered chronic malfunctions on Friday. Unable to process transactions, stores had to ask clients to use cash, transfers, or pay later.

Maduro blamed a "cyber attack" and said he was sending the Sebin intelligence service to Credicard, a payment processor, to take “all legal actions.”

"Today we suffered an international cyber attack on our base platform, the internet's technological platform," Maduro said at an event with community groups in charge of food distribution. "We've already detected where the attack came from. It affected the entire capacity for internet exchanges to...provoke a state of collapse and desperation."

Maduro's critics say he is seeking scapegoats for 17 years of inept Socialist rule and a corrupt, inefficient state-led economy. Lack of investment, price-fixing that hurts companies, and theft at installations have led to a sharp deterioration of the telecommunications industry. "It's not the fault of cash machines or the internet, it's this model that has brought us to misery," tweeted opposition lawmaker Armando Armas.

Credicard tweeted late on Friday night that card readers were working again, without specifying what the problem had been.

Still, Venezuelan businesses took another hit in the midst of a brutal recession that has millions skipping meals.

“One credit card would go through, then none at all, the online transfers didn’t work, checks neither, and there’s no cash,” said Marian, a supervisor in a food store. “It’s been total chaos. There were big losses today, clients dropped products and left."

Venezuela says to issue bigger notes 'very soon' as inflation surges

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your profile, will be public on and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email