As a leading oil-exporting nation, Kuwait’s income is derived predominantly from hydrocarbon revenues. This reliable revenue stream has enabled the country to both prosper and save approximately 10% of its […]
As a leading oil-exporting nation, Kuwait’s income is derived predominantly from hydrocarbon revenues. This reliable revenue stream has enabled the country to both prosper and save approximately 10% of its government budget annually, creating large fiscal reserves that protect it—and, in turn, the Kuwaiti dinar—from the effects of the current downslide in oil prices.
Oil is exclusively bought and sold on the international market in US dollars. However, indicative of the Central Bank of Kuwait’s (CBK) proactive management of local currency, the CBK decided in 2007 to remove the Kuwaiti dinar’s longtime peg to the US dollar. In an effort to curb inflation and secure the value of the Kuwait’s local currency, the CBK instead opted to peg the dinar to a mixed basket of undisclosed international currencies. The CBK periodically reviews developments and advancements in money management, and since the introduction of the Kuwaiti dinar in 1961, there have been six new issuances of Kuwait’s currency. Most recently, the CBK released into circulation the latest issue of Kuwait dinar banknotes on June 29, 2014, the first new issue of Kuwait’s currency since 1994.
Recognized by the International Association of Currency Affairs (IACA) as the “Best Banknote Issue of 2015” for its “security and elegance,“ Kuwait’s currency was acknowledged by a vote of central banks and international companies from around the world. The vote declared Kuwait’s 6th currency issue as the “Best Banknote Issue of 2015” in a competition among 18 countries worldwide. In another global recognition, months after its issue, the new Kuwaiti currency also earned the award for “Regional Banknote of the Year 2014 (Asia)” at the High Security Printing Conference in the Philippines. These recognitions come as a result of the CBK’s application of the latest technological advancements in the banknote printing industry, particularly regarding security features that protect against threats of counterfeiting and forgery. These security features, combined with an aesthetic that symbolizes Kuwait’s culture and its heritage, are a push towards modernity.
Security features of the new Kuwaiti dinars match the top international standards in the banknote printing industry, including hidden demarcations of authenticity that are visible only under UV lighting. Raised print on the banknotes also acts both as an aid to the visually impaired and a security marking. Aesthetically, each note pays homage to several national traditions, cultural symbols, and iconic monuments and milestones throughout Kuwait’s young history. Key landmarks of Kuwait incorporated into the design of each banknote include the Central Bank of Kuwait’s new building, the Kuwait National Assembly Building, Kuwait Towers, the Liberation Tower, Seif Palace, and the Grand Mosque.
The CBK is highly regarded in Kuwait’s financial sector and commended for its efforts in effectively strengthening the foundations of the country’s monetary and financial stability. The award-winning sixth Kuwaiti dinar issuance reflects not only the CBK’s capabilities in managing its money supply, but also the continued strength of Kuwait’s currency, which has reigned supreme as top ranking among the world’s currencies and the highest valued currency in the world since 2013. The adherence to and application of leading innovations in currency design and printing indicate that Kuwait and the CBK are keen to maintain their leading status in the world of global currency and money management. Kuwait’s currency has a longstanding history of strength and stability, and the Kuwaiti dinar enters 2016 as the most valuable currency in the world.
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