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BANKNOTES from BNM. Understand from the expert on investing in one.

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100Today, in our Expert Series Q & A, we have Mr. Stephen Soon. He is Managing Director for MNP Auctioneers. Recently, MNP Auctioneers was appointed by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to conduct an auction which has never been done before in Malaysia. In fact, I think it may be the start of a whole new Auction Industry where the interest may be built to levels like those of UK, Hong Kong or Singapore. Let’s learn from him on special banknotes.

1) I understand that MNP is the appointed Auctioneer by Bank Negara Malaysia for the first auction of its kind in Malaysia; banknotes. Why invest in banknotes?

If you have a chance to visit any numismatic trading shop or‎ do some google searches, you will be surprised that the banknote collector societies are very active in Malaysia. Trading activities for these banknotes are very lively, especially when I joined some of these related online sites. Malaysian banknotes have good investment market overseas. Singapore is considered a very mature market for this collection in South East Asia. When I attended one of the many banknote auction fairs over there in June this year, I saw many collectors bid for Malaysian banknotes!

The truth is, when there is demand, investment value comes concurrently. ‎This was proven further during our promotional activities such as Open Days in KL and Penang and online marketing to promote our upcoming BNM banknote auction. We received massive enquiries even from outside of Malaysia, many have prepared themselve strongly to bid!

2) So far, how’s the response to this auction? Are Malaysians as interested as those from outside Malaysia?

Like what I have mentioned in the first reply, many have already registered their interest to attend and participate in the upcoming auction bidding‎! Almost every enquiry that we received is genuine and wanted to explore further to ensure that they become winners in the bidding. Many, including new collectors are very excited about this inaugural auction by BNM in giving general public a level-playing platform to own a piece of a special banknote. Bidding openly at the special serial number banknotes was only a dream in the past, as many thought that it is only for private gains! They have to travel to Singapore to bid.

3) I understand the highest priced auction for ASIAN banknotes were for Malaysian banknotes and the auction was done outside Malaysia. How do you feel as a Malaysian based auctioneer for this to happen?

I feel that it was an honour that Malaysian banknotes were highly regarded and auctioned in an international ‎platform. This ultimately bring the highest potential return to the seller as well as the buyer!. It also marked a good start to bring the glory back home to our country and give positive influence to the banknote auction development in Malaysia. Who knows the next most expensive auction bid for Malaysian banknotes may happen in Malaysia itself, bought by international buyers?

4) If I am interested and I am just a casual investor, how should I approach this first of its kind auction? I have no reference to refer to.

You can attend the auction fair to observe, not necessary banknote auction per se but to feel the excitement of an auction bidding to make yourself more prepared to enter into the game. ‎We have conducted mock auction to guide potential bidder and investor to bid successfully. We have also our Specialists who will share with you about banknote market and its potential investment return. Do not just wait on the sidelines. Come view for yourself. More details here:  http://mnp.com.my/product-category/banknote/


I am not sure about you. However, I have filled up the form to bid in absentee because on the weekend of the first ever auction, I am not in KL. Let’s see whether I win. Will publish about my win in the next article on banknotes.

written on 22 Sept 2014

Next suggested article: Investment in Bank Notes with special serial numbers, interested? Why not?



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