MNP Auctioneers: What’s next for banknote auctions?

Long time ago, when I was still a teenager, I remember saving some banknotes for which I love the serial numbers and have never thought that the right banknotes would be a great investment. In fact no one in Malaysia thought that banknote investment in Malaysia can catch up to those of developed markets like Hong Kong, Singapore, UK etc. The first ever auction ended with a huge success. Want to know more? Read here. BANKNOTES from BNM. Understand from the expert on investing in one. What about the second one? It’s coming real soon. Let’s hear from the man who started it in Malaysia, Mr. Stephen Soon, Director of MNP Auctioneers.

MNP1. Wow, this is the first series for 2015 after your highly successful and publicised event in 2014 for Bank Negara Malaysia. What’s the major difference for this 2015 Series 1.

This is the first series of year 2015 but 2nd auction of its kind for MNP. We are continuously developing and cultivating these auctions of coins and banknotes for Malaysian collectors and more series would be coming. In fact, after the first auction by Bank Negara Malaysia which was conducted by MNP, many sellers and buyers have approached us as they could see that we have conducted a very good event. We hope to live up to the international standard in this new area by creating a platform for everyone in Malaysia to participate, instead of the outflow of all these precious auctionable items to neighbouring countries. The major difference for this 2015 Series 1 is, the BNM’s event was the auctioning of its latest series of Malaysia Banknotes while this auction is covering both precious coins and banknotes originated from Borneo, Malaya, Straits Settlement, Japanese Invasion and Malaysia. I would say this is another auction of a very comprehensive set of investible collections and everyone should not miss this, even if you just want to take a look and understand more.


2. Tell us the top 3 auction item highlights for this auction. What’s your expectations for them?

It’s tough for me to pinpoint just three. In fact all the items are precious and carefully chosen for this upcoming coins and banknotes auctions, some are rare and scarce. Just to name a few:

a) A Perfect 10-piece Dollar 1 Malaysian Banknote with serial numbers from N/76 111111 to N/76 1000000 (year 1981)

b) A Malaya & British Borneo’s 5 cent coin featuring Queen Elizabeth II, by far the highest graded on the NGC World Coin Census (year 1953)

c) A Dollar 1 Malaysian Banknote with a very special serial number that signifies long-life and prosperity, AGE 9999999. In fact, this is the only one in the history of the Malaysian Banknote (year 1998)

d) 9 Gold Coins featuring International Year of Astronomy, only 100 sets launched in Malaysia, extremely limited (year 2009)

e) A Dollar 50 Malaysian Banknote with a super solid number of HH8888888, alphabet H is in same sequence with number 8, signalling prosperity to the fullest (year 2001)


3. Do you have a few examples of the potential ROI for the banknotes auctioned by you thus far?

In our record, the average hammer price of the recent BNM auction’s 231 lots are 11 times its original indicative price. Some buyers of this auction gave positive feedback on the lots they purchased, saying that it would have cost them more if they were to bid in Singapore due to the expensive exchange rate. It’s hard to pinpoint an exact ROI but going by all the past auctions and the interest level generated for these auctions out of Malaysia, you can see that the number of interested investors are rising. In Malaysia, this is still very new, thus the potential is definitely there.


4. Do you think the current property market slowdown would help in boosting the popularity of the coins and banknote auctions? Or do you feel that this investment will require a totally new dimension of investment understanding?

Coins and banknotes are always a much more affordable investment than property, or compared to something more relevant; paintings and antiques. One does not really need to spend a lot to invest but understanding of its trend and demand is important. Both kind of investments share something similar, scarcity and popularity. It is not unusual for one to purchase a collectible banknote item and make 30% or more profits within a short period of time when sold to another interested party. One reason is due to a much lower consideration amount compared to property, a much lower entry level and almost no entry cost.

A good and affordable collection habit makes a good and affordable investment. Many collectors started purely as a habit initially before later learning and cultivating a more collection centric atmosphere amongst the collectors’ circle. When the consideration is affordable, it means one can afford to hold the items for a longer period of time before finding a ideal platform to sell and make profit. The ideal platform thus far would be through auctions.

interviewed on 22 Dec 2014. More Info can be found here: 

An upcoming event not to be missed:

Penang International Property Summit 2015 will be held from 9th to 11th January 2015! Come to MNP’s Booth No. C8 to C10 featuring KL and Penang Housing Development projects and Many Auction Property Bargain!

Scheduled Programs:
MBSB Property Auction on 10/1 (Sat) at 2pm
MNP Coins & Banknotes Auction No. 2/2015 on 11/1 (Sun) at 2pm

Don’t miss it! Contact us for more info!


Next suggested article: Banknote Auction Malaysia, First One Ended on a High Note. 



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