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Argentina introduces 10,000-peso banknote

This handout picture released by the Central Bank of Argentina shows the new 10,000-peso banknote (Handout)
This handout picture released by the Central Bank of Argentina shows the new 10,000-peso banknote (Handout)

Inflation-battered Argentina on Tuesday introduced a 10,000-peso banknote, worth the equivalent of about $11 -- five times the face value of the previous biggest 2,000-peso bill.

The new note, which will allow people to carry around fewer bills, will be available at banks and ATMs from Tuesday, the South American country's central bank said in a statement.

Argentina is in the grips of an economic crisis that has seen annual inflation nearing 290 percent as poverty affects about half the population.

With no end in sight, the central bank said a 20,000-peso note will be issued later this year.

The 2,000-peso bill was launched just a year ago, double the then biggest note of 1,000 pesos -- of which one would need about 15 to pay for an average restaurant dinner for one today.

The issuing of high-domination banknotes is nothing new in Argentina, which had a bill with a face value of 1,000,000 pesos in the 1980s.

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