What is the Currency of Malta?

By John Misachi on August 1 2017 in Economics

Euro coins.

The Republic of Malta is an island country located in South East Europe. It is one of the smallest countries in the world with a population of approximately 450,000, the majority of who gained citizenship through investment. Malta is a major tourist destination with a warm climate, numerous recreational facilities, and historical monuments like the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The International Monetary Fund Classifies Malta as an advanced economy though it is heavily dependent on foreign trade due to its location. The banking sector in Malta is rapidly developing through monetary and fiscal policies implemented by the Central Bank of Malta that was founded in 1968. Through its quasi-organization, Finance Malta, the Central Bank of Malta has been conducting worldwide seminars educating business leaders on the emerging strengths of Malta as a jurisdiction for banking, finance, and insurance.

Maltese Pound and Lira

The pound was a widely used currency in the 19th century in Malta having been introduced to replace the coinage situation of the Knights of St John. The pound was changed at the rate of 12 to 1 scudi. Until 1972, the pound was the legal tender and was subdivided into 20 shillings, each worth 12 pence and 4 farthings. In 1825, the Maltese Lira was introduced to replace the pound by the Government of Malta. The first lira currency was issued in 1972 in the form of banknotes printed in English. In 1973, the Central Bank of Malta took over the mandate of printing the banknotes. The notes were printed in Maltese on the obverse and English on the reverse and were in the denominations of 1, 5 and 10 liri. In 1986, the second banknotes were issued with the coins replacing the 1 note liri and 2 and 20 liri notes introduced. The new banknotes were printed between 1973 and 1989 in different series. The 2nd and 3rd series banknotes comprised of the 1, 5, and 10 Maltese pounds denominations while the 4th and 5th series comprised of the 2, 5, 10, and 20 Lira denominations.

The Euro

In 2008, Malta joined the European Union. The Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union required its members to adopt the Euro as the official currency. In January 2008, the Central Bank of Malta began minting and distributing the Euro. It called for the conversion of the Lira at a fixed exchange rate of 0.429300:1. Maltese Lira coins were converted at all credit institutions up to February 2010, while notes continue to be exchanged with the last ones to be done in 2018.

Just like any other European Union country, the coins are minted in different designs. The Monnaie de Paris, which mints the Maltese Euro coins, has three different designs that were chosen through two rounds of public opinion in 2009. Three distinct designs comprise of the Mnajdra megalithic temples printed on the €0.01, €0.02, and €0.05 coins, Malta Coat of Arms printed on the €0.10, €0.20, and the €0.50 cents coins and the George Cross printed on the €1.00 and the €2.00 coins.

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