Wed, Jun 10, 2015 - Page 15 News List

Thousands line up for HSBC banknote

AFP, HONG KONG

Thousands of people yesterday queued in the blazing sun in Hong Kong for a new commemorative banknote from troubled global bank HSBC Holdings PLC.

Crowds blocked major walkways in the city center through the morning and into early afternoon as they waited to snap up the HK$150 (US$19.35) notes, released to mark the bank’s 150th anniversary.

In one pickup location, a large pedestrian flyover connecting major office buildings was thronged, blocking irate morning commuters.

Those lining up had won a lottery organized by the bank allocating them one, three or 35 notes.

Each note cost HK$380 and depicted historic scenes of Hong Kong as well as the bank’s city offices.

Many people sheltered under umbrellas as the sun beat down, saying they wanted the notes either as a collector’s item or an investment.

“Everybody thinks that there is room for it to go up in price,” 30-year-old housewife Esther Chan told reporters as she lined up in the central district of Wan Chai. “I want one as a memento.”

Margie Cosgrove, a 52-year-old housewife, hoped the value would rise.

“It’s worth it for the future ... it’s purely for investment. Everyone comes out to make money in Hong Kong,” she said.

About 60 traders were waiting nearby to buy the notes — one offered HK$650 for a single one.

However, some office workers were left unamused.

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