BUSINESS IN SHORT

Euro starter packs selling like hot cakes

THE INTEREST in starter packs with Slovak euro coins has far exceeded expectations, and by the first day some post offices had already sold out of them. People have said they are buying them as Christmas presents, companies want to give them to employees and pensioners are buying them to have a little cash on hand when Slovakia switches to the European single currency on January 1. Banks and other points of sale have responded by limiting the number of packs each person can buy.

THE INTEREST in starter packs with Slovak euro coins has far exceeded expectations, and by the first day some post offices had already sold out of them. People have said they are buying them as Christmas presents, companies want to give them to employees and pensioners are buying them to have a little cash on hand when Slovakia switches to the European single currency on January 1. Banks and other points of sale have responded by limiting the number of packs each person can buy.

The National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) has restricted the number to 10 packs per person. NBS spokesperson Jana Kováčová said some people are buying them in the hundreds or even thousands, the ČTK newswire reported.

ČSOB, Tatra Banka, VÚB and UniCredit announced they are taking the same step, while Slovakia’s biggest bank, Slovenská Sporiteľňa, said it will wait some time before limiting the number available to each person.

“The National Bank of Slovakia recommends that commercial banks and Slovenská Pošta consider limiting the sale of packs per person so that they are available to as large a portion of the population as possible,” Kováčová said.

She noted that there are other ways to obtain euros prior to the switch.
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The starter packs have already appeared in internet auctions, the Hospodárske Noviny daily wrote. At Ebay.de, the price of a Slovak euro starter pack has climbed to €26. The Sme daily found one on offer for €30. The nominal value of the coins in the pack is €16.60.

The central bank ordered a total of 1.2 million starter packs. Each of them contains 45 coins of various nominal values. The central bank has announced it does not plan to produce additional packs.

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