Norway to outsource note printing in 2007

According to a November 28, 2006, article in the Norway Post, the Norges Bank will cease printing Norwegian banknotes in 2007. Central Bank director Harald Boehn says the bank is unable to produce notes as economically as printers abroad.

Norges Bank has entered into agreements for the delivery of notes with De La Rue in the UK and Francois-Charles Oberthur Fiduciaire in France. The contracts apply for the period 2007 – 2012. The first deliveries will probably be made in 2008.

Norges Bank expects to save in the order of NOK 10 million annually during the contract period. An expert on economic history, professor Francis Sejersted, questioned the decision to save “small sums” instead of continuing the tradition of producing the national symbols domestically.

In related news, security printer De La Rue announced interim pretax profits were up 59% on the strength of “exceptional” bank note printing volumes. DLR is involved in printing notes for 150 countries. For an excellent examination of how companies like De La Rue attempt to win over the business of central banks, I strongly suggest reading Moneymakers: The Secret World of Banknote Printing.

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