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Basic information about spending money in Beijing (3)
11:36, July 12, 2008

CONVERTING YOUR MONEY INTO RENMINBI

The Chinese yuan isn't freely exchangeable on international markets, so overseas visitors might not be able to convert money easily until they enter the country.

For the upcoming Olympic Games, commercial banks in Beijing have pledged to provide as much convenience as possible for overseas visitors to convert their currencies and travelers' cheques into the Chinese yuan. These banks will give prioritized handling of currency converting and extend operation time for suchbusiness. For instance, the China Merchants Bank has promised to provide foreign exchange services until 8:00 p.m.

Some commercial banks such as the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country's largest, and the Construction Bank ofChina have also set up dedicated counters to handle their currencyexchange business.

According to the Beijing Bureau of the China Banking RegulatoryCommission, more than 85 percent of Beijing branches operated by Chinese commercial banks are able to provide foreign exchange services for an individual customer.

While figures released by the central bank showed that more than 2,400 bank branches in Beijing are qualified to provide foreign exchange services and all bank branches around the venues of the Olympic Games are able to offer such services.

Apart from the 2,400 bank branches, you can also convert you money at Beijing Capital International Airport, hotels, FriendshipStores and some department stores. Please note that hotels may only exchange money for their guests.

Currently, at least 18 overseas currencies are exchangeable in the Chinese mainland. They are the U.S. dollar, Euro, British pound, Swiss franc, Singapore dollar, Swedish Krona, Danish Krone,Norwegian Krone Japanese yen, Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, Finnish markka, Malaysian ringgit, Philippine Peso, Thai Baht and Hong Kong dollar, Macao dollar as well as Taiwan dollar.

Exchange rates fluctuate in line with international financial market condition and are published daily by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).

Undoubtedly, it won't be difficult for you to convert money into the Chinese yuan. And it won't be difficult either for you tochange it back again at the end of your trip.

According to a 2007 regulation issued by the central bank, overseas individuals can show their tourist visa and change the yuan money into foreign money at banks and other money exchange facilities as long as the sum is equivalent to 500 U.S. dollars orless.

If the sum is equivalent to more than 500 U.S. dollars, visitors are allowed to change back into foreign money at banks and they need to show both tourist visas and their exchange receipts from the initial transaction.

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