French Indo-China 500 Piastres

15 Mar 2019  Fri

The Banque de l'Indochine or the Bank of Indochina was established in Paris on 21 January 1875. The main purpose of the bank was to operate in French territories in Indochina, the rest of Asia, and the Pacific.

It issued banknotes, not only in French territories but also in China and elsewhere. Up to World War II, the bank experienced three phases of development. From 1875 to 1888, it functioned as a colonial bank to help the French government manage its colonial properties in South-east Asia. Then from 1889 to 1900, the bank shifted its operations from French Indochina to China. Thereafter, from 1900 to 1941, the bank represented the interests of the French government in handling the Boxer indemnity and transacted international trade between France and China. It merged with Banque de Suez in 1974 to form Banque Indosuez, which was then purchased by the Credit Agricole group, which operated it as Credit Agricole Indosuez (CAI), until a 2004 merger with Crédit Lyonnais, which created Calyon.

The note depicted in the image is a French Indo-China 500 Piastres banknote from 1944-45. The obverse depicts a temple detail to left with an irrigation scene to right, while the reverse features a mythical dragon.

Image Courtesy: Picclick

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