BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 19 November, 2001, 16:46 GMT
Dutch business counts cost of euro
Netherlands guilder notes
The guilder dates back to the 13th Century
By the BBC's Duncan Bartlett

Businesses across Europe are adding up the cost of changing over to euro notes and coins on 1 January, a procedure which will cost an estimated 10bn guilders (3.2bn; $4bn) in the Netherlands.

A lot of the expense will have to be borne by private companies. Hein Blocks, managing director of the Netherlands Banking Association, says the cost of the move is enormous.

"The majority of the cost has to be borne by the banks and by retailers," he said.

"If you look at the actual changeover in notes and coins the burden for the society comes 95% to retailers and banks and they have to bear the cost of the changeover."

Mr Blocks says it is estimated the changeover will cost the banks 2bn guilders.

That means the banks alone will spend nearly $1bn on this project.

Compensation

But the Dutch government will only reimburse a tiny fraction of that money to the disappointment of Frederick Von Dewell, chief economist of the ING Group, who would have liked more compensation for business.

He does however believe that business will earn the money back within a few years through other savings such as administrative costs.

"I have done a calculation for ING Group and from the figures I have seen, within say five years, the cost would have been compensated by benefits on other sides of the company," he said.

All business on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange has been conducted in euros since 4 January 1999.

That day was marred when protesters broke in and threw custard pies at the Dutch finance minister Gerrit Zalm.

Since then, the Amsterdam bourse has merged with its partners in Paris and Brussels to create Euronext.

Long-term impact?

David Thwaites, European equity analyst at Paribas bank, believes the introduction of the euro notes and coins will not have a lasting impact on the European equity market.

"We think the equity markets have got bigger macroeconomic problems to grapple with - particularly at the moment," he said.

"In particular, will there be a recession, how long will it be, how deep will it be, and we think those worries will probably run right the way through up to December, maybe well through December and January beyond the period of when the euro notes and coins are introduced."

The guilder dates back to the 13th Century, making it one of the oldest currencies in Europe.

But, from 1 January, 700 years of history will draw to a close as guilder notes and coins are phased out and people in the Netherlands start to use euros instead.

It doesn't help that the euro has lost one-quarter of its value against the dollar since its launch.

But the Dutch are hoping that greater financial harmony with their European neighbours will be an investment which pays off.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Duncan Bartlett
"From January 1st, 700 years of history will draw to a close as guilder notes and coins are phased out "

Key stories

Background

AUDIO VIDEO

FORUM

FACT FILES

INTERACTIVE QUIZ

SPECIAL REPORT

TALKING POINT
See also:

23 Oct 01 | Business
26 Jul 01 | Business
07 Nov 01 | Country profiles
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes