Macanese pataca: Wikis


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Macanese pataca
澳門圓 (Chinese)
pataca macaense (Portuguese)
ISO 4217 Code MOP
User(s)  Macau
Inflation 4.9%
Source Direcção dos Serviços de Estatística e Censos, Q2 2007
Pegged with Hong Kong dollar = MOP$1.03
1/10 毫 (ho) (Chinese)
(no official English term for 10 avos)
1/100 仙 (sin) (Chinese) avo
(no longer in circulation)
Symbol MOP$
Plural patacas (Portuguese only)
毫 (ho) (Chinese) avos (Portuguese only)
Freq. used 10, 50 avos, MOP$1, MOP$5
Rarely used 20 avos, MOP$2, MOP$10
Banknotes MOP$10, MOP$20, MOP$50, MOP$100, MOP$500, MOP$1000
Monetary authority Monetary Authority of Macao
Printer Issuing banks:

Banco Nacional Ultramarino
Bank of China
Royal Joh. Enschedé

The pataca (traditional Chinese: 澳門圓; ISO 4217 code: MOP) is the currency of Macau. It is subdivided into 100 avos (Cantonese: 仙; sin), with 10 avos called ho (毫) in Cantonese. The abbreviation MOP$ is commonly used.

Macau adopts the so-called currency board system under which the legal tender, Macanese pataca, is 100 percent backed by foreign exchange reserves, in this case currently the Hong Kong dollar. Moreover, the currency board, Monetary Authority of Macao (AMCM), has a statutory obligation to issue and redeem pataca on demand against the Hong Kong dollar at a fixed exchange rate and without limit.[1]



The name "pataca" was derived from the then popular silver coin in Asia, the Mexican peso (eight reales), known in Portuguese as the pataca mexicana.[1] The Chinese name for the currency is yuan (圓), which is the same word for Chinese yuan, New Taiwan dollar and Hong Kong dollar, and is a part of translated names of some foreign currencies, notably dollars. People in Hong Kong or Macau, however, usually refer the Macanese pataca as "Portuguese money" (葡幣), a term already in use during Portuguese administration.[2]


The pataca was introduced in 1894 as a unit of account. It was initially equivalent to the Mexican peso, Spanish dollar and Hong Kong dollar, and replaced the Portuguese real at a rate of 1 pataca = 450 réis. In 1905, the Macau Government granted the Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU; 大西洋銀行) the monopoly right to issue banknotes in pataca denominations. The first batch of one-pataca and five-pataca banknotes was circulated in Macau on 27 January the following year.[3]

Until 1935, the pataca was pegged to the Hong Kong dollar at par. A succession of pegs to the Portuguese escudo followed, before the Hong Kong dollar was readopted as the peg.

Pegs for the Macanese pataca
Date established 1 pataca =
1894 1 Hong Kong dollar
1935 5.5 Portuguese escudos
1949 5 Portuguese escudos
1967 4.75 Portuguese escudos
1973 5.015 Portuguese escudos
1 Hong Kong dollar =
1977 1.075 patacas
1978 1.0025 patacas
1979 1.0425 patacas
1983 1.03 patacas
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Currency and Identity

Macanese Pataca
Banknotes · Coins

Monetary Authority


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In 1980, the Macau Government set up the Issuing Institute of Macau (Instituto Emissor de Macau; abbr. as IEM), which was given the monopoly right to issue pataca notes. The BNU became the IEM's agent bank and continued to issue banknotes.[3] On agreement with the BNU on October 16, 1995, the Macau branch of Bank of China (中國銀行澳門分行) became the second note-issuing bank. The authority to issue patacas was transferred to the Monetary Authority of Macau.


Coins were not issued for use in Macau until 1952, with the 20 cent coin of Canton Province circulating. In 1952, bronze 5 and 10 avos, cupro-nickel 50 avos and .720 fineness silver 1 and 5 patacas were introduced. Nickel-brass replaced bronze in 1967, including the last issue of 5 avos. Nickel replaced silver in the 1 pataca in 1968. In 1971, a final (.650 fineness) silver issue of 5 patacas was produced.

Brass 10, 20 and 50 avos and cupro-nickel 1 and 5 patacas were introduced in 1982. The 20 avos and 5 patacas became dodecagonal in 1993 and 1992, respectively, whilst a bimetallic 10 patacas was introduced in 1997 and a cupronickel 2 patacas in 1998. Coins are issued by the Monetary Authority of Macao.

Currently Circulating Coins
Image Value Description First Minted Year
Obverse Reverse Composition Obverse Reverse
Macau 10avos.JPG Macau 10avos reverse.JPG 10 avos Brass "Macau", "澳門" Value , Lion Dance Costume Head 1993
20 avos Denomination , Dragon boat
Macau 50avos.JPG Macau 50avos reverse.JPG 50 avos Denomination , Dragon dance
Macau 1pataca.JPG Macau 1pataca reverse.JPG MOP$1 Cupronickel "Macau", "澳門" Value , Guia Lighthouse 1992
Macau 2pataca.JPG Macau 2pataca reverse.JPG MOP$2 Denomination , Templo de A-Má and Penha church 1998
Macau 5pataca.JPG Macau 5pataca reverse.JPG MOP$5 Denomination , Cathedral of Saint Paul, Chinese junk 1992
Macau 10pataca.JPG Macau 10pataca reverse.JPG MOP$10 Ring: Brass
Center: Cupronickel
"Macau", "澳門" Value , St. Dominic’s Church of Macau 1997


Both sides of 100 patacas issued by BNU on 1992-07-13

In a similar arrangement to the issue of banknotes in Hong Kong, Macanese banknotes are not issued by a central bank or monetary authority but by two commercial banks, the Banco Nacional Ultramarino and the Bank of China. Owing to Macau's Portuguese colonial past, banknotes are printed in Portuguese as well as Chinese, including the name of the Bank of China which is written as both "Banco Da China" and "中國銀行".[4][5]



On January 27, 1906, 1, 5, 50 and 100 pataca notes were introduced by the Banco Nacional Ultramarino. These were followed in 1907 by 10 and 25 pataca notes. In February 1920, 5, 10 and 50 avo notes were added.

In 1923, the Banco Vui Hang introduced 10 pataca notes which stated that they were backed by Cantonese 20 cent coins[6]. These notes were followed until 1934 by cashier's cheques issued by various banks in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1000 dollars, presumably equivalent to the pataca. In 1944, further cashier's cheques were issued, denominated 1000 yuan and NC$5000.

The BNU issues were augmented by 1 and 20 avo notes in 1942. In 1944, 500 pataca notes were introduced. Denominations below 10 patacas were replaced by coins in 1952. The 25 pataca note was discontinued after 1958.

On August 8, 1988, BNU issued a 1000 pataca banknote, the highest value banknote yet. Because 8 in Chinese (Ba) is similar to "getting rich" (Fa; 發), this unique date, which occurs only once per century, gives the note a special meaning. Another feature is the replacement of the Coat of arms of Portugal with BNU's logo, shedding a political symbol in the prospect of reunification with China. In 1995, the Banco da China introduced notes in denominations of 10, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 patacas. Both the BNU and Banco da China introduced 20 pataca notes in 1996.

Current issue

Banknotes are currently issued in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 patacas. The current series of BNU banknotes was issued in 2005, while the Bank of China notes were last issued between 1995 and 2003. The dimensions of the banknotes are "coincidentally" the same as that of Hong Kong banknotes worth the corresponding number of dollars. On December 20, 1999, the day Macau was retroceded to China, banknotes of all values (except for 10 patacas) by both banks were reissued with that date. On January 5, 2009, the Monetary Authority of Macau announced a new series of banknotes, dated 2008, released by the Bank of China.[7]

Banco Nacional Ultramarino 1990 Series Banknote
Image Value Description Printed Date Watermark
Obverse Reverse Dimensions Color Obverse Reverse
MOP$10 138 × 69 mm Brown Dr. Sun Memorial Hall A view of Macau in the 90's, Ponte Governador Nobre de Carvalho July 8, 1991 Chinese junk
10 patacas bnu 2003 anv.jpg 10 patacas bnu 2003 rev.jpg MOP$10 Red, Violet January 8, 2001
June 8, 2003
20 patacas bnu 2003 anv.jpg 20 patacas bnu 2003 rev.jpg MOP$20 143 × 71.5 mm Violet Old BNU headquarter September 1, 1996
December 20, 1999
June 8, 2003
50 patacas bnu 2003 anv.jpg 50 patacas bnu 2003 rev.jpg MOP$50 148 × 74 mm Yellow Lion dance July 13, 1992
December 20, 1999
100 patacas bnu 2003 anv.jpg 100 patacas bnu 2003 rev.jpg MOP$100 153 × 76.5 mm Blue Chinese junk July 13, 1992
December 20, 1999
June 8, 2003
500 patacas bnu 2003 anv.jpg 500 patacas bnu 2003 rev.jpg MOP$500 158 × 79 mm Green, yellow, orange A-Ma Temple September 3, 1990
December 20, 1999
June 8, 2003
MOP$1000 163 × 81.5 mm Red Dragon July 8, 1991
December 20, 1999
June 8, 2003
Bank of China 1995 Series Banknote
Image Value Description Printed Date Watermark
Obverse Reverse Dimensions Color Obverse Reverse
MOP$10 138 × 69 mm Brown Guia Lighthouse and Monte fort Bank of China, Macau branch October 16, 1995 Lotus
10 patacas bdc 1995 anv.jpg 10 patacas bdc 1995 rev.jpg MOP$10 Red, orange January 8, 2001
February 2, 2002
December 8, 2003
20 patacas bdc 1995 anv.jpg 20 patacas bdc 1995 rev.jpg MOP$20 143 × 71.5 mm Violet A-Ma Temple September 1, 1996
December 20, 1999
December 8, 2003
50 patacas bdc 1995 anv.jpg 50 patacas bdc 1995 rev.jpg MOP$50 148 × 74 mm Yellow-grey University of Macau October 16, 1995
November 1, 1997
December 20, 1999
100 patacas bdc 1995 anv.jpg 100 patacas bdc 1995 rev.jpg MOP$100 153 × 76.5 mm Blue Jetfoil terminal October 16, 1995
December 20, 1999
February 2, 2002
December 8, 2003
500 patacas bdc 1995 anv.jpg 500 patacas bdc 1995 rev.jpg MOP$500 158 × 79 mm Green Ponte de Amizade October 16, 1995
December 20, 1999
February 2, 2002
December 8, 2003
1000 patacas bdc 1995 anv.jpg 1000 patacas bdc 1995 rev.jpg MOP$1000 163 × 81.5 mm Orange Sai Van (Praia de Bom Porto) October 16, 1995
December 20, 1999
December 8, 2003
Banco Nacional Ultramarino 2005 Series Banknote
Image Value Description Printed Date Watermark
Obverse Reverse Dimensions Color Obverse Reverse
Macau 10pataca bnu2005.JPG Macau 10pataca bnu2005 reverse.JPG MOP$10 138 × 69 mm Yellow/Purple Statue of Deusa A-Má of Macau BNU building August 8, 2005 Lotus
20 patacas bnu 2005 anv.jpg 20 patacas bnu 2005 rev.jpg MOP$20 143 × 71.5 mm Violet Macau International Airport August 8, 2005
MOP$50 148 x 74 mm Brown Sai Wan Bridge August 8, 2009
100 patacas bnu 2005 anv.jpg 100 patacas bnu 2005 rev.jpg MOP$100 153 × 76.5 mm Blue Largo do Senado August 8, 2005
500 patacas bnu 2005 anv.jpg 500 patacas bnu 2005 rev.jpg MOP$500 158 × 79 mm Green Macau Tower August 8, 2005
1000 patacas bnu 2005 anv.jpg 1000 patacas bnu 2005 anv.jpg MOP$1000 163 × 81.5 mm Orange Macau Cultural Centre August 8, 2005
Bank of China 2008 Series Banknote
Image Value Description Printed Date Watermark
Obverse Reverse Dimensions Color Obverse Reverse
10 patacas bdc 2008 anv.JPG MOP$10 138 × 69 mm Red, orange A-Ma Temple Bank of China, Macau branch August 8, 2008 Lotus
20 patacas bdc 2008 anv.JPG 20 patacas bdc 2008 rev.JPG MOP$20 143 × 71.5 mm Violet Ruins of St. Paul's
50 patacas bdc 2008 anv.JPG 50 patacas bdc 2008 rev.JPG MOP$50 148 × 74 mm Brown Dom Pedro V Theatre
100 patacas bdc 2008 anv.JPG 100 patacas bdc 2008 rev.JPG MOP$100 153 × 76.5 mm Blue Guia Lighthouse and Monte fort
500 patacas bdc 2008 anv.JPG 500 patacas bdc 2008 rev.JPG MOP$500 158 × 79 mm Green Casa do Mandarim
1000 patacas bdc 2008 anv.JPG 1000 patacas bdc 2008 rev.JPG MOP$1000 163 × 81.5 mm Orange Leal Senado

The 2005 series of BNU was printed by Royal Joh. Enschedé, a security printing firm in the Netherlands.

Historical exchange rate

The following figures are included as a guide to the movements of the pataca against the pound sterling and the United States dollar:

Date May, 1980[8] Feb, 2003 May, 2003 Aug, 2003 Nov, 2003
£1.00 11.60 12.79 13.15 13.24 13.94
US$1.00 5.20 8.03 8.03 8.30 8.25

Despite the fact that the pataca is the official currency of Macau, most of the money in circulation in the territory is actually Hong Kong dollars. Patacas accounted for only 29.9% of Macau's money supply at the end of 1998.

The exchange rate is pegged and is approximately MOP$103 for HK$100 as of February 2004. For United States dollars, to which the Hong Kong dollar is in turn loosely pegged, the exchange rate is around 8 patacas to 1 US dollar. Although it is possible to exchange patacas in Macau, it is either difficult or impossible to do so elsewhere. The few places in Hong Kong where patacas are available are concentrated on Cleverly Street, a short distance from the Macau Ferry.

Although the pataca is the legal tender of Macau, the Hong Kong dollar is almost universally acceptable in the city, and in some cases, is preferred to the Pataca. Circulation of the pataca is mandated by a decree (Decreto-Lei n.º 16/95/M) prohibiting refusal by merchants, but some casinos flout this rule and refuse bets in patacas. The Hong Kong dollar and renminbi are generally accepted throughout Macau from casinos to restaurants. Payments to government agency, however, must be in patacas.

As there are currently no restrictions on the import or export of either local or foreign currency into or from Macau, visitors can change their currency in hotels, banks and authorized exchange dealers located all around the city. There are also 24-hour exchange counters at Macau International Airport (Taipa Island) and at the Lisboa Hotel (Macau Peninsula) for customers if they want to change their currency into patacas outside working hours.

Current MOP exchange rates

See also


  1. ^ a b "The history of pataca". Monetary Authority of Macao. Retrieved 2008-01-04.  
  2. ^ 所谓澳币是不是葡币?_百度知道
  3. ^ a b S. S. Chan (2000). The Macau Economy. Publications Centre, University of Macau. ISBN 9993726036.  
  4. ^ "Issuance of banknotes". Bank of China (Macau). Retrieved 2008-11-06.  
  5. ^ "BNU Banknotes Online Exhibition". Banco Nacional Ultramarino S.A. (Macau). Retrieved 2008-11-06.  
  6. ^ Dez patacas em moedas subsidiaris de 20 avos de cantão.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Wheeler, Tony. South-East Asia on a Shoestring. 3rd ed. Melbourne: Lonely Planet, 1980.

External links

Preceded by:
Mexican peso, Spanish dollar, Hong Kong dollar
Reason: creation of a local currency
Ratio: at par
Currency of Macau
1906 –
Note: the pataca was made the unit of account in 1894
Succeeded by:


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