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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Georgia Coupon Falls

TBILISI, Georgia () -- Georgia's coupon currency lost half its value on the Tbilisi Interbank Currency Exchange on Wednesday, tumbling to 1.51 million to the dollar from 1.00 million last week.

Bankers said expectations of a vast injection of cash in circulation were behind the collapse of the coupon, which is used in state shops and to pay rent and bills for fuel and services.

Rubles and dollars are used to buy other goods.

Central bank deputy chairman Teymuraz Basiliya told parliament earlier this month the former Soviet republic issued 12 trillion coupons in the first half of the year, but had spent 10 trillion simply to fund a yawning budget gap.

Georgia introduced the coupon at par to the Russian rouble last year.

But the currency, like the country's economy, has gone into freefall. Official figures show first-half industrial production was about 50 percent below year-ago levels, the steepest fall in the Commonwealth of Independent States.