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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

No Panic on New Dollars

With the new, revamped U.S. $100 bill due to hit Russia by the end of the month, bank and exchange cashiers said Tuesday that there is little evidence of the panic once feared in conjunction with the currency changeover.

Russian banks could receive their first shipment of new $100 bills as soon as March 26, said William Murden, Treasury Department representative at the U.S. Embassy, adding that he expected the changeover to the redesigned notes to go smoothly.

"We have talked to all the major players involved in the process and we're convinced that the introduction of the new $100 note as a whole will work fine," Murden told reporters at an embassy briefing.

Republic Bank of New York, Bank of America and Union Bank of Switzerland will play the leading role in shipping new bills to 80 commercial banks in Russia once the bills are introduced in the United States on March 25, Murden said.

He said he had no information on the size of the first order of new bills to Russia, nor on the quantity of bills that will be released on the official launch date.

Some $800 billion in fresh $100 bills should have been printed by that time, he added.

"A week or so" will be required before commercial banks can transport the new bills to some 800 retail banks and 11,000 exchange offices across Russia, Murden said, adding that Russians therefore should wait to change rubles or old dollars for the new bills.

Moscow currency exchange customers on Tuesday, though, did not seem in a rush.

A Lithuanian businessman changing money at the Bank Rossiisky Kredit branch near Belorussky Station, said he couldn't imagine people panicking.

The man, who would only give his name as Arvidis, said: "The Americans do what they say. They've promised that the old ones will remain good, so they will. Why should I worry about this?"

In an effort to stave off exorbitant commissions for changing old $100 bills, a group of leading Russian banks recently agreed with the Central Bank to limit maximum charges to 2 percent for the new bills.

Most said they had not heard about the announcement of the scheduled arrival of the bills.