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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

5,000 Ruble Bill Makes Debut

MTThe new 5,000 ruble bill, which was not available to customers on Monday.
A new, secure 5,000 ruble bill designed to help employers pay salaries more efficiently was officially put into circulation Monday, but was not yet finding its way into customers' pocketbooks.

The Central Bank said the bill -- worth about $185 -- would help employers pay rising salaries, but the bill is also a reminder of the country's high level of inflation: 1,000 rubles doesn't go as far as it used to.

The 5,000 ruble bill will ease the settlement of the large cash-based transactions -- such as apartment sales and loan repayments -- that remain popular throughout the country.

Some worry that spending the bills on the street will be tricky in a country where cashiers often balk at making change for 1,000 rubles or even 500 rubles. That question will have to wait, however, as five Moscow bank branches polled Monday said they currently had no 5,000 ruble bills on hand.

A spokesman for the country's biggest retail bank, Sberbank, said it had received shipments of 5,000 ruble bills but they weren't yet available to customers.

The bill's design features the Far East city of Khabarovsk. To deter counterfeiting, the bills have a dozen security features, including a vertical metallic strip, ink that appears only under ultraviolet light and micro-perforations.