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Asmara (Asmera)
Agordat (Akordat)
Assab (Asseb)
Barentu
Dahlak islands
Dekemhare (Decemhare)
Ghinda (Ginda)
Keren (Cheren)
Massawa (Massauwa)
Mendefera (Adi Ugri)
Nakfa (Nacfa)
Semenawi Bahri (Filfil)
Tessenei (Teseney)

   

 

Currency and exchange facilities

 

The national currency of Eritrea is the Nakfa. It was introduced in 1998 and has been named after the town of Nacfa, the town in the Sahel mountains that served as the headquarters of the EPLF during Eritrea's armed struggle against Ethiopian occupation, and so both Nakfa's became a symbol of Eritrea's hard-fought-for independence.

The Eritrean Nakfa is issued in notes with denominations of 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1 Nakfa. They were designed by a black American, Clarence Holbert, and printed by Giesecke & Devrient in Germany. One side of the notes depicts the various ethnic groups in Eritrea, while the reverse side has typical scenes from various parts of the country. Coins are 100 cents, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 cent depicting animals native to Eritrea.

The Commercial and the Housing bank provide exchange services for various currencies, but many people preferred the shorter lines and better rates provided by the small (but official) exchange offices. Unfortunately they have been closed by the Eritrean authorities. The only one left is the government owned Himbol Exchange.

There is a lot of unofficial moneychangers around the post office and on Harnet Avenue. Do not attempt to change currency on the streets, since it is not allowed. if you do indulge, you're taking a big risk for a small gain. The moral argument against using the black market is that you are robbing the government of Eritrea of valuable hard currency in order to make your cheap holiday even cheaper.

 

Credit cards

Credit cards are rarely used in banking transactions in Eritrea, and are accepted in some major Eritrean hotels. Airlines. Major travel agencies also accept credit cards. A commission of up to 5% will be charged, so check in advance.

ATMs

There are currently no ATMs in Asmara and Massawa. Himbol operates a card processing terminal in Asmara.

 

Goverment owned Himbol exchange & remittance office. BahtiMeskerem Asmara Eritrea.

Government owned Himbol exchange & remittance office.

Himbol offices in Asmara
 
Bahti Meskeren Square 12 07 88 / 12 07 35 fax 12 10 58
Harnet Avenue 12 41 34 / 12 63 66
Inter-Continental Hotel 15 09 24
Asmara International Airport 18 94 74

Himbol Financial Services
P.O. Box 1113 Asmara Eritrea
Tel. +2911 12 07 88
Fax +2911 12 10 58
E-mail: asmex@eol.com.er

 

 

Exchange rates as per 02-06-2011
Foreign 
currency
Commercial Bank of Eritrea / Himbol
Buy rate Sell rate
US $ 15.0000 15.7500
Euro 21.4260 22.1855
GB Pound 24.7065 25.7826
Swiss Franc 17.6505 18.1322
Canadian dollar 15.3750 15.8321
Saudi Rial   4.0000 4.2000
Swedish Kr.   2.4090 2.4918
Norwegian Kr.   2.7630 2.8527
Danish Kr.   2.8740 2.9732
Abudhabi Dirham   4.0845 4.2474
Kenya Shilling   0.1719
Ethiopian Birr   1.0000
Japanese Yen   0.1860 0.1914
Kuwait Dinar 54.3281
Egypt Pound   2.5096
Yemenia Rial   0.0680
Bahrain Dinar 40.0000
Australian Dollar 16,05 16.5317
Qatari Riyal   4.1181

 

 

Himboll - Noneed to carry cash

 

 

Eritrean banknote of one nakfa Eritrean banknote of one nakfa (back)
Triptych portrait of three children of Eritrea's nine nationalities Pre liberation bush school in the shade of the trees
Eritrean banknote of five nakfa Eritrean banknote of five nakfa (back)
Triptych portrait of three children of Eritrea's nine nationalities Cattle grazing under a giant Sycamore tree near Segeneiti.
Eritrean banknote of ten nakfa Eritrean banknote of ten nakfa (back)
Triptych portrait of three young women of Eritrea's nine nationalities Eritrean railway Russian built truck placed on rail wheels hauling box cars (crossing the Obel river bridge at Dogali near Massawa)
Eritrean banknote of twenty nakfa Eritrean banknote of twenty nakfa (back)
Triptych portrait of three young women of Eritrea's nine nationalities Three agricultural scenes (camel ploughing, woman harvesting, tractor)
Eritrean banknote of fifty nakfa Eritrean banknote of fifty nakfa  (back)
Triptych portrait of three young women of Eritrea's nine nationalities Freighter ships at Massawa port of Eritrea
Eritrean banknote of one hundred nakfa Eritrean banknote of one hundred nakfa  (back)
Triptych portrait of three young women of Eritrea's nine nationalities Farmer with oxen ploughing the fields
 

 

 

There are five coins, the 1, 5, 10, 25, and 100 cents coin, struck in a nickel alloy.

These coins are the first coins issued for circulation in 1997 by Eritrea since it gained its independence from Ethiopia in 1991 after a 30 year independence struggle.

The common reverse shows fighters raising the Eritrean flag, the date 1991 and the legend Liberty, Equality and Justice.

Featured on the front of the coins are six different animals native to Eritrea. The 1 cent shows an Ibex, the 5 cents shows a Leopard on log, the 10 cent pictures an Ostrich, the 25 cents shows a Grevy's Zebra, the 50 cents shows a Gazelle, and the 100 cent features an Elephant and her calf.

 

 

Eritrean currency through the ages > > >

Eritrean coins

 

Housing and Commerce Bank - Asmara Eritrea

Housing and Commerce Bank - Asmara Eritrea.

Housing and Commerce Bank Offices in Eritrea
 
Asmara 12 03 50 fax 12 04 01
Sembel Branch 15 06 83 fax 15 06 84
Massawa 55 25 24 fax 55 22 83
Assab 66 15 79 fax 66 15 78
Keren 40 17 26 fax 40 17 27
Tessenei 72 10  53 fax 7210 53
 
The Housing and Commerce Bank of Eritrea
 is the exclusive representative for
Moneygram in Eritrea.

Moneygram - International money transfers
Housung and Commerce Bank of Eritrea Housing and Commerce Bank 
P.O. Box 235 Asmara, Eritrea
Tel.+2911 12 03 50 fax 12 04 01
E-mail: hcbgm@hcbe.com.er

 

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