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Banknote Book & CPG® PRICE GUIDE

Catalog & market information for bank notes issued by Banque de l’Indo-Chine

The Banque de l’Indo-Chine (French: Bank of Indo-China, BIC) was founded in Paris, France on 21 January 1875, with plans to operate in French India and French Cochinchina, hence the name. Over time, the BIC opened 28 branches and agencies around the world, only some of which were places of issue indicated on notes. The bank’s name appears on its notes initially as Banque de l’Indo-Chine (hyphenated) and Banque de l’Indochine (one word) from the mid-1920s onward, often with a branch name stamped or printed. From 1875 to 1920s, the Banque de l’Indo-Chine issued similar families of notes in various countries that can be easily mistaken for one another at first glance, so take care to distinguish them by the dates of the decrees printed at upper center front, branch names below, and different colors. After the French established their sphere of influence as south China, the Banque de l’Indochine took over international trade between France and all of China. In addition to its note issuing monopoly in Cochinchina, the bank circulated its notes in adjacent Chinese provinces. Its first Chinese branch was opened in Shanghai in 1899 and five further branches were subsequently established in rapid succession: on Shamian Island in Guangzhou (printed as CANTON SHAMEEN on these notes), and in Beijing, Hankou, Kunming, and Tianjin. An early attempt was made to issue tael notes in Shanghai but was swiftly abandoned as unprofitable. The Banque de l’Indochine held priority in financing the infrastructure of the French Concession in Shanghai’s International Settlement. Its most notable accomplishments included the Shanghai Electric Power Company and the Shanghai Tramways. Through its commercial banking role, the bank increased its original paid-in capital of 8 million francs to 48 million by 1910. From 1900 to 1941, Banque de l’Indochine was the sole French representative in handling the Boxer indemnity. Banque de l’Indochine notes for China are and dual-denominated in both dollars and piastres because American and British trade dollars were at parity to the silver French piastre coins. These notes circulated, though in small quantities, until 1940.

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1 dollar / 1 piastre
(B6601a, PS436)

 
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1 dollar / 1 piastre
(B6601ar, PS436)

 
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1 dollar / 1 piastre
(B6601as1, PS436)

 
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1 dollar / 1 piastre
(B6601as2, PS436)

 
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5 dollars / 5 piastres
(B6602a, PS437)

 
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5 dollars / 5 piastres
(B6602as1, PS437)

 
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5 dollars / 5 piastres
(B6602as2, PS437)

 
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10 dollars / 10 piastres
(B6603a, PS438)

 
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10 dollars / 10 piastres
(B6603as1, PS438)

 
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10 dollars / 10 piastres
(B6603as2, PS438)

 
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100 dollars / 100 piastres
(B6604a, PS439)

 
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100 dollars / 100 piastres
(B6604as, PS439)

 
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1 dollar / 1 piastre
(B6605a, PS440)

 
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1 dollar / 1 piastre
(B6605as1, PS440)

 
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1 dollar / 1 piastre
(B6605as2, PS440)

 
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5 dollars / 5 piastres
(B6606a, PS440A)

 
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5 dollars / 5 piastres
(B6606as1, PS440A)

 
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5 dollars / 5 piastres
(B6606as2, PS440A)

 
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10 dollars / 10 piastres
(B6607a, PS440B)

 
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10 dollars / 10 piastres
(B6607as1, PS440B)

 
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10 dollars / 10 piastres
(B6607as2, PS440B)

 
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100 dollars / 100 piastres
(B6608a, PS440C)

 
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100 dollars / 100 piastres
(B6608as, PS440C)

 
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