Lao kip

Name of currency: Lao kip

Country / countries used: Lao


Brief history:

Laos is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia which is bordered by Burma, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. The currency of Laos is the kip and has been since 1952. The kip is generally abbreviated to ₭ and one ₭ is divided into 100 att. Back in 1952, the kip was known as the Royal kip. Coins were issued in denominations of 10, 20 and 50 att or cents and all had both French and Lao inscriptions due to the previous French control of the region.

Following on from this, the Pathet Lao Kip was introduced before 1976 in areas that were under Pathet Lao control. Banknotes, all of which were printed in China, were issued in denominations of 1, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. The Pathet Laos Kip replaced the Royal kip throughout the rest of Lao in 1976. The best exchange rate between the two different kip was 1 Pathet Laos kip = 20 Royal kip.

The new Lao kip came to be issued on 16th December 1979 to replace the Pathet Laos kip. Coins were issued in denominations of 10, 20 and 50 att. In 1985, commemorative coins were released for the 10th anniversary of the Laos People’s Democratic Republic in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 kip. However, due to the Soviet collapse in 1991 and the persistence of chronic inflation there are no coins currently in circulation in Laos. Also in 1979, new Lao kip banknotes were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 kip. Further denominations included the introduction of 500 kip notes in 1988, 1000 kip in 1992, 2000 and 5000 in 1997, 10’000 and 20’000 in 2002 and 50’000 in 2006. In commemoration of the 450th anniversary of the founding capital, a 100’000 kip note was introduced in 2010.