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    Hyperinflation forces Zimbabwe to print 500 mln-dollar banknote

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    HARARE, December 12 (RIA Novosti) - Grappling with record 231 million % inflation, Zimbabwe's government said on Friday it had introduced a new 500 million-Zimbabwean-dollar banknote, local media said.

    The new note, worth about $8, enough to buy 8 loaves of bread, will have a purple color and will feature cows being milked mechanically and a miner drilling underground, zimonline.co.za said. It is expected to enter circulation on Monday.

    The move comes after the Southern African country's authorities, fighting a chronic cash shortage, revealed plans last week to introduce 200 million-dollar notes. The notes were expected to go into circulation this Friday.

    Last week, the country's Central Bank circulated Zimbabwe dollars in 100 million, 50 million and 10 million denominations.

    Zimbabwe's extended economic crisis has devastated the healthcare system, leaving the country with little capability of dealing with a cholera epidemic that has killed nearly 800 people.

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