The vatu (ISO 4217: VUV, sometimes Vt) is the currency of Vanuatu. Vatu has no subdivisions.
The vatu was introduced in 1982, after independence, to replace the New Hebrides franc at par. The vatu's introduction also saw the end of the official circulation of the Australian dollar in Vanuatu.
In 1983, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 vatu coins were introduced, followed by 100 vatu in 1988.
In 1982, notes were introduced by the Central bank of Vanuatu in denominations of 100, 500 and 1000 vatu. 5000 vatu notes followed in 1989. In 1993, the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu took over paper money issuance and introduced notes for 500 and 1000 vatu. 200 vatu notes were introduced in 1995, and 10,000 on the 28 July 2010.
Local residents sometimes refer to a notional dollar, equal to 100 vatu, without specifying which country's currency they have in mind. This stems from the period 1966–1973, when the New Hebrides franc was pegged to the Australian dollar at a rate of 100 francs = 1 dollar. Although no relationship currently exists, it simplifies thinking in the larger numbers which a low-value unit causes. For example, the Government's budget of 6,000,000,000 VUV is in fact only about 50,000,000 USD.
The concept of this notional dollar is supported by the size of the 100 vatu coin: at 23 mm it is comparable to the Australian dollar (25 mm) and the New Zealand dollar (23 mm) but the thickness is equivalent to the current British pound coin. Traders will often accept a real dollar (regardless of its country) as an equivalent to local currency.
The text on this page has been made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License and Creative Commons Licenses