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Maduro revalues Venezuela currency over hyperinflation

© Venezuelan Presidency/AFP | Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro said in a televised government meeting that new bolivar bills would begin circulating in the South American country on June 4

CARACAS (AFP) - 

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro announced Thursday he would re-value the crisis-wracked country's bolivar currency, cutting three zeroes from current values to combat hyperinflation.

Maduro said in a televised government meeting that new bolivar bills, which divide the current value by 1,000, would begin circulating in the South American country on June 4.

"I have decided to take three zeroes off the currency and remove from circulation the current banknotes and coins and put into circulation new ones from June 4," said Maduro, who is seeking re-election this year.

The largest bill in circulation, the 100,000 bolivar note -- barely enough to buy a coffee in the street -- will become a 100 bolivar bill.

Oil-rich Venezuela's crushing economic and political crisis has caused widespread shortages of basic goods, in addition to hyperinflation which the International Monetary Fund expects to run to 13,000 percent this year.

It is the country's second currency shift in 10 years.

In 2008, Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez launched his new currency, dubbed the "bolivar fuerte" or "strong bolivar" by removing three zeroes from the value of the old one.

© 2018 AFP