Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/859

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MONEY AND CREDIT

503

Money and Credit.

Eciuulor having no mint, the coin of the couutiy is minted in England, the United States, and Peru. The silver coinage in the last three years was as follows : —

Sucres

1895

At Birmingham, in sucres ....

102,073

>>

At Philadelphia, in 20-cent. pieces

900,000

1896

At Lima, in sucres

148,020

j>

,, in 20-cent. pieces

21,778

>j

At Philadelphia, in 20-cent. pieces

100,000

1897

At Lima, in sucres .....

583,687

M

,, in 5-cent. pieces ....

40,000

.

Total in three years ....

1,895,558

The amount of silver coin in circulation is estimated at about 3,000,000 sucres or 300,000/., of which about two-thirds are in the hands of the two hanks at Guayaquil.

There are two banks authorised to issue notes for circulation, viz., the Banco del Ecuador, capital 2,000,000 sucres, and the Banco Comercial y Agricola capital 500,000 sucres. The authorised issue of notes depends on the stock of silver in the vaults of the bank, and the banks are bound by law to hold one-third of the value of their circulation in coin, silver or gold. In 1897 the notes of the Bank of Ecuador in circulation amounted to 1,847,632 sucres, and the silver reserve to 1,855,371 sucres; the notes of the Banco Comercial y Agricola amounted to 2,656,269 sucres, and silver reserve to 1,659,288 sucres. By the banking law of 1897 the banks are required to hold at least half their metallic reserve in gold {11. =10 sucres) ; the Bank of Ecuador has therefore imported about 30,000/., and the Commercial and Agricultural Bank a much larger sum, probably about 70,000/. in gold. The banks present a monthly statement of balances of silver in deposit and notes in circulation.

Other banks are the Banco Hipotecario with a capital of 2,000,000 sucre.s, and the Banco Territorial.

Money, Weights and Measures.

The unit of the monetary system is the silver suc7'e of 100 cents, weighing 25 grammes, '900 tine. The sucre is so called from the likeness of Marshal Sucre (a former President) imprinted on the coin. Other silver coins are 50, 20, 10, 5-cent pieces. There are nickel 5, 1 and i-cent. i»ieces, and 2 and 1 cent bronze coins. There is no gold in circulation, but a monetary commission appointed by the Government has reported in favour of a gold standard.

By a law of December 6, 1856, the French metrical system of weights and measures was made the legal standard of the Rei)u))lic ; l)ut is not adopted liy coninit'ifc.