Memos from Asia

Top 4 Asian Currencies More Expensive Than the U.S. Dollar

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The value of an official currency and exchange rates are among the most important factors that influence the economy of the country. Strong currency causes a decrease in inflation rates, low funding costs for government and improves the sense of wealth among citizens. (Daily Fx)

What do you think, which currency in the world can be more expensive than US dollars? Great Britain Pounds, Euro or maybe Swiss Franks? Yes, you are right, these are more valuable currencies than USD.

However, none of these currencies belongs to Asian countries. There 4 other Asian currencies which are more valuable than all of them.

To know the interesting facts and information about them, read the article until the end. The list of exchange rates was compiled from websites such as OANDA and XE as of 3rd September 2020.

4. Jordan Dinar

Currency Code: JOD
Exchange rates: 1 JOD= 1.410 USD
Minor units: Dirham, Qirsh, Piastre and Fils.

The Jordan dinar is the 4th most expensive currency in the world. It is the official currency in Jordan or the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The country is small and not full of natural resources compared to other Arab countries.

However, the Jordan Dinar is 41% more expensive than USD, 19% than Euro and 6% more valuable than British Pound.

Palestinian pound was used in Jordan instead of dinar until 1949. (OANDA,

The Jordan Dinar is not an international currency and mainly used inside the state.

The high exchange rate of JOD is not due to the strong economy or significant scale of exports. The reason is that Jordan Dinar has been pegged to US Dollars for 20 years.

The strong currency of Jordan does not always benefit the country. It discourages exports and hurts incoming tourism. (Jordan Times).

3. Omani Rial

Currency Code: OMR
Exchange Rate: 1 OMR= 2.6 USD
Minor unit: Baisa

Oman or officially as the Sultanate of Oman is an agricultural country located on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. The country’s economic health is highly dependent on oil prices, which represent about two-fifth of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and roughly three-fourth income of the government. (Britannica)

There are several reasons why the OMR is so expensive. Firstly, OMR was divided into 1000 units, not 100 like in many countries. Also, it holds a substantial amount of US dollar reserves.

Another reason can be the valuation of oil prices in USD, which means Oman receives revenue in USD. Hence, The Omani rial is stable and has been worth 2.6 US dollars since 1986. (Money Inc)

2. Bahraini Dinar

Currency Code: BHD
Exchange rate: 1 BHD= 2.66 USD
Minor unit: Fils

Bahrain is another Arab country, which has a free trade agreement with the United States. It is the fastest-growing economy among Arab countries and is 10th freest economy in the globe.

The conversion rate of 1 Bahrain Dinar is 2 British Pounds or roughly equal to 2.24 Euro. (XE)

The currency is ranked as the second most expensive in the world. However, it is not significantly related to the economic health or international trade of Bahrain. The currency has a fixed rate and it is pegged at 1 USD to 0.38 BHD. (Money Inc,

1. Kuwait Dinar

Currency code: KWD
Exchange rate: 1 KWD= 3.27 USD
Minor unit: Fils

For those who do not know much about Kuwait, it is another Arab country with 135 USD Billion GDP. Government debt accounts for 14.8% of GDP, while the unemployment rate is 2.17%. (Trading economics,

The Kuwait Dinar costs 227% higher than USD, 176% than Euro and 146% more expensive than British Pounds.

Kuwait is a large oil exporter country and the strength of its currency depend on the oil market. The country is wealthy, but 80% of the revenue received from the oil industry. The economy of the country is stable and the currency was pegged to a weighted currency basket in 2007. (FXSSI,

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