Building Timor-Leste

Back to all blogs

$100 bills pour from Dili ATMs?

Three days ago a colleague tweeted “Interesting travel fact. Bank machines in Qatar dispense $100 bills. Only.”

He was in oil rich Qatar.

Well something very odd happened last night which reminded me of that factoid from the Gulf. ┬áI went to Tiger Fuel to get $400 to pay a bunch of bills – and all that popped out of the ANZ machine were Benjamin Franklins!

New $100 bills pour out of Dili ATMs

Usually in this country, long tagged as the poorest in Asia money looked like this:

The usual fare in the markets.

But now things are somewhat different.  Readers may make up their own minds why.

Tags ,


  1. Malaebulak says:

    I noticed this also. At first I thought it was only when you took out a large amount and you would get a few hundreds and also some 20s and 10s. But after talking to people, I’ve even heard that sometimes if you take out $100 it will just give you one $100 bill. Not exactly useful in a country where people even struggle to break a 10 in many places. Especially for tourists, this can be a bit of a blow if they are taking cash out to take to the districts. And as we all know, queueing in one of the banks for 2 hours is such a nice way to spend your time.

    Another annoying thing that changed a while back without mention is that Timor Telecom stopped printing the 100 at the front of the number you need to dial when you buy a pulsa stick. It mentions nowhere on the stick that you need to add 100 to the front of the number for the recharge to be successful. It used to be there, then one day new ones started to appear without it printed.

    Malae bulak

  2. Malaebulak says:

    Another issue with all these hundred dollar notes is that EDTL (The Timorese Electric Company) will only accept $100 bills printed in 2006 or later. Is every $100 coming out of the cash machine a new one? Some shops also only take the latest notes, they are probably emulating the policy of government institutions.

Leave a Comment

Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Youtube button