ETB

DEFINITION of 'ETB'

The currency for the Ethiopian birr, the official currency of Ethiopia. The currency was called the Abyssinian birr until 1931, when former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie purchased and restructured the former Bank of Abyssinia (which served the country at that time) to create the current National Bank of Ethiopia.

BREAKING DOWN 'ETB'

The current-day birr was re-established as the country's legal tender in 1945. As of 2009, the National Bank issues birr notes in 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 denominations and coins in 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50-cent denominations.

Other previously-used official currencies for the country include the Italian lira (Italy occupied the country in 1936) and the East African shilling.

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