BGN (Bulgarian Lev)

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DEFINITION of 'BGN (Bulgarian Lev)'

The currency abbreviation or currency symbol for the Bulgarian lev (BGN). The Bulgarian lev is made up of 100 stotinki. The Bulgarian name comes from the archaic Bulgarian word "lev", which can be translated to mean "lion". BGN is expected to be replaced by the euro in 2012.

Also known as the "Bulgarian leva".

BREAKING DOWN 'BGN (Bulgarian Lev)'

The Bulgarian lev was first introduced in 1881 with a value equivalent to 1 French franc. Since then, the lev has been replaced three times. The first replacement came shortly after WWII finished, due to rampant wartime inflation. In 1952, the second lev replaced the original at a rate of 100 to 1. This new lev was pegged to the U.S. dollar at a rate of 6.8 lev to 1 U.S. dollar. This fell in 1957 to 9.52 lev. The lev was replaced again in 1962 at a rate of 10 to 1, setting the new U.S. dollar exchange rate at 1.17 lev to 1 U.S. dollar. Because the currency was not freely convertible to non-communist countries' currencies, the actual exchange rate (black market) was much higher.

After the fall of communism, the lev was pegged with the Deutsche mark (DEM) at a rate of 1,000 lev to 1 mark in order to stem inflation and currency devaluation. A third and final redenomination took place in 1999, with the current lev replacing the last at a rate of 1,000 to 1, making it equivalent to 1 mark. With the replacement of the Deutsche mark with the euro, lev's peg has effectively been set at 1.95583 lev = 1 euro, the Deutsche mark's fixed exchange rate with the euro.

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