What is the 'BAM (Bosnia-Herzegovina Convertible Mark)'

BAM (Bosnia-Herzegovina Convertible Mark) is the legal tender currency for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Bosnia-Herzegovina convertible mark circulates as banknotes denominated in maraka, derived from the word mark. There are also two types of coins for the convertible mark, the maraka, is used for higher denominations, and the fening or pfening for lower denominations. BAM circulates as coins in dominations of five, 10, 20 and 50 fenings/pfennigs and the one, two, and five-marks. The banknotes have denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200-mark notes.

BREAKING DOWN 'BAM (Bosnia-Herzegovina Convertible Mark)'

The Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina, established in 1995 issues and circulates the Bosnia-Herzegovina convertible mark (BAM). The creation of the central bank, as well as the convertible mark, came as part of the Dayton Agreement. The peace agreement's name honors the location used for peace negotiations, the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. The parties formally signed the deal in Paris, France in late 1995, bringing an end to the Bosnian War.

The BAM replaced the Bosnian dinar and Croatian Kuna to become the single currency for Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Initially, the BAM pegged to the German Deutschmark (D-Mark), the official currency of Germany until the adoption of the euro (EUR) in 2002. After 2002,  the currency uses a fixed-exchange-rate to the euro at 1:1.95583BAM.

The Deutschmark replaced the Reichsmark in 1948, following the end of the Second World War, and served as the currency of West Germany until reunification. Deutschmark coins and banknotes remained in circulation between 1999 and 2002, at which time they were removed, and ceased to be legal tender. Before it stopped distribution, the money of many European countries pegged to the Deutschmark, due to its stability.

The convertible mark (BAM) replaced the Bosnia and Herzegovina dinar (BAD) in 1998. It circulated in 10, 25, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 Dinara banknotes, with each Dinara, subdivided into 100 paras. The Central Bank of Bosnia-Herzegovina also issued the BAD and pegged it to the Deutschmark at a rate of 1:100.

Varied Economy Impacts the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mark

Bosnia and Herzegovina have an economy as varied as their history and culture. During the Bosnian War in the 1990s, damaged the economy, but the country has begun to rebound. The country has been paying down its national debt, but still has problems with unemployment. The region had a strong industry sector which saw a great deal of damage during the war and is slowly recovering. Foreign investment is primarily in manufacturing, banking, and telecommunications. The principal exports include car seats and electrical production

According to the 2017 World Bank data, Bosnia and Herzegovina have an annual gross domestic product growth of 3.0% with a yearly inflation deflator of 2.3-percent.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a candidate for euro membership.

Brief History of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina, located on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, was a portion of Yugoslavia until 1992 when it reached independence. The area is home to three specific ethnic groups, the Bosniaks, the Serbs, and the Croats. This mixture has led not only to a vibrant cultural existence but also to years of bitter conflict. Currently, the country has a three-member presidency with one member from each ethnic group. However, the central government holds little power over the regions, which are autonomous districts. 

This country is as diverse as are the groups that comprise its population. It was at one time a part of the Ottoman Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Yugoslavia Kingdom. The Nazi forces conquered and occupied the region during World War II and experienced the horrors of the extermination of the Jews, Serbs, Romanians, and Croats at several death camps in the country. 

At the end of the Second World War, the area became part of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia and the site of sizeable military defense industries. Daily existence was quietly prosperous until the beginning of the Bosnian War in 1992 as Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence. The country devolved into a civil war, replete with the horrors of ethnic cleansing, concentration camps, and crimes against innocent civilians. The Dayton Agreement, signed in 1995 brought an end to the fighting.

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