lowest currencies in Asia

10 Weakest Currencies in Asia

Last updated on September 22nd, 2022 at 10:56 am


The Asian economy is promising. It houses countries like China, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore that are now destinations for multinationals.

Yet, some countries in the continent find it difficult to keep up with the pace of economic development thereby making their currencies one of the lowest currencies on the Asian continent.

The continent also houses some troubled economies due to internal crises coupled with sanctions by the United States and European countries.


After compiling the list of the most powerful Asian currencies, here are the poorest currencies in Asia

Iranian rial 

While Kuwaiti Dinar is the strongest currency in Asia and in the world, the reverse is the case for Iranian rial. It is the worst-performing currency in Asia and in the world.

At the time of publication, 1USD is worth 42,105IRR. Despite its large deposit of oil, sanctions from the U.S. has not helped the Iranian economy and has badly hit its currency

Vietnamese dong

Despite Vietnam’s natural resources like coal, copper, Silver, offshore oil and gas deposits and hydropower among others, Vietnam’s economy has shown no sign of improvement.

One USD is worth 22,850VND

Indonesian rupiah

Introduced in 1946, the Indonesian currency is poor among its competitors in the foreign exchange market, no thanks to high inflation that has rendered the rupiah almost valueless.

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Just one United States Dollar would buy 14,402.75 rupiahs at the exchange market.

Lao kip

Called the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the country is among the countries that have the highest denominations. Lao’s denomination include 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, and 100,000 kip banknotes, which was issued on November 15, 2010.

1USD is worth 11,605.02kip

Uzbekistani soʻm

Until November 15, 1993, the ruble was the legal tender of Uzbekistan. It was replaced with soʻm.

On March 7, 2022, 1USD would buy 10,952.59 so’m, making Uzbekistani currency the fifth-worst currency in Asia. 

Mongolian Tugrik

In 2010, Mongolian Tugrik witnessed a major turnaround as its external value rose by 15 per cent, especially against the US dollar.

It would not last as the country’s economy experienced tumbling by 24 per cent, due to a fall in mining revenue while foreign direct investment (FDI) was not impressive.

1USD is worth 2,875.49 Tugrik.

Syrian Pound or lira

One would have expected Syria to be one of the best economies in Asia due to its resources in agricultural products and oil reserves, but the civil war that started in 2011 has stagnated the country’s economy.

The civil war has subjected Syria to the barrage of sanctions from the USA and Europe thereby isolating the country on global trade.

Despite Syria’s effort to find solutions by using foreign transactions through Lebanese banks, it’s yet to bounce back on the right economic path.

The sanctions make the Syrian pound the 7th weakest currency in Asia, 1USD is worth 2,512.53 on March 7, 2022.

Myanmar kyat 

Myanmar is a former British colony. It introduced its currency Kyat in1952. Myanmar isn’t just one of the poorest countries in the world, it’s currency is one of the poorest currencies in the Asian continent.

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1USD is worth 1,800 kyat.

Lebanese pound

While Syria was using Lebanon to escape economic sanctions from the U.S. and Europe, the Lebanese pound isn’t doing well in the forex market.

Economic instability has led to the devaluation of the Lebanese pound. One USD would buy 1,530.76LBP

Iraqi dinar

In Asia, Iraq is one of the most difficult terrains due to internal conflicts. Some of the crises birthed economic turmoil, making the Iraqi dinar 10th weakest among Asian currencies

1USD is 1,477.45 IQD

The Iraqi dinar has also faced a series of devaluations which scared foreign investment into the country.

Why is the Iranian currency weak?

Despite its large deposits of oil, the Iranian currency is low as a result of sanctions coupled with the poor economic policies of its leaders.

Iran has the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves and its major revenue comes from oil, any sanction on the world market affects its economy and currency.

Is Mongolia’s currency low?

Mongolian Tugrik is among the top 10 lowest currencies in Asia despite its richness in natural resources. It has a mineral boom which its leader should have harnessed and better the country’s economy.

But almost half of the people in Mongolia are livestock farmers. At least two out of every five people are herders.

Is the rupee the worst currency in Asia?

One USD is 77.12 rupees in India, as such, the Indian rupee is not the lowest currency in Asia in terms of external value against the USD. Iran’s currency is the poorest currency and not the Indian rupee.

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Although it has some economic challenges as an emerging market, one of such was the exit of foreign investor withdrawing their funds some years back.

What country has the weakest currency in Asia?

Iranian Rial is the most worthless currency in Asia when compared with the USD. At the time of publication, you’d get 42,105 Iranian rials with just $1, that’s not good for an economy with such a poor currency value.

Is North Korea currency among the weakest?

Using external value as a parameter, North Korea won is weak. $1 is 899.9, but it isn’t the weakest in Asia.

Despite N/Korea’s campaign for a nuclear weapon which earned the country economic sanctions from the West and Europe, NK won isn’t the lowest currency on the Asian continent.


PositionUSD to Local CurrencyValue
11USD to Iranian rial42,105IRR
21USD to Vietnamese dong22,850VND
31USD to Indonesian rupiah14,402.75 rupiah
41USD to Lao kip11,605.02kip
51USd to Uzbekistani soʻm10,952.59 so’m
61USD to Mongolian Tugrik2,875.49 Tugrik
71USD to Syrian Pound£S2,512.53
81USD to Myanmar kyat 1,800 kyat
91USd to Lebanese pound1,530.76LBP
101USD to Iraqi dinar1,477.45 IQD
Top 10 Lowest currencies in Asia


  • Featured image sources: dailysabah.com; banknoteworld.com; swedishnomad.com; thearabweekly.com
  • Seth Shobhit (August 19, 2021). “Is the Iraqi Dinar a Wise Investment?”. Investopedia.com. Retrieved March 7, 2022

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