Malagasy Ariary - MGA


The Malagasy Ariary is the official currency of Madagascar. The Ariary is one of only two circulating currencies in the world whose division units are not based on a power of ten. The names Ariary is derived from the pre-colonial currency, which is a silver dollar. 1 Malagasy Franc = 0.2 Ariary.


  • A socialist economy in the past, since the mid-90s Madagascar has been following the policies of liberalization and privatization of the IMF and the World Bank. The county’s economy has been steadily improving from its previously low level.
  • The main economic bases for growth and development are agriculture, forestry, and fishing, which account for more than 25% of the GDP and 80% of the overall population.
  • Madagascar’s export of apparels has increased in the recent years, due to its current duty-free access to the United States.


  • The Ariary was introduced in 1961, replacing the Malagasy Franc at 1 Ariary = 5 Francs.
  • Since 1961, coins and banknotes have been issued in both Francs and Ariary.
  • At first, the Franc currency was more popular, but by 1978 the Ariary currency was more valued.
  • In 1993, the Ariary became still more popular when new 500 and 5,000 Ariary banknotes were released, together with 2,500 and 25,000 Franc banknotes.
  • Both Ariary and Franc banknotes were released on July 31, 2003 in prominent denominations. However, fewer Franc banknotes were printed. Lower denominations of Ariary coins were also issued in the same year.
  • On January 1, 2005, the Ariary replaced the Franc as the official currency of Madagascar.

General Information

Symbols and Names

  • Symbols: Ar
  • Nicknames: none

ISO 4217 Code


Currency Subunits

  • Iraimbilanja = 1/5 of a Ariary


  • Bills: Ar100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000
  • Coins: 1, 2 iraimbilanja. Ar1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 20, 50

Countries Using This Currency

  • Madagascar

Currencies Pegged To MGA :


MGA Is Pegged To: