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ULAANBAATAR -- The Mongolian government has revived plans shelved several years ago for an international stock offering of the company that controls one of the world's largest coal mines, buoyed by recovering commodity prices.
The government's plan to list 30% of Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi through a combined domestic and overseas offering is now under debate in parliament and may be approved on Friday. The domestic listing is scheduled for September.
The government has yet to decide on a venue for the overseas listing or to detail how the offering will be split between the domestic and offshore markets. It is understood that Hong Kong, New York and London are under consideration.
Tavan Tolgoi, in the south of Mongolia about 240km from the Chinese border, holds estimated reserves of 7.5 billion tons of coking coal. Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi generated a profit last year of 461 billion tugrik ($187.7 million) on revenue of 1.2 trillion tugrik. It posted a profit of 80 billion tugrik in 2016. Most of its output is exported to China.
The company has been on a bumpy ride to market, amid volatility in commodity markets and Mongolian politics as well as unrealized corporate alliances. Shares in the company were distributed for free to the public in 2012 ahead of a planned $3 billion stock market listing; the country's economy then one of the fastest growing in the world.
As coal prices declined, Erdenes came into conflict with Aluminum Corp. of China, which had provided $350 million in financing in exchanging for a pledged supply of coal.
Resurgent demands for retaining domestic control of Mongolia's natural resources have been another obstacle in Erdenes' development. Parliament in 2015 blocked a $4 billion deal for a consortium led by China Shenhua Energy and Japan's Sumitomo Corp. to take over management of Tavan Tolgoi.
The Mongolian public has yet to receive any dividends on their 15% holding in Erdenes shares, but company officials have promised that payouts will start later this year. Government officials however have recently backed away from plans to make the public's shares tradeable as part of the stock listing plan; they worry that many Mongolians will immediately dump the stock after years of waiting for the chance, depressing the share price.
"Enabling Tavan Tolgoi shares to become tradeable in the market is a great way to improve Erdenes' governance," said lawmaker Luvsantseren Enkh-Amgalan of the Mongolian People's Party on Wednesday. The party holds 65 of the 76 seats in parliament.
Deutsche Bank's US division has failed the second round of the Federal Reserve's annual two-stage stress tests, designed to assess how well the sector could withstand another financial crisis.
The German lender suffered from "widespread and critical deficiencies" in parts of its business, the Fed said.
Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were only granted "conditional" passes.
But 31 of the 35 banks tested were given the all-clear.
Stress tests were introduced in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and every year America's central bank, the Federal Reserve, puts the country's banks, including foreign subsidiaries operating in the country, through their paces.
The Fed measures whether banks are holding sufficient capital to cope with a recession and in the second part of the process it focuses on banks' "capital plans" such as how much cash they intend to return to shareholders. However this is the first year that the results of the US units of foreign banks have been publicly released.
All of the 35 largest banks subject to the tests passed the first part of the tests last week.
But the Fed found Deutsche Bank's US arm had "material weaknesses in the firm's data capabilities and controls supporting its capital planning process, as well as weaknesses in its approaches and assumptions used to forecast revenues and losses under stress".
The verdict is another blow for the troubled German lender whose financial health has been under the spotlight recently. And it will require the bank to make changes to the way it operates in the US.
US banks pass financial stress tests
Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were given passes, but will not be permitted to increase the amount they return to shareholders beyond levels inline with the last couple of years, in order to bolster their capital cushions.
The Fed said it was also granting a conditional pass to Boston-based State Street, which will be required to take additional steps to manage and analyse its exposure to losses.
Last year was the first time all banks passed the second round of the tests.
The second part of the tests is closely watched because it determines how much firms can return to shareholders in the form of items like share buybacks and dividends.
The Fed said it had granted the conditional pass to Goldman and Morgan Stanley because the companies' results had been skewed by tax changes passed last year.
The tax overhaul lowered the corporate rate from 35% to 21%, but led to larger-than-usual one-off tax bills for many banks, as a result of other changes to how losses and overseas profits are taxed.
"This one-time reduction does not reflect a firm's performance under stress and firms can expect higher post-tax earnings going forward," the Fed said.
Despite the restrictions, Goldman will still be permitted to spend up to $6.3bn on share buybacks and dividends this year.
Morgan Stanley said it planned to return $6.8bn to shareholders.
The decision is the latest blow for troubled Deutsche Bank. Last month the firm announced more than 7,000 job cuts and its credit rating was cut by Standard & Poor's. The bank reported an annual loss of €500m (£438m) at the end of February.
Deutsche said its US division had "made significant investments to improve its capital planning capabilities as well as controls and infrastructure."
"Deutsche Bank USA continues to make progress across a range of programmes and will continue to build on these efforts and to engage constructively with regulators to meet both internal and regulatory expectations," the bank said.
The bank will be required to improve its operations, risk management and governance as a result of the test-failure. It will not be able to make distributions to its German parent firm without the Fed's approval....
Cement giant LafargeHolcim says its French subsidiary is under formal investigation in France over claims it funded a terrorist group in Syria.
The subsidiary is also accused of complicity in crimes against humanity and endangering lives in Syria.
Last year, Lafarge admitted paying groups in the country in order to keep a factory operating in Northern Syria as violence mounted after 2011.
However, Lafarge says it will appeal against some of the charges.
Eight former managers of the company are also being formally investigated.
An internal investigation last year found evidence the factory provided funding to local armed groups in order to stay open.
The investigation concluded that those in charge of the Jalabiya plant had taken "unacceptable" measures in order to keep the plant open and protect employees.
Various armed factions "controlled or sought to control" the area, it said.
At the time, Syria was subject to EU sanctions imposed on President Bashar al-Assad's government, which lost control of large swathes of the country to various armed groups.
The plant closed in 2014 and a year later LafargeHolcim was formed.
The company is a global giant, employing 80,000 in around 80 countries.
LafargeHolcim chairman, Beat Hess, said in a statement: "We truly regret what has happened in the Syria subsidiary and after learning about it took immediate and firm actions.
"None of the individuals put under investigation is today with the company."
The former managers under investigation include LafargeHolcim's first chief executive, Eric Olsen. He has denied doing anything wrong.
The Washington Post published an article on 26 June over a Mongolian political conspiracy to sell government positions. Entitled “Mongolian democracy has a familiar ailment, and it's all about money', the article outlines one of the biggest political scandals to hit the country since Mongolia became a democracy in 1990. The article refers to the, so- called, '60 billion case', which has been publicised by Mongolian political commentator D.Jagalsaikhan on his Jargal Defacto site.
Earlier today, M.Enkhbold, Speaker of Parliament, addressing the house during the opening ceremony of parliament, denied the Washington Post’s allegation. M.Enkhbold said, the case had been investigated not only by Mongolia's Independent Authority against Corruption, but an investigation team including the General Intelligence Authority and the National Police Agency. The State General Prosecutor's Office dismissed the case. The Speaker said: 'I have worked as a leader of Mongolian People’s Party before and after 2016 parliamentary election. I did not take any money from anyone for promoting so-and-so to a position.’
Sh.Batkhuu, former director of the 'Just Group', was released on bail on Wednesday because of health problems and banned from leaving the country. According to one source, Sh.Batkhuu was receiving high doses of insulin shots daily, however, these were increasing the risks of kidney failure and brain damage.
Sh.Batkhuu has been detained for three months in the 461st detention centre where he has been under investigation by Mongolia’s anti-corruption agency in connection to his offering the Erdenet Mining Corporation up as collateral for 109 million USD loan obtained from the South African Standard Bank.
The case began to be heavily publicised after the London Court of International Arbitration ruled in favour of the South African Standard Bank
The volume of industrial production in Mongolia grew 23.3 per cent in the January-May period compared to the same period last year, amounting to $2.439 billion US dollars.
The Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry of Mongolia announced this at a press conference for local media on Thursday, reports Xinhua.
Sumiyabazar Dolgorsuren, minister of the mining and heavy industry, said that production of the main products of mining and extractive industries was up by 23.7 per cent, which is the main cause of the growth of industrial production.
In particular, coal production of the East Asian country increased by 48 per cent, and the volume of iron ore production went up 12.6 per cent against the corresponding period of 2017.
Currently, over 72.2 per cent of Mongolia's total industrial production is accounted for by mining industry products.
The minister said that the production volume of copper concentrate for this period increased by 3.0 per cent, and fluorite concentrate grew 39.5 per cent.
As for crude oil production, it fell by 9.0 per cent compared to the same period last year.
ULAN BATOR, June 28 (Xinhua) -- An annual multinational peacekeeping exercise, code-named Khaan Quest 2018, concluded with a closing ceremony at Five Hills Training Area near the Mongolian capital on Thursday.
"First of all, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all participating countries for sending their military servicemen to the multinational military exercise," Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaa Hurelsukh said at the closing ceremony of the military exercise.
"Peace and tranquility are the foundation of a nation's development. Therefore, Mongolia always welcomes any initiative to strengthen international and regional peace and security, and actively participates in the UN (United Nations) peacekeeping operations," he said.
A total of 1,400 military personnel from 26 countries, including Mongolia, the United States, China, Russia, Germany, Bhutan and Qatar have participated in the two-week-long military exercise.
Bhutan and Qatar's military servicemen have for the first time participated in the exercise.
Khaan Quest 2018 consisted of a command post exercise and a field training exercise focusing on peacekeeping and stability operations. Individual events include checkpoint control, combat casualty care, water patrolling and civilian protection.
Within the framework of Khaan Quest 2018, the participants provided medical treatment to more than 1,000 citizens.
In addition, cultural and sports events were held during the exercise, with the aim of promoting the traditions and customs of all participating countries.
The peacekeeping exercise was launched in 2003 by the Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF) in cooperation with the then U.S. Pacific Command and a United Nations peace support fund. It expanded to a multinational drill in 2006.
Apple and Samsung just ended their epic seven-year legal patent infringement fight.
The two companies agreed to a settlement in the case, according to court documents filed Wednesday, but did not disclose the terms.
The settlement closes a dispute that started in 2011 when Apple accused Samsung (SSNLF) of "slavishly" copying the iPhone's design and software features. A jury awarded Apple (AAPL) $539 million in May, leaving Samsung with an outstanding balance of $140 million it owed Apple. It was not clear Wednesday how much more, if anything, Apple will receive.
Litigating the case cost the two world's two largest smartphone makers hundreds of millions of dollars and resulted in several rulings and appeals. In 2012, a jury ruled that Samsung must pay Apple more than $1 billion for copying various hardware and software features of the iPhone and iPad. A federal judge later reduced that penalty by $450 million.
Their fight eventually landed in the Supreme Court, which in 2016 reversed an appeals court ruling that Samsung must pay $399 million for patent infringement. Justices sent the case back to the lower court to sort out the financial penalty.
A representative for Apple declined to comment beyond referring CNNMoney to a statement the company released last month following the jury award.
"This case has always been about more than money," the company said at the time. "Apple ignited the smartphone revolution with iPhone and it is a fact that Samsung blatantly copied our design. It is important that we continue to protect the hard work and innovation of so many people at Apple."
Samsung declined to comment.
Ultimately, jurors found Samsung had infringed on the majority of the patents in question -- including software features like double-tap zooming and scrolling. Many devices also infringed on hardware style or icon setup. Although "Apple won most of the battles," Samsung found way to "design around" the patents Apple claimed it copied, said Michael Risch, a patent law professor at Villanova University.
"One lesson is consumers will drive tech more than patents. Samsung went where it thought consumers wanted ... and Apple stayed with its distinctive smaller shape for a much longer period than Samsung," Risch said. "Sometimes patent can drive innovation in ways we may not have expected."
CNNMoney (New York)
First published June 27, 2018: 4:55 PM ET
Prosecutors in South Korea are questioning the head of Korean Air's parent conglomerate on suspicion of tax evasion.
Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho appeared at a prosecutors' office in Seoul on Thursday morning.
He told reporters outside the building that he will face the investigation in good faith.
South Korean media report Cho and his sister allegedly evaded about 50 billion won, or more than 44 million dollars, in taxes on their inheritance of their father's overseas assets.
The Cho family has made scandalous headlines in recent years.
Cho's eldest daughter was criticized in 2014 for ordering her flight back to the gate before takeoff because she was unhappy with the way her nuts were served. The episode is known the "nut rage" incident.
His younger daughter was questioned by police on suspicion of assault after she reportedly lost her temper during a meeting and threw a drink in the participants' faces.
Both daughters later stepped down from their executive posts at Korean Air.
Cho's wife was also questioned by police last month on suspicion of assault for reportedly shoving workers at a construction site
The Cabinet has approved a project entitled the ‘Songino-Gobi’ to provide people living in the Gobi region with purified technical and industrial water. Each day, 200 thousand meter cubic of water from the Wastewater Treatment Plant will be purified to the required standards.
The project is aimed at preventing shortage in the region's groundwater resources, saving water resources, and re-using greywater for industrial purposes.
One immediate industrial application is coal washing at the Tavan Tolgoi mining complex, prior to it being exported to China. By washing the coal it is possible to make a profit of up to USD 60 per tonne.
As a preliminary estimation, through washing and exporting coal from Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit, it is possible to make a profit of up to USD 50-60 per tonne. Subsequently, it is estimated that over USD 2 billion revenue a year can be generated....