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Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ “Reduction of air pollution in the capital city comes down to the reduction of smoke produced by ger areas,” said academician D.Regdel, President of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences on January 3.
He made a report on the follow-up actions of a Prime Ministerial ordinance issued on January 6, 2017. Former Prime Minister J.Erdenebat had formed a working group of scientists and tasked them to find solutions to reduce air pollution.
The academician pointed out that ger areas contribute 80 percent of smog in the capital city whereas vehicles generate 12-13 percent of smog and chimneys of steam boilers about 7-8 percent. The working group consisted of three sub-groups working in three directions – energy, heat supply solution and reduction of vehicle smoke.
“It is necessary to provide cost-effective warm pads to 200 thousand households in order to reduce heat loss, build a factory of thermal accumulators which maintain and reserve heat at minus 20-24 degrees Celsius, and expand the electricity distribution network,” he said.
It has been calculated that MNT 55.8 billion will be required to build a new electricity distribution network in the capital city and MNT 24 billion to expand the current network.
The scientists also suggested some additional measures such as converting public transport diesel buses to gas and imposing vehicle taxes proportional to the amount of harmful pollutants emitted.
“Overall, there is a possibility to reduce air pollution if we take decisive measures, adapt a comprehensive plan, and ensure accountability in the implementation,” the academician concluded in his report delivered at the second meeting of a parliamentary working group on air pollution reduction.
Formed on December 28 pursuant to an ordinance of Parliament Speaker M.Enkhbold, the working group is designed to draft bills and recommendations during necessary inspection of the implementation of resolutions and decisions on air pollution reduction issued by the Parliament, Parliamentary Standing Committees and Sub-Committees, and supervise the Cabinet regarding the same. The working group met for the first time on December 28.
During the January 3 meeting, working group leader, MP Yo.Baatarbileg had pointed out that the second meeting of the working group aimed to discuss the view and recommendations of scientists on air pollution.
After the discussion of the report, the working group members agreed to work in ger areas to obtain first-hand information on the situation of households in ger areas, and familiarize with anti-air pollution operations run by government and non-government organizations and entities. On January 4-12, three sub-groups led by MPs S.Byambatsogt, L.Oyun-Erdene and L.Eldev-Ochir will work in districts.
The working group also agreed to hold a joint meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committees on Environment, Food and Agriculture and Social Policy, Education, Culture and Science to discuss the establishment of a sub-working group and drafting of air pollution bills.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sport, the National Committee on Environmental Pollution Reduction, Mayor’s Office and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences....
PERTH-based Tian Poh Resources has inked a deal to create a special-purpose vehicle with a major Chinese group to advance its coal to gas project in Mongolia.
Tian Poh signed a memorandum of understanding with Shenzhen Stock Exchange ChiNext-listed Shenwu Environmental Technology, formerly known as Tianli Environmental Engineering, for "strategic co-operation" to advance the project sourcing coal from the Perth company's Nuurst coal deposit.
Phase 1 of the project targets gas production by 2020 to supply both the Mongolian and Chinese markets, with the special-purpose vehicle - 81% owned by Tian Poh and the rest by Shenqu - to own the plant and associated infrastructure.
Shenwu will provide the engineering, procurement and construction services, and discussions are now underway to finalise the contractual terms of the arrangement.
Both Tian Poh and Shenwa are exploring the potential to obtain Chinese government funding to help develop the project.
It's all part of Tian Poh's plans to develop a 3.9 billion cubic metres of annual capacity plant at Nuurst by using the 478.3 million tonnes of JORC resource coal that Modun Resources has 120km east of Ulaanbaatar where a number of other coal mines are operating.
Nuurst is also 6km from a rail line allowing direct access onto the existing Trans-Mongolian Railway line, with a 35kV power line about 5km southwest of the project area and a 220kV one to the east.
The Nuurst project is consistent with China's famed One Belt, One Road plan announced in 2013, otherwise known as the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to reconfigure global trading by placing Chinese investments like railways and power grids in at least 69 countries that mirror the ancient Silk Road.
That initiative aims to cover not only parts of Asia but the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
Tian Poh closed at 5.9c yesterday on the ASX.
(Bloomberg) — Europe’s set to be stuck with a higher oil bill as Russia shifts more of its supply to the Chinese oil market.
As the world’s second-biggest economy buys more, crude shipments from Primorsk port in the Baltic region will be cut, according to industry consultant FGE. The reduction will push up the price of varieties available for sale to Europe. Russia is already the biggest supplier to the China, and will probably boost exports to the country by 200,000 barrels a day in 2018 from a year earlier, FGE said.
After a glut sparked the biggest price crash in a generation and starved Russia of oil revenues, the nation sought to boost market share in the world’s top importer. It’s now supplanted Saudi Arabia as the top exporter to China, even as the two producers lead efforts to shrink the global oversupply by curbing output. A pipeline that transports crude from the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean system has helped its mission to increase volumes.
“Russia is starting in effect immediately to shift crude exports away from Europe to China,” FGE said in a Dec. 29 note. “While we see overall crude exports from Russia flat year-over-year in 2018, this is bullish news for the Urals price due to its lower availability, in particular from the port of Primorsk.”
This increase in China-bound deliveries is expected to cut exports from Primorsk in January and February, and reduce pipeline flows to Eastern Europe in March, according to FGE. Shipments of the Urals grade from the port in January will likely fall by 160,000 barrels per day, compared with a year ago, while supplies from Novorossiysk in the Black Sea could remain largely flat, with some possible upside, according to the note.
The diversions have made Urals prices stronger at the end of December, compared with a month before, according to FGE. The grade turned about 60 cents a barrel costlier relative to London’s Brent crude, the benchmark for sales of the variety, the industry consultant said.
China imports the bulk of Russian oil via inland pipes and seaborne shipments from the eastern ports of Kozmino, De-Kastri and Prigorodnoye. A second conduit between the two countries began operations on New Year’s Day, doubling China’s ESPO crude import capacity to 30 million tons annually, or about 600,000 barrels a day. The two lines run parallel to each other between Mohe at the border and Daqing in northeast Heilongjiang Province.
The Asian nation has also sought to expand its energy relationship with Russia. CEFC China Energy Co., a firm that’s grown from a small local trader to a global deal-making juggernaut, in November sold its first cargo of Russian crude after buying a $9 billion stake in Rosneft Oil Co. last year. The Russian energy giant will supply the Shanghai-based company with as much as 60.8 million tons, including the Urals, ESPO and Sokol grades, over five years.
Russia supplied 5.12 million tons of crude to China in November, official customs data show, the equivalent of about 1.3 million barrels per day. It also aims to start natural gas sales via the Power of Siberia pipeline by December 2019....
Minister of Road and Transport Development Mr J.Bat-Erdene worked in Khushig Valley, Tuv province on January 2, overseeing the progress of the construction of the New Ulaanbaatar International Airport and a highway leading to it.
The 32.2 km highway, connecting Ulaanbaatar with the new airport, is 31 meters wide and 60 cm thick with two lanes. The construction work is expected to be completed by October this year.
The New Ulaanbaatar International Airport is a complex facility, and all main components have been built except for some additional works including the construction of a hangar and a garage for the vehicles of passengers and airport staff. A city with 100 thousand residents is planned to be built near the airport.
Minister J.Bat-Erdene informed that the new airport is likely to undergo joint management and launch full operations in 2019. “We are looking at a 32-year concession agreement and a joint management in order to repay the USD 500 million soft loan and run the airport efficiently” he said.
The US has blocked the $1.2bn (£880m) sale of money transfer firm Moneygram to China's Ant Financial, the digital payments arm of Alibaba.
It is the highest profile Chinese deal to be rejected by Washington since Donald Trump came to power.
Regulators overseeing foreign investments in the US had refused to support the takeover, the firms said.
The geopolitical environment had "changed considerably" since the merger was announced last year, they added.
The collapse is a blow to the ambitions of Alibaba's billionaire executive chairman Jack Ma, who had promised President Trump that he would create a million US jobs.
Alibaba, which owns Ant Financial together with Alibaba executives, saw the US market as a way to expand overseas in the face of fierce domestic competition form the likes of Tencent's WeChat.
But in a joint statement on Tuesday, Ant Financial and Moneygram said they had abandoned the deal "following the inability of the companies to obtain the required approval for the transaction from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, despite extensive efforts to address the Committee's concerns,"
Reports suggest the committee had cited security concerns over the takeover.
Moneygram chief executive Alex Holmes said he was "disappointed" by the outcome and noted the "geopolitical environment has changed considerably" in the year since the deal was announced.
The US has been toughening its stance on business dealings with China.
The country launched a formal review of China's intellectual property practices in October last year. US politicians and military leaders have also urged the administration to take a closer look at Chinese investments in America, particularly in the technology industry.
In September, the US blocked the $1.3bn sale of US Lattice Semiconductor to Chinese-backed Canyon Bridge Capital Partners, citing concerns over the "potential transfer" of intellectual property from Lattice, which makes advanced computer chips.
Other deals that have been frustrated by US objections include China Oceanwide Holdings Group's $2.7bn purchase of US life insurer Genworth Financial, and Chinese buyout firm Orient Hontai Capital's $1.4bn acquisition of US mobile marketing firm AppLovin.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Experts from the Support Unit of the Washington-based Open Government Partnership (OGP) will arrive in Mongolia in March this year.
It was agreed during the Asia Pacific Leaders Forum on Open Government (APLF2017), organized by the Open Government Partnership and hosted by the Government of Indonesia on December 14.
Representatives from government and non-government organizations led by D.Daajamba, Deputy Head of the Cabinet Secretariat attended the Forum. The Deputy Head of Cabinet Secretariat participated in a Ministerial round-table meeting in conjunction with the Forum and delivered a speech touching on Mongolia’s anti-corruption actions, the National Anti-Corruption Program, measures taken to ensure transparency in the extractives sector and experiences and achievements.
The Mongolian delegation also held bilateral meetings with the Support Unit and the Steering Committee of the OGP, during which sides exchanged views on Mongolia’s efforts towards open governance and possibilities of bilateral cooperation aimed at overcoming the existing challenges.
On Tuesday, the Bank of Mongolia, which is the country’s central bank, reported that as of December 27th, 2017, Mongolia's foreign exchange reserves reached three billion U.S. dollars, which has increased three times in the past twelve months.
This growth has been attributed to the implementation of the first two phases of the IMF's Extended Fund Facility program in Mongolia, which show a significant increase in gold purchases by the Bank of Mongolia. The bank’s gold reserves of 20 tonnes increased by 9% from the same time in 2016. Also, Mongolia has successfully launched ‘Khuraldai’ and ‘Gerege’ bonds as well as receiving the first package of USD 700 million under the IMF aid programme.
This year, about 80 thousand apartments' construction will be concluded. However, due to IMF recommendation to decrease mortgage loan support from the state budget, construction companies are facing severe difficulties in apartment sales.
Since mid-2017, banks have been approving mortgage agreements only if the mortgager chooses from certain apartments, which the construction company has a loan from the bank.
On December 28th, President Kh.Battulga met with journalists and answered their questions.
During this meeting, the President noted the urgent need of providing civil servants with new apartments. According to this offer, civil servants, such as doctors, nurses, teachers, and police officers who have a fixed salary and live in the ger area will have to move to new apartments. The President considers this plan to be helpful to solve air and soil pollution and decrease the coal usage in Ulaanbaatar. He also mentioned that the Cabinet allowed his comment and gave positive feedbacks.
The Prime Minister will inform about the new housing program during the plenary session of the Parliament on Thursday.
The price of copper ended 2017 near a four-year high of $3.30 a pound ($7,260 per tonne) extending the bull run in the red metal for a second year. Measured from its multi-year lows struck at the beginning of 2016, copper has gained more than 70% in value.
What happened in 2017
The run started on hopes (since dashed) of massive infrastructure investment in the US following the presidential election, but strikes in Q1, which at one point saw nearly a tenth of global production go offline, really set the tone for the year.
By mid-year the rally was flagging, but talk of a Chinese ban on scrap imports saw the price take off again. The year-end surge may have been mostly due to dollar weakness but the buoyant mood evident throughout the year (not least among speculators on futures markets) was underpinned by prospects of a demand spike in coming years on the back of an electric vehicle boom.
How things could change in 2018 (and beyond)
2017 is likely to have been the first year in 12 to see a decline in global mine production, but growth should return this year as world number two producer Peru adds some 300,000 in new production, mines like Norilsk's Bystrinsky mine in Russia ramp up output, Glencore restarts its Zambian operations and greenfield commissioning such as First Quantum's Cobre Panama mine begins to factor into supply projections.
But as happened last year labour action is likely to crimp any projected output growth. Wage negotiations could trigger disruptions at mines producing about 40% of global supply according to Barclays. INTL FCStone is penciling in a 1.26m tonne or 6% disruption allowance and most analysts see widening – if smallish – deficits.
Factories around the world are buzzing – the JP Morgan composite PMI index is at its highest since February 2011 – and concerted global economic growth could hit 4% this year
Warehouse and exchange inventories are under control – Comex is up sharply, but Shanghai is down despite winter refinery shutdowns and at 200,000 tonnes, LME is nowhere near peaks seen during copper's bear years
China’s pollution clampdown and shake-up of state-owned industry open up gaps for producers elsewhere – refined imports have held up surprisingly well and concentrate shipments are at record highs hitting 1.8m tonnes in November
The switch to electric vehicles, the build out of EV infrastructure (Beijing’s promised 4.8m charge points by 2020) and green energy investment lives up to the hype
Long-standing industry issues are not going away: Declining grades, rising costs, dirty concentrates, water and other environmental concerns, stricter regulations, community opposition, agonizingly slow project permitting processes and exploration activity still in the doldrums
On the downside:
Cooler heads prevail and Chile’s biggest ever year of copper mine wage negotiations concludes without major disruptions
The Chinese construction market correction turns into full-blown slump, transport slows and the scrapping of subsidies puts the brakes on EV sales – the biggest sources of demand for the metal in a country that consumes nearly half the global total
Higher prices encourage Chinese miners to ramp up output, domestic secondary supply rises and the purported ban on scrap imports never materialize
Copper from large scale expansions – Oyu Tolgoi and Grasberg going underground spring to mind – and greenfield projects like Udokan, Wafi-Golpu and Quellaveco – reach the market before new wave of demand from EVs does.
The Parliament adopted nine independent and 20 revised laws in 2017. The revised personal income tax law still faces criticism and opposition from the society, especially the high-income population.
The revised personal income tax, which was approved on April 14th, 2017 has become effective from January 1st, 2018.
According to the amendments, the graduated personal income tax will be as follows:
10 percent (the same) for individuals with monthly income of 1.5 million tugriks or lower
15 percent for individuals with monthly income of 1.5-2.5 million tugriks
20 percent for individuals with monthly income of 2.5-3.5 million tugriks
25 percent for individuals with monthly income of 3.5 million tugriks and higher
However, individuals with incomes higher than 1.5 million tugriks will be subject to different tax regimes. For example, a mining worker with a monthly salary of 2.5 million tugriks will pay 10 percent Personal income tax on the 1.5 million of his salary, and 15 percent on the rest of his salary up to 2.5 million. In other words, a mining worker with a salary of 2.5 million tugriks will not pay 20 percent of his whole salary.
There are non-resident taxpayers in Mongolia. Foreigners, who live in Mongolia temporarily, used to pay 10 percent Personal income tax. Starting from January 1st, non-residents will pay 20 percent tax.
According to National Statistics Office, the average monthly wage in Mongolia stands at 398 USD (966,000 tugriks) as of August 2017. On the other hand, individuals to pay 25 percent personal income tax account to 1.6 percent of total employed people in Mongolia.
As a result of the revised tax law, the budget revenue is projected to increase by 27 million USD annually.