1 FOREIGN RELATIONS OF MONGOLIA’S ROAD TRANSPORT SECTOR BROADENING WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      2 MONGOLIA EXPRESSES READINESS TO CONTRIBUTE TO STRENGTHENING ASIA-EUROPE COOPERATION WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      3 OYU TOLGOI FUNDED 35.1 KM ROAD OPENS IN KHANBOGD WWW.GOGO.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      4 POLYMER BITUMEN TO BE DOMESTICALLY PRODUCED WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      5 KHURELBAATAR CHIMED: 319 ENTITIES DREW LOANS FROM TWO FUNDS WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      6 CONSTRUCTION OF TAVANTOLGOI-GASHUUNSUKHAIT ROAD TO BE INTENSIFIED WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      7 OVER 30 MEASURES PLANNED FOR REDUCTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      8 MONGOLIA SAYS IT EARNS OVER 169 MLN USD FROM COAL EXPORTS TO CHINA IN JAN WWW.HELLENICSHIPPINGNEWS.COM  PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      9 RUSSIA’S GAZPROM TO START CHINA GAS PIPELINE BY DECEMBER 1 WWW.RT.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      10 MONGOLIA'S FOREIGN TRADE UP 41.6 PCT IN JAN. WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      УГСАРМАЛ ОРОН СУУЦНЫ ДУЛААЛГАД ЗОРИУЛЖ 12.7 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙГ УЛСЫН ТӨСВӨӨС ГАРГАХААР БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     2018ОНД ЦАГААН БУДАА , ЭЛСЭН ЧИХЭР , ТАХИАНЫ МАХНЫ ИМПОРТ 24-32 ХУВИАР ӨСЖЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     ДЦС IV: 2018 ОНД НИЙТ АШИГ 4.7 ДАХИН ӨСӨЖ , 4.48 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГ БОЛСОН WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     ТУСГАЙ САНГУУДААС ГАРГАСАН ЗЭЭЛИЙН 100 ОРЧИМ ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГ ХУГАЦАА ХЭТЭРСЭН ӨР БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН БОРЛУУЛАЛТЫН МЕНЕЖЕРҮҮДИЙН ИНДЕКС СҮҮЛИЙН 12 САРД АНХ УДАА УНАЛТЫН БҮСЭД ШИЛЖИВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     2018 ОНД ХАМГИЙН ЧИНЭЭЛЭГ БҮЛГИЙН ХЭРЭГЛЭЭ ЯДУУ БҮЛГИЙНХНЭЭС 5.1 ДАХИН ИХ БАЙВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     ХОВД ГОЛД ОСОЛДСОН 6 НАСТАЙ ХҮҮХДИЙН ЭРЛИЙГ ЗОГСООЛОО WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     ДБНХ-НООС П.ОРХОНЫ БАРИЛДАХ ЭРХИЙГ 4 ЖИЛЭЭР ХАСАВ WWW.MONTSAME.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     УУХҮЯ: II САРЫН БАЙДЛААР НИЙТ НУТАГ ДЭВСГЭРИЙН 5.6 ХУВЬД АШИГТ МАЛТМАЛЫН ЛИЦЕНЗ ОЛГОСОН WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     300 ОРТОЙ ТӨРӨХ ЭМНЭЛГИЙН БАРИЛГЫН АЖИЛ 80%-Д ХҮРЧ ГУРАВДУГААР САРЫН 1-НЭЭС ДУЛААНД ХОЛБОГДОХООР БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20    

Events

Name organizer Where
“Doing business with Mongolia”, “UK Investors show” бизнес хөтөлбөр March 27-April 02. 2019 ЛОНДОН ХОТ, ИХ БРИТАНИ Mongolian Business Database London UK
SYMPOSIUM ON GLOBAL MARKETS Nationalism and Protectionism: The United States in the International Arena June 17-18, 2019 The Center for American and International Law Plano, Texas, USA The Center for American and International Law (CAILAW) Plano Texas June 17-18 2019
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

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Mongolia debt-rescue anniversary shuns celebration www.atimes.com

A year after the international community assembled a US$5.5 billion emergency package, Mongolian stock and bond performance reflected the escape from a debt crisis, but “more downside than upside risks” persist, according to the International Monetary Fund’s July program review.

The lender released another $35 million of its $435 million three-year facility based on “good progress,” as it urged further steps to strengthen fiscal, balance-of-payments, banking-sector and investment-climate positions. The stock-exchange index is down 5%, outpacing MSCI-tracked frontier markets, and external bond yields at 400 basis points over US Treasuries were firm against general asset class selloffs as Fitch Ratings upgraded the sovereign to a still speculative “B.”

It also elevated two state-owned banks, while noting lingering weakness with the reported 8.5% bad-loan ratio as comprehensive asset quality and stress testing unfold.

Ulaanbaatar was briefly in the geopolitical limelight as a possible host for the inaugural US-North Korea summit, but was sidelined by Singapore’s all-expenses-paid bid and its state-of-the-art infrastructure.

The IMF report too seized upon positive headlines, including 6% first-quarter growth and a 10% international reserve increase to $3.25 billion, but pointed to “core vulnerabilities” such as high commodity reliance, public debt, and bank recapitalization needs.

The next parliamentary elections are due in 2020, when corruption accusations between the main parties and runaway voter spending are also likely to intensify, analysis suggest.

The World Bank predicts 6% growth this year on construction and manufacturing around the Tavan Tolgoi (TT) coal project, while agriculture has yet to recover from the harsh past winter. Another phase of the giant Oyu Tolgoi (OT) copper mine will go online in the medium term to expand exports further, as the Bank recommended greater economic diversification and productivity gains.

Foreign direct investment was $400 million in the first quarter, but strong domestic demand worsened the current account deficit and inflation, now at 8%. The central bank has regularly cut interest rates over the past year but may turn more cautious, especially as it applies more stringent loan-provisioning rules to identify bank capital and liquidity gaps. Corporate credit extension was flat in recent months, after years of double-digit upticks.

Fiscal policy was mixed in Fitch’s view, as “rapid improvement,” with revenue up 25% through May, is offset by “structural reform delays” leaving government debt at 85% of GDP. Fuel subsidies and family social transfers have not been adjusted, and infrastructure concessions and discount mortgages are large liabilities. The Development Bank’s portfolio has not been audited and fully incorporated into the budget, and non-political oversight is lacking. Its overseas borrowing can inject depreciation pressure on the currency, which has steadied over the past year.

Both Fitch and the IMF argue that bank cleanup over the next six months will determine the vitality of policy and practical turnaround. Officials will present a detailed bad-loan resolution strategy and introduce new collateral enforcement and bankruptcy procedures. They may propose a central disposal agency and macro-prudential curbs on household credit, with almost half in danger of default with debt-service-to-income ratios above 60%.

The Financial Action Task Force also criticized lax anti-money-laundering practices, and without action the country could be “gray listed” and cut off from overseas correspondent relationships.

The threat comes as Prime Minister Ukhnaa Khürelsükh broke ground on an oil refinery financed with a $1 billion soft loan from India under a campaign to forge links beyond traditional international mining-company and China-Russia partners. The project was broached during a 2015 visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and follows decades of aborted domestic building efforts. The Indian delegation in pointed reference to regional rivals described a “spiritual alliance,” and the plant will eventually boost national output by 10% according to government estimates.

In June, Mining Minister Sumiyabazar Dolgorsuren proposed an initial public offering on local and overseas markets for up to one-third of state company TT shares, reprising previous attempts that valued the transaction at billions of dollars. Underwriters were originally named, but the deal was abandoned when both the government and coal prices collapsed in 2016.

Canadian-owned operator Erdene at the same time became the first cross-listed play on the Mongolian stock exchange with a small $1.5 million capital raising, as more modest feats may have to satisfy fund managers going into the IMF program’s second anniversary.

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Lotte Mart to enter Mongolia next year www.retailanalysis.igd.com

South Korean conglomerate, Lotte, is planning to open to its first Lotte Mart store in Mongolia in the first of half of next year.

The first Lotte Mart store in Mongolia is expected to be opened in Ulaanbaatar next year. Lotte has set up a joint venture with Nomin Holdings, which will sell Lotte’s private label products for the next 10 years. The two companies are initially targeting sales of US$3m a year.

Since last year, Lotte has been selling its private label food products, Only Price, Yorihada and Choice L at four stores, including a state-run department store and two supermarkets owned by Nomin in Ulaanbaatar. The retailer launched its Lotteria fast-food chain in Ulaanbaatar last month, and plans to open ten outlets in the next four years. Stores will operated by Eugenetek Mongolia, who has signed on as a master franchisor.

With Lotte on the verge of exiting China entirely, it is consolidating its operations at home and turning to Vietnam and Mongolia overseas. Fierce South Korean rival, Shinsegae, entered Mongolia in 2016 with Emart via a franchise agreement with Sky Trading, a local distribution unit of Altai Group. With Lotte also planning to enter the market, Mongolian shoppers will have a greater choice of Korean products in addition to Emart.

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US trade war could cost global economy $430 billion, IMF warns www.rt.com

The risk of current trade tensions escalating further is the greatest near-term threat to global growth, said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest World Economic Outlook report.
"Our modeling suggests that if current trade policy threats are realized and business confidence falls as a result, global output could be about 0.5 percent below current projections by 2020," the IMF said, adding that the cost to the global economy could reach $430 billion.

Growth remains generally strong in advanced economies, according to the IMF, which warns it has slowed in many of them, including in the United Kingdom, Japan and countries in the euro area.

“The United States has initiated trade actions affecting a broad group of countries, and faces retaliation or retaliatory threats from China, the European Union, its NAFTA partners, and Japan, among others,” the IMF said.

It added the US could be the “focus of global retaliation” and would be especially vulnerable if President Trump slapped China with $200 billion in fresh tariffs. The world’s two largest economies, the US and China have introduced tariffs of 25 percent on $34 billion of each other’s exports this month.

The Trump administration later accused China of not negotiating “seriously” on trade and released a list of $200 billion worth of Chinese exports that could be subject to new 10-percent tariffs. The new tariffs would kick in within 60 days.

The IMF has urged countries not to look "inward" and to end the trade tensions which continue to dampen growth. “Countries must resist inward-looking thinking and remember that on a range of problems of common interest, multilateral cooperation is vital,” said the IMF’s chief economist Maurice Obstfeld.

The fund has projected 2018 growth of 2.4 percent for the advanced economies which is down 0.1 percentage point from its April World Economic Outlook projection.

“We maintain an unchanged forecast of 2.2 percent growth in those economies for 2019,” the IMF said.

For emerging market and developing economies as a group, the IMF still projects growth rates of 4.9 percent for 2018 and 5.1 percent for 2019.

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US plans G7 talks on China www.nhk.or.jp

The US claims that unfair trade practices by China have caused its trade deficit. And a government official wants the world's major economies to address the issue.

A US treasury official says Secretary Steven Mnuchin plans to hold a meeting with his G7 counterparts.

That would happen on the sidelines of a G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in Argentina this weekend. The official says Mnuchin will take up what he calls China's theft of technology and trade secrets.

The meeting comes as trade tensions escalate between Washington and Beijing.

The US imposed additional tariffs on a wide range of Chinese imports, and China has struck back with levies on a similar scale.

The senior official added that Mnuchin has no formal bilateral meetings planned with Chinese officials during the G20.

But the Treasury Secretary is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with the finance ministers of Japan, Germany, and Mexico. They are expected to discuss Washington's plan to impose additional tariffs on automobile imports.

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Google hit with record EU fine over Shopping service www.bbc.com

Google has been fined 2.42bn euros ($2.7bn; £2.1bn) by the European Commission after it ruled the company had abused its power by promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of search results.

The amount is the regulator's largest penalty to date against a company accused of distorting the market.

The ruling also orders Google to end its anti-competitive practices within 90 days or face a further penalty.

The US firm said it may appeal.

However, if it fails to change the way it operates the Shopping service within the three-month deadline, it could be forced to make payments of 5% of its parent company Alphabet's average daily worldwide earnings.

Based on the company's most recent financial report, that amounts to about $14m a day.

The commission said it was leaving it to Google to determine what alterations should be made to its Shopping service rather than specifying a remedy.

"What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules," declared Margrethe Vestager, the European Union's Competition Commissioner.

"It has denied other companies the chance to compete on their merits and to innovate, and most importantly it has denied European consumers the benefits of competition, genuine choice and innovation."

Media captionWATCH: Margrethe Vestager explains how consumers have been harmed by Google's Shopping service
Ms Vestager added that the decision could now set a precedent that determines how she handles related complaints about the prominence Google gives to its own maps, flight price results and local business listings within its search tools.

Google had previously suggested that Amazon and eBay have more influence over the public's spending habits and has again said it does not accept the claims made against it.

"When you shop online, you want to find the products you're looking for quickly and easily," a spokesman said in response to the ruling.

"And advertisers want to promote those same products. That's why Google shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both.

"We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today. We will review the Commission's decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case."

Fast growth
Google Shopping displays relevant products' images and prices alongside the names of shops they are available from and review scores, if available.

The details are labelled as being "sponsored", reflecting the fact that, unlike normal search results, they only include items that sellers have paid to appear.

On smartphones, the facility typically dominates "above-the-fold" content, meaning users might not see any traditional links unless they scroll down.

One recent study suggested Shopping accounts for 74% of all retail-related ads clicked on within Google Search results. However, the BBC understands Google's own data indicates the true figure is smaller.

Seven-year probe
The European Commission has been investigating Google Shopping since late 2010.

The probe was spurred on by complaints from Microsoft, among others.

The rival tech giant has opted not to comment on the ruling, after the two struck a deal last year to try to avoid such legal battles in the future.

However, one of the other original complainants - the British price comparison service Foundem - welcomed the announcement.

"Although the record-breaking 2.42bn euro fine is likely to dominate the headlines, the prohibition of Google's immensely harmful search manipulation practices is far more important," said its chief executive Shivaun Raff.

"For well over a decade, Google's search engine has played a decisive role in determining what most of us read, use and purchase online. Left unchecked, there are few limits to this gatekeeper power."

This is a big moment in a clash between the EU and the US's tech giants, which has been going on for more than a decade.

The commission believes it has struck a blow for consumers and for little firms at a time when online advertising - particularly on mobile phones - is dominated by Google and Facebook.

Google believes the regulator has a weak case and has failed to provide evidence that either consumers or rivals have been harmed.

In essence, it sees this as a political move rather than one based on competition law. You can be pretty confident that the Trump administration will share that view.

There's mounting anxiety in European capitals about something called Gafa - Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon - the four American giants that play such a huge role in all of our lives.

That means we can expect further action to try to limit their powers, with the potential for growing political tension between Brussels and Washington.

Although the penalty is record-sized, it could have been bigger.

The commission has the power to fine Alphabet up to 10% of its annual revenue, which was more than $90bn (£70.8bn) in its last financial year.

Alphabet can afford the fine - it currently has more than $172bn of assets.

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Turquoise Hill announces second quarter 2018 production and completion of Shaft 5 www.gogo.mn

Turquoise Hill Resources today announced second quarter 2018 production for Oyu Tolgoi as well as the completion of Shaft 5.

Luke Colton, interim Chief Executive Officer of Turquoise Hill, said, “During the second quarter, Oyu Tolgoi continued processing Phase 4A ore resulting in improved gold grades, production and recovery.

This trend is expected for the remainder of the year. Mill throughput during the quarter benefited from high intensity blasting, which was introduced in 2017.

Oyu Tolgoi continues to make good underground development progress, as evidenced by the completion of Shaft 5.” Mill throughput increased 6.3% over Q1’18 due to higher utilization rates and the positive impact of high intensity blasting.

Copper production in Q2’18 increased 1.5% over Q1’18 as a result of higher mill utilization rates offset by slightly lower grades from the depletion of Phase 6 ore. Gold production increased 19.0% over Q1’18 due to stronger mill utilization rates, higher grades from Phase 4A and increased recovery. Sales in Q2’18 benefited from improved logistics as inventory accumulated during the Q1’18 force majeure worked its way through the system.

Oyu Tolgoi is expected to produce 125,000 to 155,000 tonnes of copper and 240,000 to 280,000 ounces of gold in concentrates for 2018. Due to the positive impact of high intensity blasting, mill throughput for 2018 is expected to be approximately 40 million tonnes.

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Development of bill on civil servant code of conduct finalized www.gogo.mn

Chief of the Cabinet Secretariat G. Zandanshatar announced that the development of a bill on codes of conduct for civil servants has been completed.

The bill was initially planned to be discussed during the last spring session of Parliament. After looking into similar laws and regulations in Canada and Japan, the working group, led by Chief G. Zandanshatar, wrote the bill in alignment with Mongolia’s legal environment and specific characteristics.

The bill includes provisions to categorize civil servants’ responsibilities as ethical or disciplinary. According to the bill, when taking measures against civil servant misconduct, disciplinary actions must be suited to the misconduct, not redundant, and maintain transparency

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Crude oil exports generated 94.3 billion www.gogo.mn

It is projected that Mongolia will export a total of 8.1 million barrels (1.1 million tons) of crude oil in 2018.

As of June 20, oil export volume stood at 3.1 million barrels (424,000 tons) nationwide, bringing its export performance to 38.6 percent.

According to the 2018 State Budget Law, 223.45 billion MNT should be generated from the petroleum sector. In the first half of 2018, state revenue from crude oil exports amounted to 94.3 billion MNT. Construction of oil refinery infrastructure commenced in Altanshiree soum of Dornogobi Province on June 22, after many years of talks.

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Mongolian President summons irregular parliamentary session www.news.mn

President of Mongolia Kh.Battulga sent an official letter to Chairman of the State Great Khural M.Enkhbold about calling an irregular Parliamentary session.

The letter said, “26 Members of the State Great Khural sent an official letter about “summoning the Parliament for an irregular session regarding the nullification of the Parliament’s 7th Resolution, issued on July 8th, 2016, in consideration of the incompetence of Kh.Enkhjargal, General Director of the Independent Authority Against Corruption, in carrying out the legally bound duties of the government body, which is designated to combat corruption, given that major corruption cases such as ‘the MNT 60 billion’ subside after reaching the Independent Authority Against Corruption” on July 10th, 2018.

Based on Section 3 of Article 25 of the Constitution of Mongolia, Section 1 of Article 12 of the Law of Mongolia on President and Section 3 of Article 16 of the Law of Mongolia on the State Great Khural, I hereby forward my proposal, in belief that there is an imperative need to summon the Parliament for an irregular session regarding the aforementioned matter demanded by the Members of the Parliament.”

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Jeff Bezos is now worth more than Bill Gates and Larry Page combined www.cnn.com

Amazon investors, including CEO Jeff Bezos, should be in a festive mood, too. (Although there were some tech glitches.)

Amazon's (AMZN) stock hit a new all-time high Monday. That means Bezos -- the world's wealthiest person -- is now worth more than $150 billion, according to Forbes.

For perspective, Bezos is worth more than Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates and Google (GOOGL) co-founder Larry Page combined.

Berkshire Hathaway's (BRKB) Warren Buffett is the third richest person on the planet behind only Bezos and Gates. But the Oracle of Omaha trails Bezos by nearly $70 billion.

Bezos, who also personally owns The Washington Post and space exploration company Blue Origin, has most of his net worth tied up in Amazon stock. He is the company's largest shareholder, with a more than 16% stake.

Amazon's growing clout in retail, cloud computing, media and numerous other areas has put the company closer to surpassing Apple (AAPL) as the world's most valuable company.

Amazon's stock is up nearly 60% this year and the company has a market value of more than $890 billion. Apple's market value is a little more than $935 billion.

Amazon will report its second quarter results on July 26. Analysts are forecasting a more-than-40% jump in sales and a more than sixfold surge in earnings per share.

E-Commerce Guide by CNN Underscored: Your guide to shopping Amazon Prime Day 2018

The company has reliably topped Wall Street's forecasts and if Amazon delivers another blowout quarter, the company could soon find itself worth more than $1 trillion.

That would put the net worth of Bezos closer to $175 billion

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