1 VALE EVACUATES 200 PEOPLE FROM TOWN NEAR ITS MAR AZUL MINE WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      2 TOOTH PLAQUE SHOWS DRINKING MILK GOES BACK 3,000 YEARS IN MONGOLIA WWW.SCIENCENEWS.ORG  PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      3 INCREASING NUMBER OF CHINA-EUROPE FREIGHT TRAINS SUPPORTS MONGOLIA'S ECONOMY: OFFICIAL WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      4 TAX REVENUE INCREASES BY 33.7 PERCENT WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      5 COPPER MINER'S $10B BET COMES TO LIFE IN PANAMA JUNGLE WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      6 TRADE UNIONS REQUEST PM TO FOCUS ON INTEREST RATE CUT WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      7 MONGOLIA’S HOURLY WAGE TO REACH USD 1 WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      8 US NARCOTICS BY POST TO MONGOLIA! THREE ARRESTED WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      9 WRITER D.URIANKHAI NOMINATED FOR THE NOBEL PRIZE WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      10 MONGOLIA-CHINA-RUSSIA ECONOMIC CORRIDOR BENEFITS ALL SIDES: OFFICIAL WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      “ОЮУ ТОЛГОЙ” КОМПАНИ 570 ТОННЫ ДААЦТАЙ CAT БРЭНДИЙН ГИДРАВЛИК ЭСКВАТОРООР ХҮЧЭЭ СЭЛБЭЛЭЭ WWW.GOGO.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ӨРХИЙН САРЫН ДУНДАЖ ОРЛОГО 78,000 ТӨГРӨГӨӨР ӨССӨН Ч ЗАРЛАГА ДАВСАН ХЭВЭЭР БАЙНА WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АВСТРАЛИЙН ЭЛЧИН САЙД ДЭВИД МЭТЬЮ ВОСЭН ИТГЭМЖЛЭХ ЖУУХ БИЧГЭЭ ӨРГӨН БАРИВ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2018 ОНД МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН ЭДИЙН ЗАСАГ 6.9 ХУВИАР ӨСЛӨӨ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МХБ: II/15-НЫ БАЙДЛААР 8 КОМПАНИ ХЭХ-ЫН ТОВОО ГАРГААД БАЙНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2017 ОНД 1.9 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АЛДАГДАЛТАЙ АЖИЛЛАСАН “УЛААНБААТАР БҮК” 2018 ОНД 566 САЯ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АШИГТАЙ АЖИЛЛАВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ОРХОН ТҮҮХИЙ НҮҮРСНЭЭС ТАТГАЛЗСАН АНХНЫ АЙМАГ БОЛНО WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АТГ-ААС НЭР БҮХИЙ 6 ШҮҮГЧИЙГ ШАЛГАЖ ЭХЭЛЖЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МОНГОЛ УЛС ДЭЛХИЙН 77 ОРОНД БАРАА ЭКСПОРТОЛСНООС ХЯТАДАД 93%-ИЙГ НЬ НИЙЛҮҮЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14     АВТО МАШИНЫ ИМПОРТ 2018 ОНД 30% ӨСӨЖ, 86,296-Д ХҮРЧЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14    

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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Inside the lives of Mongolia's 'millennial monks,' who play basketball, pray for 12 hours a day, and hold the fate of their religion in their hands www.businessinsider.com

In Mongolia, the future of one of the world's oldest religions is in the hands of millennials.

Young Buddhist monks are increasingly being given control of Mongolia's monasteries as the religion struggles to find new blood.

The millennial generation of monks is the first to come of age since democracy was introduced to Mongolia in 1990. Prior to that, Buddhists in this sparsely-populated country faced deadly persecution — an estimated 17,000 monks were killed in Stalinist purges in the late 1930s.

Now, monks in their 20s and 30s are tasked with leading the next generation of Buddhist religious leaders. At one monastery in northern Mongolia, the monks alternate hours of religious study with games of basketball and the occasional phone call, a privilege reserved for people older than 25.

Here's what life is like for Mongolia's generation of millennial monks.

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'Mongolia does not need to join SCO' says transport minister www.news.mn

During the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit earlier this month in Qingdao, Mongolian President Kh.Battulga said that his country is studying the possibility to upgrade the level of its participation in the SCO and a discussion on this matter has been launched in political and social circles in Mongolia. However, J.Bat-Erdene, Minister of Road and Transport Development said there is no need to join the SCO.

Under the “Development Road” programme, Mongolia aims to increase the volume of foreign trade to USD 200 billion by 2020. It was USD 84 billion last year. Furthermore, Mongolia is pursuing a policy to develop transit transportation for connecting an economic corridor between Mongolia-Russia-China to European Union as well as the economic and trade transportation corridors of the SCO.

Under the SCO corridors, six countries such as Russia, China, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan have united for conducting transit transportation along six key routes. Mongolia has the right to join an agreement of a member states of the SCO for composing good environment for international transportation. It does not need to be member of the SCO for joining the agreement.

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Copper price takes another huge hit www.mining.com

The price of copper suffered its seventh straight day of declines on Thursday, losing more than 3% in New York to $2.8205 or $6,220 a tonne on the Comex market, its lowest level since July last year.

It was one of the busiest days of 2018 on commodity futures markets with with over 2.3m tonnes of September copper worth $14.6 billion exchanging hands by mid-afternoon. 2018 star performer nickel also succumbed on Thursday, becoming the last of the base metal complex to drop below its 100-day moving average at $14,200 a tonne. Zinc's woes continued and the metal is now down nearly 20% year to date.

Reports out on Thursday suggest the trade spat between the US and China, responsible for half the world's consumption of copper, could quickly turn nasty. President Trump's 25% tariffs on more than 800 Chinese goods worth $34 billion kick in midnight Friday. The latest round comes a few months after duties on steel and aluminum exports from China and other countries went into effect.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs poured cold water on the notion that a trade war represents a serious threat to raw materials, saying most of them aren’t likely to be significantly impacted, and after recent declines now’s the time to buy.

Growth in global industrial production and manufacturing output appears to have peaked in the first-half of 2018, suggesting that resource commodity prices may generally have set their highs for the cycle.
“The trade war impact on commodity markets will be very small, with exception of soybeans where complete rerouting of supplies is not possible,” analysts including Jeffrey Currie said in the July 4 note. “This is consistent with our economists’ view that the macroeconomic impact of the trade war is likely to be very small,” it said, with added emphasis on the final two words.

Raw materials have been hurt by growing concern among global investors about the potential impact of the trade tariffs planned by Washington, and the threatened Chinese response. In June, the Bloomberg Commodity Index suffered its biggest monthly slump since mid-2016.

“In metals, we believe Chinese domestic concern over credit availability has been the primary driver of recent weakness, fueled by trade wars, and is set to reverse given recent policy shifts in China,” it said in the latest report, citing moves including the recent reduction in some banks’ reserve requirements.

“China will want to negotiate the trade wars from the position of a strong economy, which reinforces fading the trade war rhetoric but buying the trade war reality (which will likely be small),” Goldman said.

Other banks are more cautious. Among them, Morgan Stanley has flagged risks for consumption from a potential deepening of the global trade squabble, as well as from any slowdown in China. “Escalating global trade tensions bring a risk of demand destruction across commodity markets,” it said last week.

“Trade tensions between the U.S. and its major trading partners have the potential to undermine confidence and hinder global economic output,” Australia's Department of Industry, Innovation & Science said on Monday. Trade wars aside, the government forecaster sounded gloomy about the prospects for metals and minerals prices:

Growth in global industrial production and manufacturing output appears to have peaked in the first-half of 2018, suggesting that resource commodity prices may generally have set their highs for the cycle.

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Thermal coal prices hit 6-year high www.mining.com

Benchmark seaborne thermal coal prices jumped to $120.10 per tonne on Thursday, its highest level since November 2012, thanks to tight supply in key Asian export regions. Measured from lows hit end-2015, early 2016 coal used in power generation has gained 140%.

Strong consumption in China, despite ongoing efforts by Beijing to reduce reliance on coal for electricity generation, and restocking from the spot market by Japanese utilities have buoyed prices.

Import demand from China has been supported by hotter than average temperatures, weak hydro power output, and limited growth in domestic supply, the Australian dept of resources said in its quarterly report released this week.

Supply in South Africa has been diverted to domestic power-generating facilities, impacting exports. In May this year prices at the African nation's Richards Bay terminal topped $100 for the first time since April 2012 and was trending higher again this week at $106.25.

Coal at the Rotterdam port in the Netherlands is set to enter triple digits for the first time since January 2012 exchanging hands for $98.95 this week.

The Australian government forecaster said spot prices are forecast to remain well supported over the next few months, as a result of a relatively tight market, but sounded a note of caution on the longer term outlook:

However, with most of the contributing factors expected to be temporary, the price is forecast to decline from late 2018, to average US$74 a tonne in 2020 as import demand growth slows relative to supply.

Both China and India are expected to increase domestic thermal coal output.

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New Fund Plans Could Divert Mongolia’s Focus from Mining Sector Reforms www.resourcegovernance.org

Mongolian Minister of Mines and Heavy Industry D. Sumiyabazar has stated that he wishes to create a new “sovereign wealth fund” managed by state-owned miner Erdenes Mongol. This fund would invest inside Mongolia and would be financed from dividends of Erdenes Mongol subsidiaries and possibly by the sale of state mining assets.

Several ideas have been floated, from selling shares of certain mines on a stock exchange to increasing production at state-owned mines. After all, a recent valuation of just three state-owned mines owned by Erdenes Mongol found they are valued in the many billions of dollars.

Based on these statements, the minister seems intent not on creating a sovereign wealth fund—defined by the International Monetary Fund (and our organization, the Natural Resource Governance Institute) as an entity investing partly in foreign assets for a macroeconomic purpose—but rather a “strategic investment fund” managed by Erdenes Mongol.

While we support the minister’s aim to enhance Mongolia’s benefits from the mining sector, such a fund might lack adequate safeguards. We are also concerned that a new fund would divert Mongolia’s scarce government income away from essential public services, such as education and healthcare.

Strategic development funds and development banks, which are similar institutions, have often proven to be sources of patronage, corruption and mismanagement. The Development Bank of Mongolia (DBM), for example, has made a long list of bad loans. It is a major source of the Mongolian state’s indebtedness, which led to an IMF-led bailout last year.

The DBM has provided financing for a number of important development projects, including an hydroelectric plant, apartment construction and renovations to central heating systems. However, some investment decisions were politically motivated. Furthermore, the former CEO was arrested for approving debt issuances without tender.

Of equal concern: strategic development funds often undermine public financial management systems by bypassing parliamentary oversight and general procurement procedures for domestic contracting. The USD 10 billion Russian Direct Investment Fund, for example, invests in domestic companies virtually without independent oversight, creating an unaccountable source of financing for supporters of the ruling regime. The fund is currently subject to U.S. sanctions due to management’s alleged involvement in corruption.

Mongolia already has a plethora of public institutions to manage its mineral wealth. These include Erdenes Mongol, the General Local Development Fund, the Fiscal Stability Fund and the newly enacted Future Heritage Fund, each of which draws money away from the general budget. These allocations, while potentially useful, imply less spending on healthcare, education and public infrastructure. Depending on its design, a new fund could either improve this situation or make it worse.

As such, we believe the Mongolian government should consider alternative proposals to boost mining and better manage the sector.

First, management of Erdenes Mongol itself can be improved. Profitability at Erdenes Mongol-controlled mines generally underperform private sector mines in terms of production and cost effectiveness. While we congratulate the company for making essential information, such as a financial report, publicly available for the first time, more reforms are urgently needed if Erdenes Mongol is to become a world-class mining company.

Second, the government ought to avoid the mistakes of the past when signing mining contracts and tax treaties with other countries. A recent analysis of the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine contract showed that profit shifting and use of a Dutch tax treaty may cost the government up to USD 9.8 billion over the life of the existing mine, notwithstanding the planned expansion. Poor understanding of these types of fiscal devices has led to consistent overestimation of government revenue, meaning even existing funds do not receive the money they expected and do not function as designed.

Third, Mongolia’s mining revenue management can be improved via prudent budget spending and better fiscal management. The government has committed to a number of fiscal rules and development plans to ensure that future generations benefit from today’s mining, but these rules and plans exist mainly on paper. As indicated by high deficits and the threat of defaults, the government budget remains unstable.

If the government is set on creating a new fund, we would suggest that proper governance rules be enacted in law. Following on the good examples of Germany’s Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau and the Korean Development Bank, there would be a need for clear ownership policy, legal framework and performance monitoring framework. These institutions are characterized by high degrees of professionalism, effectiveness, transparency and oversight.

Still, success stories such as these are few and far between. The global experience demonstrates that strategic development funds and development banks often divert scarce resources away from public sectors that need them the most. The government may be better served by improving the performance of existing institutions, such as Erdenes Mongol and the Future Heritage Fund, than creating new ones.

Andrew Bauer is a consultant with the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI). Dorjdari Namkhaijantsan is NRGI’s Mongolia manager.

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Mongolia's foreign reserves hit new record high in May www.akipress.com

Mongolia's foreign currency reserves reached 3.26 billion U.S. dollars in May, a new high since June 2013, Xinhua reported citin Bank of Mongolia.

The international reserves grew by 9.3% from the previous month and 2.6 times more than the same period last year.

The growth was attributed to the implementation of the third phase of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) extended fund facility (EFF) program in Mongolia and higher commodity prices on international markets, the central bank said.

The three-year IMF program was approved in 2017, aiming to stabilize the economy and establish the basis for a more sustainable and inclusive growth.

Mongolia's foreign currency reserves have more than doubled since the start of the program, according to the central bank.

Experts with the central bank predict that by the end of 2019 the country's foreign currency reserves will reach 3.8 billion U.S. dollars, and 4 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.

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Mongolia and Malaysia renew ties strained by Altantuya murder www.thestar.com.my

ULAANBAATAR: Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s visit here seems to have rejuvenated bilateral ties between Malaysia and Mongolia.

This follows Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga’s impromptu invite for a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister yesterday.

“I was asked to have an audience with the Mongolian president at the State Palace,’’ Dr Wan Azizah told Malaysian journalists at the sidelines of the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction 2018 here yesterday.

Although diplomatic ties between Mongolia and Malaysia was set up in 1971, there was very little interaction or exchange between both countries over the years.

The relationship became strained after the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu in Bukit Raja, Klang, in 2006.

Dr Wan Azizah, who left to meet the president after attending the conference, said it was important for Malaysia to be seen doing the right thing in connection with Altantuya’s murder.

“If there is any course for a review (of the case) or anything, I think we can consider,’’ said Dr Wan Azizah, adding that this would be an indication of how the new Pakatan Harapan government administered the country.

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Mongolia's central bank purchases 7.1 tons of gold www.xinhuanet.com

ULAN BATOR, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The Bank of Mongolia said Wednesday that it had purchased 7.1 tons of gold from legal entities and individuals in the first half of this year, up 6.0 percent year on year.

As of June, the central bank's average gold purchase price was 100.041.97 tugrik (40.66 U.S. dollars) per gram, which corresponds to a low rate on the London Metal Exchange, according to experts from the Mongolian central bank.

The bank's gold purchase is expected to increase with the start of the peak of the gold mining season in August, September and October.

Local gold producers in cooperation with the government have moved to enrich the treasury fund and improve foreign exchange rates over past five years.

Gold miners submitted 20.01 tons of gold to the central bank in 2017, worth of over 800 million dollars.

The central bank launched a five-month campaign "National Gold to the Fund of Treasures" beginning last month.

The country's annual gold production has remained below 21 tons since 2005 when it reached its record high at 25 tons.

Editor: Shi Yinglun

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Mongolia sets out annual wind plan www.windpowermonthly.com

The government of Mongolia hopes to commission at least two wind power projects a year, as it moves to reduce its dependence from traditional energy sources.

The government is currently in talks with some Japanese banks, regarding with the provision of the needed funding for the implementation of these projects.

As part of these plans, a new 55MW site developed by Engie is expected to be commissioned near the city of Sainshand, which is the capital of the Mongolian province of Dornogov, by the end of this year.

The Engie site will become Mongolia’s third operational project.

In October 2017 another large wind plant, the 50MW Tsetsii site was launched in the South Gobi region of the country.

Project partners included Clean Energy Asia, a Mongolia-based renewable energy company established in 2012 as a joint venture between Japansese developer SB Energy and Mongolian infrastructure investor Newcomm.

Currently, Mongolia receives less than 5% of its energy from renewable sources.

However, according to state plans, it is aiming to increase these figures up to 20% by 2020 and by 30% by 2030.

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Agricultural machinery to be bought with loan from Development Bank www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ During the Cabinet’s regular meeting, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry B.Batzorig reported on progress of spring sowing.

The Cabinet assigned the Minister to buy equipment and machinery made in Russia, China, Belarus, Poland and Germany with loan from the Development Bank, to make cultivation of fallow within its planned period and to ensure preparation for harvest early.

As of today, sowing has been made on 494 thousand hectares of area including 342 thousand hectares for wheat, over 12 thousand hectares for potatoes, 8 thousand hectares for vegetable, 70 thousand hectares for oil plants, 37 thousand hectares for fodder plants, 947 hectares for medicine plants and 386 hectares for fruit and berries.

B.Batchimeg

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