1 LEGAL DISPUTE OVER EMC OWNERSHIP COMES TO AN END WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      2 ERDENES TAVAN TOLGOI REVENUE SURGES DUE TO HIGHER COAL PRICES WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      3 RUSSIA AND MONGOLIAN BORDER CROSSING NO. 487 WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      4 WORLD ECONOMICS REPORTS THAT MONGOLIA’S EMPLOYMENT RATE HITS A FIVE-YEAR HIGH WWW.GOGO.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      5 USD HITS RECORD HIGH IN MONGOLIA DUE TO HIGHER IMPORTS WWW.CHINA.ORG.CN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      6 READOUT OF VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE’S MEETING WITH PRIME MINISTER UKHNAA KHURELSUKH OF MONGOLIA WWW.WHITEHOUSE.GOV PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      7 MONGOLIA LAUNCHES EU-FUNDED PROJECTS TO PROMOTE GREEN DEVELOPMENT, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      8 COAL EXPORTS FROM TOP SHIPPER HOBBLED WITH MINERS FACING CONSTRAINTS WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      9 FRONTIER'S "INVEST MONGOLIA TOKYO 2018" WWW.MONGOLIANBUSINESSDATABASE.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      10 U.S.-CHINA TRADE TUSSLE IS CREATING WINNERS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA WWW.BLOOMBERG.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      УУРХАЙЧДЫН АЖЛЫН БАЙР НЭМЭГДЭЖ, ЦАЛИН ӨСЧ БАЙНА WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/20     “ЭРДЭНЭТ”-ИЙН 49 ХУВИЙН ӨМЧЛӨЛ ТОЙРСОН ХУУЛЬ ЗҮЙН МАРГААН ЭЦЭС БОЛЛОО WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/20     СЗХ-НД МӨНГӨ УГААХТАЙ ТЭМЦЭХ НЭГЖИЙГ БАЙГУУЛАХААР БОЛЛОО WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/20     БНХАУ: ОЛОН ТАЛТ, ЧӨЛӨӨТ ХУДАЛДААГ ДЭМЖИЖ БАЙНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/20     АТҮТ: БҮРТГЭЛТЭЙ АВТОМАШИНЫ 60 ОРЧИМ ХУВЬ НЬ ҮЗЛЭГ ОНОШИЛГООНДОО ХАМРАГДСАН WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/20     ЭДИЙН ЗАСАГ УРТ ХУГАЦААНЫ ТЭНЦВЭРИЙГ ХАНГАХАД ТӨВЛӨРНӨ WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/20     ЯПОН УЛСТАЙ АЯЛАЛ ЖУУЛЧЛАЛЫН САЛБАРТ ХАМТАРНА WWW.DNN.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/20     МОНГОЛ, АМЕРИКИЙН ХАРИЛЦАА ШАТ АХИЖ, ӨРГӨТГӨСӨН ИЖ БҮРЭН ТҮНШЛЭЛИЙН ТҮВШИНД ХҮРСНИЙГ НОТЛОВ WWW.NEWS.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/20     ШЕНГЕНИЙ БОГИНО ХУГАЦААНЫ ВИЗИЙН МЭДҮҮЛГИЙГ УЛААНБААТАР ХОТОД АВНА WWW.MEDEE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     2018 ЭХНИЙ 7 САРД МОНГОЛЧУУД ГАДААД РУУ ЭМЧИЛГЭЭНД ЯВАХДАА 19.5 САЯ АМ.ДОЛЛАР ЗАРЦУУЛЖЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19    

Events

Name organizer Where
Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018" Frontier Securities Tokyo Japan
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

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OSCE/ODIHR experts discuss electoral recommendations in Mongolia www.osce.org

A team of election experts from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) presented the final report of the ODIHR limited election observation mission for the two-round presidential election in Mongolia, on 26 June and 7 July 2017, during a visit to Ulaanbaatar on 16 and 17 January 2018.

The report’s findings and recommendations were discussed with representatives of state authorities, including the election administration, the parliamentary working group on the election law and the media regulatory authority, as well as civil society representatives. Discussions focused on specific steps that can be taken to follow up on ODIHR recommendations.

ODIHR experts and the authorities discussed the need for a comprehensive review of the legal framework for elections to address existing gaps and to empower relevant institutions with effective oversight powers and clear jurisdiction on activities throughout the electoral process. Particular emphasis was given to granting the General Election Commission broader authority to issue regulations and provide additional guidance to lower-level commissions.

Other recommendations discussed were to introduce well-defined and transparent criteria for the appointment of lower-level election officials and to broaden reporting requirements for campaign finance.

“The window between elections in Mongolia is open and we encouragingly look to the authorities for initiatives to enhance the conduct of democratic elections,” said Steven Martin, Senior Adviser of the ODIHR Elections Department. “A meaningful and inclusive review of electoral legislation could further strengthen confidence in the institutions responsible for elections and serve as an example of good practice in the OSCE region. ODIHR is ready to support these efforts.”

The expert team also discussed recommendations related to lifting undue restrictions on the right to stand for office, including the prohibition of candidates who are independent or from non-parliamentary parties. They drew attention to the need to enhance the media’s coverage of elections and improve the process for addressing complaints and appeals.

The discussions also covered possible next steps for co-operation between the authorities and ODIHR, including through the provision of expert opinions on future legal amendments and support to Mongolia’s initiative of establishing a regional training centre for election observation.

The follow-up visit followed an official invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All OSCE participating States have committed themselves to following up on ODIHR's election assessments and recommendations.

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JICA's new project focuses on greenhouse gas inventory www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has launched a technical assistance Project for Capacity Development to Establish a National Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory Cycle of Continuous Improvement.

On January 16, the first Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) of the Project was held at Blue Sky Hotel, chaired by Ts.Tsengel, State Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) and attended by the corresponding officials from the MET, the Environment and Climate Fund (ECF) and JICA. A kickoff workshop followed in the afternoon for the relevant stakeholders, including donors and government organizations.

The first JCC addressed some issues related to GHG, such as United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s reporting requirement, domestic context of Mongolia to the GHG inventories and its current challenges. In addition, attendees were informed about an overview to the Project.

In brief, the project will be implemented for 4 years with the aim of achieving overall goal of regularly improvement of GHG inventory with the cooperation of relevant institutions of Mongolia.

The Project outputs focusing on activity data on Energy sector and developing parameters in the Land Use, Land Use and Forestry sector as well as some job training activities collaborated between JICA and ECF experts.
source: JICA

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EU to remove Panama, Korea, UAE, 5 others from tax haven blacklist www.reuters.com

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union officials have proposed removing eight jurisdictions from the blacklist of tax havens the bloc adopted in December, in what critics may see as a blow to its campaign against tax avoidance.

EU states decided last month to draw up the list in a bid to discourage the most aggressive tax dodging practices.

But eight of the 17 jurisdictions currently listed are set to be quickly removed from the list after they offered to change their tax rules, according to EU documents seen by Reuters.

Panama, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Barbados, Grenada, Macao, Mongolia and Tunisia are the jurisdictions that EU officials have recommended be delisted.

The removal of Bahrain was also initially considered, but its delisting was eventually not recommended, the documents show.

The proposal will be discussed at a meeting of EU ambassadors on Wednesday and is expected to be adopted by EU finance ministers when they meet next week in Brussels for monthly talks.

Jurisdictions set to remain on the blacklist are American Samoa, Bahrain, Guam, the Marshall Islands, Namibia, Palau, Saint Lucia, Samoa, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The proposal for the delisting was made by the so-called Code of Conduct Group, which gathers tax experts from the 28 EU member states. It monitors countries’ commitments to abide by EU standards on tax matters.

If the recommendation were confirmed by EU ministers, the eight jurisdictions will be moved to a so-called gray list which includes those who have committed to change their rules on tax transparency and cooperation. The gray list currently includes 47 jurisdictions.

The shrinking of the blacklist is likely to be criticized by tax transparency groups. In December some activists denounced the listing process as a whitewash and had called for the inclusion in the blacklist of some EU countries accused of facilitating tax avoidance, like Luxembourg, Malta, Ireland and the Netherlands.

The recommended removal of Panama may cause particular outcry, as it has been at the center of one of the largest disclosures of offshore schemes, the so-called Panama Papers.

EU officials have said the purpose of the blacklist is to convince jurisdictions to become more transparent. Having fewer on the list means more countries have committed to changes, they say.

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Bitcoin loses nearly half its value in crypto-market bloodbath www.rt.com

The cryptocurrency market has extended its losses, as major digital assets are trading 13 to 25 percent below previous day's prices. Digital-currency locomotive bitcoin has now slid below $11,000.
The $11,000 milestone is 45 percent below the $20,000 peak that bitcoin touched just one month ago. Ethereum also plunged below the psychological $1,000 mark, and is on track to lose all its gains in 2018, which reached 100 percent just four days ago.

Ripple was down over 20 percent, trading at $1.15. This is a three-fold collapse from the $3.65 peak it hit on January 4. Bitcoin cash, cardano, litecoin, neo and other top cryptocurrencies have also slipped by up to 25 percent from the previous trading session.

Cryptocurrencies are falling on reports that authorities in China are planning to widen their crackdown on trading in the country. A Chinese state-run newspaper Securities Times reported on Tuesday that Beijing will target over-the-counter trading, offshore sites used for centralized trading, and peer-to-peer trading of large transactions.

Bloomberg also reported that China will bar access to local and offshore platforms that provide centralized trading, and target traders who provide bids and offers for big-scale trading.

Another BRICS country, Brazil, has joined China and India in taking action against cryptocurrencies. The South American country has prohibited local investment funds from buying digital cash.

The world's most popular cryptocurrency bitcoin was trading at $10,756 as of 9:20am GMT on Wednesday.

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Mongolia reduces pension loan interest rate www.news.mn

Starting from yesterday (16 January), pensioners will be able to take out one-year loans at an interest rate of 12 percent. The loan amount will be equal to up to 70 percent of the pension of the borrower.

The Government decided to cut the pension loan interest rate in 2017. Previously Khan Bank and the State Bank had been offering pensioners six-month loans with 15 percent rates.

Out of the 381.8 thousand people that are currently receiving pensions, 230.8 thousand have taken loans worth MNT 680.9 billion at a rate of 18 percent to be paid over 36 months.

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Law on Central Bank amended: Monitoring on banking sector to improve www.gogo.mn

The Parliament held the final discussion of the amendments to the Law on Central Bank /Bank of Mongolia/ and approved with 69.1 percent vote last Friday.

According to the Bank of Mongolia (BoM), the amendments followed the international practice of central banks and created a favorable legal environment the BoM by improving independency and decision making process. The amendments will help implement the monetary policy, regulate the banking sector monitoring, limit budgetary activities of the BoM that are not in line with its objectives and is set to be effective until April 1 2018. The law is expected to contribute to long-term economic growth by creating legal environment for development and implementation of proper monetary policy.

MP Terbishdagva Dendev said, “The central banks of other countries are focusing on price stability, which is significant in the long-term. Unfortunately, the article concerning the price stability has been disapproved by the Parliament.” MP Damba-Ochir Dorjdamba stated, “The amendments to the Laws on Central Bank will ensure financial stability during economic crisis. The BoM’s decision will now require approvals of four councils and one committee, retracting some of the Governor’s authority. Furthermore, the BoM will be able to monitor commercial banks and take timely measures. In addition, the BoM is now prohibited to issue loans for social welfare programs and projects. Only commercial banks will issue loans to the Government if necessary.”

Tugsbilig.B

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Coal export rose 29.1 percent year over year in 2017 www.gogo.mn

According to the officials, Mongolia’s coal export exceeded anticipation in 2017. However, the transport issues in Gashuunsukhait- Gantsmod border checkpoint still needs to be resolved.

Mongolia extracted a total of 47.5 million tons of coal and sold 40.7 million tons, of which 33.3 million tons of coal has been exported abroad. The amount is significantly higher compared to the expected level of 32 million tons in 2017. Furthermore, the coal export increased by 29.1 percent in the year-over-year comparison.

Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC has failed to reach its forecast amount of 11 million tons. As for Energy Resource, the company had a plan to start operation of concentration plant in the fourth quarter of 2017; however, the sharp decrease of entrance capacity in Gashuunsukhait-Gantsmod border checkpoint had an impact in the company’s operations. Additionally, the Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry informed that the issues at the border checkpoint can be settled with a high-level meeting between Mongolia and China. According to the authorities of the border checkpoint, around only 10 coal trucks were passing through Gashuunsukhait-Gantsmod as of last Thursday.

Approximately 300 coal trucks were entering the border checkpoint in the beginning of 2018; however, Winsway Enterprise, one of the mining companies transporting coal through Gashuunsuhait-Gantsmod route, protested in China and caused the Chinese Government to halt the transport road near Gantsmod border checkpoint. According to the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry, the company issued twelve demand from Gantsmod, which also included the Mongolian side to restore coal transport from Tavan Tolgoi to Gashuun Sukhait and stop the truck drivers from paying social insurance. Presently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Transportation Center are negotiation with the Chinese side.

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Mongolia and EU cooperate on criminal justice reform www.news.mn

On January 16, the Government of Mongolia and the European Union jointly hosted a national conference, part of a project financed by the European Union’s Partnership Instrument, on the implementation of human rights in the country’s criminal justice system.

Strengthening the rule of law in Mongolia is one of the priorities of the newly established European Union Delegation under the 2016-2020 EU Human Rights and Democracy Country Strategy for Mongolia. In this context, the EU and its Mongolian partners selected the implementation of the recently adopted criminal code and criminal procedure code in line with human rights standards as an area for further EU cooperation and support.

Ts.Davaasuren, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, and G.Bayasgalan, State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs opened the conference which brought together national stakeholders such as representatives from the General Prosecutor’ Office, Ministry of Justice and Human Rights Commission of Mongolia. National and European experts presented reflections and recommendations on the furtherance of international human rights standards as the country seeks to reform its criminal justice system.

While the entry into force of the criminal and criminal procedure code in July 2017 provides a window of opportunity to protect human rights and strengthen the rule of law, many challenges remain for its implementation. “This conference presents an excellent opportunity to accelerate criminal justice reform through an open debate not only on legislative amendments, but also on the wider policy environment in which these changes need to be implemented,' said EU’s Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Mr. Marco Ferri. (EU Delegation to Mongolia)

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BoM purchases 682 kilograms of gold in eleven days www.gogo.mn

The Bank of Mongolia purchased 682 kilograms of gold from January 1 to 11, an increase of 130 percent in purchases compared to the same period in 2017.

The price of gold on the London Metal Exchange has been rising since the beginning of 2018. The BoM set its purchasing price at 102,000 to 103,000 MNT per gram.

BoM officials say gold purchases have increased due to consistently rising gold prices. In 2017, the BoM purchased 20.01 tons of gold. Under the Alt 2 campaign, the BoM plans to purchase 25 tons of gold each year.

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MMC releases a fourth quarter report for 2017 www.gogo.mn

On January 15, Hong Kong Stock Exchange listed Mongolian Mining Corporation (MMC) released a report on its preliminary activity in the fourth quarter of 2017, excluding audit results.

MMC reports that it extracted 8.3 million tons of coal and produced 8 million tons in 2017. Four million tons of coal extracted was processed and 3.6 tons of concentrated coal was sold last year.

Compared to 2016, the volume of coal extracted increased by 179 percent, the volume of processed coal grew by 166 percent, and coal sold grew by 132 percent. The fourth quarter saw a 31 percent increase in coal extraction, and with coal production increased by 15 percent compared to Q4’16.

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