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The US banking giant Goldman Sachs bought $2.8 billion worth of bonds issued by the Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA for just $865 million. However, what seemed to be a great deal, is now making Goldman's a loss.
In May, Goldman bought the PDVSA bonds maturing in 2022 for 31 cents on the dollar. Venezuela's opposition-controlled Congress criticized the purchase as “making a quick buck off the suffering of the Venezuelan people.” The assets were dubbed “hunger bonds.”
However, as things stand now, the bond purchase that was supposed to make a quick profit, has turned unprofitable.
Last Thursday, Venezuela announced it would seek to restructure all its foreign bonds. This sent prices down to 25 cents on the dollar, which means Goldman has lost at least $54 million.
“The opposition has already said they won’t honor that bond, so you’re taking a big risk trading those,” Russ Dallen of Caracas Capital told the Financial Times.
In summer, Washington extended sanctions against Caracas, including a ban on trading Venezuelan debt, but Goldman’s bonds were exempt from the sanctions without explanation.
Goldman said it purchased the bonds not directly from the government, but on the secondary market from a broker, hoping the situation in the country would improve.
Venezuela has $37 billion equivalent of outstanding bonds, and PDVSA has $43 billion. The overall exposure is even higher.
The country has long been on the verge of default due to the oil prices collapse. Venezuela is having trouble refinancing its debts due to US sanctions.
On November 7, 2017, 122,558 shares of 32 firms listed as Tier I, II, and III were traded. 19 firms’ shares increased in price, 11 decreased and 2 remained unchanged. Autoimpex JSC /AOI/ was the top performer, increasing 15.00 percent, whereas State Department Store JSC /UID/ was the worst performer, decreasing 8.26 percent.
The MSE ALL Index increased by 0.03 percent to stand at 1,152.97 points. The MSE market cap stands at MNT 2,256,091,924,474.97 .
British parliamentarians who are members of ‘’Inter-Parliamentary Union’’ led by Rt Hon Lord Howard of Lympne are paying an official visit to Mongolia from 4 November to 10 November.
This is the first visit by British parliamentarians since 2011, when the Memorandum of Understanding between the British All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mongolia and the Mongolia-Britain Parliamentary Group of State Great Hural of Mongolia was signed.
They will meet H.E Mr.Khaltmaa BATTULGA, President of Mongolia; H.E Mr. Miyegombo ENLHBOLD, Chairman of the State Great Hural of Mongolia; Mr. Damdin Tsogtbaatar, Foreign Minister of Mongolia; Mr. Nyamaa ENKHBOLD, Minister of Defence; Mr.Sukhbaatar BATBOLD, Member of Parliament and Chair of Mongolia-Britain Parliamentary Friendship group and various other officials.
The parliamentarians will discuss various areas of the Mongolia-Britain relationship such as democracy, good governance, human rights, trade and economic relations and the promotion of cultural and educational exchange.
Danzan Purev beams as he shows members of a support group photos of his infant nephew on his iPhone. The 68-year-old geologist is charismatic and jokes with the others gathered in the room in Ulan Bator. But his mood changes as he begins to recount his long experience with hepatitis, a disease that has blighted his life.
Purev was diagnosed with hepatitis B and C in the early 1990s. By the end of the decade his health and quality of life had deteriorated, leaving him constantly sick and fatigued. He had to sell his business to finance a trip to Korea to undergo treatment, which was not successful. “Financially, I just went down,” he says.
Once back in Mongolia, he was unable to afford hepatitis drugs, and began to lose hope as the disease continued to affect his liver. “I was really scared,” says Purev. “My dad and all the relatives on my dad’s side died of liver cancer and liver disease. I didn’t want to be one of them. I just wanted to keep fighting and cure myself.”
Fortunately, he heard about the non-profit Onom Foundation, which offers screening and treatment for hepatitis. Today he is cured of hepatitis C, has low levels of hepatitis B, and the health of his liver, which at one point was two-thirds non-functional, has improved.
Purev has been lucky. According to the World Health Organization, Mongolia has the world’s highest rate of liver cancer, as well as the highest mortality rate from the disease. Each year, liver cancer and liver cirrhosis account for 15% of all deaths. Chronic hepatitis is the most common risk factor in developing liver cancer, and 400,000 of Mongolia’s 3 million citizens are diagnosed with a hepatitis virus.
The National Cancer Centre, which this year will begin performing liver transplants. Photograph: Hannah Griffin
The WHO says hepatitis cases spiked in Mongolia in the 1970s and 80s, when syringes were regularly reused and dental and surgical practices were not always hygienic. Additionally, the country has high rates of “hepatitis B and D super-infection”, which occurs when someone with chronic hepatitis B becomes infected with hepatitis D.
“There is no other country in the world that has a problem like this,” says Dr Naranbaatar Dashdorj, co-founder of the Onom foundation, which runs group therapy sessions for those like Purev living with hepatitis in Mongolia’s capital, as well as providing hepatitis screening and treatment to thousands of people.
But the government is waking up to the health crisis, pouring significant money into screening and treatment in an attempt to reduce cases of liver cancer. By 2020, ministers want to eliminate hepatitis C and significantly reduce liver cancer and cirrhosis deaths.
Last year, parliament ploughed 23.4bn Mongolian tugrik (£7m) into the country’s health insurance scheme to subsidise hepatitis medicine. This year, the government allocated MNT 226bn for screening and treatment until 2020. This money also covers free hepatitis testing for those between the ages of 40 and 60, who make up the bulk of liver cancer patients. This will be extended to a younger cohort in 2018.
This cash injection will reduce patient costs drastically. After subsidies, patients pay between $3 (£2.25) and $13 (£9.70) for hepatitis B medicine, and between $65 and $215 for hepatitis C medicine. Before subsidies were introduced, medicines could cost thousands of dollars.
“In the area of treatment Mongolia is making really good progress in screening the people, identifying people with chronic hepatitis,” says Narantuya Jadambaa, a technical officer in Mongolia for the WHO. “But we need more work also to stop the transmission within the whole society. It would require more efforts and even more financial support as well.”
The National Cancer Centre, a busy hospital where Mongolians from all over the country come for diagnosis and treatment, performs 450 liver surgeries a year. This year, it will start performing liver transplants. Dr Chinburen Jigjidsuren, the centre’s general director, says in the past two years approximately 160 Mongolians have travelled overseas for transplants. He hopes more people will now stay in-country for surgery. About 70 people are on the government waiting list for a liver transplant.
Dr N Yumchinserchin, head of the intervention radiology department at Mongolia’s National Cancer Centre
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Dr N Yumchinserchin, head of the intervention radiology department at Mongolia’s National Cancer Centre, explains that their angiographic equipment is outdated. If the equipment fails, it would be difficult to find spare parts to repair it. Photograph: Hannah Griffin
But a major factor in reducing liver cancer deaths is early diagnosis. Many Mongolians are not diagnosed until they are late-stage and inoperable. Jigjidsuren says many people travel from their rural homes to the capital only to be told there is little that can be done. He hopes the centre can establish a system to connect provincial health centres by internet so patients can have online consultations with doctors prior to coming to the city. “We are trying to avoid this problem and trying to establish a good system,” he says. “I hope that Mongolia will be an example to the world [on] how we fight liver cancer.”
Myamjav Jargalsaikhan, 63, is another member of the Onom foundation’s support group. He was diagnosed with hepatitis C and liver cirrhosis 30 years ago, and had been receiving treatment each year. In 2013, after retiring from a 40-year career as a technical engineer at a printing company in Ulan Bator, he was diagnosed with liver cancer. Just as he was ready to enjoy a more carefree life after years of hard work, he was sidelined.
“Any plans I had made for the future just all stopped,” he says. But unlike many other patients, Jargalsaikhan’s liver cancer was operable, and he has been cancer-free for three years. Despite all the challenges, he considers himself fortunate. “I really consider myself lucky to have had the disease for so many years and survived it.”...
Canada's Centerra Gold (TSX:CG) took a fresh step towards strengthening its position in the home market by signing a deal to acquire smaller rival AuRico Metals (TSX:AMI), in a friendly transaction valued at Cdn$310 million ($243 million).
Under the agreement, Centerra will pay $1.80 per share in cash for AuRico Metals, which is developing the Kemess gold and copper project in British Columbia, Canada.
Shares in AuRico closed at $1.30 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday, so Centerra’s offer represents a 38.5% premium to the smaller Toronto-based miner’s last close.
The planned acquisition requires approval by two-thirds of the votes cast at a special meeting of AuRico Metals shareholders, as well as court and regulatory approvals. It’s expected to close in January next year.
Centerra has been shopping for assets in safer jurisdictions as of late. Last year, it bought out US-based Thompson Creek Metals (TSX:TCM), which gave it access to the Mount Milligan copper-gold mine in B.C.
In September, the company reached an agreement with the Kyrgyz Republic to settle all outstanding disputes over the Kumtor gold mine, the company’s biggest. That operation had been the focus of a number of disputes between the company and the Central Asian nation's government.
Last year, Kyrgyz prosecutors went as far as to raid the company's offices to collect documents related to a suit alleging financial violations by Centerra.
Kumtor, which lies near the Chinese border at an altitude of 4,000 metres, has produced around 10 million ounces since inception and remaining reserves are 5.6 million ounces.
Bitcoin's sevenfold rally is one of the telltale signs of a bubble, according to investment strategists. It started the year at $973 and rocketed to $7,600 on Sunday, up over 750 percent in 10 months.
Financial advisors warn bitcoin is another bubble similar to the tech boom of the late 1990s, the housing crash of 2006-2007 and the commodities bust of 2008-2009.
“A month before the 1987 crash, my cab driver said he started day trading,” Scott Kelly, CEO of Black Dog Venture Partners in Phoenix, Arizona told Forbes. “A month before the real estate crash in 2007 in Arizona, my cab driver said he was getting into flipping real estate. Last week, my Uber driver said he just started trading Bitcoin.”
Since making its debut in 2008, bitcoin has gone from no value to a fraction of a penny by March 2010. Now, one coin is worth over $7,500, and its market capitalization is greater than McDonald's. For an early investor, $1 in bitcoin seven years ago is worth millions today.
Since going mainstream, the crowd is piling in. New companies are popping up everywhere selling you on buying bitcoin for your retirement, writes Forbes, as newsletters tout their bitcoin trading strategy could make $1.64 million in 72 hours. Stories of overnight cryptocurrency millionaires abound.
While opinions have been split on the world's most popular cryptocurrency, business leaders like Warren Buffet, Jamie Dimon and Robert Shiller have warned bitcoin is a bubble.
“But it is anybody’s guess what inning. It looks to me like we’re well ahead of the 7th-inning stretch,” said Jason R. Escamilla, CEO of ImpactAdvisor, an investment advisory firm in San Francisco, as quoted by Fobes. “The price level and energy usage are unsustainable. There is far better technology emerging to meet the same needs.”
Ethereum, bitcoin cash and ripple could be those technologies. Bitcoin accounts for about 61 percent of the cryptocurrencies market that is worth nearly $200 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.com. If bitcoin crashes, there is nothing to prevent any of the alternative coins from taking over.
South African AngloGold Ashanti (JSE:ANG) (NYSE:AU), the world’s third-biggest producer of the precious metal, said Monday it saw cash flow and production jump in the three months to September 30.
Free cash flow for the three months ended Sept. 30 was $88 million, AngloGold said, compared with $41 million at the end of the second quarter.
Gold output increased 11% in the third quarter of the year to 997,000 ounces, compared to the 900,000 ounces it produced a year earlier.
The Johannesburg-based gold miner noted all-in sustaining costs remained unchanged at $1,071 an ounce, but the its net debt increased 4.6% to $2.06 billion.
After suffering heavy losses in its home market, the company had said in June it would restructure its South African mines, which could lead to 8,500 workers, or around 30% of its workforce, being laid off.
Last month, AngloGold sold its Moab Khotsong mine as well as Kopanang Mine and the West Gold Plant for a total $307 million. Once those transactions are complete and the loss-making TauTona mine is placed on care and maintenance, the company said an estimated 13% of its total production would come from its remaining operations in South Africa.
TOKYO -- Japan's seven major trading houses have reported their half-year results through September.
Overall, the outcomes -- all announced by Monday -- were encouraging, thanks mainly to a recovery in resource prices. More than half the companies raised their full-year forecasts, with some even deciding to increase shareholder dividends.
Mitsubishi Corp. on Monday revised up its forecast for full-year group net profit through March 2018 by 50 billion yen to 500 billion yen ($4.39 billion). That would mark a 14% increase on the previous year and exceed the trading house's all-time high of 471 billion yen posted during the year through March 2008 -- a time when the global economy was buoyed by the rise of emerging countries.
Sumitomo Corp., Itochu and Toyota Tsusho also expect to log record-high profits for fiscal 2017. Sumitomo has raised its net profit projection now to 280 billion yen.
Mitsui & Co., on the other hand, is unlikely to renew the record profit posted for the year through March 2008. It will, however, at least see its highest earnings since adopting international accounting standards in the year ended March 2013.
Soaring resource prices have been the biggest contributing factor behind the strong performances. Prices of coking coal used in steel production have risen around 80% from the average during the first half of the previous year. Copper and iron ore prices have followed suit.
Car sales, construction machinery leasing, food and food products are also performing well at all the trading houses, largely supported by a strong global economy, especially in Asia.
By sector, Mitsubishi's metal business, which includes coking coal, will likely see a 32% increase in profits to 195 billion yen, while earnings at its machinery division, which includes car sales, are expected to almost triple to 75 billion yen.
"The boom in resource prices tends to be highlighted, but this is the result of consistent efforts to enhance other [machinery and food] businesses," said Kazuyuki Masu, chief financial officer at Mitsubishi, during a briefing on Monday.
Some trading houses are looking to use the extra cash from the enhanced profit forecasts to increase dividends to shareholders. Mitsubishi, Sumitomo and Toyota have raised their payouts for this fiscal year. Itochu and Mitsui have so far kept the amount unchanged, but will likely either increase dividends or launch a buyback scheme during this fiscal year.
The leading trading houses appear to be generally expecting the positive outlook to continue for the time being. "Resource prices could drop within a short space of time, but over the long term, they will return to an upward trend," said Mitsui's CFO Keigo Matsubara.
Koichi Takahata, Sumitomo CFO, is also optimistic about the near-future forecast for resource prices. "For the next 12 months or so, we will not see sharp ups and downs," he said.
Geopolitical risks could pose one of the few uncertainties for the rest of the fiscal year. Results could depend on whether the trading houses are able to rebalance portfolios to secure new revenue sources while the business environment remains favorable....
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh stated that the Government will fight vigorously against illegal trading of land ownership and mining licenses, during his speech to the Parliament last Friday in connection with a discussion of 2018 State Budget Bill.
The Government will stop improper practices, including issuance of mining and exploration license or land ownership certificate directly by one signature under the name ‘according to application’, issuance of hundreds of licenses to few people or company and they sell the licenses under the name granting or transferring to avoid tax payment.
The Government intends to submit a new law, which legislates to issue licenses for land use and ownership, mining and exploration through open bid and auction and MNT36 billion is estimated to be accumulated to the State Budget by approval and realization of the law. According to the Prime Minister, tax will be imposed on indirect transfer of special licenses and ownership rights, registering basic beneficiary of the special license and final users as well as direct and indirect transfers.
The Government expects that hidden and illegal acts related to special licenses will be eliminated as special license will be cancelled, if license holder fails to present tax report or hide necessary information.
A total of 3,476 licenses, of which 1596 mining licenses and 1,880 exploration, have been registered as of first half of 2017.
Toronto-based Steppe Gold is a precious metals exploration and development company focussing on opportunities in Mongolia. The company has filed a preliminary prospectus in connection with a proposed initial public offering (IPO) of its common shares.
In September 2017, Steppe Gold acquired advanced-staged Altan Tsagaan Ovoo Project in Mongolia from Centerra Mongolia, a subsidiary of Centerra Gold Inc., for aggregate consideration of USD 21.78 million. Steppe Gold has also acquired two exploration stage mineral properties in Mongolia.
The Altan Tsagaan Ovoo Project is comprised of one mining license (MV-017111) over an area of 5,492.63 ha. The project is located in the territory of Tsagaan Ovoo Soum, Dornod Province in eastern Mongolia, 660 km east of the capital Ulaanbaatar, and is at the junction of rivers of Bayan and Duruu. It is near the foot of the mountains Delger Ulziit, Bayan, Namkhai Hill and Yaruu.