1 IRKUTSK REGION SUPPLIES USD 31 MILLION PRODUCTS TO MONGOLIA WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/20      2 27 PARLIAMENT MEMBERS SUBMIT PETITION ON CABINET DISSOLUTION WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/20      3 AIRBNB IS USING WHAT3WORDS TO LIST STAYS WITH MONGOLIAN NOMADS WWW.TECHCRUNCH.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/20      4 LOCAL PRECIOUS METAL ASSAY LABORATORY PURIFIES 99 KG OF GOLD WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/20      5 LEGISLATOR OF MONGOLIA'S RULING PARTY SUBMITS PROPOSAL ON DISMISSING GOVERNMENT WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/20      6 SHOCK DECISION: CHINA CLOSES BORDER TO COAL IMPORTS FROM MONGOLIA WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/20      7 STRATEGY INTRODUCED TO FOSTER PRIVATE SECTOR IN WESTERN MONGOLIA WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/20      8 MONGOLIA TO STRENGTHEN ECONOMIC TIES WITH RUSSIA WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/19      9 VOLKSWAGEN TO SPEND $50 BILLION ON ELECTRIC CAR 'OFFENSIVE' WWW.CNN.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/19      10 HABITABILITY OF MONGOLIA UNDER THREAT FROM CLIMATE CHANGE WWW.ADELAIDENOW.COM.AU PUBLISHED:2018/11/19      ЭРЧИМ ХҮЧНИЙ ИХ АЧААЛАЛ 973 МВТ-Д ХҮРЧЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/20     ЗАСГИЙН ГАЗРЫГ ОГЦРУУЛАХ БИЧИГ ӨРГӨН БАРЬСНЫ ДАРАА "ГЭРЭГЭ" БОНДЫН ХАНШ БУУРЛАА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/20     ХАЙНАНЬД ЗУГААЛАХ ГЭСЭН МОНГОЛЧУУД УЛААН-ҮҮДЭЭС НИСЭХ ТАСАЛБАРЫГ ХУУ ХАМЖ БАЙНА WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/20     ГАШУУНСУХАЙТ БООМТ: ЖОЛООЧ НАРЫН МЭДЭЭЛЛИЙГ УРЬДЧИЛАН ЯВУУЛАХ БАЙДЛААР АСУУДЛЫГ ШИЙДВЭРЛЭХЭЭР БНХАУ-ТАЙ ТОХИРОЛЦЛОО WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/20     ЗАМЫН НӨХӨӨС, 100 ГАРУЙ ТӨРЛИЙН РЕЗИНЭН БҮТЭЭГДЭХҮҮН ДОТООДОД ҮЙЛДВЭРЛЭЖ БАЙНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/20     АЛТНЫ ОЛБОРЛОЛТ ЭДИЙН ЗАСГИЙГ ДЭМЖИЖ БАЙНА WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/20     МОНГОЛЫН АНХНЫ ХУВИЙН ХӨРӨНГИЙН БИРЖИЙН ХОЁР ДАХЬ БҮТЭЭГДЭХҮҮН: “ПАРК ТАУН” БОНД WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/20     МОНГОЛ, ОХУ-ЫН ТЭЭВРИЙН САЛБАРЫН ХАМТЫН АЖИЛЛАГААГ ӨРГӨЖҮҮЛНЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/20     БНХАУ-ЫН ОЛОН УЛСЫН ИМПОРТЫН ҮЗЭСГЭЛЭН БНХАУ-ОХУ-ЫН БИЗНЕСИЙН ХАРИЛЦААГ ӨРГӨЖҮҮЛЛЭЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/19     АМЧАМ МОНГОЛ 2018 ОНЫ ЖИЛИЙН ТАЙЛАНГИЙН ХУРЛАА АМЖИЛТТАЙ ЗОХИОН БАЙГУУЛЛАА WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/19    

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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Elon Musk's huge Falcon Heavy rocket set for launch www.bbc.com

US entrepreneur Elon Musk will attempt to fly the world's most powerful rocket later from the Kennedy Space Center.

His Falcon Heavy vehicle is designed to have more than twice the lifting capacity of any existing launcher.

Because of the historic high failure rate of maiden flights, the rocket will only carry a dummy payload, however.

Mr Musk has decided this should be his old cherry-red Tesla sports car. A mannequin wearing a space suit will be strapped to the driving seat.

The entrepreneur says David Bowie's classic hit Space Oddity will be looping on the radio in the roadster as it is hurled into an elliptical orbit that stretches out to Mars' orbit around the Sun.

"[The car will] get about 400 million km away from Earth, and it'll be doing 11km/s," he told reporters in a briefing on Monday. "We estimate it will be in that orbit for several hundred million years, maybe in excess of a billion years."

The car will be sent towards Mars' orbit - but there is little chance it will hit the planet
Thousands of spectators are expected to descend on Florida's Space Coast to witness the ascent, which could occur as early as 13:30 EST (18:30 GMT).

Mr Musk's rocket company, SpaceX, has given itself three hours to get the vehicle up on Tuesday. If technical glitches lead to a postponement, a second attempt will be made on Wednesday.

The Falcon Heavy is essentially three of SpaceX's workhorse Falcon 9 vehicles strapped together. But the triple-booster configuration has demanded a number of specific alterations, including a strengthening of the central core booster.

The 27 Merlin engines at the base of the rocket should be capable of generating almost 23,000 kilonewtons of thrust - slightly more than double that of the world's current most powerful rocket, the Delta IV Heavy, which is operated by US competitor United Launch Alliance.

Rocket graphic comparison
The 70m-tall Falcon Heavy is designed to put up to a maximum of 64 tonnes in low-Earth orbit. That is like putting five London double-decker buses in space.

In reality, however, the Heavy would rarely be asked to raise so much because SpaceX intends to land the rocket's boosters back on Earth after launch and the fuel required to do this necessarily negates some performance. But the rocket's immense thrust does open up some fascinating new possibilities. These include:

much bigger satellites for use by US intelligence and the military. The scale of these satellites is limited by current rocket performance.
large batches of satellites, such as those for Mr Musk's proposed constellation of thousands of spacecraft to deliver broadband across the globe.
bigger, more capable robots to go to the surface of Mars, or to visit the outer planets such as Jupiter and Saturn, and their moons.
putting up huge telescopes. Hubble's successor, the James Webb telescope, is having to be folded origami-like for its launch in 2019
At the moment, the Falcon Heavy only has a handful of bookings on its manifest.

Two of these are for large telecommunications satellites that must be thrown up into a geostationary orbit some 36,000km above the Earth.

"These satellites are over six tonnes, knowing that the capacity of the rocket is eight tonnes to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) - if it is fully reused," Rachel Villain, from the leading space consultancy Euroconsult, told BBC News.

"So, obviously, the objective must be to fully re-use the rocket, otherwise the capacity to GTO is 20 tonnes which is a lot to fill."

She added: "The main targets are possibly the US government and those proprietary constellations. And when I say US government, I mean both beyond Earth orbit (Nasa) and the US Department of Defence, because SpaceX is now a recognised supplier to the DoD for classified and non-classified missions."

The conundrum for the agency and legislators in Washington DC is that this Space Launch System, as it is known, is still some years away from entering service (in a 70-tonnes to LEO configuration); but more than that - it will probably cost about $1bn per flight. Mr Musk says his Falcon Heavy will cost just $90m per flight.

Many commentators are already asking how Congress can justify the considerable extra expense of the SLS when a much cheaper alternative is about to become available.

And Mr Musk is not the only entrepreneur developing a commercial heavy-lift solution that promises to dramatically undercut the SLS on cost.

Jeff Bezos, the head of Amazon.com, is working on a rocket he calls New Glenn, which should be able to put 45 tonnes in low-Earth orbit. He has even teased something more powerful still, called New Armstrong.

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China chases oil benchmark to knock US off global perch www.asia.nikkei.com

SHANGHAI/TOKYO -- China is almost ready for its next step toward full-fledged superpower status: launching crude oil futures trading.

Final preparations are underway at the Shanghai International Energy Exchange, or INE, in the city's pilot free trade zone. After five system tests in 2017, the trading platform has had small glitches but is nearly set to go, according to Tang Yun, an assistant to the president of Shanghai-based East Asia Futures. Trading in yuan could start by March, once the authorities give the go-ahead.

While China mostly prohibits foreign investors from trading commodity futures on its soil -- to prevent a flood of speculative funds -- it is opening its doors wide for crude. Jiang Yang, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, on Jan. 15 said China will welcome domestic and overseas investors alike.

Simply put, the government is determined to turn the INE's crude oil futures into a global benchmark, and to do so it needs to get large numbers of traders involved. The more participants a market attracts, the more liquid it will be, and the more it will inspire confidence.

This is not China's first attempt at handling oil futures. It launched trading in 1993, only to shut down the operation about one and a half years later due to volatility and other issues.

Now China is calling on oil producers and consumers -- from global majors to its own big players -- to participate in the new market. The INE plans to handle seven kinds of Middle Eastern crude, including Basrah Light produced in Iraq, Dubai crude and Oman crude. China Petroleum & Chemical, or Sinopec, and other state-owned Chinese companies that import large volumes from the Middle East are expected to make use of the market.

So are small and midsize refineries. The government has been working to liberalize the business and in 2015 started assigning oil import quotas to "teapots" -- small, independent refineries. The teapots see the INE as a place to hedge the risk of price swings on Middle Eastern imports.

What China is doing here is challenging the U.S.-led world order, established in the wake of World War II.


Although oil demand has shifted toward Asia, the world's leading benchmarks are still West Texas Intermediate in the U.S. and Brent crude in London. Their position reflects market liquidity and transparency.

Dubai crude, a benchmark for Asia, is mainly traded on a spot basis, while futures trading in Tokyo and elsewhere is sluggish. In reality, Dubai crude prices are influenced by Brent futures.

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Mongolia-US diplomatic ties 30th anniversary celebration wraps up www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Celebration of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the United States was officially closed last week.

Minister of Foreign Affairs D.Tsogtbaatar attended the closing ceremony, held by the US Embassy on February 2, where he delivered a speech, in which he highlighted the consistent support of the US in Mongolia’s transition to democracy.

In the margins of the anniversary, Ulaanbaatar and Washington engaged in several visits and events, including the visit of Mongolian Foreign Minister to the US, reforming of the Mongolia Group in the US Congress, and the announcement of Mongolia’s eligibility for a Second Compact Agreement with the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the preparations for which are ongoing.

The two countries also broadened bilateral cooperation through more events such as the US tour of Mongolian ethnic band Husugtun, performance of the Philadelphia Orchestra in Ulaanbaatar, cooperation within Fulbright, FLEX, LEAD programs, and Mongolia’s inclusion in the H-2A, H-2B visa programs.

Mongolia hosted the 12th bilateral consultations between Foreign Ministries on January 20 this year.

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Egypt, Mongolia discuss enhancing economic bilateral cooperation www.dailynewsegypt.com

The executive chairperson of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), Mona Zobaa, discussed with Mongolian state secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Davaasuren Damdinsuren, the activation of the recommendations issued by the first session of the Egyptian Mongolian Joint Committee, as well as the Executive Programme for Cultural, Scientific, and Technological Cooperation until 2018.

This came during a meeting between Zobaa with Damdinsuren to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation between Egypt and Mongolia.

During the meeting, the two sides agreed to enhance areas of joint cooperation and to hold the second session of the Egyptian Mongolian Joint Committee to support bilateral cooperation in all fields.

Moreover, they discussed encouraging bilateral cooperation in the fields of health, medicine, mining, information technology, and agriculture in order to benefit from the technical expertise of both countries.

Finally, Zobaa stressed the keenness of Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr to enhance the investment relations between the two countries and to welcome more Mongolian investments to Egypt.

She also assured Egypt’s keenness to transfer its expertise to achieve tangible results in Mongolia, through focusing on areas such as investment, investment zones, and free zones.

Damdinsuren arrived to Egypt on Saturday to head a delegation on a three-day visit to Egypt in the fifth round of the bilateral political consultations between Egypt and Mongolia to discuss means of enhancing the cooperation relations between the two countries in all fields.

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Mongolia's largest copper mine co. opens risk awareness center www.xinhuanet.com

ULAN BATOR, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia's largest copper and gold mining company Oyu Tolgoi LLC has opened its Risk Demonstration Center here, local media reported on Tuesday.

The center aims to raise awareness about the common workplace risks of a mine site. The company's CEO Armando Torres said the center will be open to the public.

Oyu Tolgoi has been Mongolia's largest taxpayer in the past four years.

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IMF Reaches Staff-Level Agreement on the Third Review of Mongolia’s Extended Fund Facility www.imf.com

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team led by Mr. Geoff Gottlieb visited Ulaanbaatar from January 24 to February 6, 2018 to conduct discussions on the third review of the three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement approved on May 24, 2017, in an amount equivalent to SDR314.5054 million, or about US$434.3 million (see Press Release No. 17/193 ).

At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Gottlieb made the following statement:

“The economy is doing better than expected led by commodity exports and a pick-up in domestic demand. Growth is now projected at 5.0 percent in 2018 and 6.3 percent in 2019. The government’s adjustment program, supported by a $5.5 billion IMF-supported package, is showing positive results with the successful roll over of external bonds maturing in 2017 and 2018, a $1.8 billion increase in reserves, and a sharp reduction in government debt. These developments have resulted in a largely stable exchange rate, a fall in interest rates, and have greatly improved the government’s debt service schedule. Nevertheless, the growth outlook is subject to risks including a fall in external demand for commodities and higher fuel prices. In light of these risks and still limited buffers, fiscal and monetary policies should remain prudent.

“Macro-economic performance under the program has been positive, with all quantitative targets met by large margins. Fiscal results have been much better than expected, supported by stronger revenues and tight expenditure control. The overall fiscal deficit in 2017 was 1.9 percent of GDP compared to the target of 10.6 percent and 17 percent in 2016. The authorities’ program for 2018 envisages continued prudence in the deficit, while strengthening tax administration through new tax laws and improving budgetary controls on concessions, public investment projects and the operations of the Development Bank of Mongolia. The fiscal over-performance has provided some room for adapting program policies including a rise in civil service salaries in 2019 after several years of restraint.

“The authorities are moving ahead with the strengthening of the banking system and it is crucial that the key steps are implemented as planned. Important legal reforms including the Banking law and Bank of Mongolia law have been passed, a new deposit insurance law is expected shortly, and improvements to the regulatory and supervisory framework are under way. The results of the comprehensive Asset Quality Review have been communicated to banks individually and they are now in the process of preparing plans to reinforce, where needed, their capital adequacy. A law on bank recapitalization that delineates, in line with international best practice, when public funds can and should be used will be introduced in coming months. The authorities will also move ahead with putting in place an NPL resolution framework that will allow for more rapid improvement in banks’ balance sheets.

“The authorities and the team have reached staff-level agreement on the completion of the third review under the EFF arrangement, which is subject to the approval of the IMF Executive Board.

“The team thanks the authorities for their cooperation, constructive dialogue, and hospitality during its stay in Mongolia.”

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Public trading sees an increase at the MSE www.gogo.mn

The Financial Regulatory Commission reported that public trading at the Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE) increased rapidly in the past year.

Stock market trading was over 300 million MNT in 2016 and trading quadrupled in 2017, reaching 1.2 billion MNT. Foreign traders and corporations were responsible for 4.06 percent of all stock market trading, which was 34.8 million MNT higher than 2016’s 8.3 million MNT in trades.

Domestic companies saw trading increase in 2017, and totaled 657.6 million MNT compared to 2016 when the amount was 312.4 million MNT. Public trading on the stock market reached 167.7 million MNT, which was six times higher than 2016 and made up 19.5 percent of all trading.

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Russian company to construct power bridge in Mongolia www.news.mn

Russia’s Federal Grid Company (FGC), an affiliate of the Rosset holding, has started work on a preliminary feasibility study for the Russia - Mongolia power bridge.

Mongolia often experiences electricity shortage problems in its national grid. Previously, Rosset proposed supplying electricity using the power transmission lines from power generating facilities in Siberia. Ulaanbaatar expressed interest in the project, which was due to start in January 2018.

As previously reported, Rosset offered to construction a 500 kV power transmission line across the territory of Russia and Mongolia. Construction of the power line will make it possible for Russia and Mongolia to provide high quality power supply to regions currently experiencing problems with electricity supply. In addition, it would avoid the environmental risks which would have been caused by a 'home-grown' project to build a series of power plants on the River Selenga. The general benefit would be reducing the costs of developing the Mongolian energy system.

Russian environmental and scientific circles have repeatedly expressed their concerns about Mongolia’s plans to build a cascade of hydro-electric dams - one on the Selenga and two on its main tributaries - the Eg and the Orkhon. The sensitivity is because the Selenga river basin feeds Lake Baikal, the world’s largest and deepest freshwater lake and a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are real concerns as to how the dams would influence the sensitive ecology of the lake; in total some 80% of all water that flows into the lake comes from the Selenga and its tributaries.

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Nissan to invest $9 billion for EVs in China www.nhk.or.jp

Nissan Motor plans to invest about 9 billion dollars in China over the next 5 years to boost production and sales of electric vehicles.

Officials of Nissan and joint venture partner Dongfeng Motor Group announced the strategy at a news conference in Beijing on Monday.

They said the joint company aims to increase its annual sales to 2.6 million vehicles by 2022. That's 1.5 million more vehicles than last year.

The company intends to introduce 6 new EV models in China over the next 2 years.

It also wants to develop more than 20 other models, including electric and hybrid vehicles.

By 2020, the partners hope to increase sales of EVs or hybrids to some 30 percent of new car sales.

The head of the joint venture company, Jun Seki, said the Chinese auto market is growing drastically, and that the company aims to be the top brand for electric vehicles in China.

Toyota also plans to start selling electric vehicles in China in 2020.

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Samsung heir freed from S Korea jail www.bbc.com

Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong has been freed from jail after a South Korean court suspended his five year jail term for bribing the country's ex-president.

Seoul High Court upheld parts of the conviction, but used its discretion to release the executive.

Prosecutors may challenge the decision in the country's supreme court.

The case gripped the public amid growing anger against the country's biggest companies, known as chaebols, and their influence on wider society.

In Monday's hearing, the court halved Lee's original sentence to two and a half years - and suspended the sentence for charges including bribery and embezzlement, meaning he does not have to serve any more prison time.

Despite his release, Lee plans to appeal against the remaining guilty verdicts, his lawyer said.

Scandal
Last year a lower court jailed Lee for corruption in a political scandal that ultimately brought down former President Park Geun-hye.

The Samsung Electronics vice chairman, who is also known as Jay Y Lee, had been convicted of a range of offences including bribery and embezzlement.

Lee, has effectively directed operations at the mobile phone and chip maker since his father, Lee Kun-hee, was incapacitated by a heart attack in 2014.

A dramatic turnaround in fortunes for Samsung scion Lee Jae-yong.

There were many outcomes that could have taken place today. But it would be fair to say that Lee walking out of jail was the one that was least likely.

Lee's release will be a major relief to the world's biggest smartphone maker and arguably the most important company in Corporate Korea.

Sources inside Samsung tell me that while the company hasn't seen its share price or profits affected in the short term from Lee's absence, long term it was going to struggle, especially with strategy and future direction.

And you can see the immediate impact of that from the pop in Samsung's share price this Monday - a sign that investors are looking forward to Lee back in the driving seat.

But there are also political consequences to this latest move.

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in won office by campaigning to clean up the powerful chaebol sector in Korea. But many will see the court ruling as effectively a get-out-of-jail card for Lee that goes against everything the president stood for.

What was he accused of?
The 49-year-old was accused of giving donations worth 41bn won ($37.7m; £26.7m) to non-profit foundations operated by Choi Soon-sil, a friend of South Korea's former President Park Geun-hye, in return for political favours.

Prosecutors said the donations were made to Ms Park's confidante to win government support for a big restructuring of Samsung that would strengthen Lee's control over Samsung Electronics.

But Lee's defence team said that the payments were signed off without his knowledge.

Lee admitted that the firm also gave a horse and money to help the equestrian career of Choi's daughter, Chung Yoo-ra, but denied seeking favours.

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