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TOKYO (Reuters) - Kobe Steel Ltd shares tumbled a further 16 percent on Wednesday after it admitted it may have fabricated data on iron powder products and media reported the possible sale of its real estate business.
The latest disclosure comes after Japan’s No.3 steelmaker said on the weekend it had falsified data to show that its aluminum and copper products had met customer specifications, and suggests the problems could be widespread.
Japanese manufacturers were thrown into turmoil by the revelation, with implications for materials used in cars, aircraft and possibly a space rocket and defense equipment.
Shares in Kobe Steel were down 15.73 percent at 900 yen as of 0114 GMT on Wednesday, underperforming the broader market which was steady. They fell 22 percent the previous day.
A Kobe Steel spokesman confirmed a report on Wednesday in the Yomiuri newspaper saying the firm may have fabricated data on iron powder products used in components such as automotive gears. He said the company was investigating the issue.
The Nikkei business daily meanwhile reported that Kobe Steel intended to put its real estate business on the block in an effort to shore up already shaky finances now threatened by the data falsification scandal.
The Kobe Steel spokesman said he could not comment on that report.
Kobe’s data fabrication problems are the latest in a series of industrial missteps undermining Japan’s reputation for high-quality production.
The Central Bank of Russia has suggested banning access to bitcoin and other cryptocurrency exchange websites in the country. The officials say digital money is a financial pyramid which is prohibited in Russia.
The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have agreed a cryptocurrency is a tool without a legal definition, which has an ambiguous economic nature and does not allow regulators to protect investors, according to First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia Sergey Shvetsov.
“We have seen how bitcoin has transformed from a payment unit into an asset, which is bought in order to obtain a high yield in a short period of time. This is a definition of a pyramid,” he said.
Even those who have significant investments in bitcoin admit that there is not much money in the system, it has low liquidity, and it is almost impossible to get out of the system.
Shvetsov said that in Russia there is a procedure for blocking access to sites which encourage investment in financial pyramids. He admitted there are a lot of them, and the process is not easy.
"There is a permanent job of blocking malicious sites that involve Russian citizens in financial pyramid schemes. Everything that contradicts or violates Russian law, or creates unfair competition, will be limited," he stressed.
Russian authorities said earlier this year they would like to regulate the use of cryptocurrencies by Russians by limiting access by the general public.
Hogan Lovells is closing its Ulaanbaatar office seven years after it first entered the Mongolian market via a local association in 2010.
The firm’s decision to exit Mongolia comes following a strategic review of the market. Hogan Lovells’ office managing partner in Ulaanbaatar Chris Melville will establish a new independent firm in the Mongolian capital with the existing team of 15 lawyers and staff. Hogan Lovells will form a co-operation relationship with the new firm in a bid to continue servicing its clients in the country.
“Following a review of the market and our investment priorities, we have taken the decision to close our Ulaanbaatar office,” said Hogan Lovells global CEO Steve Immelt.
Hogan Lovells gained an Ulaanbaatar presence when it entered a formal association with Mongolian outfit GTs Advocates in August 2010. It was also the first global firm to set up a permanent presence in Mongolia, and has operated there since 2011 advising on inbound corporate investment work and foreign investment in the infrastructure and natural resources sectors.
“Global and local markets and the strategic priorities of the firm have changed since then. I strongly believe that we have a good practice, an excellent team, and that there are opportunities that we can take advantage of operating from a different platform, including working with Hogan Lovells in the future. We are excited about the next chapter,” said Melville.
Melville was relocated from London to the Ulaanbaatar office in 2012, working with the then office managing partner Michael Aldrich.
A very small number of other international firms continue to have a presence in the country, including DLA Piper, which entered the Mongolian market via a local tie-up with C&G Partners in 2011, and Dentons – thanks to its merger with Chinese firm Dacheng, which set up an office in the city in 2013.
Mongolia’s grasslands are an ideal playground for several million cashmere goats, sheep and yaks. Their world-renown wool means big business: it provides an income for around 400,000 herders, so it should not come as a surprise that locals refer to it as “white gold”.
But, for a long time, Mongolians have not seen the benefits of possessing this precious resource. Foreign traders bought the raw material and processed it abroad, so the economic upside took a detour out of the country.
This is why the EBRD teamed up with the European Union and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to add value across the whole production cycle – from the local farmer to exporters in Ulaanbaatar.
The story of a beautiful cashmere scarf starts in the picturesque hillside of the north-western Khövsgöl Province. The sight could not be more different from the glitzy lights of Ulaanbaatar: it is a land of animals covered in fur, not man, whom they outnumber by a healthy 25:1.
Batulzii is a local farmer who lives with his wife and young children in a traditional yurt. Cashmere goats are shorn in May, followed by sheep, he explains. They naturally start to shed their wool in June and if he does not cut it, it simply falls to the ground.
It is the first part of the chain where we strive to add value to the wool production. FAO offers training to farmers, from grassland management and providing the right feed to the animals to the relevant sustainable industry standards.
“After cutting the wool, I sell it to the Leader Cashmere factory,” Batulzii explained. “This is how I earn a living.”
The world is on a "crash course" as people's hopes collide with a future in which millions of jobs are automated, the World Bank chief has said.
Jim Yong Kim said policymakers should take action by investing in education and health.
The World Bank president was speaking in New York ahead of the group's annual meeting in Washington DC this week.
The remarks come amid wider concerns about political threats to economic growth.
The World Bank plans to publish a ranking of countries that measures investments in "human capital", such as education.
The focus is a shift for the organisation, which was established after World War Two to spur infrastructure reconstruction.
But Dr Kim said other kinds of investments are important to economic growth in the future, as robots displace millions of low-skill workers.
"The one thing you know for sure that you'll need in whatever the economy looks like in the future is people who can learn," he told the BBC.
"We want to create a sense of urgency to invest in people that we think is necessary given the way ... the global economy is changing."
The push for education and health investments comes as outlooks for economic growth improve.
In July the IMF said it expected the global economy to expand by 3.5% this year and by 3.6% in 2018.
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said updated forecasts, to be released this week, were likely to be even more optimistic.
However, bankers from the IMF, World Bank and other organisations have warned that the progress is threatened by political movements that favour trade barriers, isolation, military aggression and other measures.
"If your aspirations start to rise but then there's no opportunity it can lead to fragility, conflict, violence," Dr Kim said. "This is the crash course we're going down."
Political uncertainties are increasingly behind many of the risks identified by sovereign debt analysts, said Moritz Kraemer, managing director of S&P Global Ratings, which tracks economic and political movements in dozens of countries to devise credit ratings.
The subject was also the topic of a speech by European Central Bank president Mario Draghi earlier this year.
Ms Lagarde said this month that policymakers "should not let a good recovery go to waste".
"We know what can happen if we let the moment pass," she said. "Growth will be too weak, and jobs too few. Safety nets will be unable to handle aging populations. Our financial system will be unprepared for future shocks."
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Mayor of Ulaanbaatar S.Batbold held a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Sobyanin on October 9 in Moscow.
Following the meeting, the Mayors signed a cooperation program for 2018-2020 in accordance with principles reflected in the Protocol on Ulaanbaatar-Moscow friendly cooperation, which was signed on February, 26, 1996.
In accordance with the cooperation program, the sides will strengthen their cooperation in the fields of urban planning, architecture, housing, public untilities, urban development, education, health and archive.
Present at the meeting were S.Delgermaa, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Russian Federation, M.Otgonbayar, Head of Ulaanbaatar Governor’s Office, S.Odontuya, Governor of Bayangol district, S.E.Cheremin, Minister of the Moscow Government and Head of the Department for External Economic and International Relations of the Moscow Government.
Last year’s Hawke’s Bay Guineas winner Mongolian Falcon has joined the Cambridge stable of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.
The formerly Ruakaka-trained son of Fastnet Rock is on the comeback trail after suffering an injury in the Gr. 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas at Riccarton last November.
“He’s been here with us for about three weeks now,” Forsman told www.theinformant.co.nz. “We’re just getting him ticking over at the moment and giving him some time on the water walker.
“He’s coming off a long rehab and he’s had knee surgery. He’s still a colt and it’s a matter of keeping him in one piece and giving him all the time he needs.”
Baker and Forsman are familiar with Mongolian Falcon, having saddled their subsequent Australian Derby winner Jon Snow for a second placing when the colt scored a five-length win in last year’s Gr. 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas.
Owned by the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry, Mongolian Falcon was trained by Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs to record three wins and four placings from nine starts for prize-money of $128,250.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Golomt Bank has signed an 8-year credit agreement with WorldBusiness Capital Inc (WBC) under a guarantee from the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) as part of its commitment to develop SME businesses in Mongolia.
Golomt Bank website published the news on October 10.
With this long-term facility, Golomt Bank is supporting not only its SME clients, but also growing corporates that fall into the international definition of SMEs. The loan facility is especially oriented towards promoting SMEs operating in the agribusiness sector and environmentally friendly projects.
On the occasion of credit agreement signing, Tomas Bravenec, Deputy CEO of Golomt Bank mentioned: “We are thankful to OPIC and WBC for their support and confidence they put forward. It makes us very proud to receive such long term funding, which extends beyond the currently outstanding Mongolian sovereign bonds. This commits us to work even harder and better on behalf of our customers and international partners,”
This agreement is a milestone for Golomt Bank expanding its U.S. partnerships and aligning its goal with the mandate of international institutions like OPIC and WBC to support business growth, job creation and overall development of the emerging market through long-term financing solutions.
World Business Capital, Inc. (WBC) is a commercial finance company based in Hartford, Connecticut, USA that offers flexible term loans helping small and midsize businesses compete in the global marketplace. Founded in 2003, WBC is a direct lender with many years of experience in cross-border trade and project finance, and has a proven track record in emerging markets around the world, with a focus on lending in Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity investment fund managers.
OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States.
Golomt Bank is a leading systemically important bank in Mongolia, with MNT 5 trillion in assets as of September 30, 2017, serving corporate, SME and retail customer segments across the country. Golomt Bank aims to help its clients build sustainable businesses and with this goal in mind, Golomt Bank is working to bring favorable funding solutions to its clients....
Yorkshire-based events company, that specialises in hiring beautifully handcrafted yurts, will help to build a home for a Mongolian family in need this Christmas.
Award-winning company Yorkshire Yurts, will donate £1 of every ‘Ski Boot’ drink sold at its Yurt Bar Christmas parties in 2017, to the Christina Noble Foundation’s ‘Give a Ger’ programme.
Yorkshire Yurts, which provides luxurious yurts, marquees and furnishings for weddings, parties and events, has aptly chosen to support the charity in providing funds towards building a traditional yurt, also known as a Mongolian ger, for a family without a home.
Having seen a 26% increase in demand for Christmas party bookings in 2017 compared to last year, Yorkshire Yurts has chosen to celebrate the success of its subsidiary, Yurt Bar, by giving to those in need this Christmas.
Established in 1991, The Christina Noble Children’s Foundation is a partnership of people dedicated to helping children in Mongolia and Vietnam. The charity began working in Mongolia after recognising the thousands of sick and destitute street children living in manholes beneath the streets of the country’s capital, Ulaanbaatar.
The charity provides emergency and long-term medical care, nutritional rehabilitation, educational opportunities, vocational training and job placement to children at risk of sexual and economic exploitation.
Yorkshire Yurts’ Yurt Bar experiences will take place in Moor Allerton on selected dates throughout December; inviting local businesses to celebrate Christmas in a festive, apres-ski themed yurt with a three-course dinner, drinks and live entertainment.
Founder and managing director, Tom Sterne said:
“Having experienced significant demand for our Christmas Yurt Bar parties this December, we felt that a fitting way to give back, would be to support the country that developed the very product our business is based upon.
“With the potential for more than 2,000 attendees at a Yurt Bar Christmas party event, we hope the proceeds will go a long way to providing a Mongolian family with a new home.
“We hope that the money we donate will seriously help to provide a family with the home they desperately need. Christmas is the perfect opportunity to take time to reflect and be grateful for all that we have; both in personally and in business.”
Office Manager at Christina Noble Foundation, Fiona Geoghegan commented:
“The “Give a Ger” programme is an emergency fund which was established in 2001 to provide a home for families in danger of becoming homeless, and those families struggling to survive poverty and the harsh Mongolian winters where temperatures regularly plummet to -40 degrees.
“The gift of a ger does far more than simply removing children from squalid and unhealthy living conditions. The most important factor is that it offers security and stability to families under pressure and the chance of a new start. So a huge thank you to Yorkshire Yurts for supporting this life-changing programme.”...
IRKUTSK. Oct 9 (Interfax) - The Russian-Mongolian Intergovernmental Commission will meet in Irkutsk on October 18-20, the regional government said in a statement on Monday.
The agenda is still being elaborated.
"To us, the primary benefit of this event will be new business contacts. A new government is being formed in Mongolia after the presidential election, which took place in late June," the statement quoted the Irkutsk region economic development minister, Yevgeny Orachevsky, as saying.
The Mongolia-EAEU 2017 business forum was held in Ulaanbaatar on October 4 with the participation of representatives of the Mongolian Business Council, the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and the EAEU member countries (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia), the statement said. The forum highlighted trade liberalization mechanisms.
"The Eurasian Economic Union and Mongolia are eyeing a free trade agreement. The document will reduce duties and implement a uniform international certification system, which will save time and money of businessmen," the statement said.
The Irkutsk region is a major trade partner of Mongolia.