|“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|
ZURICH, March 19 (Reuters) - Switzerland’s highest court has upheld the seizure of $1.85 million in Swiss bank accounts, part of a corruption probe linked to a former Mongolian finance minister who helped clear the way for a disputed Rio Tinto mining project, a ruling showed.
The Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) also confirmed it has an ongoing criminal investigation in which prosecutors contend one of the seized accounts was used to transfer $10 million to the ex-minister, Bayartsogt Sangajav.
Anti-graft authorities in Mongolia are investigating the country’s 2009 investment pact with Rio Tinto, signed by Bayartsogt, that kickstarted the British-Australian company’s Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project in the Gobi desert.
Neither the OAG nor the heavily redacted Swiss Federal Tribunal ruling, released on Friday, identified Bayartsogt or Rio Tinto by name, but the court documents include details that clearly show both are elements of the OAG’s probe.
The court documents refer to Rio Tinto’s mine, now undergoing a $5.3 billion expansion, but do not accuse the company of wrongdoing on the project.
A spokesman for the Swiss OAG declined further comment on its investigation, saying it was confidential and adding those being scrutinised are presumed innocent until proven otherwise. Rio Tinto declined comment when contacted by Reuters.
“We confirm the Swiss attorney general’s office is conducting a criminal proceeding due to suspicion of bribery of foreign officials and money laundering,” the OAG said in an emailed response to Reuters.
Telephone calls and text messages from Reuters to Bayartsogt seeking comment were not answered or returned.
The Swiss attorney general’s office launched its probe in 2016, court documents show, when prosecutors seized the bank accounts they say were linked to a transfer of 8.2 million euros ($10.1 million) to accounts controlled by Bayartsogt in September 2008, the month he became Mongolia’s finance minister.
Since then, the unidentified owner of the seized accounts, with a balance of some $1.85 million, has sought unsuccessfully to have the funds unfrozen.
The account holder contended there was insufficient suspicion to make a case, that Switzerland lacks jurisdiction, that the statute of limitations had expired and that he had diplomatic immunity from criminal prosecution, court documents show.
In its rejection of those claims published on Friday, the Federal Tribunal’s three-judge panel wrote that evidence pointed to “concrete clues that large amounts of money of questionable origin” had flowed in transfers that were “typical of money laundering”.
“It is very suspicious that the minister of a foreign country, immediately after taking a ministerial post, would be the recipient of such a large sum,” the ruling said, adding the OAG’s criminal probe remains in its early stages.
A spokeswoman for Mongolia’s anti-corruption authority told Reuters that it is investigating a number of cases involving Bayartsogt. She did not elaborate.
A Swiss lawyer representing the holder of the seized accounts did not reply to an email seeking comment.
The Swiss Federal Tribunal’s ruling also referenced allegations that have been raised by some Mongolian politicians, accusing the government of handing too much control over big mining projects to foreign interests like Rio Tinto.
“There are indications that (Bayartsogt) as finance minister signed a contract that was disadvantageous to the Mongolian state,” the Swiss ruling said.
In 2013, Bayartsogt resigned as deputy speaker of the Mongolian parliament after details emerged of his Swiss bank account in reports by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the group that has written extensively about leaks including the Panama Papers.
$1 = 0.8139 euros Reporting by John Miller in Zurich, Barbara Lewis in London and Munkhchimeg Davaasharav in Ulaanbaatar; Editing by Dale Hudson...
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on March 19 to implement the trade facilitation reform and enhance the competitiveness of Mongolia’s agricultural exports.
IFC will help the Ministry of Foreign Affairs establish the Mongolia Trade Information Portal, an on-line repository for all trade-related regulations. The project will also help streamline trade and customs regulations, simplify border inspection practices, as well as enhance private sector capacity to meet export requirements in the next five years.
D. Tsogtbaatar, Foreign Minister of Mongolia, said, “Trade facilitation is a cornerstone of the government’s trade and economic development agenda. We believe it will greatly assist Mongolia in reaching our goal of increasing Mongolia’s export. The government of Mongolia appreciates the World Bank Group’s support in reducing trade costs, and simplifying trade procedures, which have been a bottleneck for Mongolian businesses.”
This project is part of the World Bank Group’s holistic approach in Mongolia to support export diversification, especially agri-livestock. The World Bank is assisting exporters by providing export insurance and capacity-building grants through its Export Development Program. This IFC project will also work with industry players to help primary agri-producers to meet export standards. Last year, IFC completed a comprehensive report with recommendations on how Mongolia’s agriculture sector can draw foreign direct investment to enter the global value chain.
“A transparent and modern trade facilitation system will enable Mongolian businesses, especially agribusiness, to trade more easily with their foreign partners, improving Mongolia’s overall export competitiveness,” said Tuyen D. Nguyen, IFC Resident Representative for Mongolia. “The World Bank Group will continue to support the government of Mongolia in its efforts to improve the country’s business environment and diversify exports.”
The agriculture sector is central to Mongolia’s economy, with meat and dairy products contributing 61 percent of livestock output and 7 percent of the country’s GDP.
This project will be delivered by IFC advisory services through the Macroeconomics, Trade & Investment Global Practice of the World Bank Group.
Mongolian memory athletes have been showing great triumphs at international and world competitions.
For instance, at the World Memory Championship 2017 organized by International Association of Memory in Jakarta last year, Mongolia won 57 medals out of 90 in total in kids, junior and adult categories, taking 22,531 points in total.
The Mongolian team has re-set seven world records and participated in 46 mental sports contests in the USA, Sweden, China, Turkey, the Philippines, India, Taiwan, Malaysia, the UK, Singapore, Korea and Indonesia, and won 760 medals so far.
To date, eight athletes qualified to become international grandmasters, nine athletes qualified for the grandmaster title, 13 athletes qualified for the international master title, and five athletes were qualified for the Asian master title.
Mongolia was proposed to organize the World Memory Championship 2018, considering the achievements of the athletes and the development of this sport in Mongolia.
President of the Intellectual Academy Kh.Khatanbaatar talked about it. He said, “We are so glad to be proposed to organize the 28th World Memory Championship in Mongolia. I guess it’s the expression of that Mongolian memory athletes are being acknowledged and valued by the world. Of course, all the best memory athletes take part in the World Memory Championship, which should be organized very well. And it will cost a lot. We couldn’t accept the proposal in the first place due to the financial crisis taking place everywhere.”
He noted that the support of the government will make the decision and said, “I told them that I’ll respond after meeting with officials.”
BOSTON and ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia, March 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Brightcove (NASDAQ: BCOV), the leading provider of cloud services for video, announced that Mongol TV, Mongolia's leading free to air TV channel, has launched ORI TV, a new OTT streaming service utilising Brightcove OTT Flow, powered by Accedo. ORI TV is the first and only Mongolian language OTT service delivering on-demand and live TV content to viewers worldwide.
ORI TV was developed by Mongol TV with an ambition to provide a one-stop destination for its viewers to stream local TV content including live events, sports, entertainment, festivals and local versions of US franchise shows such as The Voice Mongolia, Mongolia's Got Talent and Shark Tank Mongolia. The service is available via subscription, on the web, iOS, and Android.
"Our ambition with ORI TV was to delight our viewers with the best live and on-demand OTT video streaming experience and we knew that only a market leader in OTT TV solutions could power that kind of experience. Therefore, it was an easy decision to select Brightcove because of their OTT Flow solution, which simplified the complexities associated with OTT streaming and accelerated our time to market. Brightcove's OTT Flow came equipped with all of the features we were looking for: ease of use and setup, optimised for any device, stunning user interface, affordable price point, and a strong Asia-based support team," Bat-Erdene Gankhuyag, CEO of Mongol TV, said.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with Mongol TV as our first customer in Mongolia to launch an OTT service in the country. This is another example of a great use case for Brightcove as we expand our customer base across the Asia region,"Ben Morrell, General Manager, Asia, Brightcove, said. "We are seeing a shift in which where broadcasters are starting to package live and on-demand content into their OTT services. Our out-of-the-box OTT Flow solution helped Mongol TV launch its service in record time and with little upfront cost. As a result, broadcasters like Mongol TV can focus on what they do best - bringing the best in TV programming to viewers worldwide."
Brightcove is deeply focused on helping media organizations deliver amazing viewing experiences, as well as increasing revenue and reducing the costs associated with online video. OTT Flow, which enables media organizations like ORI TV to rapidly deploy high-quality live and on-demand video across platforms, addresses all three of these objectives. ORI TV monetizes its SVOD content using subscriber management technology from Cleeng, which OTT Flow utilizes as its subscriber management functionality.
US-educated economist Yi Gang has been named the next governor of China's central bank, replacing Zhou Xiaochuan.
Mr Yi joined the People's Bank of China (PBOC) 20 years ago and has been its deputy governor since 2008.
His appointment is being seen as one of ensured continuity as Beijing continues to try and rein in growing debt and limit risky financial practices.
The announcement was made on the second-last day of the annual sitting of the National People's Congress.
Mr Yi will take over a central bank tasked with the ongoing reform of China's financial landscape, including encouraging foreign investment into the financial markets, and monetary policy reform.
But he will also take over a bank with new powers.
Last week, as part of sweeping changes to China's central government structure, the NPC said China's central bank would have increased control over making new laws and regulations for the banking and insurance sectors.
It was also announced that a newly formed banking and insurance super regulator, formed out of a merger between the Banking Regulatory Commission and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, would oversee all of China's banking and insurance sector - and would effectively report into the PBOC.
The reforms to the banking and finance regulatory systems will see the PBOC become one of the most powerful bodies in the country.
However, unlike the United States and other large democracies, China's central bank does not operate independently of the government, and so Mr Yi will ultimately report into President Xi Jinping.
At the beginning of the NPC earlier this month, China approved the removal of the two-term limit on the presidency, effectively allowing Xi Jinping to remain in power for life.
Mr Yi has a degree in economics from Beijing University, together with a master's degree and PhD in economics from the University of Illinois, US.
For the Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE), 2018 has already been a wildly successful year with the highest growth in 27 years, an IPO that was oversubscribed 16.5 times over and the first ever dual-listing request on the exchange filed by a Toronto-listed company. The rapid growth of the stock market has been encouraging for not only MSE but the Mongolian economy as a whole. However, some economists have begun to raise concern over a potential bubble on the stock market.
But what is an economic bubble? The term is used a lot when explaining international financial crises such as the 2008 US market crash. Essentially, a bubble is an economic cycle which sees a rapid escalation of asset prices (stock, housing, etc.) followed by a contraction. The prices of the asset consistently increase to a large amount until investors are no longer willing to buy it, causing a massive selloff and subsequent deflation of the bubble.
The history of economic bubbles dates back to the 17th century, where a flower essentially caused the collapse of the Dutch economy. Considered to be one of the earliest documented cases of an economic bubble, the Tulip mania saw a boom in demand of tulips as the first one was imported into the Dutch Empire from the Ottoman Empire.
Demand for the flower exploded as buyers banked on the idea of selling the flowers at a higher price in the future. The expectation that the prices of tulips would continually increase created the first documented case of a speculative bubble.
Rare varieties of the tulip popped up on the market, driving prices even higher. Some people were even trading in their land or houses for rare tulips. The bubble finally burst in 1637 when a buyer failed to show up for a large purchase which acted as a wake up call that the prices of tulips were unsustainable. The bubble finally burst and led to many people to lose considerable amounts of money.
Seeing as Mongolia’s stock market is a relatively young and underdeveloped, the country’s experience with economic bubbles are mainly exclusive to foreign investment in the mining sector.
On the stock market, bubbles usually form due to a change in investor behavior, which Mongolia is currently in the process of. A large number of people have increasingly banked on the stock market, evidenced by 10,000 new accounts created in just the month of February at MSE.
Add in the fact that Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi is about to register 2.5 million Mongolians as shareholders and will likely authorize secondary market trading soon, the activation of the stock market is increasing rapidly.
The last two IPOs on MSE, ITools and LendMN, both set records for subscription. In addition to being the first information communication technology company on MSE, ITools saw their IPO oversubscribed three times over. Riding the wave of momentum, LendMN’s IPO was oversubscribed 16.5 times over, shattering ITools IPO.
The fact that LendMN offered 12.5 percent of its shares to the public to raise 2.5 billion MNT but received orders totaling over 40 billion MNT is a signal of the increased demand in the stock market.
One of the major issues that economists bring up when citing a potential bubble on the stock market is the fact that share liquidity has worsened on Mongolia’s stock market. Share liquidity is the ability to trade a substantial amount of a financial asset at close to current market prices.
On the Australian Securities Exchange Glossary, chief market analyst Michael Kemp explains that share liquidity refers to the “ease” by which shares can be traded. There are two defining characteristics for this ease, one of which is speed or how fast a stock can be sold on the secondary market.
The second is price. In order to be qualified is liquid, a stock must be able to be sold without significantly lowering the price.
The share market liquidity of stocks traded on MSE in 2017 were calculated using average daily trading volumes. The result was that stocks in 2017 had liquidity of 3.2 percent, down 0.1 percent from 2016.
In terms of market capitalization, MSE had a dramatic surge of one trillion MNT in a matter of one year. By the end of 2017, market capitalization reached 2.4 trillion MNT, a 65.6 percent increase year on year.
Despite the massive growth in numbers, the Financial Regulatory Commission (FRC) itself has raised concern over the decrease in liquidity, confirming the possibility of a bubble on the stock market.
The concentration of shares into the hands of a small group of investors has also been mentioned as an obstacle to improving share liquidity by FRC. A number of publically traded companies on MSE only trade up to five percent of their shares on MSE. FRC has tried to diversify this concentration by actively encouraging companies to trade at least 30 percent of their company on MSE.
FRC believes this will help improve the transparency and openness of a company, leading to a better share liquidity. In connection to this, And Energy and ITools both offered more than 30 percent of their company on exchange.
Another important factor in improving share liquidity and avoiding a bubble is not getting caught up in the volume growth on MSE. It is more important to focus on the quality of the stocks being offered on the market, said FRC....
Frontier Securities is pleased to invite you to attend Invest Mongolia Hong Kong on April 12, 2018.
The venue will be at SPRG, 24F, Tower One, Admiralty Centre, Hong Kong
We are hosting this event in HK for the first time given the improved economic situation in Mongolia and the stronger interest from HK to invest in Mongolia.
Below are the topics to be discussed at the conference.
The update of the IMF Program and the outlook of the Mongolian Economy in 2018
The action plan of the Government in the next two years and the areas that benefit most
The successful refinancing of the Sovereign Debt and the opportunities to invest in Corporate, Municipal and Bank Debts
The Government plan of Privatizing SOEs and listing the shares of ErdenesTavan Tolgoi and others to HKSE
The policies of the Government to attract foreign investors
Invest Mongolia is one the of the largest events on Mongolia, which serves as a platform of bringing in people from the Government, key industries' players, financial institutions, global investors and medias where they get a chance to talk about several socio-political and economic development.
This year will be particularly important to attend because ETT, the largest coal miner in Mongolia is interested in going public in HKEX. Hence, we anticipate lots of business opportunities in the next few months between HK and Mongolia.
So, please SAVE THE DATE for the events. You can see the agenda, list of speakers and other information at https://www.frontier-conference.com/hk/
In addition you can register online at the events via the below links.
The registration is free of charge.
Invest Mongolia 2018
Tel: +976 7575-5520
Preceded from the era of electronics and information technology, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, best regarded as the digital revolution, has been cultivating almost every industry in every country since the middle of the last century. As stated by Klaus Schwab, the First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is fusing the technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres. Amid the ever-changing world that is advancing towards automation and global interconnectivity, Mongolia is taking a step towards the inevitable transformation. Several companies have adapted innovative ideas and models that could reshape the industry; for instance, Mongol Basalt LLC’s basalt stone extraction technology and nanofibers of Best Buidan LLC. However, the policy makers, producers and innovators agree that the industrialization 4.0 will require more vocational workers and engineers. This will increase demands for professions based on mathematics, chemistry and physics, as well as educational system reform. Presently, only one-fifth of high school graduates pursue vocational education, which is highly insufficient for keeping up with the fast-changing environment.
In addition, the large use of robotics is requiring new forms of collaboration, multidisciplinary studies and hybrid professions from employees. With an aim to accelerate the public adaptation to this rapid revolution, the Vocational Education and Training Partnership (VETP), a project being implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Mongolia and German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, held a consultative forum and training yesterday. One of the key goals of the event was to sign a MoU on establishing professional council of mechatronics, one of the growing field of multidisciplinary studies that combines electronics and mechanical engineering, at the Polytechnic College of Mining Energy (PCME) in Darkhan-Uul Aimag. The signing of MoU confirmed the giant demand for mechatronic engineers as 11 national companies, such as Gobi, Erel and Oyu Tolgoi JSCs, were involved in it. “The demand for mechatronic engineers is very high because the profession will be required in every line of computer-controlled production,” highlighted one of the mechatronics teacher of PCME. In terms of either quality or quantity, the VETP project underlined that Mongolia’s training market is currently unable to satisfy the technical staff need in mineral resource sector and in the upstream and downstream industries, particularly in electrical, construction and mechanical occupations. This is driven by the lack of studies available for high schoolers that could indicate the labour market trend in the longer-term. Although professional studies are accessible for the young, they are mostly prepared for specified sectors and temporary demand....
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Forty-five U.S. trade associations representing some of the largest companies in the country are urging President Donald Trump not to impose tariffs on China, warning it would be “particularly harmful” to the U.S. economy and consumers.
The organizations said in a letter sent to Trump on Sunday that potential tariffs on China would raise prices on consumer goods, kill jobs and drive down financial markets.
The letter marks the latest in a growing rift between Trump and the business community on trade policies, as the president has begun to take more aggressive steps he says are needed to protect domestic industry.
“We urge the administration not to impose tariffs and to work with the business community to find an effective, but measured, solution to China’s protectionist trade policies and practices that protects American jobs and competitiveness,” the groups wrote.
“Tariffs would be particularly harmful,” they said.
The groups called on Trump to work with trade allies to push for changes to China’s policies. The business groups said while they had serious concerns about China’s approach to trade, unilateral tariffs by the United States would only separate the country from allies, and encourage them to replace the U.S. business presence in China when Beijing retaliates.
Trade associations publicly pushing back include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation and the Information Technology Industry Council.
The Trump administration is said to be preparing tariffs against Chinese information technology, telecoms and consumer products in an attempt to force changes in Beijing’s intellectual property and investment practices.
The Republican president recently announced plans to impose tariffs on certain steel and aluminum imports, despite opposition from some business sectors.
The groups also called on Trump to allow industry experts to comment on the economic impact of any changes in trade policy before the measures take effect.
“We urge the administration to take measured, commercially meaningful actions consistent with international obligations that benefit U.S. exporters, importers, and investors, rather than penalize the American consumer and jeopardize recent gains in American competitiveness,” they said.
Vladimir Putin will lead Russia for another six years, after securing an expected victory in the presidential election.
With most of the ballots counted, he had received about 76% of the vote, the central election commission said.
The main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, was barred from the race.
Addressing a rally in Moscow after the early results were declared, Mr Putin said voters had "recognised the achievements of the last few years".
Speaking to reporters after his win, he laughed off a question about running again in another six years.
"What you are saying is a bit funny. Do you think that I will stay here until I'm 100 years old? No!" he said.
The scale of victory - which had been widely predicted - appears to be a marked increase in his share of the vote from 2012, when he won 64%.
Mr Putin's nearest competitor, Pavel Grudinin, had received about 12% so far, according to the central election commission.
Mr Grudinin is a millionaire communist, but the race also included a former reality television host, Ksenia Sobchak (2%), and veteran nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky (6%).
A state exit poll put the turnout at over 60%. Mr Putin's campaign had hoped for a large turnout, to give him the strongest possible mandate.
His campaign team said it was an "incredible victory".
"The percentage that we have just seen speaks for itself. It's a mandate which Putin needs for future decisions, and he has a lot of them to make," a spokesman told Russia's Interfax.
In some areas, free food and discounts in local shops were on offer near polling stations.
Mr Navalny was excluded from the election because of an embezzlement conviction that he said was manufactured by the Kremlin.
In his first reaction to the news, Mr Navalny indicated he had been unable to contain his anger.
"Now is the season of Lent. I took it upon myself never to get angry and not to raise my voice. Oh well, I'll try again next year," he tweeted.
During polling day, independent election monitoring group Golos reported hundreds of irregularities, including:
Voting papers found in some ballot boxes before polls opened
Observers were barred from entering some polling stations
Some people were bussed in amid suspicion of forced voting
Webcams at polling stations were obstructed by balloons and other obstacles
Videos taken from the election commission's live stream of polling stations also appeared to show some instances of officials stuffing ballots into boxes.
In Dagestan, one election official said he was prevented from doing his job by a crowd of men who blocked the ballot box.
But Ella Pamfilova, head of the Central Electoral Commission, said no serious violations had been registered yet.
After his victory was all but confirmed, Mr Putin addressed the crowds at a planned rally
"We have analysed and monitored everything we could, everything that has arrived. Thank goodness, it's all rather modest so far," she told a commission meeting while speaking about violations.
She had earlier said that anyone involved in violations would be caught.
Sunday's vote was also the first in Crimea since Russia seized the region from Ukraine. Mr Putin was scheduled to speak at a rally scheduled for the fourth anniversary of the annexation - the same day as the election.
The annexation was bitterly contested by Kiev and ratcheted up tensions between Russia and the West. Russians living in Ukraine were unable to take part in Sunday's vote because access to Russian diplomatic missions was blocked by the Kiev government....