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Mobilising private sector capital is critical to climate transformation, and the Green Climate Fund’s (GCF) partnerships in Mongolia demonstrate how the Fund can leverage public funds to engage private investment.
This was the message emphasised by Ayaan Adam, Director of GCF’s Private Sector Facility, in a statement to the Mongolian Sustainable Finance Forum in Ulaanbaatar on Thursday, September 14, 2017.
”GCF is providing strong support for developing countries to build their climate capacity and ownership,” stated Ms Adam in her keynote speech. “We are also using public funds to catalyse private players and encouraging their full participation, providing creativity, innovation and massive capital for climate action. This is the sustainable, long-term solution to respond to climate change,” she explained.
Ms Adam addressed the 450+ attendees of the international forum in Ulaanbaatar, and used the Fund’s partnerships in the country as an example of how GCF can respond rapidly and with transformative impact to support country ownership and crowd-in private capital.
The Green Climate Fund recently disbursed $20 million for an investment to create a business loan programme for GHG emission reduction in Mongolia. The project was developed in partnership with XacBank, one of Mongolia’s leading banks. It was fast-tracked from accreditation, to project approval, signature, and disbursement in less than a year.
While the Fund has many international private sector projects, this is its first local private commercial project in a developing country.
At the same time, GCF is providing readiness funds to the country in order to support the development of the Mongolian Green Credit Fund by the Mongolian Ministries of Finance and Environment. Delivered in partnership with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), this project will enable the creation of a national financing vehicle to deliver long-term climate finance to stimulate green growth.
At the same time, GCF is providing readiness funds to the country in order to support the development of the Mongolian Green Credit Fund by the Mongolian Ministries of Finance and Environment. Delivered in partnership with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), the one year project will enable the creation of a national financing vehicle to deliver long-term climate finance to stimulate green growth.
The proposal was approved for an amount of $350,000 that will help in scaling up a national finance vehicle to bring long term finance to projects and programmes that stimulate green growth in the country.
In stressing the Fund’s ability to engage the private sector, Ayaan Adam also highlighted the Fund’s Mobilising Funds at Scale programme. A recent Request for Proposals under this $500 million programme has generated over 350 proposals to GCF from private sector institutions around the planet, including from national financial institutions in developing countries.
The most promising ideas will be developed and submitted to GCF’s Board for funding consideration.
Rio Tinto (ASX, LON:RIO), the world’s second largest miner, announced Friday its chief financial officer Chris Lynch would retire from his role by the end of September 2018.
Born in Australia, Lynch joined Rio Tinto’s board in 2011 and was appointed as CFO in 2013. He will remain with the group to ensure a smooth transition of his roles, the firm said in the statement.
Succession planning is already in progress, the company noted, adding Lynch’s replacement will be announced in due course.
Lynch, who turns 65 later this month, leaves the company at a time it searches for a new chairman to replace to Jan du Plessis, who also is also stepping down next year.
Under his direction, the group cut debt significantly and, in February, it was able to post its first gain in annual profit since 2013.
The company, which is also the world’s No. 2 iron producer, announced in August the biggest interim dividend in its history and said it would spend a further $1 billion repurchasing its owns shares.
Rory McIlroy may be Northern Ireland’s best golfer, but he is not that nation’s most daring player.
Adam Rolston wins that honor. Rolston completed the wildest – if not the longest – golf hole in history Saturday when he dropped a 7-foot putt on the 18th green of the Mt Bogd Golf Club in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Rolston’s golfing journey – detailed by The Telegraph and set for verification by Guinness – covered 80 days and 20,093 shots. He was playing at a self-determined par 14,000. There is no creature in ornithological history – back to the link between birds and their dinosaurs ancestors – to describe a hole 6,093 over par.
Rolston, a 28-year old former Hong Kong rugby player, lost hundreds of balls over the 1,250 mile (2,011km) golf expedition, playing through water, ice and across deserts.
“My mates have all been saying you can’t do this and that has been on repeat in my head,” Rutland told The Telegraph. “This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’m in awe of the fact we’ve done it.”
Rolston was raising money for Laureus, which runs children’s sports charities worldwide. He has done this sort of thing for charity in the past. He once rode a bicycle though every country in Africa. Rolston said he chose Mongolia for his golf challenges because of the country’s wide-open, flat and sparsely populated terrain.
Rolston teed off from the western point of Mongolia and worked his way toward the 18th green of the country’s lone golf course.
“We have had dozens of people telling us we were mad or crazy, with comments ranging from: ‘That’s impossible” to ‘Do you not have anything better to do?’” says Rolston.
Among the modes of transport: a golf cart that quickly broke down, a Russian jeep, a camel and three horses.
And that was all in the first week.
Rolston has not lost his love for the game, either.
“I definitely want to keep playing when I get back,” he told The Telegraph. “I’ve been super-pumped about playing golf every day. I might hit fewer balls when I get back, but I will still be addicted to the game as much as I ever have been.”
In response to sanctions from Washington, Venezuela has started reporting its oil prices in Chinese yuan, going against the international trend of listing prices in US dollars.
On Friday, the weekly Oil Ministry bulletin published its prices for September in yuan, rather than the US dollar. The price-per-barrel posted on Friday was 306.26 yuan, or $46.76 on the more commonly-used exchange rate, up from last week’s price of 300.91 yuan, or $46.15.
“This format is the result of the announcement made on September 7th by the President [Nicolas Maduro]... that Venezuela will implement new strategies to free the country from the tyranny of the dollar,” the Venezuelan Oil Ministry said in a statement.
The decision to move to Chinese currency was made last week as a way to get around the sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the US government in August, which froze some Venezuelan assets and prohibited American citizens from doing business with the country.
This has hurt Venezuela’s oil exports at a time when the country is facing a severe economic crisis. At the time, the White House said the sanctions were “carefully calibrated to deny the Maduro dictatorship a critical source of financing”.
“The market is dominated by transactions with the US dollar, and we must develop other ways to conduct international transactions,” Finance Minister Ramon Lobo told VTV earlier.
Venezuela’s decision follows plans announced by China to start a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold, which could lead to the emergence of a new Asia-based crude oil benchmark.
As China is the world’s biggest crude buyer, the new contract may allow exporters to bypass American sanctions by trading oil in yuan, something that has interested countries such as Russia and Iran.
“In 2012, Iran began to accept yuan for its oil and gas payments, followed by Russia in 2015,” political writer Dan Glazebrook wrote in a column for RT in June.
“If this takes off, this could literally spell the beginning of the end of US global power. The dollar is the world's leading reserve currency, in the main, only because oil is currently traded in dollars. Countries seeking foreign exchange reserves as insurance against crises within their own currencies tend to look to the dollar precisely because it is effectively ‘convertible’ into oil, the world's number one commodity.”
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) is in discussions with Lyft Inc about a possible investment in the ride-hailing company, potentially deepening an existing partnership between the two firms, a person familiar with the talks said on Thursday.
An injection of support from one of Silicon Valley’s largest companies could be a boost to Lyft as the No. 2 ride provider battles rival Uber Technologies Inc for market share.
It was not immediately clear how large an investment Alphabet might make. Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reported there was at least some discussion of a $1 billion deal.
Alphabet and Lyft declined to comment.
In May, Alphabet’s self-driving car unit Waymo and Lyft announced a partnership to work together on developing self-driving technology; neither offered many details of the agreement.
Recently, Lyft has been in an expansion mode, saying in August that it was available in 40 U.S. states covering 94 percent of the country’s population.
Lyft raised $600 million in fresh funding in April, mostly from large global investment funds. The round valued the company at $7.5 billion, up from $5.5 billion at Lyft’s previous financing more than a year earlier.
Additional investment could further push off discussion of an initial public offering, which Lyft had planned likely for 2018, according to sources close to the company. Lyft previously planned not to raise any more funding prior to its IPO, the sources said.
Alphabet since 2013 has been an investor in Uber through its venture capital arm, known as GV. That relationship, though, became more complicated when Alphabet’s Waymo sued Uber this year for alleged theft of trade secrets.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The political consultative meeting was held on September 14 in Ulaanbaatar between the Foreign Ministries of Mongolia and the Czech Republic.
The meeting was co-chaired by Sh.Odonbaatar, Director of the Policy and Planning Department of the Mongolian Foreign Ministry, and Ivan Jancarek, Junior Deputy Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic.
The parties discussed cooperation goals to be implemented in near future in the political, trade, economic, agricultural and educational sectors. The sides also exchanged information on the international and regional state and the foreign policy of both countries. They expressed the willingness to broaden the mutually-beneficial cooperation.
The same day, Deputy Foreign Minister of Mongolia B.Battsetseg received Ivan Jancarek. They shared views on the bilateral relations and cooperation in political and economic sectors.
B.Battsetseg hopes that the annual Mongolia-Czech business forum would contribute to creating a new market and partnership between businessmen and companies.
In turn, Ivan Jancarek said he was pleased with a present level of the bilateral traditional relations and cooperation, and added the countries have a chance to expand the economic cooperation.
The decrease in the poverty rate in Mongolia is a slowly developing story that is trending in the direction of success. As of 2015 – due to Mongolia not publishing reports detailing its poverty statistics on a regular basis – the country’s poverty rate stood at 22 percent, which marks a decrease from its previous rate of 28 percent.
While this rate is still dramatically too high, it demonstrates that the correct efforts are being taken to decrease the poverty rate in Mongolia and should be studied and replicated in other impoverished countries.
Of the information available regarding the poverty rate in Mongolia, it is even more impressive that the country has managed to reduce its poverty rate in both its urban and, even more so, its rural environments. Urban poverty is typically easier to weed out because urban environments often see the benefits of economic development, which unfortunately take significantly longer to reach rural areas.
In the years 2012 and 2014, rural areas in Mongolia saw their poverty rates fall by nine percent and accounted for half the reduction in poverty during that two-year period. This decrease in poverty can be attributed to the spurt of economic growth that Mongolia has experienced over the past decade. Mainly due to the growth of its mining industry, Mongolia has enjoyed double digit growth rates, significantly helping to generate income for the country’s poor population.
That the Mongolian economy relies on mining, however, may prove to be its downfall and may force the poverty rate in Mongolia to once again take an upward turn. As the demand for coal and copper – Mongolia’s primary mineral resources – continues to fall, it will become imperative to develop a new industry to support the ongoing drop in its poverty rate.
Assisting in the reduction of poverty in Mongolia is the growth of its capital Ulaanbaatar. As it continues to gain significance in Asia and the rest of the world, it will allow for more money to be diverted to poverty reduction efforts and allow more jobs to be created. By creating more jobs in Mongolia’s capital city, people will increasingly be able to save money and eventually climb the economic ladder out of poverty.
ULAN BATOR, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- "The Secret History of the Mongols," one of the oldest surviving Mongolian-language historic and literary works, has been illustrated on felt applique and the artwork was presented to the public here Wednesday.
The work has been embroidered on 108 meters of felt applique with the help of special technology and decorative embroidery and was exhibited in Ulan Bator's central square.
It depicts Mongolian traditions such as animal herding and shamanistic rituals, as well as national ornaments, deer stones and petroglyphs.
The "Craftsmen of Khan Khentii" company in Umnudelger soum of Khentii province initiated the project and craftsmen from various Mongolian regions created it.
The main goal of the project is to pass on the tradition of felt embroidery applique, a traditional Mongolian handicraft, to future generations and to illustrate the lifestyle and traditions of the Chinggis Khaan era.
"For the applique we used 108 meters of felt, 110 meters of white fabric, 120 eyeleteers, 120 needles, 20,000 meters of camel wool thread and over 100 liters of paint in 32 colors," said J. Narantuya, an initiator of the project.
MINSK, 14 September (BelTA) – A Mongolian delegation led by the minister of food, agriculture and light industry is expected to pay a visit to Belarus on 16-20 September, spokesman for the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dmitry Mironchik told a press briefing on 14 September, BelTA has learned. The program of the visit envisages the fourth meeting of the joint Belarusian-Mongolian commission on trade and economic cooperation. The Belarusian part of the commission is chaired by Industry Minister Vitaly Vovk. The parties will discuss intensification of the bilateral trade and economic cooperation, including the expansion of Belarusian equipment supplies to Mongolia. The Mongolian delegation is set to meet with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Agriculture and Food Ministry, Bellegprom Concern, and visit a number of industrial and agro-industrial companies....
ULAANBAATAR, Sep 14 2017 (GGGI) - The Mongolian Sustainable Finance Forum 2017 was held on September 14 at Shangri-La Hotel in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, hosted by the Mongolian Bankers Association (MBA), in collaboration with MET, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Arig bank, IFC, BMZ, UN Environment, PAGE, UNDP-Biofin, the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Mongolia, the Financial Regulatory Commission, Ulaanbaatar City Mayor’s Office, and the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI).
The Mongolian Sustainable Finance Forum, now in its 5th year, is the largest gathering of national policy makers, business leaders, private sector investors, bankers, government officials, representatives of civic groups and international organizations. Under the theme of “Fostering Partnerships to Scale Up Sustainable Finance,” the one-day event brought together leading experts from a wide array of fields, including green development, sustainable finance, and innovative technologies.
Following successful editions of the Mongolian Sustainable Finance Forum 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, this year’s event attracted more than 350 participants, including key speakers, panelists and guests from around the world. Among the discussion topics were coming up with a roadmap and taking a collaborative approach to highlight sustainable finance in policies, regulations and non-banking operations, introducing and scaling up a pipeline of projects for the Mongolia Green Credit Fund (MGCF) to potential investors and reaffirming key partners’ commitment going forward, and highlighting the participation of the private sector in preparation for developing green projects.
The Government of Mongolia has expressed commitment to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Paris Agreement and the banking sector unanimously agreed to accelerate sustainable finance initiative and green economy transition. There is an eminent need to build a partnership platform to discuss, review and innovate policies, actions and initiatives and identify possible areas for collaborative efforts. This year’s event featured a visual exhibition where private sector organizations could display their sustainable and green projects and activities to explore potential partnership opportunities.
“In Mongolia, investment required to finance the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) focusing on energy efficiency, renewable energy, buildings, waste and transportation amount to USD 7 billion. Apart from that, businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need an additional investment of USD 1.5 trillion in the coming five years mostly for construction and manufacturing sector projects. Additionally, tackling critical sustainability issues such as air and soil pollution requires financing equal to USD 4.3 billion. To fill in this investment gap, all partners – public, private and international organizations – need to act together,” said Mr. Orkhon. O, President of the Mongolian Bankers Association.
“GGGI will continue to provide tailor-made and result-oriented support for Mongolia, specifically in relation to the development of bankable projects and the operation of the Mongolia Green Credit Fund (MGCF), the first and the only dedicated financial vehicle for climate finance in the country. In addition, GGGI’s Mongolia team has been working closely with city and national government partners to improve the regulatory and institutional frameworks needed to launch a green, inclusive Public-Private-Partnership investment program. Once launched later this year, the program is expected to mobilize between USD 8-10 million to finance energy efficiency retrofit projects in Ulaanbaatar’s public buildings,” said Dr. Frank Rijsberman, Director-General of GGGI.
“Public and private partnerships play important roles in the development of green finance. Policy makers and financial regulators need to understand the needs of private investors just as much as private investors need to get familiar with Government systems and articulate their needs better. The two must come together,” said Ms. Mahua Acharya, Assistant Director-General and Head of the Investment and Policy Solutions Division.
With the support of GGGI and PAGE, the MGCF’s Business Plan has been developed and relevant legal and market assessments have been conducted. Based on the findings of the market assessment, the initially determined target markets for the fund are i) Cleaner Alternative Heating Solutions for the Ger Segment, ii) Energy Efficiency Products for Large Energy Consumers, and iii) Affordable Green Housing and Mortgage Schemes. Further preparatory activities will be conducted under the Readiness and Preparatory Program of the Green Climate Fund and the MGCF’s set up of operations will take place through 2017 with a view to commence MGCF’s operations by Q4 2017 to tackle air pollution in Ulaanbaatar city....