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North Korean workers dies after fall from 6th floor www.news.mn

A North Korean worker was killed at a building site Monday (4th of September) when he fell from a sixth floor window of an apartment, officials said. The 27 year-old worker fell to his death at 8:00 p.m. at the Delgerekh residential block in the Khan-Uul district of the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar.

At the time of the fall, it appears the young Korean was doing work on the scaffolding.

Officials from the Police Department and General Agency for Specialised Inspection are on the scene investigating.



Australian jailed for alleged fraud in Mongolia www.news.mn

The Mongolian Police and Prosecution Authorities finally completed the investigation of the criminal case committed by Mohammed Ibrahim Munshi, citizen of Australia and UK. The investigation took more than 2 years to finalize the fraud of Mohammed Ibrahim Munshi who used the mineral licenses of Mongolia and raised huge amounts of funds from foreign and domestic investors deceiving them that license holder company would be selling its shares at the international stock exchanges and who fled from the investors until today. Back in 2015, Monnis International LLC filed a claim to the Police Authority and investigation had been launched. The criminal court of Mongolia has issued its verdict on Mohammed Ibrahim Munshi’s fraud case in July 2017.

The Primary Criminal Court of Khan-Uul district deemed that Mohammed Ibrahim Munshi should be called as guilty for his actions committed repeatedly to deceive properties of others, swindling others, misleading others through hiding the truth about the situation. The court verdict includes penalties to be taken, including 11 year of imprisonment for his actions, to compensate loss of MNT31 billion incurred by Monnis International and to put restriction on the right of possessor to transfer the mining licenses of some deposits.

Foreign media was also publishing stories about Mohammed Ibrahim Munshi’s fraud on raising funds from highly reputable international investment funds, companies and individuals claiming that he would jointly own deposits in Mongolia and make IPOs. For instance, Malaysian media had been covering stories on Government’s Pension Fund of Malaysia whereas 4 billion ringgits were transferred to Gobi Coal of Mongolia and mysteriously disappeared.

He is the person who stepped into Mongolia as a foreign investor, expanded his network, obtained licenses for number of mineral deposits and raised immense funds without trading a single share at the stock exchange. Perhaps, investors invested their money were trusted not in Mohammed Ibrahim Munshi, but to Mongolian wealth and minerals. He obtained from the relevant authorities licenses for over 80 Mongolian mineral deposits through its offshore companies registered in BVI and its subsidiaries registered in Mongolia. Mohammed Ibrahim Munshi developed “on paper” projects and raised funds for coal mines in Shinejinst of Bayankhongor aimag, Zeegt in Gobi-Altai, iron ore deposit in Arkhangai and more. But until today the deposits were not utilized appropriately and no dividends were given to the investors who were long waiting for their profits. Basically, it was found that all the money he raised from the ghost projects were transferred to his offshore companies’ accounts.

Gobi Coal and Energy, registered at BVI raised over USD 180 million from investors. The list of investors who had trust in Mohammed Ibrahim Munshi’s story include over 100 foreign and domestic investors such as Aabar foundation of UAE, Pension Fund of Malaysian Government, World Capital Group of the USA, Origo Partners PLC of PRC, Mount Kellet international investment fund, Monnis International of Mongolia. Mohammed Ibrahim Munshi attested during the court session that an internationally recognized Aabar foundation invested over USD90 million into Gobi Coal company. Apparently he used his personal connections with Joseph Borkowski, an advisor to the Secretariat of the foundation as the sources confirm that Joseph Borkowski is one of four Board of Directors of Gobi Coal, BVI. It also raises a suspicion that the Aabar foundation has made its decision to invest into Gobi Coal not meeting and learning existing shareholders’ concern about the project.

Mohammed Ibrahim Munshi was kept telling to the investors that “license holder company’s shares would be sold on reputable stock exchange within one year” since 2008 but failed to take any steps forward as the financial activities of his offshore companies wouldn’t even comply with the minimum requirements of any stock exchange.

During the investigation it was also revealed that money raised on behalf of the offshore companies using the Mongolian wealth were transferred back and forth between the bank accounts to be shown that the money were invested in Mongolia. Moneys transferred to Mongolia from the offshore accounts were mostly spent as management fees, service fees, advisory fees, employee bonuses, and wages in incredible large amounts, however, most of them were transferred to the accounts of his wife D.Uranbileg based on the fake contracts and arrangements. The police also confirmed that over 20 companies with the same or similar names as his offshore companies were registered with Registry of Legal Entity in Mongolia all of which were established on his wife and her relatives’ names.

When the investors who carried the loss demand money from Mohammed Ibrahim Munshi, he had been providing the same comment to jeopardize the name and reputation of Mongolia telling them “the corrupted Mongolian state ceases our operations and kicking out the foreigners, it’s very risky to run a business in Mongolia. All of us facing losses”.

Although the foreign investment may gone down due to economic conditions and legal environment, perhaps 10-20 percent of foreign investment are gone away because of erroneous information and intentional actions of swindlers such as Mohammed Ibrahim Munshi pretended to be called as a foreign investor.

The Police investigation and the court’s decision on Mohammed Ibrahim Munshi’s fraud case prove that not every individual called to be a foreign investor can be trusted, as well as the relevant authorities and organizations must be attentive to disclose the true information about the swindlers playing with the trust and money of others and share the lesson learnt.



Ulaanbaatar Partnership - 2017 exhibition approaching www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Ulaanbaatar Partnership-2017 international exhibition, with aim to promote national products and to back domestic enterprises, will be held for the 42nd time on September 07-10 in the Misheel Expo Center. 

Organized by the Governor’s Office of Ulaanbaatar and the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI), the upcoming event will be attended by over 70 enterprises from six countries including, Mongolia, Russia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Czech Republic to advertize their over 120 kinds of products, said P.Ankhtuya, MNCCI Chair of Marketing Department.

"Any production and service business requires cooperation with many entities, such as purchasing and distribution of packaging, machines and equipment. During the exhibition, companies will have opportunities to get partner and hold talks on cooperation with other companies” she said. 

Exhibitors will offer discounts and promotions on their products. The best eco-friendly and healthy products will be selected and rewarded with awards from the capital city's Governor.

Taiwanese companies will introduce medical and electrical equipment, food product, cosmetics and wood processing equipment, while Czech companies will present their milk processing and dairy equipment. Also Hong Kong companies will promote their sale of pearls and jewellery, and Russian companies will bring honey and food products. National companies will take part with construction materials, medicine, cosmetics, cashmere and wool products, handcrafts and food products.



Copper price hits fresh 3-year high as output at world's top producer falls www.mining.com

December copper futures trading on the Comex market in New York made fresh highs on Tuesday after the world's number one producer of the metal reported a sharp drop in production.

Copper touched $3.1785 a pound ($7,007 per tonne) in morning trade, the highest since September 2014. Copper is now up by more than 50% compared to this time last year.

The world's number one producer, Chile's Codelco, on Tuesday said first half production from its eight copper operations fell by 5.3% to 798kt from 843kt during the first six months of 2016. Falling grades were blamed for the decline which also added to the state-owned company's cash costs which went from $1.275 to $1.317 per pound of copper.

Despite the loss of output, the state-owned company announced profits just topping $1 billion during the period compared to a $97m loss in 2016 thanks to the recovery in the copper price. The company is pushing ahead with a $1.2 billion desalination plant for its mines in the Atacama desert of the South American nation.

Last week Codelco's chairman joined the chorus expressing doubts about the sustainability of the recent rally in the price:

"I'm a little skeptical…in the short-term," Oscar Landerretche said a mining conference in Chilean capital Santiago. "It's true that all of the fundamentals are good in the medium- and long-term…but I would be very cautious."
Codelco produced over 1.8m tonnes of the red metal for the full year 2016, which was also lower than the year before.



APO training course on TQM for SMEs begins www.apo-tokyo.org

The Asian Productivity Organization (APO) is organizing a five-day training-of-trainers course on Total Quality Management (TQM) for SMEs, 4–8 September 2017 in Mongolia. The objective is to develop trainers and practitioners in member countries who are able to guide SMEs in improving management capabilities and productivity through systematic, effective TQM implementation.

Group Photo_Training of Trainers in Total Quality Management for SMEs_ 4-8 September 2017_Mongolia

The course is being held in Ulaanbaatar, supported by the Mongolian Productivity Organization. Twenty-three participants from 15 member countries are attending, including SME owners, quality managers, and consultants and trainers in SME development agencies, NPOs, and similar institutions involved in productivity and quality improvement for SMEs.

The course was inaugurated by APO Alternate Director for Mongolia and Mongolia Research and Training Center Executive Director for Human Development Dr. Sharav Munkhtseren. He reported that during the 25-year transition to a democratic society, the country’s economy had grown by more than 20-fold, reaching per capita GDP of about USD4,000 and developing country status. He also pointed out that the government was taking multiple steps for the development of local industries, including SMEs.

“With over 40,000 SMEs active in Mongolia, accounting for more than 20% of GDP, we have been able to focus more on them and create successful practices,” he said, adding that it was still imperative for the Government of Mongolia to train as many trainers as possible who specialized in strengthening institutions and organizations through productivity and quality management efforts in SMEs.

Dr. Munkhtseren hoped that the participants would benefit from the multicountry APO training course by networking with others, encouraging them to: “Share knowledge and experience, increase your skills, and make a great contribution to the productivity and quality movement.”

SMEs are the backbone of all economies, including APO members. Representing an average of 95% of all businesses and providing more than 50% of employment, SMEs serve as the dominant driving force in accelerating economic growth. However, they face challenges while competing with larger firms, which have more financial muscle allowing quicker adaptations to changing technologies and quality management processes.

The APO course is aimed at creating a better understanding of the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on SME management and business performance while training participants in how to implement and integrate TQM with other quality initiatives and standards.

Field visits will supplement the classroom format of the course conducted by three APO-assigned international experts: Aggregator Japan Managing Director and Consultant Yukitoshi Tanno; Malaysia Productivity Corporation Deputy Director General Ab. Rahim Yusoff; and Cosmiqo International Pte. Ltd. Founder and Director Dr. Niak Wu Koh from Singapore.



Invest Mongolia - 2017 conference concludes www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The 11th annual Invest Mongolia 2017 Conference closed Tuesday the Shangri La Hotel.

Organized by the Frontier Securities, the Conference gathered 1,100 investors and 130 foreign and Mongolian delegates, who delivered 15 presentations and over 30 discussions.

On the second day the conference, the participants held discussions issues of the infrastructure, renewable energy and corporate governance. During the panel discussion concerning the infrastructure development in Mongolia, businessmen noted that there is a need for optimal financing for the public-private partnership (PPP), which is in line with international standards. They highlighted the fact that companies suffered a loss in the public-private partnerships in the infrastructure sector in recent years and the private sector should not be a loser for executing work with their funding.

The panel discussion touched upon issues, such as, what is the most important infrastructure for Mongolia now?; Importance of international standard PPP now at the time when the Government has no budget to finance; Infrastructure projects in the pipeline: UB Utility, Railway and Road expansion. Especially, when, who and how the railway to China should be financed? The extension of the Grid and the heating of the Ger district; and The bottleneck of the transportation by trucks to the Chinese border and the possible solutions to enhance competiveness of the mining industry. 

Participants underlined the importance of sustaining investment and using investment effectively as well as protecting interests of investors within law.

The two day conference also ran Ambassadors' Panel, where ambassadors shared their views on the challenge for Mongolia to reach out to the world, what can foreign countries do to assist Mongolia to increase FDI? and what does IMF program mean for donor countries?

Ambassador of Japan Takaoka Masato: 
- Mongolia successfully made its first free trade agreement with our country. Within the scope of the Mongolia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, customs duties will be eliminated or reduced by stages on 5700 types of goods of 97 groups from Mongolian side while on 9300 types of goods in 97 groups from Japan. To implement the agreement The Japan-Mongolia Joint Commission was established and is working with 13 subcommittees set up. However there are works anticipated to be realized at policy-making level. Specifically, Mongolia should establish one-stop-shop for investors. This will allow investors to have integrated information. Credibility of information, I think, will increase confidence of investors. 

Ambassador of the United States Jennifer Zimdahl Galt: 
- Different options should be found out to solve a problem. We support Mongolia for implementing the International Monetary Fund Program. The United States established a Transparency Agreement with Mongolia. I hope this action will progress further. When government has stable and right policy then investment will flow in continuously. In addition, investors should be provided with reliable and accurate information. 

Ambassador of the Republic of Korea Oh Song: 
- 20 years ago, our country involved in the IMF program and it gave positive signals in economy, banking and financial sector. The IMF program in Mongolia means a great opportunity. Mongolia should implement the program properly. 

Most ambassadors highlighted necessity of providing with transparent information, stable policy and favorable investment condition for attracting investment.



Coal claims 40% share in total exports, trade turnover rises 34% www.mongolianminingjournal.com

The National Statistical Office reports that foreign trade turnover at the end of July reached $5.9 billion, showing an YoY increase of 33.9% or $1.5 billion. In the same period, exports increased by 38.5% or $979 million to stand at $3.5 billion, while imports rose by 27.5% or $504 million and reached $2.3 billion. The foreign trade balance grew 67% YoY, and showed a surplus of $1.2 billion.

Mineral resources accounted for around 82% of total exports, earning $2.9 billion, or over $1billion more YoY. Coal alone was 40% of total exports, fetching $1.4 billion, which was $1.1 billion more YoY. The 21 million tons exported was a 91% rise YoY. 

Coal replaced copper concentrate as the leading mineral exported, with export revenue and volume of the latter standing at $888.7 million and 853,000 tonnes respectively. The former was 14% and the latter 10% less YoY. However, copper export earnings increased sharply by 62.4% or $53.4 million, and the export volume by 31.3% or 957,000 tonnes. 

As regards gold, there was a 37% YoY decrease in both export revenue and volume, the former reaching $217.7 million and the latter 5.4 tonnes.

At 3.18 million tonnes the volume of iron ore exports was the same as in the corresponding period last year but earnings rose 48% and reached $178 million. 

Zinc concentrate export earnings rose by 25% and reached $103 million, even though the volume decreased by 8.5%, totalling 70.2 thousand tonnes.

Revenue from crude oil export rose by 13%, reaching $210.8 million. The volume, however, decreased by 9% and stood at $4.35 million barrels.
Fluorspar concentrate exports showed an increase in both revenue and volume, with 164,700 tonnes exported, which is an increase of 20% YoY, and earnings reaching $41 million, a rise of 28% YoY. 

Lead export figures were significant , with earnings showing a sharp increase, rising 73.7 times and reaching $25 million, and the volume going up 22.2 times and reaching 9,900 tonnes.

Molybdenum exports earned 39.4% more to total $20.2 million, while the volume increased by 6.7% and reached 3,600 tons. In tungsten however, exports came down by 50%, with the volume and revenue falling to 303 tons and $2.38 million respectively.



Russian tank crews taught Mongolian counterparts to eliminate a simulated enemy using the ‘fire carousel’ method in the Gobi Desert flatland www.eng.mil.ru

As a part of the Selenga 2017 Russian-Mongolian exercise, which had started in the Zuunbayan range located in the Gobi Desert (Mongolia), Russian tank crews shared an experience of using modern methods of a maneuver combat. Particularly, Mongolian servicemen were taught how to eliminate a simulated illegal group using the ‘fire roundabout’ method.

The principle of the fire carousel tank combat is a circle-wise successive change of military vehicles, which move one after another eliminating a simulated enemy with flank fire. Only that constant maneuvers of that kind will help to win a fight in the Gobi Desert flatland.

In course of the exercise tankmen successively eliminated joint and separate targets using the fire carousel method. The cooperation was performed using previously arranged signs.

For the first time the Selenga 2017 joint exercise is taking place in harsh climate of the Gobi Desert. On the part of Russia a combined tactical group of the Eastern MD, located in the Republic of Buryatia, is taking part in the exercise. Servicemen are practicing joint actions in a fight with simulated illegal groups. More than 1,000 troops and 200 pieces of military hardware are involved in the exercise.



Vostochny Port is ready to handle cargo from Mongolia – RF Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov www.portnews.ru

Vostochny Port is among the most prepared platforms for the development of port infrastructure able to handle cargo transiting from Mongolia to the markets of the South-East Asia and APR, RF Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov has said today, 5 September 2017, when visiting Vostochny Port JSC, part of Port Management Company (PMC LLC), says PMC.

Apart from the Minister, Vostochny Port has been also visited by Victor Olersky, Deputy Transport Minister – Head of the Federal Marine and River Transport Agency; Oleg Belozerov, President of Russian Railways; Dangaa Ganbat, Minister of Road and Transport Development of Mongolia; Yondon Manlaibayar, head of Ulan Bator Railway.

The delegation visited the dedicated coal terminal, where Irina Olkhovskaya, First Deputy Director of Port Management Company LLC, paid special attention to the company’s measures focused on minimization of the port’s impact on the environment.

The guests also visited the construction site of the coal terminal’s Phase III, the largest investment project in the port sector of the Far East. The project is financed through private investments without involving the state budget.

RF Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov commented: “The terminal under construction at Vostochny Port has a design capacity of almost 20 mln t. It offers cutting-edge world-class technologies and railway infrastructure allowing for faster accepting/unloading/dispatching of trains. Sound infrastructure being developed here will let considerably improve the logistics of the port approaches. With such projects we ensure competitive advantages of our Far East ports.

Today, the Primorsky Territory and particularly Vostochny Port is among the most prepared platforms for the development of port infrastructure able to handle cargo transiting from Mongolia to the markets of the South-East Asia and APR.

The leaders of Russia and Mongolia will have a dialogue on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum. I think the visit of the President of Mongolia to Russia will result in the nearest future in signing of an agreement on transit between Russia and Mongolia. The scope of transit will depend on agreements between Mongolian and the third countries”.

Phase III of Vostochny Port JSC, the largest investment project in the Far East which also implies the construction of the railway infrastructure at Nakhodka Vostochnaya station, will be presented at the III Eastern Economic Forum (Vladivostok, 6-7 September).

Vgrangel, Primorsky Krai based Vostochny Port JSC is Russia's largest dedicated open access coal port using covered stations for unloading and transfer of coal, conveyor equipment, rotary car dumpers, shiploaders and the second-to-none system of multi-stage magnetic coal separation. The port handles coal mined and exported by Russian coal companies. In 2016 coal throughput at the terminal reached 23.5 million tonnes, a fifth of all coal exports from Russia's seaports and about 30% of coal transshipment in the ports of the Far Eastern basin.

Since the port construction completion 390 million tonnes of coal have been exported through the facility and 6.6 million rail cars have been handled, 28,000 vessels have been received at the port berths. Over the past ten years, JSC Vostochny Port has shipped more than 200 million tonnes of coal, an all-time record among all Russian coal ports.

Vostochny Port JSC is a free access terminal, open to all coal producers. The enterprise's main objective is the increase in coal throughput and the best quality of cargo handling services: ensuring an uninterrupted supply chain and loading the commodity to the most efficient types of vessels for the formation of new supply routes.

Vostochny Port JSC LLC is implementing an ambitious investment project on construction of the coal terminal’s Phase 3 including the construction of the federal railway infrastructure. New terminal facilities will be put into operation in 2017 allowing for port capacity to reach 39 mln t in 2019. The coal will be delivered from Kuzbass and other coal fields of Russia. A sole executive body of Vostochny Port JSC is Port Management Company LLC.

Port Management Company LLC is Russia's major coal port holding that exercises the powers of a single executive body of largest dedicated coal ports based in the Baltic Sea region (Rosterminalugol JSC, Ust-Luga, Leningrad Region) and in the Far East (Vostochny Port JSC, Wrangel Bay, Primorsky Territory).Total coal throughput by the 2016 year-end results of the holding's stevedoring companies reached 41.5 million tonnes, which is more than one third of all seaborne coal exports from Russia. The commodity is exported to more than 30 countries in Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. By 2019, according to PMC' estimates the total annual coal throughput across marine coal terminals will increase to 56.5 million tonnes.

The PMC LLC was founded in 2008. Since then coal volumes handled at Vostochny Port leaped by more than 60%, and in 2016 totaled 23.5 million tonnes. Between 2010 and 2017, the PMC Holding implemented a program of production optimization, handling equipment modernization and upgrade.

In 2016, another stevedoring company JSC Rosterminalugol became member of the PMC Holding. Following the 2016 year-end results coal volumes at Rosterminalugol terminal reached a record high of 18.1 million tonnes.

Dedicated coal ports of the holding, Vostochny Port and Rosterminalugol, are fitted with the cutting-edge equipment for closed transshipment of coal.

A specific feature of the holding’s activities is the search and introduction of the best technologies available to increase coal transshipment and improve environmental safety. The ports boast the world’s best equipment, unique import substitution technologies and self-engineered products.



GCF backs Mongolian forum to open up low-emission, business paths www.greenclimate.fund

XacBank, a Green Climate Fund (GCF) Accredited Entity, is helping Mongolia forge a new sustainable phase in its economic growth by holding the bank’s first green finance forum on Wednesday.

The one-day event run by XacBank, and supported by GCF, is designed to tap the entrepreneurial energies of the country’s private sector to drive low-emission innovation. It will bring together a range of experts to explore how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance energy efficiency, while also making Mongolian businesses more competitive.

The forum marks a crucial phase in ongoing endeavours by XacBank, one of Mongolia’s major lenders, to carve out a low-carbon energy sector in this landlocked country.

In July, GCF completed a USD 20 million transfer of climate finance to XacBank as part of a USD 60 million project to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) finance low-carbon initiatives in Mongolia.

The bulk of GCF’s support is in the form of loans, with at least half directed at women-led enterprises.
Speaking before the first of what XacBank plans to be yearly green finance forums, the bank’s president stressed the important role of Mongolian women in driving low-emission business opportunities.

“The increased involvement of women should mean a higher probability of effective climate finance,” said Amar Hanibal. “Statistics show women have a lower probability of default of loans, while our anecdotal observations indicate women-led businesses tend to be more accurate, risk averse and better planners.”