1 US-MONGOLIA 'THIRD NEIGHBOR TRADE ACT' ON THE WAY WWW.THEDIPLOMAT.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      2 CHINA'S FIGHT AGAINST SMOG MAKES PALLADIUM 2018'S BEST METAL WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      3 MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION PRESENTS GMS LICENSES WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      4 MONGOLIA CALLS FOR GLOBAL ATTENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      5 ADB OPENS A NEW WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT IN ARVAIKHEER, MONGOLIA WWW.AGENPARL.EU PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      6 CHINA TO BOOST COOPERATION WITH INDIA, MONGOLIA: DEFENSE MINISTER WWW.GLOBALTIMES.CN PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      7 DEATH ON MONGOLIA’S ‘COAL ROAD’ WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      8 MONGOLIA SHAKEN BY WIDENING LOAN SCANDAL WWW.ASIA.NIKKEI.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      9 MONGOLIA’S UNEMPLOYMENT FALLS BY 2.2 PERCENT WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/16      10 MEETING MEAT DEMAND: MONGOLIA TO TRADE 17.9 PERCENT OF LIVESTOCK WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/16      БНСУ-ЫН АЖ АХУЙН НЭГЖҮҮДИЙН АУТСОРСИНГ ЗАХИАЛГЫГ ГҮЙЦЭТГЭХ ЗАЛУУЧУУДЫГ СОНГОН, ШАЛГАРУУЛНА WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     НҮҮРСНИЙ ЭКСПОРТ 10 ХУВИАР ӨСӨЖ, 31.3 САЯ ТОНН БОЛОВ WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     СУДАЛГААГААР ЖДҮ ЭРХЛЭГЧИД ЗЭЭЛИЙН ХҮҮНИЙ ЗАРДАЛ ХАМГИЙН ИХ ХҮНДРЭЛ УЧРУУЛДАГ ГЭЖ ХАРИУЛЖЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ERDENE RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT: ХАЙГУУЛЫН ЗАРДАЛ III УЛИРАЛД 42 ХУВИАР БУУРСАН WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ГОРХИ, ТЭРЭЛЖИЙН БАЙГАЛИЙН БОХИРДОЛД АНХААРАЛ ХАНДУУЛЖ ЭХЛЭВ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ИРЭХ БААСАН ГАРАГТ ХОТЫН ДАРГЫГ ОГЦРУУЛАХ ЭСЭХИЙГ ХЭЛЭЛЦЭНЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     “АМГАЛАН” ХОТХОНД БАЙРЛАХ ГЭРТЭЭ КАННАБИС ТАРЬЖ, УРГУУЛЖ БАЙСАН ТУРК ИРГЭНИЙГ БАРИВЧИЛЖЭЭ WWW.MEDEE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ӨНӨӨДӨР АВТОМАШИНЫ ДУГААРЫН ХЯЗГААРЛАЛТ ҮЙЛЧЛЭХГҮЙ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ГАШУУНСУХАЙТЫН НҮҮРСТЭЙ МАШИНЫ ЦУВАА 120 КМ БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/16     ТАТВАРЫН ОРЛОГО 32.2 ХУВИАР ӨСӨЖ, ТӨСВИЙН ТЭНЦЭЛ 341.9 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АШИГТАЙ ГАРЛАА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/16    

Events

Name organizer Where
Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018" Frontier Securities Tokyo Japan
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

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Mongolian and China to cooperate on border jam www.montsame.mn

Beijing /MONTSAME/ “Mongolia and China reviewed the actions and measures taken in 2017 within bilateral cooperation and identified the main directions for 2018,” said D.Gankhuyag, Ambassador of Mongolia to the People’s Republic of China on December 5.

Speaking to MONTSAME correspondent in Beijing, the Ambassador illustrated the outcome of the official visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs D.Tsogtbaatar to China on December 3-5.

Mongolian Foreign Minister D.Tsogtbaatar and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held official talks on December 4, following which a joint communique was released.

“The Ministers discussed the issue of Gashuunsukhait border crossing in detail. The Foreign Minister Wang Yi assured that China will cooperate on reducing the logjam of coal trucks,” the Ambassador said.

The sides agreed on increasing the number of coal trucks passing the border by 150-200. “Working groups from both sides will discuss means of environment-friendly coal transport from Mongolia to China and settle this issue before the visit of Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh to China,” he added.

Moreover, the Ministers touched upon possibilities of meat export from Mongolia to China and other third markets. “China agreed to assist Mongolia in exporting its meat and meat products,” said FM D.Tsogtbaatar during a press conference held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on December 5, after his return to the country.

During his meeting with authorities of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, FM D.Tsogtbaatar exchanged views on the wastewater treatment plant of Ulaanbaatar. “The wastewater treatment plant construction will be financed by a Chinese loan. The Mongolian Embassy in China will look into this matter in cooperation with the Export-Import Bank of China,” said Ambassador D.Gankhuyag.

FM D.Tsogtbaatar instructed the Mongolian diplomatic mission in China to take some actions directed at promoting Mongolian SMEs and their products.

Mongolia and China are working towards increasing bilateral trade turnover to USD 10 billion by 2020. “Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi remarked that bilateral turnover could exceed USD 10 billion. As such, the two sides will focus on increasing the amount of coal passing through border without harming the surrounding environment,” noted Ambassador D.Gankhuyag.

According to the Ambassador, the Foreign Ministers also touched upon and agreed to activate transfer of prisoners from China to Mongolia.

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First tax havens blacklist published by EU www.bbc.com

The European Union has published its first blacklist of tax havens, naming 17 territories including Saint Lucia, Barbados and South Korea.

A "watchlist" of 47 countries promising to change their tax rules to meet EU standards has also been issued.
The "grey list" includes several with UK links, including Hong Kong, Jersey, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, as well as Switzerland and Turkey.
Both lists have been criticised as omitting the most notorious tax havens.
The lists follow the leaking of the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers, revealing how companies and individuals hid their wealth from tax authorities around the world in offshore accounts.
EU tax commissioner Pierre Moscovici said the blacklist represented "substantial progress", adding: "Its very existence is an important step forward. But because it is the first EU list, it remains an insufficient response to the scale of tax evasion worldwide."
To determine whether a country is a "non-cooperative jurisdiction" the EU index measures the transparency of its tax regime, tax rates and whether the tax system encourages multinationals to unfairly shift profits to low tax regimes to avoid higher duties in other states. In particular these include tax systems that offer incentives such as 0% corporate tax to foreign companies.
EU members have been left to decide what action to take against the offenders. Ministers ruled out imposing a withholding tax on transactions to tax havens as well as other financial sanctions.
Some states, such as Luxembourg and Malta, opposed stricter sanctions, according to officials. EU Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said "stronger countermeasures would have been preferable".
Panama is one of the 17 countries listed by the EU but its president, Juan Carlos Varela, said the country was "not in any way a tax haven".
The EU is encouraging member states to take what it calls "defensive actions" against those countries that do not reform their tax systems.
The UK-based charity Oxfam last week published its own list of 35 countries that it said should be blacklisted.
Oli Pearce, Oxfam's inequality and tax policy advisor, said: "It is disturbing to see mostly small countries on the EU blacklist, while the most notorious tax havens - UK-linked places like Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Jersey and the Virgin Islands - escape with a place on the 'grey list'.
"Although we recognise this is a step in the right direction, if EU leaders let too many tax havens off the hook we'll all lose out. A place on the grey list must not mean tax havens get off scot-free."
However, tax campaigner Richard Murphy said some countries on the grey list could still face heavy sanctions if they failed to reform their tax systems.
He said EU countries will be encouraged to disallow payments made to these places for tax purposes, or to charge withholding taxes on interest payments to them.
That tactic could "utterly neuter their so-called status as 'tax neutral international financial centres' by ensuring that all monies they receive have been taxed before getting there", Mr Murphy said.
"The EU is also saying to the UK that it is taking real measures against British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, and the message is - if you go the same way as them with a similar low-tax regime after Brexit, you'll be sanctioned too."
The 17 blacklisted territories are:
American Samoa
Bahrain
Barbados
Grenada
Guam
South Korea
Macau
The Marshall Islands
Mongolia
Namibia
Palau
Panama
Saint Lucia
Samoa
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
United Arab Emirates
The EU made exceptions for countries faced with natural disasters such as hurricanes, and put the process temporarily on hold.

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Mongolia's president vetoes 2018 budget www.reuters.com

ULAANBAATAR (Reuters) - Mongolia’s president on Tuesday vetoed the 2018 budget passed by parliament in November, saying the planned deficit would violate the terms of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout agreement.

Mongolia and the IMF agreed to a $5.5 billion bailout in May to stabilize its floundering economy and its currency, the tugrik, which went into freefall last year.

In return, Mongolia agreed to end expansionary monetary policies, introduce austerity measures, raise some taxes and reduce welfare spending.

But parliament, known as the State Ikh Khural, did not meet the terms agreed with the IMF after failing to narrow the deficit in next year’s budget, President Khaltmaa Battulga said in a notice published on his official website.

The president said the 2018 budget deficit would amount to 2.5 trillion tugrik ($1.03 billion) or 9.5 per cent of gross domestic product, with planned expenditure at 7.7 trillion tugrik.

He said both expenditure and the deficit for 2017 and 2018 have continued to rise at the same rate as in previous years.

“The State Ikh Khural made a number of decisions to shift the burden onto citizens,” the president said in the statement, adding that the budget violated Mongolia’s constitution.

In Mongolia’s parliamentary system, the legislature can vote to overturn the president’s veto with a two-thirds majority.

Battulga, who was elected in July, belongs to the opposition Democratic Party, while the Mongolian People’s Party controls 65 of the 76 seats of the State Ikh Khural.

Battulga also criticized “inefficient investment projects” and plans for the construction of state-owned buildings while citizens were forced to pay higher taxes.

A new progressive income tax will be levied at between 10 and 25 percent starting from Jan. 1, compared with a flat rate of 10 percent now.

Last week, Finance Minister Chimed Khurelbaatar told Reuters he expected the pace of economic growth to rise, aided by more foreign investment and a recovery in commodity prices. He projected 4.2 percent growth in 2018, compared with 1 percent last year.

The Finance Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

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December 05, 2017 trading report mse.mn 2017 12 06

On December 05, 2017, 960,758 shares of 25 firms listed as Tier I, II, and III were traded. 11 firms’ shares increased in price, 11 decreased and 3 remained unchanged. APU JSC /APU/ was the top performer, increasing 15.00 percent, whereas Sharyn Gol JSC /SHG/ was the worst performer, decreasing 5.79 percent.

On the secondary market for government bonds, 806 bonds with a value of MNT77.6 million were traded.

On the secondary market for government bonds block trading, 1,049 bonds with a value of MNT116.1 million were traded.

On the secondary market for corporate bonds, 890 bonds with a value of MNT89.0 million were traded.

The MSE ALL Index increased by 1.87 percent to stand at 1,280.64 points. The MSE market cap stands at MNT2,771,086,026,454.

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Mastercard to repurchase up to $4 billion of its shares www.reuters.com

(Reuters) - Payment processor Mastercard Inc (MA.N) said on Monday it would buy back up to $4 billion of its class A shares.

The new share repurchase program will be effective at the completion of the company’s previously announced $4 billion share repurchase program, Mastercard said.

Under the previously announced buyback, the company has about $1.5 billion remaining, the statement added.

The company said it also increased its quarterly cash dividend to 25 cents per share, a 14 percent increase over the previous dividend of 22 cents a share.

Mastercard had 1.04 billion class A shares and 15.1 million class B shares as of Oct. 26.

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Mongolia Growth Group Ltd (YAK.V) Shares in Focus as They Run Lower For the Week www.stockdailyreview.com

Mongolia Growth Group Ltd (YAK.V) shares are showing positive momentum over the past week as the stock has clocked in with gains of -6.45%. In taking a look at recent performance, we can see that shares have moved 0.00% over the past 4-weeks, -19.44% over the past half year and 3.57% over the past full year.

Investors may be watching the ebb and flow of the current market environment and be wondering what the next few months have in store. They may be deciding whether now is a good time to sell off some first half winners or hold on for further gains. This can be one of the toughest decisions that an investor has to make. Just because a stock has been steadily heading higher for an extended period of time doesn’t necessarily mean that it will continue to do so. Building the confidence to make the tough portfolio decisions may take some time and a few good trades under the belt. New investors may be prone to get discouraged after a few sour trades in a row. Anyone who wants to succeed in the stock market knows that there is no substitute for research and hard work. Being able to bounce back and learn from mistakes may help the investor stay in the game and get back on the road to healthy profits.

Investors may be tracking certain levels on shares of Mongolia Growth Group Ltd (YAK.V). The current 50-day Moving Average is 0.30, the 200-day Moving Average is 0.36, and the 7-day is noted at 0.30. Moving averages can help spot trends and price reversals. They may also be used to help find support or resistance levels. Moving averages are considered to be lagging indicators meaning that they confirm trends. A certain stock may be considered to be on an uptrend if trading above a moving average and the average is sloping upward. On the other side, a stock may be considered to be in a downtrend if trading below the moving average and sloping downward.

Traders may be relying in part on technical stock analysis. Mongolia Growth Group Ltd (YAK.V) currently has a 14-day Commodity Channel Index (CCI) of -165.23. Despite the name, CCI can be used on other investment tools such as stocks. The CCI was designed to typically stay within the reading of -100 to +100. Traders may use the indicator to determine stock trends or to identify overbought/oversold conditions. A CCI reading above +100 would imply that the stock is overbought and possibly ready for a correction. On the other hand, a reading of -100 would imply that the stock is oversold and possibly set for a rally.

At the time of writing, the 14-day ADX for Mongolia Growth Group Ltd (YAK.V) is 38.74. Many technical chart analysts believe that an ADX value over 25 would suggest a strong trend. A reading under 20 would indicate no trend, and a reading from 20-25 would suggest that there is no clear trend signal. The ADX is typically plotted along with two other directional movement indicator lines, the Plus Directional Indicator (+DI) and Minus Directional Indicator (-DI). Some analysts believe that the ADX is one of the best trend strength indicators available.

The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is one of multiple popular technical indicators created by J. Welles Wilder. Wilder introduced RSI in his book “New Concepts in Technical Trading Systems” which was published in 1978. RSI measures the magnitude and velocity of directional price movements. The data is represented graphically by fluctuating between a value of 0 and 100. The indicator is computed by using the average losses and gains of a stock over a certain time period. RSI can be used to help spot overbought or oversold conditions. An RSI reading over 70 would be considered overbought, and a reading under 30 would indicate oversold conditions. A level of 50 would indicate neutral market momentum. The 14-day RSI is currently sitting at 42.82, the 7-day is at 34.72, and the 3-day is spotted at 27.96 for Mongolia Growth Group Ltd (YAK.V).

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Mongolia focuses on challenges of people with disabilities www.theubpost.mn

The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection organized a meeting to share successful practices of providing jobs to people living with disabilities on Sunday, in observation of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The annual observance was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

This year’s theme for International Day of Persons with Disabilities was “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all”. The theme reiterated the 2030 agenda of leaving no one behind and encouraged the development of a society that is sustainable and resilient.

At the meeting, representatives from the ministry, the Mongolian Employers’ Federation, and other organizations thanked and gave certificates of appreciation to Nomin Holdings, Thermal Power Plant No.4, Gem International, Max Group, and Gobi Cashmere for providing permanent employment to disabled people.

Head of the Department of Population Department at the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection S.Tungalagtamir introduced state policies and ongoing projects aimed to support employment and protect the rights of people living with disabilities. She stated that the government approved the National Program on Human Rights, Involvement and Support for the Development of Persons with Disabilities last week and underlined it as a major achievement.

“The program strives to make real changes to the quality of life of people living with disabilities by raising public awareness and knowledge about them at all social platforms, include their challenges in state and local policies and decisions, improve services dedicated to them, and boost sectoral cooperation in this area. First of all, we want to provide inclusive health, education and employment services as these are the most urgent challenges for people with disabilities. We also want to make public transportation, roads, homes, public offices and venues more accessible to them, as well as upgrade related statistics,” S.Tungalagtamir said.

According to 2016 studies by the National Statistics Office, there were 100,993 people living with disabilities in Mongolia, out of which 43,083 had been born disabled and 10,740 were children under the age of 17. Reportedly, 19,563 people with disabilities were employed and 2,727 of them had reached the retirement age.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection reported that it has been taking progressive measures to secure the rights of people with disabilities. For example, over the past two years, it established an unofficial council to protect their rights, approved a document related to their employment, developed a regulation for the Disabled Children’s Health, Education and Social Protection Committee, and received government approval to form a sub-council for the protection of the right of the disabled.

The ministry stated that its newly-launched My Help 104, the very first local special hotline for residents with disabilities, has been showing good results. Officials plan to carry out projects to increase the population of disabled persons with jobs, change employers’ attitude towards people with disabilities, and improve related legal environment in the near future. Looking at details of disabled people with jobs, 41.7 percent of them run their own business, 35.7 percent have jobs with stable salary, 20.1 percent work without a salary at small industries and service companies, 1.6 percent are employers, and 0.3 percent are a member of a fellowship or cooperative.

Through the Program to Support Employment of Persons with Disabilities, 1,980 out of 4,626 people with disabilities who applied found jobs in 2016 and a total of 2.3 billion MNT was spent by the program. A total of 4.2 billion MNT was budgeted for the project this year. As of July, 951 people had applied and 827 new workplaces were created with 1.6 billion MNT, according to the ministry.

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PM gives assignments in relation to construction www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar/MONTSAME/ On December 4, Prime Minister U. Khurelsukh met Kh. Badelkhan, Construction and Urban Development Minister, and representatives of the sector, including J.Hicheengui, General Director of ‘State Housing Corporation’ state-owned industry, P. Bayarkhuu, deputy governor of Ulaanbaatar city, and E. Anar, general architector and head of the General Planning Office of Ulaanbaatar City, B. Batbayar, CEO of Development Bank of Mongolia as well as others.

At the meeting, they shared views on policy priorities of the sector and issues required to be resolved. The PM was briefed about present situation of mortgage loan issuance, the number of citizens who received mortgage loans, experience of foreign countries on mortgage loan and possible options of mortgage loan issuance.

Afterwards, he assigned the Ministry of Construction and Urban Development (MCUD) to formulate a new version of amending the mortgage loan regulations, in collaboration with the Bank of Mongolia and the Ministry of Finance, and report at the Cabinet Meeting within this month. 

He also instructed to resolve a financing worth MNT56.8 billion to complete unfinished flats for 1562 households, which is being constructed under the order of the State Housing Corporation, and put it into utilization in 2018.

Moreover, the MCUD and Ministry of Finance were obliged to accelerate construction of temporary accommodation flats for 1008 households in Nogoonnuur, 9th khoroo of Sukhbaatar district with Chinese non-refundable assistance worth CNY 350 million, for re-planning ger area. 

They also were reported about extension works of drainage system in aimags and process of building ‘micro sub-unit’ or ‘service center’ with partial engineering system to be constructed within the framework of re-planning of ger area.
In the end, the PM expressed his support for MCUD’s proposal on establishing ‘Urban planning, science and planning institute’ which will be responsible for formulating a general plan on population settlement development.

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55TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF AMERICAN AND INTERNATIONAL LAW www.cailaw.org

55TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF AMERICAN AND INTERNATIONAL LAW
May 27 - June 29, 2018 in
Plano, Texas, USA
The Center for American and International Law

 

The Academy is a five-week business-oriented course of study that addresses a wide range of law-related commercial topics. It gives lawyers and judges from outside the United States an opportunity to study American law and international business transactions.
The program is particularly valuable for those who work for multinational corporations or law firms that represent either U.S. clients or multi-national clients with U.S. interests.
The interactive curriculum includes lectures, small group
discussions, a mock trial, writing exercises, a mock law firm
problem, and much more.
Since 1964, more than 3,100 participants from 121 countries have taken part in the Academy.
Past attendees have advanced to positions such as Prime Minister of Peru, President of the General Assembly of the United Nations and Chief Justice of the Philippines. Many have played prominent roles in the international legal community.

Please contact our Country Coordinator Ser-Od Ichinkhorloo Founder & CEO of MBD at 976 99066062 serod@b2bmongolia.com for more inquiry and special rate for Mongolian participant.

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Xiaomi Seeks Valuation of at Least $50 Billion in IPO www.bloomberg.com

Xiaomi Corp., the Chinese smartphone maker that was once the most valuable startup in the world, is in talks with investment banks about a possible initial public offering and seeking a valuation of at least $50 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Beijing-based company is considering an offering as soon as next year with banks suggesting Hong Kong as the most likely destination, said the people, requesting not to be named because the matter is private. While banks have talked up Xiaomi’s prospects as they seek to win the mandate, they have concerns about whether the company can reach the $50 billion level, much less a $100 billion target that some top executives have embraced, the people said. Xiaomi last raised money in 2014 at a $46 billion valuation.

Xiaomi has gained momentum in recent months after stumbling against local rivals such as Huawei Technologies Co. and Oppo. The company, led by Lei Jun, has invested aggressively in retail stores and in India. It’s now on the verge of surpassing Samsung Electronics Co. in the country, the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market. A successful IPO may bring it at least $5 billion, much-needed ammunition for expansion, the people said.

“We want to transplant China’s business ideas into other countries,” Lei said Monday at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, without commenting on an IPO. “In India, we’ve created a miracle. After only three years, we’ve become number one.”

Kaylene Hong, a Xiaomi spokeswoman, says the company does not comment on IPO matters. The Information reported earlier that Xiaomi is considering an IPO as early as the second half of 2018.

While the company has had ups and downs, the $50 billion target may be attainable, depending on business performance and market trends over the next few months. 

Xiaomi would be the biggest technology company to go public since Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. raised a record-breaking $25 billion at a $231.4 billion market value in 2014. Snap Inc. is the next-biggest since then, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, listing at a valuation of about $20 billion.

“It’s not a preposterous valuation,” said Keith Pogson, global assurance leader for banking and capital markets in Hong Kong at consultant EY. “Without a doubt, the market is hot for tech companies, especially tech companies with China ties.”

Founded in 2010, Xiaomi, or Little Rice, made its mark with buzzy online marketing campaigns, eschewing traditional retail stores. By 2014, its formula of flash sales and savvy social media helped it top Chinese smartphone rankings and amass the valuation that made it briefly the highest in the world, before it was surpassed by Uber Technologies Inc. Lei, who often sported black turtlenecks, was compared with Apple Inc.’s Steve Jobs.

But Xiaomi stumbled last year, with shipments plunging against fierce local competition. The company ranked only fifth in Chinese phone shipments in the first quarter, according to research firm IDC. Oppo and counterpart Vivo punished the company by developing strong ties with retailers in small towns and rural areas of China.

Lei has revived the company by expanding its product line, geographic reach and sales channels. Xiaomi is making a major push into old-fashioned retail: it plans to build 1,000 “Mi Home” stores by 2019 -- about twice Apple’s global store count -- targeting 70 billion yuan ($10 billion) of retail sales by 2021.

An IPO may help Xiaomi retain employees who have stuck with the company through the tough times. In January, Hugo Barra, a former Google executive who had spent three and a half years at Xiaomi, returned to Silicon Valley for a job at Facebook Inc.

“Employees will love to hear the company is finally planning an IPO,” said James Yan, an analyst with consultancy Counterpoint.

Lei has bet heavily on overseas expansion, especially in India. In an interview in March, he said Xiaomi would double its investment in the country, spending another $500 million over the next three to five years.

Xiaomi’s new Redmi Note 4 sold about 250,000 units within minutes on India’s top online retailer Flipkart.com as well as its own online site, the company said. The Beijing-based company hit $1 billion in Indian revenue for 2016.

“Our path towards internationalization began four years ago," Lei said Monday through a translator. "At first we faced many difficulties. In 2015 we lost around 1 billion or more yuan – a great loss caused because we were starting in so many countries. After that we set on an idea of whether we could build an example market and we settled on India. Three years later we’re in over 60 countries.”

Xiaomi is focusing on emerging markets including Russia and Indonesia. The company has said it also intends to establish a presence in the U.S., where it’s held off on selling phones in favor of devices such as fitness bands. Xiaomi is now aiming to ship 100 million smartphones next year, reviving a target it had abandoned during its difficult days.

“We’ve been seeing the rise of Chinese brands,” Lei said. “In the next ten years, the large number of Chinese brands will continue to grow and become international – the trend is quite clear.”

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