1 FOREIGN RELATIONS OF MONGOLIA’S ROAD TRANSPORT SECTOR BROADENING WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      2 MONGOLIA EXPRESSES READINESS TO CONTRIBUTE TO STRENGTHENING ASIA-EUROPE COOPERATION WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      3 OYU TOLGOI FUNDED 35.1 KM ROAD OPENS IN KHANBOGD WWW.GOGO.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      4 POLYMER BITUMEN TO BE DOMESTICALLY PRODUCED WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      5 KHURELBAATAR CHIMED: 319 ENTITIES DREW LOANS FROM TWO FUNDS WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      6 CONSTRUCTION OF TAVANTOLGOI-GASHUUNSUKHAIT ROAD TO BE INTENSIFIED WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      7 OVER 30 MEASURES PLANNED FOR REDUCTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      8 MONGOLIA SAYS IT EARNS OVER 169 MLN USD FROM COAL EXPORTS TO CHINA IN JAN WWW.HELLENICSHIPPINGNEWS.COM  PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      9 RUSSIA’S GAZPROM TO START CHINA GAS PIPELINE BY DECEMBER 1 WWW.RT.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      10 MONGOLIA'S FOREIGN TRADE UP 41.6 PCT IN JAN. WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      УГСАРМАЛ ОРОН СУУЦНЫ ДУЛААЛГАД ЗОРИУЛЖ 12.7 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙГ УЛСЫН ТӨСВӨӨС ГАРГАХААР БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     2018ОНД ЦАГААН БУДАА , ЭЛСЭН ЧИХЭР , ТАХИАНЫ МАХНЫ ИМПОРТ 24-32 ХУВИАР ӨСЖЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     ДЦС IV: 2018 ОНД НИЙТ АШИГ 4.7 ДАХИН ӨСӨЖ , 4.48 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГ БОЛСОН WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     ТУСГАЙ САНГУУДААС ГАРГАСАН ЗЭЭЛИЙН 100 ОРЧИМ ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГ ХУГАЦАА ХЭТЭРСЭН ӨР БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН БОРЛУУЛАЛТЫН МЕНЕЖЕРҮҮДИЙН ИНДЕКС СҮҮЛИЙН 12 САРД АНХ УДАА УНАЛТЫН БҮСЭД ШИЛЖИВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     2018 ОНД ХАМГИЙН ЧИНЭЭЛЭГ БҮЛГИЙН ХЭРЭГЛЭЭ ЯДУУ БҮЛГИЙНХНЭЭС 5.1 ДАХИН ИХ БАЙВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     ХОВД ГОЛД ОСОЛДСОН 6 НАСТАЙ ХҮҮХДИЙН ЭРЛИЙГ ЗОГСООЛОО WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     ДБНХ-НООС П.ОРХОНЫ БАРИЛДАХ ЭРХИЙГ 4 ЖИЛЭЭР ХАСАВ WWW.MONTSAME.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     УУХҮЯ: II САРЫН БАЙДЛААР НИЙТ НУТАГ ДЭВСГЭРИЙН 5.6 ХУВЬД АШИГТ МАЛТМАЛЫН ЛИЦЕНЗ ОЛГОСОН WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     300 ОРТОЙ ТӨРӨХ ЭМНЭЛГИЙН БАРИЛГЫН АЖИЛ 80%-Д ХҮРЧ ГУРАВДУГААР САРЫН 1-НЭЭС ДУЛААНД ХОЛБОГДОХООР БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20    

Events

Name organizer Where
“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

NEWS

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Russia gets $41.5 billion boost from OPEC deal www.rt.com

Since the start of the OPEC-Russia production cut deal, Russia’s oil companies and government have received the equivalent of around $41.5 billion more in proceeds, thanks to the higher oil prices.
Due to the higher oil prices as a result of the pact, Russia’s federal budget has received so far $29.41 billion (1.7 trillion rubles) more, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak tweeted on Tuesday. The oil companies - a combined $12.11 billion (700 billion rubles) more since the beginning of 2017.

The higher revenues are the result of the $15-$20 increase in oil prices, compared to the price of oil before the deal between OPEC and a dozen non-OPEC nations led by Russia was signed, the minister said.

Russia is cutting 300,000 bpd as part of the pact with OPEC, and although there have been voices and speculation that some Russian companies are unhappy with the agreement that hampers their production expansion plans, Moscow has been keeping its end of the deal so far.

Russia’s crude oil production in January was basically flat compared to December 2017, after rising production at foreign firm-led projects compensated for small declines at the two major Russian oil producers, Rosneft and Lukoil.

The oil price rally earlier this year has caused many to wonder whether Russia and/or some OPEC members could ditch the deal because they wouldn’t want oil prices too high—a scenario that could incentivize US shale production too much.

US production is beating previous growth expectations, while minister Novak said in an interview with Russian news agency Interfax that the goal of the OPEC-Russia deal in bringing the oil market back to balance had been two-thirds achieved.

Asked how the cartel and allies will exit the deal, Novak said that it should be gradual and will likely take several months—between two and five months—to avoid a sharp increase in production that could again result in oversupply.

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Mongolian banking sector evaluated as stable www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Mongolia’s overall banking sector was evaluated as stable according to asset quality review under the IMF’s ‘Extended Fund Facility program, reported the Central Bank of Mongolia.

The quality of bank’s loan portfolio, its operational policy, regulations, credit risk management system, collateral and third-level assets were evaluated during the asset quality review. The review concludes that banks’ credit risk management, conditions and requirements related to collateral value need to be improved.

Officials note that the asset quality review was based on the financial balance of 2016 when the country was undergoing financial and economic difficulties, and adjusted as of the third quarter of 2017, taking into consideration the financial and economic situation of the year of 2017.

The asset quality review of commercial banks was made by the "Pricewaterhouse Coopers" company registered in the Czech Republic.

B.Misheel

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Exports of gemstones and coin reaches USD 27 million www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Mongolia’s total foreign trade turnover reached USD 785 million in the previous month, up by 11 percent or USD 79 million compared to the same period of previous year. The exports surpassed imports again, making the gap between exports and imports USD 62 million.

Mongolia has engaged in commerce with more than 98 countries last month, exporting goods to 37 countries and importing from 99 countries. The exports reached USD 423 million, down by 1 percent or USD 4.7 million compared to that for the same period of previous year.

In comparison with last year’s export performance, exports of precious and semi precious stones, precious metal, jewelry and coins increased by USD 9 million, exports of livestock, animals and animal products by USD 6.8 million and exports of finished goods by USD 5.5 million respectively.

B.Misheel

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China about to throw down the gauntlet to the petrodollar www.rt.com

The world’s top oil importer, China, is expected to launch its long-awaited and delayed yuan-denominated oil futures contract at the end of March, according to Reuters’ sources.
The petroyuan is seen as Beijing’s challenge to the US dollar, the dominant global currency in oil contract settlements.
T
The contract could reportedly be launched on March 26 on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE). The exchange has recently received the approval from China’s State Council.

In December, the INE announced a successful completion of the fifth dry run in yuan-backed oil futures contract trading. It said that 149 of its members traded 647,930 lots in the rehearsal with a total value of 268.2 billion yuan. The exchange said the system met the listing requirements of crude futures after the exercise.

The Chinese government announced plans last year to start a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold. The contract will enable the country's trading partners to pay with gold or to convert yuan into gold without the necessity to keep money in Chinese assets or turn it into US dollars.

Since the 1970s, the global oil trade has almost entirely been conducted in US dollars. The largest energy consumer, China, is interested in having oil contracts in its own currency. Beijing wants to create an Asian crude oil benchmark that would better reflect pricing for the oil imported and consumed in the world’s top importing region Asia. It expects the new benchmark to rival North Sea Brent and US West Texas Intermediate.

Analysts say the success of the yuan oil futures contract depends on the Chinese regulation of the market, which could divert international investors from bringing huge volumes into the contract.

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‘Mongolian Pajero Club’ - Saving lives of trapped driver www.news.mn

Drivers from the ‘Mongolian Pajero club’ have pulled 300 cars out of the snow since January 2016 in cooperation with the Mongolian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

This year, they have saved lives by pulling out over 40 cars which had become trapped in deep snow. Recently, in order to do save human life, they broke a ministerial order which had closed a road. Twelve people including three children had got struck in the snow while travelling by car from Bayantsogt soum in Tuv province to Ulaanbaatar city. When the 'Pajero’ rescuers were rushing to the scene they were stopped by traffic police officers at the 22nd road post who were tasked with enforcing the minister's order. Fortunately, they successfully convinced the officers and managed to rescue the trapped people who otherwise would have frozen to death.

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Mongolia grants 1221 North Korean work permits www.news.mn

Over 1200 North Koreans were granted permits to work in Mongolia in 2017, the government’s mission to the UN reported in a sanctions implementation report made public this week. The report, dated 26 December, comes in response to the passage of UNSC Resolution 2375, unanimously adopted on 11 September last year.

The resolution dictates that Member States are prohibited from granting work permits to North Korean nationals, but this provision does not apply to such authorisations for which written contracts were finalised prior to 11 September.

“Mongolia has been in strict compliance with paragraph 17 of resolution 2375 (2017), regarding work authorisations for DPRK nationals,” the report reads.

It goes on to identify the quotas of North Korean work authorisations allowed to be issued in Mongolia over the past two years, which stood at 3858 in 2015, 2483 in 2016 and a total of 2338 in 2017.

“Although the total number of work authorisations for DPRK workers, set by the relevant Government resolution, stands at 2,338 for 2017, as at 1 November 2017 the relevant authorities had granted work permits to 1,221 DPRK nationals only,” the report said, adding that no new authorisations will be added.

The data issued by the government confirms earlier reports regarding the number of DPRK workers authorized to work in the country last year. The implementation report also said that the government of Mongolia had expelled 200 North Korean workers in 2016.

While Resolution 2375 imposed restrictions on work authorizations, Resolution 2397, adopted on 22 December, 2017, decided that Member States must repatriate all DPRK nationals earning income in their jurisdiction no later than 24 months from the date of adoption.

The resolution argues that “the revenue generated from DPRK workers overseas, among others, contribute to the DPRK’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.”

Member States must also provide a mid-term report after 15 months listing all North Korean nationals that were repatriated in the first year from the adoption date. This includes, if applicable, “an explanation of why less than half of such DPRK nationals were repatriated by the end of that 12 month period”.

Despite these provisions that may allow for work authorisations to continue until 2019, Mongolia also indicated in its implementation report that all such work agreements will expire much sooner.

“The work authorisations for which written contracts had been finalized prior to the adoption of resolution 2375 (2017) will continue until 1 June 2018,” it reads.

“On 3 June 2018, the agreement on the exchange of labour between the Government of Mongolia and the Government of DPRK will expire.” The Government, it says, is also working with the North Korean embassy in Ulaanbaatar to “organise the orderly withdrawal of the DPRK workers”.

Aside from adhering to sanctions on DPRK labor overseas, Mongolia also revealed that it has identified 20 joint ventures with North Korea. Resolution 2375 prohibits the operation of all joint ventures with DPRK entities or individuals.

“The relevant authorities were instructed to close all joint ventures and cooperative entities operating in Mongolia by 8 February 2018 in accordance with paragraph 18 of resolution 2375 (2017),” the report says. Despite noting its sanctions compliance, Mongolia does not appear to be distancing itself from its historically good relations with the DPRK.

Last week saw the Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs Damdin Tsogtbaatar wrap up a three-day visit to North Korea. According to DPRK state media, Tsogtbaatar agreed to maintain ongoing diplomatic relations with North Korea.

“At the talks, both sides exchanged views on the issue of continuing to develop the long-standing friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries in several fields,” a Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) report said of Tsogtbaatar’s meeting with DPRK foreign minister Ri Yong Ho on 6 February.

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Israel PM Netanyahu faces corruption charges www.bbc.com

Israeli police say that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be charged over alleged bribery cases.

A police statement said there was enough evidence to indict Mr Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two separate cases.

Speaking on Israeli television, Mr Netanyahu said the allegations were baseless and that he would continue as prime minister.

The allegations, he said, "will end with nothing".

What are the allegations?
One case centres on an allegation that Mr Netanyahu asked the publisher of an Israeli newspaper, Yediot Aharonot, for positive coverage in exchange for help in reining in a rival publication.

Police said the editor of Yediot Aharonot, Arnon Mozes, should also face charges.

The Jerusalem Post says the gifts included champagne and cigars, and were given in exchange for help getting Mr Milchan a US visa.

Mr Milchan, the producer of films including Fight Club, Gone Girl and The Revenant, should face bribery charges, police said.

The police statement said that Mr Netanyahu, after receiving gifts, pushed for the Milchan Law, which would have ensured that Israelis who return to live in Israel from abroad were exempt from paying taxes for 10 years.

The proposal was eventually blocked by the finance ministry.

Police say Mr Netanyahu is also suspected of fraud and breach of trust in a case involving Australian billionaire James Packer.

Israel's Channel 10 reported in December that Mr Packer told investigators he gave the prime minister and his wife Sara gifts.

Israeli media say Mr Netanyahu has been questioned by investigators at least seven times.

What happens now?
A final decision on whether Mr Netanyahu should face charges will come down to the attorney general's office. A decision could take months to reach.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said any prime minister who has been charged should not be obliged to resign.

Speaking on Israeli television, Mr Netanyahu said he would continue in his role.

The next legislative elections are scheduled for November 2019. Mr Netanyahu heads a fragile coalition, but on television, he appeared confident the allegations would not spur new elections.

How has Mr Netanyahu responded?
"Over the years, I have been the subject of at least 15 enquiries and investigations," he said in his TV address.

"Some have ended with thunderous police recommendations like those of tonight. All of those attempts resulted in nothing, and this time again they will come to nothing."

The 68-year-old is in his second stint as prime minister, and has served in the role for a total of 12 years.

He has faced a number of allegations in his time in office.

After his first term as prime minister two decades ago, police recommended that he and Sara face criminal charges for keeping official gifts that should have been handed over to the state. The charges were later dropped.

In July 2015, the couple were accused of charging the government for the services of a contractor who did private work for them. The charges were later dropped.

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'Colossal' American oil boom could spoil OPEC's plans www.cnn.com

The oil cartel and key ally Russia have spent more than a year trying to drain the world of excess supply. But the International Energy Agency warned Tuesday that a "colossal" oil boom in the United States could ruin their efforts.

The Paris-based agency said that a massive increase in output means the U.S. will soon be producing more oil than Saudi Arabia. It could soon challenge Russia for the global crown.

"U.S. producers are enjoying a second wave of growth so extraordinary that in 2018 their increase in liquids production could equal global demand growth," the IEA said in its latest monthly report. "This is a sobering thought for other producers."

The IEA said the surge, which is powered by shale, is "reminiscent" of 2014, when booming production in the U.S. prompted OPEC to flood the global market with oil in an attempt to protect its market share.

The strategy led to a price collapse that sent crude to a low of $27 per barrel in 2016 from well over $100.

Plunging prices forced some higher-cost U.S. producers to close up shop. But many emerged leaner and stronger than before.

OPEC and other major producers including Russia agreed to slash their output in late 2016 in order to reduce the glut and help boost prices. The agreement has been extended until the end of 2018.

But there are signs that the strategy may be losing its effectiveness.

Crude prices dropped 10% last week, falling below $60 a barrel for the first time this year. U.S. oil futures dropped 1.2% to trade at $58.62 on Tuesday.

The IEA did note two wild cards: The political crisis in Venezuela and a strengthening global economy, both of which could change market dynamics.

"Prices could be maintained at recent levels even as U.S. production rises," the agency said. "If so, most producers will be happy, but if not, history might be repeating itself."

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Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry speaks to the press www.gogo.mn

The Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry (MMHI) held a Transparent Mining press conference on February 12.

Mining Minister D. Sumiyabazar, Deputy Chairman of the Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority (MRPA) L. Radnaasuren, and Chairman of Policy Coordination at the MRPA Ch. Chuluunbat were the main speakers, and talked to journalists about the industry’s 2017 report.

In 2017, the nation produced

47.1 million tons of coal,
1,317,000 tons of copper concentrate,
19.8 tons of gold,
5,600 tons of molybdenum concentrate,
7.7 million tons of iron ore,
3.7 million tons of iron ore concentrate,
108,900 tons of fluoride,
55,200 tons of fluoride concentrate,
82,700 tons of zinc concentrate, and
14,600 tons of copper cathode.
Industry sales tripled last year, reaching 15.2 trillion MNT.

As of February 5, the nation had a 38-day petroleum reserve. Minister D. Sumiyazbazar noted that a working group is currently drafting a package of amendments to the Law on Mining, and will submit them for review during the spring plenary session of Parliament.

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DBM financed 1,600 projects since 2011 www.gogo.mn

The Development Bank of Mongolia (DBM) reports that it has financed over 1,600 projects through commercial banks with one trillion MNT for the past six years.

Fifty energy projects have received 700 billion MNT from the DBM. Officials say that by financing the projects through domestic commercial banks, a system has been developed to sustain risks and increase domestic benefits.

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