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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Rio Tinto pays biggest divvy in history as profit hits three-year high www.mining.com

Rio Tinto (ASX, LON, NYSE:RIO), the world’s No.2 mining company, showed investors Wednesday how well it has ridden the wave of higher commodity prices by announcing a record dividend on the back of a big surge in annual profit and its cost cutting drive.

The company, which admitted is hunting for acquisitions, including in new commodities such as lithium, handed shareholders $1.80 per stock, taking its payout for 2017 to $2.90. The figure is the highest in Rio’s history and almost 71% more than the one it paid last year. As a result, cash returns to investors for 2017 totalled $9.7 billion.

Net profit for the year rose 90% (you read that right) to $8.8 billion, compared to the $4.6bn recorded in 2016. Underlying net profit after tax, in turn, was $8.62bn, up from $5.1bn in 2016, slightly ahead of market forecasts. Analysts expected the company to report $8.5bn.

Rio's largest division, iron ore, delivered the lion's share of revenue, as prices have recovered and remained relatively stable — trading around $75 a tonne — in the past year.

The record results are the first annual report for chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques, who took over from former boss Sam Walsh in July 2016.

Under Jacques, Rio has focused on cutting costs, generating cash and returning as much of it as possible to investors through dividends and share buybacks.

"I'm very proud of what the team has achieved. Biggest dividend ever in the 125-year history of the company and we believe that we’ll be able to generate a lot of cash again this year,”Jacques told reporters on an earnings call.

With net debt below $4 billion, Rio Tinto is once again in a position to look for fresh opportunities and projects. But analysts, including Investec’s mining expert Hunter Hillcoat, believe Rio is unlikely to embark on any “multibillion-dollar expansions” to chase mergers and acquisitions or pay a premium for other commodities, such as copper, given the industry’s history of overspending.

“The only way to rebalance their portfolio is to take on additional growth in other commodities like copper, either through acquisitions where they’ll have to pay a premium or through expansion, but they don’t really have too many meaningful growth options there,” Hillcoat told Bloomberg News.

Tainted reputation
Despite the positive results, the company is still battling reputational damage brought by a series of incidents, including a probe into a questionable payment made to an external consultant over the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea.

It is also facing fraud charges from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the country’s top securities regulator, related to the miner's and two former executive’s alleged covered-up of multi-billion-dollar losses on a coal investment in Mozambique, allegations which the two men and the company deny.

Rio has also been recently accused of dodging $700 million in taxes at its massive Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in Mongolia.

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Government approves cashmere program www.news.mn

The Mongolian government has approved a new cashmere programme to be implemented in two stages over four years. It will help keep the exisiting 5500 jobs in the cashmere sector and to create over 3600 new ones. Regarding the manufacturing capacity of fully processed cashmere, this will be increased final by 5.7 times.

Last year, Mongolia produced 5413 tonnes of washed cashmere, 509 tonnes of combed cashmere and 915 thousand of goods made from the wool.

If Mongolia can produce processed cashmere domestically, the country would be able to export to19.8 million textile goods annuall

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Mongolia not issuing Chinese bond www.news.mn

There has been news in social media that the Government of Mongolia intends to issue a ‘Panda’ bond of CHY 800 million on the Chinese market. The news source said that Mongolian Government is discussing issuing a five year bond three months after it successfully raised the ‘Gerege’ bond.

Evidently, this is 'fake news'. The Finance Ministry confirmed that the Government of Mongolia will not issue any bonds in the near future. Under the IMF programme, Mongolia's credit rating has increased and the economy is much recovered; the government intends to focus on positive performances.

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Government to support companies for using recycled water www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism of Mongolia N.Tserenbat held a meeting with companies that introduced efficient water utilization technologies to hear their opinions and initiatives and to present the ministry's works in this field.

During the meeting, the state policy for water conservation, proper use and wastewater recycling and reuse and the introduction of future works were presented by Sh.Myagmar, head of the Land Management and Integrated Water Policy Coordination Department. “A bill to Amendments to the Law on Water Pollution Payment are ready for Parliamentary discussion. The backbone of the bill is to encourage enterprises with state policy to reuse water. The policy of the Minister N.Tserenbat is to make technological renovations in companies so that they reuse water as much as possible through providing soft loans to them” he said.

The representatives of the companies exchanged views on the water saving, water reuse projects and advanced technologies they introduced.

B.Misheel

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Mongolia lawmakers to consider strict immigration cap www.reuters.com

ULAANBAATAR (Reuters) - Mongolian lawmakers have proposed a new immigration cap, looking to protect domestic workers, even as citizens increasingly seek opportunities abroad.

A parliamentary panel this week approved a proposal to limit to just 100 each year the number of new resident permits granted to foreign or stateless people over the period from 2018 to 2020, with just 30 each from China and Russia, legislator Tsend Nyamdorj said.

The measure will now be considered by parliament.

"If the standing committee approves the bill, it makes it very likely the parliament would have no problem passing it," said Mogi Badral Bontoi, chief executive of market intelligence group Cover Mongolia.

Although open to foreign trade, the former communist, one-party state has been careful to prevent an influx of foreign labour.

Mongolians especially mistrust Chinese workers, not only because of long-standing geopolitical tension with their giant neighbour, but also because they can be hired cheaper and work longer hours.

Unemployment in Mongolia stands at 9.1 percent, the National Statistics Office says.

The strain with China can be traced back to centuries of subjugation, with Mongolia only achieving formal independence in 1921. The Soviet satellite state served as a buffer between China and the Soviet Union until 1990, when it peacefully transitioned to democracy.

Rapid economic growth, driven by immense resource wealth, has prompted interest from foreign nationals. Though foreigners now make up less than 0.4 percent of the population, Ulaanbaatar has used high fees and quotas to rein in immigration.

Last year, Mongolia cut its foreign workforce in half, and sent home about 1,200 North Korean workers to comply with the sanctions.

The Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine, run by mining conglomerate Rio Tinto, has also been under scrutiny for its use of Chinese labourers.

About 93 percent of the Oyu Tolgoi workforce is Mongolian, exceeding a lower limit of 90 percent set in a 2009 investment pact. During construction, no more than 40 percent of workers could come from overseas.

After an inspection of Oyu Tolgoi last month, immigration officials deported foreign contractors with Australian engineering firm Hofmann Engineering for visa violations.

With just 3.1 million people in an area almost the size of Alaska, Mongolia is the world's least densely populated country.

Many Mongolians are leaving home for work and education elsewhere, including China, and South Korea has eased their pathway to jobs.

"More Mongolians are leaving to work abroad, which means fewer people in the local labour pool," said Bontoi.

"Mongolia capping foreign labour seems very paradoxical."

(Reporting by Terrence EdwardsEditing by David Stanway andClarence Fernandez)

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Mining essential to human progress – Rio Tinto www.m.engineeringnews.co.za


CAPE TOWN (miningweekly.com) – The images of large yellow mine trucks flashed across the big screen at this year’s Mining Indaba looked pretty ordinary. But that misperception was quickly cut short when Rio Tinto CE Energy and Minerals Bold Baatar told the full-house audience: "What you're watching are robots on wheels. They’re fully automated driverless trucks,” he said, adding their unassuming emergence beat the current obsession with driverless cars by a good decade, illustrating once again that mining has led human progress for millions of years.

“Since the time of our ancestors here in Africa, the Cradle of Humankind, three-and-a-half million years ago, human progress has been interlinked with mining,” Baatar emphasised.

What’s more, the oldest known mine, which is some 43 000 years of age, is located in neighbouring Swaziland, where ancestors of the San people mined red pigment for rock painting, and in East Africa, people produced steel more than 2 500 years ago, a development that only took place in Europe in the 1700s.

“So, mining has been essential to human progress since the dawn of time,” Mongolian-born Baatar told the Mining Indaba, which is being attended by Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online.

Mining is understood to be an economic bedrock in countries like Chile and Australia, underpinning gross domestic product and tax revenues, and Africa has its own success stories like Botswana, which was one of the poorest countries 50 years ago and now has a mining-linked sovereign wealth fund that benefits education, infrastructure and future generations.

“So, mining can be inclusive and bring on the sustainable development to the host communities in countries that change,” he said.

Common attributes of successful governments are good governance, good resource management and the rule of law.

“However, a key element that can make a difference for mining companies is the level of transparency, accountability, understanding and trust that are required for the partners to thrive,” he said.

“But the challenge is the mining sector is misunderstood where expectations are misaligned.”

He outlined how mining was made up of artisanal miners, who had a role to play, but who brought with them certain consequences; entrepreneurs, who pursued high-risk investment in the short-term; junior minor companies, which had the role of funding and discovering resources; and then the operator mining companies, which were small to large and brought on the operations.

If any of these participants did not behave responsibly, it cast a dark cloud over the whole sector.

For Rio Tinto, the key challenge was the misalignment of expectations, particularly around mineral wealth.

A common cause of misalignment was the calculation of the scale of mineral wealth by multiplying the resource size by the current mineral price.

Using copper as an example, a one-million-tonne resource multiplied by $7 000 becomes referred to as a $7-billion mineral resource.

The flaw of such analysis was that the investment and the costs are completely ignored in the equation.

Using $2-billion as the upfront investment, $1-billion paid in taxes, another $2-billion of operating expenses etcetera, left investors with $2-billion with which to cover debt interest and shareholder returns, which inflation would lower still further.

What should also be kept in mind was that the entire mine ecosystem of supply chain and mining services multiplied economic activity fourfold, with mining services generating more employment than mining itself.

It was important to maximise the local content of the supply chain, which was also a significant source of taxation revenue.

“It is not uncommon for the operators like us to see a very limited return on capital for a number of years,” Baatar calculated.

Returning to the driverless trucks, assuming each carried 250 t of material at the industry-average copper grade of 1%, that material would result in a mere 2.5 t of copper, with 99% of the material carried by the truck – some 247.5 t – having no mineral wealth in it whatsoever.

But the 250 t also has to be crushed and ground into a fine dust that was at times more refined than flour.

Then the copper was separated out of that through flotation, a bubble process not dissimilar from the brewing process.

There is more regrinding, dewatering and thickening and only after the smelting process, does the operating mining company end up with the 2.5 t of copper concentrate.

“So, we go from a massive large truck full to a little two-and-a-half tonnes of copper through a lot of hard work and energy usage,” he said, adding that his simplified example highlighted the central truth about mining: “It costs a lot of money to extract minerals, involves significant financial and execution risk and it is technically difficult work, particularly when done responsibly.” 

EDITED BY: Creamer Media Reporter

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FM Talks between DPRK and Mongolia Held www.oananews.org

Pyongyang, February 6 (KCNA) -- Talks between DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and Mongolian Foreign Minister D. Tsogtbaatar were held at the Mansudae Assembly Hall on Monday.
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 and the issues of mutual concern and reached a consensus.
The DPRK foreign minister stressed the need to continue to develop the traditional relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries forged and developed by President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il with the preceding leaders of Mongolia irrespective of the changing situation.
The Mongolian foreign minister, saying that this year serves as an important occasion in developing the bilateral relations as it marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, underlined the need to develop on good terms the Mongolia-DPRK relations of friendship with a long history and tradition. -0-

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Cryptocurrency market loses over half a trillion dollars this year www.rt.com

The biggest sell-off in cryptocurrency market history has wiped out around $550 billion since January 7, when the market capitalization reached a record $836 billion.

On Tuesday, the cryptocurrency market capitalization sank below $300 billion for first time since November, according to CoinMarketCap data. The top 10 digital assets by market value are facing double-digit losses for the fourth time in the last five days.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been hammered by a series of crackdowns by banks and governments around the world. On Tuesday, the Bank for International Settlements warned that authorities must be prepared to act against the “invasive spread of cryptocurrencies.”

Since this year has been dominated by negative news for cryptocurrencies, most of them are down at least 70 percent from their record highs. Bitcoin’s market cap has plunged to $106 billion from its record of $326 billion.

Also this week, Britain’s Lloyds Banking Group, which comprises Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA, announced that it had banned cryptocurrency purchases on its credit cards. The move was followed by similar decisions from American giants Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup. Another British bank, Barclays, said its customers can use their cards to purchase cryptocurrency legitimately.

One large business hub that has no plans to ban cryptocurrency trading is Singapore. This was made clear in a statement by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Tuesday.

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Wheat incentive determined at MNT 50-60 thousand per ton www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Cabinet on February 6 resolved to determine incentive for wheat supplied to domestic flour factories, Crop Farming Support Fund and government reserve.

In specific, I-III class wheat will receive incentive of MNT 60 thousand per ton and IV class MNT 50 thousand.

The Cabinet also agreed on tariff discount for wheat seeds of the Crop Farming Support Fund in order to support land farmers who suffered crop loss last year, and run spring sowing normally.

MNT 14.9 billion was projected last year’s budget for wheat bonus. The incentive requirements have been fulfilled by 597 citizens and entities in 13 aimags for supply of 128 thousand tons of wheat.
Kh.Aminaa

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National program on air pollution reduction to be intensified www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Cabinet instructed the corresponding officials to study the possibility of establishing a government agency in charge of air pollution reduction in urban areas.

During its meeting on February 6, the Cabinet discussed air pollution reduction and ways of intensifying the National Program on Air Pollution Reduction.

The Cabinet decided to grant the authority of air pollution inspector to rangers and the staff of the Air Pollution Reduction Department of the Capital city, and the authority of non-staff inspector to corresponding officials in Khoroos of the capital city.

Corresponding Ministers and Governors of aimags and the capital city were ordered to look into possibilities of assisting citizens interested in migrating from UIaanbaatar to provinces to work in the agriculture sector, and introduce their proposals to the Cabinet meeting.

The Government is ready to render all forms of support for intensification of infrastructure development aiming to reduce air pollution such as establishment of a satellite city, sub-center, village and industrial and technological parks.

Corresponding Ministers and the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar were also assigned to study the matter of moving some government agencies, state-owned universities and higher educational institutes from downtown and present their proposals.

Furthermore, the Government aims to phase out the consumption of crude coal, promote use of refined fuel and broaden the centralized network.

The Government plans to take measures including converting public transport and taxi to gas fuel, exempting gas and electric-engine buses, trolleybuses and taxi vehicles from customs duty and value-added tax, and supporting domestic vehicle manufacturers. Furthermore, more actions like infrastructure development in ger areas, intensification of construction works and circulation of unsold apartments will be taken.

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