1 VALE EVACUATES 200 PEOPLE FROM TOWN NEAR ITS MAR AZUL MINE WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      2 TOOTH PLAQUE SHOWS DRINKING MILK GOES BACK 3,000 YEARS IN MONGOLIA WWW.SCIENCENEWS.ORG  PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      3 INCREASING NUMBER OF CHINA-EUROPE FREIGHT TRAINS SUPPORTS MONGOLIA'S ECONOMY: OFFICIAL WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      4 TAX REVENUE INCREASES BY 33.7 PERCENT WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      5 COPPER MINER'S $10B BET COMES TO LIFE IN PANAMA JUNGLE WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      6 TRADE UNIONS REQUEST PM TO FOCUS ON INTEREST RATE CUT WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      7 MONGOLIA’S HOURLY WAGE TO REACH USD 1 WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      8 US NARCOTICS BY POST TO MONGOLIA! THREE ARRESTED WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      9 WRITER D.URIANKHAI NOMINATED FOR THE NOBEL PRIZE WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      10 MONGOLIA-CHINA-RUSSIA ECONOMIC CORRIDOR BENEFITS ALL SIDES: OFFICIAL WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      “ОЮУ ТОЛГОЙ” КОМПАНИ 570 ТОННЫ ДААЦТАЙ CAT БРЭНДИЙН ГИДРАВЛИК ЭСКВАТОРООР ХҮЧЭЭ СЭЛБЭЛЭЭ WWW.GOGO.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ӨРХИЙН САРЫН ДУНДАЖ ОРЛОГО 78,000 ТӨГРӨГӨӨР ӨССӨН Ч ЗАРЛАГА ДАВСАН ХЭВЭЭР БАЙНА WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АВСТРАЛИЙН ЭЛЧИН САЙД ДЭВИД МЭТЬЮ ВОСЭН ИТГЭМЖЛЭХ ЖУУХ БИЧГЭЭ ӨРГӨН БАРИВ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2018 ОНД МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН ЭДИЙН ЗАСАГ 6.9 ХУВИАР ӨСЛӨӨ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МХБ: II/15-НЫ БАЙДЛААР 8 КОМПАНИ ХЭХ-ЫН ТОВОО ГАРГААД БАЙНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2017 ОНД 1.9 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АЛДАГДАЛТАЙ АЖИЛЛАСАН “УЛААНБААТАР БҮК” 2018 ОНД 566 САЯ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АШИГТАЙ АЖИЛЛАВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ОРХОН ТҮҮХИЙ НҮҮРСНЭЭС ТАТГАЛЗСАН АНХНЫ АЙМАГ БОЛНО WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АТГ-ААС НЭР БҮХИЙ 6 ШҮҮГЧИЙГ ШАЛГАЖ ЭХЭЛЖЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МОНГОЛ УЛС ДЭЛХИЙН 77 ОРОНД БАРАА ЭКСПОРТОЛСНООС ХЯТАДАД 93%-ИЙГ НЬ НИЙЛҮҮЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14     АВТО МАШИНЫ ИМПОРТ 2018 ОНД 30% ӨСӨЖ, 86,296-Д ХҮРЧЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14    

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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Samsung enters crypto-currency chips business www.bbc.com

Samsung Electronics has revealed it is making chips designed specifically to harvest crypto-currency coins.

The firm made the disclosure in its latest earnings report, where it said the activity should boost its profits.

The report also confirmed that the South Korean company overtook Intel to become the biggest chipmaker last year.

And it forecast strong demand for its forthcoming Galaxy S9 smartphone, which is due to be revealed on 25 February.

Samsung Electronic's fourth quarter net profit totalled 12.3tn won ($11.5bn; £8.1bn), which was roughly in line with analysts' expectations.

But its shares jumped nearly 9% after the company revealed that it was splitting its stock 50-to-1, which should encourage trade in the asset.

Asic's advantage
For now, Samsung is providing little detail about its new crypto-currency business.

"Samsung's foundry business is currently engaged in the manufacturing of crypto-currency mining chips," it said in a statement given to the BBC.

"However we are unable to disclose further details regarding our customers."

Mining, in this context, refers to solving complex mathematical problems as a means to verify crypto-currency transactions - a task for which the owners of the computers involved are rewarded with new digital tokens or "coins".

The Bell, a Korean-language newspaper, has reported that the processors involved are Asic (application-specific integrated circuit) chips.

These are chips that are custom-designed to carry out a single task - in this case "mining" Bitcoin or another specific crypto-currency - but not general computing operations.

Until 2013, Asic chips were more commonly associated with the TV industry.

But that year, a New York-based entrepreneur began selling processors custom-designed for Bitcoin mining, which promised better performance and lower energy use than GPU (graphics processing unit) chips, which are still more commonly associated with the task.

In recent months, a shortage of high-end GPU cards has pushed up their prices, making the rival Asic technology even more appealing.

According to The Bell, Samsung completed development of its own Bitcoin-related Asic chip last year and began mass production earlier this month.

Until now, Taiwan's TSMC was the only other major processor-manufacturer engaged in the activity.

One expert said Samsung's move represented a bet that Bitcoin's rise in value does not represent a bubble that is about to burst.

"We don't know how low Samsung can sell its chip for and still be profitable," said Garrick Hileman, a crypto-currency researcher from the University of Cambridge.

"But if Bitcoin's price were to collapse and enter a bear market like in 2014 to 2015, one would wonder if Samsung would stay with this line of business through such a turn."

Taking top spot
Samsung's latest venture coincided with news that its semiconductors division logged 74.3tn won ($69.6bn; £49.1bn) of sales last year.

That compares with a figure of $62.8bn reported by Intel last week.

It marks the first time the US firm has not occupied the top spot since 1992, according to the Bloomberg news agency.

Much of Samsung's success is down to the popularity of its memory chips - it highlighted demand from the computer server and mobile device storage markets in particular.

Intel is hoping to increase its own market share in the sector by offering a new proprietary memory technology called 3D Xpoint, which it began selling last year.

However, it risks being distracted by the need to redesign its processor chips after a flaw with their current architecture was recently revealed.

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CEO of Frontier Securities comments on investment environment www.gogo.mn

According to Masa Igata, CEO and President of Frontier Securities LLC, Mongolia’s investment environment is improving. The Government is starting to focus on investors and taking prompt actions. As a result, foreign investors’ trust is rebuilding.

As for the cooperation between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Mongolian Government, Mr Masa Igata noted that the sides need to negotiate to further the terms to ease public frustration.

We held Mongolian investment forums in Hong Kong, London, Ulaanbaatar and Tokyo last year. The investors had positive approach for Mongolia.

He added, “In order to implement more efficient economic partnership with Japan, it is important for the Government to hear the suggestions of Mongolian and Japanese private sector. Although taxes on several import products have been reduced, business entities are facing more challenges. There is a risk in the legal environment due to fast approval of some bills. It is possible that the laws did not take certain stakeholders’ positions into account.

Law making process has to be complex and consider the interest of policy makers and business representatives. This can prevent possible loopholes. I think certain bills have been rushed; however, I do no think it is increasing risk for the investors. We held Mongolian investment forums in Hong Kong, London, Ulaanbaatar and Tokyo last year. The investors had positive approach for Mongolia.

MNT rate started to stabilize, so the financing cost has reduced. Furthermore, thanks to repaying foreign debts on time, foreign investors are still interested in Mongolia. Presently, the investors are waiting for the asset quality review (AQR) of Mongolian commercial banks. Although it was scheduled to be disclosed last year, it has not been disclosed yet. The investors’ trust will restore further with the transparency that follows the AQR.”

Baigal.G, Bilig.B

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Moody’s predicts 7 percent GDP growth for Mongolia in 2021 www.theubpost.mn

Moody’s Investors Service published its report on the medium-term prospects for growth, liquidity and fiscal strength for Mongolia. In the report, the ratings agency says that Mongolia’s GDP growth will be strong over the medium term, rising towards seven percent by 2021, backed by demand for its natural resources.

Mongolia’s medium-term growth potential is backed by its abundant mineral resources, demand for which is expected to remain solid. A recent debt refinancing has coincided with an improvement in external metrics to alleviate liquidity and external pressures, albeit from high levels. Sustained adherence to IMF rules designed to improve accountability and tighten the budgetary process would distinguish the current improvements in credit metrics from previous boom-bust cycles, said Moody’s.

However, at the current juncture and in the next few years, the ratings agency says that Mongolia’s credit metrics will remain vulnerable to commodity price cycles.

The full report, titled the “Government of Mongolia: FAQ on medium-term prospects for growth, liquidity and fiscal strength” reaches a conclusion on three main questions.

Moody’s said that its report answers the three questions below:

What are Mongolia’s medium-term growth prospects?
Does the recent refinancing eliminate external liquidity risks?
What is the outlook for Mongolia’s fiscal metrics in light of implemented and planned reforms?
Consumption of coal and copper, both key exports for Mongolia, is likely to remain robust, given structural changes in the market, such as those associated with urbanization and the electrification of transport in China. Based on the stable market for copper and coal, Moody’s forecasts that Mongolia’s GDP growth will creep closer to the record levels that it had achieved in 2011.

In the short term, the ratings agency forecasts that GDP growth will be 3.3 percent in 2018. In 2017, Moody’s said GDP growth exceeded their expectations with 4.2 percent.

“This denotes some capacity of the economy to respond to a favorable external environment, and a greater resilience to fiscal and monetary policy tightening than we previously estimated,” Moody’s said.

Risk to the strong expectation of growth stems from a very high reliance on China as a destination for its exports and source of investment, as well as lack of predictability on the regulatory environment which can weigh on investment.

However, both liquidity risks and external vulnerability remain key constraints to the credit profile. Moody’s estimates that external debt obligations due over the next year are still around 1.5 times larger than foreign exchange reserves, underscoring the prominence of external risks.

Due to this, Moody’s says that a sustained observance to structural reforms developed under the IMF program is crucial for credit quality because these reforms are designed to prevent a return to boom-bust cycles, that Mongolia has tended to be vulnerable to in the past.

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Mongolia Gold 2018 International Conference and Exhibition www.mongolianbusinessdatabase.com

Mongolian Mining Exchange and Mongolian Gold Association are collaborating on the project to organize “2nd Annual Mongolia Gold 2018 Investment International Conference and Exhibition”, which takes place on March 15th to 16th in Convention center with the support of World Gold Council. 
World biggest Gold companies such as Sakthi Trading from Dubai, Arabian United States, and KALOTI Precious Metals from Hong Kong and many other international gold related companies and associations are attending the Mongolia Gold 2018 Investment International Conference and Exhibition. 
The Mongolia Gold Conference is committed to direct the global investors’attention towards Mongolian Gold Industry, discovering financial opportunities, relocating advanced technology and equipment, expanding business partnership and collaboration, developing gold geological exploration and enhancing gold resources of Mongolia.

Click on the link if you want more detailed information http://www.mongolia-gold.com/
Contact: 7011-1106, 8911-3499, 9191-1383

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IFC expresses interest to take part in Wastewater Treatment Plant project www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar/MONTSAME/ On January 30, Head of the Cabinet Secretariat G.Zandanshatar met with delegates led by Isabel Chatterton, Regional Manager of Public Private Partnership Transaction Advisory Services, International Finance Corporation (IFC).

At the meeting, Isabel Chatterton said that the World Bank and international banking and financial organizations highly recognize actions being taken by the Investment Protection Council established under the Government of Mongolia.

She also expressed a willingness to conduct joint projects and programs to enhance the Council’s activity.
Moreover, the IFC is interested in providing advisory service to a project on construction of new Central Wastewater Treatment Plant of Ulaanbaatar, which will be implemented with Chinese loans.

The IFC intends to cooperate in formulating plans and selecting contractor and in direction of operating the plant efficiently at lowest cost.

M.Unurzul

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Rio Tinto’s tax schemes lead to nearly $700 million tax revenue losses for Canada and Mongolia www.somo.nl

The publication “Mining taxes” explains how the mining giant Rio Tinto, and its Canadian subsidiary Turquoise Hill Resources, avoided nearly $470 million in Canadian taxes by using mailbox companies in two tax havens, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The publication also shows how an abusive investment agreement covering the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine has resulted in a $230 million tax revenue loss for Mongolia.

This mailbox subsidiary enjoyed a very low average effective tax rate of 4.19% over the past years, likely due to a beneficial tax ruling with Luxembourg’s tax authorities. As a result of this tax scheme, Rio Tinto’s subsidiary Movele has paid US$89 million in taxes in Luxembourg, which is US$470 million less than what would have been paid in Canada, if no tax avoidance scheme had been employed. The company reports that this arrangement was approved by Canadian authorities.

In addition, Rio Tinto and the other corporate investors behind Oyu Tolgoi achieved far-reaching concessions from the Mongolian government which severely limit the tax revenues Mongolia can hope to receive from the mine. Under pressure, the government of Mongolia facilitated Rio Tinto’s use of benefits enshrined in tax treaties with Luxembourg and the Netherlands;tax treaties which Mongolia unilaterally rescinded in 2013 due to concerns that they facilitated tax avoidance. Rio Tinto was able to negotiate an even lower tax rate in 2015, after a dispute over the distribution of Oyu Tolgoi’s revenues. As a result, the Mongolian government has missed out on approximately US$230 million in taxes over a five-year period.

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Cabinet’s 100th day in office: Changes reverted www.gogo.mn

Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa and the Cabinet ministers held a press conference to report on the 100th day in office on 29 January.

Khurelbaatar Chimed, Minister of Finance, remarked “Since the International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team’s arrival, we have been negotiating for 5 days. The personal income tax has been raising public frustration. Therefore, we reached a deal with the IMF to revert the marginal tax bracket to effective tax rates. The minimum retirement age has also been reverted for the elders to choose when to retire. We are now working on reforming the General Taxation Law, Laws on Corporate Tax and Income Tax. Business entities are the foundation of the tax system. We will prepare more understanding law for them.”

Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa said “We are allowing the elders to choose retirement at the age of 60 for males and 55 for females. If the individual is working under difficult conditions, they can retire at the age of 55 for men and 50 for women. Secondly, tax brackets have been returned back to the previous rates and the taxes paid in January will be refunded. We chose to work with the IMF.

Accordingly, the economy has showed a sign of recovery and we have repaid the Development Bank of Mongolia’s USD 580 million and 5-year Chinggis bond’s USD 500 million debts on time. Mongolia’s economy falls when commodity prices drop due to the heavy reliance on the mining sector. The reputation of our neighbors in the international organizations also have negative impact. Therefore, we will focus on two objectives. First of all, to maintain financial discipline of public services; and secondly, to stop economic downturn. We will accomplish this by reducing budget expenditure and increasing the revenue I note that national producers’ roles are significant in repaying foreign and domestic debts.” According to the PM, Mongolia’s annual domestic consumption of gasoline is around 1.1 million tons, of which 98 percent is being imported from Russia and 2 percent from China. Therefore, the PM announced to start the construction of an oil refinery in 2018.

Furthermore, PM shared that he is planning to submit a bill on prohibiting the transportation of raw coal to Ulaanbaatar city starting from April 2019 and is estimating the bill will reduce air pollution by 50 percent.

Tugsbilig.B

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Germany green lights construction of Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 www.rt.com

Russia has been granted a permit for construction of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline in German territorial waters. The project would double the existing gas supply from Russia to Germany.
“This permit is the result of extensive planning and consultation process. Nord Stream 2 is aware of its responsibility towards this sensitive natural habitat and has taken this into account in the planning phase,” Jens Lange, permitting manager for Germany at Nord Stream 2 AG, said.

“In addition to the environment, these considerations also include the interests of other parties concerned, such as the shipping and tourism industries.”

Nord Stream 2 still needs to receive permission from other countries whose territorial waters will accommodate the pipeline. They include Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.

Running from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, the Nord Stream 2 would double the existing pipeline’s capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year. In Germany, it will connect with gas pipelines within the European Union for onwards transportation.

Initially, Russia’s Gazprom intended to have a 50 percent plus one share in the company, with the rest of the shares divided between Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, Austrian OMV, France’s Engie, and Anglo-Dutch Shell. US sanctions against Russia and European red tape prevented the companies from participating in the project directly, but they have pledged to remain in the project and finance it anyway.

Gazprom recently said that construction of the pipeline was on course to be completed in 2019.

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China-U.K. trade is tiny. Theresa May needs that to change www.cnn.com

Prime Minister Theresa May is going to China, and she's bringing the British business community with her.
The visit, which kicks off in earnest on Wednesday, is designed to boost ties with the world's second largest economy ahead of Britain's departure from the European Union.

"There are huge trade opportunities in China that we want to help British businesses take advantage of," May said in a written statement ahead of the trip. "My visit will intensify the 'Golden Era' in U.K.-China relations."

Britain, the world's sixth largest economy, sends just 3% of its exports of goods and services to China. Meanwhile, just 7% of its imports are from China.

The total annual value of U.K.-China trade is about $84 billion, much less than the $211 billion in trade between Germany and China.

May, who will be joined by 50 representatives from businesses and trade groups, leads a government that hopes to strike new trade deals following its planned departure from the EU.

Analysts say there are ample opportunities for more trade with China. But a full, formalized trade deal could take five to 10 years to sign after Brexit.

"A post-Brexit China-U.K. trade deal could accelerate trade growth and benefit both economies -- but a deal would unlikely to be struck before 2025," said Ian Mitchell, a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development in Europe.

Britain's main exports to China are cars, petroleum products and tourism services, while it mostly imports Chinese manufactured goods, telecommunications equipment, clothing and electronics.

Experts say these imports have put pressure on domestic U.K. industries.

"Rising import competition from China is likely to have hastened the decline of U.K. manufacturing, particularly in those areas of the U.K. that specialized in the production of the same type of goods that we import from China," said researchers at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

In order to even out the relationship, experts hope May will focus on improving market access for Britain's vast professional and financial services industry. Language barriers and regulatory differences mean this is a largely undeveloped area.

Jon Geldart, a China expert at the tax and advisory services firm Grant Thornton International, said that May should also promote British design, technology, high-tech engineering, environmental services and craft beer.

"I hope we'll be able to attract further investment and showcase what Britain is good at," he said.

"China was interested in the U.K. as a sympathetic voice inside the EU. Brexit means the U.K. counts for far less," said Peter Holmes, a trade expert at the University of Sussex. The "Chinese [are] unlikely to brush May off, but she can't expect much."

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The open budget survey 2017: Mongolia have 46 scores from 100 www.gogo.mn

Amid declining public trust in government and increasing inequality, progress toward global budget transparency has stalled for the first time in a decade.

Many governments around the world are making less information available about how they raise and spend public money, according to the results of the Open Budget Survey 2017.

After 10 years of steady progress by countries, the 2017 survey shows a modest decline in average global budget transparency scores, from 45 in 2015 to 43 in 2017 for the 102 countries that were surveyed in both rounds (scores are out of a possible 100). Mongolia evaluated by 46 scores.

This is in stark contrast to the average increase of roughly two points documented among comparable countries in each round of the survey between 2008 and 2015. The reversal of transparency gains is particularly discouraging given roughly three-quarters of the countries assessed do not publish sufficient budget information (a score of 61 or higher), seriously undermining the ability of citizens worldwide to hold their government accountable for using public funds efficiently and effectively.

Launched in 2006, the Open Budget Survey (OBS) is the world’s only independent, comparative assessment of the three pillars of public budget accountability: transparency, oversight and public participation. The sixth round of this biennial assessment, the 2017 survey evaluated 115 countries across six continents, adding 13 new countries to the survey since the last round in 2015.

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