1 CONSTRUCTION OF TAVANTOLGOI-GASHUUNSUKHAIT ROAD TO BE INTENSIFIED WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      2 OVER 30 MEASURES PLANNED FOR REDUCTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      3 MONGOLIA SAYS IT EARNS OVER 169 MLN USD FROM COAL EXPORTS TO CHINA IN JAN WWW.HELLENICSHIPPINGNEWS.COM  PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      4 RUSSIA’S GAZPROM TO START CHINA GAS PIPELINE BY DECEMBER 1 WWW.RT.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      5 MONGOLIA'S FOREIGN TRADE UP 41.6 PCT IN JAN. WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      6 EIGHT COMPANIES ANNOUNCE TO DISBURSE DIVIDENDS SO FAR WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      7 MONGOLIA'S PROSTITUTION ZONES, WHERE WOMEN TRADE SEX FOR FUEL IN SUB-ZERO TEMPERATURES WWW.TELEGRAPH.CO.UK PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      8 MONGOLIA TO SUSPEND KFC OUTLETS FOR INQUIRY AFTER FOOD POISONING REPORTS WWW.CNBC.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      9 MIAT TO FLY BETWEEN ULAANBAATAR AND GUANGZHOU WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      10 NEW BOOK ABOUT MONGOL EMPIRE’S IMPACT ON ISLAM WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      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     II/19-НИЙ ДОТОР 24 ХК НОГДОЛ АШИГ ОЛГОХТОЙ ХОЛБООТОЙ ШИЙДВЭРЭЭ ГАРГАЖ , СЗХ-НД ХҮРГҮҮЛСЭН БАЙНА WWWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ӨНГӨРСӨН САРД 23.9 МЯНГАН ЖУУЛЧИН ХҮЛЭЭН АВЧЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ЭРЧИМ ХҮЧНИЙ ИМПОРТ БУУРЧЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ТАТВАР ТӨЛДӨГ 191 МЯНГАН ААН-Н 95.9 ХУВЬ НЬ БИЧИЛ БИЗНЕС ЭРХЭЛДЭГ WWW.EAGLE.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     НИЙТ НУТГИЙН 70 ОРЧИМ ХУВЬ НЬ ЦАСТАЙ БАЙНА WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ХАНБОГД-ОЮУТОЛГОЙГ ХОЛБОСОН ЗАМЫН НЭЭЛТ БОЛЛОО WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ЗГҮЦ-ЫН АНХДАГЧ ЗАХ ЗЭЭЛИЙН АРИЛЖАА МХБ-ИЙН ҮЙЛ АЖИЛЛАГААНЫ ОРЛОГО БУУРЧЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/19     “TEMASEK HOLDINGS” КОМПАНИ “TRQ” ДЭХ ЭЗЭМШЛИЙН ХУВИА 28 ХУВИАР БУУРУУЛАВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/19    

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

64x64

Mongolia plans to establish 32-year concession agreement www.montsame.mn

Minister of Road and Transport Development Mr J.Bat-Erdene worked in Khushig Valley, Tuv province on January 2, overseeing the progress of the construction of the New Ulaanbaatar International Airport and a highway leading to it.

The 32.2 km highway, connecting Ulaanbaatar with the new airport, is 31 meters wide and 60 cm thick with two lanes. The construction work is expected to be completed by October this year.

The New Ulaanbaatar International Airport is a complex facility, and all main components have been built except for some additional works including the construction of a hangar and a garage for the vehicles of passengers and airport staff. A city with 100 thousand residents is planned to be built near the airport.

Minister J.Bat-Erdene informed that the new airport is likely to undergo joint management and launch full operations in 2019. “We are looking at a 32-year concession agreement and a joint management in order to repay the USD 500 million soft loan and run the airport efficiently” he said.

...


64x64

US blocks sale of Moneygram to China's Ant Financial www.bbc.com

The US has blocked the $1.2bn (£880m) sale of money transfer firm Moneygram to China's Ant Financial, the digital payments arm of Alibaba.

It is the highest profile Chinese deal to be rejected by Washington since Donald Trump came to power.
Regulators overseeing foreign investments in the US had refused to support the takeover, the firms said.
The geopolitical environment had "changed considerably" since the merger was announced last year, they added.
'Disappointed'
The collapse is a blow to the ambitions of Alibaba's billionaire executive chairman Jack Ma, who had promised President Trump that he would create a million US jobs.
Alibaba, which owns Ant Financial together with Alibaba executives, saw the US market as a way to expand overseas in the face of fierce domestic competition form the likes of Tencent's WeChat.
But in a joint statement on Tuesday, Ant Financial and Moneygram said they had abandoned the deal "following the inability of the companies to obtain the required approval for the transaction from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, despite extensive efforts to address the Committee's concerns,"
Reports suggest the committee had cited security concerns over the takeover.
Moneygram chief executive Alex Holmes said he was "disappointed" by the outcome and noted the "geopolitical environment has changed considerably" in the year since the deal was announced.
Deals blocked
The US has been toughening its stance on business dealings with China.
The country launched a formal review of China's intellectual property practices in October last year. US politicians and military leaders have also urged the administration to take a closer look at Chinese investments in America, particularly in the technology industry.
In September, the US blocked the $1.3bn sale of US Lattice Semiconductor to Chinese-backed Canyon Bridge Capital Partners, citing concerns over the "potential transfer" of intellectual property from Lattice, which makes advanced computer chips.
Other deals that have been frustrated by US objections include China Oceanwide Holdings Group's $2.7bn purchase of US life insurer Genworth Financial, and Chinese buyout firm Orient Hontai Capital's $1.4bn acquisition of US mobile marketing firm AppLovin.

...


64x64

Open government partnership experts to work in Mongolia www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Experts from the Support Unit of the Washington-based Open Government Partnership (OGP) will arrive in Mongolia in March this year. 

It was agreed during the Asia Pacific Leaders Forum on Open Government (APLF2017), organized by the Open Government Partnership and hosted by the Government of Indonesia on December 14.

Representatives from government and non-government organizations led by D.Daajamba, Deputy Head of the Cabinet Secretariat attended the Forum. The Deputy Head of Cabinet Secretariat participated in a Ministerial round-table meeting in conjunction with the Forum and delivered a speech touching on Mongolia’s anti-corruption actions, the National Anti-Corruption Program, measures taken to ensure transparency in the extractives sector and experiences and achievements.

The Mongolian delegation also held bilateral meetings with the Support Unit and the Steering Committee of the OGP, during which sides exchanged views on Mongolia’s efforts towards open governance and possibilities of bilateral cooperation aimed at overcoming the existing challenges.

...


64x64

Mongolia's foreign exchange reserves reach USD 3 billion www.news.mn

On Tuesday, the Bank of Mongolia, which is the country’s central bank, reported that as of December 27th, 2017, Mongolia's foreign exchange reserves reached three billion U.S. dollars, which has increased three times in the past twelve months.

This growth has been attributed to the implementation of the first two phases of the IMF's Extended Fund Facility program in Mongolia, which show a significant increase in gold purchases by the Bank of Mongolia. The bank’s gold reserves of 20 tonnes increased by 9% from the same time in 2016. Also, Mongolia has successfully launched ‘Khuraldai’ and ‘Gerege’ bonds as well as receiving the first package of USD 700 million under the IMF aid programme.

...


64x64

Prime Minister to inform about housing program www.mongolia.gogo.mn

This year, about 80 thousand apartments' construction will be concluded. However, due to IMF recommendation to decrease mortgage loan support from the state budget, construction companies are facing severe difficulties in apartment sales.

Since mid-2017, banks have been approving mortgage agreements only if the mortgager chooses from certain apartments, which the construction company has a loan from the bank.
On December 28th, President Kh.Battulga met with journalists and answered their questions.
During this meeting, the President noted the urgent need of providing civil servants with new apartments. According to this offer, civil servants, such as doctors, nurses, teachers, and police officers who have a fixed salary and live in the ger area will have to move to new apartments. The President considers this plan to be helpful to solve air and soil pollution and decrease the coal usage in Ulaanbaatar. He also mentioned that the Cabinet allowed his comment and gave positive feedbacks.
The Prime Minister will inform about the new housing program during the plenary session of the Parliament on Thursday.

...


64x64

Mining in 2018: Copper price to power on www.mining.com

The price of copper ended 2017 near a four-year high of $3.30 a pound ($7,260 per tonne) extending the bull run in the red metal for a second year. Measured from its multi-year lows struck at the beginning of 2016, copper has gained more than 70% in value.

What happened in 2017
The run started on hopes (since dashed) of massive infrastructure investment in the US following the presidential election, but strikes in Q1, which at one point saw nearly a tenth of global production go offline, really set the tone for the year.

By mid-year the rally was flagging, but talk of a Chinese ban on scrap imports saw the price take off again. The year-end surge may have been mostly due to dollar weakness but the buoyant mood evident throughout the year (not least among speculators on futures markets) was underpinned by prospects of a demand spike in coming years on the back of an electric vehicle boom.

How things could change in 2018 (and beyond)
2017 is likely to have been the first year in 12 to see a decline in global mine production, but growth should return this year as world number two producer Peru adds some 300,000 in new production, mines like Norilsk's Bystrinsky mine in Russia ramp up output, Glencore restarts its Zambian operations and greenfield commissioning such as First Quantum's Cobre Panama mine begins to factor into supply projections.

But as happened last year labour action is likely to crimp any projected output growth. Wage negotiations could trigger disruptions at mines producing about 40% of global supply according to Barclays. INTL FCStone is penciling in a 1.26m tonne or 6% disruption allowance and most analysts see widening – if smallish – deficits.

The upside:

Factories around the world are buzzing – the JP Morgan composite PMI index is at its highest since February 2011 – and concerted global economic growth could hit 4% this year
Warehouse and exchange inventories are under control – Comex is up sharply, but Shanghai is down despite winter refinery shutdowns and at 200,000 tonnes, LME is nowhere near peaks seen during copper's bear years
China’s pollution clampdown and shake-up of state-owned industry open up gaps for producers elsewhere – refined imports have held up surprisingly well and concentrate shipments are at record highs hitting 1.8m tonnes in November
The switch to electric vehicles, the build out of EV infrastructure (Beijing’s promised 4.8m charge points by 2020) and green energy investment lives up to the hype
Long-standing industry issues are not going away: Declining grades, rising costs, dirty concentrates, water and other environmental concerns, stricter regulations, community opposition, agonizingly slow project permitting processes and exploration activity still in the doldrums
On the downside:

Cooler heads prevail and Chile’s biggest ever year of copper mine wage negotiations concludes without major disruptions
The Chinese construction market correction turns into full-blown slump, transport slows and the scrapping of subsidies puts the brakes on EV sales – the biggest sources of demand for the metal in a country that consumes nearly half the global total
Higher prices encourage Chinese miners to ramp up output, domestic secondary supply rises and the purported ban on scrap imports never materialize
Copper from large scale expansions – Oyu Tolgoi and Grasberg going underground spring to mind – and greenfield projects like Udokan, Wafi-Golpu and Quellaveco – reach the market before new wave of demand from EVs does.

...


64x64

Non-residents to pay 20 percent income tax www.mongolia.gogo.mn

The Parliament adopted nine independent and 20 revised laws in 2017. The revised personal income tax law still faces criticism and opposition from the society, especially the high-income population.

The revised personal income tax, which was approved on April 14th, 2017 has become effective from January 1st, 2018.
According to the amendments, the graduated personal income tax will be as follows:
10 percent (the same) for individuals with monthly income of 1.5 million tugriks or lower
15 percent for individuals with monthly income of 1.5-2.5 million tugriks
20 percent for individuals with monthly income of 2.5-3.5 million tugriks
25 percent for individuals with monthly income of 3.5 million tugriks and higher
However, individuals with incomes higher than 1.5 million tugriks will be subject to different tax regimes. For example, a mining worker with a monthly salary of 2.5 million tugriks will pay 10 percent Personal income tax on the 1.5 million of his salary, and 15 percent on the rest of his salary up to 2.5 million. In other words, a mining worker with a salary of 2.5 million tugriks will not pay 20 percent of his whole salary.
There are non-resident taxpayers in Mongolia. Foreigners, who live in Mongolia temporarily, used to pay 10 percent Personal income tax. Starting from January 1st, non-residents will pay 20 percent tax.
According to National Statistics Office, the average monthly wage in Mongolia stands at 398 USD (966,000 tugriks) as of August 2017. On the other hand, individuals to pay 25 percent personal income tax account to 1.6 percent of total employed people in Mongolia.
As a result of the revised tax law, the budget revenue is projected to increase by 27 million USD annually.

...


64x64

How Mongolia went wild for opera www.theguardian.com

Last summer, a video from Cardiff went viral in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. It showed opera coach Mary King moist-eyed during the finals of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. Who had moved her to tears? Mongolian baritone Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar. Towering, broad-shouldered, with a huge smile and a mighty voice, the 29-year-old sang Rossini, Verdi and Tchaikovsky – and charmed everyone, including the judges, who declared him joint winner of the coveted Song prize. “There was something so imposing about the sound,” King said. “Contained and glorious. It’s very unusual to find this combination of presence, power and effortlessness.”

Ariunbaatar doesn’t have a typical background for a contestant in one of the world’s most prestigious opera contests. He grew up in the traditional Mongolian way, living in yurts with his nomadic family, herding cattle on horseback across the steppe. As a child, he rode some 60 miles a day, and he was always singing. He won a place at university in Ulaanbaatar but dropped out after two years when he couldn’t pay the fees, became a taxi driver and one night got chatting to a customer who happened to be the chief of police. Long story short: he joined Ulaanbaatar’s police ensemble, worked his way back to university, then onwards to the grand opera houses of Russia and Europe.

That backstory tugged at my curiosity – so much so that three months later I was on a flight to Ulaanbaatar with a radio producer and suitcase of audio equipment. I had the same basic preconceptions many westerners share about Mongolia: Genghis Khan, Gobi desert, furry camels, wild horses, fabulous throat singers. My guidebook described a proud post-communist nation, once the greatest empire the world has ever known, now a population of three million landlocked between two global superpowers, Russia and China. “It is rude to turn down an offer of fermented mare’s milk,” I read, “for it is considered a gesture of friendship.”

But the books couldn’t tell me was why opera is such a big thing in Mongolia right now. Ariunbaatar’s win was no fluke: in 2015, he took first prize in the male-vocalist category of Russia’s Tchaikovsky competition. And there are others. Amartuvshin Enkhbat, Mongolia’s first-ever entrant to Cardiff, reached the finals in 2015. And last year’s contest also included an impressive contribution from tenor Batjargal Bayarsaikhan.

Mongolia won independence from China in 1921 and became the first satellite state of the Soviet Union. Its traditional singers were sent to Russia, East Germany and Poland to study opera. I expected to encounter awkwardness around that history — the fact this music was a Soviet import — but not so. Opera caught on in Ulaanbaatar. The Mongolian State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet is a handsome peach-coloured neoclassical building on the main square of the capital. It opened in 1963 with a heavyweight of Russian opera: Eugene Onegin.

Today, the theatre employs 285 people and hosts more than 100 performances a year. To date, Mongolia’s own “national opera” - a love story called Three Dramatic Characters by B Damdinsuren– has been staged 2,022 times. Opera might have been planted by the Soviets, but it took root. Why? One answer is geopolitics. “For a small nation,” explains Tuya Shagdar, a young anthropologist I meet in Ulaanbaatar, “in order to catch the attention of the world, we need to promote ourselves through culture.”

Shagdar stresses that Mongolia does not want to appear to be simply a cultural annex to Russia or China, and hints that beating the Russians at their own game is particularly enjoyable. Another answer is that Mongolians are incredible singers, the tradition dating back centuries. Like opera, throat singing requires decades of specialist training to create multiple pitches at the same time. Hearing an expert up-close is an almost supernatural experience. We recorded Batzorig Vaanchig, one of the very finest, and the subtlety and colour of his overtones was astounding. He made his voice sound like the wind, then the snow, then an eagle’s wing slicing through the air.

To get to the throat-singing source, I travelled 1,000 miles west from Ulaanbaatar across the Gobi desert to Hovd province. It’s an awesome landscape. I spent several nights in a yurt on the shores of a vast lake watching cranes migrating south from Siberia, the glacier-tipped high Altai mountains on the horizon. No roads meant gruesome car sickness. Every time we stopped at a yurt to ask directions, I was fed boiled mare’s milk and lamb fat to calm my stomach.

When we arrived at Chandmani, a tiny village, there was a party: vodka, more mare’s milk, and throat singers of all sizes and shapes. A grand master sang ancient verse with his granddaughter on his knee. A choir sang pop covers with a synthesiser backing track. It was surreal and glorious. What better mark of a tradition in rude health than a gaggle of six-year-olds belting out Born to be Wild in amassed overtones?

Almost everyone I spoke to connected the country’s singing culture with the landscape. Traditional ballads known as “long songs” translate into verse the contours of the land, its long straight sightlines with jagged mountains like decorative ornaments on the distant horizon. I’m nervous about any claim that where you are born determines what sounds you are able or entitled to make — feeling that this could tip into to ethnic exclusivity, or plain exotification. Yet I can’t deny the incredibly open and natural sound that Ariunbaatar and other Mongolian singers seem to make.

One musicologist I spoke to, Khatuchuluun Buyandelger, was unequivocal about the reason behind his country’s embrace of opera. It’s down to physical stature, he says, and that’s down to landscape, food, clean air, even historical narrative. Remember Genghis Khan? Mongolians certainly do. “We have the force not only to conquer the world,” Khatuchuluun says, “but also to sing for the world.”

International wins have made Ariunbaatar a celebrity at home. Politicians hope his career will secure Mongolia’s position on the opera map – portraying it as a modern, cosmopolitan nation. He says he has no desire to leave Mongolia. His family are still nomads on the steppe, still herd cattle on horseback, still pack up their yurts to follow new pastures. “Being with them on the land is what gives me inspiration to sing,” he says. “Wherever I am, that is what I imagine when I sing.”

...


64x64

Inner Mongolia Xilingol Jan-Oct raw coal output up 29.9pct on yr in 2017 www.sxcoal.com

Xinlingol League in coal-rich Inner Mongolia produced 56.07 million tonnes of raw coal over January-October in 2017, rising 29.9% from a year earlier, showed data from Xinlingol Bureau of Statistics.

Raw coal sales of Xinlingol totaled 74.08 million tonnes in the first ten months of 2017, rising 25.9% on the year. Of this, 11.39 million tonnes of raw coal were sold to other provinces, up 7.8% year on year.

Coal output of three main coal production areas reached 68.19 million tonnes during the same period, accounting for 91.1% of the total.

The three production areas are West Ujimqin banner, Xilinhot city and Wulagai city.

...


64x64

China, Mongolia trade continues to boom in 2017 www.xinhuanet.com

HOHHOT, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- Trade between China and Mongolia continued to boom in 2017, and exports and imports in two major border ports in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region registered new highs, local authorities said Tuesday.

Erenhot, the biggest railway port between China and Mongolia, saw its railway trade volume with Mongolia up 16 percent year-on-year to 11.2 million tonnes in 2017.

A record 570 train trips were made last year on China-Europe rail routes that passed through Erenhot.

Increased demand from China for iron ore drove booming exports from countries along the Belt and Road, through the cross-border rail network, Hohhot Customs said.

Another port city, Ganqimaodu in Bayan Nur City, also witnessed fast cross-border trade growth last year.

Trade via Ganqimaodu soared by 26.2 percent year-on-year to 17 million tonnes in 2017, mainly driven by increased imports of coal and copper concentrate from Mongolia.

...