|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
In a national effort to combat air pollution, Mongolia is joining forces with UN Environment by joining the BreatheLife campaign. It is the first country that in its entirety joins the campaign, taking a bold stand against the harmful health effects that air pollution has for its citizens.
Air pollution is high on the policy agenda in the Asian nation, with the average air quality in the capital Ulaanbaatar frequently measured as being 7.5 times higher than the World Health Organization’s safe limit.
The nation’s challenge with air quality includes persistent indoor sources of air pollution, such as the use of coal and wood-based cooking and heating methods, as well as outdoor sources like coal-fueled power plants and polluting sources of transportation, the burning of garbage, unpaved roads, and dust coming in from the desert
“Pollution is devastating for health, the economy and the climate. Mongolia is standing up to say that its citizens deserve a better deal,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment.
“We have the solutions, and more and more cities and countries around the world are starting to see that a focus on clean air is just that: a breath of fresh air.”
By joining the campaign, Mongolia commits to take real action to bring the air quality in urban area’s back to safe levels. Supported by the organizations behind BreatheLife, they will aim to; manage fuel and emission standards in the transport and energy sectors; limit usage of raw coal for household fuel; facilitate diffusion of leading low carbon technologies, products, systems, services, and infrastructure; support policy implementation and holistic knowledge on waste management; and inform, educate and empower citizen through public awareness campaigns.
To achieve the development of a long term sustainable and green economy, the government of Mongolia is supported by the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE). This partnership supports nations and regions in transitioning key economic sectors into a more sustainable model by addressing inequality, create green jobs, advance green industrial development, and improve skills, knowledge and institutional capacity.
Air pollution is an extremely urgent and widespread health risk, affecting nine out of ten people around the world. According to the World Health Organization, it contributes to the deaths of some 6.5 million people worldwide every year. Air pollution is also a significant contributor to climate change, threatening ecosystems around the world.
The price of bitcoin plunged on Thursday after Chinese authorities crack down on cryptocurrencies, with the country’s biggest exchange announcing the suspension of operations.
The virtual currency fell more than 11 percent, trading at $3,544.14 as of 14:00pm GMT. This is far below the all-time high of $5,013.91 set earlier this month.
According to China Business News, regulators in Shanghai and the country's financial center gave verbal instructions to exchange operators to end services. The exchanges will reportedly shut down at the end of September.
BTC China, one of the country’s top three exchanges, tweeted on Thursday it will close down operations by September 30.
Last week, China banned initial coin offerings (ICOs), referring to them as an unauthorized fundraising tool that may involve financial scams. The Chinese central bank said those who have already raised money should pay it back.
China accounts for about 90 percent of all bitcoin trading on exchanges, and demand for the virtual currency was on the rise.
Beijing has strengthened control over bitcoin trading platforms to prevent them from becoming money laundering sites. It tried to curb capital outflow following fears of continued weakness in the domestic currency.
The country has strict capital controls, which makes it difficult for Chinese citizens to convert the yuan into foreign currency and limits the amount of cash investors can move abroad.
This has pushed Chinese investors to use the digital currency as a way to circumvent capital controls and minimize risk from the falling value of the domestic currency.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Mongolia will receive a soft loan of EUR 50 million from Poland pursuant to an intergovernmental agreement. Money of EUR 32 million of the sum is projected to be spent on the agricultural sector.
Development Director of the POL-MOT Holding JSC Marek Pol asked the Government of Mongolia to render support for establishing a tractor-assembling factory with the investment when he paid a courtesy call on J.Erdenebat, Acting Prime Minister of Mongolia on September 14.
The company has the experience in erecting tractor-assembly factories in several countries and intends to manufacture tractors labeled as Made in Mongolia for the market by spring of 2019. He said feasibility studies included opportunities for assembling electric buses.
In response, the Acting Prime Minister said the Government of Mongolia aims to provide domestic needs with home-made agricultural products and to manufacture export-oriented goods. Developing agricultural technology could be an important stimulation to this matter, he underlined. The Premier also noted that a private entity in Mongolia has to introduce progressive technologies and to employ local people.
A plan to partially ease restrictions on EU food imports imposed after the Fukushima nuclear accident could be postponed. The restrictions were due to be relaxed this autumn but the European Parliament has adopted a resolution to review them.
The EU currently requires food imports from many Japanese prefectures, including Fukushima, to carry a certificate showing it has passed safety tests at facilities designated by the Japanese government. The measure has been in effect since the 2011 accident.
But many European parliamentarians are not convinced by the arguments in favor of easing the ban.
The EU Parliament adopted the resolution on Wednesday by a vote of 543 to 100. 43 members abstained.
The resolution is not legally binding. But a review would mean that the easing of regulations would probably be delayed.
Ulan Bator (AFP) - On a barren patch of land outside Mongolia's capital, a former herder guards a half-finished pedestal and abandoned golden Buddha's head -- testament to the money problems keeping Buddhism from flourishing in the country.
When 68-year-old Tsegmid Lunduv, a longtime nomad, was hired to patrol the spot in 2013, the project seemed full of promise: a proposed sprawling complex of meditation centres and spiritual retreats, tucked into the rolling steppes outside Ulan Bator and under the spiritual guidance of the Dalai Lama.
But two years ago, construction was suspended pending additional funding, leaving two partially built legs, the unattached head and a hand with fingers curled into the gesture for teaching and understanding.
Only Lunduv, his wife, grandson and their yellow puppy were standing sentry on a recent visit to the holy site-to-be.
"Once the project comes to fruition, all of Mongolia's troubles will go away," said Lunduv, a portly man with a tattered white tunic and a gap-toothed smile.
He added: "It will usher in a new era."
One of the project's main financial backers, the Genco group, is owned by new Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga, who took office in July and must now navigate the country out of its maze of debt with a $5.5 billion International Monetary Fund-led bailout.
Buddhism has returned to prominence after being quashed over years of Soviet control, with over half of the population now identifying as Buddhist, according to official figures.
But the debt-laden country's money troubles have severely limited the infrastructure needed for the religion to fully flourish, with monasteries lacking proper residential facilities for monks.
- Sacred vodka -
Buddhist traditions in Mongolia predate the rule of Genghis Khan, who established close ties with a Tibetan Buddhist school. Khan's grandson, Kublai Khan, even commissioned his spiritual guru to create an easier form of the Tibetan script to be used in the territories under his command.
Even under Tibetan Buddhism's heavy influence, however, Mongolians gave the religion their own cultural touch: inspired by shamanistic invocations using vodka, Mongolian Buddhists consider the Russian liquor sacred just as wine is to Christians.
And because the Mongolian Empire suffered from a population shortage, the Dalai Lama at the time permitted Mongolian monks to marry and have children -- though mistresses remained strictly forbidden.
The biggest challenge to Mongolian Buddhism came during the country's years as a Soviet satellite state, from 1924 to the early 1990s, when the Arts Council of Mongolia estimates that more than 1,250 monasteries and temples were demolished and countless religious artifacts lost.
Monks, if they were not killed, were forced to marry.
"After 60 years of oppression, (Mongolia's) monkhood was pretty much destroyed," said Glen Mullin, an expert on Tibetan Buddhism.
Only one monastery, Ulan Bator's Gandan monastery, was permitted to stay open during that period to support the Soviets' claims of religious tolerance.
In 1996, in a newly democratic Mongolia, 18-year-old Batchunuun Munkhbaatar left his countryside home in central Tuv province to join the monastery in the capital.
Gandan was home to just 25 monks then, but Munkhbaatar stayed and immersed himself in the Buddhist practice. Now 800 monks belong to the monastery, the country's largest.
"During the (Soviet era), the party controlled the faith of the people, but they couldn't control their inner devotion," Munkhbaatar said, recalling that his grandfather "didn't quit his chanting or prayers, even during the communist time".
"He would do all these things behind locked doors. If someone approached the house, the dog would bark and he'd put away his scriptures and images of Buddha."
- 'A Buddhist country' -
The revival of Buddhism has been a sticky issue for the Mongolian government, which pledged not to extend any more invitations to the Dalai Lama after his visit to Ulan Bator last November angered China, its neighbour and biggest trade partner.
There are now 3,500 monks across the country, said Munkhbaatar, who handles Gandan's foreign relations.
Mullin expects these numbers to swell as the first wave of young Mongolian Buddhists return from studying in India and Tibet.
Back in their homeland, they will face a tough financial reality.
"Most Mongolian monasteries do not offer the proper conditions for monks to actually live in them," said Vesna Wallace, a religious studies scholar at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
"Monasteries receive funding only when they are building something, not for their day-to-day operations. They rely on donations, so many monks are quite poor and have had to marry because they can't live off their own income."
At the site of the Grand Maitreya project, Lunduv has faith the money will come.
The project's official Facebook page said in March that the first building phase would be completed by the end of this summer if $25,000 in donations was raised.
Every morning, Lunduv pours a freshly brewed cup of tea out onto the field around the construction area as a prayer to the gods.
"It will be finished," Lunduv says. "The government will support us because our country is a Buddhist country."
"Our history is tied to our religion."...
The EBRD is continuing to support micro and small businesses in Mongolia with a loan to microfinance institution, Transcapital. The loan of MNT 6 billion will be provided in the local currency, Mongolian tugrik.
Transcapital, the most reputable microfinance institution in the country, has been an EBRD client since 2013. The loan, which comes under the EBRD Early Transition Countries Initiative,* is the second loan to Transcapital enabling the client to increase its customer base and reach additional under-served customers such as micro enterprises in the poorer areas of Ulaanbaatar or in the regions.
Transcapital’s network will allow EBRD financing to reach micro enterprises around the country – some of which, we hope, will grow into small and medium-sized companies. Importantly, the loan will be denominated in local currency, allowing entrepreneurs who sell their goods and services in local currency to avoid foreign exchange rate risk.
Transcapital CEO, Altanzul Zorigt, said: "Since 2013, our two organisations have been successfully cooperating to provide opportunities to micro and small enterprises in underdeveloped regions and improve access to finance in Mongolia. With the EBRD’s local currency loan, our clients have been able to access funding with no effect from foreign exchange rate risk, further strengthening Transcapital’s presence on the market. On the other hand, Transcapital has enjoyed tangible developments within the organisation through the EBRD’s technical assistance and expertise sharing. We are glad to see that our goal to promote sustainable development of micro and small enterprises is only growing stronger with this funding. I'm looking forward to extending our services to more rural and economically disadvantaged populations."
The EBRD has invested about US$ 1.6 billion in about 86 projects in Mongolia since 2006.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ G.Chuluunbaatar, Acting Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Sports, received James Anderson, World Bank’s country manager for Mongolia, on September 13.
During the meeting, the sides discussed on effectively continuing World Bank’s support and cooperation on the education sector of Mongolia. Specifically, Mr. James Anderson expressed to implement new projects to provide equally accessible preschool based on World Bank’s research “Increasing quality and accessibility of preschool education” conducted in March 2017.
According to the study, the children in both the capital and regional area are not receiving equal accessibility to preschool education. In order to implement the project, the bank estimated that a total of USD 15 million will be required to build new kindergartens and increase capacity of the existing ones in the limited access areas. Furthermore, the bank has set goals to broaden the scope of preschool education projects nationwide for the herders’ children.
The meeting was attended by G.Chuluunbaatar, Acting Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Sports, James Anderson, World Bank’s country manager for Mongolia, Rabia Ali, team lead for the World Bank’s education sector portfolio for Mongolia, J.Byambatsogt, Head of International Project and Foreign Relation Policy Department, S.Bolormaa, Head of Preschool Education Policy Department, D.Tuvshintugs and D.Altanbileg, Specialists at International Project and Foreign Policy Department of Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Sports.
The Bank of Mongolia traded 604 billion MNT worth 1-week maturity central bank bill (“CBB”), with weighted average yield of 12.0 percent per annum. /For previous auctions click here/.
1 - week CBBs
1-week CBB plays an important role in managing the reserves of banks and is the core monetary policy instrument of the Bank of Mongolia. The interest rate on CBB will be the policy rate of the BOM and will serve as a guide interest rate on the interbank market. It was first introduced in July 2007, with fixed rate and unlimited bidding, and traded on a regular basis every Wednesday at the interbank market. This had attracted the banks’ interests providing the possibility for the banks to place their excess reserve in short term asset. Since the introduction of this instrument, there has been a substantial change in the way banks manage their reserves. For the favorable adjustment of CBB rate and loan principle along with the well balance of togrog and foreign exchange, 1 - week CBB auction has been held in the form of competitive interest rate since May 2010. In doing so, the upper and lower limits of the bank bids are to set +/- 2 per cent of the policy rate.
Copper futures trading on the Comex market in New York suffered another sharp decline on Wednesday as analysts warn of a likely correction following week of speculative buying.
In massive volumes of 2.7 billion pounds in morning trade alone, copper for delivery in December slumped to a low of 2.9710 a pound ($6,550 per tonne), down more than 2% from Tuesday's close to a three-week low.
A week ago copper hit an intra-day high just shy of $3.18 a pound (more than $7,000 a tonne), the highest since September 2014. But disappointment about imports by China, responsible for some 46% of global consumption of the metal, rising stock levels at LME warehouses and receding mine supply worries saw the rally come to a screeching halt.
The prospect of a weakening renminbi also emerged as a factor behind the pullback after Chinese policymakers this week relaxed rules to curb speculation against the yuan which had been in place for nearly two years.
A correction on copper markets may also have been overdue as speculative interest has been running ahead of industry fundamentals. Hedge funds built successive record net long positions – bets on rising prices – in recent weeks which according to the latest report totalled the equivalent of more than $9 billion at today's prices.
Reports at the end of July that China is planning to ban the importation of scrap copper by the end of next year sparked the rally from copper's summer lows, but caught many in the industry by surprise.
Investment banks and institutions are now catching up and according to the September survey by FocusEconomics released yesterday, eight of the 24 analysts polled upgraded their fourth quarter forecasts compared to projections made the month before.
However, while no-one downgraded the outlook for copper consensus forecasts remain well below ruling prices.
Analysts project that prices will average $5,870 per tonne in Q4 2017 and $5,844 per tonne in Q4 2018. The lowest forecast for Q4 2017 is $4,899 per tonne, while the maximum forecast is $6,674 per tonne. Barclays, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Macquarie all see prices averaging more than 15% below today's price going into 2018.
The price forecasts for Q4 2017 were raised for nine metals and minerals, including aluminium, lead and iron ore. Tin was the only exception with economics lowering their price expectations for the rest of the year.
Five Israelis who were stranded in the snowy, mountainous Tavan-Bogd region of Western Mongolia for four days were rescued yesterday and are on their way back to Israel.
The four men and one woman are all in their twenties. They got stuck on a mountain during a trek in Mongolia and sent out a satellite distress signal on Tuesday.
A helicopter commissioned by the hikers' medical insurance firm, Harel, was flown to the area to evacuate the stranded group.
The rescue helicopter left in the early hours of morning in order to fly 1,500 kilometers to the scene. The flight took 10 hours and required two stops en route to refuel.
The families of the five rescued hikers have been informed of their rescue.