|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
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.
Mongolia recently marked the successful achievement of goals set under its Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP) with NATO. Through DEEP, Mongolia has completed an ambitious multi-year plan for the modernisation of its professional military education system. Since 2013, the National Defence University of Mongolia (MNDU) has implemented a new core curriculum for staff officers, reviewed instructors’ teaching methods and placed greater emphasis on English and other foreign language teaching.
German Deputy Dean of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies Sven Gareis visited Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia from 5 to 12 July 2017, for the review of DEEP Mongolia, made possible through NATO, the Partnership for Peace Consortium, and the Marshall Center.
With NATO’s support over the last four years, Dr Gareis, Army LtC Klaus Huettker of the German General Staff and Command College in Hamburg and many other experts from Canada, Slovakia, Ukraine and the United States, have worked with their Mongolian colleagues to develop a state-of-the-art Mongolian Staff Officer Course (MSOC) and to implement modern teaching methodologies in the University’s curricula.
“Our involvement with Mongolia’s DEEP programme isn’t over,” said Dr Gareis. “This visit marked the end of the assistance phase of the programme. The next phase is a sustainment phase to secure the achievements and further develop curricula and governance at the MNDU.”
Launched in 2015, the MSOC has become a prerequisite for advancement as an officer in the Mongolian Armed Forces. The MNDU teaches the curriculum, developed with NATO, on international security, leadership skills and operational planning to a civil-military audience. The 2016 MSOC included participants from the Law Enforcement University, Police Academy, the Border Control Forces and the National Emergency Management Agency. This made the MSOC a comprehensive-approach endeavour that will continue.
MNDU President Major General Yadmaa Choijamts emphasised the programme’s success:
"This programme is providing Mongolian officers the opportunity to prepare for multinational operations' staff headquarters. DEEP changed the mind-set of the MNDU, increasing the impulse for reform," said President Choijamts. "As a result of the programme, 45 military personnel from the Mongolian Armed Forces, the General Authority for Border Protection and National Emergency Management Agency have participated in the Mongolian Staff Officer Course and gained knowledge and skills to carry out their duties in international peacekeeping operations staff," he continued.
While in Mongolia, Dr Gareis met with NATO country representatives and with Mongolian Minister of Defence Badmaanyambuugiin Bat-Erdene.
“Minister Bat-Erdene, who attended a special tailored seminar for Mongolian parliamentarians at the George C. Marshall Center in December 2014, expressed to me his appreciation of the successful work of the DEEP team,” said Dr Gareis.
Mongolia will continue to engage with NATO, in the sustainment phase of this programme and has already offered experts to contribute to new DEEP efforts in other partner countries. In addition, Mongolia is taking steps to build upon the results of this programme in the defence education system. The MNDU is now sharing its new teaching experience with civilian universities such as the University of Science and Technology in three common curricula with the MNDU Engineering School.
DEEPs are tailored programmes through which the Alliance advises partners on how to build, develop and reform educational institutions in the security, defence and military domain. Projects are currently running in 12 countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, the Republic of Moldova, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1, Tunisia and Ukraine. They focus in particular on faculty building and curriculum development, covering areas such as teaching methodology, leadership and operational planning....
Over the last three years, the European Union has been losing at least $3.2 billion every month due to the anti-Russian penalties, according to a report by a UN Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy.
“The most credible approximation is of $3.2 billion a month,” says the report on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures, as quoted by Sputnik.
Jazairy stressed that Russia had sustained a direct loss of nearly $15 billion a year or a total of $55 billion so far.
“The resulting overall income loss of $155 billion is shared by source and target countries,” he added.
EU sanctions against Russia were introduced in 2014 over the country’s alleged involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. The penalties targeted Russia’s financial, energy, and defense sectors, along with some government officials, businessmen, and public figures.
Moscow responded by imposing an embargo on agricultural produce, food and raw materials on countries that joined the anti-Russian sanctions. Since then the sides have repeatedly broadened and extended the restrictive measures.
Russia is the EU’s fourth-largest trading partner after the US, China and Switzerland. The country is also Europe’s biggest natural gas supplier, as well as one of its biggest oil suppliers.
The penalties have been severely criticized by European politicians and businessmen as both politically ineffective and economically harmful for both Russia and Europe.
The CEO of JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon has denounced the bitcoin cryptocurrency as a fraud, bound to fail.
“The currency isn’t going to work. You can’t have a business where people can invent a currency out of thin air and think that people who are buying it are really smart,” Dimon said at a bank investor conference in New York.
The head of America’s largest bank threatened to dismiss traders if they trade the cryptocurrency.
“I would fire them in a second, for two reasons: It is against our rules, and they are stupid, and both are dangerous,” Dimon said, as quoted by Reuters.
Dimon also compared the recent bitcoin rush with the 17th сentury tulip mania, which boosted contract prices for bulbs of newly introduced tulips to extremely high levels.
The prices drastically collapsed at the beginning of 1637, making the tulip mania one of the first recorded speculative bubbles.
According to Dimon, bitcoin could be useful “if you were in Venezuela or Ecuador or North Korea.. or if you were a drug dealer or a murderer.”
Meanwhile, the controversial cryptocurrency has tumbled to a three-week low and is currently trading at around $3,970. Bitcoin lost a massive $1,000 in value since the beginning of September when its price was close to breaking a new record of $5,000.
The ouster this month of Mongolia’s prime minister may not bring the small Central Asian country to ruin, but the parliamentary decision Sept. 7 to remove Jargaltulga Erdenebat over suspected graft detracts from the image of the dominant Mongolian People’s Party. The party, Mongolia's oldest and once the singular party under Mongolia’s pre-1990s socialist government, oversaw a quick economic rise through 2013 due to foreign investment in Mongolian mining. But from 2014 it saw the same economy slide to all-but-zero growth expected this year over falling prices and an exodus of Chinese capital.
In July, Mongolians elected President Battulga Khaltmaa of the country’s opposition Democratic Party after he pledged to stand up against the Mongolian People’s Party's massive rule in parliament. About 85% of legislators belonged to the party, better known as MPP, after elections in 2016. The party is considered friendly toward investors and its win last year prompted some analysts to predict economic rebound. Investors, including foreign mining firms, will be keeping two wary eyes on the MPP government's ability to govern during the economic crisis years.
In the boom cycle before 2014, mining firms from Australia, Canada, China and Russia were fervently digging up gold and copper in the country. They provided jobs and steady incomes to common Mongolians. After that year, investment tapered along with the world decline in commodity prices. The pullback in Chinese money particularly stung because China was Mongolia’s top source of investment. The International Monetary Fund has forecast growth in Mongolia of around 1% this year, less than half the rate of 2016 and the lowest of seven frontier economies that it tracks in Asia. The economy had “performed well” under Erdenebat’s government, says Alicia Garcia Herrero, chief Asia Pacific economist with the French investment bank Natixis.
“Political instability has been a long-standing problem for the country, so it is less a problem for existing investors but more or less frustrates new entrants,” she says. Erdenebat was thrown out under suspicion of signing government contracts with companies linked to cabinet members. “Although the ouster may help deter corruption, it also leaves investors with more uncertainty regarding dealing with the government in the future,” Garcia says.
The Democratic Party president, a real estate baron and former wrestling star, can influence policy decisions on public finances and investment in the mining sector. His calls will “have some bearing on the direction and pace of Mongolia’s economic recovery,” says Anushka Shah, assistant vice president and analyst with the Sovereign Risk Group at Moody's.
It’s unlikely, however, that anyone at the top will do anything to throw off development of large mining projects or compromise an IMF program that's designed to turn the economy around, Shah says. The IMF approved in May $5.5 billion for aid to the 3 million-population, largely poor landlocked country between China and Russia.
The impact of the PM’s departure should ease off shortly. Although thirty-three legislators from the PM’s own party voted for the ouster, his party still has what pundits call a “supermajority” in parliament. In any case, no Mongolian prime minister since 2004 has finished a four-year term, so Erdenebat's dismissal sets no records. The party should soon nominate a new candidate for prime minister, which may lead to a cabinet reshuffle within 45 days. The existing cabinet is unlikely to adopt major policies or reforms before then, Shah says.
“Our expectation is that as long as the MPP retains its supermajority, policy direction in Mongolia should remain largely unchanged,” she says....
ULAANBAATAR, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Mongolia could “multiply” food exports to its southern neighbour China but needs to offer more financial and policy support to enable its producers to compete, the country’s president said in a speech.
Thinly-populated Mongolia, sandwiched between Russia and China, is trying to ease its economic dependence on mining after a collapse in commodity prices sent its economy into a tailspin last year.
But President Khaltmaa Battulga said at a forum on food security in Ulaanbaatar on Tuesday that Mongolia was not doing enough to protect agribusinesses, and should raise import taxes and provide more credit to the sector.
“Mongolian food producers use only 30 percent of their capacity, and the government doesn’t move its fingertips to support them,” he said.
Under Mongolia’s parliamentary system, the prime minister is the head of the government while the president can veto legislation and propose his own policies.
Battulga, a populist businessman elected in June, owns stakes in Mongolian food processors Mahimpecs and Talkh Chhikher.
Battulga went on to say that only 1 percent of Mongolian land is used for farming, but if favourable policies pushed that to around 3 percent, the country could become an exporter of healthy, organic wheat or potatoes.
He said Russia and China both levied high rates of tax on food imports, leaving Mongolia at a disadvantage, and local producers have also struggled to get loans.
Mongolia, traditionally a pastoral economy, has potential meat surpluses, with a population of 3.1 million people and over 70 million heads of livestock.
Beef imports into China are expected to increase as wealthier urban Chinese purchase more meat, with the country’s own herds likely to be limited by land and water constraints.
However, Battulga said Mongolia exported only 4 tonnes of beef to China in 2016 and has done nothing to address problems raised by China about the prevention of livestock diseases.
Gombo Nyamjargal, assistant representative of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization in Mongolia, said the country’s meat export business has been held back by animal health issues and hygiene requirements, as well as a lack of trade agreements.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) pushed Mongolia to diversify its resource-based economy as part of a $5.5 billion rescue package agreed earlier this year.
Agriculture accounted for 11.7 percent of Mongolia’s total gross domestic product in 2016, second only to the mining sector’s 20 percent. However, agriculture is vulnerable to desertification as well as long freezing winters known locally as dzuds.
Two years ago, when it was just a bunch of smart young people with no clients in an office under London’s Westway, I wrote about the location app What3Words.
Its product was so left-field that, although optimistic about its chances, I thought it might yet fail.
What3Words divided the world’s surface into 57tn three-metre squares and gave a unique, three-word name to each.
So if I arranged to meet you in, say, the pub by my office, the address “Firm. Belong. Zooms” would direct you to a specific part of the bar. “Shave. Pops. Sweet” would place me in the pub garden, by the fence.
According to What3Words, 75 per cent of the world’s population has no formal postal address.Its invention would help those people to join the world of online shopping, or to direct a fire engine to their burning kitchen. Even in countries such as Japan and the United Arab Emirates, they say, people sometimes lack postal addresses.
This week, What3Words will reveal the biggest success of its short life. At the Frankfurt Motor Show, Mercedes will announce that the GPS in some new cars will incorporate What3Words from 2018. Drivers will be able to find their destination’s three words on their smartphone, then type or speak those words in 14 languages to find an exact destination.
The system is more accurate than UK postcodes, which most car GPS systems accept. Postcodes take you to a spot which can include as many as 100 premises. In the US, the basic five-digit Zip Code can cover much of a town.
Founder Chris Sheldrick told me about the Mercedes deal on the phone from Tanzania, as he was about to give a TED Talk on how the app could help the developing world.
“The question of how to put an address into a car is recognised to be a big pain point,” Mr Sheldrick said. “Twisting dials to select town and street names, or saying ‘Church Road London’ when there are 14, clearly isn’t great.”
Mr Sheldrick might have added that Mexico City has 632 streets named Juárez, 624 Hidalgo and some 500 called Zapata. With spoken GPS input, pronunciation is another problem. Even most British people do not know that, for example, the Cambridgeshire town Godmanchester is pronounced “Gumster”.
Mr Sheldrick would not tell me how much Mercedes has paid to use What3Words, or how the company is doing financially. But he did say it is gaining credibility in Germany, where the railway company Deutsche Bahn is now an investor.
A deal with Mercedes may not signal much on the social inclusivity front, but What3Words is also making progress with its more altruistic applications.
Last year, Mongolia’s Mongol Post became the first national mail carrier to use What3Words. Postal services on Sint Maarten in the Caribbean, Djibouti, Solomon Islands, Ivory Coast, Tonga and, most recently, Nigeria, have followed.
Mongolia is the only territory where What3Words is up and running. With almost no formal postal addresses, Mongol Post normally delivers letters to rented PO boxes at local post offices.
But the carrier was struggling to deliver packages from Amazon, the local internet marketplace MMarket and even Asos, the British online fashion retailer. Many parcels were returned to the US and UK undelivered.
Ganhuyag Chuluun Hutagt, the Mongol Post board member who persuaded the company to go with the service, told me: “Mongolia has a nomadic culture. Much of the population is on the move. We used to go by our names and clan and addresses were not an issue. Then the Soviets abolished our family names and built cities without street names.”
“Having an address is almost a human right, because without an address you are overlooked by government, you can’t receive basic services.”
Some nomads are receiving mail for the first time. Khan, the country’s biggest bank, uses the service to send out credit cards. Pizza Hut promotes it for deliveries. And if you rent a yurt through Airbnb, the owners will now give you the location in a What3Words address.
It is still not hard to pick holes in the service. The addresses look odd to the conservative eye, although so did URL addresses in the 1990s. This quirk might stop big companies and countries from adopting the system. Critics have complained about overly restrictive terms and conditions.
And the company has not found a way to customise addresses. If, say, Apple, wanted to name a spot in its new headquarters “Apple. Technology. Corporation”, it could not. That name is taken by a square in the South China Sea and cannot be changed.
But it is still only four years since What3Words was just a gleam in Mr Sheldrick’s eye. In another couple of years it could be a Major. Business. Success — a spot I see from my app is just off the A3 highway near Bandar Mahshahr in Iran....