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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Comcast, Verizon approached Twenty-First Century Fox to buy some assets: sources www.reuters.com

(Reuters) - Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc have both expressed interest in acquiring a significant part of Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc’s assets, two people familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: The Twenty-First Century Fox Studios flag flies over the company building in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson /File Photo
News of competing interest in some of Murdoch’s assets broke even though the U.S. Justice Department was preparing a lawsuit to block AT&T Inc, the largest pay-TV provider in the United States, from buying Time Warner Inc for $85.4 billion, according to a source. This raised questions about the U.S. government’s willingness to allow large media industry mergers.

The Fox assets that buyers have expressed interest in include Fox’s movie and TV production studios, cable networks FX and National Geographic, and international assets such as the Star network in India, and the European pay TV provider Sky Plc. These units have also been the subject of recent talks between Fox and Walt Disney Co, one of the sources said.

Fox shares jumped nearly 8.0 percent in after-hours trading after the Wall Street Journal first reported the news. Shares of Viacom Inc and CBS Corp also rose more than 2.0 percent, a sign investors may see them as potential targets also.

Comcast has approached Fox about its interest, and talks are in early stages, the source added, requesting anonymity. There is no guarantee that talks between the companies will result in a deal.

Fox, Comcast and Verizon declined comment.

After Comcast first bought a stake in NBCUniversal in 2011, buying the Fox assets would give Comcast, the largest cable provider in the United States, an international distribution footprint through ownership of Sky and Star in India.

Comcast has steadily boosted its ownership of content over the years and acquiring Fox’s assets would further position Comcast as a diversified conglomerate to rival Disney, analysts said.

The deal would bulk up its NBCUniversal unit, which acquired Dreamworks Animation for $3.8 billion last year, as well as increase its ownership stake in video streaming service Hulu.

Verizon is also in the early stages of exploring a deal, one of the sources said. A deal could give the U.S. No. 1 wireless phone carrier ownership of movies and TV shows to stream to its mobile subscribers.

Acquisition of a movie studio and cable channels would be a departure for Verizon, which has focused its media deals around advertising technology and internet properties.

Verizon spent $4.48 billion acquiring the core business of Yahoo, which it merged with AOL this year to form a venture called Oath. Led by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, Oath owns more than 50 brands including HuffPost, TechCrunch and Tumblr.

Roger Entner, an analyst of Recon Analytics, said, “It is undeniable that there is a trend of combining content with distribution.”

Verizon, which has said it is launching a new streaming service, could have more targeted advertising with a vertically integrated platform, he added.

Traditional cable television networks have been struggling with faster-than-expected subscriber erosion in the competition with streaming services like Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc.

To increase its scale, Fox tried to buy Time Warner Inc. three years ago and last year announced its intention to buy the rest of Sky beyond the 39 percent it already owns.

The moves also come after the U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to remove key roadblocks to increased consolidation among media companies, potentially unleashing new deals among TV, radio and newspaper owners as they seek to better compete with online media.

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Bitcoin recovers from price crash despite bubble warnings www.rt.com

Following huge losses sustained last week, the value of bitcoin has surged, recovering over $2,000 since Sunday. The world’s most popular virtual currency has shown resilience despite continued skepticism over the bitcoin phenomenon.

According to data provided by CoinMarketCap, bitcoin traded at $7506.14 at 11:22am GMT, fixing a daily gain of over seven percent. The cryptocurrency began the year below $1,000 per token.

On Sunday, bitcoin plunged as low as $5,519, marking a 30 percent drop from the record high of $7,882. The correction came as people behind the cryptocurrency considered changes to the software aimed at speeding up transactions on the bitcoin network. The measure, called SegWit2x, was suspended but managed to evoke a massive selloff among cryptocurrency enthusiasts. 

Although bitcoin has been picking up steam over this week, some analysts still remain skeptical over the leading digital currency. However, the bitcoin phenomenon is not going away overnight, according to Morgan Stanley Chairman and CEO James Gorman.

“Something that goes up 700 percent in a year — it's by definition speculative. So anybody who thinks they're buying something that it's a stable investment is deluding themselves. It might go up another 700 percent, but it could easily not,” Gorman told CNBC.

The billionaire investor and chairman of Interactive Brokers, Thomas Peterffy, has called for keeping bitcoin from the real economy. The businessman stressed he never opposed trading the cryptocurrency.

“I think bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are great ideas. They should be allowed to be traded freely and used freely to find their appropriate role in the economy,” Peterffy said as quoted by the media.

“What I am objecting to is linking bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by federal regulations to the real economy, which would happen if we were to clear bitcoin along with other products in the same trading house,” he added.

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November 16, 2017 trading report www.mse.mn

On November 16, 2017, 226,230 shares of 25 firms listed as Tier I, II, and III were traded. 9 firms’ shares increased in price, 12 decreased and 4 remained unchanged. ITools JSC /ITLS/ and Erchim Bayan Ulgii JSC /BOE/ was the top performer, increasing 15.00 percent, whereas Noyot Khairkhan JSC /NIE/ was the worst performer, decreasing 12.00 percent.

On the secondary market for government bonds, 7 bonds with a value of MNT0.7 million were traded.

The MSE ALL Index increased by 0.11 percent to stand at 1,170.42 points. The MSE market cap stands at MNT 2,307,528,011,335.

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Canada says coal not coming back, US and Germany differ www.mining.com

Nearly 20 countries and regions pledged Thursday to never use coal again as fuel for power generation from 2030 onwards, adhering to a British-Canadian initiative presented at the 2017 United Nations climate change talks in Bonn, Germany.

Two nations, however, did not sign the accord — the United States and the host country.

US President Donald Trump has made no secret of his intention, at least in paper, of “bringing back coal.” So far, he has by rolled back environmental regulations and moved to repeal Obama-era curbs on carbon emissions from power plants among other measures.

However, dozens of coal-fired plants have closed in recent years, and cheap natural gas continues to dent domestic demand. According to the Appalachian Regional Commission, the region has lost about 33,500 mining jobs since 2011. And that’s only in one section of the US.

Overall, coal’s share of the power mix is declining, and wind and solar remain the fastest-growing US sources of electricity.

One problem is that most of the installed coal-fired generation capacity in the US is quite old, and with gas prices being low, companies don’t seem willing to invest in repairing those outdated facilities.

Another issue is that not one single new commercial plant of this kind is planned in the whole country for the near future, compared to 2.6GW of new solar capacity, 10GW of new wind and 38GW of new gas-fired plants scheduled to start up in 2017-18.

Even AEP, the US top generator from coal in 2015, has been embracing renewables. In July, in fact, it announced it would invest $4.5 billion to build the largest wind farm in the US.

Despite these facts, coal jobs have increased and Bloomberg explains partly why:

US coal production began rising in mid-2016, boosted by higher global prices that were mainly due to production cutbacks in China. Cyclone Debbie buffeted Australia’s coast earlier this year, sending prices rallying again. And in the US., coal became more competitive in the utility mix after natural gas — a rival power-plant fuel — rebounded from last year’s historically low prices (…) Coal production has since fallen below 2016 levels.
Germany, in turn, which for years has been seen as a world leader in the fight against carbon emissions and pollution, still gets 40% of its energy from coal, a larger share than most other European countries, data from Eurostat show.

The reality is so despite the Angela Merkel’s administration has invested billions in renewable energy and it means that Germany will miss its goal of cutting 40% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Currently, official figures show that number is likely to fall to little more than 30%.

Canadian and British authorities declined to criticize the US and Germany’s decisions. Instead, the Financial Times reports, they emphasized the economic opportunities arising from the shift towards less polluting technologies:

“My message to President Trump is: Have a look at what other countries are doing,” Claire Perry, the UK minister for climate change and industry said. “Clearly you have to make choices based on your manifesto agreements. But there are really big opportunities out there in the transition to clean energy for jobs and for growth.”

“Coal is not coming back,” noted Catherine McKenna, Canada’s minister for environment and climate change. “The economic case is clear. The price of solar and wind has plummeted. Clean power is also increasingly the cheapest power.”
Some of the countries that have joined the so-called Powering Past Coal Alliance to phase out coal from power generation before 2030 include Britain, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Mexico, Chile and the Marshall Islands.

The coalition expects to include at least 50 countries by next year.

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Billionaire investor George Soros dumps Apple & Facebook www.rt.com

US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings show the George Soros' investment fund has disposed of its holdings in Apple and Snap in the last quarter, reducing stakes in other tech giants such as Facebook and Twitter.

According to the filings, the fund sold 1,700 shares of Apple and 1.55 million of Snap stock. It also reduced its stake in Twitter by 5,700 shares while still holding 18,400 shares of the social media site. The investor got rid of 367,262 shares in Facebook; he has now 109,451 of the network’s shares.

At the same time, the Soros hedge fund boosted its stake in Microsoft by 99,000 shares and in Amazon by 2,500 shares.

Snap stock tumbled on the news that another key shareholder has bailed from the struggling messaging app. The company is down over 48 percent since it went public in March. Apple, whose shares hit a record high last week, plunged almost three percent on Wednesday.

Soros’ position contradicts that of another billionaire investor Warren Buffet who’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway almost quadrupled its stake in Apple earlier this year. According to an SEC filing, in the third quarter, the company also topped up on Apple, boosting its stake in the iPhone maker by 3.9 million to 134.1 million shares.

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Government to provide electricity to all households in UB www.news.mn

Earlier today, Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh, made a working visit to state-owned Thermal Power Plant-4, in the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar. The company reported to the PM that it has bought 185 thousand tonnes of coal and 64 tonnes of fuel oil in preparation for the winter.

During his visit, Mr Khurelsukh said: ‘It is not acceptable that in the 21st century households in our capital city live without electricity. Our government is planning to provide electricity to 5000 new households in Ulaanbaatar’.

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Volkswagen Group earmarking $11.8 billion to develop, build China electric cars www.reuters.com

GUANGZHOU/BEIJING (Reuters) - Volkswagen Group said on Thursday it plans to spend 10 billion euros ($11.8 billion) by 2025 to develop and manufacture all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles as it seeks to comply with upcoming stringent rules in China.

The group, which includes Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and Audi AG (NSUG.DE), intends to launch 15 of the so-called new energy vehicles (NEV) models over the next two to three years, and an additional 25 after 2025, China chief Jochem Heizmann told Reuters on Thursday.

China’s NEV production and sales quotas, which must be met by 2019, have prompted a flurry of electric car deals and new launches as automakers in China race to ensure they do not fall short. Automakers that do fall short will be required to buy credits.

Volkswagen currently has around 10 NEVs already on the market in China, although all are imported models with limited sales volumes, according to a company spokeswoman.

Heizmann, speaking ahead of the Guangzhou auto show, added that the group is aiming to sell 400,000 new energy vehicles per year in China by 2020 and 1.5 million per year by 2025. NEVs refer to all-electric battery cars and heavily electrified plug-in hybrids.

Heizmann said some of those models will have a 400-600km driving range on a single full charge. By comparison, Tesla’s (TSLA.O) model S has a range of 490km and as much as 632km depending on battery capacity, according to the company.

The Volkswagen Group is also confident that its group companies and their local China joint venture partners will be able to generate enough NEV sales volume to account for NEV quotas by 2019, Heizmann said, adding that there will be no need to buy credits.

“We need high volumes of new energy vehicles... we are working on full speed on that.”

Last week, General Motors Co’s China chief Matt Tsien told reporters GM’s China joint ventures will be able to generate enough NEV sales volume to account for NEV quotas by 2019 and without the need to buy credits.

Tsien said both GM (GM.N) and its China joint-venture partners “are working to at least meet, if not exceed, those credit mandate requirements.”

The Guangzhou auto show starts on Friday.

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Shanxi likely to buy more Mongolian coking coal www.mongolianminingjournal.com

Shanxi province in Central China has 55 percent of the total coking coal reserves in the country and produces 40.74 percent of the country’s coking coal -- the raw material to produce coke – but even then it now looks set to become a major purchaser of Mongolian coking coal, as Shanxi’s coking industry is being expanded in a big way. The production capacity of the province’s coking coal mines has been increased by 104.45 million tonnes between 2014 and now, and is projected to go up another 97.15 million tonnes in the next three years, according to Zhang Gangfeng, General Secretary of the Shanxi Province Coking Industry Association. At the same time Shanxi’s coke producing capacity reached 127 million tonnes last year, giving it a 28.3 percent share of the total capacity in the country. The province actually produced 82 million tonnes of coke in 2016 and this is expected to reach 100 million tonnes this year. Capacity is to be increased by 80 million tonnes in the next five years to 200 million tones, giving the province 35.5 percent of the country’s total coke production capacity.

At the same time several other regions of China, such as the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Anhui, Guizhou, Yunnan, and Heilonjiang have together slashed their coking coal production capacity by 7% or 84.77 million tonnes since 2014. The national coking coal extraction capacity is proposed to be reduced by 206.7 million tonnes or 16.7 percent of total capacity. This, too, was revealed by Zhang Gangfeng at Coal Mongolia 2017. 

This has to be seen together with the fact that 19 coking companies in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, and Shandong – all in the Chinese eastern region -- with total production capacity of 27.65 million tonnes have closed in recent years. More such plants are likely to face closure as the government enforces its stringent environment protection policy.

All this together has led to the situation where Shanxi becomes a major buyer of Mongolian coal. The companies there prefer to mix Mongolian coking coal with their own to get the best results. For example, coking coal from Ceke port could be blended with the high-ash coal of Shanxi while the low-sulphur coking coal from Gantsmod could be mixed with the local high-sulphur coal.  
China imported 42 million tonnes of coking coal in the first seven months of the year, 32 percent more than in the same period last year, and most of it was from Mongolia. The full year’s total coking coal import is expected to reach 66 million tonnes, 10 percent higher YoY, according to Fenwei Energy Information Service, which is China’s major coal database. The second half of the year will, however, see imports slowing down, the database warned. 

Both coking coal extraction and steel production in China are expected to increase, even if slightly, in 2017. Steel production is projected to reach 825 million tonnes, a 2.1 percent increase YoY, while coking coal extraction will go up to 474 million tones, a rise of 6.7 percent YoY. As for coke production, it may reach 456 million tonnes, 1.6 percent up YoY. 
All this bodes well for Mongolia’s coal export.

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Construction of new wasterwater treatment plant to begin next year www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ During its regular meeting on November 15, the Cabinet resolved to start the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant in Ulaanbaatar by the second quater of next year.

Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh had assigned Minister of Construction and Urban Development Kh.Badelkhan to form a working group to study the feasibility of the project and draft a proposal. The Cabinet made the above decision after discussing the proposal delivered by the working group, and Minister Kh.Badelkhan briefed the press.

The new wastewater treatment plant construction will be funded by a soft loan from the People’s Republic of China.

The Cabinet instructed corresponding authorities including Mayor of Ulaanbaatar to take some measures regarding the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant such as removing the sewage sludge and odor, eradicating its negative impacts on environment, and conducting a specialized assessment on the state of the facility.

The Cabinet sees that building of a new wastewater treatment plant will create a conducive living environment for Ulaanbaatar residents and reduce environmental pollution.

At present, 225 factories and entities transfer chemically contaminated water 2.8-4.1 times higher than the accepted level to the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant, leading to serious pollution of River Tuul.

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Mongolia, Turkey discuss ties www.akipress.com

AKIPRESS.COM - Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia D.Tsogtbaatar met Ahmet Yazal, Ambassador of Turkey to Mongolia, on November 14.

The Foreign Minister appreciated how bilateral relations are broadening in political, defense, cultural and educational spheres, emphasizing the importance of fully utilizing bilateral cooperation potentials in trade and economy. The Minister put forward a proposal on holding meetings and implementing joint projects targeted to developing bilateral cooperation in SMEs development, Montsame state news agency reported.

Ambassador Yazal informed that a brochure featuring business and investment opportunities in Mongolia has been drafted in collaboration with the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The brochure will be distributed to Turkish commerce chambers. “The brochure will introduce unexplored business potentials in Mongolia to Turkish investors, helping attract more investment,” said the Ambassador.

Minister D.Tsogtbaatar commended the efforts of Turkey in strengthening bilateral people-to-people relations through education, noting the importance of the Mongolian alumni of Turkish universities in bringing the two countries closer.

Ambassador Yazal praised Mongolian students in Turkey, highlighting their dedication, excellence and superior knowledge. The Ambassador also notified that he had conveyed to corresponding organizations a proposal to eliminate the limit on number of scholarships provided by the Turkish Government.

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