1 ERDENES TAVAN TOLGOI REVENUE SURGES DUE TO HIGHER COAL PRICES WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      2 RUSSIA AND MONGOLIAN BORDER CROSSING NO. 487 WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      3 WORLD ECONOMICS REPORTS THAT MONGOLIA’S EMPLOYMENT RATE HITS A FIVE-YEAR HIGH WWW.GOGO.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      4 USD HITS RECORD HIGH IN MONGOLIA DUE TO HIGHER IMPORTS WWW.CHINA.ORG.CN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      5 READOUT OF VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE’S MEETING WITH PRIME MINISTER UKHNAA KHURELSUKH OF MONGOLIA WWW.WHITEHOUSE.GOV PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      6 MONGOLIA LAUNCHES EU-FUNDED PROJECTS TO PROMOTE GREEN DEVELOPMENT, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      7 COAL EXPORTS FROM TOP SHIPPER HOBBLED WITH MINERS FACING CONSTRAINTS WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      8 FRONTIER'S "INVEST MONGOLIA TOKYO 2018" WWW.MONGOLIANBUSINESSDATABASE.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      9 U.S.-CHINA TRADE TUSSLE IS CREATING WINNERS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA WWW.BLOOMBERG.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      10 YUSAKU MAEZAWA: THE JAPANESE BILLIONAIRE WHO WANTS TO FLY TO THE MOON WWW.BBC.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      ШЕНГЕНИЙ БОГИНО ХУГАЦААНЫ ВИЗИЙН МЭДҮҮЛГИЙГ УЛААНБААТАР ХОТОД АВНА WWW.MEDEE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     2018 ЭХНИЙ 7 САРД МОНГОЛЧУУД ГАДААД РУУ ЭМЧИЛГЭЭНД ЯВАХДАА 19.5 САЯ АМ.ДОЛЛАР ЗАРЦУУЛЖЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ӨНӨӨДӨР ТӨВ ТАЛБАЙД 4000 АЖЛЫН БАЙРАНД БҮРТГЭНЭ WWW.DNN.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ЗАЛУУЧУУДЫН ГАРААНЫ БИЗНЕСИЙН ШАЛГАРСАН ТӨСӨЛД 10,0 САЯ ТӨГРӨГИЙН ДЭМЖЛЭГ ҮЗҮҮЛЛЭЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     WORLD ECONOMICS: МОНГОЛЫН АЖИЛ ЭРХЛЭЛТИЙН ТҮВШИН СҮҮЛИЙН 5 ЖИЛИЙН ДЭЭД ТҮВШИНД ХҮРЛЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ERD: "ХӨНДИЙ" АЛТНЫ ТӨСЛИЙН ТОГТООГДСОН НӨӨЦ 751 МЯНГАН УНЦ АЛТ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ХЯТАДЫН $200 ТЭРБУМЫН ИМПОРТОД ТАРИФ ТОГТООВ WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ШИВЭЭХҮРЭН БООМТООР ХОНОГТ 60-80 МЯНГАН ТОНН НҮҮРС ЭКСПОРТОЛЖ БАЙНА WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     БНХАУ-ЫН 200 ТЭРБУМ АМ.ДОЛЛАРЫН ИМПОРТОД 10 ХУВИЙН ТАРИФ НОГДУУЛАХ ШИЙДВЭР ИРЭХ 7 ХОНОГООС ХЭРЭГЖИНЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/18     ӨВӨЛ ЦАХИЛГААН СААТВАЛ ХОТ ДӨРВӨН ЦАГИЙН ДОТОР Л ХӨЛДӨНӨ WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/18    

Events

Name organizer Where
Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018" Frontier Securities Tokyo Japan
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

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China's iron ore imports from N.Korea double www.nhk.or.jp

China's imports of North Korean iron ore in the first half of this year more than doubled from the same period a year ago.

Chinese customs authorities say the country purchased 11.5 million dollars' worth of iron ore from North Korea in June. That's down 1.7 percent from the same month last year.

But, imports in each month from January through May recorded year-on-year increases.

Imports in the first half reached 86 million dollars, 2.4 times the amount in the same period the previous year.

Purchases of iron ore from North Korea are banned in principle by a UN Security Council sanctions resolution, but are permitted if the transactions exclusively serve livelihood purposes.

In February, China announced it would stop buying coal from the North for this year in line with another UN Security Council resolution.

Coal exports have been North Korea's main source of foreign currency.

China's total iron ore imports from the North last year amounted to less than 10 percent of its coal purchases.

NHK's reporter says the North wants to cover the drop in foreign currency earnings generated from coal shipments with exports of iron ore to China.

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Copper price surges to 2-year high www.mining.com

Copper futures trading on the Comex market in New York raced higher on Tuesday on renewed optimism about demand from top consumer China and indications of tighter global mine supply.

Copper for delivery in September jumped to a high of 2.8540 a pound ($6,292 tonne) in early afternoon trade, up 4.3% on yesterday's close to the highest since mid-May 2015. Copper's 2017 year to date gains in percentage terms now top 13% and the red metal is trading 28% higher than this time last year.

TC/RCs are a good indication of conditions in the spot market and rates have now fallen by 10% from the start of the year
While Chinese imports of refined copper dropped in June and is down 18% over the first half of 2017 to 2.23m tonnes, shipments of copper concentrate continue to strengthen jumping 23% in June from the month before to 1.41m tonnes.

Another sign that primary copper supply is tightening treatment and refining charges levied by smelters for concentrate are declining. TC/RCs paid by mining companies are a good indication of conditions in the spot market and rates have now fallen by 10% from the start of the year to around $80 a tonne and are well below the price floor set by China's major refiners for the third quarter.

Supply disruptions at some of the world's biggest mines including BHP's Escondida mine in Chile earlier this year and ongoing strike action at Freeport McMoRan's Grasberg operations in Indonesia are also boosting the price.

Workers at Grasberg last week extended their strike for a fourth month to end August. Freeport's temporary exporting licence is coming up for renewal in October, a bargaining chip used by Jakarta as it negotiates with the Phoenix-based company about divesting a majority stake in its Indonesian subsidiary.

Shares in Freeport jumped more than 15% to a 16-month high on Tuesday after the $21.5 billion company announced revenues that topped estimates and progress on talks with the Indonesian government. Grasberg was forecast to produce 680,000 tonnes of copper this year making it the world's second largest copper mine after Escondida.

Copper mining companies were trading higher across the board on Tuesday with world number three producer Glencore rising 4% in London trading. Diversified giants BHP gained 3.7% in New York trading and Rio Tinto received a 5% bump. Gains were more modest for Southern Copper Corp, Anglo American units trading in New York jumped 5.8% and Poland's KGHM jumped 4.4%.

Beijing boost
The economy of China, responsible for nearly half the world's consumption of copper, expanded at an annual rate of 6.9% in the second quarter against expectations of a slight decline and at a quicker pace than Beijing's own target of 6.5% growth for 2017.

In seasonally-adjusted quarter on quarter terms, growth was even more significant, picking up from 1.3% to 1.7%. If the trend continues, this year would be the first time since 2010 that the Chinese economy grew faster than the year before.

Industrial production data for June released today also pointed to a significant improvement. Growth in industrial output picked up from 6.5% year on year to 7.6% led by greater electricity and steel production. Bloomberg consensus forecasts pointed to no acceleration for Chinese industrial output.

Despite Beijing's tightening of lending and other measures to cool the property market, construction starts surged by more than 14% in June, providing further support for commodity-intensive sectors which continue to expand at a faster rate than the broader measure of industrial production.

The copper price is seen as a bellwether for metals markets and industry as a whole thanks to its widespread use in construction, the power sector, manufacturing and transportation.

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Caterpillar earnings beat estimates, shares hit five-year high www.mining.com

Shares in the world's largest mining and construction equipment maker Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) jumped Tuesday, touching a five-year high in early trading, as the company posted better than expected earnings for the second quarter and bulldozed its way to another outlook upgrade.

Second-quarter revenues were up nearly $1 billion from a year ago, with earnings per share 40 cents higher as well.

CAT now expects adjusted earnings per share to come in at $5, significantly higher than the $3.75 it had forecast just three months ago and almost doubled the $2.90 it had originally projected for 2017.
In terms of full-year guidance, the Peoria, Illinois-based company now expects adjusted earnings per share to come in at $5, significantly higher than the $3.75 it had forecast just three months ago and almost doubled the $2.90 it had originally projected for the year.

Full year sales meanwhile will be between $42bn-$44bn, up from the $38bn-$41bn range it had previously penciled, driven by a continued rebound in mining and construction, the two key industries it serves.

"We anticipate making targeted investments in initiatives … including enhanced digital capabilities and accelerating technology updates to our products," CEO Jim Umpleby said in a statement.

As a global supplier of mining and construction equipment, Caterpillar is considered a reliable bellwether of economic activity.

That is why many were happy to hear the machinery giant is seeing improving demand, especially from the construction sector, in most regions.

Sales in North America, Caterpillar’s largest market, were up 7%, mostly due to recovering demand from the mining and energy industries.

In the Asia Pacific region, its third-biggest market, increased by 23% boosted by higher demand for construction equipment from China.

The machinery maker is going ahead with the planned move of its Peoria headquarters to the Chicago area, though most of the 12,000 manufacturing jobs will stay in Peoria, it said in April.

The company’s shares climbed 5% in pre-market trading and were still trading high (+4.7%) to $113.30 at 11:52 am in New York.

Watch Caterpillar Group President and Chief Financial Officer Brad Halverson discuss the company's second-quarter 2017 financial results:

 
 
 
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Electric Mini to be built in Oxford www.bbc.com

A fully electric version of the Mini will be built at the Cowley plant in Oxford, BMW has said.
The carmaker said the model would go into production in 2019, with Oxford the main "production location" for the Mini three-door model.
However, the electric motor will be built in Germany before being shipped to Cowley for assembly.
BMW said it had "neither sought nor received" any reassurances from the UK on post-Brexit trading arrangements.
Last year, the government faced questions about the "support and assurances" given to Nissan before the company announced that new versions of its Qashqai and X-Trail would be made in the UK.
And there have been reports that Toyota agreed to invest in the UK after receiving a letter reassuring the Japanese carmaker over post-Brexit arrangements.
'Vote of confidence'
About 360,000 Minis are made each year, with more than 60% of them built at Oxford. But BMW has built up an alternative manufacturing base in the Netherlands amid concerns about Britain's suitability as an export hub after Brexit.
BMW has warned about the damage of Brexit uncertainty, and in May chief executive Harald Krueger said the company had to remain "flexible" about production facilities.
UK Business Secretary Greg Clark hailed BMW's announcement as a "vote of confidence" in government plans to make Britain "the go-to place in the world for the next generation of vehicles". On Monday, he set out plans to invest in development of battery technology in the UK.
Mr Clark met BMW's head of sales and marketing, Ian Robertson, at the company's headquarters in Munich in January and March this year. The two also held meetings at Westminster in March and June.
David Bailey, professor of industry at Aston University, said the true test of the global car industry's desire to invest in the UK would come next year: "I don't think it [BMW's decision] tells us much about Brexit and the form of trade barriers we may face in the future.
"The big decisions will be about future models [which would have redesigned bodies], both at Mini and at companies like Vauxhall when they announce their new models in the next couple of years."

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IMF revises up China's growth forecast for 2017, 2018 www.xinhuanet.com.cn

KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 (Xinhua) -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday revised up China's growth forecast for 2017 and 2018 to 6.7 percent and 6.4 percent respectively.

The updated World Economic Outlook report, which came days after China posted a stronger-than-expected second quarterly performance, was a reflection of a solid first quarter underpinned by previous policy easing and supply-side reforms, including efforts to reduce excess capacity in the industrial sector, the IMF said.
China has set its full-year growth target at "around 6.5 percent." The 6.7-percent forecast will leave the world's second-largest economy on a par with its growth level in 2016.
The fund also revised up China's economic forecast for 2018 by 0.2 percentage point to 6.4 percent, citing expectations that China may maintain high public investment and delay fiscal adjustment to meet its target of doubling the 2010 real gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020.
But the IMF also warned against strong credit growth that may come with rising downside risk to medium-term growth.
Maurice Obstfeld, chief economist of the IMF, recommended China go through a very important rebalancing process, which will inevitably entail a slowing path of growth.
He said China's recent moves to redress non-performing loans and a coordinated financial oversight overhaul are welcome.
The revision followed an April upgrade by the IMF on China's GDP growth forecast to 6.6 percent and 6.2 percent for 2017 and 2018 respectively, 0.1 percentage point and 0.2 percentage point higher than its forecast in January.

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President Battulga Called on Politicians and Public Servants www.gogo.mn

On July 24, the President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga called on politicians, public servants and their relevant people on offshore account.
President’s call states: “Some politicians, public servants and their relevant people in Mongolia have been widely criticized for hiding their bribery, illegal profit and dirty money in offshore account to avoid taxes. The public media has uncovered news that some of their dirty money has already turned into luxury real estate.
List of 42 countries is considered as offshore financial centers by the International Monetary Fund and the Economic Cooperation Organisation. According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ report, a total of 49 Mongolian citizens have offshore accounts in these 42 countries.
Politicians, public servants and their relevant people, who are having offshore accounts to keep their money to avoid taxes, fueling public hesitation and harming people’s belief in justice. Mongolia did not have specific laws or regulations on having an offshore account until 2017. Therefore, I would like to call on the politicians, public servants and their relevant people who have offshore account to take back and transfer your money from offshore account into Mongolia.
As the President of Mongolia, I would like to call on the politicians, public servants and their relevant people who are holding offshore account to close down their offshore accounts and transfer the money into Mongolian bank within 49 days from July 24, 2017.
The people who refused to fulfill this requirement and did not transfer their money into Mongolian bank will be investigated and face legal obligation”.

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EU Plans Delegation in Mongolian Capital to Enhance Ties www.nytimes.com

The European Union plans to open a delegation in Mongolia this year, the 28-nation group said Tuesday, in a move that will expand its relationship with the resource-rich country wedged between China and Russia.

The decision to have a presence in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, marks a milestone in European-Mongolian relations, and will help enhance political dialogue and cooperation between Europe and Mongolia, the EU said in a statement.

High Representative Federica Mogherini said Mongolia has "an important role in a complex region, with a unique geostrategic position," according to the statement.

Following a peaceful democratic revolution in 1990 that removed it from the Soviet orbit, Mongolia has sought for decades to expand trade and diplomatic relations with "third neighbors" other than Russia and China, two powers that have historically exerted enormous political and economic influence.

The landlocked country of 3 million people boasts vast mineral wealth but has struggled in recent years to court foreign investment due to plunging commodity prices and high-profile disputes between the government and large investors such as mining giant Rio Tinto.

The government has also been weighed down by massive debt and recently obtained a $5.5 billion bailout led by the International Monetary Fund.

Earlier this month, Mongolia elected a populist business tycoon and ex-judo champion as its new president. In a runoff election, Khaltmaa Battulga of the Democratic Party edged out his establishment opponent, Miyegombo Enkhbold of the Mongolian People's Party.

Battulga said after his victory that he would boost ties with China and Russia but also seek to expand ties with "third neighbors."

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China to continue to be key driver of global growth -- IMF chief economist www.xinhuanet.com

KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 (Xinhua) -- China's growth will continue to be a key driver for a firming recovery of the world economy, the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Monday.
Maurice Obstfeld, the IMF's economic counsellor and director of research, made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Xinhua as the IMF revised up China's growth forecast for 2017 and 2018 to 6.7 percent and 6.4 percent respectively.
The updated World Economic Outlook report published here Monday, which came days after China posted a stronger-than-expected second quarterly performance, was a reflection of a solid first quarter underpinned by previous policy easing and supply-side reforms, including efforts to reduce excess capacity in the industrial sector, according to the IMF.
"We have seen very strong growth and especially beyond our update, second quarter number of 6.9 percent is also above expectation. So clearly growth is proceeding at pace," Obstfeld said.
"Strong Chinese growth drives growth particularly in Asian region but also throughout the world," Obstfeld added, noting that China is a big contributor to the overall growth and has a very large spillover effect to the world economy.
As China is transforming its economy from traditional manufacturing sector to service and consumption oriented sector, its structural transformation and the rebalancing of its economy should lower the growth rate and put growth on a firmer basis over time, the chief economist said.
"It's very important for the world economy not just that China grows at a strong rate, but that it grows in a stable fashion, dependable fashion without big fluctuation," he said.
The prestigious economist expressed the IMF's concerns on China's credit driven growth and some vulnerabilities in its financial systems that could derail growth, but he also pointed out that the Chinese government is clearly recognizing these issues and has taken actions.
The recent strengthened coordination between the People's Bank of China and the State Council on financial oversight "is a big step forward" that will lead to more effective oversight of the financial markets, he said.
China announced that it will set up a committee under the State Council to oversee financial stability and development during the recent National Financial Work Conference.
Obstfeld said China has entered the debate of globalization in a positive way, which will be helpful not only to major economies but also for other countries.
He said China could take concrete actions to promote the global system, and that the Belt and Road Initiative is "very important" in the context.
Proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
It promises not only a lot of useful infrastructure investment but to lower trade cost between very important parts of the world, which promotes international trade and prosperity across the wide stretch of Eurasia, Obstfeld said.

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Development Bank of Mongolia is now on the right path www.gogo.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ During the Government’s inspection of the Development Bank of Mongolia, an MNT 1.3 trillion discrepancy was noticed and the bank was on verge of bankruptcy, losing both governance and financial independence. Accordingly, the Government took immediate actions to adjust the issues and appointed a new executive team. We met with Mr. Ch.Enkhbat, the First Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Development Bank of Mongolia to discuss the issues as well as the bank’s policy, aims and further actions.

- It has been some time since the Executive team was assembled. What has the Executive team accomplished since then?
- We received the office in September, 2016 and settled several issues since then. At the time, the bank’s asset quality and prudential rations were at a loss. Due to the loss of certain indicators, some foreign investment was retracted before the due date and the risk of cross default arose because of the bank's inability to repay. On the other hand, the loan portfolio was aggravated because of legislation and internal regulation violations. For example, the state of loan repayment and quality were unsatisfactory.

The new executive team focused on improving the bank balance first. As a result, negotiations were held on preventing foreign investments from withdrawing and paid special attention to reform, promote future actions, and improve its loan portfolio. The Parliament and Government provided support and approved a decree on the “Law on Development Bank of Mongolia” in 2016 and decided to increase the Development Bank’s assets by MNT 1 trillion. 
The decree also included transferring the projects and programs financed from the State Budget through the Development Bank to the Government as a repayable loan and assigned a working team. Furthermore, the legal environments were improved and the revision included the the suggestions of other ministries. On February 10, 2017, Parliament and Government approved the Revision of Law on Development Bank of Mongolia, which includes independency, authority to self-select projects and programs, as well as high responsibility and inspections. The revision has started taking effect since April 1.

- What were the results of this revision? At the time, the legal refinement was considered the main issues that were slowing the operations of Development Bank. What can you say about the expected results?
- The previous law was approved in 2011 and implemented for six years. During this time, the Development Bank was heavily dependent on the Government. In other words, the governing political party and Government’s policy had too much influence in its operation. Other countries viewed Mongolia as the next Qatar or Kuwait. However, faulty monetary and budget policies of the governing political party, as well as the price drop of primary export commodities, the economic situation had gotten worse. As a result, negative effects such as leaving foreign investments, declining export revenues, decreasing currency reserves and the weakening exchange rate of MNT manifested. 
When the economy was relatively good, the Government issued MNT 1.5 billion in Chinggis Bonds. They gave assignments on financing major projects and programs using foreign investments, including Samurai and Chinggis bonds. But the disbursement was less effective. The previous law stated to only implement projects approved by the Government.
The Government led by Ch.Saikhanbileg and N.Altankhuyag allocated a majority of the fund to street maintenance, infrastructure and road projects that were not approved by the Government. This affected the bank’s loan portfolio. In addition, several loans were issued by violating the bank’s rules. Therefore, in order to prevent the same mistakes from happening, we stated detailed requirements, inspection and accountability mechanisms of further projects and programs in the revision. On the other hand, the revision was prepared in accordance with the bank’s policy, regulations and created a secure, responsible, transparent and bureaucracy-free legal environment for project selection and financing processes. The revised law will have positive short-term effects on our operations.

- The Development Bank is responsible for financing major projects and programs aimed at Mongolia’s development. In the past years, a total of MNT 3 trillion were funded from the State Budget as a repayable loan. What is the current state of repayment now?
- As of December 30, 2016, before transferring the projects funded by the State Budget to the Government, the Development Bank has financed a total of MNT 6 trillion worth of projects in 6 years and MNT 3.3 trillion was funded from the State Budgetas a repayable loan. The remaining MNT 2.7 billion was issued directly from the Development Bank and through commercial banks. Obviously, repayment of the State Budget was paid to the budget. At the time, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the public criticized Mongolia for having multiple budgets, instead of one unified budget. The current governing political party, which was the opposition at the time, also made several demands on having a unified budget. 
As a result, unified budget was created with the joint Government in 2015. Specifically, the list of projects and programs financed by Development Bank has started approving as a component of the Law on Budget. The repayable loans financed from the State Budget have started transferring to the Government and determined the interest rates. All related ministries formed working groups and closed the projects after transferring them. As for the sixteen major projects and over 1600 private entity loans financed directly from the Development Bank, they are making repayment now. Obviously, the issues concerning repayment still exist as the current state of economy is causing private businesses to operate at a loss.

- You mention the situation was dire when you took the office. How long did it take the Development Bank to increase its assets?
- When we started, the equity of the bank was around MNT 240 billion. The new executive team increased it to MNT 1.1 trillion. The previous executives didn’t take measures on preventing loss from the exchange range within time, so the bank suffered tremendous losses. We’re taking actions to prevent such irresponsible, non-professional and serious mistakes from happening in the future. This greatly reduced the risks as well.

- What are the major projects and programs that are being financed by the Development Bank right now? Are there any that qualify?
- With the previous law, the Development Bank financed projects approved bythe Parliament and Government. The new law provided an opportunity to independently hold project selections. The Development Bank is issuing long-term, low-interest and export-oriented loans in accordance with the Concept of Sustainable Development of Mongolia and medium-term development policy. Research on operational projects has been conducted with the related ministries, Chamber of Commerce and National Innovation Committee. Within frames of the research, 40 projects were selected after reviewing around 1000 projects.

- Which sector projects were selected?
- The selected projects in agriculture, mining, road and transportation and energy sectors are able to be implemented.

Practices of developed countries show that most of other countries issue low-interest rate bonds with a 30-40 year term to develop infrastructure. As for Mongolia, we set a record for constructing infrastructure with a 5-year bond with 5.1 percent interest rate. In other words, the majority of the Chinggis bond, which is USD 1.5 billion, was spent on dead assets such as roads. Did the new law include any articles to prevent this?
Indeed, Mongolia is the only country that builds roads with short-term high-interest rate commercial bank loans. Therefore, we included a specific article in the revision. Even IMF supported the article which states that the Parliament and Government are to not involve the projects financed by Development Bank. The projects financed by the Development Bank have to be economically and financially efficient. Furthermore, we’ve included an article to fully ensure the requirements of loan repayment. This means the projects that yield profits in 20-30 years, such as maintenance and roads will not be invested. An opportunity for investing in crucial projects that would increase exports such as railroads, is now available. 
Previously, the Development Bank financed projects bearing 100 percent of the risk. The new law requires the Development Bank to co-finance all projects and programs. Accordingly, the risk will be split between the investors and project developers. Another mistake of the previous Government was the lack of feasibility studies and drawing foreign investment without any operational project. The government paid a meaningless interest rate because there weren’t any projects to work with. Therefore, we’re aiming to attract a necessary amount of loans for satisfactory projects to avoid such mistakes.

- In connection with implementation of the IMF’s program, was there any change in the Development Bank’s activities?
- One of the IMF’s requirements was to separate the Development Bank from the Government and independently operate, prevent the Government from making budget financing and attract investments without the approval of the Government. Also, in connection with the IMF’s three-year program “Extended Fund Facility”, certain restrictions could be made on Development Bank’s funding to ensure coherence of budget and monetary policies.

- Other countries take actions based on long-range research. How does the Development Bank consider projects based on research?
- Good question. In order to finance major projects and programs that impact the country’s economy, it is important to make well-grounded and accurate decisions. Therefore, our research team is formed of professionals and the decisions have to pass through several stages, requiring professional practices in the process. Furthermore, we are focusing to adapt software and research methods necessary for automating the research and assessing the results more accurately.

Project financing is a new concept in Mongolia that, instead of mortgages, focuses on the results and conditions for success. While the risk is high for the project implementer, it's reduced by a joint agreement of multilateral financial organizations. Therefore, we’re working actively on technical assistance and co-financing to expand cooperation with foreign and domestic financial organizations.

Last year, the Development Bank of Mongolia signed a memorandum of understanding with Sberbank of Russia. And we’re cooperating with number of countries’ development and export-import banks.

- It has been some time since Mongolia established a Free Trade Agreement with Japan. But the number of products exporting to Japan is very few. How does the Development Bank finance export-oriented projects and programs?
- Based on the Law on Development Bank, objectives on researching and financing major import-replacing projects are in effect. This includes “Gold-2” and “First Meat and Milk” campaigns supported by the government’s policy. We’re also researching and financing the qualifying projects of the private entites. On that note, the private entities are now open to cooperate with Development Bank. We updated our website and allowed project financing requests to be made online. Further information is available at www.dbm.mn.

- 60 percent of other countries’ Development Banks focus on small and middle-sized enterprises and invest in them. Is it possible for the Development Bank to support SMEs and start-up businesses?
- The main purpose of the Development Bank is to provide long-term low-interest rate financing for major projects that are inaccessible from commercial banks. Within the framework of supporting SMEs, Development Bank issued loans through commercial banks to numerous small projects approved by the Government in the last 6 years. Proof of that is the provision of MNT 1.7 trillion loans funded to the private entities through commercial banks. In other words, commercial banks issue small loans for entities and Development Bank, as a policy bank, links the financial source to provide low-interest rate loans to commercial banks and they finance start-up businesses and SMEs. During the first bilateral government-level conference between Mongolia and Kuwait that recently took place in Kuwait, a negotiation was made to receive soft loans to support SMEs and job creating projects from Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.

- Is Development Bank seeking to raise funds from international markets in the mid-term?
- We’re cooperating with the development banks of Russian Federation, People’s Republic of China, Asia-Pacific region and European Union members. Considering the credit rating and economic state of Mongolia, attracting loans and issuing a bond will have require high interest-rates. Therefore, a profitable version for private entities is very limited. In March, 2017, the Government released a Khuraldai Bond with an 8.75 percent interest-rate. For instance, providing 9 percent interest-rate loans to private businesses will be fairly high when you include the expenses. So, instead of issuing a bond, cooperating with foreign financial organizations on certain project will have lower interest rate of around 4-5 percent. Which means, raising funds for a specific project rather than attracting meaningless large sum of capital will better benefit the loaners. Low-interest rate bonds will be available once the economy recovers and the credit rating improves.

- Since Mongolia is a country for young people, it is possible to accumulate savings. Foreign experts once mentioned that instead of receiving high-interest rate loans from other countries, it is highly possible to increase pension funds and use it for financing. In this scenario, how is the Development Bank reforming and relating it to the development policy?
- The previous executive team approved a mid to long-term plan of Development Bank in 2015. There is much to take and toss from the plan. We perceived it as a general plan of the bank and we’re preparing a mid to long term program. This strategic program will be a wide-range of plan for diversifying the economy and co-align it with Mongolia’s long-term development concept and mid-term policy documents.

- The public had high expectations for the Development Bank and its contribution to the economy. However, the bank failed to meet the expectations in the past few years. And now, the public expects the new executive team on conforming Development Bank’s operation to international standards. What’s your thought on that?
- A strong foundation decides the future of anything and everything. The Development Bank is almost like a six year old child if it was a person. Yes, there were some mistakes in the past but that opens more room for development as we learned from that mistake. Therefore, the new team organized the legal grounds and balance in a fairly short amount of time. I have to say that Parliament and the Government provided considerable support for these operations to be successful. By setting right regulations and law, the operation of this organization will not be disturbed by any successors. 
We’re working to make that happen. Secondly, we’ll strengthen inspection, risk assessment and accountability systems. In the last 6 years, the internal inspection was weak and no monitoring was available for the Central Bank. The new law included an article to allow central bank’s monitoring. Furthermore, the Government will be biennially confirming whether if the bank has financed export-oriented projects and programs in accordance with the development policy or not. There is an internal inspection unit operating under the board of directors as well. It is safe to assume that Development Bank has become more supervised, transparent and responsible with the new law.

- How is the bank focusing on human resource policies?
- Human resource policy is the soul of an organization. The success of any organization is determined by their staff. In order to study major projects and making good decisions, a professional team is critical. Therefore, the Development Bank is focusing on forming experts’ team in our human resource policy. Many of the previous high-performance staff members are still working with us. As for employees with mediocre performance, we’re giving limited-time assignments and training. If they remain unsatisfactory, we’re replacing them with higher-skilled personnel. The job offers are announced online on www.dbm.mn, including the executives’ offer.

- Finally, what would you like to say to our readers?
- The public had mixed thoughts on whether the Development Bank was necessary. I believe only time will show that. However, we are working earnestly to prove its necessity. With the support of Parliament and the Government, we are striving to strengthen the legal environment, stabilize our activities and contribute to the development of our country. More specifically, I dully note that the Development of Mongolia is now on its right path.
B.Ariunzaya
The full interview originally appeared on Mongolia Today magazine's issue No. 2/41/ for April-June 2017 and The Mongol Messenger newspaper's issue No. 29 for July 21, 2017.

 
 
 
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EU fine hits Alphabet profits www3.nhk.or.jp

Google's parent company, Alphabet, saw its net income fall in the April-June quarter, with an anti-trust fine imposed by the European Union hitting its bottom line.

Alphabet executives say revenue was about 26 billion dollars for the quarter. That's up about 20 percent from a year earlier with higher sales in advertising and cloud services.

But net income dropped almost 30 percent to about 3.5 billion dollars. That came as EU anti-trust authorities fined Google about 2.7 billion dollars last month.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai stressed his intention to continue investing in growing cloud services.

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