|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
Working 50 metres (164 feet) under ground with minimal air supply, Uuganbaatar is one of thousands of Mongolians trying to make a living digging for coal.
Although the mining season does not begin until autumn, when the ground freezes and work is safer, the 31-year-old and his colleagues are seeking to gain a head start by digging a shaft in Nalaikh, one of the nine districts of Mongolia's capital Ulaanbaatar, in late June.
But their mine could soon be shut by the government, which has launched an unprecedented crackdown on sites that don't meet safety standards.
That would mean even fewer opportunities for Mongolia's individual prospectors, who have already been hit hard by the privatisation of mines previously open to all.
Miners such as Uuganbaatar dig for coal under loose arrangements with local unions and private companies.
"Things seem really tough for private miners now," said Uuganbaatar, who, like many Mongolians, goes by one name.
"All the licences have been bought up by influential big shots. Whenever you start to dig somewhere, someone shows up and chases us away. It's impossible to find a place or mine to dig in."
A weak economy and particularly harsh winters drove herdsman from across Mongolia to Nalaikh's private mines in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The district, with a population of nearly 30,000, was home to Mongolia's first state mining company, which collapsed in the 1990s in the midst of a post-communist economic crisis. The firm's dilapidated buildings dot the landscape.
With the economy slowing again after a commodities boom earlier in the decade, authorities fear more people could be tempted down the mines.
"More mines will probably be shut down," said Byambadorj, a woman who ran two private mine shafts with her husband for 13 years until the government closed them in June.
"In Nalaikh, life revolves around mining, and mining is the main means to support our lives," she says, insisting that her mines were operating according to the safety standards.
The government had tried to get companies to improve safety by issuing licenses. An official said nine companies had been granted licenses, but not all had met the standards.
"People were working in shafts with no air supply," said S. Battulga, an official whose department is responsible for reviewing mining licenses across the country.
"Therefore it was requested that the private mining licences in Nalaikh be cancelled," on health and safety grounds, he added.
Nalaikh authorities would like people to switch from mining to work in brick factories but no one seems keen to switch despite the danger.
In the past 25 years, the government has recorded 234 fatalities in Nalaikh's coal mines, although residents say the real number is hundreds higher. (Reporting by Joseph Campbell; Writing by Tom Daly; Editing by Robert Birsel)
By Joseph Campbell...
Trade between Moscow and Beijing has increased significantly in the first six months of the year, according to the Chinese customs administration.
Through June, trade between Russia and China was worth $39.78 billion. Russian exports increased 29.3 percent to $20.34 billion, while Chinese exports to Russia were up 22.2 percent to $19.44 billion.
In 2016, trade between Moscow and Beijing grew only 2.2 percent to $69.52 billion. The countries have set a goal to boost trade to $200 billion by 2020.
In July, the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the China Development Bank (CDB) agreed to establish a Russian-Chinese investment fund worth 68 billion yuan ($10 billion). It was created to make settlements in ruble and yuan easier.
Both Moscow and Beijing have repeatedly talked about the importance of payments in local currencies for bilateral trade.
The agreement was signed at a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, while he was in Russia on an official visit.
The countries are also jointly building the Power of Siberia gas pipeline, and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility on the Yamal Peninsula in the Russian Arctic. Over the past year, Russia has overtaken Saudi Arabia as China's top oil supplier.
China is building a new transport corridor to Europe as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (also known as the New Silk Road), which goes through Kazakhstan and Russia to Europe.
Tobacco giant Philip Morris has been ordered to pay the Australian government millions of dollars after unsuccessfully suing the nation over its world-first plain-packaging laws.
In 2012, Australia legislated that cigarettes must be sold in unappealing packets with graphic health warnings.
Philip Morris had tried to force the laws to be overturned, but a court dismissed its claim in 2015.
The tobacco giant has now been ordered to pay the government's legal costs.
The exact sum was redacted from the international Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) decision, but the Sydney Morning Herald reported it was as high as A$50m (£30m; $38m).
In May, Bloomberg reported that the World Trade Organization (WTO) had decided Australia's laws were a legitimate public health measure - making them more likely to be adopted overseas.
Big tobacco's protest
After plain packaging was introduced, Philip Morris, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco launched a constitutional challenge in Australia's highest court.
When that bid failed, Philip Morris went to the PCA to claim the legislation breached Australia's Bilateral Investment Treaty with Hong Kong.
It sought an end to plain packaging, or billions of dollars in compensation.
The court dismissed the company's case, calling it "an abuse of rights".
Philip Morris then argued the government's claim for legal costs was unreasonable, saying it was well above claims made by Canada ($4.5m) and the US ($3m) in comparable cases.
However, the court ruled the costs were reasonable because they did "not go beyond what is usual in other investment cases". It also acknowledged the "significant stakes involved" regarding public health.
Qatar plans to help citizens and companies claim compensation for their losses from what the country calls a "blockade" by its neighbors.
The small Gulf nation on Sunday announced the formation of a special committee with which individuals and firms can file claims for damages. The committee will help legally pursue the claims, according to Qatar's justice ministry.
"We are confident that Qatari lawyers can defend Qatar and its symbols through proper legal procedures," the ministry said on Twitter, adding that it will take "appropriate legal measures to go after the abusers of Qatar."
Thousands of individuals and several businesses have taken major hits since Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties and shut off all transport links with Qatar. The four countries accuse Qatar of destabilizing the Middle East by funding terrorism in the region, a claim the Qatari government has denied.
The formation of the compensation initiative comes a day before U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives in Kuwait to discuss possible solutions to the standoff in the region.
Qatar has already taken several steps to keep its economy going, with the Qatari finance minister telling CNNMoney that it is strong enough to bounce back. The country is also planning to increase production of natural gas -- one of the cornerstones of its economy -- by 20%.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Following the results of Presidential election of Mongolia, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin congratulated Khaltmaa Battulga on his election as President of Mongolia on July 8.
In his message of congratulations, the President of Russia stressed the traditionally friendly and neighbourly relations between Russia and Mongolia and expressed an interest in further expanding mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas in the interests of the two countries’ peoples.
A nominee of Mongolian People`s Party M.Enkhbold won a total of 497067 (41.16 percent) votes while a nominee of Democratic Party won 611226 (50.61 percent) votes during the second round of Presidential Election 2017. Opposite Democratic Party candidate beat his component by 114159 votes and elected as the new president of Mongolia.
This year, voting age population in Mongolia was counted 1 million 990 thousand 797 hundred nationwide. The voter turnout rate was measured at 60.67 percent (1,207,787) nationwide.
Today, he takes office as the 5th president of Mongolia and his swearing in ceremony was attended by the Parliament Members, Government Members, delegations from Supreme Court and Chief Prosecutor's Office as well as ambassadors to Mongolia.
Kh.Battulga takes oath of office: "I do swear that I will perform faithfully for the independence, unity and justice of Mongolia".
He will serve as the president of Mongolia for four years.
Former president Ts.Elbegdorj is handing over the state stamp to the new president of Mongolia Kh.Battulga
Powers of the President:
Nominate a candidate for the office of Prime Minister, who is then approved or rejected by the State Great Khural (parliament).
Veto the Khural's legislation (can be overridden with a two-thirds majority).
Approve judicial appointments.
Appoint the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court of Mongolia.
Chair the national security council.
Act as commander in chief of the armed forces.
Nominate the Prosecutor General, the official in charge of implementing the laws, who is then approved or rejected by the Khural.
WHO IS THE NEW PRESIDENT OF MONGOLIA?
In 1978, he graduated from the 34th secondary school of Ulaanbaatar,
In 1982, he graduated Fine arts high school as a painter.
From 1979 - 1990, he was an athlete for Sambo national team,
From 1982 - 1990, he worked as a painter at Fine arts organization,
From 1990 - 2004. he worked as a general director of "Genco" LLC,
From 1997 - 2004, he worked as CEO of Bayangol hotel JSC,
From 1999 - 2004, he worked as CEO of Mah Impex JSC,
From 2004 - 2008, he elected as MP,
From 2008 - 2012, he appointed as Minister of Road, Transportation, Construction and Urban Development,
From 2008 - 2012, he elected as MP,
From 2012 -2016, he elected as MP,
From 2012 -2014, he worked as Minister of Industry and Agriculture,
From 2016, he is working as an anchorman for "Mongol tulgatnii 100 erhem" and chairman of the Mongolian Democratic Union.
by Peter Ker
Rio Tinto may have difficult political climate to navigate in Mongolia, after a prominent resource nationalist was confirmed as the next president of the developing Asian nation.
Battulga Khaltmaa has previously criticised the investment agreement that Rio Tinto struck with the Mongolian government for the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in 2009, and his rise to the presidency was confirmed over the weekend when his rival Miyeegombo Enkhbold conceded defeat.
Khaltmaa is a former judo champion with closer links to Russia than China, and who was investigated by Mongolian authorities in 2016 over suspected money laundering.
He won office in recent days after campaigning for "Mongolia first" and has long criticised the share of Mongolia's mining wealth that flows overseas.
Barely sixteen months ago, Battulga was leading a protest in central Ulaan Baatar about foreign miners' sway in the developing Asian nation.
"Our wealth is shipped outside of the country. Where is that money going?" he was reported to ask the several thousand demonstrators in attendance in late March 2016.
Rio is the most prominent miner in Mongolia and has therefore been the focus of Battulga's nationalist critiques in the past. He has also criticised one of Oyu Tolgoi's major contractors, MCS.
While there has been no sign that Battulga's victory poses a direct threat to Rio's involvement in Oyu Tolgoi, Battulga has vowed to reinstate a law which requires all funds from foreign-controlled projects in Mongolia be funnelled through Mongolian banks.
Such a law was proposed in April, sparking alarm among foreign investors in the nation; the proposal threatened to breach the Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement and caused the International Monetary Fund to delay a bail out of the Mongolian economy.
The proposal was abandoned in May, but Battulga seems determined to reinstate it.
Oyu Tolgoi has been producing copper, gold and silver since 2013, but the bulk of the project's value lies in the underground expansion, which is currently being built but is rumoured to be behind schedule.
The Rio subsidiary that is building the project, Turquoise Hill Resources, expects first production from the underground mine in 2020.
Peak production of about 622,000 tonnes of copper a year is expected to be reached by 2025.
While Rio has traditionally been confident that its investment agreement can legally withstand any political whim in Mongolia, an unhelpful president could still make life in Mongolia uncomfortable for the miner.
Just two months ago, Turquoise Hill and Rio won extra time from the Mongolian government to find a domestic power source for Oyu Tolgoi, under a deal that will allow Rio to continue using power from China in the meantime.
Such deals may prove harder during the Battulga era.
Other ASX listed companies working in Mongolia include Xanadu Mines, which is exploring for copper and gold in the South Gobi Desert, and Aspire Mining, which hopes to develop coking coal mines in the nation.
Rio shares were 11¢ lower at $64.93 in morning trade on Monday. The company will report production results for the June quarter on July 18....
COSCO Shipping Holdings Co Ltd (601919.SS) has offered to buy Orient Overseas International Ltd (OOIL) (0316.HK) for HK$49.23 billion ($6.30 billion), in a deal that will see the mainland China group become the world's third largest container liner.
The proposed deal is the latest in wave of mergers and acquisitions in global container shipping that has left the top six shipping lines controlling 63 percent of the market. OOIL's shipping subsidiary, OOCL, has a 2.7 percent slice of the market.
COSCO Shipping is offering HK$78.67 for each OOIL share, a premium of 37.8 percent over OOIL's closing price of HK$57.10 on its last trading date, the companies said in filings with the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges on Sunday.
OOIL's controlling shareholders had on Friday agreed to sell their 68.7 percent stake at that price to COSCO Shipping, which is making the offer with Shanghai Port International Group (SIPG) (600018.SS) that will take 9.9 percent, they said.
COSCO Shipping will have a fleet of more than 400 vessels and capacity exceeding 2.9 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) should the deal go through, it said.
This would make it the world's third largest container shipping line after Denmark's Maersk Line MAERSKb.Co and Switzerland's Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), according to Singapore-based transport research firm Crucial Perspective. It is currently the fourth-largest behind France's CMA CGM [CMACG.UL].
"COSCO Shipping Holdings believes this acquisition will enable both COSCO Shipping Lines and OOIL to realize synergies, enhance profitability and achieve sustainable growth in the long term," the Chinese group said in the statement.
OOCL was founded in 1969 by Hong Kong shipping magnate Tung Chao-yung, whose son, Tung Chee-chen is chairman, president and chief executive of the company, while several Tung children are in senior management roles.
The two companies in January dismissed merger rumors but analysts said that OOCL was still a likely bid target due to its long profitable history and relatively low leverage.
Both firms are also part of the "Ocean Alliance" partnership, which also includes CMA CGM and Evergreen Marine Corp (2603.TW), that was formed last year to take on the rival grouping of Maersk Line and MSC.
COSCO Shipping itself was created from the state-driven merger of former rivals China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company and China Shipping Group. Shares in the firm, which flagged a return to first-half profit last week, have been suspended since May 16.
The companies said that they plan to retain OOIL's listing status and maintain its global headquarters and presence in Hong Kong to support the city as a global maritime center.
Should the deal fall through, COSCO Shipping has also agreed to pay OOIL a reverse termination fee of $253 million, they said
UBS AG Hong Kong Branch (UBSG.S) is advising COSCO Shipping and SIPG, while J.P. Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Limited (JPM.N) is advising OOIL.
(Reporting By Brenda Goh in SHANGHAI and Matthew Miller in BEIJING; editing by John Stonestreet and Jane Merriman)...
ULAANBAATAR – A brash businessman with martial arts skills clinched Mongolia’s first-ever presidential runoff election Saturday after his opponent conceded defeat in the scandal-plagued race to take the helm of the resource-rich but debt-laden country.
Khaltmaa Battulga of the opposition Democratic Party (DP), a 54-year-old former world champion in the Soviet martial art Sambo, had 50.6 percent of the vote with 986 ballots outstanding, according to the General Election Commission.
Parliament Speaker Mieygombo Enkhbold of the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), which holds the majority in the legislature, had lagged well behind the wrestler since early Saturday morning.
Recognizing he was down for the count, he thanked his supporters in a concession speech broadcast on Facebook, saying that he would “respect and accept the presidential results.”
“Although the MPP couldn’t succeed in this election, the Cabinet will keep working to complete our agenda of overcoming the financial crisis for the well being of our people,” he said, adding that he had spoken to the sitting president about “transferring power as well as presidential stamp in the parliament house which also ends the election.”
“We did this thanks to power of people,” Battulga told supporters in Ulaanbaatar’s Independence Square, promising that he will “push the government in order to complete all their work.”
The new president will inherit a $5.5 billion International Monetary Fund-led bailout designed to stabilize its economy and lessen its dependence on China, which purchases 80 percent of Mongolian exports.
The former Soviet satellite’s economy grew by a measly 1 percent last year, a stark contrast from an impressive 17 percent in 2011.
It has been hit hard by a more than a 50 percent fall in the price of copper, its main export, over the past five years, while slowing growth in China, its biggest customer, has hobbled the economy.
Earlier in the day, Battulga, who ran on a populist, anti-China platform, told a press conference “Mongolia has won.”
“I will start work straight away to resolve the economic difficulties and make Mongolians debt free as I promised,” he said.
The real estate tycoon whose company funded a massive $4.1 million statue of Emperor Genghis Khan, has pledged to tap the country’s mining wealth to get Mongolians out of debt.
Both Battulga and Enkhbold were linked to scandals ahead of the first-round vote.
A video showed Enkhbold and two MPP officials allegedly discussing a 60 billion tugrik ($25 million) plan for selling government positions.
Battulga was haunted by reports of offshore accounts attached to his name, as well as the arrests of several of his associates by Mongolia’s anti-corruption body last spring.
But in the nearly two weeks between the first round and the runoff, public opinion appeared to turn in favor of him.
General Election Commission presented the results of Presidential election’s second round at 9.40AM. The Head of General Election Commission Ch.Sodnomtseren informed that the GEC discussed the second polling of Presidential election and prepared two resolutions. The first resolution states MPP’s candidate M.Enkhbold received 497,067 votes, which is 41.16 percent of the total votes, while DP’s candidate Kh.Battulga received 50.61 percent with 611,226 votes in the second polling of 2017 Presidential election of Mongolia.
Also, a Resolution on Approving the Authorities of the President of Mongolia was prepared to present to the Parliament for approval. A total of 1,990,797 people registered for the second polling of Presidential election and the voter turnout reached 60.67 percent with some 1,207,787 voters participating in the polling.