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



200 parking spaces on Sukhbaatar square open www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ On June 29, a 200-car parking space was put into operation on the south side of the central square of the capital-the Sukhbaatar Square, with a view to reduce traffic congestion in the central area of the city and create a comfortable environment for citizens, domestic and foreign tourists and travelers.

Drainage system, lighting, pedestrian and chair installation works were made besides soil stripping and asphalt works were carried-out on 6650 sq.m of land from June 5-23. The new parking space has 6 bus stops, 3 parking lots for disabled persons’ vehicles and 193 normal parking spaces.

One of the most pressing issues of Ulaanbaatar is traffic congestion. Insufficiency of parking in the capital city increases traffic jam by 25 percent. Therefore, the capital authority considers it proper to increase the number of parking spaces to reduce traffic jam.

Ulaanbaatar City Mayor and Mayor S.Batbold stated " - Professional organizations have defined that there are about 70 locations available for parking space in Ulaanbaatar. Constructing open and underground parking spaces at these locations estimated to reduce traffic jam by 25 percent. The issue on how to use this part of the Sukhbaatar square was controversial for many years. This was discussed by the city authorities and decided to use it according to the general plan”.

"ESTO" LLC executed the construction work of the parking.



Fed stress tests give $1.6bn boost to Buffett www.ft.com

Warren Buffett’s backing of beaten-down US banks is poised to pay big dividends in the wake of the industry’s stress test success — $1.6bn of dividends, to be precise.
The revered investor is to become one of the largest individual beneficiaries of the Federal Reserve’s green light to banks to make their biggest cash distribution to shareholders since the financial crisis.
The splurge that the Fed has permitted includes a 60 per cent dividend increase at Bank of America, where Mr Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway is likely to become the largest shareholder under the terms of a deal he struck with the lender’s board six years ago.
The deal granted Berkshire preferred stock but Mr Buffett has previously said he will swap it for BofA’s common shares if their dividend becomes more attractive. Berkshire is in line for an annual dividend of $336m if it makes the conversion, $36m more than it is paid on the preferred stock.
Mr Buffett’s biggest source of dividend income from the sector, meanwhile, will come from Wells Fargo, which confounded some on Wall Street this week when regulators waved through its capital distribution plan despite a mis-selling scandal that rocked the industry.
Mr Buffett stuck with Wells last year while it was plunged into crisis. Regulators found staff set up hundreds of thousands of fake customer accounts. Wells is increasing its dividend by a little under 3 per cent and Berkshire, the bank’s biggest shareholder, is in line for an annual dividend of about $837m.
Many investors shunned US banks in the wake of the 2008 market meltdown as persistent legal difficulties, rock-bottom interest rates and toughened regulation constrained their profits.
Yet Berkshire stuck with his favoured investments in financials and also lent support to other banks amid the turmoil.
Berkshire ploughed $5bn into Goldman Sachs about a week after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. It made its investment in Bank of America, again for $5bn, in 2011 when the lender was struggling with legal woes related to subprime mortgages.
“The banks’ post stress-test liberation is a vindication of his earlier judgment,” said Lawrence Cunningham, law professor at George Washington University and an author of books on Mr Buffett.
The banking payout plans cleared by the Fed are seen by some on Wall Street as an inflection point in the industry’s fortunes, a sign it is shaking off its post-crisis shackles.
Dividends are not the only source of capital returns. The Fed’s clean bill of health has also paved the way for bank share buy backs.
In total, Berkshire is set to receive about 12 per cent more in dividends from its seven largest financial investments than the year before, according to Financial Times research based on Bloomberg holdings data and RBC Capital Markets dividend calculations.
Still, the dividend increases from his chosen banks are smaller than several others. Goldman got permission for an increase of about 11 per cent and US Bancorp for 7 per cent. In contrast Citigroup was cleared to double its dividend.
Regulators also required American Express, in which Berkshire is the biggest shareholder, to rethink its original capital distribution plan. In the end they gave their blessing to a 9 per cent dividend increase.
Known as the Sage of Omaha for his investment record over almost five decades, Mr Buffett himself is known to be somewhat ambivalent about dividends. 
He has noted that reinvesting profits back into a business can be a better use of shareholder cash, although he also recognises consistent and increasing payouts can be of value to investors. Berkshire itself has not paid a dividend in over half a century.
Mr Buffett continues to give selective backing to hard hit financial companies. Last week he tossed a lifeline to the stricken Canadian lender Home Capital with a C$2.4bn (US$1.8bn) financing package.
Bank stocks have already got a boost from higher interest rates, as well as hopes of lower taxes and financial deregulation in the wake of Donald Trump’s election. S&P 500 financial stocks up 35 per cent in the past year, twice as much as the index. Even so, some — including Bank of America — still trade at a discount to book value, a sign of investor caution.


Bitcoin accepted at New York pre-school www.bbc.com

The head of two Montessori schools in New York won't let parents pay by credit card - but he is accepting Bitcoin.

Marco Ciocca, co-founder and chairman of the Montessori Schools in Flatiron & Soho, added the option in June, after growing inquiries from parents.
The decision comes as an increasing number of places - including universities in London and Greece - take the digital currency as payment.
About 10 parents of the roughly 300 students have opted to pay in Bitcoin so far, Mr Ciocca said.
He predicts that number will rise in coming years.
"If we talk about just the sort of transactional ease... I think this form of payment will continue to grow," he said.
Bitcoin is a digital currency that was first used in the real world in 2010. As acceptance has grown, so has its value.
Bitcoin's worth has more than doubled since the start of the year and tops $2,500 (£1,900) today, according to CoinDesk, which tracks the currency.
Parents who invested early and have ridden the currency's rise get something like a discount on the school's hefty $31,000 tuition.
But Mr Ciocca said the school won't profit from up-and-downs in the market. Tuition payments in Bitcoin - they also accept some other digital currencies - get converted to cash instantly.
The decision to accept digital currencies matched the schools' identity as "forward-thinking" and appealed to a pool of families drawn from tech and finance worlds, Mr Ciocca said.
(Google and Facebook are among the firms with large offices not far from the schools.)
Bitcoin is also an easier way to process money than other kinds of payments, such as credit cards, he said.
"It's just a much more seamless transaction," he said.
More growth?
Mr Ciocca, who has followed the currencies for some time as an investor, plans to be part of that growth.
He's working to offer the option to parents at two sister schools run by his family in Miami, Florida, in September.
Angela Ciocca, Mr Ciocca's sister, is headmistress of the schools there. She said she's not expecting a lot of takers.
"It hasn't hit us yet," she said. "But I do see it a lot when I go to Manhattan."



Mongolia: Petro Matad announces final results - updates Mongolian operations www.energy-pedia.com

Petro Matad, the AIM quoted Mongolian oil explorer, has announced its audited final results for the year ended 31 December 2016.

Operational and Financial Highlights
The net profit after tax for the Group for the 12 months ended 31 December 2016 was $10.90 million (31 December 2015: Loss $0.19 million).
During the year the Group focused on exploration activities on its Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) with the Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority of Mongolia (MRPAM) on Blocks IV, V and XX in Mongolia.
After year-end:
In February 2017, reassignment of Blocks IV and V following Shell's affiliate exit; 100% now held by the Group;
In May 2017, financing agreement with Bergen to provide up to $43.2 million through staged private placements over 15 months, together with a $2 million convertible loan note;
In May 2017, letter of intent with Sinopec for drilling rig for 2017 drilling campaign; and
In June 2017, 2-year PSC extensions received from MRPAM for Blocks IV and V.
As at 31 December 2016 the Group's cash position was $6.48 million (31 December 2015: $5.34 million. Following receipt of the final exit payment from Shell in February 2017 and first financing tranches from Bergen, the Group current cash position is $11.18 million.
No dividends have been paid or are proposed in respect of the year 2016 (2015: Nil).



Limerick FC announce novel partnership with Mongolian Football Federation www.limerickleader.ie

LIMERICK FC has announced an innovative Community Partnership with the Mongolian Football Federation which they believe will be beneficial for both sides.

After year-long discussions, Mongolian Football Federation manager Enkhjin Batsumber arrived in Limerick this week as the deal was formally agreed.

Sixteen-year-old central defender Belgutei Batjargul, who has spent time at the academies of Arsenal and Chelsea is the first player to come to Limerick as part of a planned exchange programme.

Batjargul will spend time training at Limerick FC's Academy as well as beginning education here.

Batsumber and his colleagues had spent time in the UK last year searching for a potential partner with strong community links.

However, Limerick’s community work impressed the Mongolian FF so much that the pair have now linked up. The partnership will see players, coaches and community staff travel from Mongolia to Ireland and vice-versa, with the potential for Mongolian National Team squads to come and train in Limerick.

Limerick FC Chairman Pat O’Sullivan explained: “Football is the fastest-growing sport in Mongolia, and they would address a lot of issues through sport – that was their concept, which is really a lot like what we do.

“The idea is that the Mongolian Football Federation will send people here to look at our community programmes, some will come over to develop coaching techniques and they will also send some young players to train in our Academy.

“On the other side of it, we will look at sending some of our community staff and students to Mongolia.”

O’Sullivan added: “They would like to experience our football culture with the idea that some National Team squads would come to Limerick and base themselves here for a couple of weeks as part of their training and development.

“We’re creating a structure where they will come over here. Bruff becomes very important in that aspect because we’d like to think the cost-base would be low in Bruff and it would be able to facilitate a lot of what is required.

“We discussed the importance of the youth structure we have here now. I explained that we only had a handful of players from Limerick playing with our senior team. We want our whole senior team to be from Limerick. We discussed the initiation of our Academy at the time and the fruits of that now.

“The Mongolian Football Federation want to follow a similar pathway which is great. We are having a very open relationship to see how we can help each other.”

On the partnership, Mongolian Football Federation manager Enkhjin Batsumber said: “What Mr O’Sullivan is doing in Limerick is an ideal model of what we are trying to achieve in Mongolia; basically, bringing football into the community from grassroots level all the way to the top by focussing on and developing young players.

“We want to incorporate football as a social tool to guide youth to a better path and keep them out of trouble. Football is the fastest-growing sport in Mongolia. Mongolians in general are very athletic people – despite our small population we’ve won gold medals in very tough sports like judo and boxing.

“What we need is good management, good investment in infrastructure and to bring people into football at every level, either at grassroots or elite level.

“We are in discussions to bring young Mongolian players to train in Ireland to see if they can go all the way to the top at professional level. Some kids are already signing professional contracts in Europe, so the potential is there.

“This is an amazing opportunity. I can’t thank Limerick FC and Mr. O’Sullivan enough. We are really looking forward to building this relationship and making it long-term.

“We hope to organise a National Team Programme where we can come here, train and stay in Bruff. I’m really happy that I had the opportunity to visit here to see it for myself. It has been an amazing experience already.”

Belgutei Batjargul – known as Billy – has attended the academies of Arsenal and Chelsea as well as the Bobby Charlton Soccer & Sports Academy, and he will now spend time training in Limerick’s Academy.

Batsumber said: “Billy is a young player who wants to develop his football skills. It will be a great experience for his future, not only because of football but learning the western culture and interacting with different people and young players here.

“He can become a proper player, get a proper education and gain invaluable experience at a very important age as he moves towards adulthood.”



Mongolian milk producer issues country's largest-ever corporate bond www.reuters.com

A Mongolian dairy producer has issued the local stock exchange's largest ever corporate bond, testing market appetite following an economic bailout and the potential election of an unpredictable new president.

Suu, which means milk in Mongolian, sold 6 billion tugrik ($2.55 million) of debt as it aims to boost production and refinance dollar-denominated debt accumulated during the country's short-lived economic boom. The one-year bills have an annual interest rate of 17.5 percent.

Investors were drawn to the bond because of the stability brought to the local currency, the tugrik, following a $5.5 billion rescue package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said Dashdorj Bilguun, who worked on the underwriting at Golomt Capital.

"It stabilises the currency," said Bilguun of the IMF deal.

The tugrik was in free fall last year, declining by nearly a quarter as a result of falling investment and weak Chinese demand for commodities.

Coal and copper sold to China were leading drivers of Mongolian growth, but the IMF is now encouraging the landlocked Asian nation to diversify and develop agriculture and tourism in order to protect it from boom-bust cycles.

Suu is eyeing China as a potential customer for its dairy products, but Mongolian agriculture remains underdeveloped because of a lack of infrastructure and the remote location of herders.

About 30 percent of Mongolia's population still practices a traditional nomadic livelihood that can be traced back to the 13th century, when Genghis Khan was building history's largest empire.

Bilguun said the bills were 12.6 percent oversubscribed despite investor concerns about the potential victory of presidential candidate Khaltmaa Battulga from the opposition Democratic Party, who won the most votes in an inconclusive first round of elections this week.

Before the election, Battulga was calling for more state control in mining, including the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine run by Rio Tinto.

Shares in Mongolia-based firms plunged this week after the election, with Turquoise Hill Resources and Aspire Mining falling by around 5 percent and the Mongolian Mining Corp losing 14 percent since Monday.

An analyst with a Hong Kong investment firm familiar with Thursday's bond deal said the government had turned a corner after the IMF agreement was secured.

"The atmosphere has changed," said the analyst, who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media. "There will still be pains, but hopefully the worst has passed." (Reporting by Terrence Edwards; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)



World’s debt over three times greater than economic output www.rt.com

Global debt levels have surged to a record $217 trillion in the first quarter of the year. This is 327 percent of the world's annual economic output (GDP), reports the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

The surging debt was driven by emerging economies, which have increased borrowing by $3 trillion to $56 trillion. This amounts to 218 percent of their combined economic output, five percentage points greater year on year.

The biggest contributor was China with $2 trillion. In June, the International Monetary Fund urged Beijing to tackle its ballooning debt, describing it as unusually high for a developing economy. Some estimates say China’s debt stands at 260 percent of its GDP.

Advanced economies have cut debt levels by $2 trillion over the past year. However, the US is approaching $20 trillion, almost 10 percent of global debt.

"Rising debt may create headwinds for long-term growth and eventually pose risks for financial stability," the report said.

"In some cases, this sharp debt build-up has already started to become a drag on sovereign credit profiles, including in countries such as China and Canada," it added.

Emerging hard currency-denominated debt grew by $200 billion in the past year - growing at its fastest pace since 2014. Seventy percent of the debt is in dollars, the report found.

"Rollover risk is high," the IIF added.

The US and the EU could increase interest rates in the near future, thus making it more expensive for borrowers to repay, the report noted.



Five Critical Issues Facing Mongolia’s Fifth President www.asiafoundation.org

On June 26, Mongolians went to the polls to vote for their fifth president since Mongolia’s transition to a democracy in 1990. Despite a high voter turnout of over 66 percent, the General Election Commission officially announced on Tuesday that none of the candidates had received the necessary 51 percent of the vote to declare a winner. As a result, officials have called for the country’s first-ever presidential election run-off to take place on July 7.

Mongolia election
Staff prepare ballot boxes ahead of Mongolia’s presidential election.
Mongolians directly elect their president who serves as head of state, commander-in-chief, and head of the National Security Council. Three candidates were on the ballot, representing the Democratic Party, the Mongolian People’s Party, and the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party. Mongolia’s somewhat unique semi-parliamentary system has both a prime minister and a president who head the government. While there is clear separation of powers enshrined in the constitution, the president can introduce bills to Parliament, and has the authority to appoint judges, the prosecutor general, and the head of the Independent Authority Against Corruption. The president also symbolizes the unity of the Mongolian people.
So, as the electorate gears up once again to return to the polls, what has been perceived as lacking from the campaign is what the new president is committed to addressing during his four-year term. Here are five critical issues facing the country that will no doubt confront the new president:
1. Grappling with corruption. Following a period of positive economic growth from 2011-2013, corruption has proven to be an entrenched problem that affects ordinary Mongolians on a daily basis. According to The Asia Foundation’s 2016 nationwide Survey on Perceptions of Knowledge of Corruption, 85 percent of respondents agree that “corruption is a common practice in our country.” The president can play a pivotal role in reinforcing zero tolerance toward corruption. While Mongolia’s government has developed a National Action Plan Against Corruption Strategy to 2020, it must be earnestly implemented to make a real difference. The president might consider tasking civil society to help shed light, ask questions, and present data about the progress of the government’s plan and its implementation, which could serve as a pillar of the new president’s agenda. The new president could also convene an annual review to hear from civil society organizations on their proposed solutions to help the government promote increased transparency and accountability.
2. Addressing environmental degradation. There is a common understanding in Mongolia that while a clean environment is a right of all Mongolians, it comes with important responsibilities. Several years ago, with the passage of freedom of information legislation as well as the increased focus on citizen participation in local decision-making, communities started to become more vocal about environmental issues that affected them. In nearly any community in Mongolia, citizens can tell you what pressing environmental issues affect them and what ideas they have on how to address them. However, often missing are the committed resources and technical know-how to address these problems. Furthermore, many environmental issues, such as clean water and air, are not confined to one country but are international transboundary concerns. Mongolia has created a national green development strategy as well as an urban strategy for its capital of Ulaanbaatar. Drawing on best practices from Asia and beyond, the president can be a catalyst and a convener for introducing environmental best practices from beyond Mongolia’s borders and be a positive force in the region in combatting environmental challenges. Within the president’s office, a forward-thinking, credentialed advisor to support the president to focus on environmental concerns will enable Mongolia to play a more prominent role in debating and resolving environmental issues.
3. Tackling unemployment and underemployment. Mongolia’s current unemployment rate is 9.1 percent. A steady movement away from traditional herding practices has resulted in both a loss of livelihoods and a shift of population from rural to urban settings. Women are often disproportionately affected by these strains. As Ulaanbaatar is already overstretched in its ability to provide basic public services, migration from rural communities has been halted until January 2018. Women make up 46 percent of the workforce, yet often their contributions are not seen or considered part of the formal workforce. The president can help draw critical attention to the government’s National Program on Gender Equality approved by the cabinet on April 26, 2017. The national strategy emphasizes women’s equal participation in all sectors, and this, coupled with the capital city’s action plan to increase women’s participation in SMEs, could be a strong foundation to see advancements in gender equality. Mongolia’s gender strategy also sites poor indicators for men, including alcoholism, low graduation rates, and poor health outcomes that consequently impact men’s full and meaningful participation in the economy. Addressing these long-running challenges will also be critical to addressing unemployment and a lagging economy.
4. Ensuring equitable access to justice. Mongolia prides itself on having a robust legal framework and a comprehensive set of laws. Despite this, the effective implementation of laws remains a significant hurdle. The next president will play an important role in ensuring that the Judiciary has judges that are appointed based on merit and the strength of their legal knowledge. The recent creation in 2016 of a nine-member Judicial Ethics Committee has helped to ensure that grievances from citizens are listened to and dealt with in the most appropriate and expedient manner. The president would be wise to continue to demand that key judicial reform legislation put into effect is maintained, implemented, and that there is not any backsliding on progress.
5. Enhancing Northeast Asian regional cooperation. Mongolia’s unique and positive diplomatic relations with all countries in Northeast Asia enable it to play a role in providing an open and neutral space for dialogue and opening new avenues for engagement. For example, Mongolia has been able to bring together countries in the region that might not otherwise sit together, due to regional or political differences, to discuss areas of mutual concern on the environment. The new president has a strong role in carrying forward global foreign policy aims, as Mongolia holds deep and longstanding bilateral relationships with countries not only in the region, but also through the region’s “third-neighbor” policy which brings Mongolia closer to countries beyond its direct neighbors, Russia and China.
Whoever emerges as Mongolia’s new president on July 7 will hold enormous influence at a critical time in Mongolia’s history, and how the president addresses these critical issues will decide which direction the country turns.



Cathay Pacific targets Mongolia with new MIAT Mongolian Airlines codeshare www.businesstraveller.com

Cathay Pacific and MIAT Mongolian Airlines are looking to improve links between the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, and Southeast Asia and Australia, with a new codeshare agreement between the two carriers set to kick off from July 12 this year.

Under the arrangement, Cathay Pacific’s CX code will feature on MIAT’s four-times-weekly service between Hong Kong and Ulaanbaatar, which it launched back in 2012, while MIAT’s OM code will appear on Cathay’s flights between Hong Kong and Singapore, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Cathay Pacific deploys its A350 on flights to Melbourne and Brisbane, with Perth set to join in October this year.

The codeshare provides Cathay with a new, growing market that it can feed travellers into via its Hong Kong hub. Speaking about the agreement, Cathay Pacific’s chief customer and commercial officer, Paul Loo, said: “Mongolia is an attractive destination in that it appeals to both tourists and business travellers alike thanks to its pristine natural landscapes, rich culture and rapid development. Ulaanbaatar is quickly making a name for itself as an important business hub, one which we expect to grow on the back of this new agreement.”

MIAT, meanwhile, will now get improved access to two key markets in Asia-Pacific, and travellers on these codeshare services will have their luggage through-checked in Hong Kong. Eligible MIAT customers will also be able to make use of Cathay Pacific’s Terminal 1 lounges at Hong Kong International Airport.

“This is a winning step for both airlines and will provide our passengers with convenient access to Singapore and Australia via the super hub in Hong Kong,” said MIAT president and CEO, Tamir Tumurbaatar. “The codeshare and interline agreement brings advantages for the passengers of both MIAT Mongolian Airlines and Cathay Pacific because our route networks complement each other perfectly. This cooperation is very significant for our landlocked country’s national flag carrier.”

These new codeshare flights are currently available for booking. 



Ghana signs $10B MOU with China for bauxite project – Senior Minister www.mining.com

LONDON, June 28 (Reuters) – Ghana has signed a $10 billion memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China to develop its bauxite industry, the country's Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo said on Wednesday.

Growth in the West African country slowed sharply in 2014 due to a fiscal crisis and tumbling commodity prices following years of economic expansion at around 8 percent on the back of gold, cocoa and oil exports.

Taking office in January, President Nana Akufo-Addo has outlined a programme of job creation through the private sector and rural development.

"To develop the bauxite project with its railway and converting bauxite into aluminium we will need about $10 billion … we signed an MOU," Osafo-Maafo told reporters at a conference in London after arriving from China.

"The money will come from the Chinese Development Bank, the implementation of the project will come from other agencies, infrastructure agencies in China, like China Railway," he said.

The funds from Beijing would contribute towards building 1,400 km of a planned 4,000 km railway network, which would connect bauxite mines and production sites as well as establish a rail link into neighbouring Burkina Faso.

Details such as interest rates and terms had yet to be decided, he said, speaking on the sidelines of an investor conference organised by Developing Market Associates.

During his China visit, a second MOU had been signed between China and the Association of Ghana Industries which could lead to some $2 billion being invested in agricultural projects and industries, Osafo-Maafo said.

This was part of a government pledge to "build a dam in every village and a factory in every district", he said.

Asked about the government's plan to issue a 10 billion cedi ($2.25 billion) bond, Osafo-Maafo said he expected the debt to be issued towards the end of the year, and with maturities ranging from 5-15 years.

Earlier in June, Ghana had named Standard Chartered Bank and local lender Fidelity as lead managers for the issue expected to clear debts owed by public sector energy utilities.