|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The General Election Commission will announce the preliminary results of the presidential election today, June 27.
As of 8.40 AM, DP candidate Kh.Battulga leads the ballot with 517,330 votes (38.1%), and MPP candidate M.Enkhbold in the second position with 411,519 votes (30.3%), followed by MPRP candidate S.Ganbaatar with 409,777 votes (30.19%).
Candidate Kh.Battulga also won majority of votes in the overseas polling. In specific, 2,979 Mongolian nationals living abroad voted for Kh.Battulga, 995 for M.Enkhbold and 740 for S.Ganbaatar.
Since neither of the candidates garnered majority of votes, the situation calls for a second ballot.
ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia – Mongolia's presidential election appeared headed for a runoff with the latest vote count early Tuesday showing a business tycoon leading the ruling party's candidate and a nationalist wanting the country to benefit more from its mineral wealth.
Khaltmaa Battulga of the Democratic Party had a clear lead but less than the required 50 percent of the 1.3 million votes cast Monday to avoid a runoff, the General Election Commission said.
The Mongolian People's Party's Miyegombo Enkhbold, speaker of the parliament and a horse dealer, had looked to be shut out of the runoff in the early results but pulled into second place as votes from more remote areas of the landlocked Asian country were counted.
Enkhbold was around 1,700 votes ahead of nationalist Sainkhuu Ganbaatar of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, a vocal critic of mining giant Rio Tinto's operations in the country, according to the latest data from the election commission.
Ganbaatar's party protested the overnight turn in preliminary results that put their candidate, who had earlier been leading Enkhbold by 15,000 votes, in third place, accusing the election commission of fraud. The commission could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
While the nation of 3 million had been an oasis of democratic stability since the end of communist rule nearly three decades ago, its politics have grown increasingly fractious amid an economic crisis and accusations of corruption among the ruling class.
The candidates were seeking to succeed Tsakhia Elbegdorj of the Democratic Party, who has served the maximum of two four-year terms. The winner will become Mongolia's fifth president since 1990.
Enkhbold, whose party won parliamentary elections last year by a landslide, had been widely seen as representing stability at a time when Mongolia is showing tentative signs of recovery from an economic crisis brought about by a dramatic drop in global commodity prices.
Battulga campaigned on a "Mongolia First" policy, borrowing the language of President Donald Trump. He promised to be "a patriotic president" seeking "equal cooperation" with neighbors like China, which he has criticized in the past.
Battulga's company, Genco, is one of Mongolia's largest, with businesses including hotels, media, banking, alcohol, horsemeat and a Genghis Khan-themed complex. He was agriculture minister between 2012 and 2014 and is a former member of parliament, as well as president of the Mongolian Judo Association.
Ganbaatar, a self-described feng shui master and "Robin Hood" for the masses, has claimed Mongolia should get a better deal with Rio Tinto and its copper and gold mine, Oyu Tolgoi.
Around two-thirds of nearly 2 million registered voters cast ballots, the election commission said.
Sandwiched between Russia and China, resource-rich Mongolia has been roiled by financial upheaval and the increasing draw of China's economic and political influence that competes with its ties with the democratic West, especially the United States.
Foreign investment in Mongolia has slumped in recent years following weaker commodity prices and high-profile disputes between the government and large investors including Rio Tinto. Mongolia's economy grew just 1 percent last year, down from 17.5 percent in 2011, when it was the world's fastest-growing. It now has $23 billion in debt, more than double the size of its economy. Unemployment is roughly 9 percent, with about one in five Mongolians living in poverty.
The country recently secured a $5.5 billion International Monetary Fund-led bailout to stem its financial crisis, with a $500 million bond repayment due in January 2018. Enkhbold's party pledges to continue the IMF's program, including higher taxes and spending cuts, while Ganbaatar has criticized the IMF.
For 30-year old district government office worker and mother Tserendejid Bayanbaatar, restoring the economy and creating jobs for young people were top concerns in the election.
"I want the future president to support young people and young families, support their work environment and create conditions for stable incomes," Bayanbaatar said.
Avirmed Dangaa, an accountant and former municipal official, said creating stability was important.
"Trust of foreign investors is restored if the government is stable," said Dangaa, who favored Enkhbold.
Battulga has a large following among urban entrepreneurs and youth.
"I don't like corruption and favoritism, which is prevalent everywhere in all levels of Mongolian government. I voted against these corrupt officials," said Enkhmaa, a 28-year-old entrepreneur who gave only her first name....
Rio Tinto (ASX, LON:RIO) has dismissed Glencore’s (LON:GLEN) sweetened bid for the coal assets on the block in Australia's Hunter Valley and said it is sticking with an offer from Yancoal Australia (ASX:YAL), a subsidiary of China’s Yanzhou Coal Mining.
On Friday, the Swiss miner and commodities submitted a second and improved all-cash offer of $2.68 billion only a few days after its previous bid was rebuffed.
Yancoal has been Rio Tinto’s preferred bidder since its offer was first announced in January.
Glencore was not only promising to pay all of the cash upfront instead of a portion in annual instalments, but has said it would hand Rio $225 million if the deal were to be blocked by regulators in China, Korea, Taiwan or Australia.
As an added bonus, it offered to let Rio keep the cash flows from the business until the deal completes.
But Rio Tinto confirmed Monday that it would opt for Yancoal, which has come back with a revised bid of $2.69bn, which includes at least $2.45bn in cash on completion.
Yancoal, which has been Rio’s preferred bidder since its offer was first announced in January, has also agreed to raise its break fee from $100m to $225m, which will be payable should the deal fail.
Rio also noted Yancoal’s bid includes financial assistance of $2.1bn from China-owned parent Yankuang Group.
The company’s shareholders will vote on the proposals at general meetings in London on Tuesday and Sydney on Thursday.
Mongolia is awaiting the results of a contentious presidential election in which mudslinging and corruption claims overshadowed debate about the nation’s troubled economy.
The race pits Parliament Speaker Enkhbold Miyegombo, 52, the head of Mongolia’s ruling party, against populist-tinged challenger Battulga Khaltmaa, 54, who promised greater controls on the nation’s vast mineral resources. A third candidate, former lawmaker Ganbaatar Sainkhuu, 46, pledged to “take back the natural resources for each citizen.’’
Polls in the nation of 3.1 million people were scheduled to close at 10 p.m. Monday, with results expected by midnight. If no candidate secures more than half the vote, the top two contenders will head to a run-off.
Enkhbold’s Mongolian People’s Party has been trying to open more mines and recover from a commodity downturn that battered government finances and the economy. The presidency -- now held by Battulga’s Democratic Party -- could provide a platform to contest policies that underpin a $5.5 billion International Monetary Fund-led bailout package announced in February, which is expected to stay in place no matter who wins.
While Mongolia’s Parliament controls the government, the president serves as commander-in-chief of the military. The president can veto legislation and is also responsible for nominating candidates for prime minister and appointing the intelligence and anti-corruption chiefs. The incumbent, Elbegdorj Tsakhia, is barred from seeking a third term.
Enkhbold, a career politician who dabbles in horse breeding, has promised stability, arguing that government policies stand a better chance under an MPP presidency. Battulga, a businessman and former agriculture-and-industry minister, said he would provide a check on the ruling party’s power.
While Enkhbold entered the race as the favorite after a landslide victory in last year’s legislative elections, no reliable polling was available ahead of the vote. None of the candidates have been spared from scandal during a three-week campaign marked by corruption allegations.
“I am hoping for a run-off,’’ said Munkhbayasgalan Delgerbat, a marketing-management student at the University of Finance and Economics, who cast a blank ballot. “The candidates were not competing against one another about what they will do for the country. They were just raising black PR.”
Dale Choi, founder of Altan Bumba Financial Group, said Battulga’s outsider credentials could overcome Enkhbold’s advantages of funding and political organization if the MPP failed to secure a victory in the first round.
“Generally anti-establishment young voters who don’t care to vote will be forced to vote,” Choi said. “Typically, young voters are not happy -- frustrated with the system, which does not give many opportunities for them -- and more likely to protest-vote for Battulga, which symbolizes balance and control over establishment.’’
S&P Global Ratings projects that Mongolia’s economy, which grew by an average of more than 10 percent annually before last year’s slowdown, will contract by 0.2 percent this year before stabilizing. The government is counting on mining projects, including the $5.4 billion Oyu Tolgoi site operated by Rio Tinto Group, to bring in new revenue....
The governor of the Czech Republic’s central bank Jiri Rusnok said the country is generally ready to adopt the common European currency, but it would be better to wait until local wages and prices approached those of core euro members.
According to Rusnok, one of the reasons the country is committed to joining the euro is that the Czech crown is now floating and not pegged. The Czech central bank scrapped its cap on the crown in April, allowing it to float freely to stronger levels against the euro for the first time since 2013.
Last week Rusnok said he thought Czechs would not be adopting the euro for five to ten years. He added that while wage rises in some of the leading European economies are almost zero, the average salary increase in the Czech Republic is currently around five percent so that the trend was positive.
Czech President Milos Zeman said on Friday the country has been ready to join the eurozone for almost ten years but that the public was irrationally afraid to do that.
“We have been fulfilling the Maastricht criteria, but there is a mental barrier to its adoption. A mere 30 percent of Czechs are in favor of entering the eurozone," he said.
Statistics showed the nominal rate of wage rises in the Czech Republic was 5.3 percent in the first quarter of the year. Currently, average Czech wages are around €10 an hour. Across the EU the figure is around €25 while in some eurozone countries it’s around €30.
According to an unnamed economist cited by Radio Praha, even if there were a real five percentage point difference in the wage rises, it would take 15 years at that rate for average Czech wages to catch up with those of neighboring Germany.
"For us to remain at the core of the European Union, sooner or later we will have to respond to the question of not whether, but when the Czech Republic is capable of adopting the single European currency, ʺ said Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.
The Czech officials’ announcements follow recent media reports the European Commission wants all 27 members of the bloc to adopt the euro by 2025.
Officials from the EU are reportedly seeking to draw up a euro budget able to incorporate a fixed tax payment from all the member states. The raised cash would be invested across the bloc.
ULAANBAATAR: Polling stations opened throughout Mongolia's cities, townships and prairies on Monday as nearly two million residents were asked to choose a new president amid worries about corruption and the state of the resource-dominated economy.
Most voters expect a two-horse race between the ruling Mongolian People's Party (MPP) candidate Miyeegombo Enkhbold, an investment-friendly career politician, and former martial arts star and resource nationalist Khaltmaa Battulga of the opposition Democratic Party.
But Sainkhuu Ganbaatar of the breakaway Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) could win enough votes to force a second round in two weeks.
Herders living in Mongolia's countryside, who represent around a third of the population, have already cast ballots at mobile polling booths in an election seen as a referendum on both economic policy and China's role in Mongolia's development.
Remote and landlocked Mongolia, best known as the birthplace of Mongol emperor Chinggis Khaan, is a parliamentary democracy and elected a new government last year. The presidential vote will serve as a crucial barometer of public opinion as the ruling MPP tries to steer the country out of an economic crisis.
Once Asia's fastest growing economies, Mongolia has seen foreign investment and commodity export earnings collapse, leaving it struggling to pay debts following years of generous government spending. The new government secured a $5.5 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund in May after implementing austerity measures.
"The electorate is not happy with IMF taxes and cuts," said Dale Choi, analyst and chief executive of the Altan Bumba Financial Group in Ulaanbaatar, in an emailed note. "But the MPP campaigned hard to explain why Mongolia is where it is now."
Under Mongolia's parliamentary system, the prime minister runs the government but the president has powers to veto legislation and make judicial appointments.
All three presidential candidates have promised to pull the country out of its current crisis, restore the stagnant economy to its former "boom" status, and reassess ties with neighbours, including China.
Enkhbold has run under the slogan "United Mongolia will win". Polling is not permitted during campaigning, but according to a national survey in March, Enkhbold's MPP - which won by a landslide in the parliamentary vote last year - is more trusted when it comes to running the country.
Battulga, who is suspicious of neighbouring China, Mongolia's major investor, also says he will restore Mongolia's "pride" under the slogan "Mongolia will win".
The populist politician, who derives his fashion attire from mafia boss Vito Corleone in "The Godfather" films and owns a Chinggis Khaan-themed amusement park, told Reuters at a recent rally he will win because his heart is "devoted" to Mongolia.
The election has also been played out under the shadow of corruption allegations engulfing all three candidates.
"(Corruption) is coming to such a level, to its tipping point, and where people may vote for completely new people," Ulaanbaatar-based political commentator Jargalsaikhan Dambadarja said. - Reuters...
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Early morning on June 26, Mongolians started voting for their fifth president nationwide.
The Mongolian people have three choices – Enkhbold Miyegombo from the Mongolian People’s Party, Battulga Khaltmaa from the Democratic Party and Ganbaatar Sainkhuu representing the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party.
There are 1.978.298 voters on the national level who cast their votes today at 1983 polling places stationed across the country. In the capital city alone, 403 polling places collect the votes of 936.651 voters until 10 PM.
The General Election Commission will collect reports of voter turnout at 12 PM, 5 PM and 10 PM from its sub-commissions, and report to the media.
Chinese steel mills are turning their backs on India and embracing Australia as a source of higher-grade ore for steelmaking.
According to a report from Macquarie Research, Indian exports of iron ore dropped by 53%, to 23 million tonnes (mt) in May, compared to 49 mt in March. The reason? Lower iron ore prices are making it cheaper for Chinese steel mills to buy higher-grade (more than 57% Fe) iron ore, which makes them more productive.
The Port of Port Hedland achieved a record May throughput of 44.7 mt, an increase of 12% from the previous year.
Iron ore prices have slipped below $60 a tonne on concerns about oversupply and weak demand from steelmakers in China, the world's top buyer.
The situation in India is reversed from March, when it was reported the amount of iron ore handled by India's ports more than doubled in the period between April 2016 and January 2017.
The increase in tonnage was partially explained by a resumption in production from India's top iron exporting state of Goa in the summer of 2015, led by Vedanta Resources (LON:VED), after an almost three-year hiatus. Most of that ore has been of the lower-grade variety, with competition for lower grades heating up, says Macquarie, "as most steel mills are focusing on higher grades to increase productivity. Chinese steel consumption has been higher than expected and prevailing steel prices provide for respectable profit margins to these mills," Business Standard reported.
The publication notes that shipments from Goa "have become unviable" with volumes from the east coast getting diverted to domestic markets instead. The Macquarie report expects Indian iron production to grow 8%, but with declining exports, it expects a domestic surplus of 18 mt in full-year 2018, 4 mt more than the 2017 surplus.
The beneficiaries are clearly Australian ports. According to statistics from the Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA), which governs the ports of Ashburton, Dampier and Port Hedland – the world's biggest iron ore port – the PPA had a May throughput of 59.1 million tonnes, 10% more than May 2016. The Port of Port Hedland achieved a record monthly throughput of 44.7 mt, an increase of 12% from the previous year.
Three Australians went on trial in China on Monday along with a dozen other Crown Resorts Ltd (CWN.AX) employees and former employees accused of gambling crimes, following a lengthy probe into how the firm lured Chinese high-rollers to its casinos.
The 19 defendants were formally charged earlier this month, having been first detained late last year, and the trial at Baoshan District Court in the north of Shanghai is expected to reach a fairly swift conclusion.
Melbourne-based Crown is 49 percent owned by billionaire James Packer, and the most senior employee on trial is its Australia-based head of international VIP gambling Jason O'Connor.
Three of the accused, believed to have been junior staff, had been released on bail.
Family members were ushered into the courthouse as they arrived with lawyers in a convoy of cars on Monday morning, and some wore masks. Journalists were barred from attending proceedings.
The case has forced Crown to tear up its strategy of luring wealthy Chinese to the casino hub in the Chinese territory of Macau and instead shift its focus back home.
Crown does not directly run casinos in China. But it relies heavily on Chinese gamblers at its Australian operations, as it had done in Macau until last month when it sold its remaining stake in Macau-focused Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd (MLCO.O) for $1.16 billion.
China has been cracking down on attempts by casinos to woo high-spending Chinese gamblers within China. In 2015 thirteen South Korean casino managers were arrested in China for offering Chinese gamblers free tours, free hotels and sexual services.
The trial is the latest in a series of high-profile cases in China involving foreign firms. British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK.L) was fined nearly $500 million in 2014 and food maker OSI saw employees jailed last year.
(Reporting by Winni Zhou and Engen Tham; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
Japanese car parts maker Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US and Japan.
It is facing billions of dollars in liabilities over its defective airbags, which have been linked to at least 17 deaths worldwide.
Some of the airbags contained faulty inflators which expanded with too much force, spraying metal shrapnel.
US-based Key Safety Systems (KSS) has bought all of Takata's assets, apart from those relating to the airbags.
The $1.6bn (£1.3bn) deal was announced after the Japanese firm filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US, with similar action taken in Japan.
"Although Takata has been impacted by the global airbag recall, the underlying strength of its skilled employee base, geographic reach, and exceptional steering wheels, seat belts and other safety products have not diminished," said KSS chief executive Jason Luo.
More than 100 million cars with Takata airbags, including around 70 million vehicles in the US, have been recalled since concerns first emerged in 2007. It is the biggest safety recall in automotive history.
In January, Takata agreed to pay $1bn (£784m) in penalties in the US for concealing dangerous defects, and pleaded guilty to a single criminal charge.
The firm paid a $25m fine, $125m to people injured by the airbags as well as $850m to carmakers that used them.
But it is facing further legal action in the US and liabilities of 1 trillion yen ($9bn) - including to clients including Honda, BMW and Toyota have been paying recall costs until now.
Trading in Takata shares has been suspended on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and the firm will be delisted late next month.
Small businesses that may be affected by Takata's bankruptcy will get support including loan guarantees says Japanese trade minister Hiroshige Seko.