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Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ As of May 1, birth rate of domestic animals stands at 59 percent, reports the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry. Out of 26 million dams counted on the national level, 15.4 million dams have delivered offspring.
15.2 million offspring or 98 percent are healthy, the report says. In specific, 40.7 thousand baby camels, 162.5 thousand foals, 410.4 thousand calves, 8 million lambs and 6.6 million kids are being looked after across the country.
Number of newborns has increased by 2.4 million than the last week.
The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry is running an Emergency Staff which is in constant contact with the provinces to provide advices and information on spring flooding, weather events and animal birth.
ULAANBAATAR, May 2 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has postponed a $5.5 billion bailout for Mongolia because of a measure included in the 2017 budget that forces foreign firms to bank with domestic institutions, the IMF's country representative said.
Mongolia's economy has slid into a crisis caused by heavy foreign debt, a collapse in its currency and a slowdown in growth in its biggest trading partner, China. The IMF board had been expected to approve a rescue package at a meeting on April 28.
"The Board discussion was postponed," said Neil Saker, the IMF's Mongolia country representative, in emailed comments, adding that they needed to examine the details of a new measure covering foreign exchange transactions by investors.
The IMF announced in February a $440 million Extended Fund Facility that Mongolia can draw on for three years, in addition to $3 billion from Japan and South Korea and a three-year extension to a 15 billion yuan ($2.18 billion) swap agreement with the People's Bank of China.
In the 2017 budget approved in the early hours of the morning on April 14, legislators introduced tax changes that would allow it to meet conditions set by the IMF.
But it also included a clause seeking to "improve" investment agreements with foreign partners, forcing firms such as miner Oyu Tolgoi LLC, jointly owned by Mongolia and Rio Tinto , to do all their banking with Mongolian institutions.
"We need a bit more time to understand the nature and the specifics of the measure, and whether the macroeconomic framework of the program remains valid," said Saker.
Mongolia's Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond for comment. ($1 = 6.8937 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Terrence Edwards; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Parliament Speaker M.Enkhbold received the representatives of the Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions upon their request on May 1, Monday.
Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions organized a nationwide peaceful demonstration on May 1, International Workers’ Day. The demonstration began at 12 PM on the not only central square but 21 provincial centers. The aim of the demonstration was to demand the implementation of the 2017-2018 trilateral Agreement on Labor and Society, established between the government, Confederation of Trade Unions and Employers’ Federation.
During the meeting, Kh.Amgalanbaatar, President of the Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions said, “There are several issues of public concern such as wage, poverty and economic difficulty”. He expressed the confederation’s solid stance to adhere to the trilateral agreement.
For his part, Speaker M.Enkhbold spoke on the social and economic state of the country and the government’s actions taken to overcome these obstacles. “In order to maintain stability and ensure growth, the IMF program is crucial”, he said.
“I hope you acknowledge the importance of internal stability and mutual understanding in this time”, the Speaker said. The labor union representatives agreed that cooperation based on negotiations is necessary on issues the public is concerned about.
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda welcomed the expansion of China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as positive for the regional economy and urged multinational lenders to cooperate in meeting fast-growing infrastructure needs in Asia.
"Infrastructure needs are huge and it's simply not possible for the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank to fill the -gap completely," Kuroda, who was formerly head of the ADB, told a seminar hosted by an ADB-affiliated think tank on Tuesday.
He said healthy competition from Chinese, Indian and Japanese initiatives could be positive for improving infrastructure and boosting economic growth and social inclusiveness.
Kuroda's remarks are the strongest endorsement to date by a Japanese policymaker over the growing presence of AIIB, which some in Tokyo see as a vehicle to boost China's regional clout.
The AIIB has been viewed as a rival to the Western-dominated World Bank and the ADB, which is jointly led by the United States and Japan. The United States initially opposed the AIIB's creation and is not a member, but many U.S. allies, including Canada, Britain, Germany, Australia and South Korea have joined.
Japan, following Washington's lead under then-U.S. President Barack Obama, did not join the AIIB as well, partly from concern it would conflict with the ADB, the Manila-based institution dominated by Japan and the United States.
But Kuroda said the establishment of AIIB and the fact it attracted many members were a "good" thing as they help meet rapidly increasing infrastructure-funding needs in the region.
"The ADB has promoted regional cooperation in Asia. It also tried to link regional initiatives with each other. That is the way we should go forward, rather than making a single Asia program or an Asia initiative," he said.
Kuroda also urged politicians to contain geopolitical conflicts which is "not good for anyone."
(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Chris Gallagher and Sam Holmes)
China’s run of solid economic indicators proved little consolation for its shaky financial markets in April. The dichotomy stems from a shift in the leadership’s focus toward reducing leverage -- one that’s set to determine whether growth joins asset prices in heading down.
Economists are practically unanimous in saying that reduced debt loads would be good for China’s longer-term health. The big unknown is whether officials can manage that without a dose of short-term pain. As UBS Group AG analysts put it in a note last week: if authorities’ initiatives are "not managed well, it could lead to a rise in credit events, excessive liquidity tightening, faster-than-intended slowdown of credit growth, and greater market volatility."
What started in the fall of 2016 as a tightening in money-market liquidity has intensified to a broader attack by policy makers on the shadow-banking system, where patchy regulation has allowed investors to make leveraged bets. When President Xi Jinping last week warned top officials to crack down on financial risks, the benchmark equities index at one point gave up gains for the year, while bonds suffered their biggest tumble of 2017.
While past regulatory shifts -- especially pricking a stock bubble and letting the yuan depreciate in 2015 -- have sometimes spooked international investors, this time around the reaction has been muted. The positive economic backdrop has helped, along with the conviction that Xi and his lieutenants won’t allow turmoil to disrupt a key, once-in-five-years Communist Party leadership gathering this autumn.
The imperative of heading off disorderly moves in financial markets is a backdrop to the slew of regulatory initiatives over the past two months. Besides broad increases in money-market rates, the list includes:
The People’s Bank of China incorporated off-balance-sheet wealth-management products in its macroprudential assessment of banks’ risks, putting lenders on notice that shadow banking is facing deeper scrutiny
The China Banking Regulatory Commission, under new leadership since February, stepped up scrutiny of entrusted investments -- funds that banks farm out to external managers
The CBRC issued guidelines to enhance liquidity risks at banks, including all of lenders’ interbank and WMP business in their monitoring
Authorities stepped up inquiries about wholesale funding after smaller banks sold a record amount of negotiable certificates of deposit
For now at least, the economy isn’t expected to take a major hit. For one thing, growth accelerated last quarter to 6.9 percent according to official figures, and the debt hangover is getting easier to service as factory prices snap years of deflation.
Some indicators suggest the expansion may be coming off the boil. Caixin Media and Markit Economics’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index slipped to 50.3 in April -- the lowest since September. But while trends in the property market signal a slowdown ahead, China has plenty of infrastructure needs in central and western parts of the nation, and urbanization remains a long-term engine.
In the most recent tussle between market sentiment and economic fundamentals, it was the latter that won out. The economy weathered the 2015 market turmoil, first stabilizing and then perking up as the housing market took off again and the government stepped in with massive doses of infrastructure investment.
The latest push to contain financial risks is focused more on speculative bets than on curtailing credit to the "real" economy. The PBOC has kept benchmark lending rates at a record low and the government continues to spend on pipes, rail and bridges.
"China’s current economic recovery is likely to be in its early days, and has more legs to run," said China International Capital Corp. economist Liang Hong. Better policy coordination and ongoing liquidity injections by the PBOC make a credit crunch seem unlikely, she said.
Crucially, the increase in yields on Chinese government bonds (CGBs) has coincided with the emergence of inflation that’s reflected the economy’s quicker growth. Nominal GDP rose 11.8 percent in the first quarter from a year before, according to Bloomberg Intelligence economist Tom Orlik. That helps fuel corporate profits, government revenue and household income, along with making debt easier to service.
Wringing out leverage may make economic sense, but it may not be pretty for equities and higher-yield bonds.
"We could see more forced redemptions from high-yield bonds and a flight to quality back to high-grade bonds like CGBs," Nomura Holdings Inc. analysts including Hong Kong-based Albert Leung wrote in an April 26 note. Any further sell-off in central government bonds offers "an opportunity for long-term investors," they wrote.
But overshadowing all: the 19th Communist party Congress slated for later this year, when Xi will preside over a reshuffle of leadership positions below him. It’s unlikely that the government will allow the economy to veer off script, said Minyuan Zhao, an associate professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
"This is not unlike injecting strong medicine into a patient -- make sure you kill the disease before killing the body," she said of the deleveraging push....
Mongolia will work to get its bailout approved soon, according to a senior finance ministry official, after the International Monetary Fund postponed a vote on it over concerns about a new law that affected foreign exchange and investment.
"We are working towards resolving this issue as soon as possible and we hope that once it’s resolved the IMF board meeting will take place," Manduul Nyamdeleg, head of the financial markets and insurance division, said by phone in Ulaanbaatar.
The fund delayed its decision on the bailout in order to seek clarity on the new measure, according to Neil Saker, the IMF’s representative. The fund had been expected to finalize the bailout on Friday at a board meeting in Washington.
The measure was included in a package of laws passed last month that was seen as a prerequisite of the bailout. It stated that revenues from large-scale projects had to pass through a Mongolian bank account.
“We need a bit more time to understand the nature of the specifics of the measure and whether the macroeconomic framework of the program remains valid," Saker said on Saturday by e-mail. He added that there was no fixed date for the fund to consider the issue.
Manduul declined to comment on how long Mongolia’s government could effectively function without the assistance. That money would have been part of a larger package aimed at supporting the balance of payments and the budget deficit, which last year reached 17 percent of gross domestic product.
An early version of the measure explicitly referred to the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine, which is controlled by London-based Rio Tinto Group, according to a note issued Friday by the American Chamber of Commerce in Mongolia. In the final document the language was changed to remove any reference to specific projects.
Rio Tinto spokesman Ben Mitchell declined to comment on any implications for funding on Oyu Tolgoi’s expansion.
“A number of MPs see this as enhancing visibility or transparency of foreign investment and particularly of OT," Canada’s ambassador to Mongolia Ed Jager said by phone, referring to the Oyu Tolgoi mine. “From our perspective it’s not just about OT, its about any sizable foreign investment and it creates a distressingly difficult situation for companies to be required to funnel funds through Mongolian banks."
Last week Mongolian authorities “expressed some willingness’’ to resolve the matter, Jager said. “What their form of resolution will look like and how they see this moving forward this week, I don’t know."
“Since the U.S., Canada and Australia governments are all investors in Oyu Tolgoi’s project finance, we would expect this issue be resolved fairly quickly,’’ Nick Cousyn, Chief Operating Officer of BDSec, said in an email.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Nomination of candidates for the upcoming Presidential Election of June 26 begins today, May 2 to continue until May 6, in compliance with the Law of Mongolia on Election.
The law states that the nomination of presidential candidates must begin 55 days prior to election day and end 5 days prior to the election day. Parties and coalitions eligible to nominate a candidate for the Presidential Election must submit the necessary documents and files of their candidate to General Election Commission in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations.
As of present, Chairman of Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, former President N.Enkhbayar announced his intention to nominate himself through a daily newspaper whereas about 6-7 politicians from Democratic Party are reportedly planning to run for the party’s candidacy. Although there are speculations about the ruling Mongolian People’s Party’s potential candidate for the election, no official statements have been made.
In connection with the Presidential Election, internal migration has been halted starting from April 27 to June 27, as the law states that migration must be suspended 60 days prior to the election day.
North Korea has lost one of its biggest trading partners after India banned most dealings with the country.
The Indian government announced last week it is halting all trade, except for food and medicine, as tension mounts on the Korean peninsula and the U.S. administration urges more global action to isolate Pyongyang.
The ban came into force in April. It brings India into line with United Nations sanctions on North Korea.
The U.N. Security Council has been trying for more than a decade to stifle North Korea's nuclear weapons program by imposing harsh economic sanctions.
Most Western countries had ceased to trade with North Korea. India was, until recently, its third biggest trading partner after China and Saudi Arabia -- according to data from the International Monetary Fund.
India exported $111 million worth of goods in 2015-2016 to North Korea, and imported about $88 million, according to Indian government data.
India has maintained diplomatic relations with Pyongyang, and the decree banning trade is the first time India has officially published an order saying it will comply fully with U.N. sanctions resolutions.
In 2015, India abstained from a vote on a U.N. resolution condemning human rights abuses committed by the North Korean regime. That same year, the government hosted the North Korean foreign minister for a rare official visit.
India has also in the past allowed North Korean nationals to visit India for training. As part of the new ban, all military, police, scientific and technical is barred.
India said it will also freeze all funds and financial assets held on its territory by the North Korean government.
North Korea's biggest source of foreign currency is believed to come from the millions of tons of coal it sells to China every year. They accounted for about a third of official exports in 2015.
Japan's chief negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks says he wants to lead working-level discussions toward the deal's implementation without the United States.
Keiichi Katakami told this to reporters on Monday before leaving for a meeting aimed at laying the groundwork for TPP ministerial talks in Vietnam late this month.
The 2-day preparatory meeting will open on Tuesday in Toronto, Canada. The meeting will comprise representatives from 11 parties to the TPP, since the United States had decided to withdraw from the deal.
Katakami said Japan wants to lead the meeting in Vietnam so the 11 nations can together determine the future direction of the TPP.
He said he anticipates hearing a variety of opinions, as each nation has its own interests and domestic circumstances to take into consideration.
The Japanese government is set to pursue the possibility of implementing the TPP without the US. But Washington is eager to enter into bilateral free trade agreement negotiations with Japan.
Reaching a consensus at the upcoming talks may be difficult, as some nations are cautious about pursuing the TPP deal.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia Ts.Munkh-Orgil is to pay an official visit to the European Union on May 2 and 3. He will be paying a courtesy call on Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and hold official talks with Ms Federica Mogerini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission.
On the sidelines, FM Ts.Munkh-Orgill will hold meetings with Ms Iveta Grigule, member of the European Parliament and head of the EP group in connection with Central Asia and Mongolia, other EP members, Mr Didier Reynders, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, and Ms Maria Asenius, deputy trade commissioner of the European Union, as well as with Mongolian nationals living in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
The visit is of great significance in deepening the long-time friendly relations and cooperation of Mongolia and the European Union, maintaining the healthy frequency of high-level interactions and political dialogues and expanding commercial and economic ties with the third largest trade partner of Mongolia the European Union.
The latest official visit by the Mongolian Foreign Minister to the European Union took place in 2000.
Mongolia and the European Union established diplomatic ties in 1989. Since then, the ties have been developing in all sectors. Bilateral trade turnover reached about USD 1.0 billion, USD 646.3 million constituted by exports and 373.3 million - by imports, in 2016.
The 17th meeting of the Joint Committee on Mongolia-EU Cooperation, the main mechanism of bilateral relations, was held on March 30 and 31 in Ulaanbaatar.