1 COPPER MINER'S $10B BET COMES TO LIFE IN PANAMA JUNGLE WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      2 TRADE UNIONS REQUEST PM TO FOCUS ON INTEREST RATE CUT WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      3 MONGOLIA’S HOURLY WAGE TO REACH USD 1 WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      4 US NARCOTICS BY POST TO MONGOLIA! THREE ARRESTED WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      5 WRITER D.URIANKHAI NOMINATED FOR THE NOBEL PRIZE WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      6 MONGOLIA-CHINA-RUSSIA ECONOMIC CORRIDOR BENEFITS ALL SIDES: OFFICIAL WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      7 SOLAR EMPOWERMENT OF NOMADS IN RURAL MONGOLIA WWW.GREENOPTIMISTIC.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      8 MONGOLIA, CUBA TO BOOST BILATERAL RELATIONS WWW.PLENGLISH.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      9 GOOGLE OUTLINES $13BN US INVESTMENT WWW.BBC.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/14      10 NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY TO COOPERATE WITH JAPAN’S MIZUHO BANK WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/14      “ОЮУ ТОЛГОЙ” КОМПАНИ 570 ТОННЫ ДААЦТАЙ CAT БРЭНДИЙН ГИДРАВЛИК ЭСКВАТОРООР ХҮЧЭЭ СЭЛБЭЛЭЭ WWW.GOGO.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ӨРХИЙН САРЫН ДУНДАЖ ОРЛОГО 78,000 ТӨГРӨГӨӨР ӨССӨН Ч ЗАРЛАГА ДАВСАН ХЭВЭЭР БАЙНА WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АВСТРАЛИЙН ЭЛЧИН САЙД ДЭВИД МЭТЬЮ ВОСЭН ИТГЭМЖЛЭХ ЖУУХ БИЧГЭЭ ӨРГӨН БАРИВ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2018 ОНД МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН ЭДИЙН ЗАСАГ 6.9 ХУВИАР ӨСЛӨӨ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МХБ: II/15-НЫ БАЙДЛААР 8 КОМПАНИ ХЭХ-ЫН ТОВОО ГАРГААД БАЙНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2017 ОНД 1.9 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АЛДАГДАЛТАЙ АЖИЛЛАСАН “УЛААНБААТАР БҮК” 2018 ОНД 566 САЯ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АШИГТАЙ АЖИЛЛАВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ОРХОН ТҮҮХИЙ НҮҮРСНЭЭС ТАТГАЛЗСАН АНХНЫ АЙМАГ БОЛНО WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АТГ-ААС НЭР БҮХИЙ 6 ШҮҮГЧИЙГ ШАЛГАЖ ЭХЭЛЖЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МОНГОЛ УЛС ДЭЛХИЙН 77 ОРОНД БАРАА ЭКСПОРТОЛСНООС ХЯТАДАД 93%-ИЙГ НЬ НИЙЛҮҮЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14     АВТО МАШИНЫ ИМПОРТ 2018 ОНД 30% ӨСӨЖ, 86,296-Д ХҮРЧЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14    

Events

Name organizer Where
“Doing business with Mongolia”, “UK Investors show” бизнес хөтөлбөр March 27-April 02. 2019 ЛОНДОН ХОТ, ИХ БРИТАНИ Mongolian Business Database London UK
SYMPOSIUM ON GLOBAL MARKETS Nationalism and Protectionism: The United States in the International Arena June 17-18, 2019 The Center for American and International Law Plano, Texas, USA The Center for American and International Law (CAILAW) Plano Texas June 17-18 2019
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

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Mongolia’s Hunnu Air to lease four E190s www.atwonline.com

Mongolian domestic carrier Hunnu Air signed a lease agreement with CDB Aviation, the European subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing, for four Embraer E190s. The first aircraft is expected to be delivered in May 2019, followed by the rest from 2020 to 2021.

The legacy E190 will be configured in a two-class layout, with six seats in business- and 92 seats in economy-class. The aircraft will support the carrier’s seven domestic destinations, as well as international services to China’s Baotou, Manzhouli, Erlian and Russia’s Ulan-Ude.

“Hunnu Air has taken on a new direction, and is more committed than ever to providing convenient domestic and regional flights options to travelers,” Hunnu Air CEO Munkhjargal Purevjal said. “In conjunction with our growing fleet by these Embraer E190s from CDB Aviation and numerous scheduling options, we need to continue to grow our operations and further anchor ourselves within the country’s travel landscape.”

Hunnu Air, which currently flies two ATR 72-500s, is a private airline based out of Ulaanbaatar Chinggis Khaan International Airport. The airline had a short stint operating the Airbus A319 in 2013-14 and retired its last Fokker 50 on Jan. 22 this year.

Chen Chuanren, Chuanren@purplelightvisuals.com

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Mining Minister attending PETROTECH 2019 www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar/MONTSAME/ D.Sumiyabazar, Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry, is taking part in PETROTECH 2019 International Oil and Gas Conference, being held in New Delhi on February 10-12.

On the sideline of PETROTECH, Minister D.Sumiyabazar paid a courtesy call on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and conveyed a greeting of Mongolian Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh. The Minister also briefed about a progress of the project implementation to construct oil refinery in Mongolia with India’s soft loan.

Moreover, the Minister met with Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ms. Vijay Thakur, State Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, and Mr. Nadeem Panjetan, Chief General Manager of Exim Bank and discussed about successful implementation of the project to construct oil refinery which opens a new chapter in the history of Mongolia-India relations and cooperation.

India’s state-owned company ‘Engineers India Limited (EIL) has been pre-qualified to provide Project Management Consultancy services to Mongol Refinery for the project in accordance with the general loan agreement between two countries. The EIL is to open its Representative Office in Mongolia.

In this regard, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Engineers India Ltd, a PSU under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and the Government of Mongolia through Mongol Refinery State Owned LLC was signed on February 10, 2019.

In the PETROTECH 2019, ministers of 27 countries attended and shared their views at some 20 sessions and over 6000 international businesses of petroleum and natural gas introduced their activities and products.

Furthermore, the Minister held meetings with authorities of companies such as ‘Hindustan Petroleum’, ‘ONGC’, and ‘Shapoorji Pallonji’ and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). At the meeting with the authority of IIT, the sides exchanged views on cooperating for training Mongolian students in oil refining in India.

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Scholars suggest coalbed methane for power source www.zgm.mn

Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC (ETT), in cooperation with the Mongolian National Council of Scholars (MNCS), held a discussion under the theme “Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi-Innovation, Production” yesterday, addressing the necessity to resolve additional electricity required for installing new technology.

Tavan Tolgoi residual deposits have a total methane reserve of up to 10 billion cubic meters. “One cubic meter of methane gas equals one-liter diesel fuel in terms of energy. In other words, the deposits have 10 billion liters of diesel fuel reserves. The annual average domestic demand is a bit over one million tons. Since the energy source is gas, it is environmentally friendly and can be used directly on-site,” according to the spokesperson of the Ministry of Energy.

According to scholars, extracting methane gas is highly efficient for the economy as the demand is currently high in China’s market. By extracting methane gas, Mongolia can annually export about 800 MW electricity. Plus, the gas can be liquified for domestic use and transported to the People’s Republic of China via both auto road, and gas pipes.

If supplied to the domestic market, the methane can cut the current cost per kWh of electricity by half. Specifically, the zero-loss price of methane gas is MNT 44-63 and the cost of equal energy production currently stands to about MNT 100.

Mongolia has an installed electricity capacity of 1.1 Gw. The national electricity grid, which consists of five systems, is in urgent need to increase the capacity of the Southern energy system. The undersupply is filled in by import from China at present. Although the upcoming Tavan Tolgoi Thermal Power Plant will solve the problem, the construction will take about 3-5 years. Thus, scholars are suggesting the use of coalbed methane gas to directly supply this gap.

ETT has announced 2019 "the year of development". With an aim to improve the efficiency of Tavan Tolgoi mine, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with MNCS on adopting cutting-edge technology, refined coal, natural gas, ensuring the workers’ health, and developing ecologically friendly production.

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Mongolia-China expo great opportunity for Mongolia to diversify exports to China: official www.xinhuanet.com

ULAN BATOR, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- The biennial Mongolia-China expo is a great opportunity for Mongolia to diversify its exports to China and expand bilateral economic and trade ties, a senior Mongolian official has said.

"We are now cooperating with the Chinese side to organize the third Mongolia-China expo in Hohhot, capital of China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, in September," Tuvshintugs Battsetseg, deputy director of the Department of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, recently told Xinhua.

China has been Mongolia's biggest trading partner and top export market destination for almost two decades, and mining products have accounted for the majority of the Mongolian total exports, she said.

"Our country is willing to diversify its exports to China or increase the exports of non-mining sectors," she said.

Mongolia and China have set a 10-billion-U.S.-dollar target for bilateral trade by 2020, she said, expressing her hope that the biennial event will play a major role in achieving the target.

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IBM's AI debate computer loses to human champion www.cnn.com

San Francisco (CNN Business)People are great at arguing. But a project from IBM shows that computers are getting quite good at it, too.

On Monday, Harish Natarajan, a grand finalist in 2016's World Debating Championships, faced off against IBM's Project Debater — a computer touted by the company as the first artificial-intelligence system built to meaningfully debate humans. Natarajan won, but the computer demonstrated the increasingly complex arguments that AI is starting to make.
Project Debater, which has been in the works since 2012, is designed to come up with coherent, convincing speeches of its own, while taking in the arguments of a human opponent and creating its own rebuttal. It even formulates its own closing argument. To generate its arguments and rebuttals, Project Debater uses newspaper and magazine articles from its own database, and also takes in the nuances of the human opponent's arguments. It is not connected to the internet and cannot crib arguments from sites like Wikipedia.
Google Maps is using giant virtual arrows to stop people from getting lost
Google Maps is using giant virtual arrows to stop people from getting lost
Monday's debate, which was organized by nonprofit debate-hosting company Intelligence Squared US, was held in front of an audience in San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The topic of the debate — whether or not preschool should be subsidized — wasn't revealed to the AI system or Natarajan until 15 minutes before they took to the stage. Project Debater argued in favor of subsidized preschool.
It followed traditional debate style. Each side gave a 4-minute opening speech, then they each came up with a 4-minute rebuttal to the other party. At the end, they gave a 2-minute closing argument. The audience was asked to vote for one side or the other at the start of the debate, and again at the end.
"Greetings, Harish," Project Debater began, speaking in a mainly monotonous, female voice. It argued, among other things, that subsidized preschool can help break the poverty cycle. It spoke in complete sentences, and drew from a range of studies (including by the US Centers for Disease Control).
Natarajan followed, arguing against the resolution, saying subsidies would consume resources that middle-class families could use for other things. He also argued that subsidizing preschool doesn't mean that all children will be able to attend.
"There will still be individuals who will be priced out because of the realities of the market," he said.
The rebuttal segment of the debate was where some of the big differences between human and computer (beyond looks and vocal capabilities) were laid bare. Natarajan addressed specific parts of Project Debater's arguments and rebuffed them — such as saying it's unrealistic to expect a government has an unrestricted budget to put toward helpful programs.
Project Debater's rebuttal, while eloquently phrased, seemed more like a continuation of its initial argument than a true rebuttal of Natarajan's points. It saved its best counter arguments for its closing statement. While out of order, the elements of a proper debate all seemed present.
While waiting for the final vote, Natarajan said it was interesting that Project Debater could contextualize information and pull details from research. Combining its skills with those of a human, he said, "could be incredibly powerful."
Before the debate, 79 percent of the audience agreed that preschool should be subsidized and 13 percent disagreed. By the end, 62 percent of the crowd agreed and 30 percent disagreed. Because this style of debate is scored by which side gains the most percentage points, Natarajan took the win.
Harish Natarajan, a grand finalist in 2016's World Debating Championships, faced IBM's Project Debater — a computer touted by the company as the first artificial-intelligence system built to meaningfully debate humans.
Harish Natarajan, a grand finalist in 2016's World Debating Championships, faced IBM's Project Debater — a computer touted by the company as the first artificial-intelligence system built to meaningfully debate humans.
Project Debater shows how AI systems have become increasingly flexible in recent years. The AI we're used to seeing — like digital assistants built into smart speakers — can only be used in very narrow ways, such as answering specific questions. But IBM's (IBM) system shows how the technology may also be used to explore problems that don't necessarily have a single answer. This might help people find new ways to work with computers, and to use AI to help us come up with more solutions to problems.
"It's really pushing the boundaries [of the] kinds of AI systems that are more interactive with us and can understand us better," IBM Research director Dario Gil said Monday on CNN's First Move.

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Ruble flexes its muscle after Moody’s lifts Russia’s rating to investment grade www.rt.com

The Russian ruble has been gaining ground on the US dollar and the euro after global credit rating agency Moody’s upgraded Russia’s sovereign rating to investment grade with a stable outlook.
The ruble was trading at 65.85 against the greenback at 07:50 GMT, rising by 0.17 percent on Monday and marking a nearly three-percent gain on the year.

The Russian currency is trading 0.18 percent higher against the euro at 74.34, representing a 3.8 percent growth since January 1.

Russian stock indices opened higher with the dollar-denominated RTS up 0.7 percent to 1,207.5 points, while the ruble-based MOEX grew by 0.4 percent to 2,513.3 points.

Late on Friday, Moody’s announced the upgrade of Russia’s economy from Ba1 to Baa3, acknowledging the “positive impact” of government policies that managed to strengthen the country’s already robust public finances and may potentially help Moscow withstand possible US sanctions.

The agency noted that Washington is highly likely to introduce further anti-Russian sanctions in the coming months. The new measures by the White House could “be contained without material damage to the country’s credit profile,” Moody’s said.

“The sovereign’s vulnerability to such shocks has indeed materially diminished, and no longer constrains the rating to sub-investment grade,” the report said.

Last year, S&P Global Ratings upgraded the nation from junk level, bringing it in line with Fitch Ratings.

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Improved fuel factories operating 24/7 www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Consumption of raw coal will be banned for the capital city residents and enterprises except power plants and steam boilers starting from May 15, 2019.

Raw coal will be replaced with refined coal and briquettes. Thus, public and private factories are working on the production of improved fuel for delivering it to the consumers next autumn.

‘Tavan Tolgoi Fuel’ factory, which commenced in November 2018, has produced about 20 thousand tons of briquettes. The factory is operating 24 hours a day with four shifts.

The factory has a capacity to produce 200 thousand tons of improved fuel annually, which will be expanded to 600 thousand tons. It is planned to fully supply the fuel needs of the capital. Thus, air pollution of the city will be reduced by 50 percent.

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Mongolia declares outbreak of meningococcal disease www.xinhuanet.com

ULAN BATOR, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia's National Center for Communicable Disease (NCCD) on Monday declared an outbreak of the life-threatening meningococcal disease.

The Asian country has recorded three cases of the meningococcal disease so far this year, the NCCD said.

Meningococcal disease is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis and can cause infections in the lining of the brain or in the blood, or both. It has a high mortality rate if untreated but is vaccine-preventable.

The center urged people to identify symptoms early on and seek urgent medical treatment at health facilities if they feel sick.

The common symptoms of the disease include sudden fever, vomiting, nausea, headache, stiff neck, backache and increased sensitivity to light.

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First US coal plant in years opens where no options exist www.mining.com

One way to boost coal in the US: Find a spot near a mine with no access to oil or natural gas pipelines, where it’s not particularly windy and it’s dark much of the year.

That’s how the first coal-fired plant to open in the U.S. since 2015 bucked the trend in an industry that’s seen scores of facilities close in recent years. A 17-megawatt generator, built for $245 million, is set to open in April at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, just 100 miles from the state’s only coal mine.

“Geography really drove what options are available to us,” said Kari Burrell, the university’s vice chancellor for administrative services, in an interview. “We are not saying this is ideal by any means.”

The best producers can hope for domestically is a slow down in plant closures
The new plant is arriving as coal fuels about 25 percent of electrical generation in the U.S., down from 45 percent a decade earlier. A near-record 18 coal plants closed in 2018, and 14 more are expected to follow this year, according to BloombergNEF.

The biggest bright spot for U.S. coal miners recently has been exports to overseas power plants. At home, one of the few growth areas has been in pizza ovens.

There are a handful of other U.S. coal power projects that have been proposed, including plans to build an 850 megawatt facility in Georgia and an 895 megawatt plant in Kansas. But Ashley Burke, a spokeswoman for the National Mining Association, said she’s unaware of any U.S. plants actively under development besides the one in Alaska.

Future of power
“The future of power in the U.S. does not include coal,” Tessie Petion, an analyst for HSBC Holdings Plc, said in a research note.

Fairbanks sits on the banks of the Chena River, amid the vast subarctic forests in the heart of Alaska. The oil and gas fields of the state’s North slope are 500 miles north. The nearest major port is in Anchorage, 350 miles south.

The university’s new plant is a combined heat and power generator, which will create steam both to generate electricity and heat campus buildings. Before opting for coal, the school looked into using liquid natural gas, wind and solar, bio-mass and a host of other options. None of them penciled out, said Mike Ruckhaus, a senior project manager at the university.

The project, financed with university and state-municipal bonds, replaces a coal plant that went into service in 1964. University spokeswoman Marmian Grimes said it’s worth noting that the new plant will emit fewer emissions.

The coal will come from Usibelli Coal Mine Inc., a family-owned business that produces between 1.2 and 2 million tons per year from a mine along the Alaska railroad, according to the company’s website.

While any new plant is good news for coal miners, Clarksons Platou Securities Inc. analyst Jeremy Sussman said this one is "an isolated situation."

 

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MSE warns to delist firms that fail to deliver reports www.zgm.mn

In order to improve the transparency in the financial market, Altai Khangai, CEO of the MSE, warns to delist publicly traded firms in case of failure to deliver financial and operational reports.

On the list of firms with good governance, the recent IPOs are at the forefront; for example, LendMN JSC was the first company to turn in their 2018 financial and operational reports. The company earned a net profit of MNT 2.5 billion last year, making it possible for the company to distribute dividends this year. Additionally, the company recently announced to introduce an international transaction service by cooperating with “Transfer To” inc. According to Marketinfo, the board of LendMN has approved the CEO to sign MNT 1.4 billion worth deal with Transfer To.

Also, the MSE Tier-II listed company Mongol Savkhi JSC’s sales revenue totaled MNT 270 million in 2018, which is about 9.4 percent lower than the previous year. The stock price of the company, which manufactures leather and felt products, stood at MNT 480 per share as of February 2, which is a 50 percent fall year over year.

The net loss of the state-owned Darkhan Thermal Power Plant JSC reduced to MNT 1.8 billion last year. This is about 25 percent lower than in 2017. The 2018 financial report of the company shows that the cut in losses was mostly driven by the reduced foreign exchange losses.

Last year, a total of 130 MSE-listed firms have disclosed their financial and operational reports. The remaining 80 companies did not share their financial information to shareholders. Thus, in order to protect the investors’ rights, the MSE has warned to delist publicly traded companies that failed to disclose their reports or organize shareholders’ meetings.

In January, the market capitalization of the MSE diminished by 2.53 percent (MNT 63.5 billion), to MNT 2.4 trillion with the Top 20 Index growing 0.43 percent. Specifically, stock trades accounted for 97 percent of total trades and securities - 3 percent. Compared to January 2018, stock trades jumped by 5 times and securities trade was cut by 45 times. While the new IPOs had the biggest impact on stock trades, the suspension of Government securities trades at the primary market resulted in inactivity in the overall securities market.

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