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



Copper price jumps on Chinese imports surprise www.mining.com

In February copper hit a 21-month high on the back of optimism that Donald Trump's $500 billion-plus infrastructure plan would add fuel to the fire of Chinese economic stimulus already working its way through commodity markets
While US stimulus now appears further in the distance, Chinese support for the sector has stayed surprisingly strong with imports of the metal, widely used in the construction, manufacturing transportation and power industries, surging in May.
Official customs data from China, responsible for some 45% of global copper consumption, show the country's refined copper imports in May increasing by 30% to 390,000 tonnes compared to the previous month. Year-on-year import volumes were down 9% however. For the whole of 2016 imports were at record levels of 4.95 million tonnes.
The copper imports rebound in May is more than market expectations, especially in the off season for copper, (suggesting) markets had overestimated the slowdown in China's economic growth and sluggish domestic demand," Helen Lau, an analyst at Argonaut Securities in Hong Kong told Reuters.
In a sign that disruptions at some of the world's biggest mines including BHP's Escondida mine in Chile and Freeport's Grasberg operations in Indonesia is having an impact on mine supply concentrate imports declined by more than 15% in May compared to April. Cargoes were down 20% compared to a year ago reaching the lowest levels since October 2015. 2016 was a banner year with volumes gaining 28% over 2015 hitting an all-time high of 16.96 million tonnes for the full year.
Chinese imports compare to global mined production of an estimated 20.5 million tonnes per year.
Copper futures trading on the Comex market in New York reacted positively to the import data adding more than 2% from Wednesday's close trading near its day high of $2.6105 per pound ($5,755 a tonne) in afternoon dealings. Copper is up 3.5% year to date.


Mongolia Presidential Candidate Evokes Trump, Challenges IMF www.bloomberg.com

One of Mongolia’s top presidential candidates is seeking to reinstate a banking measure that almost derailed the country’s $434 million bailout last month as part of a populist-tinged campaign.

Battulga Khaltmaa, a candidate with President Elbegdorj Tsakhia’s Democratic party, told Bloomberg in an interview that he supports restoring a provision requiring revenue from the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine and other large foreign-backed projects to be directed through local banks. Mongolia’s parliament repealed the provision last month, after the International Monetary Fund balked at approving the funding.

“It’s not fair that we have no verification of how much exports are leaving Mongolia,” Battulga, 54, said Monday in Ulaanbaatar, noting that the country’s mineral wealth belongs to its people. “We don’t know how much has been sold, so we should have valid accounting of the revenue.”

The proposal was one of several populist policies being pushed by Battulga as he attempts to preserve the Democratic Party’s hold on to the presidency in Mongolia, a landlocked nation of 3.1 million people between Russia and China. The June 26 election comes amid a severe economic slowdown caused by weak prices for vital mineral exports, mainly copper and coal.

Battulga is a judo-star-turned-businessman who also served as a former minister of agriculture and industry. He is famous for commissioning a $4.1 million, 40-meter (131-foot) statue of Genghis Khan on horseback.

IMF Bailout

A win by Battulga would preserve the party’s platform to contest policies by the Mongolian People’s Party, which secured control of parliament in a landslide election victory last year. Elbegdorj is ineligible to seek a third term.

The IMF approved a $434 million loan package May 25 -- Mongolia’s sixth such bailout since the end of one-party rule in 1990 -- after the banking measure was repealed. The package is part of $5.5 billion deal that includes includes money from the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, with Japan and South Korea as direct lenders.

While Battulga said he wouldn’t seek to cancel the IMF deal, he believes that Mongolia can get by without it. His economic development plans revolve on building rail networks and other infrastructure projects to help process minerals domestically rather then sending them directly to China, which bought more than three-quarters of the country’s $3.5 billion in exports last year.

Battulga said he believed no country should account for more than one-third of Mongolia’s exports. Improving the quality of the country’s exports and producing more finished products would open markets in Southeast Asia and elsewhere, he said.

Battulga acknowledged the similarities between his populist campaign against trade deficits with a neighbor and that of Donald Trump’s. “Of course, I won’t build a wall along our southern border,’’ he joked.

Battulga is facing off against Enkhbold Miyegombo of the MPP, a former Ulaanbaatar mayor and the speaker of parliament. Also running is Ganbaatar Sainkhuu, a former lawmaker known for criticizing the Rio Tinto Group, which controls the Oyu Tolgoi mine. Enkhbold declined to comment, saying that he’s not allowed to give interviews since the campaign started. Ganbaatar didn’t respond to a request for comment.



Poland receives first shipment of American liquefied natural gas www.rt.com

The first US tanker carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) has arrived in the Polish port of Swinoujscie. American LNG is expected to compete in Europe with natural gas piped from Russia and Qatari LNG.
“The Department of State has worked closely with European partners to diversify European energy supplies through new sources of natural gas, vital interconnectors and new facilities to import LNG. The United States congratulates Poland on this significant step to diversify its own sources of energy and to strengthen Europe’s energy security,” Washington said in a statement.
While Europe has been trying to find alternatives to Russian gas, the cost of shipping from the US remains high and demands significant infrastructure investment.
The LNG shipped to Poland is from the Sabine Pass liquefaction facility on the Gulf of Mexico coast. As of now, it is the only LNG exporting facility in the US since the start of the shale revolution. Last year, the first delivery of American LNG to Europe arrived in Portugal.
Poland has been one of the fiercest opponents of Russian gas expansion in the European market and wants to become a huge re-seller of LNG in Europe after building an LNG terminal at the port of Swinoujscie.
While Russia supplies about 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year of Poland’s gas needs, the new Polish terminal has a capacity of 5 bcm which can increase to 7.5 bcm. Last year, LNG made up less than 10 percent of Polish gas consumption.


President of Mongolia lands in Astana www.inform.kz

ASTANA. KAZINFORM - President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj has arrived in Astana to participate in the SCO Summit scheduled to be held in the Kazakh capital on June 8-9, Kazinform reports. Mongolia was the first country to be granted observer status at the Tashkent Summit back in 2004. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was founded in 2001 by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The Shanghai Five process formed in 1996 transformed into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) with accession of Uzbekistan in 2001. The procedure of India and Pakistan's accession to the SCO began in July 2015. Earlier it was reported that President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani and Chinese leader Xi Jinping had already arrived in Astana. Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to land at the Astana International Airport in the afternoon.



Tokyo Nights May Soon Be Lit Up by a Country 1,700 Miles Away www.bloomberg.com

The lights of the high-end boutiques and bars of Tokyo’s Ginza neighborhood may someday be powered by coal burned more than 1,700 miles away (2,700 kilometers) in Mongolia, electricity zipping over ultra-high voltage lines across deserts and under seas.
That’s the idea behind plans in Asia for so-called super grids, sending power from countries with relatively few people but lots of wind, sun and fossil fuels to distant electricity-hungry population centers trying to keep up with demand. Mongolia, desperate to make more of its abundant resources as it seeks to revive its flailing economy, aims to make that vision a reality through one of the world’s most ambitious power projects.
The landlocked nation is considering a $7 billion plan to build coal, wind and solar plants that could send electricity across China, Russia, South Korea and Japan, according to Tamir Batsaikhan, a project director with the Shivee Energy Complex. It’s just one concept of how to connect power markets across Asia, where demand is forecast by BMI Research to grow 3.5 percent annually through 2026.
“At a 30,000-foot level you’d be hard-pressed to argue against it,” said Simon Powell, head of Asian utilities research at UBS Group AG in Hong Kong. “It’s not technically impossible to build an Asian power grid, but there are difficulties.”
While the region’s biggest economies, led by China, throw their support behind the projects, the challenge of moving electricity from one country to another --- from the differences in voltages and price to worries about relying on neighbors for power -- may mean Mongolia’s vision remains just a dream.
A feasibility study on Mongolia’s proposed 5,280-megawatt Shivee project, which is backed by state-run investor Erdenes Mongol LLC and the country’s energy ministry, is expected by the end of this month, said Tamir. State Grid Corp. of China is carrying out the study and talks with potential buyers would only start after its completion, he said.
‘Cannot Imagine’
State Grid, one of the world’s biggest power distributors, and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., as well as partners in South Korea and Russia, are a few of the main drivers behind the latest ideas to develop a power grid spanning northeast Asia. State Grid’s former chairman, Liu Zhenya, floated an even grander plan almost two years ago for a global network to transmit electricity from continent to continent by 2050 at a cost of $50 trillion.
“The energy demands of the next three decades will be astronomical,” Liu, now chairman of the Beijing-based Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization, wrote in a Bloomberg View column in April. “We will need to power -- mainly cleanly -- at a scale and for a range of uses we cannot yet fully imagine.”
While Liu has moved on to GEIDCO, where SoftBank’s chief Masayoshi Son is vice-chairman, State Grid continues to promote super grid proposals. The company’s chief engineer, Zhang Qiping, said in November that China can export surplus power to India and Southeast Asia. A global network also dovetails with China’s One Belt, One Road program, President Xi Jinping’s cornerstone trade initiative to connect Europe, Asia and Africa through infrastructure and investment.
Puzzle Pieces
“State Grid is definitely trying to think big with global energy interconnection,” said Justin Wu, the Asia head of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “But in the meantime, we’re likely to see projects that will take this on incrementally, building smaller pieces of the puzzle that will fit into this bigger picture of interconnection.”
While State Grid has built 10 transnational power transmission lines that include links to Russia, Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan, those interconnects are less about transmitting large amounts of power and more about stabilizing the network, according to UBS’ Powell.
State Grid didn’t reply to emails seeking comment, while Korea Electric Power Co. declined to comment. Russia’s Rosseti PJSC is in discussions with partners from China, South Korea and Japan about “establishing bilateral energy ties and developing major Asian energy ring,” said Konstantin Petukhov, deputy director general for development. The company is also in talks with the Mongolian government about building a new power grid, which could be linked internationally, he said.
“SoftBank places importance on renewable energy, and a super grid that extends from Mongolia to Japan fixes the problem of security of supply, as the sun is always shining and the wind is always blowing somewhere,” Spokesman Kenichi Yuasa said by email, adding that the company isn’t involved in the Shivee Energy Complex.
Multiple Obstacles
Such a network faces multiple obstacles, including the challenge of linking different grids and infrastructure and deciding how the power would be priced, according to analysts at UBS and Wood Mackenzie Ltd. Some countries may also worry about becoming too reliant on imported power or technology from China, which has faced resistance in Australia and the U.K. over investments in their electricity infrastructure.
“Countries may become cautious about taking Chinese technology, worrying this could endanger their own power system security or even national security,” said Frank Yu, principal consultant on China and North East Asia power at Wood Mackenzie.
GEIDCO’s chief Liu has voiced support for moving electricity from Mongolia and northeast China to Japan and South Korea, according to a January statement sent by the organization in response to a request for comment.
Other potential transmission projects cited by GEIDCO include sending hydropower from China’s Yunnan province and thermal power from the country’s north to Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Bangladesh; hydropower from Tibet to India and Bangladesh; coal, wind and solar power from western China’s Xinjiang region and coal-fired electricity from Kazakhstan to Pakistan.
While these projects help China solidify its relationships with neighbors, as well as other Belt and Road countries, the Shivee project in Mongolia is one way to aid an economy that’s forecast by the World Bank to contract 0.2 percent this year. Constructing Shivee would create 25,000 jobs over five years and may increase gross domestic product by 4 percentage points annually during that period, according to an August GEIDCO statement.
“With abundant resources of cheap energy coal, which is not so much profitable to transport, it makes sense to export the final product, electricity,’’ said Khashchuluun Chuluundorj, an economist at the National University of Mongolia.


Mongolia presidential hopeful urges more state control in mining www.reuters.com

ULAANBAATAR, June 8 (Reuters) - A leading candidate for Mongolia's presidency has called for greater state control of projects like the giant Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine run by Rio Tinto, making mining and foreign investment central issues in the election campaign.
The landlocked North Asian country of three million people goes to the polls on June 26, just a month after securing a $5.5 billion International Monetary Fund-led bailout to lift the economy out of a balance of payments crisis.
Campaigning began on Tuesday, and painful austerity measures agreed by the Mongolian People's Party (MPP), which runs the government but doesn't hold the presidency, have made an easy target for rivals, as have controversies over deals done with foreign mining companies.
The presidential election in the former Soviet satellite, wedged between China and Russia, comes amid growing frustration among voters over suspected corruption and the perceived ineffectiveness of their governments.
Under Mongolia's parliamentary democracy, the MPP government's term should run for another three years, but its policies could be challenged by a president with veto powers.
The outgoing president Tsakhia Elbegdorj belongs to the Democratic Party, but has to step down having served a maximum two terms.
The Democratic Party's new candidate Khaltmaa Battulga, a martial arts star turned business tycoon, opened his campaign with a call for greater government control over the economy and the country's mineral resources.
"Our political environment is very unstable, so our big development policy won't go forward. Because of that, we can't solve unemployment or poverty," Battulga told CI Television in an interview posted on the network's official Facebook account late on Tuesday.
"The government should hire experts and take control of everything, including Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi," he said.
His comments could send shudders through Rio Tinto, which owns 66 percent of Oyu Tolgoi, and scare off private companies that might be interested in forming strategic partnerships at the giant, fully state-owned Tavan Tolgoi coal mine.
Oyu Tolgoi LLC, the Mongolia-based company that runs the project, declined to comment. Rio Tinto did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Dale Choi, analyst and head of the Altan Bumba Financial Group, said the Mongolian government did not have a good record when it came to managing its assets.
"Most of the SOEs are loss making businesses, and even those that pay some of the highest taxes to Mongolia are not efficient businesses," he said.
The ruling MPP candidate Mieygombo Enkhbold, has called for continued "stability", while the government struggles to introduce economic reforms having already raised some taxes and cut spending as part of the IMF bailout deal.
Asked for Enkhbold's position on the mining sector, an MPP spokesman forwarded a statement setting out the party's support for the further development of big mining projects "based on the fundamental interests of our people."
Nationalist politicians have repeatedly called for greater Mongolian control over Oyu Tolgoi, which is forecast to become the world's third-largest copper producer when output peaks at 550,000 tonnes in 2025, up fourfold from this year.
A third party candidate Sainkhuu Ganbaatar, who is expected to win enough votes to force Mongolia's first-ever second round presidential election run-off, has continued his hardline stance when it comes to Mongolia's ownership of its resources.
"The Mongolian people in Mongolia are the real master. This means that Mongolians are the deciders of their natural resources," he said in his manifesto.
Attempts to renegotiate ownership and a long dispute over taxes and cost overruns led to the suspension of construction on the underground tunnels at Oyu Tolgoi in 2013, and also scared off investment for other projects.
Construction on the project was relaunched after the signing of a new agreement that ended the dispute in 2015.
During its first phase, the open pit mine had already contributed more than $1 billion in taxes and other payments to the government by 2015, while local businesses and suppliers had earned some $4 billion from the project, according to the International Finance Corporation. (Reporting by Terrence Edwards; Writing by David Stanway; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)


Singaporeans can now travel visa-free to Mongolia for 30 days www.channelnewsasia.com

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans no longer need to apply for a visa when travelling to Mongolia for stays of up to 30 days, an increase from the current 14, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Thursday (Jun 8).
The exemption follows Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s visit to Mongolia in July last year. During his visit, Mr Lee said that discussions are under way with Mongolia to exempt Singaporeans from the visa requirement.
The waiver will facilitate more travel and business between both countries, Mr Lee said then.
Singapore granted a 30-day visa waiver for Mongolian visitors to the country several years ago.
“The exemption of visa requirements will facilitate greater tourism and business exchanges, and strengthen the friendly relations between Singapore and Mongolia,” MFA said in its press release on Thursday.


State-run company to carry out "Oil refinery construction project" www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ During its regular meeting on June 7, Wednesday, the Cabinet resolved that state-run ‘Mongolian Oil Refinery’ will execute ‘Oil refinery construction project’, with the required fund being allocated from the budget of the Minister of Mining and Heavy Industries.

Government Agency for Policy Coordination on State Property was tasked to take measures directed at ensuring the financial independence of ‘Mongolian Oil Refinery Plant’.

‘Mongolian Oil Refinery Plant’ is responsible for handling financing and purchasing activities in the frameworks of the project and budget expenditure, monitoring the formulation of the technical and economic assessment of the project, selecting a contractor for the construction, and making preparations for the construction of the refinery and pipes.

Mongolian Government established a credit agreement of USD 1 billion with Export-Import Bank of India, and decided to implement the ‘Oil refinery construction project’.



Better but not good enough: New approaches are needed to make globalisation work for all, OECD says in latest Economic Outlook www.oecd.org

07/06/2017 - The global economy is expected to pick up moderately but greater efforts are needed to ensure that the benefits from growth and globalisation are more widely shared, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Outlook.
“After five years of weak growth, there are signs of improvement,” OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said launching the Outlook during the Organisation’s annual Ministerial Council Meeting and Forum in Paris. “The modest cyclical expansion underway will not, however, be sufficient to sustain strong gains in standards of living across OECD countries. Deeper, sustained and collective commitment to coherent policy packages that support inclusiveness and productivity growth are urgently needed. We need a more inclusive, rules-based globalisation that works for all, centred on people’s well-being” Mr Gurría said. [Read full transcript]
Stronger business and consumer confidence, rising industrial production and recovering employment and trade flows will all contribute to an improvement in global GDP growth from 3.0% in 2016 to 3.6% in 2018, according to the Outlook.
Among the major advanced economies, the recovery will continue in the United States, which is projected to grow by 2.1% in 2017 and 2.4% in 2018. The euro area will see steady growth at 1.8% in 2017 and 2018. In Japan, growth is projected at 1.4% in 2017 and 1% in 2018. The 35-country OECD area is projected to grow by 2.1% in both 2017 and 2018, according to the Outlook.
In China, growth is expected to slow to 6.6% in 2017 and 6.4% in 2018, while India’s growth rates are expected to strengthen to 7.3% this year and 7.7% in 2018. Growth in Brazil is expected to turn positive for 2017 before reaching 1.6% in 2018.
While the Outlook welcomes the pick-up in the global economy, it points out that the forecasts still leave growth rates below both past norms, as well as the pace needed to escape fully from the low-growth trap. It also draws attention to the fact that while some factors could push global growth higher than projected, there are also significant downside risks.
On the positive side, the Outlook points to the ageing capital stock of firms that may spur stronger-than-expected replacement investment in higher quality capital with more advanced technology. This would improve cyclical conditions and support a revival of investment-intensive global value chains, with knock-on benefits to domestic demand. Higher quality capital would also improve productivity and boost potential output.
Among downside risks, the Outlook points to financial risks and vulnerabilities in advanced and emerging economies, high policy uncertainty in many countries and continued weak wage growth.
“Policymakers cannot be complacent” said OECD Chief Economist Catherine L Mann. ”Better choices on fiscal, structural and international policies will improve the well-being of a country’s own citizens, but also spill over to improve the outcome for others, raising the probability that the current cyclical upturn will endure and become the foundation for sustained and broad-based improvements in living standards around the world.”
A special chapter in the Outlook shows that deeper trade integration through global value chains has increased productivity and raised well-being. But it has also led to job losses, particularly for some manufacturing workers, accentuating pressures from technological and demand changes. With manufacturing activities regionally concentrated, this has resulted in some regions falling behind.
The Outlook suggests that an integrated approach is needed to make globalisation work for all. This must include domestic policies to encourage opportunity, innovation and the creation of new firms, so as to yield economic growth that is both stronger than in the recent past and also more inclusive. At the same time, more effective targeted policies are needed to support people and regions that risk getting left behind. Last but not least, countries must work together to fill gaps in the governance of the international economy. This will ensure a more level playing field, as well as more robust and implementable international standards across a range of areas including labour markets, the environment, corporate responsibility, governance and taxation.
For more information on the Global Economic Outlook, see: www.oecd.org/economy/economicoutlook.htm


Anglo American appoints takeovers expert as new chairman www.mining.com

Anglo American (LON:AAL), the world's fifth largest diversified miner, has appointed Stuart Chambers to succeed Sir John Parker as chairman of the group.

Chambers, 61 and former chairman of UK chip designer Arm, will join Anglo as a non-executive director in September, replacing Parker in November.

Stuart Chambers is known for his active participation in the sale of several UK companies, including the one where he was chairman until 2016.
The incoming executive is known for his active participation in the sale of several UK companies, including the one where he was chairman until 2016, as he oversaw the sale of Arm to Japan’s Softbank.

Chambers has also held a non-executive director position on the boards of Smiths Group and Tesco, after a career at Nippon Sheet Glass, Mars Corporation and Shell.

Anglo, which was founded in South Africa in 1917, came out in good shape from the recent and sharp rout in metal prices that hurt the mining industry in the past two years.

In February, the company not only posted its first annual net profit in five years, but chief executive Mark Cutifani has also announced there was no need to offload any more assets, even the iron ore, coal and nickel operations he had previously declared non-core.

While Chambers won’t have to deal with financial problems, he’ll need to foster good working ties with Anglo’s shareholders, including one of its newest investors, Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal.

Vedanta’s founder Agarwal announced in March it would invest $2.4 billion in Anglo, which gave his family trust — Volcan Investments — a 12% stake in the firm and made the buyer Anglo’s second-biggest investor.

So far Agarwal has said he thinks of the acquisition as an investment by Volcan, not by Vedanta, adding he is not seeking to take control of Anglo. But industry sources expect him to add to the pressure on Anglo American to deliver returns, following a fresh trend in the mining sector that is seeing activist shareholders demand drastic reforms.