|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ A team of an EU project “Support to the Modernization of Mongolia's Standardization System” has worked in Selenge aimag on April 12-13. The team was composed of project team leader Henk De Pauw, expert Andre Francois and other members. Their mission of the Selenge working tour was to assist with exporting honey and honey products made in Selenge aimag to the European Union.
The project team met with B.Munkhtur, Director of Food and Agricultural Department of Selenge province to exchange views on research works of exporting honey products to the European Union.
Moreover, the team visited some honey farms of Shaamar soum and co-held workshop on “Exporting honey products to the European Union” in cooperation with the Governor's Office and Food and Agriculture Department of Selenge province. The workshop was attended by over 100 honey farmers came from Suhkbaatar, Zuunburen, Shaamar, Tsagaanuur and Eruu soums of the province.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ On April 13, the Financial Regulation Commission (FRC) granted a financial activity license to ‘MIC Active Twelve Months”, a special purpose entity established by the "Mongolian Mortgage Corporation“ company last August and registered its securities.
‘MIC active twelve months” company is releasing mortgage loan guaranteed securities of 2.7 million with nominal value of MNT100 000 and 30-year term. The Commission assigned the two companies to insure the loan package for long term and in accessible way, meeting the interest and demand of the insured.
During its meeting, FRC resolved 30 issues, including merger approval of “Standart Agriuculture Group” LLC to “Uujimkhangai” JSC, “Anumargad erdene nonbanking financial institution”LLC to “Diamond capital nonbanking financial institution” LLC, “Tuusjam nonbanking financial institution” LLC to “Ashivtuvshin finance nonbanking financial institution” LLC. The commission also granted licenses to five nonbanking financial institutions and 8 savings and credit cooperatives.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ During his opening speech at the National Symposium of Land Farmers which took place last Friday, April 14, P.Sergelen, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry informed that 458 thousand ha land will be cultivated for sowing in 2017.
In particular, 381.6 thousand area will be sowed this spring inclusive of 362.1 thousand ha for wheat, 15.1 thousand ha for potatoes, 8.5 thousand ha for vegetables, 23.2 thousand ha for fodder, 28.6 thousand ha for oil plants and 1 thousand ha area for fruit.
From this, the agricultural industry has set an objective to harvest 498.5 thousand tons of grain including 477.6 thousand wheat, 166.5 thousand tons of potatoes, 102.1 thousand tons of vegetables, 46.4 thousand tons of fodder, 22.8 thousand tons of oil plants and 4 thousand tons of fruit.
To reach this goal, some 1360 entities and individuals are preparing for seed and oil plant sowing on the national level and 468 entities and 35 thousand households for vegetable, potato and fruit planting.
Attended by over 500 land farmers from the capital city and 21 provinces of Mongolia, the symposium addressed the 2017 objectives of the industry and measures and technologies to be adopted including ‘Young Land Farmer’ and ‘Agricultural technology leasing’ projects.
China's economy expanded faster than expected in the first quarter as higher government infrastructure spending and a gravity-defying property boom helped boost industrial output by the most in over two years.
Growth of 6.9 percent was the fastest in six quarters, with forecast-beating March investment, retail sales and exports all suggesting the economy may carry solid momentum into spring.
But most analysts say the first quarter may be as good as it gets for China this year, and worry Beijing is still relying too heavily on stimulus and "old economy" growth drivers, primarily the steel industry and a property market that is showing signs of overheating.
"The Chinese government has a tendency to rely on infrastructure development to sustain growth in the long term," economists at ANZ said in a note.
"The question we need to ask is whether this investment-led model is sustainable as the authorities have trouble taming credit. We need to watch closely whether China’s top leadership will send a stronger signal to tighten monetary policy shortly."
Even as top officials vowed to crack down on debt risks, China's total social financing, a broad measure of credit and liquidity in the economy, reached a record 6.93 trillion yuan ($1 trillion) in the first quarter -- roughly equivalent to the size of Mexico's economy.
At the same time, spending by the central and local governments rose 21 percent from a year earlier.
That helped goose the pace of growth in the first quarter well above the government's 2017 target of around 6.5 percent, and pipped economists' forecasts of 6.8 percent year-on-year.
Such a strong bolt from the gate could see Beijing once again meet its annual growth target, even if activity starts to fade later in the year, as many analysts widely expect.
"Main indicators were better than expected...which laid a good foundation for achieving the full-year growth goals," statistics spokesman Mao Shengyong said at a news conference.
SAME OLD GROWTH DRIVERS?
Once again, China's policymakers leaned on infrastructure and real estate investment to drive expansion in the first quarter. Growth in both areas has accelerated from last year and helped offset slightly weaker growth in the services sector.
"Faster growth in industrial output is the primary factor in the first quarter surprise, and due mostly to higher value-added growth related to supply-side consolidation in heavy industry," said Brian Jackson, China economist at IHS Global Insight.
Real estate investment also remained robust in the first quarter, expanding by 9.1 percent on-year, and the pace of new construction quickened despite intensifying government measures to cool soaring prices.
Most analysts agree the heated property market poses the single biggest risk to China's economic growth, but predict the cumulative weight of property curbs will eventually temper activity, not produce an outright crash.
"Sales have started falling, which means tightening measures are starting to take effect," said Shen Jianguang, an analyst at Mizuho Securities in Hong Kong, noting that will start to drag on both the services and construction sectors.
More than two dozen cities announced new or additional property cooling measures in March and early April, after curbs late last year appeared to have little lasting effect.
Buoyed by a near 12 percent increase in housing starts, China produced a record amount of steel in March, Reuters data showed, though analysts say warning signs are flashing.
Rising inventory levels and recent falls in steel prices suggest output has been growing faster than China's actual demand, raising worries of a glut later in the year, which could heighten trade tensions with the U.S. and its other major trading partners.
INCOME GROWTH PICKS UP
There were also positive signs on the consumer front in Monday's data dump.
After slowing for five quarters, disposable income growth picked up to 7.0 percent in the first quarter, the fastest since the end of 2015.
Auto sales also showed signs of recovering after weakening in the first two months of the year after the government reduced subsidies on small cars.
Analysts are closely watching for signs that consumption is accounting for a greater share of China's economy, which would
not only make growth more resilient and broader based but also reduce the need for more debt-fueled stimulus and reliance on "smokestack" industries.
FOCUS ON STABILITY, THEN REFORMS
Though policymakers have pledged repeatedly to push reforms to head off financial risks and asset bubbles, the government is seeking to keep the economy on an even keel ahead of a major leadership transition in later this year.
China's central bank has gingerly shifted to a tightening policy bias in recent months, and is using more targeted measures to contain risks in the financial system, after years of ultra-loose settings.
It has bumped up interest rates on money market instruments and special short- and medium-term loans several times already this year and further modest increases are expected, especially if U.S. rates continue to rise.
"I think China should be directing the economy to slow down its growth in the long term...but on the contrary, growth is accelerating," said Hidenobu Tokuda, senior economist at Mizuho Research Institute in Tokyo.
"This is good for now but it makes it difficult to see how China's economic slowdown will land in the future. Uncertainties remain high."
(Reporting by Kevin Yao and Yawen Chen; Writing by Elias Glenn; Editing by Kim Coghill)...
Resource magnate Sam Walsh becomes Japanese company's external director
TOKYO -- Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co. stunned the market by announcing on March 22 that Sam Walsh, who just stepped down as chief executive officer of British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto last July, will become its external director in June.
Walsh spent about twenty years in the auto industry after graduating from university, and held senior roles with General Motors and Nissan Australia. He joined Rio Tinto in 1991.
Walsh served as head of Rio Tinto's core iron ore division between 2004 and 2013 before becoming CEO. He slashed costs by adopting Toyota Motor's kaizen, or continuous improvement, production system and Japanese construction machinery maker Komatsu's driverless trucks. That helped Rio Tinto weather the plummeting resource prices in 2015 and 2016, which put other resource giants in significant difficulty.
Mitsui, which logged its first net loss after posting an impairment loss in the resource business in the year through March 2016, is pinning big hopes on Walsh's extensive experience. Market players are also looking to Walsh's capital policy.
Walsh rejected a takeover bid for Rio Tinto from Swiss-based commodities giant Glencore while CEO in 2014. Around that time, he also increased shareholder payouts. Rio Tinto generated a positive operating cash flow of $8.5 billion and spent $3.6 billion on dividends and stock buybacks for the year through December 2016.
As CEO he was also responsible for bolstering the company's financial standing to better cope with fluctuating commodity prices. S&P Global Ratings' last summer revised its outlook on Rio Tinto from "negative" to "stable" and affirmed its A- long-term credit rating. Instead of boosting shareholder payouts with financial leverage, he focused on liabilities, shareholders' equity and cash flow in a balanced manner.
Akifumi Hayashi, senior analyst at Mizuho Securities, said Walsh is an excellent manager, not only because he turned around the business, but also because of his disciplined allocation of capital. Market watchers expect that his stance toward capital policy and expertise will have a positive impact on Mitsui's management.
Mitsui is expected to formulate a new dividend and capital policy when it releases its medium-term management plan in May. The company's earnings and shareholder payouts have been subject to commodity prices, as it has determined the latter based on free cash flow.
Mitsui's decision to cut dividends for the year ended March was also a disappointment to market players. If Walsh's expertise can help Mitsui stabilize its earnings and shareholder payouts, market evaluations may change for the better.
Australian media reported that Rio Tinto has been under investigation on corruption charges for a mine interest in Guinea. Mitsui stressed there is no evidence that Walsh has any involvement. The focus is now on what kind of role Walsh will play at Mitsui after obtaining approval at the annual shareholders' meeting in June....
United Airlines is changing its policy on giving staff last-minute seats on full flights after a man was dragged screaming from an overbooked plane.
The airline said that in future crew members would be allocated seats at least an hour before departure.
It comes after passenger Dr David Dao lost two front teeth and suffered a broken nose when he was forcibly removed from a flight last Sunday.
United Airlines said the move was aimed at improving its customer services.
The incident involving Dr Dao caused outrage and widespread condemnation of the airline after shocking footage was shared and watched by millions of people online.
His daughter, Crystal Dao Pepper, later told a news conference in Chicago that the family had been "sickened" by what had happened.
Law enforcement officials dragged Dr Dao off a flight departing from Chicago for Louisville, Kentucky, because it was fully booked, and the airline wanted four passengers to make way for staff members.
The 69-year-old Vietnamese-American physician had refused to leave, saying he needed to go home to see his patients. He was then dragged down the aisle of the aircraft.
His lawyer later said that Dr Dao found the experience "more horrifying and harrowing than what he experienced when leaving Vietnam".
The ordeal led to demonstrations at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and turned into a public relations disaster for United Airlines.
The situation escalated when a response from the airline's chief executive, Oscar Munoz, failed to mention any use of excessive force.
"This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologise for having to re-accommodate these customers," he said in a statement. He also said that Dr Dao was "disruptive and belligerent".
Days later Mr Munoz, who was facing calls to resign from online petitions that had received thousands of signatures, said he felt "shame and embarrassment" and vowed that it would never happen again.
The airline offered compensation to all customers on board last Sunday's United Flight 3411.
On April 14th, BSG Resources filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York against George Soros and is asking for $10 billion in damages based on allegations that the billionaire’s “illegal conduct destroyed” the group’s investment in Guinea’s Simandou deposit.
According to Bloomberg, the company controlled by Israeli mining magnate Beny Steinmetz says Soros’ defamation campaign stripped them of rights to the African iron ore deposit and other business opportunities around the world.
Steinmetz was arrested in Israel in December of 2016 on suspicion of bribing government officials in Guinea to obtain rights over Simandou. After the period of restriction elapsed in January, he was released without charges.
Now, the diamond tycoon wants to flip the coin. His controlled company’s suit says that Soros and his controlled entities influenced government officials in Guinea to hinder BSGR’s plans. It also says that the Hungarian-American business mogul had no economic interest in Guinea and was “motivated solely by malice.”
BSGR sues George Soros over loss of Guinea iron project
In detail, BSGR’s complaint says Soros was driven by a grudge that dates back to 1998 around a business in Russia. It adds that that was the reason behind Soros-funded companies’ decision to fabricate reports about Steinmetz’s alleged payment of millions of dollars in bribes to obtain permits to one of the world’s richest iron ore sites.
The Guinean government –Bloomberg’s account adds- used those reports to forbid BSG Resources Ltd. from claiming rights to the Simandou deposit in April of 2014.
Simandou has over two billion tonnes of reserves and some of the highest grades in the industry (66% – 68% Fe which attracts premium pricing).
The same day the lawsuit was filed in New York, different media outlets including Bloomberg, The Telegraph, and Reuters tried contacting Michael Vachon, a spokesman for Soros, but he didn't immediately respond to requests for comments made outside of regular business hours.
This is the latest chapter in a long, ongoing battle that has also “shaken to the core” Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto (LON:RIO). Back in November, the world’s second largest mining company unveiled emails sent by some of its executives in May 2011 related to a dubious payment made to an external consultant working on the firm’s Simandou project.
The revelations triggered several probes as well as a couple of management shakeups, including the polemic dismissal of the company’s’ energy and minerals boss Alan Davies.
The 1,454-km Kazakh-China link will transport 5 billion cu m annually
A new strategically important natural gas pipeline running from southern Kazakhstan to China began operating on Friday, China National Petroleum Corp said in a statement.
The company said the pipeline, which has annual installed transportation capacity of 6 billion cubic meters of gas, will help ensure diversification of the nation's gas supplies.
The 1,454 kilometer pipeline is being jointly operated by CNPC Trans-Asia Pipeline Co Ltd and Kazakhstan's state KazTransGaz－and will provide China with 5 billion cu m of natural gas each year－according to Asia's biggest oil and gas producer CNPC.
CNPC said it is a key energy project between the two countries as well as a significant part of the Central Asia-China gas pipeline, which starts at Turkmen-Uzbek border city Gedaim and runs through central Uzbekistan and southern Kazakhstan before reaching Horgos in China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
According to the State-owned CNPC, which provides more than two-thirds of the country's natural gas, the pipeline is a typical project along the Belt and Road Initiative and Kazakhstan is located in a prominent position.
Analysts said the new natural gas pipeline would further diversify China's sources of gas imports and followed the China-Russia crude oil pipeline, the China-Kazakhstan oil pipeline as well as the China-Myanmar crude oil pipeline, which started operations on Monday.
Li Li, energy research director at ICIS China, a consulting company that provides analysis of China's energy market, said there is also a chance that China might face a gas surplus.
Li said the growth of China's gas consumption had also moderated since the start of the economic slowdown.
A bonus was that the safety standards for pipeline transmissions were much higher and the project would also ensure a stable energy supply to China, she added.
A researcher at State-owned China National Petroleum Corp in November said the country could face a gas surplus of 50 billion cu m a year by 2020, due to long-term contracts for imports of liquefied natural gas and pipeline expansion plans, energy news agency Platts reported.
CNPC said the pipeline would also provide more than 2,000 jobs for locals and provide natural gas for more than 1.5 million local residents.
The start of gas flows at the southern Kazakhstan natural gas pipeline followed news that a CNPC unit specializing in oil engineering, manufacturing and construction－China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corp－signed a contract with Russian gas giant Gazprom to take part in the construction of the Amur gas processing plant, a move to further secure domestic gas supplies.