1 ERDENES TAVAN TOLGOI REVENUE SURGES DUE TO HIGHER COAL PRICES WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      2 RUSSIA AND MONGOLIAN BORDER CROSSING NO. 487 WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      3 WORLD ECONOMICS REPORTS THAT MONGOLIA’S EMPLOYMENT RATE HITS A FIVE-YEAR HIGH WWW.GOGO.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      4 USD HITS RECORD HIGH IN MONGOLIA DUE TO HIGHER IMPORTS WWW.CHINA.ORG.CN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      5 READOUT OF VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE’S MEETING WITH PRIME MINISTER UKHNAA KHURELSUKH OF MONGOLIA WWW.WHITEHOUSE.GOV PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      6 MONGOLIA LAUNCHES EU-FUNDED PROJECTS TO PROMOTE GREEN DEVELOPMENT, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      7 COAL EXPORTS FROM TOP SHIPPER HOBBLED WITH MINERS FACING CONSTRAINTS WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      8 FRONTIER'S "INVEST MONGOLIA TOKYO 2018" WWW.MONGOLIANBUSINESSDATABASE.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      9 U.S.-CHINA TRADE TUSSLE IS CREATING WINNERS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA WWW.BLOOMBERG.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      10 YUSAKU MAEZAWA: THE JAPANESE BILLIONAIRE WHO WANTS TO FLY TO THE MOON WWW.BBC.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      ШЕНГЕНИЙ БОГИНО ХУГАЦААНЫ ВИЗИЙН МЭДҮҮЛГИЙГ УЛААНБААТАР ХОТОД АВНА WWW.MEDEE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     2018 ЭХНИЙ 7 САРД МОНГОЛЧУУД ГАДААД РУУ ЭМЧИЛГЭЭНД ЯВАХДАА 19.5 САЯ АМ.ДОЛЛАР ЗАРЦУУЛЖЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ӨНӨӨДӨР ТӨВ ТАЛБАЙД 4000 АЖЛЫН БАЙРАНД БҮРТГЭНЭ WWW.DNN.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ЗАЛУУЧУУДЫН ГАРААНЫ БИЗНЕСИЙН ШАЛГАРСАН ТӨСӨЛД 10,0 САЯ ТӨГРӨГИЙН ДЭМЖЛЭГ ҮЗҮҮЛЛЭЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     WORLD ECONOMICS: МОНГОЛЫН АЖИЛ ЭРХЛЭЛТИЙН ТҮВШИН СҮҮЛИЙН 5 ЖИЛИЙН ДЭЭД ТҮВШИНД ХҮРЛЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ERD: "ХӨНДИЙ" АЛТНЫ ТӨСЛИЙН ТОГТООГДСОН НӨӨЦ 751 МЯНГАН УНЦ АЛТ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ХЯТАДЫН $200 ТЭРБУМЫН ИМПОРТОД ТАРИФ ТОГТООВ WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ШИВЭЭХҮРЭН БООМТООР ХОНОГТ 60-80 МЯНГАН ТОНН НҮҮРС ЭКСПОРТОЛЖ БАЙНА WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     БНХАУ-ЫН 200 ТЭРБУМ АМ.ДОЛЛАРЫН ИМПОРТОД 10 ХУВИЙН ТАРИФ НОГДУУЛАХ ШИЙДВЭР ИРЭХ 7 ХОНОГООС ХЭРЭГЖИНЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/18     ӨВӨЛ ЦАХИЛГААН СААТВАЛ ХОТ ДӨРВӨН ЦАГИЙН ДОТОР Л ХӨЛДӨНӨ WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/18    

Events

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

NEWS

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Top 10 Richest People in Mongolia 2018 Mongolian Billionaires www.eliteshared.com

Here Are the Top 10 Richest People in Mongolia and their Net worth not forgetting their source of wealth. The richest people in Mongolia: How they became Mongolian Billionaires and millionaires. The following Forbes list of Mongolian billionaires is based on an annual assessment of wealth and assets compiled and published by Forbes magazine in 2018. The FORBES List is based on an estimated wealth taking company shares, real estates, art objects or luxury goods such as yachts into consideration.

1. Odjargal Jambaljamts 
Richest man in Mongolia Odjargal Jambaljamts estimated net worth is US $ 2.6 billion and he is ranked at No. 1 in the list of top 10 richest man in Mongolia as appeared in financial magazines such as Forbes and Bloomberg 2018. Mr. Odjargal Jambaljamts serves as the Executive Chairman of Mongolian Mining Corporation and has been its Executive Director since May 18, 2010.
From 1989 to 1991, Mr. Jambaljamts was an automation engineer at the Energy Authority of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Mr. Jambaljamts has over 14 years of experience in exploration and/or extraction activities

2.Chinbat Lhagva
Chinbat Lhagva estimated net worth is US $ 1.9 billion and he is ranked 2nd in the list of top 10 richest people in Mongolia as appeared in financial magazines such as Forbes and Bloomberg 2018. He does not have any political affiliations.
Chinbat L is the General Director Mongolian television and General Director of the Gatsuurt Group. Also, he is a member of the board of Directors of “Mongolian agronomy entrepreneurs association”. He founded the Gurvan Gol JSC, a geological mining company, with his colleagues in 1998, and was a shareholder in the company.

3.Battulga Khaltmaa
Battulga Khaltmaa estimated net worth is US $ 1.5 billion and he is ranked at No. 3 in the list of top 10 richest people in Mongolia as given the impression in financial magazines such as Forbes and Bloomberg 2018. Khaltmaagiin Battulga is a Mongolian politician and President of Mongolia.
Battulga Khaltmaa served as Member of the State Great Khural from 2004 to 2016 and Minister of Roads, Transportation, Construction and Urban Development from 2008 to 2012.

4.Nyamtaishir B
Nyamtaishir B has been also listed as one of the wealthiest man in Mongolia as at 2018 due to his massive net worth. Multi Billionaire Nyamtaishir B estimated net worth is US $ 1.4 billion and he is ranked at No. 4 in the list of top 10 richest man in Mongolia as appeared in financial magazines such as Forbes and Bloomberg 2018.

5.Batbold Sukhbaatar
Multi Billionaire Batbold Sukhbaatar estimated net worth is US $ 1 billion and he is ranked at No. 5 in the list of top 10 richest man in Mongolia as appeared in financial magazines such as Forbes and Bloomberg 2018.
Sükhbaataryn Batbold is a Mongolian politician who was Prime Minister of Mongolia from 2009 to 2012, as well as General Secretary of the Mongolian People’s Party.

6.Bold Luvsandanzan
Bold Luvsandanzan estimated net worth is US $ 800 million and he is ranked at No. 6 in the list of top 10 richest people in Mongolia as appeared in financial magazines such as Forbes and Bloomberg 2018.
Bold Luvsandanzan is the chairman of the Inter-Parliamentary friendship group of Mongolia-Switzerland and Vice-Chairman of the Inter-Parliamentary friendship group of Mongolia-Japan. Since 2014 Chairman of the Inter-Parliamentary friendship group of Mongolia-Germany.

7.Baatarsaikhan Tsagaach
Baatarsaikhan Tsagaach estimated net worth is US $ 800 million and he is ranked at No. 7 in the list of top 10 richest people of Mongolia as given the impression in financial magazines such as Forbes and Bloomberg 2018.
Mr. Ts. Baatarsaikhan serves as the President of the Tavan Bogd Group. Mr. Baatarsaikhan is the Founder of Tavan Bogd Trade Co., Ltd. He has been a Director of Khan Bank LLC since March 2009.

8.Boldbaatar Tserenpuntsag
Boldbaatar Tserenpuntsag estimated net worth is US $ 800 million and he is ranked at No. 8 in the list of top 10 richest men in Mongolia as appeared in financial magazines such as Forbes and Bloomberg 2018. Mr. Tserenpuntsag earned a master’s degree in Engineering from the Elecrotechnical Institute of Telecommunications in Leningrad, Russia.
Mr. Boldbaatar Tserenpuntsag is the Chairman and Co-Founder at Newcom Group. Prior to founding the firm, Mr. Tserenpuntsag was the First Deputy Director at the Mongolian Telecommunications Authority and a Member of the first Mongolian Parliament which was elected after the 1990 revolution. He also served as the General Director of the Mongolian Telecommunications Company.

9.Batkhuu Gavaa
Batkhuu Gavaa estimated net worth is US $ 700 million and he is ranked at No. 9 in the list of top 10 richest people in Mongolia as given the impression in financial magazines such as Forbes and Bloomberg 2018. Batkhuu.G, a former Member of Parliament for the Democratic Party (DP) and his brother Batsaikhan.P own the Media Group LLC with 50:50 shares.
Batkhuu Gavaa holds a Major in engineering and economics. He is a former Member of Parliament, Vice-Speaker of the Parliament, and former Minister of Road, Transport, and Tourism of Mongolia. He is a member of the Democratic Party (DP).

10.Erdenebileg Doljin
Erdenebileg Doljin estimated net worth is US $ 700 million and he is ranked at No. 10 in the list of top 10 richest man in Mongolia as appeared in financial magazines such as Forbes and Bloomberg 2018. Mr. Doljin Erdenebileg has been the Chairman and Director of Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia LLC since December 28, 2006.
Mr. Erdenebileg serves as a Member of the Representative Governing Board of Ulaanbaatar City Bank. He holds a Bachelor’s in Law from the Institute of Law in Mongolia and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Academy of Management in Mongolia.

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Irkutsk region's export of chicken eggs to Mongolia almost doubled www.rusexporter.com

For the first five months of 2018 Irkutsk Region has exported to Mongolia chicken eggs valued at $1.8 mln., it is a 57% increase compared to the same period of the last year.

From January to May, 2018 Russia’s export of chicken eggs has amounted to $10.4 mln.

Irkutsk Region has accounted for 17% of national chicken eggs export and ranked 2nd among Russian regions exported this production. The leader of chicken eggs export is Leningrad region (39%)

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86 percent of active entities in Mongolia have up to 9 employees www.gogo.mn

According to the National Statistical Office’s Social and Economic Situation report, a total of 163,000 entities were registered in the Statistical Business Register as of February 2018.

Currently, 50.9 percent (83,100) of all registered entities are operational, thus classified as active enterprises. Out of these active entities, 85.9 percent employ up to nine people, while three percent have more than 50 employees.

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Mongolia takes steps to boost cashmere production www.news.mn

The Mongolian government launched a four-year programme to boost cashmere and wool industry in February. The initiative aims to increase exports more than fivefold by providing financial support to help domestic firms improve technology and expanding the country’s processing capacity.

The Mongolian Wool and Cashmere Association along with Mongolian national enterprises such as Erdenet Carpet LLC, Ulaanbaatar Carpet LLC, Mogul Wool LLC and Sor Cashmere LLC have been working with the aim of combing the overwhelming percentage of wool and increasing production of final products - in other words, covering the full cycle from processing to final product. Accordingly, they have requested the Mongolian Agricultural Commodity Exchange to decrease commission rates. This request has been heeded: the exchange has reduced the commission rates for combed wool by 0.2 percent and for washed wool by 15 percent. Currently, one kg of wool is sold by MNT 3200- MNT 4000. Mongolia produces annually over 30 thousand tonnes of wool. The government aims to process 26 thousand tonnes of wool domestically.

The Development Bank of Mongolia and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry have also established an 500 billion tugrik “Cashmere Development Fund”. Mongolia has an estimated total of 27 million goats, currently giving an annual cashmere production capacity of 9,400 tonnes.

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HIV Infections Rises to 262 in Mongolia www.xinhuanet.com

ULAN BATOR, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The number of HIV-positive people rose to 262 in Mongolia after seven new cases were registered in the second quarter of this year, the National Statistical Office said in a report Thursday.

More than half of the HIV-infected are people between 20 and 44 years old. About 99 percent of the infections were sexually transmitted, according to the report.

The first case of HIV infection in Mongolia was recorded in 1992. Since then, 40 people have died of AIDS in this East Asia country with a population of more than 3 million.

In the first half of this year, there were a total of 21,827 cases of infectious diseases reported in Mongolia, down by 16.3 percent from a year ago, the report said.

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Frontclear Facilitates a Landmark Transaction With State Bank Mongolia, EBRD and ING Bank www.ktvn.com

Frontclear arranged and structured a USD 30 million cross-border collateral swap with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), enabling a further repo transaction between the Mongolian State Bank and ING Bank. It is the first time in Mongolia that a repo or collateral swap transaction has been done with local currency collateral cross border and a first such deal involving a commercial bank.

In this transaction, Frontclear borrowed USD 30 million in US Treasury bonds from the EBRD and then on-lent them to the State Bank LLC in Mongolia against Mongolian local currency government bonds in a collateral swap transaction. Frontclear guaranteed the transaction to EBRD. With the US Treasuries in hand, State Bank LLC borrowed funds in a repo transaction with ING Bank N.V. Singapore branch.

Credit risk, legal and operational risks plus wrong way risk concerns, has made it very difficult for Mongolian banks to source hard currency liquidity against local collateral in global capital markets. The landmark transaction made it possible for State Bank LLC to competitively access funding from foreign banks. It also helped clarify certain legal and operational issues related to bond trading in Mongolia, which were mitigated by effective Frontclear deal arranging and structuring.

Both collateral swap transactions were documented under an International Swap and Derivatives Association (ISDA) agreement, whereby Frontclear customized the swap confirmation to legal issues in the Mongolian market. The repo transaction was closed under a Global Master Repurchase Agreement (GMRA). The transaction documents introduced best practice operational and legal concepts, which will be further reviewed in a Frontclear organized Executives' Roundtable in Ulaanbaatar in September 2018.

"We are proud of the catalyst role we have played in originating the structure. The transaction provides a new mechanism for Mongolian banks to utilize local collateral in international capital markets and sets a benchmark for the development of Mongolia's money market going forward." - Andrei Shinkevich, SVP Frontclear

"We expect this transaction to generate positive ramifications for Mongolia as it enabled know-how transfer to the local market and should have a demonstration effect on other potential followers from global financial markets." - Aude Pacatte, Director, Head of Portfolio Management EMEA, EBRD

"State Bank is delighted for successfully executing this inaugural transaction that provides possibilities to practice the financial instrument in line with international best practice and facilitates development of interbank money market in broader perspective in Mongolia." - Chinbat Lkhagvasuren, Director General, Treasury Department, State Bank of Mongolia

"We are proud to have been given the opportunity to play an instrumental role in the further development of the capital market in Mongolia, together with State Bank of Mongolia, Frontclear, and EBRD."- Erik Versavel, ING Mongolia Country Head

About Frontclear

Frontclear is a development finance company focused on catalyzing stable and inclusive interbank markets in emerging and developing countries (EMDC). Frontclear facilitates access by local financial institutions to interbank markets through providing credit guarantees to cover a transacting institution's counterparty credit risk. This on the condition that local currency assets can be used for collateral management purposes. Frontclear's Basel III compliant guarantees specifically cover due payment of the Early Termination Amount under ISDA contracts and corresponding claims under GMRA. The guarantees are in turn counter-guaranteed by KfW, a AAA-development financial institution. The guarantees are complemented by a technical assistance programme (FTAP). FTAP supports targeted and planned interventions in bank and system development, which reduce the operational and country risks obstructing interbank trading. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Dutch development bank FMO, the Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSDA), the French development bank Proparco, The Currency Exchange Fund (TCX), the UK's Department of International Development (DFID) and the German Ministry of Development Cooperation (BMZ). Frontclear's guarantees are counter-guaranteed by KfW, a AAA-rated German development Bank.

For further information, please visit http://www.frontclear.com

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Mongolia could be Rio's copper growth key www.mining-journal.com

Since January last year, JS has flogged $8.5 billion in assets, including the entire coal business. The latest deal was the widely flagged $3.5 billion sale of Rio's post-2022 40% share of production from the Grasberg mine in Indonesia to state-owned interests.
Generally speaking the prices received in the clean-out have been above market expectations, and it has to be said that faced with the prospect of having its 40% Grasberg stake becoming 20% under Indonesia's resource nationalism agenda, taking $3.5 billion off the table was a good outcome,
particularly as the exit from the controversial project boosts Rio's environmental credentials.

As with the previous assets sales, Rio does not need the Grasberg money.
Debt is where it wants it, cashflows are strong, and growth capital expenditure is back from the boom time craziness to levels that are more manageable.
So there is no surprise that every time Rio ticks off a an asset sale there is orgy of speculation about how quickly the excess capital generated can make its way back to shareholders. Fair enough too, given how they missed out during the boom.
But the much bigger question now is does Rio need to make some acquisitions to replenish the silverware cabinet.
Getting out of coal had its virtue benefits in a world that is increasingly active in combating greenhouse emissions. But the exit will leave a big hole in earnings, particularly if currently elevated coking and thermal coal prices persist.
The same goes for the Grasberg exit, post 2022 at any rate. It is the world's second biggest copper mine with credits from gold and molybdenum helping to make it one of the lowest cost. It is getting bigger and better too with its move underground.
Its departure means that a big hole is punched in Rio's copper (and gold) exposure post 2022. Given Rio's copper exposure is already underdone compared with that of BHP Billiton, plugging the post 2022 hole would seem to be a priority.
Dare it be said that without rebuilding the copper position, there is a risk to Rio being over reliant on iron ore and aluminium. After all, Rio has said repeatedly that copper will go in to supply deficit around 2020. Whichever way it is spun, that cannot be said about iron ore and aluminium.
Without the 2022 kicker that was to come from Grasberg, Rio's copper exposure is reduced to a 30% non-managed interest in Escondida (BHP 57.5%), its ageing Kennecott operation, and a long-dated option on the Resolution copper project.
Oyu Tolgoi was left out of the list there because if there is a simple fix to replace the copper lost with the Grasberg departure, then it has to be OT.

The problem with OT is that while Rio runs the show, its exposure is limited to an indirect stake of 33.6% courtesy of its 51% in the Canadian listed Turquoise Hill, the 66% partner with the Mongolian government holding the remaining
34%.
This space is not alone in suggesting that cash freed by the exit from Grasberg position might best be deployed in Rio acquiring the 49% of Turquoise Hill it does not already own for $3.8 billion, which includes a 30% premium.
As it is, there has been some noise from some of the biggest minority shareholders in Turquoise Hill that the company is run as if it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rio anyway. While they want greater independence from Rio, that independence can be bought for a 30% premium, which probably has more to do with their agitation than any real governance concerns.
Think of it as an around-about way of inviting Rio to bid.
Rio has been running OT since 2010 and was instrumental in securing the agreements with the Mongolian government which underpin the mine's $5.3 billion expansion by moving underground where most of the value lies.
It will establish OT as one of the world's truly great copper/gold mines.
Production for 2019 is forecast at 156,000t of copper and 256,000oz of gold.
Then the underground kicks in big time, lifting forecast production for 2025 to 622,000 tonnes of copper and 670,000oz of gold.
Between 2022 and 2026 when access to a particularly high-grade zone of the monster orebody is accessed, free cashflow is estimated at $9.5 billion. OT then settles down in to a 500,000t a year copper producer (with gold) for decades to come, with expansion opportunities all the way along.
Having said all that, Mongolia has a habit of throwing up sovereign risk surprises every now and then and the great fear from a Rio and Turquoise Hill perspective is that the State might want more of the action as the move underground is derisked.
Time will tell on that score. What is more certain is that if Rio wants meaningful long-term exposure to the world's next best copper/gold mine, it is best to go in to any future argy-bargy with the State from a 66% partner position, and to do that it needs to buy the minorities out of Turquoise Hill.

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Foreign Office Minister Mark Field visits Mongolia www.gov.uk

Minister Field will meet the Foreign Minister, Environment Minister, Finance Minister and Mining Minister to hold discussions on a range of issues, including trade and investment, the environment, the Illegal Wildlife Trade, education, sports links and issues of global concern.

Mr Field will open the Mongolian Stock Exchange, attend the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the British global addressing company What3Words and meet the beneficiaries of a green finance initiative supported by the UK. He will also spend a full day visiting the Oyu Tolgoi mine operation.

Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific, the Rt Hon Mark Field MP said:

I am delighted to visit Mongolia during this special year of the 55th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between our countries. The UK and Mongolia are working together across a wide range of issues, from trade and investment to the environment, tackling the illegal wildlife trade and regional issues.

I am looking forward to talking to politicians, businessmen and women, representatives of civil society and ordinary Mongolians about how 

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Zoo-bred Przewalski’s horses are freed into the plains of Mongolia where their ancestors roamed for centuries having battled back from just ONE surviving wild animal www.dailymail.co.uk

Their violent kicks rattle the small army plane flying over Siberia as it transports the four rare horses from Prague to the vast Mongolian steppe where the once near-extinct species is slowly recovering.

Known as Przewalski's horses, the ancient species has narrowly avoided extinction thanks to breeding programmes at zoos worldwide and is now gradually being re-introduced to a wildlife reserve in its original homeland.

But confined to wooden boxes, Finnish sisters Helmi and Hanna, German mare Spes and Yanja from a Swiss zoo are not enjoying the 30-hour trip to get to their new home one bit.

Two Wild Przewalski horses are seen in the Takhin Tal reserve in southwest Mongolia on June 20 after being released into the wild +9
Two Wild Przewalski horses are seen in the Takhin Tal reserve in southwest Mongolia on June 20 after being released into the wild

'The plane trip is the toughest part,' Prague Zoo chief vet Roman Vodicka told AFP over the constant drone of the twin-engine propeller plane.

'The horse might make a wrong move, get stuck and lie down, stopping the blood flow to the legs. If this happened on the truck, we might release them for a run in nature, but you can't do that on the plane,' he said.

Prague Zoo, which has bred Przewalski's horses since 1932 and keeps the world genealogy book for the endangered species tracking all new births, launched a project to reintroduce the animals to Mongolia in 2011.

The four round-bellied, short-legged, sandy-beige mares are set to join wild herds in Takhin Tal (meaning the wild horse steppe), where 220 Przewalski's horses now gallop free.

In 1969, there was just one.

'These horses are getting a chance others won't have. They'll return home,' said Jan Marek, a Prague Zoo curator in charge of ungulates.

The horses were transported in large metal crates bearing each of their names and eventually released after a long and arduous journey +9
The horses were transported in large metal crates bearing each of their names and eventually released after a long and arduous journey

The mares took a bumpy truck journey to the remote Takhin Tal reserve, where they are finally able to gallop into an enclosure to find their hooves in their new home +9
The mares took a bumpy truck journey to the remote Takhin Tal reserve, where they are finally able to gallop into an enclosure to find their hooves in their new home

But, for the moment, they are restless after a busy day, which started at an acclimatisation centre on a farm belonging to Prague Zoo, south of the Czech capital.

Before being enclosed in the transport boxes, they were put to sleep, tested and treated by vets.

Then they were taken by truck to a military airbase on Prague's outskirts and loaded onto the plane.

Marek and Vodicka monitor the horses throughout the trip, trying to calm them by talking and whistling, or with hay and pheromones.

Keeping them cool also helps and the plane is air-conditioned to 15-19 degrees C (59-66 F).

After landing on the dirt runway in the western Mongolian town of Bulgan Sum, the mares take a bumpy truck journey to the remote Takhin Tal reserve, where they are finally able to gallop into an enclosure to find their hooves in their new home.

In the first half of next year, they will be released into the wild to join either a lone stallion, or be part of a harem - a group of around a dozen horses led by a dominant stallion - in Takhin Tal, which is part of the Great Gobi B protected area spanning over 9,000 square kilometres (3,600 square miles).

Before being enclosed in the transport boxes, they were put to sleep, tested and treated by vets for any blood pressure issues

'Harem organisation is a very nice social structure, everybody has his own role,' Ganbaatar Oyunsaikhan, Great Gobi B director, told AFP.

Rangers able to discern a stallion or harem at a distance when it is barely visible to the untrained eye, even with binoculars, will monitor the mares as they explore their new home.

Prague Zoo has released a total 31 Przewalski's horses into the Mongolian wilderness, with funding for the project provided by zoos from across the globe.

'I decided to do this after the 'dzud', or very severe winter of 2009-2010, which had cut local (Przewalski's) horse numbers by two thirds to about 50,' said Prague Zoo director Miroslav Bobek, standing outside a yurt in the Mongolian steppe.

First documented by Russian scientist Nikolai Przhevalsky in 1881, the species was nearly extinct in the 1960s and is still listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Bobek said the current population stands at around 2,400 horses, with 800 in the wild including in other parts of Mongolia and in China.

'All the living Przewalski's horses come from a genetic bottleneck of about 10 animals,' he told AFP.

Zoologists hope the four new mares from different zoos will improve the genetic mix of the Mongolian herd.

'If we only brought Czech horses, it would be the same blood. We're trying to make the population as diverse as possible,' says curator Marek.

New genetic research has suggested that the stocky horses that inspired dreamy pre-historic cave paintings are not the world's last remaining wild horse as had been thought.

The journal Science reported in February that, despite their pre-historic looks, Przewalski's horses were actually domesticated animals that escaped their human owner in the Botai area of northern Kazakhstan around 5,500 years ago.

Bobek described the study as 'very interesting', but is cautious.

'It could have been the other way round; the wild Przewalski's horse could have been the source for Botai breeders,' he said.

'In any case, the uniqueness of Przewalski's horse is obvious. We'll carry on.'

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Mongolian and Chinese joint venture established www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ A cooperation agreement on international auto transportation between Gantsmod and Gashuunsukhait border points was signed in Bayannuur city of Inner Mongolia, the People's Republic of China on July 18.

Therefore, GBM LLC of Mongolia and the auto transportation company of Bayannuur city will establish Mongolian Chinese joint venture to introduce the international roadline from Gantsmod to Gashuunsukhait border point.

The joint venture will be in charge of the cross-border passenger transportation, international freight forwarding, cross-border tourism, import and export trade of coal, food, mineral, agricultural and livestock products, construction materials, electrical equipment, household appliances and other permitted goods in China and Mongolia.

B.Misheel

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