1 MONGOLIA'S TOURISM REVENUE INCREASES BY 20 PERCENT WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/07/16      2 WATER LEVELS OF MAJOR MONGOLIAN RIVERS EXCEED ALARM LINE WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2018/07/16      3 CHINA SETS RECORD DAILY STEEL OUTPUT FOR THIRD MONTH IN A ROW WWW.REUTERS.COM PUBLISHED:2018/07/16      4 RUSSIAN RETAILERS, HOTELS EMERGE AS WORLD CUP WINNERS WWW.THEMOSCOWTIMES.COM PUBLISHED:2018/07/16      5 BIOGRAPHY OF TAVAN TOLGOI RESIDUAL COAL DEPOSITS WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2018/07/16      6 NAGOYA BASHO LOSES LAST OF THREE YOKOZUNAS WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/07/16      7 CHINA'S GDP HITS 6.7% IN Q2 OF 2018 WWW.CHINADAILY.COM.CN PUBLISHED:2018/07/16      8 US-CHINA TRADE WAR DIMS BRIGHT FUTURE FOR SEMICONDUCTORS WWW.ASIA.NIKKEI.COM PUBLISHED:2018/07/16      9 RIGHTS GROUPS URGE BETTER TREATMENT FOR MONGOLIA CHILD JOCKEYS WWW.REUTERS.COM PUBLISHED:2018/07/16      10 TPP CHIEF NEGOTIATORS TO MEET IN JAPAN WWW.NHK.OR.JP PUBLISHED:2018/07/16      МАНАЙ УЛСЫН ЗЭЭЛЖИХ ЗЭРЭГЛЭЛ ДЭЭШИЛЖЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/16     “ЭРДЭНЭС-ТАВАНТОЛГОЙ” 40 САЯ ДАХЬ ТОНН НҮҮРСЭЭ ОЛБОРЛОЖЭЭ WWW.NEWS.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/16     1,5-2 САЯ ТӨГРӨГИЙН ЦАЛИНТАЙ ЖОЛООЧИЙН АЖЛЫН БАЙРНЫ БҮРТГЭЛ ЭХЭЛЛЭЭ WWW.ZINDAA.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/16     ОЛОН МЯНГАН НИСЭХ ОНГОЦ ШИНЭЭР ҮЙЛДВЭРЛЭХ ШААРДЛАГАТАЙ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/16     КРИПТОВАЛЮТЫН ТАЛААРХ ХОРООНЫ БАЙР СУУРЬ ХЭВЭЭРЭЭ WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/16     ОРОСЫН ЭДИЙН ЗАСГИЙН ӨСӨЛТӨД ДАШТ-2018 НӨЛӨӨЛӨХ НЬ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/16     ЗҮҮН ӨМНӨД АЗИ ХАНШАА ХАМГААЛЖ ЭХЛЭВ WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/16     АЯЛАЛ ЖУУЛЧЛАЛЫН САЛБАРААС 400 ГАРУЙ САЯ ДОЛЛАР ОЛЖЭЭ WWW.DNN.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/16     МОНГОЛЫН ЭДИЙН ЗАСГИЙН БҮТЭЦ ЭМЗЭГ ХЭВЭЭР БАЙНА WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/10     МОНГОЛ, ВЬЕТНАМЫН ГАДААД ХАРИЛЦААНЫ ЯАМ ХООРОНДЫН ЗӨВЛӨЛДӨХ УУЛЗАЛТ БОЛОВ WWW.NEWS.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/10    

Events

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NEWS

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Starbucks must ease mobile order pileup to get customers in line www.reuters.com

 
Starbucks' coffee shops are suffering from a feared consequence of the mobile revolution: the digital world can dump an avalanche of orders in a short period of time, creating delays and lines that scare away customers.
Starbucks Corp is an early adopter of mobile order and payment technology that the U.S. restaurant industry hopes will boost sales while reducing the burden of rising labor costs.
But baristas at the company's busiest cafes had difficulty keeping up with mobile orders in the latest quarter, creating bottlenecks at drink delivery stations and leading some walk-in customers to walk out.
Starbucks on Thursday trimmed its full-year revenue forecast and posted a smaller-than-expected rise in quarterly sales at established restaurants in the Americas, sending its shares down 3.8 percent in after-hours trade.
"It's a high-quality problem" that Starbucks is up to the task of addressing, said AB Bernstein analyst Sara Senatore. She noted that the company found a workaround a few years ago after service slowed when baristas started warming La Boulange pastries for customers.
"We are now laser-focused on fixing this problem, but the nature of it - too much demand - is an operational challenge we have solved before and I can assure you we will solve again," Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz said on a conference call.
Earlier this week, Starbucks began adding one to two more baristas focused on mobile orders and payment at some of its top volume cafes during peak hours, spokeswoman Linda Mills told Reuters.
Executives are also rethinking work routines and internally testing text notifications that alert customers when their orders are ready, Mills added.
"There is some incremental labor, but it's mostly just using it more effectively," said AB Bernstein's Senatore.
News of the operational challenges came as Starbucks reported that traffic, also referred to as transactions, at its U.S. cafes slumped during the latest quarter.
Part of that result was due to the fact that the company changed from a loyalty program based on transactions to one based on dollars spent. That switch was designed to address lines at pay stations, where service was slowing because the prior set-up encouraged some customers to game the system by purchasing multiple items via multiple transactions rather than just one.
Stephens analyst Will Slabaugh expects Starbucks to work the kinks out of mobile ordering and pay, but remains concerned about the broader restaurant demand environment.
"This was one of the worst retailing months of December that we've ever seen," Slabaugh said.
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PayPal Has Been Talking With Amazon on Payments, CEO Says www.bloomberg.com

 
Amazon.com Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc. have discussed letting shoppers pay for Amazon purchases using their PayPal accounts, highlighting how PayPal can attract new partners since its 2015 split from Amazon rival EBay Inc.
“We have been in conversations with Amazon,” PayPal Chief Executive Officer Dan Schulman said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg. “We’re closing in on 200 million users on our platform right now. At that scale, it’s hard for any retailer to think about not accepting PayPal.”
There are no details to announce, but Schulman said the conversations have focused on “how to use one another’s assets to the mutual benefit of our customers.”
A spokesman for Seattle-based Amazon declined to comment. PayPal stock pared its decline in extended trading by about 1.7 percent on the news.
PayPal separated from EBay -- Amazon’s onetime arch rival -- to concentrate on expanding its electronic transactions business without being shackled to the slow-growing online marketplace. Schulman, who became CEO after the split, has been forging agreements in an effort to increase the number of people using PayPal and the frequency with which they use it.
Amazon has its own payment ambitions and hired Patrick Gauthier from San Jose, California-based PayPal in 2015 to lead its initiative. Amazon is balancing its desire to control payments with its customer-centric philosophy, given PayPal’s reach. PayPal on Thursday reported 197 million active customer accounts in the fourth quarter, with 31 transactions per account in the trailing 12 months. Amazon shoppers have asked whether the company would accept PayPal in Amazon customer discussion forums.
Amazon revived its own payments business in 2013 by letting shoppers use Amazon accounts to make purchases with other online merchants.
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Vijay Mallya hits back at India’s $1.3bn debt claim www.ft.com

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Vijay Mallya has denied that he fled India leaving behind $1.3bn of unpaid loans, after Indian authorities this week charged the billionaire industrialist with criminal conspiracy, dishonesty and corruption in an effort to secure his extradition from the UK.

In a series of tweets late on Thursday night, Mr Mallya said that there was “no final judicial determination on what Kingfisher Airlines owes to banks and what I may owe in my personal capacity after trial”.

“Yet it is reported that I have fled or run away owing money to banks that I never even borrowed in the first place.”

India’s Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday filed charges against Mr Mallya, his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, and nine other executives and bankers, alleging he dishonestly induced the delivery of property and illegally obtained pecuniary advantage — charges that can carry a sentence of up to seven years in prison.

The next day, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, India’s market regulator, barred Mr Mallya and six others from the stock market for allegedly diverting funds out of United Spirits, the liquor company he ran until last year.

Mr Mallya’s case is at the heart of a public controversy in India about the lifestyles enjoyed by big businesspeople. As an investigation by the authorities intensified last year, the tycoon left the country for the UK, where he has been since.

The charges come ahead of state assembly elections and are likely to be seen as an attempt to lessen public criticism of the ruling Bharatiya Janata party for not prosecuting the billionaire Mr Mallya.

Mr Mallya hit out at SEBI over its claims: “Allegations of fund diversion out of United Spirits are baseless. United Spirits accounts were approved by top auditors, an eminent Board of Directors and shareholders,” he said on Twitter.

 
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World Bank's a gold price bear www.mining.com

 
Gold dipped to a two-week low on Monday hurt by a stronger dollar and investors moving money into equities with major US stock markets continuing to trade at record levels.
Gold for delivery in February, the most active contract on the Comex market in New York, was exchanging hands at $1,187.20 in late afternoon dealings, trimming year-to-date gains for the metal to 3%.
The World Bank this week joined the chorus of gold bears forecasting a drop in the gold price to an average $1,150 an ounce in 2017 in its January Commodities Outlook. That compares to an average gold price of $1,247 an ounce last year, compared to 2015's average of $1,160, but nowhere near 2012's $1,689:
Precious metals prices are projected to fall 7 percent in 2017, mainly due to weak investment demand, prospects of a stronger dollar, and rising real interest rates.
Gold prices are expected to decline 8 percent on weak investment demand, while silver prices are expected to fall 4 percent. Platinum prices are projected to rise marginally on likely tightness in supply. Downside risks to the forecast are stronger economic growth and faster than expected increases in U.S. interest rates.
Upside risks include geopolitical tensions, stronger demand in China and India, delayed rates hikes, and mine supply shortfall.
In contrast, industrial metals producers can look forward to a bullish 2017 with prices projected to increase by 11% in 2017 "due to tightening markets for most metals, especially those facing imminent resource constraints":
The largest gains are expected in zinc (27 percent) and lead (18 percent) due to mine supply constraints brought on by permanent and discretionary closures. Double-digit gains are also expected for copper, nickel, and tin.
Upside risks to prices include stronger global demand, slower ramp-up of new capacity, tighter environmental constraints, and policy action that limits supply. Downside risks include slower demand in China and higher-than-expected production, including the restarting of idled capacity.
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China turns to blockchain to make markets clearer and cleaner www.reuters.com

 
Chinese banks are hiring blockchain experts as the government pushes use of the technology behind bitcoin to increase transparency and combat fraud in its financial sector.
Lenders have struggled for years with outdated and disparate technology. While four Chinese banks rank among the world's five largest by capital, many still use paper, faxes and traditional chop stamps to verify documents.
Now, spurred by regulators, they are looking to use blockchain to leapfrog a generation of technology and clean up the system, bankers and blockchain experts say.
Demand from Chinese banks for experience in blockchain more than doubled last year and will grow further this year, headhunters and blockchain professionals say, as lenders scramble to catch up with Western counterparts that have already invested $1.5 billion in the technology.
"Demand is increasing rapidly and shows no sign of slowing. We expect similar levels of year-on-year growth in 2017," said Simon Lance, managing director of executive search firm Hays in China, which is hiring for a number of Chinese banks.
Banks and headhunters are trawling Chinese universities for talent and luring tech start-up executives with 50 percent pay rises and salaries of up to 1.2 million yuan ($175,000).
Blockchain is a ledger system that processes, stores and tracks digital information, from crypto-currencies to loan agreements. Because blockchain documents all changes and is hard to tamper with, financial firms and regulators see it as a potential way to make transactions more transparent, auditable and secure.
Beijing wants banks to adopt the technology to help combat chronic fraud such as fake trade finance deals.
Banks including Ping An Bank (000001.SZ) and Bank of China (601988.SS) have unveiled blockchain investments and projects, and around ten banks are looking to hire some 30 blockchain professionals, said Steven Shen, a senior manager at executive search firm Robert Walters in Shanghai.
Six Chinese banks contacted by Reuters declined to comment.
Last year, multiple cases of fraud emerged in the archaic bills financing industry when it was found bills thought to have been kept in a safe were actually old newspapers, and the real documents had been used to raise margin financing.
According to business intelligence firm Kroll, 86 percent of companies surveyed in China reported fraud in 2016, four percentage points above the global average, and up 13 percent on 2015.
In October, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology identified blockchain as a fraud-fighting tool, and called on "every level of government" to encourage large firms to invest more in the technology.
The People's Bank of China, the top financial regulator, has also signaled support for blockchain, with the central bank's chief Zhou Xiaochuan telling local media last year it had spent "significant resources" researching the technology.
"China is really interested in blockchain," said Brian Behlendorf, executive director of the Hyperledger Project, one of the biggest global blockchain projects, and a former technology adviser to the White House. "They're looking at this as a leapfrog technology. Can you take a very backward, very paper based market, and reinvent that using blockchain?"
Banks are testing blockchain for know-your-client documentation, trade finance transactions, payments, and asset custody.
Over the past year, financial conglomerate Ping An has built a core blockchain team of around 35 people at group level to look at initiatives for asset registries, credit, payments and digital currencies, said Daniel Tu, group chief innovation officer at Ping An Insurance (601318.SS). If the projects are successful, Ping An subsidiaries will also assign full-time blockchain experts, he added.
Ye Xiaofeng, founder of blockchain start-up ZerOne.IO, said he was talking to two of China's four biggest banks looking to use blockchain for monitoring bills of exchange and credit tracking.
 
This means people with the skills to lead these projects are in demand.
 
"The market isn't lacking people who know how to design simple systems on blockchain, rather people who have a broader understanding of how to put blockchain to use," said Shen at Robert Walters, adding those individuals could command 50 percent pay rises when moving jobs.
 
A senior person with blockchain expertise and financial systems knowledge could expect a salary of between 600,000 yuan and 1.2 million yuan, he said, while a mid-level employee is paid 400,000-600,000 yuan.
 
Chinese banks are focused for now on hiring home-grown talent for language and cultural reasons, but increasing demand may force them to scout overseas, headhunters said.
 
HYPE CYCLE
 
About 80 percent of top global banks will have launched blockchain projects by next year, the World Economic Forum said in August, describing the technology as the future "beating heart" of the financial sector.
 
While China accounts for most of the global trading in the bitcoin crypto-currency, Chinese lenders lag Western rivals on blockchain adoption by up to 12 months, and are playing catch-up, industry insiders say.
 
China Minsheng Banking Corp (600016.SS), Ping An, China Merchants Bank (600036.SS) and the China Foreign Exchange Trade System last year joined R3, a U.S.-based blockchain consortium founded by nine global banks in 2014.
 
"They're still going through the hype cycle," said Tim Swanson, a director at R3, which is now backed by 75 financial institutions.
 
To be sure, many blockchain projects globally are still in their infancy, but the complexity of Chinese bank legacy systems could make it even tougher to apply the technology successfully, said Zennon Kapron, founder of market research firm Kapronasia.
 
"It's all nice you have a blockchain solution, but being able to integrate that back into your existing systems in a sensible way is where a lot of these organizations will be challenged."
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Alibaba's financial arm to acquire MoneyGram www.chinadaily.com.cn

 
HANGZHOU, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Ant Financial, e-commerce giant Alibaba's financial arm, announced late on Thursday that it has reached a deal to acquire U.S. money-transfer company MoneyGram for 880 million U.S. dollars.
"The acquisition of MoneyGram is a significant milestone in our mission to bring inclusive financial services to users around the world," said Eric Jing, chief executive officer of Ant Financial Services Group.
The company owns Alipay, one of China's biggest online payment platforms and controls the company that manages the country's largest money market fund, Yu'ebao.
The transaction will connect MoneyGram's money transfer network of 2.4 billion bank and mobile accounts and 350,000 physical locations with Ant Financial's users, according to the statement.
MoneyGram will remain headquartered in Dallas and continue to operate under its existing brand, it said.
The transaction will help expand Ant Financial's business following its partnering with Paytm in India and Ascend Money in Thailand, it said.
Alex Holmes, CEO of MoneyGram, said Ant Financial is an ideal partner. "We will be able to expand our business, and in doing so, offer people around the world access to a reliable financial connection to loved ones," Holmes said.
The transaction is subject to approval of MoneyGram's stockholders and regulatory approvals. The acquisitions is expected to finish in second half of 2017.
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Philippines sustains robust economic growth under Duterte www.rt.com

 
The annual growth was the fastest since 2013, according to the government.
“Our economy remains robust and is growing at a healthy and steady pace,” said Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.
As for the fourth quarter last year, GDP slowed down to 6.6 percent from seven percent in the previous one due to a decline in agriculture and services.
The industrial sector showed the fastest growth at 7.6 percent from October through December, up from 6.5 percent in the same period the previous year.
Household consumption grew 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the same period the year earlier with business investment up 15 percent.
According to the Statistics Office, trade, manufacturing, real estate, renting and business activities were among the major drivers.
“The current government has sustained the economic policies that have been responsible for a trend growth of 6.2 percent in the last six years. The economic team is also a solid team and has a significant influence on the President's economic decisions,” said Joey Cuyegkeng, senior economist at multinational financial services company ING, as quoted by CNBC.
The latest numbers are partially the results of policies pursued by the previous Philippine administration that erased bureaucratic barriers to infrastructure spending.
“This momentum has sustained since then, and as a result, investment continues to make a near-record contribution to the structure of growth,” said Joseph Incalcaterra, an economist with HSBC, as quoted by FT.
“There are definitely some risks on the horizon stemming from protectionist policies in the US, but we think the Philippines is less at risk compared to other Asian economies,” the analyst added.
The Philippine economy is currently among the fastest growing in Asia, topping China's 6.7 percent growth. India is yet to reveal its economic data for 2016.
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Excise tax on petrol and diesel fuel reduced www.mongolia.gogo.mn

During its regular meeting on January 25, the Cabinet refixed the rate of excise tax imposed on petrol and diesel fuel in order to subdue the increasing price of petrol and diesel fuel in connection with a rise of oil price on global market, and maintain it.
The Cabinet resolution reduces excise tax on petrol from MNT 160 thousand to MNT 50 thousand /MNT 30 thousand for above 90 octane petrol/ and diesel fuel from MNT 180 thousand to MNT 70 thousand. Although state budget revenue will decrease by MNT 110 billion as a result, corresponding Ministry and organization see that such decision can subdue the rise of petrol and diesel fuel prices.
Ts.Dashdorj, Minister for Mining and Heavy Industry and B.Lkhagva, Director of Authority for Fair Competition and Consumer Protection were assigned to see to the implementation of the resolution.
Previously, the Cabinet twice reduced the excise tax on petrol and diesel fuel.
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South Korea's Kia Motors drafts Trump contingency plan www.reuters.com

 
Kia Motors (000270.KS) said on Thursday it is drawing up a contingency plan to cope with the policies of U.S. President Donald Trump, reflecting growing wariness by Asian exporters about the prospect of U.S. protectionism.
Trump has promised to revive U.S. industrial jobs by forcing automakers to stop making cars in Mexico, threatening to tax imports and promising to make it more attractive for businesses to operate in the United States.
South Korea-based Kia Motors last year started production at a new plant in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, while sister firm Hyundai Motor (005380.KS) will begin making cars at Kia's Mexico plant this year.
"We acknowledge that there are a lot of concerns about the uncertainty stemming from the new U.S. administration," Han Chun-soo, Kia's chief financial officer, said during an earnings conference call.
"While closely monitoring its policy directions, we are preparing to respond by setting up a step-by-step, scenario-based contingency plan."
Trump has warned German carmakers and Japan's Toyota (7203.T) of a "big border tax" if they build cars for the U.S. market in Mexico. So far however he has not commented on the South Korean carmakers' plans.
Kia plans to more than double its Mexico output this year to 250,000 vehicles and aims to boost U.S. sales by 8 percent to 699,000 vehicles. Hyundai and Kia together rank fifth in global car sales.
Hyundai Motor on Wednesday said it expected competition and protectionist measures to increase, after posting its lowest quarterly profit in about five years.
Hyundai Motor group, which includes Kia, last week said it planned to lift U.S. investment by 50 percent to $3.1 billion over five years and could build a new plant there.
Kia on Thursday said it planned to launch a small sport utility vehicle in South Korea this year, in a bid to take advantage of a booming segment.
The model would be a "crossover utility vehicle (CUV)" based on its Pride sedan, also known as the Rio, the carmaker said without elaborating.
Kia Motors already sells a small SUV called Niro, a gasoline-electric hybrid model.
It also planned to introduce a small SUV in Europe this year, it added.
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Investors pull most cash from U.S. stock funds since election: ICI www.reuters.com

 
Investors sold U.S.-based domestic stock funds at the fastest pace since equities leapt following the presidential election, Investment Company Institute data for the latest week showed on Wednesday.
Stock funds based and invested in the United States posted withdrawals of $3.7 billion during the week that ended Jan. 18, according to the trade group. That is the largest outflow for the funds since the election-week period ended Nov. 9, when outflows approached $6.4 billion.
President Donald Trump was sworn into office last Friday. He and his Republican party, which controls Congress, have touted potential new economic stimulus measures, such as tax cuts.
Those efforts could propel stocks, and investors on Wednesday lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI above the symbolic 20,000 threshold for the first time.
But domestic equity fund sales have taken a pause since they totaled $23 billion in November as investors take stock of an unformed policy agenda.
Meanwhile, taxable bond funds added $3.5 billion in their seventh straight week netting cash. Including municipal bonds, U.S.-based bond funds took in $4.7 billion altogether during the week, ICI said.
U.S.-based fixed-income funds lost $13 billion to withdrawals in November as stimulus policies raised the prospect of bond-harming inflation. Yet bond funds have continued to attract money since then.
Commodity funds, included those that buy gold, netted their first week of cash in 10, attracting $231 million, the data showed.
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