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



Russia’s agriculture sector booming despite or thanks to intl sanctions www.rt.com

There's a world of opportunities for investors in Russia's agriculture commodities market with farming in the country flourishing under international sanctions.
Following the Western penalties imposed on Russian companies in 2014 and subsequent countersanctions introduced by Moscow in response, some local officials took the opportunity to boost the development of domestic production. Many Russian enterprises managed to encourage import substitution and made exports more competitive.

Despite doubts expressed by traders and economists, that optimism has turned out to be justified on at least one economic front - agriculture and related sectors.

Last year, Russia managed to gain the world’s lead as an exporter of grain, after shipping 34 million tons out of its record crop of 119 million tons.

Apart from grain, Russian farmers have completely substituted imports of chicken and pork with domestic production. The country became a top producer of sugar beet with greenhouse vegetable output increasing 30 percent over the previous year.

Agricultural goods have become Russia’s second biggest export after oil and gas.

Besides increased government subsidies to farmers, the sector has also benefited from Russia’s geographical position with highly fertile “black earth” regions in central and southern Russia located close to export terminals on the Black Sea. The trade routes allow the country to supply significant North African and Middle Eastern wheat importers such as Turkey and Egypt.

Russian agriculture and associated industries have huge potential for further growth as increased earnings allow farmers to invest in technology and more fertilizers to boost productivity.

“Russia’s agriculture boom shows that, despite sanctions and the poor state of east-west relations, there are pockets of value and opportunity to be found in the Russian market,” reports the Financial Times.



Come on Mrs May, Mongolia holds TV election debates, British voters deserve them too www.telegraph.co.uk

Television debates have, over the last seven years, become an immovable feature of the British political landscape. A staging post on the way to the polling station, a focal point on the journey to government or opposition – and, most importantly of all, a chance to speak more-or-less directly to the people calling the shots: the voters. Yet Theresa May has decreed she won’t agree to one. Instead she might take part in some stage-managed Q&A, which won’t set her head-to-head with her political opponents.
It won’t do. It’s more than half a century since America invented the televised presidential debate. Iran, Mongolia and Afghanistan have followed suit. But Britain’s prime minister has now decided this particular aspect of a modern democracy is not for her.
Her allies say this is politically sensible. A woman renowned for her caution has just taken the biggest gamble of her life.


Mongolia Clears Hurdles Needed for $5.5 Billion IMF-led Bailout www.bloomberg.com

Mongolia has fulfilled prerequisites from the International Monetary Fund to receive a $5.5-billion bailout and is expected to receive an initial tranche of cash at the end of this month.
"All the prior conditions have been met" for Mongolia to receive an IMF-supported package, Neil Saker, resident representative for the fund said Wednesday in the capital, Ulaanbaatar. “It is their program and along the lines of their recovery plan. Strong country ownership will increase the chances of success.’’
A downturn in commodity prices and disputes with investors soured Mongolia’s once world-beating economy, sending economic growth to just 1 percent last year from 17 percent in 2011. The World Bank is forecasting a contraction of 0.2 percent this year.
The IMF will lend about $425 million, payable over 10 years, Saker said. Other donors including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Japan and Korea will lend around $3 billion at highly concessional rates, he added. The announcement of the IMF deal in February allowed the government to extend a 15 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) currency swap with China by three years.
The three conditions met by Mongolia include the passage of a supplementary 2017 budget, confirmation from the central bank that it will refrain from quasi-fiscal activities and an asset-quality review of the country’s banks, according to Saker. The review must be completed by November, he said.
Progress Review
IMF money will be used for balance of payment support, said Saker, adding that donor money will support the budget deficit, which last year reached 17 percent of gross domestic product. The ratio is expected to fall to around 11 percent this year and 4 percent by 2020, Saker said.
“Loans issued at a low interest rate will improve the debt burden,’’ said Saker. “The loans will improve confidence in the market. Policies to strengthen the banks will lead to lower interest rates, job creation and more inclusive growth. Reduced banking risk will also stabilize the currency.’’
Saker said confidence in Mongolia is picking up, as shown by the last month’s $600-million 8.75-percent seven-year “Khuraldai bond” sale, which was six times oversubscribed.
The IMF will review Mongolia’s progress every three months over the program, distributing money after each successful review, said Saker. Windfalls due to higher commodity prices should go toward building reserves and paying off debts, he said, adding that Mongolia’s total government debt is now close to 90 percent of GDP.
Some of the fiscal amendments passed by parliament turned controversial in Ulaanbaatar, where the Chamber of Commerce threatened to boycott tax payments. These include a progressive income tax that has the highest earners paying 25 percent and a new tax on the interest accumulated in savings accounts.
‘Bitter’ Medicine
Parliament also passed increased taxes on tobacco products, passenger vehicles and alcohol. Social insurance by both taxpayers and companies are also set to increase.
“The IMF medicine is bitter for the population, but in order to save the economy you have to do things that are not popular,” Khashchuluun Chuluundorj, an economist at the National University of Mongolia, said by phone. “This is a break from the past when the government was only doing populist things, like distributing money or stocks and lowering taxes.”
Swept into power with a clear mandate following elections in June, the Mongolian People’s Party has slashed government spending, including 30 percent to 60 percent salary cuts for the chief executives of state companies.
The market has reacted favorably to the changes, with Mongolia’s currency rising 2.5 percent against the dollar since March 1. The yields on Mongolia’s international bonds have declined to 2012 coupon levels.
The IMF projects that by 2019 Mongolia’s GDP growth will reach 8 percent. Foreign exchange reserves are expected to reach $3.8 billion by the end of the program, near 2012 levels, according to the fund.
Coal Prices
Even without the bailout, Mongolia’s fortunes are turning on the back of higher coal prices. Mongolia exported 8.1 million tons of coal in the first three months of 2017, worth $541.3 million, a year-on-year increase of 446 percent. The total value of Mongolia’s exports rose to $1.3 billion in the first quarter, an increase of 36 percent from a year earlier.
The increase in coal exports allowed Mongolia’s largest state-owned coal miner Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC to complete a repayment of a $350 million loan it took in 2011 from the Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd.


China gathers State-led consortium for Aramco IPO www.chinadaily.com

China is creating a consortium, including State-owned oil giants and banks and its sovereign wealth fund, that will act as a cornerstone investor in the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, people with knowledge of the discussions told Reuters.

Saudi Aramco, a key exporter to China along with Russia's Rosneft, is due to list next year, with a potential $100 billion equity sale that is expected to be the world's largest to date.

The planned Chinese investment makes it more likely that the national energy giant would seek a listing in Asia, with Hong Kong currently the frontrunner among bourses in the region, the same people said.

Reuters reported earlier this month that Saudi Aramco's board would meet in Shanghai in May, its first meeting in China in seven years, as Chinese and Asian investors eye the share offering from the world's biggest oil exporter.

Saudi officials have said Chinese companies were interested in investing in the Aramco IPO as the country - the second biggest consumer of oil globally - seeks to secure crude supplies, but have not commented on how that would be done.

Half a dozen sources with knowledge of the discussions said China Investment Corporation (CIC), the country's sovereign wealth fund, oil majors Sinopec and PetroChina, and the country's State-run banks were among the State-backed entities set to participate in the Chinese investment consortium.

They did not name the banks. Reuters reported in February that Industrial and Commercial Bank of China International Holdings, a unit of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and China International Capital Corporation (CICC) were among the Chinese banks pitching for a role in the IPO.

One person involved in discussions between Aramco and potential Chinese investors said the ultimate size of the consortium's stake had not yet been decided. That source said the entity that would lead the consortium had also not been decided. That is likely to be decided by China's cabinet, the State Council, over the coming months.

"The IPO will help decide whom, or which country, can secure the crude supplies from the company and Saudi Arabia going forward," the person said, adding the size of each company's stake in the Chinese consortium would depend on its current relationship with Aramco and the Saudi government.

"For instance, if you were already a strategic investor or plan to become one in the long-term, things would become easier."

The State Council Information Office, CIC, Sinopec and PetroChina did not respond to requests for comment.

Last month, PetroChina's president and vice chairman, Wang Dongjin, said the company would consider participating in the IPO depending on market conditions, while Sinopec has said the oil giant would discuss the IPO with Aramco.

Saudi Aramco said in an email it did not comment on "rumor or speculation".



Coal export revenue increases by 5 times www.gogo.mn

National statistics office of Mongolia released the socio-economic situation of the first quarter of 2017. 
Foreign trade turnover totaled US$ 2 billion 76 million in Q1`17, the highest in last 5 years. Total foreign trade turnover increased by US$ 518.1 million (33.3%).
Export revenue reached US$ 1.3 billion and increased by US$ 340.9 million (35.6%) compared to the same period of the previous year. Thus, the highest export revenue registered in Q1`17. 
The export rise of US$ 340.9 million was due to increase by US$ 426.5 million in mineral products export, particularly increase by US$ 442.1 million in coal export, however export of precious stones, metal and jewelry decreased by US$ 67.9 million.
The top five export products of Mongolia compared to the same period of the previous year;

Copper concentrate export reached 366 thousand tons in Q1`17 which decreased by 11 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. Export revenue totaled US$ 380 million which decreased by 21 percent compared to Q1`16. Copper export accounted for 29.2 percent of total exports of the country while it was accounting 50 percent of total exports last year. ​
Coal export increased by 4.8 million tons compared to the same period of the previous year and totaled 8.1 million tons in Q1`17. Export revenue reached US$ 541.3 million which increased by 5 times compared to Q1`16. This year, coal export accounts 41.6 percent of total export, the highest in the last 4 years. Coal export revenue is higher than copper export revenue in Q1`17 and it is the first time since commissioning of Oyu Tolgoi mine. The increase in coal export is linked directly to rising coal prices. In March 2017, Mongolia exported a total of 3.3 million tons of coal and earned US$ 214 million. 
Iron ore export was 1.1 million tons in Q1`17 which increased by 11 percent compared to the same of the previous year. Export revenue increased by US$ 40 million and totaled US$ 70.1 million. 
Gold export decreased by 1.8 tons and totaled 1.1 tons in Q1`17. Export revenue was US$ 111 million in Q1`16 and it has decreased by 60 percent this year, totaling US$ 43.7 million. 
Oil export decreased by 17 percent and totaled 1.8 million barrels. Export revenue reached US$ 93.1 million in Q1`17, which increased by 20 million US dollars compared to the same period of the previous years. Oil accounted 7 percent of the total export of the country this year. 
Export of above 5 products totaled 1.1 billion US dollars in Q1`17, accounting 86.8 percent of the total export of the country.



All tender offers to be announced by May 1 www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ During the Cabinet’s regular meeting on April 19, Wednesday, Minister of Finance B.Choijilsuren presented a report and assessment on the 2016 activities of general budget governors in response to which the Cabinet issued several orders.

The Cabinet ordered the budget governors to reflect on the detected violations and errors, avoid repetition and obtain satisfactory or above satisfactory rating for their activities in 2016; and publicize tender process online this year.

Moreover, the Cabinet also tasked the general budget governors to announce all tender offers before May 1, finalize the selection, establish an agreement with the chosen bidder and begin work within June 15, and not enter an agreement after the date.



Premier League revenues soar but clubs still make a loss www.bbc.com

Premier League clubs posted record revenues of £3.6bn in 2015-16, but still struggled to make a profit.
The 20 top-flight English teams made a pre-tax loss of £110m, after two consecutive seasons in the black, according to figures from Deloitte.
Clubs saw increased player expenditure, operating costs and one-off charges.
The two Manchester clubs' revenues increased by a total of £160m - roughly half of the total revenue growth recorded by the Premier League clubs.
"The 2015-16 season saw Premier League clubs grow revenues by almost 10% ... with the two Manchester clubs alone responsible for more than 50% of the increase," said Dan Jones, head of the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.
European income
Mr Jones said Manchester United's participation in the 2015-16 Uefa Champions League, along with continued strong commercial revenue growth, resulted in a 30% increase in revenue to £515m, making them the world's highest revenue-generating club.
"Increased distributions to clubs competing in Europe, under the new Uefa broadcast rights cycle - notably Manchester City, who reached the semi-finals of the Uefa Champions League - also contributed to Premier League clubs' revenue growth," Mr Jones added.
Premier League 2015-16 in numbers (2014-15 in brackets)
Revenues - £3.6bn (£3.4bn in 2014-15)
Wage costs - £2.3bn (£2bn)
Other operating costs - £900m (£800m)
Operating profit - £500m (£500m)
Net player trading - £400m (£300m)
Other costs - £200m (£100m)

Looking at the combined losses, the first since the 2012-13 season, he said it was "worth noting that this is due to a small number of one-off 'exceptional' costs".
He said an example of these one-off items was Chelsea making a big financial provision against the early cancellation of their kit supply deal with Adidas.
Stadium expansion
Overall league revenues are set to be even higher in this season, thanks to the effects of the new television deal with Sky and BT, which kicked off last August and is worth a record £5.136bn for live Premier League TV rights over three seasons.
"We continue to see television deals go up, and there is no reason to believe that will end any time soon," said Mr Jones.
He said that as well as TV, there were other long-term revenue earners in the pipeline, principally the move by a number of clubs - including West Ham, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool, Everton and Manchester City - to expand their existing stadiums or move into bigger ones.

"It means that clubs will enjoy a growth in that most traditional of revenue streams, namely matchday income," said Mr Jones.
Another highly touted source of future income for clubs has been digital, but Mr Jones said that rather than bringing in huge sums in its own right, digital could be used to enhance the clubs' existing commercial connections with fans and sponsors.
And he said that at the top of the Premier League, clubs would constantly look to add to their global rosters of sponsors.
However, one potential worrying sign for clubs is that player and wage costs were on the rise again in 2015-16, with gross transfer spending in 2015-16 at a record and salaries up by 12% to £2.3bn,

In addition, gross transfer spend in 2015-16 was a record, although this has since been surpassed by player spending in the 2016-17 season reaching almost £1.4bn - eclipsing the previous high by one-third.
But Mr Jones said that whereas in the past, the ratio of player wages to income rose steeply when a new TV deal was signed, this time, "it is reassuring to see that there is more balance."
In 2015-16 wages accounted for 64% of income, compared with 71% in 2012-13 and 69% in 2009-10.
Meanwhile, combined operating profits for 2015-16 - which strip out the effects of player trading, net interest charges and the changing value of player contracts - remained stable at £500m, the same as in the previous 2014-15 season.



Gold prices will continue to climb due to geopolitical tensions - analysts www.rt.com

The price of gold has risen 12 percent this year, and the surge will only continue, according to bank Intesa Sanpaolo, marked by Bloomberg as the best forecaster for the metal last quarter. Analysts at Saxo Bank agree.
The precious metal approached $1,300 per troy ounce on Tuesday before retreating to $1,283 on Wednesday.
Intesa analyst Daniela Corsini told Bloomberg prices could fall in mid-year as the US Federal Reserve hikes interest rates, but they are likely to bounce back, reaching $1,350 an ounce at year-end.
“Markets will surely remain nervous about this uncertainty. And if economic data in the US remains strong, then gold will regain its role as an inflation hedge,” she told the media.
India, the world's second-biggest gold market, has recovered from the government’s ban on larger banknotes, and the demand will grow there, Corsini predicted.
In India, the “impact of the demonetization scheme has run its course, and we had very strong imports in February and March,” she said.
Corsini added that in Europe traders will use gold as a safe haven ahead of elections in France, Germany, and the UK.
Investors are also worried about geopolitical tension in Syria, Afghanistan, and Turkey as well as US relations with Russia and China.
"Short-term risk is skewed to the downside, but underlying support is there with the focus on political uncertainties. We see the yen continuing to strengthen, and a strong yen and strong gold have gone hand-in-hand since November," Saxo Bank's head of commodity strategy Ole Hansen said on Wednesday.
"Also expectations about the dollar are up for revision, the strong dollar story is fading. [US President Donald] Trump is talking it down, and we're seeing weakness creep into US data, changing the perception of how much rates have to rise," he added.


Mayors of Ulaanbaatar and Tokyo to meet www.en.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ On the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and Japan, S.Batbold, Governor of Capital and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar city is paying an official visit to Tokyo, Japan on April 17-21.
On April 19, Mayor S.Batbold will be conducting a meeting with Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike to exchange views on bilateral relations between the two cities.
Yesterday, April 18, Mayor of Ulaanbaatar S.Batbold got acquainted with the activities of Morigasaki Water Reclamation Center, City Maintenance and Waste Management Center and Environmental Research Institute in Tokyo.
The Morigasaki Water Reclamation Center with a capacity to treat 154 thousand tons of water a day is the largest water reclamation center in Japan of which whole treatment area amounts to 14.675 hectares. This facility cleans 25 percent of wastewater of Tokyo city.
The City Maintenance and Waste Management Center under the Governor’s Office of Tokyo treat and dispose of waste from 21 districts of Tokyo city.
The Environmental Research Institute conducts surveys to reduce air pollution and delivers reports to government authorities.


Mongolia's first satellite-launch project introduced www.en.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Within the framework of an international BIRDS project, a joint team of the Kyushu Institute of Technology of Japan and the National University of Mongolia (NUM) is working to launch a satellite into space this year.
The Joint Global Multi Nation BIRDS (JGMNB) project is a cross-border interdisciplinary spectral and infrared remote detection (BIRD) satellite project for non-space faring countries supported by Japan. Ghana, Mongolia, Nigeria, and Bangladesh are some of the seven countries participating in the project.
Each country team in the project is creating their own country satellite into space and Mongolia's satellite is named Mazaalai - the Mongolian Gobi Bear, which would be a symbol of the sovereignty of Mongolia. Three Mongolian students pursuing a doctorate degree at the Kyushu Institute of Technology, D.Erdenebaatar, D.Amartuvshin and T.Turtogtokh are in the team to build the first Mongolian satellite.
Last February, a press conference was held to deliver the “Mazaalai” satellite to the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency. The satellite will soon be transferred to NASA to be sent into space along with the regular supplies of the International Space Station in SpaceX rocket.
On April 13, the project team, including leader of the Mongolian team in the project R.Tsolmon, who is Dean of Aerospace and Surveillance Research Laboratory of the NUM introduced the progress of the BIRDS project and Mazaalai satellite to Mongolian public.