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



RBS awards nearly £16m of bonuses in shares to nine top executives www.theguardian.com

Loss-making Royal Bank of Scotland has awarded bonuses in shares to its top management team worth almost £16m.
The bank revealed the bonus awards to nine executives an hour after Philip Hammond delivered his budget and said he was “uncertain” as to when the Treasury would be able to sell off any of its 73% stake in the bailed-out bank.
The announcement by the Edinburgh-based bank also included details of £6m in bonuses that have been paid out after being awarded in previous years.
Last month, when RBS reported losses of £8bn for 2016, the bank’s chairman, Sir Howard Davies, had attempted to justify the need to pay bonuses by saying staff should not be penalised for the “sins of the past”.
A year ago, the management team were awarded bonuses worth £17.4m.
Since RBS’s £45bn taxpayer bailout during the financial crisis, it has reported nine consecutive years of losses amounting to more than £58bn.
The bonuses being awarded will not pay out before 2020. They shed light on the payouts to executives outside the boardroom, such as Chris Marks, the head of the investment banking operation, NatWest Markets, who was awarded shares of more than £2m.
Other awards include £1.8m to Alison Rose, who runs the commercial bank, and £1.2m for Les Matheson, the head of the high street banking business.
The pay of Ross McEwan, the RBS chief executive, was disclosed last month at more than £3m for 2016. He was also awarded nearly £3m in shares that he will start to receive from 2021, provided performance criteria are reached.
Hammond has said he will not be able to sell any RBS shares while the bank awaits a penalty from the US Department of Justice for mis-selling toxic bonds in the run-up to the financial crisis and fights with Brussels over the sale of 300 branches mandated at the time of its bailout.
In the documents published alongside the budget, the goverment said it “would continue to seek opportunities for disposals, but the need to resolve legacy issues makes it uncertain as to when these will occur”.


Trump trademarks approved by China www.bbc.com

China has given US President Donald Trump the chance to expand his brand, after approving dozens of applications to register the Trump trademark.
Many of the requests, for industries from hotels to security, were made during the US election campaign.
President Trump, who already owns about 70 trademarks in China, has pledged not to strike new foreign business deals while in office.
Critics have warned the approvals could breach the US Constitution.
The Associated Press reported that 38 trademark requests had been provisionally given the go ahead.
The approvals still need to be rubber-stamped. If no one objects to them, they will be formally registered in 90 days.
In China it is not uncommon for celebrities or businesses to trademark their name, even if they have no immediate intention of using it, to protect it being used by others.
Conflict risk
Shortly before his inauguration, Mr Trump signed over his business interests to his sons - though critics said this did not go far enough.
When news of the trademark applications emerged earlier this year, experts from across the US political spectrum said granting them could be considered an "emolument" - the term for a fee, salary or profit provided by a foreign government.
Donald Trump has business interests around the world, including this Trump-branded (but not owned) project in Mumbai.
These are outlawed by the Constitution.
Barack Obama's former ethics lawyer Norman Eisen said there was a risk of a conflict of interest.
"The concern of the constitution is that flows of benefit to presidents from foreign sovereigns will distort their judgment, and trademarks are certainly capable of that," he said in January.
Meanwhile Richard Painter, a former chief ethics lawyer to President George W. Bush, said the volume of new approvals raised questions about whether Beijing was being favourable to the US President.
"A routine trademark, patent or copyright from a foreign government is likely not an unconstitutional emolument, but with so many trademarks being granted over such a short time period, the question arises as to whether there is an accommodation in at least some of them," he said.
Recently former US basketball star Michael Jordan won a trademark dispute over the use of his name in China.


Crude crashes 5% to hover above $50, tests 2016 lows www.rt.com

In the single biggest one-day drop since September 2015, WTI today tested $50.30 in afternoon trading following the latest EIA storage report which saw US crude inventory levels reach a record of 528.4 million barrels.
In light of reports that OPEC is sticking to its agreed production cut, long positions had filled out in recent weeks off the back of the rally which began back in November 2016 following the announcement of both OPEC and non-OPEC production cut deals.
However, this latest fundamental data from the EIA showing a build of 8.24 million barrels has hammered long positions at a time when many were hoping for a breakout above the resistance level at $55, despite persistently building inventories week-on-week.
Significant draws on petroleum products and boosted imports on the West Coast of 4.6 million barrels have provided some bullish news for the market to offset stubbornly high shale production in the US, but for now, it appears the resistance level will hold below $55.
Given that long positions for April and May WTI contracts now appear to be greatly over-extended, volatility may become the order of the day as traders liquidate their long positions and regroup.


Centerra Gold, Evolution Mining were lowest-cost gold producers in Q4 www.mining.com

One of the effects of the hit the gold price took after soaring to $1,900 an ounce in September 2011, was a concentrated effort on the part of producers to cut costs.

For years big gold mining companies kept on spending, on exploration, salaries, and big acquisitions, confident that the good times would keep rolling with the ever-advancing gold price. Those companies were in for a rude awakening when shareholders dumped them in droves following the gold price retracement of 2012-15. Suddenly acquisitions were put on hold, exploration spending dried up, and the mantra became: find ways to cut costs.

S&P Global Market Intelligence took a look at 19 publicly-listed, major gold companies in the last quarter of 2016, and found that for most of them, austerity continues to be key, especially with the gold price trending lower in Q4. Recall that gold bears were predicting that Donald Trump's plans for fiscal stimulus, including a $500 billion infrastructure spending program, would lead to strong U.S. economic expansion, ergo, higher interest rates – the nemesis of gold.

According to SNL Metals & Mining database, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, the top 19 public gold companies produced gold at a weighted-average cost of US$868/oz, which is slightly lower than US$889/oz reported in the third quarter.

The lowest-cost producer, Centerra Gold (TSX:CG), mines gold at $586 an ounce, while the second-lowest in the group, ASX-listed Evolution Mining (ASX-EVN), produces at $674/oz. Barrick Gold (TSX, NYSE:ABX), the world's most valuable producer of the precious metal, was third on the list at $732 an ounce. Barrick's costs have dropped 12% in 2016, compared to 2015.

Topping the higher-cost end of the spectrum was Harmony Gold Mining (NYSE:HMY), which weighed in at $1,129/oz, followed by Detour Gold (TSX:DGF) and AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU), which had AISCs of $1,124/oz and US$1,047/oz, respectively.

According to Scott Perry, Centerra's CEO, the company's favorable cost performance during 2016 can be attributed to the higher mill production and lower unit costs at the company's flagship Kumtor mine, compared with the previous year.

The acquisition of an economic interest in the Ernest Henry copper-gold mine in Queensland in November 2016 improved [Evolution Mining's] quarterly production by adding 14,257 oz of gold at AISC of A$114/oz. The acquisition is expected to further revamp the group's asset portfolio and improve its cost profile.

[Barrick] continued to strengthen its balance sheet, cutting debt and executing business development initiatives throughout the year. Continuing the trend, the company recently announced that it was consolidating its main assets in Nevada and expects to reduce gold production costs at its operations by US$100/oz.

According to Harmony's CEO, Peter Steenkamp, the 14% increase in all-in-sustaining costs (AISC) can be attributed to the labor cost increase under a three-year wage deal and to the winter tariffs during the period.



Mongolia denies running secret casino in Moscow www.news.mn

Under headers, such as "Mongolian Consulate transformed into Casino", the Russian media reported Monday that a secret casino has been discovered in offices belonging to the Mongolian Embassy in the Arbat region of Moscow. D.Davaasuren, State Secretariat of Foreign Ministry has informed that Mongolian diplomatic representatives were no longer working in the building where the secret casino was being run. The articles noted, however, that the building was still the property of the Mongolian government. The illegal casino evidently advertised itself as a yoga centre; in reality, it attracted a wealthy predominately male clientele and was fully equipped with gaming tables and gambling machines. The embassy building was established in 1965. The Mongolian diplomatic representatives moved out of the building in 2007 after the Moscow City authorities warned of structural damage and the risk of collapse. However, a company called "Moscow Centre Region Style" LLC rented the building for 10 years in 2007. The rent agreement will end in September, 2017. The renters deny any secret casino and Mongolian officials are examining the issue.



Positioned for Belt and Road benefits www.gogo.mn

Relationship with southern neighbor China is key to Mongolia’s development potential as link between Asia and Europe.
A visit to China by Mongolia’s foreign minister late last month marked a significant and positive shift in the relations between the two countries and facilitated the implementation of an economic bailout package that Mongolia badly needs.
On Feb 20, just as Mongolian Foreign Minister Tsend Munkh-Orgil visited Beijing, China joined an international consortium to provide Mongolia with a series of loans to ensure the country has enough cash on hand to cover payments on some so-called Chinggis Bonds that are coming due this month.
China’s part of the package included a commitment to extending a currency swap line worth 15 billion yuan ($2.18 billion).
Mongolia had angered China in November by allowing a visit by the 14th Dalai Lama, who has pushed for separating Tibet from China.
In January, during a phone call between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Munkh-Orgil, Mongolia said it had reflected deeply on the visit and promised to not allow the Dalai Lama to visit again.
On Feb 20, Wang said the bilateral relationship “is ready for another start”.
Just five years ago, Mongolia was the fastest growing economy in the world with GDP expanding by more than 17 percent. In 2016, the country barely avoided a contraction, and only managed growth of about 1 percent thanks to a resurgence in coal prices toward the end of the year.
“The economy (of Mongolia) has been slowing in addition to the softening of commodity prices, but in terms of the near-term outlook I would say it is positive,” said Akiko Terada-Hagiwara, a senior economist in the East Asia department of the Asian Development Bank.
Long reliant on its plentiful natural resources, Mongolia has other needs, not the least of which is infrastructure to facilitate further growth.
“In terms of infrastructure, the country needs to build a lot. Electricity demand is high … but they will need to shift to clean energy,” said Terada-Hagiwara. “In terms of growth, probably more infrastructure is needed around the mining areas, including transportation and water supply.”
And both the investment and markets that Mongolia needs are in China. Mongolia depends on China for much more than just quick cash to stave off a default.
The country is likely to benefit from infrastructure projects associated with the Belt and Road Initiative, a China-led drive to improve connectivity along the historical Silk Road trading routes.
A landlocked country of 3.1 million people, Mongolia has just two neighbors, China and Russia. Without access to ports, Mongolian coal has to be transported overland.
The country has been working with a number of international companies, including large Chinese enterprises, to develop mega projects but it has yet to overcome a bottleneck caused by a lack of railway capacity.
That is why Mongolia could emerge as one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Belt and Road and become a pivotal link between Asia and Europe. One leg of a proposed Eurasian rail link would travel through Mongolia.
Little of this is likely to happen, however, without support from China.
Mongolia’s neighbor has long been the largest export market for its goods, including coal, milk, copper, gold, cashmere and leather. By the end of 2016, China bought some 80 percent of Mongolia’s exports. At the same time, China provided about a third of Mongolia’s own imports.
This year, the development of the Oyu Tolgoi gold and copper mine, which has long been delayed, is coming online and is expected to be a big driver of economic growth and should help keep the economy in positive territory.
The Oyu Tolgoi mine is operated by multinational mining giant Rio Tinto which started construction of the mine in 2010 but production was stopped in 2013 after a disagreement over costs and revenue sharing between the company and the Mongolian government. Shipments started again in 2015.
Copper and gold are two of Mongolia’s many plentiful natural resources.
However, the country may be most famous for its coal deposits. Most coal mined in Mongolia goes to China.
“Coal has to be exported to China but currently most of it is done by truck. If they had trains going to China that would be more efficient but currently they don’t,” said Terada-Hagiwara.
Most coal moves out of Mongolia’s giant mines such as Tavan Tolgoi in large trucks that, on good days, flow relentlessly into China through border crossings along the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
There are occasionally hiccups — the flow was temporarily stopped in December when some border townships such as Urad Middle Banner raised fees to cross into China.
It is only when it reaches the other side of the Chinese border that the coal can finally be loaded into trains and distributed throughout the country.
For China, having access to high quality coal from nearby Mongolia is a boon.
Thomas Hugger, founder and CEO of Asia Frontier Capital, a fund that invests in Mongolia and Mongolia-focused companies, noted that China has to source other commodities from around the world, while for coal “they have some of the best resources at their doorstep”.
The timing may also be good for Mongolia, said Hugger, because “China just announced that it will stop importing coal from North Korea, and that is huge for Mongolia”.
China has been keen to work with Mongolia to develop projects that give it access to coal, often at prices below the global market price.
In December, the Mongolian government met with representatives of Shenhua Coal, a major Chinese State-owned enterprise, which is considering taking over the development of the giant Tavan Tolgoi mine from Mongolian government-owned Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi.
The one outstanding issue is a $350 million loan that Erdenes owes to another Chinese company, Chalco.
Mongolia’s Prime Minister Jargaltulga Erdenebat is likely to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China, which will take place in May.
Mongolia is also looking to boost ties with Russia. The two countries signed a cooperation agreement in February during a visit by the Mongolian foreign minister.
The tripartite program to establish the Mongolia-Russia-China Economic Corridor is also being discussed. The idea for an economic corridor between the three countries was first floated in 2015 and cemented in June 2016 during the 16th Summit of State Heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, of which all three countries are members.
The corridor fits in well with the Belt and Road strategy, which was initiated by President Xi Jinping in 2013.
“I am happy with the way our trilateral ties are developing,” said Xi in June 2016. “Our three countries’ ministries, local authorities and companies are working actively to implement this road map, and are organizing intensive coordination of projects in trade, the economy, humanitarian ties, transit traffic, tourism and sports.”
Source: www.chinadailyasia.com



Life expectancy for Mongolian women increasing www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Mongolians are celebrating International Women’s Day for the 62th time since 1955 when the day was first marked following an ordinance issued by People’s Great Khural, the then Parliament.

In dedication to the occasion, we are unveiling some interesting statistics on the state of Mongolian women. Mongolia’s population is 3,119,935, and there are 1,585,952 women, 69 percent of whom live in a city and 31 percent live in the countryside.

On average, Mongolian women weigh 59.4 kg with average height being 157.7 cm. Life expectancy in Mongolia is 69.89 whereas the number is 76 for women and is continually increasing.

Average marriage age among Mongolian women is 24.5, average number of children is 2-3 and 4.9 percent are single mothers.

1 out of every 5 woman holds higher education diploma, and 580,100 women are employed with average wage being MNT 808,900. 54 percent of Mongolian women actively vote.



Beijing listed as billionaire capital of world once again www.chinadaily.com.cn

Beijing is listed as the billionaire capital of the world for the second year running, ahead of New York, and followed by Hong Kong and Shenzhen, according to the latest findings in the Hurun Global Rich List 2017 released on Tuesday.
Bill Gates remains the richest man in the world with a net wealth of $81 billion, and Warren Buffett held onto the second place with $78 billion. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com Inc, reached the top three for the first time, after his wealth surged 37 percent to $72 billion.
The total number of Chinese billionaires exceeded that of the United States for the second year running. China and the US, with 609 and 552 billionaires respectively, accounted for half of the billionaires worldwide, the report said.
Globally, the logistics and retail sectors performed the best, gaining 15 percent and 13 percent respectively, in terms of the number of billionaires.
Meanwhile, Germany had the third-largest number of billionaires this year, surpassing India. The United Arab Emirates and Indonesia broke into the top 20 for the first time.
"Shenzhen and Hong Kong now have one of the highest concentrations of wealth in the world, ahead of even California, the state with the most billionaires in the US," said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report.
"Global wealth is being concentrated in the hands of the billionaires at a rate far exceeding global growth," Hoogewerf added.
China added 41 billionaires over last year and their average age was 58, younger than the global average of 64.
The IPO of Chinese leading delivery and logistics firm SF Express Group Co in February made Wang Wei, the CEO of the company, the third-richest man in China.
His wealth surged fivefold to $27 billion, just behind Dalian Wanda's Wang Jianlin with $30 billion and Alibaba's Jack Ma with $29 billion.
In China, the real estate sector generated the biggest number of billionaires, followed by the manufacturing, technology, media, and telecom industries.
At the same time, 15 percent of the billionaires were women. Among the 152 women who made the fortunes by themselves, Chinese led the way with 121.
"China is indisputably now the best place in the world to be a female entrepreneur," Hoogewerf said.


Solar power growth leaps by 50% worldwide thanks to US and China www.theguardian.com

The amount of solar power added worldwide soared by some 50% last year because of a sun rush in the US and China, new figures show.
New solar photovoltaic capacity installed in 2016 reached more than 76 gigawatts, a dramatic increase on the 50GW installed the year before. China and the US led the surge, with both countries almost doubling the amount of solar they added in 2015, according to data compiled by Europe’s solar power trade body.
Globally there is now 305GW of solar power capacity, up from around 50GW in 2010 and virtually nothing at the turn of the millennium.
The industry called the growth “very significant” and said the technology was a crucial way for the world to meet its climate change commitments.
James Watson, the chief executive of SolarPower Europe, said: “In order to meet the Paris [climate agreement] targets, it would be important if solar could continue its rapid growth. The global solar industry is ready to do that, and can even speed up.”
In the UK the amount of solar power installed in 2016 fell by about half on the record level added the year before. The drop came after the government drastically cut incentives for householders to fit solar panels and ended subsidies for large-scale “solar farms”.
But despite the slowdown, the UK still led Europe for solar growth with 29% of new capacity, followed by Germany with 21% and France with 8.3%. Germany, which moved several years ago to subsidise and build a solar industry, still retains the crown for total solar capacity capacity, with Italy second top.
“We need to build a major industrial project around solar and renewables. To start with, increasing the 2030 renewable energy target to at least 35% [up from 27%] will send a strong signal that Europe is back in the solar business,” said Alexandre Roesch, policy director at SolarPower Europe.
European solar companies have also been urging the European commission to rethink the anti-dumping tariffs it imposed on Chinese solar panels in 2013. The commission is looking to extend the tariffs by 18 months, shorter than previously planned, after opposition to them from member states.
Nearly half of the solar installed last year was in China, with Asia as a whole making up two-thirds of new capacity in 2016.
Solar is still a relative minnow in the electricity mix of most countries, the figures show. Even where the technology has been embraced most enthusiastically, such as in Europe, solar on average provides 4% of electricity demand.


Brazil's recession worst on record www.bbc.com

Brazil has been in recession for two years, the latest figures show, marking the deepest economic decline since records began.
The economy contracted by 3.6% in 2016, meaning it is now 8% smaller than it was in December 2014.
The country has been hard hit by the fall in commodity prices and an internal political crisis that has undermined investor confidence.
However, analysts believe the economy should start to pick up from here.
The two-year slump has seen the number of unemployed rise by 76% to 12.9 million, a rate of 12.6%.
Brazil was once one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, the 'B' in the Brics group of nations regarded by many investors are having the world's best growth potential.
Its key exports - including oil, soy and metals, were in hot demand.
But as growth in the biggest element of that grouping, China, began to slow so did demand for commodities and their prices.
Another drag factor has been corruption, which has engulfed Brazilian society at the highest levels, seeing off its President, Dilma Rousseff for illegally manipulating government accounts, and involving some of the country's biggest and best-known companies.