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



Russian automaker kickstarts sales in Germany www.rt.com

According to the company, the vehicle has been specially upgraded for the German market. The vehicles are equipped to reduce harmful emissions to the Euro-6 standard.

Over 2,000 Lada cars were sold last year in Germany which is the second largest export market for AvtoVAZ's Lada brand.

The carmaker plans to increase exports by 50 percent this year. Lada exported 18,500 vehicles last year.

Earlier this month, AvtoVAZ started exporting vehicles to China and the United Arab Emirates. The company wants to have a slice of the Middle East market.

It already has a stable market share in CIS countries and also exports cars to Germany, Iran, Syria, Egypt, and Hungary. AvtoVAZ intends to expand to the Czech Republic, Mongolia, and South-East Asia.

A new assembly line at the manufacturer’s plant in Kazakhstan will make 120,000 vehicles a year. Besides the Lada 4x4, the plant assembles the Lada Granta and Lada Kalina models with plans to build the new Lada Vesta and Lada Xray models.

The largest car manufacturer in Russia and Eastern Europe, AvtoVaz produces nearly one million vehicles a year. In 2012 AvtoVaz created an alliance with Renault-Nissan and started assembling the Renault Logan, Datsun and Nissan Almera models in Russia.



World’s biggest miner hasn’t given up hope for potash www.mining.com

BHP Billiton (ASX, NYSE:BHP) (LON:BLT), the largest mining company by market capitalization, sees potash as a key commodity in which to base its future growth despite prices are still hovering just above $210 a tonne, less than a half the what they were only five years ago.

“Our preference long term is to grow in oil and copper, then possibly potash,” the firm’s chief executive officer Andrew Mackenzie said when releasing first half of the year results Tuesday.

BHP seems to be in no rush to advance its massive $2.6 billion Jansen potash project in Canada’s Saskatchewan province. For years the company has been sinking shafts and installing some infrastructure on site, but has not fully committed itself to the project, nor received board approval for the mine.

BHP’s massive $2.6 billion Jansen potash project in Canada’s Saskatchewan province is now 64% complete.
On Tuesday, the company showed once again how slowly the project is advancing by saying it is now 64% complete (it was already 60% along six months ago).

“Excavation and lining of the shafts are steadily progressing," according to BHP’s results for the first half of the 2017 financial year. It added that the engineering contract for feasibility studies for stage 1 of the project had been awarded.

When the work is completed – at the current pace towards the end of 2019 – Jansen would still be nowhere near a producing mine. That is expected to happen sometime “in the decade beyond 2020,” BHP has said.

But once and if and if that finally happens, Jansen would be a game-changer in the potash industry, as it is expected to generate 8 million tonnes of crop nutrient a year, which would amount to nearly 15% of the world's total.

Prices for fertilizers began their decline five years ago as weak crop prices and currency declines pinched demand forcing producers to lay off employees and close operations.

Prices have also suffered from increased competition following the breakup in 2013 of a Russian-Belarusian marketing cartel that previously helped limit supply.

And while they have slightly recovered this month, a potential move by the Indian government to cut potash subsidies by 17% in the next financial year would hit demand from one of the world's largest importers of the fertilizer, inevitably dragging prices down.



Mongolian Bond Prices Jump Following $440 Million IMF Bailout www.bloomberg.com

The price of Mongolia’s benchmark 10-year bond rose after the announcement on Sunday that the International Monetary Fund will lead a bailout the nation.

The yield declined and the price of the bonds due in 2022 rose more than 4 cents by 1:50 p.m in Hong Kong, after the news of a $440 IMF million loan package as part of a $5.5 billion bailout. The tugrik was little changed at 2,482 per dollar compared to 2,483 on Friday.

Mongolia’s sixth IMF bailout since 1990 follows a downturn in prices for copper and coal, the two main export commodities. The budget deficit soared and disputes with investors including Rio Tinto Plc led to a collapse in foreign investment and depleted foreign exchange reserves.

The IMF’s Extended Fund Facility will support the Economic Stabilization Program, a long-term plan to tighten fiscal policy, diversify the economy, depoliticize the Development Bank of Mongolia and strengthen governance at the central bank. The facility will also help Mongolia repay looming debts, including a $580 million DBM bond due next month.

After that bond, the nation has $641 million due next year, for a total of $2.2 billion to be repaid, according to Keiko Utsunomiya, a spokeswoman for the IMF.

Mongolia is keen to avoid the boom-bust-bailout cycle it’s experienced in recent years, the IMF Mission Chief for Mongolia, Koshy Mathai, said in an interview on Sunday with Bloomberg Mongolia TV.

Gross domestic product is expected to expand eight percent by 2019, and then grown at around five to six percent after that due to new mining projects and output from the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine.

“Asking that Mongolia’s economic growth be stable forever is a very big challenge because there are so many mining exports and so many concentrated to one particular market," said Mathai. "That is why the government has emphasized many of these institutional reforms in order to make sure that fiscal policy remains strong."



Mongolia and China agree on cooperation issues www.news.mn

Mongolian Foreign Minister Ts.Munkh-Orgil is visiting Beijing at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart, Mr Wang Yi.

On 20th of February, Ts.Munkh-Orgil concluded an agreement with Foreign Minister Wang Yi. During the meeting, the two sides agreed to organise a visit of the Prime Minister of Mongolia to Beijing, a second Mongolia-Chinese parliamentary meeting and a first cooperation meeting on Energy, Mineral and Infrastructure.

China has also extended he swap agreement with the Mongolian Central Bank and signed an agreement on transit transportation for sea freight.



Aspire Mining’ to advance Mongolian coal railway www.news.mn

'Aspire Mining' has signed a memorandum of understanding with a Mongolian and Russian government joint venture to progress the commercialisation of the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway.

'Aspire' owns the Ovoot Coking Coal Project and its development is dependent on the construction of the Erdenet to Ovoot railway, which is being managed by Aspire’s subsidiary Northern Railways LLC.

The 547 kilometre railway segment has been included in a new Northern Rail Economic Corridor connecting China and Russia through Mongolia as part of China’s 'One Belt One Road Policy'.

The Mongolian and Russian government joint venture, Ulaanbaartar Railways JSC (UBTZ) manages all railway operations in Mongolia and owns the Trans Mongolian Railway.

David Paull, managing director, commented: “A close working relationship between Northern Railways and UBTZ will be essential for the successful development of the Northern Rail Corridor which will add significant long term demand for UBTZ’s rail service.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) that has been signed between UBTZ and Northern Railways provided the framework for cooperation and specifically covers the following:

Access to the UBTZ rail network from Erdenet;

Technical specifications of rolling stock required on the UBTZ Rail Network;

Management of transport operations along the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway and integration into Trans Mongolian Rail traffic;

Maintenance of the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway post commissioning; and

Cooperation on the rehabilitation of the Erdenet to Salkhit spur line that connects onto the Trans Mongolian Railway.

The signing occurred during a conference in Ulaanbaater sponsored by UBTZ focusing on developments that will see substantial freight volume growth through to 2030.

'Aspire' is the largest coal tenement holder in Mongolia’s Northern provinces and is focused on identifying, exploring and developing quality coking coal assets.

'Aspire' is also the 100% owner of the world class Ovoot Coking Coal Project, which is the second largest coking coal project by reserves in Mongolia.

The Ovoot project development is dependent on the construction of the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway which is being progressed by 'Aspire’ subsidiary Northern Railways LLC. Production from the Ovoot Project can coincide with the commissioning of the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway.

'Aspire' also has a 45% interest in the Nuurstei Coking Coal Project which has a 12.85 million tonne JORC resource. While tonnages at Nuurstei are modest, the project presents as a commercial scale pilot project for logistics and market development.

The MOU will help progress a number of key commercial agreements required to support construction funding of the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway.These include the commercial terms upon which the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway users can access the UBTZ line to move freight through to end markets in Mongolia, south to China or north to Russia. The signing of the MOU continues the recent strong momentum gained from the positive first stage feasibility study results, received in January.

The study reduces the risk for investors to invest in the project now to fund the second and final stage of the feasibility study and other predevelopment works and permitting. Importantly, it will also now enable China Development Bank and other Chinese policy banks to conduct commercial due diligence on investment for the construction contract. (proactiveinvestors.com.au)



Cooperation in energy and tourism with Irkutsk, Russia highlighted www.en.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Parliament Speaker M.Enkhbold received Sergey Levchenko, Governor of Irkutsk region of the Russian Federation on February 17, Friday during his visit to Mongolia.
At the beginning of the meeting, Speaker M.Enkhbold wished success to his visit, and said, “Mongolia-Russia ties have been intensifying in every sector with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Mongolia and signing of a medium-term Strategic Partnership agreement in Ulaanbaatar”. While mentioning about Mongolia-Russia Cooperation-2016 forum and his visit to the Russian Federation last December, the Speaker noted the importance of developing closer trade and economic ties and co-realizing large-scale projects and programs, emphasizing on the role to be played by Irkutsk oblast, being in geographical proximity and having a rich history of good relations.
For his part, Governor Levchenko invited Speaker M.Enkhbold to Irkutsk in connection with the upcoming 80th anniversary of the Irkutsk region. He also informed that Irkutsk has opened its Investment Agency under the recently established Trade Representative Office of the Russian Federation in Ulaanbaatar.
The Irkutsk delegation led by the governor included authorities of about 25 enterprises from the province who held talks with their Mongolian partners. The Governor also mentioned about his meeting with Prime Minister J.Erdenebat, and a Mongolian-made products expo which will be held in April in Irkutsk.
Furthermore, Governor Levchenko highlighted two areas of utmost importance during their meeting. The first issue was cooperation in energy sector; “We are aware that Mongolia seeks to realize large-scale energy projects and we are ready to partake and assist in these activities”, he said.
Secondly, the Governor identified tourism as a main area of cooperation between the two countries. “We have agreed to establish a travel route between Baikal and Khuvsgul Lakes. But due to lack of adequate road connecting the lakes, the project isn’t showing progress. Therefore, we see that Russia-Mongolia Intergovernmental Commission should focus on the road issue”, he said. The Governor also said that he will make efforts directed at organizing the intergovernmental commission’s 2017 meeting in Irkutsk, requesting the Mongolian Speaker’s assistance on this issue.
During the meeting, Governor Sergey Levchenko presented an Investment Passport of Irkutsk region to Speaker M.Enkhbold, saying, “The passport encompasses a list of major projects and programs to be realized by Irkutsk in the next few years. I am sure that Mongolian projects will be included too. I am confident that organizing investment and economic forums will help expand bilateral cooperation in trade and economy. With closer relationship between Irkutsk and Mongolia, the bilateral ties between our countries will be advanced”.
Speaker M.Enkhbold then expressed his readiness to support joint industries, investment projects and other activities between Mongolia and Irkutsk oblast.


Tavantolgoi JSC makes MNT 54 billion profit last year www.en.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Tavantolgoi JSC, listed on the Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE), has released its annual report for 2016. The company made revenue of MNT 176.5 billion, and net profit of MNT 54.04 billion in 2016.
Tavan Tolgoi Joint-Stock Company (TT JSC), also known by the nickname “Little Tavan Tolgoi” not to be confused with Erdenes Tavantolgoi LLC, is one of the largest coal mining companies in Mongolia. Its name means “five hills,” in reference to the unique topographical features of area where the Tavantolgoi coking coal deposit is located.
TT JSC was established in 1966, when it received an order to “export 3000 tons of coal.” Currently, the Mongolian government owns 51% of the company, and approximately 4% of the shares are floated on the Mongolian Stock Exchange.


Prospects for more BOJ stimulus fading, economists split on next move: Reuters poll www.reuters.com

The likelihood of more monetary stimulus in Japan is diminishing, according to a Reuters poll of economists who were largely split on the central bank's next policy move, signaling a possible turning point in expectations for its easing cycle.
The latest Reuters survey of economists conducted Feb. 13-17 showed the outlook for growth and inflation for the world's third-largest economy broadly in line with the January poll.
However, economists have pared back their expectations for the Bank of Japan to ease its already ultra-accommodative monetary policy, as the outlook for global growth improves and the yen weakens.
While the analysts don't expect any change soon, 15 of those surveyed said it will pull back from its ultra-easy monetary policy when the BOJ does decide to alter its policy, while 17 said its next move will be to ease.
That compares with 12 to 18 in the January poll and 10 to 21 in December.
The BOJ will likely stay the course this year, said Yoshimasa Maruyama, chief market economist at SMBC Nikko Securities, though he expects inflation to pick up and wages to improve in 2018.
"So the BOJ could raise the 10-year government bond yield target in the middle of next year," he said.
"But that would be too early to raise negative interest rates."
The central bank has lowered short-term interest rates to minus 0.1 percent and bought billions of yen worth of bonds and other assets in a campaign to boost inflation and growth. In September, it adopted the unusual tactic of trying to keep the 10-year bond yield around zero percent.
Some analysts expect the BOJ will likely cut the pace of its annual increase in Japanese government bond (JGB) holdings from the current 80 trillion yen sometime this year.
"The BOJ has shifted its policy targets to interests rates, so we expect the central bank will drop the target of the amount of an increase in JGB holdings eventually," said Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute.
The poll showed the BOJ will maintain its interest rates at minus 0.1 percent imposed on some excess bank reserves at least until the second quarter of 2018.
Easing would mean lowering the short- and long-term rate targets, while tightening would mean raising them or cutting back on its massive asset-buying, a measure market participants call "tapering."
Analysts who forecast a possibility for further easing say that would happen in the case of sudden spikes in the yen, which hurts exporters by eroding their overseas earned income.
The government will tolerate the yen strengthening to about 100 against the dollar, according to 16 of the 27 economists who responded to the question on the currency. Three economists pegged it between 110 to 105 yen.
The remaining eight economists said beyond 100 yen, and to as far as 80 yen was acceptable. The currency was last trading around 113.40 yen to the dollar on Tuesday.
In a separate Reuters survey, FX analysts maintained their view for a weaker yen outlook, with the Japanese currency forecast to weaken about 7 percent to around 120.0 in a year from the poll date.
A rise in protectionism poses the biggest threat to the pace of economic growth in major economies, which are vulnerable to political forces at a time when global trade is at risk.
But the summit between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this month was largely positive, according to all but one of the 33 economists who answered an extra question in the latest poll.
The two leaders also agreed to establish a bilateral economic dialogue, to be led by Taro Aso, finance minister - who also serves as deputy prime minister, and Vice President Mike Pence, focusing on issues such as economic policies, infrastructure, energy and trade.
Almost three-fourth of the 33 economists who answered another question said the risk for a redux of 1980s and 1990's trade disputes as low, but 10 economists predicted they may get acrimonious.
"Japan's share of the U.S. trade deficit is not big and auto makers have shifted their production in the U.S, so the situation is different from that of 1980s," said Takumi Tsunoda, senior economist at Shinkin Central Bank. "The trade issue of the U.S. lies between China, not Japan."
The poll projected that Japan, the world's third-largest economy, will grow 1.2 percent in the fiscal year starting April and 1.0 percent for fiscal 2018, according to the poll. Last month, they forecast 1.1 percent and 1.0 percent growth, respectively.


Erdenet to Ovoot Railway construction to move forward www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ On February 17, Ulaanbaatar Railways JSC (UBTZ) and Northern Railways LLC signed a memorandum of understanding to progress a number of key commercial agreements required to support construction funding of the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway. These include the commercial terms upon which the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway users can access the UBTZ line to move freight through to end markets in Mongolia, south to China or north to Russia.

This would encompass a capacity nomination regime and long term tariff structures. It is expected that the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway users will become the largest users of UBTZ rail services over time.

Commercial agreement will also be needed in respect of UBTZ’s traffic management and line maintenance capabilities as well as cooperating on the rehabilitation of the Erdenet to Salkhit spur line that connects onto the main line. This is a 164 km line that has limited capacity availability to absorb the substantially higher capacity that will be required to service the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway users and will require significant rehabilitation over time.

In August 2015, Northern Railways LLC was granted an exclusive 30 year concession by the Mongolian Government to build and operate the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway. Northern Railways LLC is a Mongolian registered rail infrastructure company, mandated to pursue the development of the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway, and is supported by a consortium consisting of Aspire Mining, and subsidiaries of fortune 500 listed China Railway Construction Corporation.

The Erdenet to Ovoot Railway extends 549 km between the town of Erdenet to Aspire Mining company’s Ovoot Project, which connects northern Mongolia to China and international markets. In accordance with Mongolian National Rail Policy, the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway is a multi-user rail line and will be available for the transport of bulk materials, agricultural and general freight from the region to export markets including China, Russia and seaborne markets.

Northern Railways LLC is progressing funding negotiations for the completion of a bankable feasibility study and other studies to support applications for licenses, permits and approvals, as well as progressing negotiations for the EPC contract and financing of the railway construction.



Foreign Minister’s visit to China continues www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia Ts.Munkh-Orgil is on an official visit to the People’s Republic of China at the invitation of his counterpart Wang Yi. On February 20, Monday, the Foreign Minister met with three officials - Li Yuanchao, Vice President, Fu Ying, Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress and Gao Hucheng, Minister of Commerce.

Vice President Li Yuanchao expressed his confidence that the visit by Mongolia’s Foreign Minister will contribute to strengthening mutual political trust and progressing bilateral ties. In return, the Foreign Minister noted that developing friendly relations with China is a main direction in Mongolia’s foreign policy, and that Mongolia attaches a great significance to bilateral strategic partnership. He invited the Vice President to pay a visit to Mongolia at his convenience.

During the meeting with Chairperson Fu Ying, sides agreed that the establishment of a regular parliamentary exchange mechanism between Mongolia and China was crucial to cooperation between the law-making bodies of the two countries, and a joint meeting of the mechanism should be held in the near future.

Foreign Minister Ts.Munkh-Orgil and Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng exchanged views, and agreed on enforcing Mongolia-China trade and economic cooperation, carrying through agreements reached on high level, organizing a meeting of the working group of Mongolia-China intergovernmental commission, intensifying the task to establish a joint border region, accelerating the implementation of projects funded by non-refundable aids and soft loans, and organizing trainings and seminars under Silk Road Fund and Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank. The Chinese side expressed its readiness to work towards expanding bilateral financial ties at this time of economic difficulty in Mongolia.