1 US TRADE WAR COULD COST GLOBAL ECONOMY $430 BILLION, IMF WARNS WWW.RT.COM PUBLISHED:2018/07/18      2 US PLANS G7 TALKS ON CHINA WWW.NHK.OR.JP PUBLISHED:2018/07/18      3 GOOGLE HIT WITH RECORD EU FINE OVER SHOPPING SERVICE WWW.BBC.COM PUBLISHED:2018/07/18      4 TURQUOISE HILL ANNOUNCES SECOND QUARTER 2018 PRODUCTION AND COMPLETION OF SHAFT 5 WWW.GOGO.MN PUBLISHED:2018/07/18      5 DEVELOPMENT OF BILL ON CIVIL SERVANT CODE OF CONDUCT FINALIZED WWW.GOGO.MN PUBLISHED:2018/07/18      6 CRUDE OIL EXPORTS GENERATED 94.3 BILLION WWW.GOGO.MN PUBLISHED:2018/07/18      7 MONGOLIAN PRESIDENT SUMMONS IRREGULAR PARLIAMENTARY SESSION WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/07/18      8 JEFF BEZOS IS NOW WORTH MORE THAN BILL GATES AND LARRY PAGE COMBINED WWW.CNN.COM PUBLISHED:2018/07/17      9 APARTMENT COMPLEX FOR YOUNG FAMILIES UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN ERDENET WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/07/17      10 NUM GRADUATES INVITED TO WORK FOR TOSHIBA CORPORATION WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/07/17      ГЕРМАНЫ “ЧИНГИС ХААН” ХАМТЛАГ ИРЭХ ОНД МОНГОЛД ТОГЛОЛТОО ХИЙНЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/18     АНУ, ОХУ ХҮЙТЭРСЭН ХАРИЛЦААНДАА ЦЭГ ТАВИЛАА WWW.UBINFO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/18     ХУДАЛДААНЫ ДАЙН ХЯТАДЫН КОМПАНИУДАД НӨЛӨӨЛЖ ЭХЭЛЖЭЭ WWW.NEWS.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/18     МОНГОЛД 92 ОРНЫ 9.6 МЯНГАН ГАДААДЫН ИРГЭН АЖИЛЛАЖ БАЙНА WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/18     ГАДААД ХУДАЛДААНЫ НИЙТ БАРАА ЭРГЭЛТ 6,3 ТЭРБУМ АМ.ДОЛЛАРТ ХҮРЧЭЭ WWW.DNN.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/18     ЕВРОПЫН ХОЛБОО ЯПОН УЛСТАЙ ЧӨЛӨӨТ ХУДАЛДААНЫ ГЭРЭЭ БАЙГУУЛАВ WWW.MEDEE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/18     АЖ ҮЙЛДВЭРЖИЛТИЙН ЭРЧ СУЛАРЧЭЭ WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/18     МӨНГӨНИЙ НИЙЛҮҮЛЭЛТ 3.8 ИХ НАЯД ТӨГРӨГӨӨР НЭМЭГДЖЭЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/18     ОЛОН УЛСЫН ИННОВАЦИЙН ИНДЕКСЭЭР МОНГОЛ УЛС 53-Т ЖАГСЧЭЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/17     ШАДАР САЙД НҮБ-ЫН ӨНДӨР ТҮВШНИЙ УУЛЗАЛТАД ОРОЛЦОЖ БАЙНА WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/17    

Events

Name organizer Where
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

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Samsung takes over AI pioneer and maker of Apple's Siri www.bbc.com

Samsung has stepped up its focus on artificial intelligence (AI) by taking over Viv, a digital assistant developed by the maker of Apple's Siri.
The acquisition comes just days after Google launched its new Pixel phone which also puts a strong focus on an AI digital assistance function.
Amazon and Microsoft are also making a push into getting computers to learn and respond like human beings.
Samsung has recently seen its image battered by the global Note 7 recall.
The company plans to use Viv in its phones, televisions and a wide range of other devices.
The deal showed Samsung's "commitment to virtual personal assistants and is part of the company's broader vision to deliver an AI-based open ecosystem across all of its devices and services," the South Korean tech giant said in a statement.
"With the rise of AI, consumers now desire an interaction with technology that is conversational, personalised and contextual - an experience that fits seamlessly within their everyday lives," the firm added.
AI boom
According to Viv Labs chief executive Dag Kittlaus, the new AI assistant's mission is to "breathe life into inanimate objects".
Mr Kittlaus was behind developing Siri, the digital assistant bought by Apple in 2010. He remained with Apple until he left in 2012 when he began working on Viv.
"We see a future that is decidedly beyond apps, where you can get what you need quickly and easily no matter where you are, or what device you are near," he said.
Earlier this week, Google launched a number of new devices that also place a virtual assistant at the heart of their functionality.
The AI technology in the Google smartphones and voice-activated speakers is one step ahead of Apple's Siri in that they can hold a conversation, in which one question or command builds on the last, rather than dealing with each request in isolation.
Retail and technology giant Amazon's also has an AI-driven device on the market.
The company's Echo speaker can answer questions, control other internet-connected devices, build shopping lists and link in to dozens of third-party services like Spotify, Uber or BBC News.
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Honda, Yamaha ride together into sunset of Japan's scooter market www.asia.nikkei.com

TOKYO -- Japan's shrinking motorcycle market has pushed onetime enemies Honda Motor and Yamaha Motor into an alliance aimed at freeing up resources for use in more promising regions.
 
Honda, the world's leading motorcycle maker, could begin supplying 50cc scooters for sale in Japan to Yamaha, its biggest rival, in 2018, the companies said Wednesday. The market for this uniquely Japanese class of motorbikes is "unforgiving," Shinji Aoyama, Honda's chief operating officer for motorcycle operations, told a news conference.
 
"It would be difficult to comply with the stricter environmental regulations to come, were we to go it alone," Yamaha Managing Executive Officer Katsuaki Watanabe said.
 
There are currently more than 11 million motorcycles on the road in Japan -- one for every 10 people. But only about 400,000 two-wheelers were sold in 2015. That is a mere eighth of the 3.26 million peak annual sales seen in the early 1980s.
 
Scooters have fared particularly poorly amid the rise of minicars and electric bicycles. Tougher parking restrictions have proved damaging as well. With the headwinds growing stronger, Yamaha broached the topic of a tie-up with Honda in February. The two had been negotiating behind the scenes since then.
 
The plan now under discussion would have Honda build scooters for Yamaha to sell as the Jog and Vino, based on Honda's own Tact and Giorno models. The designs likely will become exclusive to Yamaha. The companies also look to team up on developing their next model of scooters for commercial uses, such as newspaper and package delivery.
 
Honda and Yamaha will collaborate on electric scooters as well -- a segment the duo expects will take off in the motorcycle market as it has in automobiles. They will form a working group to tackle lingering challenges such as battery life and charge time.
 
Fences mended
 
Things have not always been so friendly between the motorcycle makers. They grappled for market dominance in the years around 1980, when motorcycles were experiencing a surge in popularity in Japan. Yamaha began releasing model after model in the late 1970s, pulling nearly even with market leader Honda in shipment volume by 1981. Honda then revved up development as well. When the so-called H-Y War was at its fiercest, the rivals were rolling out dozens of new models a year.
 
Such competition eventually proved unsustainable for Yamaha as unsold inventory piled up, triggering an earnings crisis. Honda emerged victorious. "I joined the company the year we lost the war, and took a 5% pay cut," Yamaha's Watanabe said. But "there's no resentment or ill-will anymore," he said.
 
Still, the companies are not merging their motorcycle operations; rather, they are making concessions on what sets them apart in a market whose contraction makes it hard to justify production and development costs. While many engineers look askance at such original equipment manufacturing (OEM) arrangements, Yamaha has determined that letting go of some individuality is essential to remaining in the game.
 
Build up the base
 
Honda will make the Yamaha scooters at its lone Japanese motorcycle plant, in Kumamoto Prefecture. The manufacturer brought a good deal of production back to this country from China and Vietnam amid restructuring in autumn 2015. But efforts such as the tie-up with Yamaha are still necessary to keep domestic two-wheeler production viable as the market declines.
 
Many emerging-nation youth aspire to ownership of more powerful motorbikes. The Indian market for 350cc and 500cc sport bikes has grown to 500,000 units, Honda's Aoyama said. Reassessing production of 50cc models, which do not lend themselves as well to overseas sale, has been a pressing task for the company.
 
Yamaha plans to put resources freed up by the collaboration into markets outside Japan. The company is already well-established in India, and looks to beef up its presence in regions such as Southeast Asia. Yamaha is also eyeing a full-on push into African markets, where demand is expected to grow in tandem with the economy. Such growth could eventually put 100 million motorbikes on the road worldwide, the company believes.
 
Yamaha's latest medium-term business plan targets annual motorcycle sales of 1.3 trillion yen ($12.5 billion) in 2018. Around 80% of that is seen coming from emerging markets. But up-and-coming Chinese and Indian manufacturers could get in the way. Though Japanese cycles are regarded as more durable, the differences in basic performance between various brands have all but disappeared. As competition intensifies, teaming up at home has become essential to advancing abroad.
 
 
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World’s No. 1 miner BHP Billiton put its money on oil and gas www.mining.com

World’s No. 1 mining company BHP Billiton (ASX, NYSE:BHP) (LON:BLT) is going all out for its petroleum business, planning to invest as much as $5 billion in that unit as well as mulling potential acquisitions thanks recovering oil prices and the firm’s efforts to lower costs.
 
Speaking to investors Wednesday, BHP's petroleum president Steve Pastor said a crude shortage is likely to emerge next year, adding that company’s substantial oil business, which includes shale deposits in the US, was well placed to supply the world's ongoing demand for related products.
 
"While currently well supplied, underlying fundamentals suggest both oil and gas markets are improving more quickly than our minerals commodities," Pastor said.
 
BHP, which in January this year took a massive $7.2 billion write-down on its US shale unit, said the market has changed substantially since then and that its board is mulling the future of the BP-operated Mad Dog 2 oil and gas project in the Gulf of Mexico. A decision on this, the miner said, will be taken within six months and such operation could enter production by 2022.
 
BHP is also considering additional investments of as much as $2.5 billion in existing project options.
 
The reason behind these moves, Pastor noted, is that population growth and rising incomes are expected to boost oil demand to more than 100,000 barrels of liquids per day by 2025. And a third of that, he said, will need to come from new sources, which means there’s a significant opportunity to make investments in growth.
 
The company said unit cash costs in its conventional petroleum business are expected to be around $10 per barrel of oil equivalent over the next two years, giving it some of the best returns in the industry. It also said its shale assets are generating cash at current prices.
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Vietnam joins Russia-led free trade zone www.rt.com

A free trade agreement between the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Vietnam takes effect on Wednesday with its ratification. The deal opens the EEU's market of 181 million people to Vietnam.
 
The EEU countries – Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan – get the opportunity to sell goods in Vietnam on a preferential basis.
 
The free trade deal covers more than 90 percent of all goods traded between the EEU and Vietnam. It will save exporters from the EEU about $40-60 million in the first year. Vietnamese companies can expect savings of up to $5-$10 million a year.
 
With the deal Hanoi expects to significantly increase its foreign trade. Trade with Russia is expected to more than double to $10 billion by 2020.
 
"Specific conditions will be created for Russia in order to increase the supply of its products on the Vietnamese market. It concerns not only high value-added products, but also agricultural produce, consumer goods and so on," said the Russian Trade Mission in Vietnam.
 
Russia’s main exports to Vietnam include nuclear reactors, mineral fuels, oil and its distillation products and fertilizers. Imports from Vietnam include electrical machinery, boilers and knitwear.
 
In terms of the agreement, Russian automotive companies GAZ, Kamaz and Sollers will be able to create joint ventures to produce buses, trucks, special vehicles, and passenger cars. The localization of production is expected to reach 40 to 50 percent over the next decade.
 
Vietnam signed the free trade zone agreement with the EEU in 2015, becoming the first non-regional country to join the bloc.
 
More than 40 countries and international organizations, including China, Indonesia, Israel and Iran have expressed interest in a free trade deal with the bloc.
 
The deal to establish the EEU was signed by the presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan in 2014. Armenia and Kyrgyzstan joined later. The bloc was designed to ensure the free movement of goods, services, capital and workforce between member countries.
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World Bank expects 6.4% growth of Asian economies www3.nhk.or.jp

The World Bank predicts that emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region would grow 6.4 percent this year. The figure is 0.1 percentage points lower than last year's due to the slowing Chinese economy.
 
The World Bank announced its predictions of 14 countries in the region, excluding Japan. China and Southeast Asian nations are among the countries.
 
The 6.4 percent growth prediction was raised by 0.1 percentage points from the figure in April.
 
It says the moderate slowdown in China's economy is expected to continue this year. The bank also says the growth rate of the Malaysian economy would fall due to lower prices of raw materials.
 
It says the Philippine and Indonesian economies would continue to grow steadily thanks to brisk domestic demand. The 2 countries' governments have actively invested in public works.
 
The bank warns that the economic slowdown in industrialized nations and slump in world trade are likely to hamper the growth in emerging economies.
 
It also calls on countries to strengthen fiscal discipline.
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Japanese firms seek business opportunity in Iran www3.nhk.or.jp

Japanese companies are promoting their products and technology in Iran where business opportunities will likely increase as economic sanctions were lifted.
 
More than 900 companies in and outside Iran took part in an international trade fair in Teheran on Wednesday.
Participants included many Chinese and European companies.
 
International economic sanctions over Iran's nuclear program were lifted in January. The demand for industrial machinery is expected to rise in industries such as manufacturing, construction, and energy development.
 
Organizers of the trade fair say the number of foreign companies has risen nearly 70 percent compared to last year.
 
The Japan External Trade Organization, or JETRO, set up a pavilion that is double the size of the previous year.
 
JETRO officials said smaller and regional companies, as well as major businesses, are becoming increasingly interested in the Iranian market.
 
An official of a company in Japan's Niigata Prefecture said the company's biggest advantage is the high quality of its products that can be used for a long time. The official said the company hopes to expand business in Iran where the market is expected to grow.
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IMF warns of financial stability risks www.bbc.com

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that risks to financial stability are growing.
It warns about what it calls "medium-term" dangers in both emerging and developed economies, in its twice-yearly report.
It expresses particular concerns about Europe, Japan and China.
On a more positive note, the fund does say that short-term risks have abated since its previous assessment of global financial stability in April.
Pressures on emerging markets have eased, the report says. Rising commodity prices (though they are still relatively low) have helped and so has the reduced uncertainty about China's prospects in the near term.
Bank profits
The report says investors were taken by surprise by the result of the British referendum on the European Union, but the political shock was absorbed by markets. They passed what it calls "this severe stress test".
But looking further ahead, the IMF sees growing risks. A key factor is bank profits.
The good news is that banks are in some respects stronger than they were before the financial crisis. They have more capital, a kind of financial buffer that enables them to survive losses. Their liquidity has improved, which means they have more chance of coping if they suddenly have to find funds quickly.
But they are struggling to make money.
Weak profitability makes it harder for them to build up their capital (which they can do by holding on to some profit rather than giving it all to shareholders as dividends). It also makes it harder for them to expand lending to business and consumers, as is needed to support economic recovery.
The problems partly reflect the very low interest rate environment that developed-country banks have to operate in. The struggle to make profits also reflects the persistent economic weakness in the developed world, which means weaker demand for credit.
Some banks in the eurozone have a burden of problem loans, which are not being repaid and that they have still not dealt with.
The report identifies Italian and Portuguese banks as facing serious challenges of profitability and capital levels.
There is also a warning about Japanese banks and their expansion overseas, which the report says is the result of economic weakness and very low interest rates in their home market. That leaves them exposed to some risk in terms of access to the foreign currency funds they need to maintain that business.
The report warns about pension funds and insurance companies, whose position is also undermined by persistent low interest rates.
Recommended medicine
Outside the rich countries, China is seen as a potential trouble spot. The report says that rapid credit growth and the expansion of "shadow banking" (lending done by firms that are not banks) "pose mounting risks to stability".
The rapidly growing financial system in China is becoming increasingly "interconnected", the report says. The extent to which firms in the sector are interconnected - that is, have transactions with one another - was identified as a key factor in the financial contagion that was a feature of the international financial crisis.
The IMF's recommended medicine for these mounting risks is partly about generating a stronger economic recovery, including reforms to underpin growth. There are also calls for more specific financial steps, such as making it easier for banks to tackle problem loans and the banks themselves tackling high costs.
There's no sense in this report that another financial crisis is discernible on the horizon. But there certainly is a concern that the damage done by the last one is far from fully repaired.
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Hitachi Construction to buy Australia’s Bradken for $528 million www.mining.com

Hitachi Construction Machinery, the world’s No.1 maker of mammoth excavators, has made a $528 million offer (A$689 million) to acquire Australian mining supplier Bradken Ltd.

The deal, Hitachi’s largest-ever overseas acquisition, was accepted by Bradken’s board. It follows a similar move by fellow Japanese manufacturer of mining equipment Komatsu (TYO: 6301), which decided in July to buy US-based competitor Joy Global (NYSE:JOY) in a transaction valued at $3.7 billion.

Hitachi has offered A$3.25 per share to buy the Aussie equipment supplier, it said in a note posted in its website, a 34% premium over Bradken’s closing share price on Friday.

By purchasing Bradken, Hitachi Construction Machinery aims to supplement its parts business for mining equipment and boost earnings.

Last year, Bradken rebuffed a A$428 million offer from Koch Industries Inc. and Pacific Equity Partners, because the firm believed it didn’t reflect a fair value.

The acquisition is the latest takeover in a string of outbound M&A deals by Japanese companies encouraged by a strong yen.

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China to reach target in cutting coal overcapacity by year-end www.mining.com

China’s effort to cut surplus capacity in the coal industry and, at the same time, manage pollution in most of its major cities, are paying off earlier than anticipated, with the world’s largest producer of the commodity anticipating it will reach its targets by year-end, which is earlier than planned.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Xu Shaoshi, chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, said reducing overcapacity in the steel sector is also likely to surpass the nation’s annual goal.

By the end of August this year, coal production had fallen to 2.17 billion tons, down 10.2% from the same period in 2015. What’s more, according to the officer, China has begun importing more coal.

Soaring coal prices, particularly the steel-making kind, have made the task more challenging. However, Beijing is forging ahead with its plans to shut more than 1,000 coal mines by the end of the year. It is also keeping its decision to not approve any new coal mines until at least 2019, and — most recently — China’s government limited coal mines to operating a maximum 276 days annually.

Over the next three to five years, the goal is to reduce total output to 500 million tons.

“The coal industry is being dismantled faster than demand is decreasing, which has led to the price of coal rising by 40% this year,” Frank Sieren, who has lived in China for over 20 years,” writes Frank Sieren for Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster.

“Since February, there is a gap in production of 60 million tons based on the average monthly consumption of the past four years,” he notes.

Conversely, China is boosting its renewables sector. According to the UN's annual environment report, Beijing invested a total of $103 billion or 36% of the world total on renewable energy last year.

The country also has 26 nuclear reactors currently under construction, another 40 in the planning stage and more than 100 being proposed which would require a five-fold increase in the country's uranium requirements.

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Toyota launches 'baby' robot for companionship www.bbc.com

A palm-sized robot that can hold conversations will go on sale in Japan next year, developer Toyota has announced.
Kirobo Mini, who was 10cm (4in) high, had been designed to provide companionship, the company said.
And it could tailor conversations to include comments about journeys based on data from its owner's vehicle.
It also has childlike attributes, but a robotics expert told the BBC a robot could not be a substitute for a child.
"He wobbles a bit, and this is meant to emulate a seated baby, which hasn't fully developed the skills to balance itself," Fuminori Kataoka, Kirobo Mini's chief design engineer, told the Reuters news agency.
"This vulnerability is meant to invoke an emotional connection."
Prof Dr Kerstin Dautenhahn, from the school of computer science at the University of Hertfordshire, said the "cute" robot may appeal to young people.

"They are appealing to people's nurturing instincts."
However, Prof Dautenhahn, said it was "offensive" to believe it could be a child substitute for women without children, as some reportshave suggested.
Some of Toyota's marketing material shows women cradling the robot, but the company does not not explicitly make this claim.
"It might make people feel good, but there is no human component here, robots cannot be substitutes for children," said Prof Dautenhahn.
'Casual conversation'
Toyota says Kirobo Mini can:
engage in "casual conversation", using gestures, facial expressions and blinking
remember user preferences and previous events, such as likes, dislikes and outings
use data from connected devices such as those in the home or car to generate comments
It has a provisional price tag of 39,800 yen (£300), and there are no plans to sell it outside of Japan.
It is considerably cheaper than other companion robots - Aldebaran's humanoid robot, Pepper, cost 198,000 yen at launch.
Kirobo Mini's predecessor, a 34cm robot called Kirobo, was sent up to the International Space Station in 2013.
Its job was to accompany Japanese astronaut Kochi Wakata as part of a study about isolation.

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