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



Trump presidency may mean 30-yr bond rally about to end www.rt.com

The Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Total Return Index slid four percent last month, losing $1.7 trillion, the biggest fall since its launch in 1990. Some investors are dumping low-yield bonds and turning to stocks.

The main reason for that was Donald Trump winning the US presidential election, as speculators expect him to cut taxes and invest $1 trillion in infrastructure projects.

According to Bloomberg, after Trump’s victory, investors dumped $10.7 billion of American bonds, while domestic stocks rose to record highs. This is the biggest flee from the American bond market since the 'taper tantrum' in 2013.

Globally, equity markets’ capitalization rose $635 billion.

However, UK investors are not that bearish about bonds, raising bond allocations near 30 percent of balanced global portfolios in November. According to Reuters, the share of American bonds in their debt portfolios was at a three-month high.

"The United States is likely to err on the side of caution in terms of increasing rates," Justin Onuekwusi, a fund manager at Legal & General Investment Management told the agency.

The investor said Europe is not that pessimistic about bonds.

"We still ultimately think rates are likely to remain lower for longer. We have the ECB, BoJ, and the BoE all buying bonds, central bank balance sheets are at unprecedented highs as a percentage of GDP since the financial crisis," he added.

"It is prudent to remember (government bonds) have delivered excellent returns over the last one, three and five-year periods through conditions similar to today – a surprise to many. It is more than possible that they will continue to surprise," said Mouhammed Choukeir, chief investment officer of Kleinwort Hambros.

In August, RIT Capital Partners Chairman Jacob Rothschild said low interest rates, negative yields on government debt and quantitative easing are part of the biggest economic experiment in world history, and the consequences are yet to be found out.

Janus Capital has noted that global yields are the lowest in 500 years, and the total amount of such bonds is $10 trillion. The leading investor in the fund Bill Gross called it a “supernova that will explode one day.”



Starbucks CEO steps down to focus on high-end coffee, shares fall www.reuters.com

Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) co-founder Howard Schultz will step down as chief executive to focus on new high-end coffee shops, handing the top job to Chief Operating Officer Kevin Johnson, a long-time technology executive.

Schultz, who will become executive chairman in April 2017, said he would focus on building ultra-premium Reserve stores and showcase Roastery and Tasting Rooms around the world as well as setting the brand's "social impact agenda" that includes sending employees to college and recruiting veterans.

Starbucks had signaled the change in July, but its shares fell 3.6 percent to $56.41 in extended trading on Thursday, as investors recalled the company's decline after Schultz handed over the reins in 2000. He returned in 2008.

"Having him step down as CEO raised the anxiety level," said Stephens analyst Will Slabaugh, who said that Schultz is the heart and soul of the brand, its entrepreneurial leader and its savior.

"We're in a much better position on every level," said Schultz, who returned for his second stint as CEO in the depths of the "Great Recession," when Starbucks' stock was trading below $10. Late last year, it hit an all-time high above $60. Schultz has put Starbucks in the national spotlight, asking customers not to bring guns into stores and urging conversations on race relations.

Many of the campaigns have generated controversy, but analysts have not seen a hit to financial results and the efforts have raised the profile of the coffee company and cemented Schultz's status as a national figure.

"The idea that he's replaceable, I think that's erroneous," said Bill Smead, CEO of Smead Capital Management in Seattle, which owns Starbucks shares. He compared the change to the retirement of long-time McDonald's Corp (MCD.N) CEO Ray Kroc, who turned a handful of hamburger stands into the world's biggest restaurant company.

The announcement on Thursday also came as investors worry about the restaurant industry's stubborn traffic declines. Starbucks has held up better than most, but it has not been immune.

Johnson is a former technology executive who became president and chief operating officer at Starbucks in March 2015.

Johnson has been on the Starbucks board since 2009 but most of his career was in the technology industry. He was the chief executive of Juniper Networks Inc (JNPR.N) from September 2008 to January 2014 and prior to that held several senior positions at Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O).

On a conference call after the announcement, analysts pressed the company on timing and whether, with Schultz stepping aside, senior management still had the "merchant gene."

"Not having retail experience could be a problem over time," said Howard Penney, an analyst at Hedgeye Risk Management.

"I'm not leaving the company and I'm here every day," said Schultz, whose office is connected to Johnson's.

Traffic at established Starbucks cafes fell in the last quarter, which Johnson has attributed to a change in the company's loyalty program, and Starbucks forecast a mid-single-digit rise in 2017 same-store sales.

The company dismissed speculation that Schultz could be preparing for a new career in politics.

"He has no plans to run for political office, as he has said many times, and will remain with the company as Starbucks executive chairman, focusing on premium coffee," a spokeswoman said.



Johnson & Johnson hit with over $1 billion verdict on hip implants www.reuters.com

A federal jury in Dallas on Thursday ordered Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) and its DePuy Orthopaedics unit to pay more than $1 billion to six plaintiffs who said they were injured by Pinnacle hip implants.

The jurors found that the metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip implants were defectively designed and that the companies failed to warn consumers about the risks.

J&J, which faces more than 8,000 lawsuits over the hip implants, said in a statement it would immediately appeal the verdict and was committed to defending itself and DePuy from further litigation over the Pinnacle devices.

The six plaintiffs awarded more than $1 billion are California residents who were implanted with the hip devices and experienced tissue death, bone erosion and other injuries they attributed to design flaws. Plaintiffs claimed the companies promoted the devices as lasting longer than devices that include ceramic or plastic materials.

Both companies denied any wrongdoing stemming from the development and marketing of the devices.

According to plaintiff's lawyer Mark Lanier, the total verdict of $1.041 billion included $32 million in compensatory damages. The rest were punitive damages.

Verdicts of such size are often scaled back by courts. In July, the judge presiding over this case, U.S. District Judge Edward Kinkeade, reduced a $500 million verdict in an earlier Pinnacle implant case to $151 million, citing a Texas state law that limits punitive damages awards.

J&J and DePuy have been hit with nearly 8,400 lawsuits over the devices, which have been consolidated in Texas federal court. Test cases have been selected for trial, and their outcomes will help gauge the value of the remaining claims.

The verdict on Thursday came in the third test case, with the second producing the earlier $500 million verdict. J&J and DePuy were cleared of liability in the first test case in 2014

Lanier said Thursday's verdict was "a message loud and clear" that J&J has "a really nasty part of their business they need to clean up."

The company rejected a $1.8 million settlement offer from the plaintiffs before trial, Lanier said.

The plaintiffs in the second test case have appealed Kinkeade’s decision to cut the award. Johnson & Johnson and DePuy have also appealed the jury verdict in the case.

In its statement, J&J criticized the trial judge over certain rulings it claimed help the plaintiffs.

“Today’s verdict provides no guidance on the merits of the overall Pinnacle litigation because the court’s rulings precluded a fair presentation to the jury,” said John Beisner, J&J’s attorney.

He said the company will ask the appeals court to postpone any additional trials over the implant defects.

DePuy ceased selling the metal-on-metal Pinnacle devices in 2013 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration strengthened its artificial hip regulations.

J&J and DePuy also paid $2.5 billion that year to settle more than 7,000 lawsuits over its ASR metal-on-metal hip devices. The ASR devices were recalled in 2010 due to high failure rates.

J&J shares fell 38 cents to $111 in after-hours trading. They had closed up 8 cents during the day.



China insurers may invest $100b overseas in next 3 years: BNP Paribas www.chinadaily.com.cn

Chinese insurers may boost outbound investment by about $100 billion over the next three years, as they seek to diversify risks through buying more overseas securities, private equity and real estate, BNP Paribas said on Thursday, citing a survey.

This reflects insurers' long-term strategy, and is driven mainly by a desire to deliver stable and sustainable returns, rather than a response to a weakening yuan, said Philippe Benoit, head of Asia Pacific at BNP Paribas securities services.

"These are long-term investment decisions ... not based on what you're reading in the press," he said, adding that hedging yuan exposure played a minor role in the insurers' decision-making.

Chinese insurers are allowed to invest up to 15 percent of their assets overseas, but currently, just 2 percent has been allocated abroad, suggesting "it's a long-term trend".

The survey was published at a time when Beijing is stepping up efforts to stem capital outflows that adds depreciation pressure on the yuan. The Chinese currency has fallen to more than eight-year lows against a surging US dollar.

This week, China intensified scrutiny over outbound investment, and also tightened rules on overseas yuan loans in a battle to curb outflows.

Benoit said Chinese insurers, who have "a long-term mindset", are still in the early stages of foreign investing, and such an aspiration will be unlikely deterred by short-term factors.

Acquisitive Chinese insurers including Ping An Insurance Group of China and Anbang Insurance Group have been shopping overseas for the past few years, snapping up foreign companies and properties.

At the end of 2015, Chinese insurers held overseas assets worth $36.7 billion, a 51 percent jump from a year earlier, but still accounted for just 2 percent of industry assets totalling 12 trillion yuan ($1.74 trillion).

BNP Paribas' estimate was based on a recent survey with China's top 20 insurers, which showed that over half of the respondents plan to increase the percentage of their assets overseas to 5-10 percent, according to the French bank.

The United States and Europe are the most popular investment destinations for Chinese insurers, partly because of the size and the depth of the two markets, according to the survey.

Most insurers participating in the survey say they prefer to invest in foreign stocks, bonds, private equity and real estate.

Chinese insurers face a series of challenges overseas, including identifying investment opportunities and managing risks, creating business opportunities for Western banks such as BNP Paribas, which can act as custodian and advisor for Chinese insurers, Benoit said.



Government once again reduces excise tax on fuel www.mongolia.gogo.mn

The Government has been taking response measures for preventing negative impacts of rising USD rate against the national currency. The cabinet resolved at the regular meeting of October 5 to reduce excise taxes per ton of petrol and diesel fuels by MNT 240 thousand respectively.

In accordance with the decision, MNT 260 thousand of excise tax was imposed on a ton of petrol and MNT 280 thousand- on diesel fuel.
Although the border price of oil has decreased by USD 30-33, the rising USD rate against MNT is causing the huge losses to fuel importing companies and the rise in the domestic fuel prices.
At the regular meeting on November 30, the cabinet adopted a resolution on re-cutting the excise taxes per ton of fuel by MNT 100,000.
The amounts of excise taxes for petrol and diesel fuels went down to MNT 160,000 and MNT 180,000 respectively.



Nokia phones to return to shelves in early 2017 www.rt.com

The first Nokia branded smartphones and tablets powered by Android will be released at the beginning of next year after a two-year hiatus, according to the company.

The Finnish firm says it is currently formalizing a licensing agreement with HMD Global, which has exclusive rights to use the brand for smartphones from Nokia for the next decade.

Also located in Finland, HMD Global will produce new Nokia branded phones, as well as the company’s existing range of feature phones.

HMD Global and China's Foxconn have acquired the Microsoft mobile phone business with Foxconn contracted to manufacture the devices.

The new handsets running Google’s Android will be available in the first half of 2017.

“We will be extremely true to the Nokia brand. The brand is known for simplicity, ease of use, reliability, and quality. These are the elements that we will deliver together with amazing industrial design,” said the CEO of HMD global Arto Nummela, as quoted by Bloomberg.

The company said it would invest over $500 million in the next three years to market Nokia brand phones and tablets.

Nokia sold its mobile division for nearly $7.2 billion to Microsoft two years ago. Under the deal, Nokia was obliged not to put its name on handsets until the end of 2016.

The company’s workforce in Finland was cut to less than 1,000 from more than 24,000 in its golden era.

However, Microsoft sold the Nokia brand to HMD Global and Foxconn for $350 million after the company saw a 46 percent drop in phone revenue in the last quarter.



Oil, dollar, energy shares and bond yields leap on OPEC deal www.reuters.com

Oil prices and energy shares swept higher on Thursday after OPEC agreed to cut crude output to clear a glut, while the dollar and bond yields rose sharply on prospects that resulting inflationary pressures will lead to higher interest rates.
Spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE .FTSE, Germany's DAX .GDAXI and France's CAC .FCHI to open little changed after Wall Street's flat performance overnight.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Wednesday agreed to its first output cut since 2008, finally taking action after global oil prices fell by more than half in the last two years.
Non-OPEC Russia will also join output reductions for the first time in 15 years.
U.S. crude oil CLc1 added to overnight gains of 9 percent to reach $50.00 a barrel for the first time since late October. Brent crude LCOc1, which soared $4 overnight, touched a six-week peak of $52.35 a barrel.
The jump in oil prices added to inflation expectations in the United States, which were already high on prospects that president-elect Donald Trump would adopt reflationary policies using a large fiscal stimulus.
As a result U.S. Treasuries resumed their rout, with prices sliding and yields spiking, to send the dollar rallying against its peers. The yield on 30-year bonds US30YT=RR, which are most sensitive to inflation eroding their value, has climbed 9 basis points since late Tuesday, heading back towards a 14-month peak of 3.09 percent marked last week.
"The reflation trade continues to work in earnest, this time Trump has taken a back seat and OPEC and Russia have taken the initiative and lit the fuse under the oil price," wrote Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG in Melbourne.
"The consensus was that we would get some sort of loose agreement from the collective that kept oil supported, but left the market asking many more questions. What we have seen however has been real meat on the bone."
If the bounce in oil prices gathers pace after the OPEC deal it was expected to have a broad implication on the global economy.
Brent is off the 12-year low of $27 per barrel marked in January but still less than half of where they were in 2014.
Economists expect a further recovery in crude to bode well for oil-exporting economies, while potentially easing deflationary pressures in developed economies locked in a battle against falling prices.
OPEC's output cut is also seen as a boon for U.S. shale producers, rivals to the oil cartel. The S&P energy index .SPNY jumped nearly 5 percent on Wednesday.
In currencies, the dollar advanced to a 9-1/2-month high of 114.830 yen before pulling back to 114.060.
Steven Mnuchin, Trump's pick to lead the U.S. Treasury, gave no hint of any unease at the strong dollar in his first remarks since being named for the job, giving traders fresh impetus to buy the greenback.
"I think it is just a matter of time that the dollar will test 115 yen after Mnuchin was silent about the dollar's strength," said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities.
The euro was steady at $1.0604 EUR= after shedding 0.6 percent the previous day.
The dollar index .DXY was a shade lower at 101.38 after rallying overnight from a low of 100.84.
In Asian equities, Australian stocks were up 0.9 percent and Japan's Nikkei .N225 hit an 11-month peak. Tokyo's mining sub-sector .IMING.T jumped more than 10 percent and was the biggest gainer on board.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was up 0.6 percent. Shanghai .SSEC gained 0.5 percent.
Japan Petroleum Exploration Co (1662.T) rose 12 percent, posting its biggest intraday gain since March 2013. Hong Kong shares in China's oil giants Sinopec (0386.HK), PetroChina (0857.HK) and CNOOC (0883.HK) gained as much as 4.8 percent, 6.1 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
Spot gold XAU= touched a 10-month low of $1,163.45 on the dollar's oil-induced surge. Silver XAG= and platinum XPT= also slipped.


Capital city’s legal status to be reconsidered www.en.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ At Wednesday’s regular meeting, the cabinet considered and backed the draft new version of the Law on Legal Status of the Capital City. The initiative of revising the law on legal status of the capital which was adopted in 1994, has been moved by the fact that the legal act is outdated for ceasing to meet new problems and challenges the capital city is confronted with with its expansion and development.
The city accommodates 46 percent of the total population of the country as permanent residents and 68 percent of registered entities, and produces 64.5 percent of GDP.
According to the concept of draft new version of the law, many changes associated with the environmental issues, society, economy, tax policies, suburban residences, rights and responsibilities of the entities have been provided for. It sets out implementation of economic leverages bearing a character of profound reforms aiming at building independence potentials in financial terms for the capital city and promotion of promptness of public services in order to facilitate the city with more favorable business and investment environments.


Study: Private capital investment in US coal is over www.mining.com

The surge in thermal coal has been one of the surprises of 2016 with the seaborne price scaling $100 a tonne for the first time since 2012. But domestic prices in the US continued to fall this year and with few export opportunities the rally has bypassed miners inside the country.
According to a new study of private capital in the North American energy sector from industry tracker Preqin, investment in coal has now completely dried up.
Since 2006 investment targeting the energy sector – oil, natural gas, coal and renewables – in North American account for over half the global total.
According to the report 2016 is set to be a record year for oil & gas fundraising in the region, with $33.9bn secured from just 19 funds closed as at October this year, constituting nearly 56% of the global total of funds raised for investment in the sector. That compares to $43.5bn raised by 35 funds last year; also a record year.
Of those unlisted funds currently in the market looking to raise money, the focus on North America is even more significant. Fifty-one North America-focused oil & gas funds are in market, collectively targeting $28.6bn in institutional capital commitments, nearly 3.5x the combined total of funds seeking investments in other regions around the world (17 funds targeting $8.2bn), says Preqin.
While the resilience of oil & gas investment is remarkable given the slide in the price of the commodities over the past three years, private capital and the institutions (foundations, endowment plans, public pension funds and the like) that back them are shunning the coal sector almost entirely.
Of the funds currently in the market raising funds to invest in energy, zero have coal as an investment preference. Things haven't been great during the last decade either: only 4% of the number of funds closed targeted coal, representing a meagre 2% of capital raised since 2006.
The shift of focus from coal to solar, wind and other renewable projects is clear. According to Preqin data 21% of investment vehicles currently in the market include renewable energy investments alongside their oil & gas acquisitions.
Among the institutions in North America committing money to invest in energy, none have plans to direct funds to coal within the next 12 months, even though 9% have a general preference for coal (versus 50% for renewables).


Germany pledges MNT 122 billion new funding for sustainable development www.montsame.mn


Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ At the intergovernmental negotiations held in Berlin on November 24 and 25, the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has pledged EUR 46,85 million (approximately MNT 122 billion) to support Mongolia in the three priority areas “Energy Efficiency”, “Biodiversity” and “Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources”. EUR 24,4 million are non-repayable grants, EUR 22,45 million are development cooperation loans. BMZ Parliamentary Secretary of State Hans-Joachim Fuchtel highlighted that Germany will assist Mongolia to overcome its current economic, environmental and social challenges and will remain a long term partner to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.

Since the bilateral Development Cooperation Agreement between the two countries was signed in 1992, Germany has provided almost MNT 1 trillion (EUR 347 million) for bilateral technical and financial cooperation. With the 25th anniversary of this cooperation ahead, both sides highlighted much has been achieved and both countries are looking forward to further deepen the cooperation. Starting with commodity aid 25 years ago both governments agreed in 2011 to cooperate in three priority areas. In all three priority areas additional funding will be provided.

Mongolia’s unique biodiversity has to be preserved for future generations as healthy ecosystems form the foundation for sustainable development: Mongolia’s grasslands are the basis for the traditional nomadic lifestyle, mountain ecosystems provide water vital for the country, and forests are carbon sinks of global importance. The beauty of these landscapes has high potential to enhance sustainable tourism. Therefore Germany is already supporting 11 protected areas in the east, northeast and the central part of the country (Dornod, Gorkhi Terelj, Khangai, Khan Khentii, Khustai, Onon Balj, Orkhon, Otgontenger, Tarvagatai, Ulaan Taiga and Zed Khantai). With the additional pledge provided this November, further areas in the western provinces can be supported. Protecting ecosystems and improving the livelihoods of local people always goes hand in hand. This is also the case for Germany’s long term commitment to protect and sustainably use Mongolia’s forest ecosystems. New funding will provide continued support for forest and environmental policies as well as of enhanced education and training of forest experts and workers.

As Mongolia is striving to develop a diversified and sustainable economy where all people benefit from the country’s extractive resources, Germany continues to support the development of long term strategies for inclusive growth, regional development concepts and the strengthening of the legal framework and the judicial system. Together with Switzerland and Australia and supported also by the private sector, Germany very successfully provides support to the vocational training sector. This aims at giving young Mongolians a perspective to find qualified jobs. A significant amount of new funding was pledged to further improve the research and teaching infrastructure of the German Mongolian Institute for Resources and Technology (GMIT). The university was established 2011 to provide Mongolia with highly qualified specialists for the extractive resources sector.

Bearing in mind the cold winters and insufficient power supply and distribution, the main goal of cooperation in this priority area is to increase efficiency along the energy value chain. The Energy Conservation Law was promulgated last year. This important step will pave the way for the use of energy managers, the introduction of market based tariffs, etc. Germany will further support the implementation of this law. German supported energy efficiency renovations of kindergartens have proven a reduction of illness days among children by 65% thanks to warm indoor climate. After a successful finalization of the modernization at Power Plant IV, Mongolia’s biggest power and heat producers, in the next two years the modernization measures at the Darkhan Power Plant will be successfully concluded. These measures ensure access to electricity and heat for over 90,000 people in the region. A new project totaling over EUR 20 million shall improve the stability and the reliability of the Mongolian central energy transmission grid.