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



Oil price surges as Opec agrees first cut in output since 2008 www.theguardian.com

The price of oil has surged by 8% after the 14-nation cartel Opec agreed to its first cut in production in eight years.
Confounding critics who said the club of oil-producing nations was too riven with political infighting to agree a deal, Opec announced it was trimming output by 1.2m barrels per day (bpd) from 1 January.
The deal is contingent on securing the agreement of non-Opec producers to lower production by 600,000m barrels per day. But the Qatari oil minister, Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada, said he was confident that the key non-Opec player – Russia – would sign up to a 300,000 bpd cut.
Russia’s oil minister, Alexander Novak, welcomed the Opec move but said his country would only be able to cut production gradually due to “technical issues”. A meeting with non-Opec countries in Moscow on 9 December has been pencilled in.
Al-Sada said the deal was a great success and a “major step forward”, but the news that Saudi Arabia had effectively admitted defeat in its long-running attempt to drive US shale producers out of business was enough to send the price of crude sharply higher on the world’s commodity markets.
Brent crude was trading at just over $50 a barrel following the completion of the Opec meeting in Vienna – an increase of almost $4 on the day.
Saudi Arabia will bear the brunt of Opec’s production curbs, having agreed to a reduction in output of just under 500,000 bpd.
Iraq has agree to a 210,000 bpd cut, followed by the United Arab Emirates (-139,000), Kuwait (-131,000) and Venezuela (-95,000). Smaller countries are also reducing output, but Iran – which has only recently returned to the global oil market after the lifting of international sanctions – has been allowed to continue raising output. Three OPEC countries - Kuwait, Venezuela and Algeria - will monitor compliance with the agreement in an attempt to prevent quota busting.
Indonesia has suspended its membership because, as a net importer of oil, it wanted the price of crude to stay as low as possible and declined to cut output.
The price of oil has fallen from $115 a barrel since the summer of 2014 as a result of weak demand and the decision by Riyadh to keep production levels high. Saudi Arabia gambled that it could drive higher-cost US shale producers out of business but found the financial cost of more than halving the oil price too much to bear. At one stage, oil prices fell below $30 a barrel.
Opec has been trying to piece together a production-cutting deal throughout 2016 but previous meetings have failed as a result of ill feeling between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The cartel, which exerted enormous power over the oil price in the 1970s, was under pressure going into this week’s meeting to prove that it still had relevance in a market where it is responsible for less than half global output.
Neil Wilson, a senior market analyst at ETX Capital, said Opec had “confounded the naysayers”. He added that it was a “triumph for the cartel, proving it is still relevant, but the devil is in the detail … There are a few doubts but, on the whole, Opec should be pleased with a job well done at long last. This is likely to keep crude closer to $50 than $40 for now”.
Other analysts warned that the deal was likely to fall apart. Mike Jakeman, the commodities editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit, said he thought it unlikely that the agreement would lead to a sustained increase in the oil price.
It is possible that some cheating will occur. Opec’s members do not have a good track record of sticking to production quotas. There has also been no firm commitment yet from Russia, the largest non-Opec producers. It is possible that Russian production could fill the gap left by Saudi Arabia. And even at 32.5m bpd, global oil production will still be at a historically high level. There is no threat of an oil shortage that could see the price zoom back up.
Jakeman said that even if there was a sustained rise in prices, the response would be higher production from the US shale sector, which would drive prices back down again. “We think the lack of a sustained rise in prices will see the deal fall apart within a year,” he said.


Mongolia and Britain sign cooperation MoU on Oyu Tolgoi www.mongolia.gogo.mn

Britain and Mongolia signed their first memorandum of understanding in the mining sector on Tuesday, pledging an exchange of technology and expertise, and deepening ties based on Rio Tinto's huge copper mine in the South Gobi desert.
The agreement, signed on the sidelines of a mining conference in London, recognised "the spirit of cooperation that exists between the respective countries" and a willingness "to promote closer cooperation in the extractive sector".
In an emailed statement, the Department for International Trade said the cooperation would cover technology transfer, education and training.
Tumentsogt Tsevegmid, CEO of Erdenes Mongol, set up to manage the state's mineral reserves, including copper, gold and coal, said the agreement also covered financing.
Mongolia, a vast country of just three million people, went on a borrowing spree at the height of the commodity cycle, and the $12 billion economy is staggering under total foreign debt - public and private - of more than $20 billion.
It has, however, been helped by this year's commodity price rally that has seen gains of more than 200 percent for coking coal and it is hoping to benefit from Anglo-Australian group Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi copper mine.
In June, Rio gave the go-ahead to a $5.3 billion expansion of the mine, which will keep a steady flow of foreign investment during the next five-to-seven years of construction.
Rio says the massive mine will eventually be responsible for around 30 percent of the economy, but direct benefits for Mongolia will be delayed.
According to a 2009 investment agreement, investors must recoup their original investment costs before Mongolia can collect dividends for its 34 percent shareholding in the mine.
Oyu Tolgoi is jointly owned by the Government of Mongolia (34 percent) and Turquoise Hill Resources (66 percent, of which Rio Tinto owns 51 percent). Rio Tinto has been the manager of the Oyu Tolgoi project since 2010.
Copper aside, Tumentsogt told Reuters he expected Mongolia would export 20 million tonnes of coking coal this year to China and slightly more next year.
It is also undertaking a feasibility study on construction of a 5.2 gigawatt thermal coal plant that would export power to China.
Since Britain's decision to leave the European Union in June, the British government has emphasised the importance of new trade relations and is also seeking, for instance, to negotiate contracts in Iran, Reuters reports.


Canada expands controversial oil pipeline to Pacific www.rt.com

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has approved extending the Trans Mountain pipeline, which may help Canada become the largest oil producer in the Americas.
The pipeline aims to move crude from central Alberta to the Pacific coast. The expansion would triple its initial capacity up to 890,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the current 300,000 barrels.
The project will cost Can$6.8 billion ($5 billion) and is expected to open the Asian market to crude exports from Canadian oil sands.
Upgrading the existing pipeline seems to be strategic for the economy, as Alberta has the world's third biggest reserve of crude, but it is too expensive to deliver by ship or rail from the site.
“The project will triple our capacity to get Canadian energy resources to international markets beyond the United States,” said Trudeau.
Critics of the pipeline expansion, including municipalities in British Columbia, environmental organizations, and aboriginal groups, have expressed concerns over climate change, pipeline leaks, spills, and fires.
Along with the Trans Mountain, Trudeau approved another pipeline - the Enbridge's Line 3, running from Alberta to the US state of Wisconsin. The new line aims to double the capacity to 760,000 bpd streaming south of the border.
Trudeau rejected Enbridge's Northern Gateway project, which would cross the temperate Great Bear Rainforest. The pipeline was also set to pave the way to new markets in Asia, with China likely to purchase a large proportion of the transported crude.
However, the project failed to win the approval over worries about spills on land and at sea. “The Great Bear Rainforest is no place for a pipeline, and the Douglas Channel is no place for oil tanker traffic,” said Trudeau.


GoPro makes cutbacks after drone crashes www.bbc.com

Action camera-maker GoPro is cutting 200 jobs and shutting down some of its services.
The announcement follows a series of drone crashes that made the company recall its much anticipated Karma aircraft.
In addition, the US company said its president, Anthony Bates, would quit his post at the end of the year after three years in the job.
GoPro said that consumer demand for its products remained "solid".
However, the company has posted a loss in each of its past four quarters.
At the start of this month it also revealed its cash reserves had fallen to $132m (£106m) - less than half the amount at the start of the year.
"I knew they were in trouble, but I didn't expect them to have such a dramatic fall from grace," Tom Morrod, director of consumer electronics at the IHS consultancy, told the BBC.
"The Karma drones were their recover strategy, and when they had to be recalled it faltered. This is the result.
"GoPro was struggling as an action cam specialist, which is why it needed an alternative market. The fact that the device was unsalable has damaged its prospects, at least temporarily."
The job cuts represent 15% of the California-based company's workforce.
The move reflects the fact that even if the fold-up Karma drone returns to sale, GoPro will probably have missed out on the Christmas shopping season.
It had sold about 2,500 of the drones in the 16 days they were on the market.
A problem with the machines caused a number of them to lose power mid-flight, causing them to fall uncontrolled out of the air.
One video of an accident showed the drone diving on to a beach on which people were walking.
There have been no reports of injuries. However, the company is being sued over claims it misled investors about demand for the product and took too long to alert the public to its power supply flaw.
Entertainment shutdown
Reviews for GoPro's new Hero 5 cameras have generally been positive. The new devices introduced voice control, electronic image stabilisation and built-in water resistance.
However, some technology blogs doubted whether the features were enough to convince existing owners to upgrade.
And the company faces increased competition from rival action cams and the improved quality of smartphone cameras, many of which now also offer protection against water.
As part of its cutbacks GoPro is also closing its entertainment division.
The operation was announced in July 2015 and offered owners thousands of dollars for videos they had filmed using its equipment.
In return it wanted the right to promote their content through its social media accounts.
It also sought to sell the rights to the material to advertising agencies and split the proceeds.
The company described it as a "no-brainer" for creative professionals at the time.
GoPro's shares were trading 2.5% up on the day by early afternoon in New York, but they remain down on their value at the start of the year.


Philip Morris could stop making conventional cigarettes www.bbc.com

Philip Morris has launched a new, less harmful cigarette in the UK which it says could mean it stops selling conventional cigarettes altogether.
The so called iQOS product heats tobacco rather than burning it.
The tobacco giant claims this means smokers get the same nicotine hit, but 90% less of the nasty toxins that come with cigarette smoke.
It says trials - not yet externally verified - found the new cigarette had the same impact as quitting smoking.
The firm is not pushing that finding, saying only that the new product is likely to cause less harm.
Philip Morris International (PMI), the Swiss-headquartered giant created when America's Altria spun off its non-US interests eight years ago, has spent $2bn (£1.6bn) on creating the substitute cigarette.
Andre Calantzopoulos, PMI's chief executive, says he would like to work with governments towards the "phase-out" of conventional cigarettes.
In his first UK broadcast interview, he has told the Today programme that the company knows its products harm their consumers, and that the only correct response is to "to find and commercialise" ones that are less harmful.
"That is clearly our objective," he said.
It is not the first time cigarette makers have experimented with heating rather than burning tobacco to do less less damage to consumers.
In the 1980s, Reynolds, the big American tobacco company, produced the Premier, which heated tobacco but which still involved some combustion.
It lasted a year, with customers complaining of a complicated lighting procedure and a charcoal aftertaste.
PMI's solution is much more Silicon Valley. The iQos is a £45 battery pack that looks like a small, dumpy mobile phone.
It charges a slim cigarette holder. You buy packets of tobacco sticks - a packet of 20 will cost £8 - that look like someone has taken a pair of scissors to normal cigarettes and chopped them in half.
The stick goes in the holder, and you puff away.
There is much less smoke than a conventional cigarette, and, users say, the smell does not stick to your clothes. Other cigarette companies are not far off producing rival versions.
E-cigarettes, which use an electronic system to deliver nicotine via a water vapour, are a different alternative.
Mr Calantzopoulos, however, points out their basic weakness. They are not very effective in converting traditional smokers.
The conversion rate to e-cigs of smokers is just 20%. Trials in Japan have shown that 70% of smokers stay with the new substitute once they have tried it.
Shareholders, Mr Calantzopoulos says, are enthusiastic about the new product.
He will need their backing, as traditional tobacco has proved an enormous money spinner.
Since PMI was created, it has returned nearly $83bn to investors in dividends and share buybacks - not far off its entire stock market valuation.
There is much riding on his new, low-harm cigarette.


Rising debt levels threat to New Zealand financial stability: central bank www.xinhuanet.com.cn

WELLINGTON, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Rising debt resulting from soaring home prices and low dairy prices is continuing to pose a risk to New Zealand's financial system, the central bank warned Wednesday.
While house price inflation in the largest city of Auckland, home to a third of the population, had softened recently, house price to income ratios remained among the highest in the world, said a Financial Stability Report from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ).
Vulnerabilities in the housing market had increased in the past six months and house price pressures were spreading beyond Auckland to the rest of the country, said the report.
"Credit to the household sector is growing rapidly, and the household debt-to-disposable income ratio now stands at 165 percent, a record high," said the report.
"Rising house prices continue to reflect low interest rates, steady income growth, and an imbalance between population growth and the rate of house building. There is a risk that a reversal of any of these factors could cause a significant market correction."
Meanwhile, low dairy prices have caused the average dairy farm to suffer operating losses for the past two seasons.
However, even with recent improvements in dairy payouts, some farms might struggle to achieve profitability, especially given that 20 percent of farms accounted for around 50 percent of overall dairy debt.
"As a result, problem loans are likely to continue to increase. Debt levels have been stretched further as dairy farms have borrowed working capital to absorb operating losses over the past two seasons. High debt levels leave the sector vulnerable to any future weakness in dairy prices," it said.
RBNZ governor Graeme Wheeler said in a statement that the RBNZ had asked Finance Minister Bill English to give it a debt-to-income (DTI) tool to regulate bank lending.
"While the (RBNZ) is not proposing use of such a tool at this time, financial stability risks can build up quickly and restrictions on high-DTI lending could be warranted if housing market imbalances were to deteriorate further," said Wheeler.
Deputy governor Grant Spencer said in the statement that the banking system had strong capital and funding buffers and profitability remained high.
"However the banking system's reliance on offshore wholesale funding is beginning to increase due to a widening gap between credit and deposit growth. Banks could become more susceptible to increased funding costs and reduced access to funding in the event of heightened financial market volatility," Spencer said.


Cyber Monday sales biggest online shopping day in U.S. history www.reuters.com

Shoppers spent $3.45 billion on Cyber Monday on Samsung 4K TVs, PlayStation 4s and Barbie dolls among other products, marking the largest online sales day in U.S. history.
The data compiled by Adobe Digital Insights, easily surpassed prior estimates, and dismissed fears that strong web sales during the Thanksgiving weekend would hurt sales on Cyber Monday - the busiest day of the year for internet shopping historically.
It also underscored the broader shift to shopping online, which is making up for slower spending in stores.
Cyber Monday sales jumped 12.1 percent year-over-year and surpassed initial expectations that called for total sales of $3.36 billion, according to Adobe Digital Insights.
Top-selling electronics by units on the day include Sony's (6758.T) PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's (MSFT.O) Xbox gaming consoles as well as Samsung (005930.KS) 4K TVs, Apple (AAPL.O) iPhones and Amazon's (AMZN.O) Fire tablets.
Lego's building blocks, Hasbro's (HAS.O) Nerf dart guns and Mattel's (MAT.O) Barbie dolls were among top-selling toys, Adobe said.
Adobe collects the data by measuring 80 percent of all online transactions from the top 100 U.S. retailers. Of every $10 spent at the top 500 U.S. retailers, $7.50 goes through the Adobe Marketing Cloud sales platform.


Rio CEO: We'll cut iron ore output to boost cash flow www.mining.com

The import price of 62% Fe content ore at the port of Tianjin scaled $80 per dry metric tonne on Monday – the highest since mid-September 2014 according to data supplied by The Steel Index. Year to date the price of the steelmaking raw material is up 87%.
A resurgent steel industry in China – responsible for more than three-quarters of the seaborne iron ore trade – has taken much of the credit for the rally from near-decade lows struck in December last year.
Rio Tinto, world number two producer, has long maintained that China is on its way to forging a billion tonnes of steel per year by 2030 compared to the current output just north of 800 million tonnes.
Reuters reports that at a recent investor conference Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jean Sebastien Jacques "quietly abandoned [Rio's] long held view":
Jacques said that uncertainty over the restructuring of China's huge state-owned enterprises (SOEs) made it difficult to predict how things would pan out.
"No one can work with only one scenario … we work with multiple scenarios and our central case is not 1 billion tonnes," Jacques told analysts at the briefing in Sydney last week.
And Jacques didn't stop there. He went further to say that Rio would consider cutting the amount of iron ore it mines if doing so would boost free cash flow.
"If it means reducing volume, we'll do it," he said.
China is on track to import 1 billion tonnes of ore in 2016, an all-time high, not just due to strong demand from the country's blast furnaces, but because hundreds of domestic miners struggling with low grade and high costs have been forced out of the market.
After more than halving since 2011 to less than 200m tonnes, Chinese iron ore output on a 62% Fe basis is forecast to fall by a another 12% in 2016 and by a further 20% in 2017 according to Australia's state forecaster.
But with iron ore back above $80 a tonne many Chinese iron ore mines may start to re-enter the market just as new exporters like the 55 million tonne per year Roy Hill mine in Australia and Brazil's S11D ramps up to full production.


OECD predicts growth to continue in China and move higher in the US www.chinadaily.com.cn

China's economy will grow at 6.7 percent this year, but will edge down to 6.4 percent and 6.1 percent in 2017 and 2018 respectively, the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said on Monday in its latest Economic Outlook, which is published twice each year.
Its three-year predictions are roughly consistent with the Chinese government's goal of achieving an average annual rate of 6.5 percent during the 2016-20 period to realize its target of doubling the per capita income by 2020 from a 2010 base, although the OECD said China needs to arrest the downward trend in 2019 and 2020 if it is to reach that goal.
Leading Chinese policy insiders said the OECD predictions for the three years were reasonable as growth fluctuations were normal and acceptable in the process of restructuring the economy and China "enjoys more advantages than disadvantages" in keeping its annual economic growth rate at 6 to 7 percent in the 2016-20 period, as long as the economies of the United States, Japan and the EU also offer growth momentum.
The OECD said the US economy is going to pick up, due to an assumed easing of fiscal policy, with the economy projected to grow by 2.3 percent in 2017 and 3 percent in 2018. The euro area is predicted to grow 1.6 percent in 2017 and 1.7 percent in 2018. Japanese growth is projected at 1 percent in 2017 and 0.8 percent in 2018.
The report says that the total growth of the 35 OECD countries is projected to be 2 percent in 2017 and 2.3 percent in 2018. India's growth rates are expected to hover above 7.5 percent over the 2017-18 period, but many emerging market economies will continue to grow at a more sluggish pace.
"The global economy has the prospect of modestly higher growth, after five years of disappointingly weak outcomes," OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said, while launching the report in Paris. "In light of the current context of low interest rates, policymakers have a unique window of opportunity to make more active use of fiscal levers to boost growth and reduce inequality without compromising debt levels. We urge them to do so."
The organization said global growth will grow by 3.3 percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent in 2018.
Chi Fulin, president of the China Institute for Reform and Development, said the messages in the OECD report were quite positive and China's continuing economic restructuring would also benefit from the upside projections of the global economy and advanced countries.
"There is no problem for China to keep its target of an average rate of 6.5 percent of economic growth during the 2016-2020 period. Plus, China has much untapped potential to maintain a medium and high rate, given such a populous and mature market," said Chi, a leading policy adviser for the government.
"The predictions on growth trends of the advanced economies will further help China maintain faster growth."
Chi urged the international community to look at China's fluctuations in growth rates with "a rational mindset."
"This is because China is now changing its investment- and export-driven model to other growth engines, such as consumption, innovation, green development and upgrading of people's life quality," said Chi. "Therefore, the fluctuations in the next five years are expected and healthy."
However, Chi said the fluctuations would be manageable and growth would stay at 6-7 percent. "So, I am very confident that China can deliver its targets during the 2016-20 period, in order to realize the goal of doubling growth of per capita income from 2010 to 2020."


Mongolia is able to produce 100% of its energy domestically www.mongolia.gogo.mn

Mongolia is able to produce 100% of its energy domestically, if we build the Eg river hydro power plant (EGHHP), said Minister of Energy P.Gankhuu at the regular meeting of the Economic Standing Committee of State Great Khural on Nov 29.
Total annual energy consumption of Mongolia is 6865 million kWh, of which 80 percent is produced domestically while remaining 20 percent of energy is imported from Russia.
An average growth of annual energy consumption is at 5.1 percent. According to the Government policy on energy​, the Government of Mongolia aims to produce 100% of its energy domestically.
The Government decision to build EGHPP, which is to develop the sustainable regime of CES and to reduce energy dependency on imports, was approved in 2013. Through reliable energy of EGHHP, a comfortable living environment for people will established and it is a strategically important project for national independency and security.
The total cost of the project is worth USD 827 million.
EGHHP will be constructed at Khutag Undur soum of Bulgan aimag, which is 450 km away from Ulaanbaatar city. EGHPP is to generate and supply 606 million kWh of electricity annually and estimated to generate capacity of 5.7 billion cubic meters of fresh water pool.
Further, Minister of Energy P.Gankhuu introduced the priority projects to improve the energy of Eastern region and emphasized that the country needs to start the construction of EGHHP immediately.