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



Warren Buffett's Berkshire makes surprise U.S. airline bet www.reuters.com

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc on Monday said it has bought shares in the four biggest U.S. airlines: American Airlines Group Inc, Delta Air Lines Inc, Southwest Airlines Co and United Continental Holdings Inc.
The investments mark an unexpected reversal for Berkshire, which has avoided the airline sector for nearly two decades after a troubled investment in the former US Air Group, a forerunner to American.
They also expand Berkshire's bet on the U.S. economy, and in particular transportation. Berkshire already owns the BNSF railroad and the NetJets luxury plane unit, and in January paid $32.1 billion for aircraft parts maker Precision Castparts.
According to a regulatory filing, Berkshire as of Sept. 30 owned 21.8 million American shares worth $797 million, 6.3 million Delta shares worth $249.3 million, and 4.5 million United shares worth $237.8 million.
Buffett told CNBC television that Berkshire later invested in Southwest, and was disclosing that stake to avoid misleading investors into believing he was avoiding the carrier.
It is unclear whether Buffett or one of his deputies, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, invested in the airlines.
Shares often rise when investors perceive that Berkshire has given them its imprimatur.
Buffett usually handles larger Berkshire investments such as Kraft Heinz Co, Wells Fargo & Co, Coca-Cola Co and International Business Machines Corp.
His Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate also owns roughly 90 companies such as BNSF, Geico car insurance and Dairy Queen ice cream.
The airline investments are "really important for investor confidence" in that sector, said Adam Hackel, an airline analyst at Imperial Capital LLC in New York.
Berkshire did not respond to requests for comment.
In after-hours trading, American shares rose 3.8 percent, Delta 3.4 percent, Southwest 3.3 percent and United 2.2 percent.
U.S. airlines have benefited in recent years from lower fuel costs, labor peace, higher fees from checked bags and other once-free services, and reduced competition through mergers.
Such factors helped the four largest U.S. carriers post a record $21.7 billion combined profit in 2015, and command more than two-thirds of the domestic market.
Berkshire had ventured into airlines in 1989 when Buffett bought $358 million of USAir preferred stock, but he quickly regretted that investment.
In 1997, he told Berkshire shareholders he had misjudged how USAir would "increasingly feel the effects of an unregulated, fiercely-competitive market whereas its cost structure was a holdover from the days when regulation protected profits."
Eleven years later, Buffett felt no better, calling airlines a capital-intensive business that earned little or no money.
"A durable competitive advantage has proven elusive ever since the days of the Wright Brothers," he wrote in his February 2008 shareholder letter. "Indeed, if a farsighted capitalist had been present at Kitty Hawk, he would have done his successors a huge favor by shooting Orville down."
Buffett nonetheless admitted to having sold the USAir stock, in 1998, at a "hefty gain."
Orville Wright died in 1948, more than 44 years after he and his brother Wilbur flew their plane at Kitty Hawk, N.C.
American and Delta said they welcomed Berkshire as an investor, and American said it "reinforces our view that our industry has fundamentally changed in a profound and lasting way."
Southwest declined to comment. United had no immediate comment.
Berkshire on Monday also disclosed other portfolio changes.
It slashed its stake in Wal-Mart Stores Inc by roughly two-thirds to 13 million shares. Berkshire had begun paring its stake in the world's largest retailer earlier this year, after more than a decade of ownership.
Separately, Berkshire reduced its stake in pipeline operator Kinder Morgan Inc, and exited an investment in Canadian oil and gas producer Suncor Energy Inc.


AIIB president says US under Trump may join bank www.chinadaily.com.cn

The president of the young Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Jin Liqun, is an exciting personality with sure words and mastery of the details of his office and firm.
The former top chief of the World Bank exudes firmness in his grasp of what the bank is and targets. It was a delight interviewing him at the AIIB headquarters in Beijing last weekend. The bank was created last year mainly at the behest of China on Christmas Day and commenced operation on January 17 this year. Apart from the founding member states, new members have joined including Canada that came in September after China hosted the G20 Summit. Egypt and South Africa are the only two African countries currently in the AIIB.
"The letter 'A' in AIIB can stand for Asia, Africa or America"
He hinted that irrespective of the phobia for the AIIB by the US at its inception, the possibility of the country joining the bank when the president-elect, Donald Trump, is in power cannot be ruled out.
He said: "I have heard a certain senior official of the President Barack Obama speak good of the AIIB and after Donald Trump won, I was told that many in his team have an opinion that Obama was not right not to join the AIIB, especially after Canada joined, which was a very loud endorsement of the bank. So we can't rule out the new government in US endorsing the AIIB or indicating interest to join as member."
Canada's membership became the 22nd non-Asian state member among the present 57 members. However, the test of the bank's popularity that started with a capital base of $100 billion, some 50 percent of that of the World Bank, is the line-up of close to 20 new countries intending to be part of the bank and most of them from outside Asia. At least, five of the new applicants are African countries. The Bank in October appointed Nigerian renowned economist, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala an adviser among nine others from all over the world.
The president restated the bank's willing to welcome new members as the old members with higher shareholding would drop more of their stakes to allow the new members have some shares, but after the next batch of members are admitted, Jin said there would hardly be any shares left for more countries to join. Very soon, the curtain would be drawn on the shortlist of the new members whose membership will take effect from January next year.
But the bank chief wants more African countries to join as he assured that the objectives of the AIIB includes assisting in the development of the smaller economies of the world no matter where located. To underscore the openness and overrule the phobia for it by US, Jin joked that "the letter 'A' in AIIB can stand for Asia, Africa or America. They all start with and that means the bank is for all of them."
"Our major consideration in extending facilities to governments or state members is whether such projects the fund would be used for will in any benefit of Asia and assist in bettering Asian economy and also that of the borrowing country. But we have a duty and obligation to ensure that we don't give impossible conditions to enable them utilize the funding and incentives of the bank. Every member state borrowing right is based not on the GDP but on shareholding and China has highest shareholding with 30 percent of the total volume. Right now, China is like a non-borrowing state member because if it does, it might crowd out other members that somehow need the fund more. But for the qualified borrower, the major plank for consent is on need and importance and not on shareholding capacity only. That implies that if a state needs to borrow and the AIIB is convinced that the need is compelling and there is prospect for profit in the targeted project the funding will be used for, the request would be granted as long as there is the collateral especially that of the economic potential of the project."
AIIB funding of project is predicated on factors like the sustainability, the environmental friendliness which implies how the project would not cause a serious imbalance in environmental protection. But in situations where the importance would impact and encourage development and fight poverty, the environmental impact factor might be played down provided it is not so weighty to create another big problem. The last factor is the social acceptability - implying that the people of the community the project is to be sited must be ok with it and it must target to improve on their livelihood.
"AIIB structure, projects and funding must be lean, clean and green. By these I mean that the membership must be manageable and not too bogus, and we believe that the more the better. The project funding must be clean and that means there must be no form of corruption in the process leading to the funding and in the execution. It has to be clean to the extent of encouraging a clean and non-polluted environment. As I said earlier, on this we also consider the benefits when the environmental impact is bearable. For instance, in the USA today, most of the states, or almost all the so-called 'Red States' still rely on coal power station for electricity and it is not foreseeable in the next 30 years that fossil fuel would be done away with because of the carbon emission. What is steadily done is ensuring its effect is minimized. So in a place we find that coal power plant for instance is needed as the only way the people would be assured of power supply enough to encourage economic growth, we will find a way of minimizing the emission effect and go ahead with the project to strike a balance."
US initial fear
Jin admitted that: "At the formation of the AIIB, the US, the base of the Bretton Wood Institutes that manage the world economy including the World Bank and the IMF, saw the new body as a threat to its dominance and importance in the world economic order. They raised issues on whether the bank's functions would be consistent with fundamental human and environmental rights of the borrowers or state members. We did our best to convince them that we were no threat or rivals or either naive as not to know the basic rules of operations. And moreover, we believe there is enough space in the global economic theatre for several bodies to operate, and many regional development banks operate side by side the World Bank and there is no reason the AIIB would be the violator. We rather need to work with and benefit each other to create a better world.
"For instance, Asia alone needs as much as $1tr infrastructure funding every year and the World Bank hasn't such pool of money to pick the bills therefore the need for an alternative. Moreover, if the AIIB exists just like the World Bank, there is no time the new body would embark on a project of building a power plant, airports, roads or seaport to boost the economy of any country that the World Bank will still vote funds for the same project. So if the AIIB handles one project and the World Bank takes another that is a lot better for the world towards defeating poverty and hardship."
On the management of the bank, the president stated that right now, the AIIB operates a lean workforce of about 90 workers and operates solely from the head office in Beijing as a strategy to save cost and may continue that way for a long time. He however hinted that with time as the need arises, the bank may operate little outlet offices just to handle needs as it would stick to the rule of cost effective management.
To make its operations adapt to global best practice standards, he said the AIIB adopts universal procurement approach to get the best manpower and equipment and also recruits experts from everywhere in the world based on their competence irrespective of whether the country of origin of such expert is a member of the AIIB or not. That way, it is sure to harness the best hands to run its operations.


6th Burns Supper Ulaanbaatar 2017 www.mongolianbusinessdatabase.com

Since 2012 Honorary Consul for Mongolia in Scotland in association with the Mongolian British Chamber of Commerce have hosted an annual Burns Supper in Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar. As well as celebrating the life of Robert Burns, Scotland’s National Bard, we reflect on the growing ties between Scotland and Mongolia. In past years we have seen performances from the band of the Mongolian Armed Forces, the Ulaaanbaatar Scottish dance group and renowned Scottish bagpiper Alisdair McCallum.

The 6th Ulaanbaatar Burns Supper will take place on 28th January 2017.
Tickets are now on sale for this event at http://www.mongolianconsul.com/ulan-bator-burns-supper-2016/



Beijing threatens retaliation against US companies if Trump starts trade war www.rt.com

American businesses in China will suffer if US president-elect Donald Trump fulfills his promise to levy huge tariffs on Chinese goods, a state-run newspaper warns.
"A batch of Boeing orders will be replaced by Airbus. US auto and iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback, and US soybean and maize imports will be halted. China can also limit the number of Chinese students studying in the US," said an opinion piece in the Beijing-run Global Times newspaper, quoted by CNBC.
During his election campaign, Trump said he would consider imposing a 45 percent tariff on Chinese goods. "They're devaluing their currency, and they're killing our companies. We are letting them get away with it, and we can’t let them get away with it," Trump said in January.
The Chinese newspaper added that in 2009 Barack Obama’s administration imposed a 35 percent tariff on Chinese tires. In a tit-for-tat response, Beijing hiked tariffs on US car parts and chicken.
The paper added that Trump was a "shrewd businessman" and unlikely to start a trade war with China, but said if he does so, it would have consequences.
"The new president will be condemned for his recklessness, ignorance and incompetence and bear all the consequences. We are very suspicious the trade war scenario is a trap set up by some American media to trip up the new president," the Global Times said.
On Sunday, Trump talked by phone to Chinese President Xi Jinping. According to Trump’s transition team, the leaders established a clear sense of mutual respect for one another, and "will have one of the strongest relationships for both countries moving forward."


Trump's infrastructure plans fuel surprise copper boom www.asia.nikkei.com

TOKYO -- U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's pledge of $1 trillion in infrastructure spending over a decade has helped copper rebound from a lengthy slump, though some are skeptical about the sustainability of the rally.

Monday marked the second day of Copper 2016, a major industry event at the Kobe International Conference Center in Japan. Global demand has been climbing 2% a year, and the industry's hard times will be over in three years, said Diego Hernandez, former president of Chilean state copper company Codelco and former head of resource giant Antofagasta.

The audience was reassured by these comments but clearly remained shocked by the metal's recent upswing. A Trump win had been expected to send prices lower, but his promises of increased infrastructure investment sparked a rally. Three-month copper futures jumped on the London Metal Exchange last Wednesday, after Trump's victory became clear, and climbed past $6,000 a ton at one point Friday. They hovered around $5,660 in off-hours trading Monday evening.

"Investors started buying Oct. 25, anticipating an increase in Chinese construction demand," said Tatsufumi Okoshi, senior economist at Nomura Securities. Improving economic indicators raised expectations of a pickup in building and renovating such facilities as ports, airports and schools. The electrical wires and machinery used in construction require a great deal of copper. "Hopes of infrastructure investment in the U.S. and China led to a copper rebound," Okoshi said.

Yet not everyone in the industry is bullish. "I'm glad, but at the same time, we have to watch out for an influx of speculative money," JX Nippon Mining & Metals President Shigeru Oi said. The company is a unit of JX Holdings.

Many market watchers see covering of shorts by U.S. and European hedge funds and Chinese speculators as contributing to the rally. "It's unclear whether prices will stabilize," Sumitomo Metal Mining Chairman Nobumasa Kemori said.

Some also argue that the rebound has not gone far enough to justify resuming mine development. The average mine will not be profitable unless prices recover to $6,600, Hernandez said.

Cost-cutting is crucial for mining companies to ensure that they are not at the mercy of market fluctuations. JX Nippon Mining and Codelco have developed a process that uses bacteria to boost copper yields from ore by 30-50%, which the Japanese company will implement at its mines. Mitsubishi Materials has developed a process that examines aerial photographs shot by drones to detect topographical changes that could affect mining.

Copper prices topped $10,000 in 2011 but plunged after that as inventories swelled in China. Now that the supply-demand balance has improved there, the focus has shifted to the U.S. economy, which could be the next big factor to shake up the market.



Trump and Putin 'will try to mend ties', Kremlin says www.bbc.com

US President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will try to "normalise US-Russia ties", the Kremlin has said, following a phone conversation between the two.
Mr Putin wished Mr Trump "success in implementing the election programme".
Mr Trump, who had praised Mr Putin in the election campaign, said he wanted an "enduring relationship with Russia".
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama said Mr Trump had told him he remained "committed to a strong Nato".
The Kremlin revealed Mr Trump and Mr Putin had discussed Syria and agreed that current Russian-US relations were "extremely unsatisfactory".

They also talked about the fact that 2017 marked 210 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries "which in itself should stimulate a return to pragmatic, mutually beneficial co-operation".
Mr Putin and Mr Trump had agreed to stay in touch by phone and arrange to meet in person at a later date, the Kremlin added.

The Kremlin did not make it clear who had initiated the phone call.
But Mr Trump's office said the Kremlin had called and that issues such as mutual threats and challenges, and strategic economic affairs, were discussed.
It said: "President-elect Trump noted to President Putin that he is very much looking forward to having a strong and enduring relationship with Russia and the people of Russia."
Mr Trump's election has seen a change in tone from Russia towards the US, with state TV channels quickly switching from claims of electoral fraud to hailing the triumph of the "man of the people".

The BBC's Steve Rosenberg in Moscow says that Russia views America's new president as a pragmatist - a brash businessman that Russians can do business with.
Relations between the two countries have soured in recent years, despite President Obama starting his eight years in office by calling for a "reset" with one of the US' long-term rivals.
While Russia and the US have managed to work together on issues like North Korea and Iran, they have openly clashed on Syria.
Mr Obama has also condemned Russia's intervention on the side of pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, while Russia's decision to grant whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum infuriated Washington.
Mr Trump's rival for the presidency was no better liked in Moscow. Hillary Clinton was sharply critical of Russia's 2011 parliamentary elections, leading President Putin to accuse her of fomenting the mass protests against him that followed.
'Beacon of hope'
Mr Obama met Mr Trump last week and, at a press conference on Monday, said the new president had "expressed a great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships", including "strong and robust Nato" partnerships.

During the election campaign, Mr Trump had openly criticised those Nato members who he believed were not doing enough work within the organisation and had relied too heavily on the US.
Mr Obama was speaking ahead of a trip that takes in Germany, Greece and Peru.
He said he hoped Mr Trump would "look at the facts" of the nuclear deal agreed with Iran, an accord the president-elect has to this point resolutely opposed.
Mr Obama said he "absolutely" still had concerns about a Trump presidency and that there would be "certain elements of [Mr Trump's] temperament that will not serve him well unless he recognises them".
But he said there was "enormous continuity" in the US presidency and he believed the US would remain a "pillar of strength and a beacon of hope to peoples around the globe".
Mr Trump will succeed Mr Obama in the White House on 20 January.



Xi, Trump agree to meet at an early date www3.nhk.or.jp

Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President-elect Donald Trump have agreed to meet at an early date.

China's state broadcaster China Central Television reports that Xi spoke to the incoming US president over the phone on Monday.

It says Xi congratulated Trump on his election and said cooperation was the only correct choice for China and the United States. He added that there is an important opportunity and huge potential in China-US cooperation.

Xi said he is willing to push forward the relationship together with the US.

Trump said he agrees with Xi's view on ties between the US and China. He called China a great and important country, and said the 2 nations can realize a win-win relationship.

During his election campaign, Trump criticized China for taking jobs away from American workers. He also suggested readiness to respond more resolutely to the issue of China's moves in the South China Sea. Trump also showed a negative stance on measures against global warming, which both the US and China have actively tackled.

Chinese leaders appear anxious to meet Trump in person soon to confirm his positions.



Coldest winter in 100 years awaits Mongolia www.nationmultimedia.com

The German meteorologist Dominik Jung said the 2016-2017 winter season promises to be “unusually cold” ever recorded in last 100 years.

The Mongolian Research Institute for Hydrology and Meteorology agrees with the European scholar and warns Mongolia is also expecting such a winter.

The wintering preparations in rural areas has been reported as sufficient. Young herders make up 70 percent of all livestock herding community of Mongolia.

At the national level, herders prepared this fall 284 thousand tons of hay or 24 percent of necessary hay for wintering. Emergency storages of provinces and soums hold 3,722 tons of hay and 504 tons of fodder.

To overcome the harsh winter without or minimum loss, Mongolia needs a reserve of 1.2 million tons of hay and 100 thousand tons of animal fodder, reports olloo.mn.



American Apparel files for second bankruptcy protection www.cnn.com

US retailer American Apparel (AA) has filed for its second bankruptcy protection in just over a year.
The youth-focused clothes firm, hit by years of losses, will continue trading while it negotiates a potential sale of assets to Canada's Gildan Activewear.
Gildan said it had offered $66m (£53m) for the rights to the AA brand and stock, but did not want the stores.
AA, known for racy advertising and legal battles with founder Dov Charney, emerged from bankruptcy in February.
The company said last week that it was winding down its operations in the UK.
American Apparel has been looking for a buyer and has had talks with brand licensing firms Sequential Brands and Authentic Brands, as well as a financial company, B. Riley Financial.
It is the latest in a growing list of clothing brands that have gone under recently, including Aeropostale, Quiksilver, Wet Seal and Pacific Sunwear. Chains are struggling as consumers shun stores in favour of online shopping.
American Apparel filed its first bankruptcy in October 2015, following a steep drop in sales and a drawn-out legal battle with Mr Charney, who was ousted in 2014.
The retailer emerged from bankruptcy this year under the ownership of a group of former bondholders led by hedge fund Monarch Alternative Capital.
But it continued to face falling sales, exacerbated by its costly manufacturing plant in Los Angeles. Under mounting pressure, American Apparel hired investment bank Houlihan Lokey earlier this year to explore a sale.
The company has insisted that any sale must involve keeping its manufacturing plant in the US.



External trade balance resulted in surplus www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ In October, Mongolia traded with 157 countries. The overall trade turnover amounted to USD 6,994.6 million, of which 3,726.2 million was constituted by exports and 2,768.4 million – by imports.

The overall trade turnover decreased by USD 595.8 million or 8.4 percent compared to that for the last year. In specific, exports fell by USD 200.5 million or 5.1 percent and imports –by 395.3 million or 12.5 percent.

The external trade balance rose to USD 957.7 million against the same period of last year, by USD 149.8 million.