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



Loss of Russian market costs Ukraine $15bn www.rt.com

The barring of Ukrainian businesses from the Russian market has inflicted losses on the country of at least $15 billion, according to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
“Russia's aggressive closure of its market came as an economic shock for Ukraine…We lost tens or even hundreds of thousands of jobs, and this economic aggression is a primary reason for plummeting living standards," the president said in his annual address to the country's parliament on Tuesday.
Practically a third of Ukrainian exports went to the Russian market but at the moment the share is plunging, according to Poroshenko.
“Russia's share of Ukrainian exports currently stands at nine percent and is falling,” he said.
Russia and Ukraine were trading in accordance with the free trade agreement between CIS countries before the EU-Ukraine arrangement on a free trade zone came into effect in January.
After that Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to suspend the free trade treaty with Ukraine from the beginning of this year. Putin said Kiev’s move to open its borders to the EU compromises Russian interests and economic security. Moscow is concerned that without such a barrier, Ukraine could illegally supply embargoed European goods to Russia.
The Kremlin also banned food imports from Ukraine in response to the country joining anti-Russian sanctions.
In response, Ukraine banned Russian food products from January 10 this year. They include pastries, chocolates, meat, fish, coffee, black tea, cigarettes, beer, and other products.


Australia's economy toasts 25 years without recession www.asia.nikkei.com

SYDNEY (Reuters) -- Australia's resource-rich economy expanded at its fastest annual pace in four years last quarter, clinching a remarkable run of 25 years without recession as surging exports more than made up for a patchy performance at home.
The local dollar held firm at $0.7662 after news gross domestic product (GDP) rose 3.3 percent in the year to June, up from around 2.9 percent the previous quarter.
The value of all goods and services rose 0.5 percent compared to the first quarter, when output climbed by an unusually strong 1.0 percent.
Growth in the quarter was bolstered by a pre-election spurt in government spending combined with modest gains in household spending and home building. That helped offset another steep decline in mining investment, which has been dragging on the economy for more than three years now.
For the year as a whole, international trade was the biggest prop to growth as the hundreds of billions spent on mining projects yielded a bounty of resource exports.
Trade accounted for no less than 2.2 percentage points of growth in the year to June.
That strength in exports belied a much more mixed picture at home, where domestic final demand grew by just 1.2 percent in the year and household consumption grew by 1.6 percent.
The report also suggested the economy was not yet running hot enough to revive inflation, with the main GDP price indicator up only 0.3 percent for the year.
"If we didn't have a low inflation problem in Australia then these figures would argue against a rate cut," said Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital Investors.
"Inflation has been too low for too long and that could argue for the next rate cut in November," he added. "But I have to say it's a close call."
The need for even "stronger growth" was cited by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) when it cut interest rates to record lows of 1.5 percent in August, and why it might yet ease again.
Financial markets now imply around a 44 percent chance <0#YIB;> of a further rate cut by Christmas.
Overall, the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated annual GDP was worth A$1.65 trillion ($1.26 trillion) in current dollars, or around A$68,929 for each of the country's 24 million residents.
Annual growth was handily ahead of 1.2 percent in the United States, 1.6 percent in the European Union, 2.2 percent in the UK and even outpaced Germany's 3.1 percent.
There was also a welcome pick up in the country's terms of trade as prices for its major commodity exports bounced following a couple of years of steady decline.
That in turn helped lift national income, while nominal, or current price, GDP climbed 1.3 percent in the quarter for its best performance since late 2013.
"It appears that the income drag from falling commodity prices is over," said Michael Blythe, chief economist at CBA.
"Some simple calculations show that just a levelling out in commodity prices would see income growth pick up from 2 percent a year, to 4-5 percent over the next couple of years."
Such a turnaround will be warmly welcomed by the Coalition government of Malcolm Turnbull since it is nominal GDP that drives the tax take and an increase in revenues is desperately needed to rein in runaway budget deficits.


World Bank welcomes policy adjustment measures, calls for fiscal discipline while protecting the poor www.mongolia.gogo.mn

Mongolia’s budget deficit widened sharply in the first seven months of 2016. Budget expenditures increased by 33 percent while budget revenues declined by 3.3 percent, compared with the same period last year, according to the World Bank’s latest Mongolia Economic Brief, released today.
The World Bank projects that the budget deficit will reach over 18 percent of GDP by the end of 2016, without corrective measures. The report cautioned that government debt, including sovereign guarantees, will reach over 90 percent of GDP under the current trend.
The report welcomed the swift measures announced by the new government to address the growing fiscal risks, and called for strong fiscal and monetary policy adjustment to address increasing fiscal and balance of payments risks.
“The recent announcement of the fiscal situation including off-budget expenditures was a significant step toward a credible fiscal consolidation,” said James Anderson, World Bank Country Manager for Mongolia. “The growing budget deficit and rising government debt, however, highlight the need for further actions to make the fiscal path sustainable.”
The report noted that significant liquidity has been provided by the central bank to the government, and cautioned that continued central bank financing of the government deficit could exacerbate macroeconomic vulnerability.
“The most pressing challenge facing the Central Bank is to disengage monetary policy from fiscal activities and safeguard international reserves,” said Taehyun Lee, World Bank Senior Economist and lead author of the report. “The recent decision of the Central Bank to raise the policy rate helped ease exchange rate volatility. Monetary policy, however, will face difficult challenges if the budget deficit continues to remain high, and rely on central bank funding.”
The World Bank also cautioned that falling mineral exports and large public debt repayments would add growing challenges to the fiscal account and the balance of payments in 2017 – challenges that could be mitigated by strong fiscal and macroeconomic management.
At the same time, the report emphasized the importance of protecting the most poor and vulnerable during fiscal adjustment.
“Measures to constrain expenditures and bolster revenues are needed, yet the plight of the poor needs to be considered in selecting the specific policies,” said Anderson. “Mongolia’s generous system of social welfare transfers could protect the poor more if programs targeting the poor were funded and expanded.”


Sport and Decapitated Goats: Let the Nomadic Games Begin The World Nomad Games come to Kyrgyzstan www.themoscowtimes.com

On Sept. 4, after years of facing off on the international stage, Russia and the United States stared each other down in a new arena: a 10,000-seat hippodrome near Kyrgyzstan’s Issyk-kul lake. There, the Americans and the Russians struggled not over nuclear arms policy or the future norms of international relations, but over a dead goat.
Yes, you read correctly: a dead goat.
The struggle was kok-boru, an aggressively physical, Central Asian variety of polo in which two teams of horsemen try to capture the decapitated carcass of a goat and pass it into each other’s goal. The match was hardly a true showdown between Russia and the United States: Most of the Russian team's athletes were ethnic Kyrgyz residing in Russia, while the Americans were largely unschooled in the game they were playing. Moscow’s victory was stark and decisive. But the the contest embodied the spirit of internationalism and rowdy fun inherent in the second World Nomad Games (WNG), held from Sept. 3-8 in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan.
While the concept of a nomadic Olympics might provoke a chuckle among Western sports fans, the event is no joke to Kyrgyzstan or the more than 55 participant nations. The Kyrgyz government spent over 1.6 billion som ($23.2 million) on the games, and over a thousand athletes came to compete in ancient nomadic sports.
“In the modern world, people are forgetting their history, and there is a threat of extinction for traditional cultures,” Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev said during the event’s flashy opening ceremony.
The WNG are intended to serve as an antidote to that tendency.
Kok-boru — and not just the U.S.-Russia match — was the main event at the WNG. But other important events included the women’s mas-wrestling, a traditional ethnosport from Yakutia in which players attempt capture of a stick from each other’s hands; several varieties of wrestling (both standing and on horseback); horse racing; eagle and dog hunting; and a board game known internationally as mancala.
The celebrity guest of honor was none other than action film star Steven Seagal, who appeared suited in armor atop a horse during the games’ opening ceremony. The event marked yet another bizarre appearance for Seagal, who popped up at Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko’s country residence last month eating fresh carrots on national television. Two years ago, after Moscow annexed Crimea, the action star also controversially visited Sevastopol to perform a music concert for pro-Russian separatists.
Despite a long list of attendees hailing from countries as diverse as Germany and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uzbekistan was noticeably absent.
Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan have had particularly strained relations since a border conflict in March 2016, and border tensions have intensified over the past week. The most decisive factor behind Uzbekistan’s absence, however, was likely the ill-health and subsequent death of President Islam Karimov, who was declared dead on Sept. 3.
Politics have also found their way into the WNG on the Kyrgyz side. Some in Kyrgyzstan criticized the idea of a poor country hosting and paying for such an extravagant international sporting event, as the nation struggles to provide for the basic needs of its citizens. At least one member of parliament, Aida Salyanova, called for the games to be cancelled after 14 Kyrgyz labor migrants died in a fire at a Moscow print house.
But the World Nomad Games appear to have been an enormous success. Many of the participants and attendees say they were impressed by the quality of the events, and the opening ceremonies have garnered significant coverage in the press and on social media. For Kyrgyzstan, the games represent one of the country’s first opportunities to present itself in a positive light to a large international audience.
“Everyone, including me, is in shock that Kyrgyzstan can put on such cool events,” said Artyom Kolosov, a Kyrgyz photographer and blogger who is attending the games. “I feel like I’m somewhere abroad.”
Escaping some of the hostility now present at the Olympics, which a doping scandal has tarnished in the post-Soviet region, the nomad games have placed a strong emphasis on sportsmanship and sharing culture. For instance, despite the Russian team’s crushing victory over the U.S. team in kok-boru, Colleen Wood, an American Peace Corps volunteer who competed for the U.S. in mancala and watched the kok-boru match, sensed strong ethos of sportsmanship.
“It was the U.S.’s first time actually playing using the goat carcass, so the Russian team showed them how to pick it up and put it in the goal,” she said. “It wasn’t just about winning the game, but about sharing the beauty of kok-boru and of nomadic culture.”
The challenge of teaching kok-boru to Americans, however, may have been lost on the WNG announcers, Wood says, judging by their frequent comment: “These cowboys came from across the ocean and they’re the best kok-boru players in America!”


China's online chatter muted ahead of Apple iPhone 7 launch www.reuters.com

Judging by the volume of online chatter, there's a lot less buzz in China ahead of this week's expected launch of the new Apple Inc (AAPL.O) iPhone, and people on the street say they're more likely to "wait and see" what the latest device offers than rush out to buy.
Posts on China's popular Sina Weibo microblogging site show the iPhone 6, which took China by storm in 2014 with its new, larger screen, attracted around 15 times more comments in the month before launch than this year's model.
The muted online anticipation for the iPhone 7 underlines the challenge Apple faces to revive growth in China, where an economic slowdown has slammed the brakes on what was once touted as the firm's next big growth engine.
Apple's Greater China sales dropped by a third in April-June, albeit after more than doubling a year earlier, and revenue was down by more than a quarter to $8.8 billion - around a fifth of its total sales. Its 7.8 percent market share ranked fifth in China, trailing local vendors Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL], OPPO and Vivo, which together accounted for 47 percent, according to IDC data.
The California-based company's online stores for iBooks and movies was also closed in China after Beijing imposed strict curbs in March on online publishing, and Apple has been on the losing side of intellectual property battles here.
Beijing student Wang Yue, 23, said she was in no hurry to buy an iPhone 7. "I'm looking forward to the launch, but I won't rush to buy anything," Wang, who uses an iPhone 6S that was launched last year, told Reuters. "I want to know what new functions it's got. My feeling is there are no real major changes from the 6S, so I think I'll hold off for a while."
Apple is widely anticipated to unveil the new iPhone 7 at an event in San Francisco on Wednesday. The company, which doesn't give a regional breakdown for its iPhone sales, didn't respond to requests for comment.
Among half a dozen consumers Reuters spoke to most said they would first check out the new phone's functions or wait for the price to drop. Only one planned to definitely buy any new model.
"The word among consumers is the updates are not going to be revolutionary, but smaller changes," said Ben Cavender, Shanghai-based director at China Market Research Group, who described current consumer interest in China as "muted".
More than anything else, the upcoming iPhone 7 may be a victim of the success of the iPhone 6.
China sales of the iPhone 6 soared in the first quarter of last year, helping drive up Apple's China revenues by 71 percent. A year later, weaker sales of the 6S contributed to the company's first global decline in iPhone sales and first revenue drop in 13 years - though globally the 6S was the top-selling smartphone in April-June, according to Strategy Analytics.
The research firm estimates iPhone shipments in China will decline 20 percent in the second half of this year to 21 million from a year ago.
"Apple is struggling with consumer 'iPhone fatigue' in China, while competition from Huawei, Oppo and others remains fierce," said Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston.
Weibo chatter in the run-up to the iPhone 7 launch has, however, topped levels seen ahead of last year's 6S launch.
Some Chinese shoppers are even already eyeing a potential iPhone 8 model that could be launched with more significant changes next year, the 10th anniversary of the first iPhone.
"Because it's just one year, lots of people are choosing to wait for the iPhone 8," said Wang Bo, a finance worker in his thirties at a securities firm in Shanghai. "The changes with the 8 will be much bigger, which I think will be a drag on sales of the new phone this year."
Wang, who uses both an iPhone 6S and a Huawei P9, said he plans to buy this year's new iPhone when it's released in China.
But convincing other shoppers in China - and the United States - to replace their smartphone is a tougher sell today than in 2014, when many Chinese were buying an iPhone for the first time.
Concerns that Apple has hit "peak iPhone" have buffeted the firm's shares this year, with the stock price up just 2.35 percent, lagging the benchmark S&P 500 Index .SPX.
"The biggest thing that's changed since 2014 is that the iPhone is widely available," said Ben Thompson, who analyses the technology sector at Stratechery. "There's a lot more growth potential when people have their first chance to buy an iPhone, but that potential has now been realized."


Bill Gates talked Microsoft out of trying to buy $3.8 billion Slack — so now Microsoft is trying to kill it www.businessinsider.com

In March, reports emerged that Microsoft was mulling over an $8 billion bid to snatch up the red-hot, $3.8 billion work chat app Slack — but Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates put the kibosh on that before an offer could be made.
Gates' argument was that Microsoft would be better served taking Skype, which it bought for $8.5 billion in 2011, and using it as the launchpad for a Slack competitor.
Now, it looks like Microsoft took Gates' feedback to heart: Microsoft-focused blog MSPoweruser reports that the tech titan is currently testing a new tool called Skype Teams, and it looks and sounds a lot like Slack, with at least one key improvement.
Much like Slack, Skype Teams offers "channels," which are different chat rooms for groups like sales, marketing, or product. A key difference is "threaded conversations," MSPoweruser reports, which helps organize conversations by making it look more like a Facebook comment thread.
Otherwise, Skype Teams and Slack look to offer a similar vibe, including the ability to make voice calls straight from the chat window. MSPoweruser has what appear to be Skype Teams screenshots that it claims were obtained from Microsoft employees.
Eventually, MSPoweruser reports, Skype Teams will make its way to the Office 365 suite as part of the monthly subscription for businesses, as well as potentially being available as a standalone product.
It's a logical move for Microsoft, as Slack makes tons of headway in the lucrative business-software space. Plus, Microsoft is always looking for new ways to convince businesses to upgrade to Office 365, which has the potential to make a lot more money per customer for the company.
And while Slack has found a niche in startups and midsize companies, it has struggled to make progress in the much-sought-after large enterprise market. Companies like Uber ended up abandoning Slack, going back to its chief competitor, Atlassian HipChat, apparently because it didn't offer the necessary security and compliance features.
So while Slack has won a lot of love in Silicon Valley, Microsoft's enterprise experience and expertise could make it a serious contender in this market. But with billions on the line, it'll be a real fight.
A spokesperson for Microsoft says that the company is "always building and testing new solutions to help people collaborate and get more done," but declined to offer specific comment on Skype Teams.


Idemitsu to delay acquiring Showa Shell shares www3.nhk.or.jp

Executives at major Japanese oil wholesaler Idemitsu Kosan say the acquisition of shares in a smaller rival as part of a merger plan is going to take longer than expected.
The Idemitsu officials cite a delay in the screening of the acquisition by the Fair Trade Commission. They say they plan to take a stake in Showa Shell Sekiyu next month or later, a change from the initial plan of this month.
Idemitsu says FTC officials need time to vet another merger of oil wholesalers.
They are apparently set on completing the deal in April of next year. But they have another issue to clear, which is the opposition of the founding family to the merger.
Idemitsu managers say they will continue to try to win the family's consent. But it is still unclear whether the companies will be able to complete the proposed merger as planned.


Eldorado Gold exits China, sells Jinfeng mine for $300 million www.mining.com

Canada’s Eldorado Gold (TSX:ELD) (NYSE:EGO) said Tuesday has completed the sale of its 82% stake in the Chinese Jinfeng mine to a wholly-owned subsidiary of China National Gold Group for US$300 million in cash.
The move marks the Vancouver-based miner exit from China, as the company announced earlier this year it was also selling its other three operations in the country — White Mountain, Tanjianshan and Eastern Dragon — for US$600 million in cash. That deal is expected to close before the end of the year, Eldorado said in the statement.
The transactions, said the company’s president and CEO Paul Wright, will add “meaningful value” to Eldorado and further strengthen the firm’s financial flexibility to advance its internal project pipeline.
Jinfeng produced 149,655 ounces of gold in 2015 and is expected to generate 95,000-105,000 ounces of gold this year, as the operation transitions fully into the underground.
Eldorado Gold, which also has operations in Turkey, Greece, Romania and Brazil, said it would use the money obtained from its Chinese mines to “continue to grow” the business based on “long-lived, low-cost assets.”


Enbridge buying Spectra in $28 billion deal www.reuters.com

Canada's Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO) said on Tuesday it would buy Spectra Energy Corp (SE.N) of Houston in an all-stock deal valued at about $28 billion (C$37 billion) to create the largest North American energy infrastructure company.

The takeover, the most significant energy deal since oil and natural gas prices crashed in mid-2014, highlights how pipeline companies are under pressure to merge as they grapple with overcapacity and sliding tariffs that have slowed dividend growth and unnerved investors.

Enbridge's biggest-ever deal will consolidate its leading position next to U.S. transport giants Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI.N) and Plains All American Pipeline LP (PAA.N), which have seen their stock prices sink over the last two years as oil and gas producers slash spending on new wells.

Enbridge's pipelines mainly send Canadian oil sands to refiners on the U.S. Gulf Coast, while Spectra's network ships natural gas to the U.S. East Coast.

The deal has no serious antitrust problems as the companies' networks have "limited overlap," said Bruce McDonald, an antitrust expert with Jones Day law firm.

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission did not comment.

Spectra shares leapt 13 percent to $40.89, their biggest jump in more than three years. Despite having risen some 50 percent since January on a partial recovery in oil and gas prices, Spectra's shares are still down 16 percent from a high of $43 hit in July 2014.

Enbridge Inc.'s crude oil storage tanks are seen during a tour of their tank farm in Cushing, Oklahoma, March 24, 2016. Picture taken March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Nick Oxford
Enbridge Inc.'s crude oil storage tanks are seen during a tour of their tank farm in Cushing, Oklahoma, March 24, 2016. Picture taken March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Nick Oxford
Enbridge's U.S.-listed shares (ENB.N) rose 4.3 percent to $42.77 and its Toronto-listed shares bounced.

Under the terms of the deal, Spectra shareholders will get 0.984 shares of the combined company for each share held. This is equal to $40.33 per share, representing a premium of about 11.5 percent to Spectra's closing price on Friday.

That premium was small compared to the 32.4-percent premium Energy Transfer (ETE.N) offered for Williams Companies Inc (WMB.N) in a 2015 deal that ultimately failed.

The Enbridge-Spectra deal has an enterprise value of $127 billion, the companies said. Enbridge will issue about 694 million new shares and take on about $22 billion of Spectra debt. Enbridge also said it planned to divest about $2 billion of non-core assets over the next year.

Enbridge Chief Executive Al Monaco will lead the combined company, which will be headquartered in Calgary. Greg Ebel, Spectra's CEO, will be non-executive chairman.

"Over the last two years, we've been focused on identifying opportunities that would extend and diversify our asset base and sources of growth beyond 2019," Monaco said in a statement.

After the close of the deal, Enbridge shareholders will own about 57 percent of the combined company, which is expected to deliver annual savings of C$540 million, most of which are expected to be achieved in late 2018.

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Despite lots of talk about an M&A wave, only a handful of energy acquisitions have happened since oil and gas prices entered their worst slump in a generation as buyers and sellers have been unable to agree on prices.

But now more deals are starting to get done.

On Tuesday, EOG Resources Inc (EOG.N), a leading U.S. shale oil producer, said it would buy privately held Yates Petroleum Corp, which has assets in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico, for $2.5 billion.

TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO), Canada's second-largest pipeline operator, completed its $10.2 billion takeover of Columbia Pipeline Group in July.

Enbridge bought a minority stake in the Bakken Pipeline last month. It also won an auction for a stake in EnBW's (EBKG.DE) Hohe See, a European offshore wind power project, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Credit Suisse Securities (Canada) and RBC Capital Markets were Enbridge's financial advisers, while Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and McCarthy Tétrault LLP were its legal advisers.

BMO Capital Markets and Citi were Spectra Energy's financial advisers and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Goodmans LLP its legal advisers. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP advised Spectra on tax issues. The deal is slated to close in early 2017.

(Reporting by Richa Naidu, Sruthi Shankar and Sweta Singh in Bengaluru, Ernest Scheyder in Houston and Diane Bartz in Washington; Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar; Editing by Terry Wade and Nick Zieminski)



Japanese-French trio to supply LNG as ship fuel in Europe www.asia.nikkei.com

TOKYO -- Japan's Nippon Yusen and Mitsubishi Corp. will partner with French energy giant Engie to supply liquefied natural gas as ship fuel in Europe starting this year, as a greener alternative to heavy oil.

The trio on Tuesday announced the business under the Gas4Sea brand. A dedicated storage vessel that can hold 5,000 cu. meters of LNG -- the first of its kind -- will supply the fuel to other ships.

The operations will be based in Belgium's Port of Zeebrugge for the time being, refueling ships that make a stop there.

The International Maritime Organization in 2015 tightened environmental regulations for ships navigating in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, requiring a 90% reduction of sulfur oxides content in fuel oil -- the mainstay ship fuel -- to a maximum of 0.1%.

Ships that travel through these waters now use low-sulfur fuel oil that is about 70% more expensive than regular fuel oil. LNG emits no sulfur oxides and is roughly the same price as normal fuel oil, so marine shippers would be able to cut fuel costs by switching.

Engie's global gas supply network will enable the business to expand to other parts of the world, including North America and Asia.

Jun Nishizawa, a senior vice president at Mitsubishi, told reporters in Hamburg, Germany, that the partners will work together to cultivate a new market in Asia, where regulatory changes have been lagging.

For waters around the globe, more stringent environmental regulations are to take effect as early as 2020, slashing the maximum allowed sulfur content in fuel to 0.5% from the current 3.5%. Against such a backdrop, demand for LNG as a cleaner fuel is seen reaching 7 million tons in 2020. The three companies hope to supply 200,000 to 300,000 tons of LNG a year.

About 300 ships used LNG as fuel last year and the tally is seen exceeding around 1,500 in 2020, according to the Japan Ship Technology Research Association.

Mitsubishi's rival Mitsui & Co. is also considering LNG supply in the Russian Far East by joining hands with state-owned company Gazprom. And European oil giant Royal Dutch Shell is building a large vessel to use for LNG supply.