|“Doing business with Mongolia”, “UK Investors show” бизнес хөтөлбөр March 27-April 02. 2019 ЛОНДОН ХОТ, ИХ БРИТАНИ||Mongolian Business Database||London UK|
|SYMPOSIUM ON GLOBAL MARKETS Nationalism and Protectionism: The United States in the International Arena June 17-18, 2019 The Center for American and International Law Plano, Texas, USA||The Center for American and International Law (CAILAW)||Plano Texas June 17-18 2019|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced the completion of the fifth review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and recommended Mongolia to further improve public financial management as Parliament is currently discussing the pre-election year budget. This enables Mongolia to draw 26.2088 million Special Drawing Rights (SDR) equivalent of about USD 36.22 million, bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to SDR 157.2 million (about USD 217.33 million). The fund highlighted, “The combination of strong policy implementation and a supportive external environment has helped the authorities meet all end-September 2018 quantitative targets under the program, with significant over-performance on fiscal targets. Progress has also been made on structural reforms, albeit with some delays.” Following the Executive Board’s discussion of the review, Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Acting Chair and Deputy Managing Director, said, "The fiscal accounts have posted a primary surplus, reflecting both a sharp increase in revenues and continued expenditure restraint.
Meanwhile, past over-performance allowed the authorities to meet key reserve targets, despite a recent rise in balance of payments pressures. In the financial sector, the focus remains the follow-up to the Asset Quality Review (AQR). Select banks are in the process of booking the results of the AQR and subsequent on-site inspections. They are also now raising the needed capital to address identified shortfalls by the end-December 2018 deadline. The Bank of Mongolia will remain focused on ensuring financial sector stability throughout the process.” On the down side, the IMF noted that Mongolia remains vulnerable to external and domestic shocks, failing to withstand the progresses. The fund suggested that it is crucial to take advantage of the still favorable economic environment to further bolster fiscal and external buffers, strengthen the banking sector, and improve the investment climate. “In addition, the authorities should continue efforts to protect social spending, strengthen tax administration, and improve public financial management. A dedicated implementation of the authorities’ reform program is key to build resilience against shocks and ensure sustainable, inclusive growth,” remarked Mr. Mitsuhiro.
Parliament’s plenary session began with a protest of the Democratic Party (DP) faction yesterday. The DP members hung up banners, declaring not to attend plenary sessions and standing committee meetings until the MPs involved in SME Development Fund scandal are ousted and left the session. Without the DP faction, the remaining Parliament members held the first discussion on 2019 Monetary Policy Guidelines, during which the Governor of Bank of Mongolia (BoM) Bayartsaikhan Nadmid informed that the bank has injected USD 720 million into the foreign exchange (FX) market so far this year and is planning USD 1 billion currency intervention before the end of 2018. This is expected to reduce the weakening MNT rate at about 5 percent fluctuation. “The Law on Currency Regulation, which is currently under discussion by the Parliament, includes an article that states transactions of Oyu Tolgoi and other private entities that has stability agreement with the Government shall be made through BoM accounts. The approval of the bill will help grow FX reserves,” addressed Mr. Bayartsaikhan.
The Parliament members further touched upon eight percent mortgage loan program, highlighting that the mortgage loan repayments currently stand at 98 percent from total outstanding loans. The related standing committee noted the low accessibility of mortgage loan in 2017-2018 and suggested to increase the program financing in 2019. In turn, the Governor of the BoM Bayartsaikhan noted the difficulty for the BoM to independently settle the mortgage loan issue and reminded that the International Monetary Fund suggested to transfer the management of mortgage program to the Government starting from January 2019. He also highlighted that the BoM is currently making an effort in further reducing commercial bank lending rate, which was recently lowered from 21 percent to 17.8. Additionally, the BoM is operating under MNT 3 trillion deficit and Mr. Bayartsaikhan informed that the only measure of maintaining the balance is to issue Government securities and bonds; however, considering the current situation, he announced that the BoM will repay its debt from operational revenue.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. Delegates lead by the Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry D.Sumiyabazar and MP A.Undraa are currently participating in the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC-2018), which is taking place in Melbourne, Australia. Minister D.Sumiyabazar hold a meeting with Australian investors today.
During the meeting, he gave information about the better environment that is currently forming in the mining and heavy industry sector of Mongolia. Noting that the preparation for trading of up to 30 percent of shares of Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC on both domestic and international stock exchanges is currently underway, he called on the investors to partner in making the project into a global large-scale project.
Aside from the Australian investors, Ambassador of Mongolia to Australia B.Chuluunkhuu, Ambassador of Australia to Mongolia John Langtry and CEO of Oyu Tolgoi Armando Torres attended the meeting.
Minister D.Sumiyabazar stated that he’s currently working on founding a joint public and private international investors’ consultation committee at the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry.
Dornogobi /MONTSAME/ An infrastructure construction of the oil refinery to be built in Altanshiree soum of Dornogobi aimag is running at over 30 percent.
Ulaanbaatar Railway Joint Stock Company and other relevant companies are executing construction works of basic facilities such as, electricity substation, overhead power lines, rail track and auto road. It is planned to be complete by June next year.
Seven local companies and over 100 locals are taking part in the construction works. Additionally, it was decided to train 10-15 local youth in India with a purpose to build a personnel capacity for oil refinery.
It is intended to put the oil refinery into operation in 2022. The oil refinery is estimated to process 1.5 million tons of oil per year.
MELBOURNE, Nov 1- Mongolia is looking to list up to 30% of the state-owned company that owns the massive Tavan Tolgoi coal mine on the New York and Hong Kong stock exchanges in 2019, the country's mining minister said on Thursday.
Mining Minister Sumiyabazar Dolgorsuren said the government is aiming to carry out the initial public offering of Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi between April and June 2019. He was speaking at an investor briefing on the sidelines of the IMARC mining conference in Melbourne.
Development of Tavan Tolgoi, one of the world's largest deposits of coking coal used in steel-making, has long been delayed, due to poor infrastructure and disputes over the role foreign investment should play in digging Mongolia's resources.
The government is keen to develop the mine, which holds an estimated 7.4 billion tonnes in reserves, as the market for coking coal is strong.
Sumiyabazar said the country is looking to Chinese investment to help fund a railway from Tavan Tolgoi in the Gobi desert, about 250 kilometres (155 miles) from the Chinese border.
(By Melanie Burton; Editing by Leslie Adler and Richard Chang)
IMF Executive Board Completes Fifth Review under the Extended Arrangement for Mongolia and Approves US$ 36.22 Million Disbursement www.imf.org
On October 31, 2018, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the fifth review of Mongolia’s performance under the program supported by a three-year extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Completion of the review enables Mongolia to draw the equivalent of SDR 26.2088 million (about US$ 36.22 million), bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to SDR 157.2454 million (about US$ 217.33 million).
Mongolia continues to perform well under the program. The combination of strong policy implementation and a supportive external environment has helped the authorities meet all end-September 2018 quantitative targets under the program, with significant over-performance on fiscal targets. Progress has also been made on structural reforms, albeit with some delays.
Mongolia’s three-year extended arrangement was approved on May 24, 2017, in an amount equivalent to SDR 314.5054 million, or about US$ 434.3 million1 at the time of approval of the arrangement (see Press Release No. 17/193 ). The government’s Economic Recovery Program, supported by the IMF, aims to stabilize the economy, reduce the fiscal deficit and debt, rebuild foreign exchange reserves, introduce measures to mitigate the boom-bust cycle and promote sustainable and inclusive growth.
Following the Executive Board’s discussion of the review, Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Acting Chair and Deputy Managing Director, said:
"Mongolia continues to make good progress under the Fund-supported program. Helped by favorable commodity exports, a recovery in confidence, and strong program implementation, growth has accelerated further, leading to improvements in the fiscal position and debt dynamics. The fiscal accounts have posted a primary surplus, reflecting both a sharp increase in revenues and continued expenditure restraint. Meanwhile, past over-performance allowed the authorities to meet key reserve targets, despite a recent rise in balance of payments pressures.
“In the financial sector, the focus remains the follow-up to the Asset Quality Review (AQR). Select banks are in the process of booking the results of the AQR and subsequent on-site inspections. They are also now raising the needed capital to address identified shortfalls by the end-December 2018 deadline. The Bank of Mongolia will remain focused on ensuring financial sector stability throughout the process.
“Notwithstanding this progress, Mongolia remains vulnerable to external and domestic shocks. It is therefore crucial to take advantage of the still favorable economic environment to further bolster fiscal and external buffers, strengthen the banking sector, and improve the investment climate. In addition, the authorities should continue efforts to protect social spending, strengthen tax administration, and improve public financial management. A dedicated implementation of the authorities’ reform program is key to build resilience against shocks and ensure sustainable, inclusive growth.”
IMF Communications Department
PRESS OFFICER: TING YAN
PHONE: +1 202 623-7100EMAIL: MEDIA@IMF.ORG...
Mongolian mining minister Sumiyabazar Dolgorsuren says he hopes Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi copper mine will have a working relationship with the operator of the country's Tavan Tolgoi coal mine, but says he is flexible as to whether a power station should be built at the coal mine or at the copper mine.
Supply of power to Oyu Tolgoi, Rio's top global growth project, has become a major issue in 2018 after Mongolia terminated an agreement that allowed Rio and its subsidiaries to import the mine's power supply from China.
Rio now needs to find a domestic power source by 15 February 2022, which will almost certainly require the construction of new power generation in the developing Asian nation.
Rio's preference is to build a power station at the Oyu Tolgoi site in the South Gobi desert, but the Mongolian government is rumoured to favour construction of a power station at Tavan Tolgoi, which is currently managed by state-owned mining company Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi.
Despite those rumours, Mr Dolgorsuren said he was open to the idea of a power station being built at Oyu Tolgoi, which is currently the subject of a $US5.3 billion ($7.4 billion) expansion.
"In regards to the power plant project we hope that Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi and Oyu Tolgoi can cooperate on this and have a working relationship in order to resolve this issue," he told The Australian Financial Review at Melbourne's International Mining and Resources Conference.
"From my point of view I believe that whether it can be built on the Tavan Tolgoi site or on the Oyu Tolgoi site, with regards to choosing which one, I am quite flexible on that."
The Mongolian government is hoping to conduct an initial public offering (IPO) for Tavan Tolgoi in mid 2019 and is weighing up whether to list the company in Hong Kong or New York.
Mr Dolgorsuren, who represented Mongolia in wrestling at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, said his team were currently working to secure investment banks and underwriters to advise on the IPO, and he said strong coal prices were creating an incentive to push ahead with the float swiftly.
"This is something that a lot of people are waiting for and we are working very hard to ensure that we can do this in time because currently the commodity prices are rising and operations are quite stable therefore we believe we will be able to do the IPO," he said.
"We hope this mine could become a large player within the coal industry and in order to do this there are many infrastructure projects that we have to complete as well, and this includes the railway and power station and all the other plants we have to build.
"We plan to do the IPO around 2019 between April to June so this is our targeted time, however before this we would have to procure the consulting companies we have to work with and the investment banks, underwriters and book runners, and these are things we are doing at the moment right now.
"In terms of the stock exchanges, the cabinet has given directions to study the Hong Kong and the New York stock exchange, so these are two stock exchanges we are looking at at the moment."
The focus on Hong Kong and New York exchanges rather than the ASX comes after US coal miner Coronado's disappointing IPO on the ASX last week, which saw the stock initially price at the lower end of the expected range, and then slide sharply in its first few days of trading.
2018 has been a turbulent year in the relationship between Rio and the Mongolian government, with a working party from the Mongolian government reviewing the investment agreement that covers Oyu Tolgoi, while Mongolian tax authorities have also accused the miner's subsidiaries of having unpaid taxes.
There has also been an international investigation into the conduct of the Mongolian politicians who signed off on the Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement in 2009.
Despite the renewed turbulence, Mr Dolgorsuren said his government was mindful of the need to offer stability and security to foreign investors.
"There are around 50 Australian companies operating in Mongolia, companies with Australian investors, therefore it is very important to ensure that these foreign investors are protected and the environment is favourable for them to invest in Mongolia," he said.
Other ASX listed companies operating in Mongolia include copper explorer Xanadu, Aspire Mining and Terracom....
ULAN BATOR, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia exported more than 31 thousand tons of meat and meat products in the first three quarters of 2018, an increase of roughly 20 percent compared to last year, official data showed Wednesday.
More than half of the total exported meat in the first three quarters of this year, or 16,741 tons, was horse meat according to the Mongolian Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry.
Mongolia currently exports meat and meat products to China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Japan, Iran and Vietnam.
The Asian country, one of the last nomadic countries in the world, has more than 66.2 million livestock animals as of the end of 2017.
Mongolia has been striving to develop its food and agriculture sector in a bid to diversify its mining-dependent economy. It aims to raise meat exports tenfold in the coming years.
Currently, there are some 40 meat processing enterprises in the country with special licenses to export meat and meat products.
Ulaanbaatar bans celebrations in schools, while Russian parliamentarian warns that it can “draw children to mysticism, Satanism, and suicide.”
31 October 2018
Beloved and widely celebrated in the United States and some other parts of the world, Halloween and its traditions have been slow to be embraced elsewhere. Despite its growing popularity among Mongolian children, the authorities have prohibited its celebration in the country’s educational establishments through a directive sent to all schools by the Ministry of Education, Reuters writes.
“Generally, it’s all about the children’s attitude. Some may get into their roles too deeply or misuse [Halloween] and have a negative social effect. For this reason, it has been decided not to celebrate,” G. Erdenechimeg, a social worker at a school in the capital Ulaanbaatar, told Reuters.
The ban might also have its roots in fears that the adoption of such a holiday could be detrimental to the preservation of the traditionally nomadic and Buddhist Mongolian culture.
Similar arguments were wielded by Russian conservatives and religious groups that called for a ban of Halloween celebrations in their country, The Moscow Times writes. An archpriest from the Moscow region told Orthodox believers not to go “into those stinking taverns and get drunk among all those pumpkins with candles” on such a day intended for “unscrupulous and brainless people.”
Parliamentary member Vitaly Milonov echoed such views and asked for a ban, state-owned RT.com writes. “This holiday has pagan, anti-Christian roots,” Milonov said. “It’s well-known that it’s based on worshiping dark forces and Satan as well as glorifying the grim Celtic cult of death.”
Russia is not the only country in TOL’s region where such opinions can be found. Last year, Bosnia’s Republika Srpska forbade kindergartens and elementary schools in the majority-Serb and majority-Orthodox entity to celebrate the holiday, Balkan Insight writes. Traditionalist groups that successfully lobbied the Ministry of Education in favor of such a ban said that it “celebrated the pagan cult of death," and that, by using "innocent children's games," it leads young people to "sectarianism and Satanism."
A municipality in Bulgaria, a fellow Balkan and Orthodox nation, also banned the celebration of Halloween in schools, kindergartens, and cultural centers in 2017, The Sofia Globe wrote at the time. Bulgaria celebrates Day of the Enlighteners on 1 November, which honors prominent cultural figures. However, some children believed that they had a day off on that occasion because of Halloween, the mayor of the municipality said while speaking about the ban.
In their turn, some Mongolian traditions have raised eyebrows elsewhere in the world. Human rights groups and international organizations have criticized the Mongolian custom of using child jockeys because the dangers the participants face while racing. Children as young as five compete in hundreds of races each year, although seven is the minimum age.
Halloween draws its roots from Samhain, a three-day ancient Celtic pagan festival symbolizing death and rebirth, which marked the end of summer and the beginning of the Celtic new year, Time Magazine writes. Participants in the celebrations accompanying the festival often wore costumes of animals or beasts, in the belief that such disguises would keep away potentially harmful, otherworldly spirits.
According to EU statistics agency Eurostat, Poland is one of the top five producers of pumpkins and gourds in the EU, ranking fifth with a harvest of 75,000 tons produced in 2017. The Central European country was followed by Bulgaria and Romania, each of them with a yield of around 20,000 tons during the same year.
Compiled by Ioana Caloianu
Cabinet approved to sign three concession agreements on road construction from Tavantolgoi during its regular session yesterday. Accordingly, a concession on establishing 250 km long heavy duty road in Tavantolgoi-Gashuunsukhait route with Tal Nutgiin Khugjiliin Zam LLC under “Design-build-use-transfer” terms. The company is obliged to construct the road within 2.5 years once the agreement enters into force and will transfer to the State after using for 12 years. The Government will not issue any financial support or guarantee for Tal Nutgiin Khugjliin Zam LLC in constructing the road. Cabinet views that the establishment of the road is expected to increase in and outflow of the coal export route, which accounts for 50-60 percent of total coal export, and reduce environmental impact. Furthermore, another concession on establishing 270 km road from the end of Tavantolgoi-BaruuNaran route to Tsagaan Del border checkpoint will be signed with Undrakh Gobi LLC under “Design-build-use-transfer” terms. As the previous agreement, the Government will not be providing financial support or guarantee. After discussing the process of Tavantolgoi-Khanbogd-Khangi route road, the Cabinet ordered the Director General of National Development Agency Bayarsaikhan Banzragch to establish a concession with Nako LLC as specified on the Parliament’s 73rd resolution of 2018.
State Housing Corporation changed from SOE to LLC
With an aim to improve accountability, monitoring and management, the Cabinet changed the ownership status of State Housing Corporation state-owned enterprise to limited liability company. Officials explain that this will allow the company to have a board and introduce corporate governance, ultimately establishing monitoring on executives and creating opportunities of collective decision-making. In 2013-2016, the company implemented “Buyant Ukhaa-1”, “Byant Ukhaa-2” “1000 household accommodation for each aimag” and “Rental Housing” projects and programs, during which the authorities made decisions based on conflict of interest due to political and other influences, causing insufficient financing for projects, disregarding potential risks, misuse of income and lack of monitoring system. Due to these issues, the company now has over MNT 370 billion in debt.