1 CONSTRUCTION OF TAVANTOLGOI-GASHUUNSUKHAIT ROAD TO BE INTENSIFIED WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      2 OVER 30 MEASURES PLANNED FOR REDUCTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      3 MONGOLIA SAYS IT EARNS OVER 169 MLN USD FROM COAL EXPORTS TO CHINA IN JAN WWW.HELLENICSHIPPINGNEWS.COM  PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      4 RUSSIA’S GAZPROM TO START CHINA GAS PIPELINE BY DECEMBER 1 WWW.RT.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      5 MONGOLIA'S FOREIGN TRADE UP 41.6 PCT IN JAN. WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      6 EIGHT COMPANIES ANNOUNCE TO DISBURSE DIVIDENDS SO FAR WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      7 MONGOLIA'S PROSTITUTION ZONES, WHERE WOMEN TRADE SEX FOR FUEL IN SUB-ZERO TEMPERATURES WWW.TELEGRAPH.CO.UK PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      8 MONGOLIA TO SUSPEND KFC OUTLETS FOR INQUIRY AFTER FOOD POISONING REPORTS WWW.CNBC.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      9 MIAT TO FLY BETWEEN ULAANBAATAR AND GUANGZHOU WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      10 NEW BOOK ABOUT MONGOL EMPIRE’S IMPACT ON ISLAM WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      УУХҮЯ: II САРЫН БАЙДЛААР НИЙТ НУТАГ ДЭВСГЭРИЙН 5.6 ХУВЬД АШИГТ МАЛТМАЛЫН ЛИЦЕНЗ ОЛГОСОН WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     300 ОРТОЙ ТӨРӨХ ЭМНЭЛГИЙН БАРИЛГЫН АЖИЛ 80%-Д ХҮРЧ ГУРАВДУГААР САРЫН 1-НЭЭС ДУЛААНД ХОЛБОГДОХООР БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     II/19-НИЙ ДОТОР 24 ХК НОГДОЛ АШИГ ОЛГОХТОЙ ХОЛБООТОЙ ШИЙДВЭРЭЭ ГАРГАЖ , СЗХ-НД ХҮРГҮҮЛСЭН БАЙНА WWWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ӨНГӨРСӨН САРД 23.9 МЯНГАН ЖУУЛЧИН ХҮЛЭЭН АВЧЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ЭРЧИМ ХҮЧНИЙ ИМПОРТ БУУРЧЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ТАТВАР ТӨЛДӨГ 191 МЯНГАН ААН-Н 95.9 ХУВЬ НЬ БИЧИЛ БИЗНЕС ЭРХЭЛДЭГ WWW.EAGLE.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     НИЙТ НУТГИЙН 70 ОРЧИМ ХУВЬ НЬ ЦАСТАЙ БАЙНА WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ХАНБОГД-ОЮУТОЛГОЙГ ХОЛБОСОН ЗАМЫН НЭЭЛТ БОЛЛОО WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ЗГҮЦ-ЫН АНХДАГЧ ЗАХ ЗЭЭЛИЙН АРИЛЖАА МХБ-ИЙН ҮЙЛ АЖИЛЛАГААНЫ ОРЛОГО БУУРЧЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/19     “TEMASEK HOLDINGS” КОМПАНИ “TRQ” ДЭХ ЭЗЭМШЛИЙН ХУВИА 28 ХУВИАР БУУРУУЛАВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/19    

Events

Name organizer Where
“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

NEWS

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Mongolia-China expo great opportunity for Mongolia to diversify exports to China: official www.xinhuanet.com

ULAN BATOR, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- The biennial Mongolia-China expo is a great opportunity for Mongolia to diversify its exports to China and expand bilateral economic and trade ties, a senior Mongolian official has said.

"We are now cooperating with the Chinese side to organize the third Mongolia-China expo in Hohhot, capital of China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, in September," Tuvshintugs Battsetseg, deputy director of the Department of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, recently told Xinhua.

China has been Mongolia's biggest trading partner and top export market destination for almost two decades, and mining products have accounted for the majority of the Mongolian total exports, she said.

"Our country is willing to diversify its exports to China or increase the exports of non-mining sectors," she said.

Mongolia and China have set a 10-billion-U.S.-dollar target for bilateral trade by 2020, she said, expressing her hope that the biennial event will play a major role in achieving the target.

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IBM's AI debate computer loses to human champion www.cnn.com

San Francisco (CNN Business)People are great at arguing. But a project from IBM shows that computers are getting quite good at it, too.

On Monday, Harish Natarajan, a grand finalist in 2016's World Debating Championships, faced off against IBM's Project Debater — a computer touted by the company as the first artificial-intelligence system built to meaningfully debate humans. Natarajan won, but the computer demonstrated the increasingly complex arguments that AI is starting to make.
Project Debater, which has been in the works since 2012, is designed to come up with coherent, convincing speeches of its own, while taking in the arguments of a human opponent and creating its own rebuttal. It even formulates its own closing argument. To generate its arguments and rebuttals, Project Debater uses newspaper and magazine articles from its own database, and also takes in the nuances of the human opponent's arguments. It is not connected to the internet and cannot crib arguments from sites like Wikipedia.
Google Maps is using giant virtual arrows to stop people from getting lost
Google Maps is using giant virtual arrows to stop people from getting lost
Monday's debate, which was organized by nonprofit debate-hosting company Intelligence Squared US, was held in front of an audience in San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The topic of the debate — whether or not preschool should be subsidized — wasn't revealed to the AI system or Natarajan until 15 minutes before they took to the stage. Project Debater argued in favor of subsidized preschool.
It followed traditional debate style. Each side gave a 4-minute opening speech, then they each came up with a 4-minute rebuttal to the other party. At the end, they gave a 2-minute closing argument. The audience was asked to vote for one side or the other at the start of the debate, and again at the end.
"Greetings, Harish," Project Debater began, speaking in a mainly monotonous, female voice. It argued, among other things, that subsidized preschool can help break the poverty cycle. It spoke in complete sentences, and drew from a range of studies (including by the US Centers for Disease Control).
Natarajan followed, arguing against the resolution, saying subsidies would consume resources that middle-class families could use for other things. He also argued that subsidizing preschool doesn't mean that all children will be able to attend.
"There will still be individuals who will be priced out because of the realities of the market," he said.
The rebuttal segment of the debate was where some of the big differences between human and computer (beyond looks and vocal capabilities) were laid bare. Natarajan addressed specific parts of Project Debater's arguments and rebuffed them — such as saying it's unrealistic to expect a government has an unrestricted budget to put toward helpful programs.
Project Debater's rebuttal, while eloquently phrased, seemed more like a continuation of its initial argument than a true rebuttal of Natarajan's points. It saved its best counter arguments for its closing statement. While out of order, the elements of a proper debate all seemed present.
While waiting for the final vote, Natarajan said it was interesting that Project Debater could contextualize information and pull details from research. Combining its skills with those of a human, he said, "could be incredibly powerful."
Before the debate, 79 percent of the audience agreed that preschool should be subsidized and 13 percent disagreed. By the end, 62 percent of the crowd agreed and 30 percent disagreed. Because this style of debate is scored by which side gains the most percentage points, Natarajan took the win.
Harish Natarajan, a grand finalist in 2016's World Debating Championships, faced IBM's Project Debater — a computer touted by the company as the first artificial-intelligence system built to meaningfully debate humans.
Harish Natarajan, a grand finalist in 2016's World Debating Championships, faced IBM's Project Debater — a computer touted by the company as the first artificial-intelligence system built to meaningfully debate humans.
Project Debater shows how AI systems have become increasingly flexible in recent years. The AI we're used to seeing — like digital assistants built into smart speakers — can only be used in very narrow ways, such as answering specific questions. But IBM's (IBM) system shows how the technology may also be used to explore problems that don't necessarily have a single answer. This might help people find new ways to work with computers, and to use AI to help us come up with more solutions to problems.
"It's really pushing the boundaries [of the] kinds of AI systems that are more interactive with us and can understand us better," IBM Research director Dario Gil said Monday on CNN's First Move.

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Ruble flexes its muscle after Moody’s lifts Russia’s rating to investment grade www.rt.com

The Russian ruble has been gaining ground on the US dollar and the euro after global credit rating agency Moody’s upgraded Russia’s sovereign rating to investment grade with a stable outlook.
The ruble was trading at 65.85 against the greenback at 07:50 GMT, rising by 0.17 percent on Monday and marking a nearly three-percent gain on the year.

The Russian currency is trading 0.18 percent higher against the euro at 74.34, representing a 3.8 percent growth since January 1.

Russian stock indices opened higher with the dollar-denominated RTS up 0.7 percent to 1,207.5 points, while the ruble-based MOEX grew by 0.4 percent to 2,513.3 points.

Late on Friday, Moody’s announced the upgrade of Russia’s economy from Ba1 to Baa3, acknowledging the “positive impact” of government policies that managed to strengthen the country’s already robust public finances and may potentially help Moscow withstand possible US sanctions.

The agency noted that Washington is highly likely to introduce further anti-Russian sanctions in the coming months. The new measures by the White House could “be contained without material damage to the country’s credit profile,” Moody’s said.

“The sovereign’s vulnerability to such shocks has indeed materially diminished, and no longer constrains the rating to sub-investment grade,” the report said.

Last year, S&P Global Ratings upgraded the nation from junk level, bringing it in line with Fitch Ratings.

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Improved fuel factories operating 24/7 www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Consumption of raw coal will be banned for the capital city residents and enterprises except power plants and steam boilers starting from May 15, 2019.

Raw coal will be replaced with refined coal and briquettes. Thus, public and private factories are working on the production of improved fuel for delivering it to the consumers next autumn.

‘Tavan Tolgoi Fuel’ factory, which commenced in November 2018, has produced about 20 thousand tons of briquettes. The factory is operating 24 hours a day with four shifts.

The factory has a capacity to produce 200 thousand tons of improved fuel annually, which will be expanded to 600 thousand tons. It is planned to fully supply the fuel needs of the capital. Thus, air pollution of the city will be reduced by 50 percent.

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Mongolia declares outbreak of meningococcal disease www.xinhuanet.com

ULAN BATOR, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia's National Center for Communicable Disease (NCCD) on Monday declared an outbreak of the life-threatening meningococcal disease.

The Asian country has recorded three cases of the meningococcal disease so far this year, the NCCD said.

Meningococcal disease is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis and can cause infections in the lining of the brain or in the blood, or both. It has a high mortality rate if untreated but is vaccine-preventable.

The center urged people to identify symptoms early on and seek urgent medical treatment at health facilities if they feel sick.

The common symptoms of the disease include sudden fever, vomiting, nausea, headache, stiff neck, backache and increased sensitivity to light.

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First US coal plant in years opens where no options exist www.mining.com

One way to boost coal in the US: Find a spot near a mine with no access to oil or natural gas pipelines, where it’s not particularly windy and it’s dark much of the year.

That’s how the first coal-fired plant to open in the U.S. since 2015 bucked the trend in an industry that’s seen scores of facilities close in recent years. A 17-megawatt generator, built for $245 million, is set to open in April at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, just 100 miles from the state’s only coal mine.

“Geography really drove what options are available to us,” said Kari Burrell, the university’s vice chancellor for administrative services, in an interview. “We are not saying this is ideal by any means.”

The best producers can hope for domestically is a slow down in plant closures
The new plant is arriving as coal fuels about 25 percent of electrical generation in the U.S., down from 45 percent a decade earlier. A near-record 18 coal plants closed in 2018, and 14 more are expected to follow this year, according to BloombergNEF.

The biggest bright spot for U.S. coal miners recently has been exports to overseas power plants. At home, one of the few growth areas has been in pizza ovens.

There are a handful of other U.S. coal power projects that have been proposed, including plans to build an 850 megawatt facility in Georgia and an 895 megawatt plant in Kansas. But Ashley Burke, a spokeswoman for the National Mining Association, said she’s unaware of any U.S. plants actively under development besides the one in Alaska.

Future of power
“The future of power in the U.S. does not include coal,” Tessie Petion, an analyst for HSBC Holdings Plc, said in a research note.

Fairbanks sits on the banks of the Chena River, amid the vast subarctic forests in the heart of Alaska. The oil and gas fields of the state’s North slope are 500 miles north. The nearest major port is in Anchorage, 350 miles south.

The university’s new plant is a combined heat and power generator, which will create steam both to generate electricity and heat campus buildings. Before opting for coal, the school looked into using liquid natural gas, wind and solar, bio-mass and a host of other options. None of them penciled out, said Mike Ruckhaus, a senior project manager at the university.

The project, financed with university and state-municipal bonds, replaces a coal plant that went into service in 1964. University spokeswoman Marmian Grimes said it’s worth noting that the new plant will emit fewer emissions.

The coal will come from Usibelli Coal Mine Inc., a family-owned business that produces between 1.2 and 2 million tons per year from a mine along the Alaska railroad, according to the company’s website.

While any new plant is good news for coal miners, Clarksons Platou Securities Inc. analyst Jeremy Sussman said this one is "an isolated situation."

 

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MSE warns to delist firms that fail to deliver reports www.zgm.mn

In order to improve the transparency in the financial market, Altai Khangai, CEO of the MSE, warns to delist publicly traded firms in case of failure to deliver financial and operational reports.

On the list of firms with good governance, the recent IPOs are at the forefront; for example, LendMN JSC was the first company to turn in their 2018 financial and operational reports. The company earned a net profit of MNT 2.5 billion last year, making it possible for the company to distribute dividends this year. Additionally, the company recently announced to introduce an international transaction service by cooperating with “Transfer To” inc. According to Marketinfo, the board of LendMN has approved the CEO to sign MNT 1.4 billion worth deal with Transfer To.

Also, the MSE Tier-II listed company Mongol Savkhi JSC’s sales revenue totaled MNT 270 million in 2018, which is about 9.4 percent lower than the previous year. The stock price of the company, which manufactures leather and felt products, stood at MNT 480 per share as of February 2, which is a 50 percent fall year over year.

The net loss of the state-owned Darkhan Thermal Power Plant JSC reduced to MNT 1.8 billion last year. This is about 25 percent lower than in 2017. The 2018 financial report of the company shows that the cut in losses was mostly driven by the reduced foreign exchange losses.

Last year, a total of 130 MSE-listed firms have disclosed their financial and operational reports. The remaining 80 companies did not share their financial information to shareholders. Thus, in order to protect the investors’ rights, the MSE has warned to delist publicly traded companies that failed to disclose their reports or organize shareholders’ meetings.

In January, the market capitalization of the MSE diminished by 2.53 percent (MNT 63.5 billion), to MNT 2.4 trillion with the Top 20 Index growing 0.43 percent. Specifically, stock trades accounted for 97 percent of total trades and securities - 3 percent. Compared to January 2018, stock trades jumped by 5 times and securities trade was cut by 45 times. While the new IPOs had the biggest impact on stock trades, the suspension of Government securities trades at the primary market resulted in inactivity in the overall securities market.

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MNT 200 million to be spent for reservation of Ugii lake ecosystem www.montsame.mn

Arkhangai /MONTSAME/ A total of MNT 400 million were allocated in the state budget for 2019-2020 for the protection and improvement of Ugii lake of Arkhangai aimag, of which MNT 200 million were budgeted for 2019.

Ugii lake is one of the two lakes in Mongolia included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands, the other one is Ganga lake of Sukhbaatar aimag. These lakes provide habitat and food source for rare species of fish, birds and wildlife. However, the lakes are polluted and the ecosystem degrades year by year due to unorganized tourism, overgrazing and human activities. Thus, the Government has issued a resolution on protection of Ugii and Ganga lakes, budgeting a certain amount of money.

MP J.Munkhbat, Ministry of Environment and Tourism officials exchanged views with the locals living around Ugii lake on budget expenditure, protection and improvement of the lake.

Participants of the meeting pointed out that it is necessary to excavate a trench, input and output channels in order to maintain the water quality of Ugii lake. Another problem the lake facing is fishing, the population of fish has significantly reduced in recent years. Therefore, the participants proposed to assess the fish population and prohibit fishing in case of serious decline in fish numbers. Moreover, it is said that the tourist camps around the lake are overloaded, so the locals emphasized the need to conduct research and take actions regarding this issue.

According to the research of 2006, the circumference of Ugii lake is 24.5 km and some 129 species of birds, 15 species of fish and 266 species of plants were found there. About 3000 foreign and domestic tourists visit Ugii lake annually and the number of tourists increases year by year.

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10 killed in Mongolia road accidents over Lunar New Year www.xinhuanet.com

ULAN BATOR, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- At least 10 people were killed and 11 others injured in road accidents in Mongolia during the Lunar New Year holiday, known locally as the "White Moon," local media reported Monday.

A total of nine serious road accidents occurred across the country throughout the Lunar New Year celebrations on Feb. 4-8, the news website ikon.mn quoted the National Police Agency as saying.

Over-speeding, unpermitted overtaking and driver fatigue were the main causes of the accidents, the report said.

Mongolians celebrate the "White Moon festival" with new clothes, family feasts and good wishes. The festival symbolizes the start of spring and the end of a harsh winter.

It is also regarded as a traditional holiday to pay respect to the seniors. Many people travel to the countryside to visit their parents, grandparents and other senior relatives during the festival. Enditem

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Minerals Council of Australia calls for tax, workplace law reform www.mining.com

The Minerals Council of Australia published a report titled The Next Frontier: Australian Mining Policy Priorities where it asks the government to advanced a revived tax reform that removes barriers that hinder the growth of the country’s mining sector.

According to the Council, such reform would encourage additional investment in capital and technology.

“Australia should have strong tax integrity rules that are consistent with OECD best practice. The treatment of debt to fund investment in Australia should be aligned with OECD measures and should not affect legitimate debt, which is critical for Australia as a capital-importing economy,” the report reads.

The industry group also called on the Parliament to ensure tax settings are competitive and to retain the Fuel Tax Credit scheme so that companies operating in remote areas are not penalised for off-road diesel use.

In the document, the MCA urges authorities to modernise Australia’s workplace rules, which would imply removing duplication and red tape to allow local firms to stay ahead of the pack globally. In the organization’s view, there is unnecessary overlap in the requirements put forward by federal and state governments and this causes delays on projects and impacts the workforce.

“Flexibility and choice in employment arrangements will ensure that Australia’s highly paid, highly skilled mining workforce will be able to make the most of opportunities created by technology and new ways of working,” the report states.

The Minerals Council of Australia said it fears that jobs and the sustainability of regional and remote communities will be at risk if legislation related to the workplace is kept the way it is right now.

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