|“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 entire city of Ulaanbaatar experienced a major blackout last Saturday morning. Some areas were affected by power outage for over 13 hours followed by a significant aftermath, including a malfunction in the wastewater plant pump, resulting in wastewater overflowing onto electrical system. Minister of Energy Davaasuren Tserenpil explained, “Thermal Power Plant (TPP) IV went into a full shutdown at 9:54 AM, causing malfunctions at other plants. There were no accidents or damage. The investigating is currently being conducted to locate the source of the outage. I was informed in advance that it was due to negligence in the work and irresponsibility of technical administrators.”
The accident report is expected to be released on Wednesday. Mr.Davaasuren highlighted that the ministry only provides expertise and methodology to power stations; hence, incapable of demanding liability. The Government Agency for Policy Coordination on State Property is responsible for the appointment of TPP IV. Sources claim that repeated violations have been reported due to the dual control at the plant. Even though power has been restored to all of the areas, the Minister forewarned, “The same situation will arise in times of serious disaster. Therefore, we have to keep in mind that our energy system is not independent.” The frailty of the electrical infrastructure system unveiled the vulnerability of the wastewater plant. Due to the blackout, all the pumps shut down, flooding the plant with wastewater. A spokesperson of the Ministry of Energy informed that the power shortage also interrupts the manufacturing of consumer food, as well as deep wells, causing a risk of clean water supply disruption. The damage report of the blackout is expected soon.
Time magazine is changing hands once again, nearly eight months after it was sold to US media group Meredith Corporation.
The co-founder of Salesforce.com, Marc Benioff, and his wife are personally buying Time for $190m (£145.3m).
In a statement, Meredith said the Benioffs "will not be involved in the day-to-day operations or journalistic decisions".
The deal could close within a month but must first get regulatory approval.
Mr Benioff - who is chairman, co-chief executive and co-founder of the cloud computing firm Salesforce.com - said that he and his wife have deep respect for the organisation and its iconic brand.
"The power of Time has always been in its unique storytelling of the people and issues that affect us all, and connect us all," he tweeted.
The Benioffs take over the publication at an uncertain time for print media. Time has cut its circulation and struggled with declining advertising revenues.
Meredith only completed its purchase of parent company Time Inc in January and moved to sell some its most well-known magazine titles soon after.
Mr Benioff, who is worth $6.7bn according to Forbes, is the latest tech figure to acquire a traditional print publication.
Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post in 2013. Last year, Laurene Powell Jobs, philanthropist and widow of Steve Jobs, acquired a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine.
Investors keen to tap into the electrification of the world’s transport networks should look upstream to the battery metals market instead of buying shares in automakers, according to Ulrich Ernst, the chief executive officer of Blackstone Resources.
The electric vehicle (EV) revolution will first emerge as a mixture of differing technologies, from hybrids to all-electric cars powered by an ever-evolving battery-metal-mix of cathodes, Ernst said.
“Battery-metals don’t mind what path the EV revolution takes. They don’t mind which automaker wins and which one loses. Even the type of technology used is of little relevance,” he said.
“Aggregate demand for battery-metals will rise at an exponential rate. And the days of the traditional combustion engine are limited,” he added.
Citing data from the Boston Consulting Group, Ernst said that the proportion of vehicles produced that run on gasoline and diesel will fall to just 52% by 2030from 95% globally in 2017.
“What’s astonishing is that we are now in 2018, and 2030 is only 12 years away,” he added.“What’s astonishing is that we are now in 2018, and 2030 is only 12 years away.”
The mix of battery metals used in battery cathodes may well change drastically in the years ahead, along with the battery cathodes themselves, according to Ernst.
“Technological progress will drive this shift to make owning a decent electric car like the Tesla more affordable. The exact mix of battery metals and the technology used will change to make all-electric cars more efficient, more powerful, drive longer and speed-up charging times while on the road,” he said.
“The beauty of investing in battery metals is that you don’t have to wait for this point in time to arrive. If you diversify your portfolio of batterymetal interests, then the final mix doesn’t matter whether it’s North American cobalt, rare earths from Norway, manganese from Colombia or molybdenum from Mongolia,” he noted.
“So forget about investing in EVs. Battery materials matter more,” he added.“Battery materials matter more,”
Ernst is unfazed by the recent fall back in the cobalt and lithium prices, he said.
“The easing of supply-side tensions in the Democratic Republic of Congo has seen cobalt prices fall 15% and lithium prices fall 20% in the last six months. I think it’s good to see some of this risk premium come out of the battery metal market because it’s the long-term demand-side forces, such as the electric car, which will drive this market forward,” he said.
“Batteries might be falling in price due to efficiency gains made in battery technology. However, battery metals are also rising as a percentage-ofcost of these batteries. And, as the number of EVs dramatically increases, demand-side forces are likely to overwhelm any short-term supply-side relief,” he added.
Metal Bulletin's assessments of low and high-grade cobalt prices, a key raw material used in the production of EV batteries, peaked at 10-year highs in April but slid lower for several months after May. Meanwhile cheap selling from China met weak summer demand elsewhere.
Yet spot prices for high-grade cobalt rose for the first time in 19 weeks on Friday August 31, with sellers successfully hiking their offers in response to an uptick in consumer demand, alongside a more positive backdrop from China.
The high-grade cobalt price rose to $32.90-34 per lb, in-warehouse, on Friday August 31 from $32.55-33.55 per lb in mid-week.
The low-grade cobalt price was unchanged at $33-33.60 per lb inwarehouse on August 31.
Lithium prices meanwhile soared to an average of $21,760 per tonne in 2017 from around $9,500 per tonne in the second half of 2015, based on Metal Bulletin's assessment of spot prices ex-works China. Yet prices have since eased amid an anticipated supply surplus while projects ramp-up and new producers enter the market.
Metal Bulletin's battery-grade lithium carbonate index was calculated at 85,298 yuan ($12,492) per tonne, ex-works China on Thursday August 30, down from 159,250 yuan per tonne at the start of the year.
Switzerland-based Blackstone Resources is an independent mining and exploration company with strategic stakes in battery materials projects in Canada, Peru, Columbia, Norway and Mongolia....
Russia and Mongolia have great potential for expanding bilateral cooperation in many areas, M.V.Vasiliev, trade representative of Russia to Mongolia, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on Sunday.
"We believe it is correct to set a common goal to increase 10 times the trade turnover between our countries in the next 10 years and to fill our cooperation with new major projects," he said.
Last year, the trade volume between Russia and Mongolia amounted to 1.4 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 46.9 percent compared with 2016.
This year, according to the National Statistical Office of Mongolia, the bilateral trade volume increased by 40 percent in January-July of 2018 compared with the same period last year.
Mongolia's major exports to Russia are cashmere, sheep and goat leather, carpets, meat and meat-related products.
Overall, bilateral trade continues to develop steadily at an accelerated pace, Vasiliev said.
In order to accelerate the integration of the two economies, it should be a priority for Mongolia and the Eurasian Economic Union, which groups Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia, to reach a free trade agreement, he said.
Currently, projects in the sphere of energy and transport cooperation are dynamically moving forward, he said.
The Russian trade representative also highlighted the importance of developing road infrastructure within the framework of the Central Railway Corridor, saying there are interesting proposals from the business and investment community on transforming the railway corridor into a channel of mega-projects cooperation, including oil and gas pipelines, power lines and fiber-optic lines.
He also mentioned the ancient Tea Road, which the three countries are trying to revive, saying a tourist project is focused on the construction of "digital detox" tourist towns along the road to help tourists knowingly refuse to use smartphones, computers and other devices to relieve their stress.
If the project is implemented, tourists will take natural meat, natural milk and breathe the steppe, he said.
"I am sure that this will be the most popular tourist project," he added.
However, thanks to the rise in popularity of experience drive holidays, with events such as the annual Nadaam Festival, where participants celebrate Mongolians’ rich heritage with horse races, archery contests and wrestling, the country is now drawing tourists from Russia, China and APAC as well as Europe and the United States.
Compounding this tourism trend, Mongolia also introduced a measure to drive the country’s potential by abolishing tourism licenses and the introduction of a tax exemption scheme which offers up to 10% of total investment to companies building “high-rated hotels and tourist complexes”.
This has resulted in Mongolia witness a slow, but steady, increase in the number of international visitors, creeping up to 705,000 in first quarter of 2018, a 11% increase on 2017’s figure.
One company seeking to take advantage of the uptick in interest to Mongolia is Hunnu Air, Mongolia’s second largest airline, who have announced a new deal with the Sabre Corporation which will see the carrier’s content rolled out via the tech provider’s marketplace platform used by more than 425,000 global travel agents. (travel daily media)...
The British and Mongolian army polo teams will mount for the annual friendly match on at the Khaan Polo Club, in Ulaanbaatar’s sub district area of Gachuurt on 22 September at 1.30 p.m. The army polo match has being held since 2015 and aims for deepening cooperation between the two countries in the sports, tourism and defence sectors.
The Mongolian polo team members were introduced to their British counterparts in 2015 at their first training session, held at the military base in Khentii Province under the patronage of the Ministry of Defence of Mongolia.
The United Kingdom was the first western country that recognized Mongolian Independence. Relationships between the two countries have successfully been developing over the last five years. Currently, Mongolia is closely cooperating with the UK in education, environment, democracy and economic development.
History reveals to us that it was only in the 1860s that the British Indian Cavalry Regiments invented the game nicknamed ‘King’s Game’ while it was being played at Manipur on 12 hand ponies.
The Mongolian Polo Federation was established in 1997. The Mongolian national polo team is no amateur affair – it won silver at the Asian Championships which were held in Bangkok in 2012.
Sharp Energy Solutions Corporation (SESJ)*1 announces the completion of a mega solar power plant in Zamyn Uud, Dornogovi Province, Mongolia. The project was a collaboration with Shigemitsu Shoji Co., Ltd.*2 and Mongolian energy company Solar Tech LLC*3.
The new plant has an output of approximately 16.5 MW-dc, with annual power generation capacity estimated at 31,162 MWh/year. The output from this facility is expected to allow avoided greenhouse gas emissions of 24,836 t-CO2 per year.
Mongolia’s government is aiming for 25% of its power generation capacity to come from renewable sources. Back in December 2016, Sharp, in collaboration with Shigemitsu Shoji and others, completed a large-scale 10 MW-dc solar power plant. This was the first solar facility of its kind in Mongolia. Sharp remains committed to spreading renewable energy around the world.
Fitch Ratings-Hong Kong/Singapore-12 September 2018: Most large Mongolian banks have undertaken additional provisioning in response to an asset-quality review (AQR) concluded earlier this year, which is likely to pave the way for a pick-up in profitability and faster growth, says Fitch Ratings. However, the AQR highlighted weak capital, with some banks close to the regulatory minimum, while weaknesses in the regulatory environment and lending standards will continue to pose medium-term risks as banks refocus on expansion.
The AQR and subsequent stress test has not resulted in a full and transparent clean-up of balance sheets, but the process is likely to have led to improved acknowledgement of underlying asset-quality problems and a reassessment of collateral valuation. The doubling of State Bank's official NPL ratio in 1Q18, for example, is likely to have reduced under-reporting. State Bank's NPL ratio was previously well below the wider measure used by Fitch, which combines impaired loans and loans more than 90 days overdue. NPL ratios of other domestic systemically important banks (DSIBs) were more stable following the AQR, and those of Khan Bank (B/Stable/b) and XacBank (B/Stable/b) even declined, due to loan growth and, possibly, write-downs.
DSIBs' loss-absorption buffers - reserves and excess capital - averaged 6.8% of gross loans at end-1H18, which fell short of their average official NPL ratio of 7.4%. TDB was the only bank with loan-loss allowances that exceeded regulatory NPLs. Khan, State and Xac have full coverage if excess capital buffers are included, while Golomt is the only DSIB with an overall shortfall. This analysis excludes collateral and future earnings, which may address uncovered potential losses.
Provisioning costs are likely to ease in 2H18, and they will also benefit from a stronger operating environment. Banks could even receive a boost from recoveries on non-performing assets as the economy gains momentum. We forecast real GDP growth of 5.2% in 2018 and 6.3% in 2019.
This improvement in conditions will support earnings and reduce near-term risks. However, the pick-up has already triggered an acceleration in lending growth that will add to pressure on capitalisation and could signal a return to high risk-taking. System-wide lending growth increased to 17.8% ytd in 1H18, compared with 9.0% in the whole of 2017, and is now considerably faster than nominal GDP growth. Golomt was the fastest-growing DSIB, with lending growth of 23.3% ytd in 1H18, even though its total capital ratio was barely above the 14.0% regulatory minimum. Xac and TDB also have relatively thin buffers.
The return to strong growth could test the effectiveness of efforts to address structural weaknesses in the supervisory framework, and the authorities' willingness to prioritise financial stability. The AQR process has strengthened the role of the supervisor, and there is a focus on containing more aggressive lending toward the lower-risk consumer sector, encouraging scrutiny of borrowers' consolidated debt burdens, and deterring banks from lending in foreign currency. However, continued rapid growth of weaker banks without regulatory intervention could signal continued shortcomings in enforcement, and might encourage moral hazard.
The banking sector recapitalisation law, approved by parliament in June, could add to moral hazard risks. The law sets guidelines under which DSIBs can receive public capital injections. Regulators' application of the law has not been tested, and banks with weak capital could view potential state injections as a reason not to ease back on growth.
The second "Fitch on Mongolia Forum" was held on 30 August 2018 in Ulaanbaatar. Presentation slides are available on www.fitchratings.com or by clicking the link.
+852 2263 9966
Fitch (Hong Kong) Limited
19/F Man Yee Building
68 Des Voeux Road, Central
+852 2263 9955
+65 6796 7232
Media Relations: Leslie Tan, Singapore, Tel: +65 6796 7234 , Email: email@example.com
Wai-Lun Wan, Hong Kong, Tel: +852 2263 9935 , Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The above article originally appeared as a post on the Fitch Wire credit market commentary page. The original article can be accessed atwww.fitchratings.com. All opinions expressed are those of Fitch Ratings....
LONDON/ULAANBAATAR (Reuters) - Nearly 10 years on from the launch of a giant copper and gold project in Mongolia, Rio Tinto is still looking to secure a domestic power source it needs for the mine under an agreement with the government.
Oyu Tolgoi, located in the South Gobi region near landlocked Mongolia’s southern border with China, is scheduled to complete a $5.3 billion underground expansion for first production by 2020, creating one of the world’s biggest copper suppliers.
The project, launched in 2009 and 34 percent-controlled by Mongolia, is set to transform the country’s tiny economy, and is also key for Rio as the biggest potential growth area for its copper business. But it has been beset by squabbles over cost overruns and claims of unpaid taxes.
Under an agreement with the government, by 2022 a domestic power source must be found for the project, currently running on power imported from China. But while Rio has invited three state-owned Chinese firms to submit bids to build a power station at a cost of up to $1.5 billion, it has yet to make a final decision on a go-ahead.
Rio also has yet to have its permits for the plant renewed by the Mongolian government, according to a government source.
“The main challenge remains the same: political instability and unpredictability,” said Otgochuluu Chuluuntseren, a former government official who also served as an Oyu Tolgoi board member.
Oyu Tolgoi has suffered repeated delays amid government wrangling, the reshuffling of officials, disputes over Mongolia’s share of the returns and opposition to foreign participation among nationalist politicians.
Complicating the power project has been the Mongolian government’s desire to kickstart the nearby Tavan Tolgoi coal project, one of the world’s biggest deposits with an estimated reserve of more than 6 billion tonnes, which lies just 150 km (93 miles) from Oyu Tolgoi.
Rio had originally planned to build its own power plant, but it suspended construction plans in 2012 after it was encouraged by the government to switch to a proposed plant at Tavan Tolgoi, where it would be an off-taker rather than investor.
However, in February this year, the government canceled a 2014 agreement setting up a framework for co-operation on a shared power plant, with Rio saying the project still lacked a credible lead investor and could not be completed on time.
Oyu Tolgoi currently pays about $100 million a year to buy electricity from China, according to an industry source with knowledge of the matter.
The project is now looking at options for a domestic power source, said Luke Colton, chief financial officer at Turquoise Hill Resources, the Rio-controlled unit that owns 66 percent of the project.
“An Oyu Tolgoi-based plant is currently the most feasible option that could deliver a domestic power source within the shortest timeframe,” Colton said in a call on second quarter earnings at the end of July.
Rio Tinto said it was working with the government and other stakeholders to progress the building of a new power station.
“Rio Tinto and its partners are committed to securing a domestic power supply within the agreed timeframe,” a spokesman said.
Some government officials have expressed impatience about the power plant delays, underscoring the political challenges facing the project.
“Oyu Tolgoi should stop playing with the Mongolian state!” Mongolia’s energy minister Davaasuren Tserenpil said on the ministry’s official Twitter account last month, in extracts from an interview to local media.
“Oyu Tolgoi got permission from the ministry in 2012 to build the power plant on its site but it has done nothing.”
Otgochuluu said transporting power from a Tavan Tolgoi plant to Oyu Tolgoi would be more efficient than transporting coal to a likely coal-fired plant at the Oyu Tolgoi mine.
Of the three contractors invited by Rio to tender for the project, Power Construction Corp of China spokesman Sun Jianli told Reuters the bid was “preliminary” and the project was still “very far away”.
The others, China Machinery Engineering Corp and Harbin Electric International, declined to comment.
If the plant is not built on time, Rio and the government would need to negotiate on alternative supply arrangements, potentially a sensitive task as discord continues to rumble around the project.
“It is a huge and prized project. Rio Tinto and the Mongolian government would do everything to avoid any major disruption to supply,” said Shairaz Ahmed, Manager of Statistical Analysis, International Copper Study Group
Reporting by Barbara Lewis and Munkhchimeg Davaasharav; additional reporting by David Stanway in SHANGHAI, Melanie Burton in MELBOURNE and Tom Daly in BEIJING; editing by Richard Pullin...
Daily Newspapers' Association (DNA) addressed 10 core social issues, including child safety, child protection in digital environment, health, food safety, unemployment, poverty and environmental pollution, durings its second annual forum held yesterday. The forum was attended by over 200 delegates of 11 daily newspapers, noteworthy publishers and guests. Key topics were selected based on a survey conducted among all editorials of daily newspapers. “When we brought up these important social issues, several people inquired about the political party behind this forum. Were there any political party involved in 151 children who died this year? What about the people who died of cancer? We are speaking on behalf of unhealthy, hunger-driven, unemployed and half-intoxicated people today,” addressed Dolgion Erdenebaatar, the President of DNA, added, “Rather than making a fuss about these issues among journalists, we must consistently demand resolutions to these problems through our publication policies and let the policy-makers take firm actions.” According to the speakers, one out of six people in Mongolia cannot consume healthy and nutritious food. The number of people who use narcotics and psychotropic substances reached about 90,000. One third of the entire population are struck by poverty and daily spend only MNT 1350 on food.
The participants concluded that these situations have been created due to negligence to these 10 interconnected core problems. Nomintushig Baldorj, the First Deputy Editor at the Today Newspaper, stressed, “609 family and domestic violence response teams were established in cohesion with the Child Protection Act that was approved last year; however, the law is not actualizing in reality as a single social worker in Songino Khairkhan district is responsible for 3,600 people and there is no support from the budget. Therefore, it is essential to ratify a Child Protection Act that is realistic and can enable budgetary incentives to reach the target group.” Baigal Ganbold, a journalist at Zasgiin Gazriin Medee (ZGM) newspaper, highlighted that Mongolia’s economy grew by over 40 times in the last three decades and he State Budget increased by 50 times; however, unemployment and poverty did not reduce.“Although the economy grew significantly last year, the citizens are yet to benefit from it due to unstable growth. Without the right policy, the economic growth will only raise inflation, further burdening the public,” warned Ms. Baigal. The forum continued with the solution of sustainable economy, touching upon domestic industrialization. Dulamkhorloo Baatar, Chief-in-Editor at the ZGM newspaper, urged to support domestic industries at all cost and stressed, “The industrial development has an advantage of being able to prosper through policy support. Recovery of a single industry develops multiple sectors in a chain reaction. This increases workplaces and public income, which will further grow public savings and enhance loan grants of commercial banks, ultimately supporting private entities and is healthy for the state budget.”...