1 MONGOLIA-CHINA AGREE TO COLLABORATE IN INCREASING MEAT EXPORT WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      2 U.S. AND MONGOLIA SEEK TO STRENGTHEN ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP WWW.STRTRADE.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      3 MONGOLIA, U.S. LEADERS DISCUSS BILATERAL TIES WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      4 BELT AND ROAD SIGNIFICANT TO MONGOLIA, PEOPLE AROUND WORLD -- ACADEMIC WWW.ENG.YIDAIYILU.GOV.CN PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      5 PETRO MATAD UPDATES MONGOLIA EXPLORATION WWW.OGJ.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      6 RIO TINTO’S EXIT FROM COAL PAYS OFF, TO RETURN $3.2B FROM SALES PROCEEDS TO SHAREHOLDERS WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      7 OPENING CEREMONY OF SAINSHAND SALKHIN PARK HELD WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      8 ALIBABA’S MA SAYS TRUMP’S TRADE WAR ‘DESTROYED’ HIS PROMISE TO CREATE JOBS FOR 1MN AMERICANS WWW.RT.COM  PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      9 LEGAL DISPUTE OVER EMC OWNERSHIP COMES TO AN END WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      10 ERDENES TAVAN TOLGOI REVENUE SURGES DUE TO HIGHER COAL PRICES WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      НУРАХ ДӨХСӨН БАЙРУУДЫГ ШИНЭЧЛЭХ КОМПАНИ ОЛДОХГҮЙ БАЙНА WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     МОНГОЛ УЛС ВАШИНГТОН, ПЁНЬЯНЫ ХЭЛЭЛЦЭЭРТ ЗУУЧЛАХАД БЭЛЭН ГЭДГЭЭ ЗАРЛАЛАА WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     УЛСЫН ХЭМЖЭЭНД 85.3 МЯНГАН ТОНН ТӨМС ХУРААН АВААД БАЙНА WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     ЗГ: БУЦАЛТГҮЙ ТУСЛАМЖИЙГ УСНЫ НӨӨЦИЙГ САЙЖРУУЛАХ, ХЭРЭГЛЭСЭН УСЫГ БУЦААН АШИГЛАХАД ЗАРЦУУЛНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     ҮСХ: УЛААНБААТАРТ АЖИЛЛАГЧДЫН САРЫН ДУНДАЖ ЦАЛИН УЛСЫН ДУНДЖААС 121.7 МЯНГАН ТӨГРӨГӨӨР ИХ БАЙНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН ИХ ХУРАЛ, ЕВРОПЫН ПАРЛАМЕНТ ХООРОНДЫН XII УУЛЗАЛТААР ХАМТАРСАН МЭДЭГДЭЛ ГАРГАЛАА WWW.DNN.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     ТӨРИЙН АЛБАНЫ УДИРДАХ АЖИЛТНЫ УЛСЫН ЗӨВЛӨГӨӨН БОЛЖ БАЙНА WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     2019 ОНЫГ МОНГОЛ, АМЕРИКИЙН ЗАЛУУЧУУДЫН ЖИЛ БОЛГОНО WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     УУРХАЙЧДЫН АЖЛЫН БАЙР НЭМЭГДЭЖ, ЦАЛИН ӨСЧ БАЙНА WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/20     “ЭРДЭНЭТ”-ИЙН 49 ХУВИЙН ӨМЧЛӨЛ ТОЙРСОН ХУУЛЬ ЗҮЙН МАРГААН ЭЦЭС БОЛЛОО WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/20    

Events

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

NEWS

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Mongolia to cultivate over half a million hectares in 2018 www.news.mn

According to the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry, a total area of 513.2 thousand hectares are to be cultivated nationally in 2018.

Mongolia will cultivate over 390 thousand hectares of wheat, 15.5 thousand hectares of potatoes, 8.4 thousand hectares of various vegetables, 32.0 thousand hectares for fodder crops, 41.9 thousand hectares for oil-seed plants and 6.5 thousand hectares for fruit.

In the scope of the plan, 1480 entities from 14 different aimags (provinces) will plant cereal, oil-seed and fodder crops, 470 entities, cooperatives and 35 thousand households will plant potato, vegetables and fruit.

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Russian oil producers to make money from China’s yuan-backed crude futures – analysts www.rt.com

Crude oil exports implemented via Eastern Siberia–Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline may substantially benefit from yuan-denominated oil futures launched by China last month, according to industry experts.
If the new product manages to succeed, price pegging of the Russian ESPO export blend to the China contract will favorably influence the Russian oil blend price. The new futures contract may reportedly boost Russian producers’ annual revenues by extra $440 million.

Last year, China topped the US as the biggest oil importer with nearly a million barrels of crude being purchased every day. Chinese oil demand could increase by 2.1 million barrels per day by 2023, according to Wood Mackenzie consulting firm, as quoted by TASS. The analysts stress that Chinese authorities are clearly seeking to exert more influence on oil pricing in this regard.

“Certainly, it is more beneficial for China to make settlements in the national currency. The national futures launch is a step in this direction. This instrument will make possible to form contracts on its basis and perform hedging,” Darya Kozlova from Vygon Consulting told the agency.

“At current import volumes, the contract grades could account for trade of about 200 billion yuan ($31.9 billion). This will help the Chinese government in its efforts to internationalize renminbi,” said Wood Mackenzie's research director Sushant Gupta.

The new product encourages foreign investment in Chinese assets. China’s Finance Ministry even pledged to exempt nonresidents investing into the contract from taxes for up to three years.

“However, if the government continues market interventions, while control measures over capital flow will be tightened, this will only discourage investors,” notes Ekaterina Grushevenko, an expert from the Skolkovo Business School.

Analysts say that Beijing is on its way to creating its own oil benchmark as seven different blends accounting for just 20 percent of total imported volumes are currently authorized for trading.

“Creation of liquid futures is a lengthy and complex yet feasible process, as Dubai’s experience shows. A fairly liquid exchange market is an advantage for China, which is important for benchmark forming” said Kozlova.

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Four meat factories to be built with Chinese loan of USD78 million www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ State Secretary of Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Light Industry signed a USD 78 million loan agreement with a Chinese company within the framework of soft loan to be granted from Government of China to Mongolia. The agreement was one of 11 documents of cooperation and mutual understanding between two countries established in scope of the official visit of Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh to China. Under the agreement, four meat factories and quarantine zones will be established in the Gobi, Khangai, Western and Eastern regions of Mongolia.

It will greatly increase meat exports of Mongolia, underlined Minister of Food, Agriculture, Light Industry B.Batzorig. "Within the scope of the Prime Minister's visit, Mongolia and China agreed to work in a comprehensive partnership level and continue the previous works. During the visit Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Light Industry of Mongolia signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China on supporting small medium enterprises, exchanging information and increasing the investment. Export of agricultural commodities and products to China is very important" the Minister said.

Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Sports Ts. Tsogzolmaa said "During the Prime Minister's visit our ministry has renewed two major cooperation agreements. The first agreement is on cooperation in education sector from 2018-2021 which includes the completion of school and kindergarten buildings and supplementary funding for the Development center for disabled children, teacher exchange and training. Secondly, we signed an agreement to comprehensively cooperate in Sports sector, including training of couches of human resource and athlete exchange in judo, freestyle wrestling and boxing sports until the Tokyo Olympics"

G.Tuguldur

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New MoU signed on Erdenet to Ovoot railway project www.news.mn

Aspire Mining Ltd has entered into a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Co Ltd (CGGC). The new MoU was signed during Mongolian Prime Minister U.Khurelsuk’s official visit to China.

The Erdenet to Ovoot Railway extends 549 kilometres between the town of Erdenet and Aspire’s Ovoot Coking Coal Project, both in Mongolia.

Having delivered the draft Erdenet to Ovoot rail feasibility study in March 2018, CGGC and Northern Railways have agreed to work quickly to finalise the feasibility study by the end of May 2018. The rail feasibility is a key document for targeting project financing. CGGC will look to fund the remaining Erdenet to Ovoot Rail concession agreement pre-development work as per the previous October 2017 MoU.

However, this will be subject to receiving a guarantee that the connecting rail line will have sufficient capacity to carry the additional freight once connected. Also, that there be sufficient time to complete the remaining pre-development work and conditions precedent pursuant to the rail concession agreement.

Northern Rail will enter into an EPC contract with CGGC in November 2018 subject to construction funding being available. In August 2015, Northern Railways was granted an exclusive 30 years concession by the Mongolian government to build and operate the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway.

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Glencore is losing billionaire allies to Trump's sanctions www.mining.com

(Bloomberg) — The reach and power of U.S. sanctions are hemming in the world’s largest commodity trader.

In just four months, Glencore Plc chief Ivan Glasenberg has lost two of his closest business allies as President Donald Trump’s aggressive foreign policy hits home, forcing him to cut ties with billionaires Oleg Deripaska and Dan Gertler.

The U.S. actions demonstrate the rising risk from international sanctions for companies like Glencore, which has built a global business by cutting deals with powerful people, and leaves the trader without its key men in two major markets.

Glasenberg has quit the board of Deripaska’s United Co. Rusal, and Glencore abandoned plans to swap its stake in the Russian company with another of the oligarch’s businesses, En+ Group Plc. Deripaska is the second recent Glencore associate to face U.S. sanctions. Gertler, the Swiss trader’s former partner in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was singled out by America in December over allegations of corruption.

"The message to companies is you have to watch out who you are doing business with," said former U.S. Ambassador Daniel Fried, who coordinated the State Department’s sanctions policy under the administration of Barack Obama. “Business conducted with the world’s bad guys is going to have a higher risk premium."

Glencore, which trades in 100-odd commodities in more than 90 countries, has partly built its business by dealing with people and places that others avoided. While many of its commodity competitors also operate in high-risk jurisdictions, few have a footprint as large as Glencore. Alongside Congo and Russia it mines Kazakh gold and zinc, drills for oil in Chad, and trades petroleum products in Libya. The Swiss commodity giant declined to comment.

The trader had already distanced itself from Gertler before sanctions hit, buying out his stakes in its two Congo mines 10 months earlier in a near $1 billion deal. Yet, it still faces questions on how to manage royalties it’s contracted to pay the Israeli businessman. With respect to Deripaska, Glencore has an 8.75 percent stake in Rusal, which has already lost more than half its value, and a multi billion-dollar deal to buy its metal.

Trouble shooter
More importantly, U.S. action has now forced Glasenberg to review two relationships he spent a decade cultivating and that gave his firm privileged access to decision makers.

In Congo, where Gertler had aided most of Glencore’s engagement with the government, the company now needs to navigate a series of complicated roadblocks without its trusted trouble-shooter.

In Russia, Glencore has other links to the Kremlin and relationships in the local oil and agriculture industries that have yet to be targeted by the U.S. Last year, Glasenberg was even awarded Russia’s Order of Friendship medal by President Vladimir Putin. Deripaska, a Glencore partner since at least 2007, was one of the company’s most important allies.

High risk
Barclays Plc and Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analysts are among those arguing the financial fallout from U.S. sanctions will be limited. Yet, there’s no doubt that Trump’s aggressive foreign policy adds uncertainty.

"Russia has always been a high risk, high gain business environment," said Fried from Washington. "They took advantage of the high gain, now they are learning about the high risk."

Glencore has a history of taking such risks in its stride. Founder Marc Rich was indicted in 1983 for trading oil with sanctioned Iran and spent years on the FBI’s most wanted listed.

Three decades later, Glasenberg won oil industry admiration with a bold deal to buy an $11 billion stake in Russia’s biggest oil company, Rosneft PJSC, in a transaction that the U.S. reviewed for potential sanctions violations but didn’t block.

What’s different today is that America has refined its financial arsenal and then put it in the hands of a president who favors gut instinct over chess-like maneuvering. The Obama-era 2016 Global Magnitsky Act, which significantly expanded the reach and flexibility of sanctions, allows the U.S. to punish individuals accused of corruption or human rights violations anywhere in the world, without the need to first establish a specific program to target the behavior.

While the prior administration focused on a longer-term policy agenda, Trump seeks to punish those he views as wrongdoers, according to Maximilian Hess, a senior political risk analyst at AKE International.

Gertler, along with 14 others including including a Myanmar general, a former Gambian president and an organized crime boss from Uzbekistan, was sanctioned in December under the Act.

Glencore’s success has been based in part on operating in places "where others are uncomfortable,” said Hess. With changes in the U.S., “their current model is facing serious challenges."

(Written by Tom Wilson and Thomas Biesheuvel)

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Erdene begins drilling at Bayan Khundii gold project in Mongolia www.mineralsandmaterials.energy-business-review.com

Canada-based Erdene Resource Development has commenced its 2018 drill program at its fully owned Bayan Khundii gold project in southwest Mongolia.

Erdene president and CEO Peter Akerley said: “Drilling commenced today on the first phase of the 2018 program which will initially focus on the new North Midfield Zone where late 2017 drilling returned the highest grade gold zone at Bayan Khundii since discovery.

“This drilling will test for extension and continuity of structurally-controlled high-grade gold feeder zones in multiple locations and will be followed by gradual step-out drilling to define the perimeter of the Bayan Khundii gold system in advance of a late Q3-2018 maiden resource estimate.

“The Bayan Khundii drill program will be followed by drill testing of more distal targets at our neighbouring Altan Arrow, Khundii North and Ulaan projects later in Q2.”

Bayan Khundii Drill Program

The Company’s Q2-2018 drill program will consist of a projected 5,600 metres in approximately 25 diamond drill holes, with the following three objectives:

Test high priority structural targets, principally within the North Midfield and Midfield zones, based on the structural interpretation and greater understanding of controls on mineralization completed in Q4-2017 by Dr. Armelle Kloppenburg, which led to the discovery of the ultra high-grade intersection (2,200 g/t gold over 1 metre) in hole BKD-231;

Complete closer-spaced drilling within the Striker, Midfield, and North Midfield zones to establish stronger continuity of gold mineralization within very high-grade gold domains that is anticipated to lead to higher levels of confidence in their definition and associated gold grades for incorporation in the Company’s Q3-2018 maiden mineral resource estimate; and,

Test select areas within the larger 1.2 kilometre trend that demonstrate good potential for establishing additional extensions to mineralization or to identify new mineralized zones.

North Midfield Zone

In January 2018, the Company announced the discovery of ultra high-grade gold mineralization in the North Midfield Zone, where hole BKD-231 intersected 2,200 g/t gold over 1 metre, within 14 metres of 158 g/t gold.

This intersection confirmed excellent continuity down-dip from earlier holes that included:

BKD-110 (30 metres north of BKD-231): 1 metre of 115 g/t gold and 1 metre of 108 g/t gold within 20 metres of 7.2 g/t gold; and

BKD-111 (30 metres northwest of BKD-231): 1 metre of 44 g/t gold and 1 metre of 33 g/t gold within 25 metres of 5.3 g/t gold.

A comprehensive, independent structural study was completed at Bayan Khundii in Q4-2017 that assisted with the targeting of hole BKD-231, which is thought to be proximal to where major, deep-seated structures have intersected the northeast-trending hanging wall of the gold system.

The Q2-2018 program will include follow-up drilling in this new area to establish continuity and potential extensions of the high-grade mineralization, along with the testing of additional structural targets within the North Midfield Zone.

Midfield Zone

In 2017, the Company established strong continuity of high-grade gold mineralization within the Midfield Zone.

This drilling confirmed that mineralization is more proximal to surface (locally 24 metres vertical depth) and also confirmed greater depth of gold mineralization, with results including:

BKD-92: 2 metres of 113 g/t gold within 72 metres of 4.0 g/t gold;

BKD-98: 2 metres of 192 g/t gold within 80 metres of 6.0 g/t gold;

BKD-99: 4 metres of 69 g/t gold within 56 metres of 6.1 g/t gold;

BKD-150: 2 metres of 53.6 g/t gold within 17 metres of 8.2 g/t gold; and

BKD-230: 3 metres of 36.8 g/t gold within 18 metres of 7.2 g/t gold.

The Company intends to complete closer-spaced drilling within the Midfield Zone to establish stronger continuity of some of these very high-grade domains in order to provide higher levels of confidence in domain definition and overall gold grades for incorporation in the anticipated Q3-2018 maiden mineral resource estimate.

Striker Zone

While all 51 holes within the Striker Zone have intersected anomalous gold mineralization, approximately 70% have returned intervals of greater than 10 g/t gold, including up to 306 g/t gold. Recent 2017 drilling returned:

BKD-196: 1 metre of 43.1 g/t gold within 22 metres of 2.4 g/t gold;

BKD-222: 1 metre of 139 g/t gold within 23 metres of 6.7 g/t gold; and

BKD-227: 2 metres of 19.6 g/t gold, 1 metre of 111 g/t gold and 1 metre of 40 g/t gold, within 61 metres of 4.2 g/t gold.

High-grade drill results from the first phase of drilling in Q4-2015 and in 2016 included:

BKD-01: 1 metre of 187 g/t gold within 7 metres of 27 g/t gold;

BKD-10: 1 metre of 167 g/t gold within 35 metres of 5.7 g/t gold;

BKD-17: 1 metre of 81.7 g/t gold and 3 metres of 49.4 g/t gold within 63 metres of 5.3 g/t gold;

BKD-44: 1 metre of 93.1 g/t gold within 8.3 metres of 14.7 g/t gold;

BKD-49: 2 metres of 62.1 g/t gold within 71 metres of 3.06 g/t gold;

BKD-77: 1 metre of 306 g/t gold and 1 metre of 30.7 g/t gold within 65 metres of 6.3 g/t gold;

BKD-84: 1 metre of 101 g/t gold, 1 metre of 16.1 g/t gold, and 1 metre of 19.7 g/t gold within 36.7 metres of 5.0 g/t gold; and

BKD-86: 1 metre of 94.8 g/t gold and 1 metre of 15.2 g/t gold within 18 metres of 7.1 g/t gold.

The Company plans to complete additional drilling within the Striker Zone to establish stronger continuity of some of these high-grade domains.

Regional District Exploration

Over the past several years Erdene has discovered a new gold district (“The Khundii Gold District”) in southwest Mongolia that includes seven targets, two of which are considered significant prospects for development, which are being advanced toward a global mineral resource estimate in Q3-2018; Bayan Khundii and Altan Nar.

During 2018, in addition to drilling at Bayan Khundii, the Company intends to complete additional drilling at its early-stage Altan Arrow gold-silver project, 3.5 kilometres north of Bayan Khundii, to follow-up on high-grade results intersected from reconnaissance drilling in Q4-2017; hole AAD-12 intersected 70 g/t gold over 2 metres, and drilling of a new target area 300 metres west of AAD-12 returned 39 g/t gold over 1 metre, near-surface (hole AAD-11).

The Company will also complete follow-up, surface exploration work at its Khundii North gold prospect, 2.5 kilometres east of Altan Arrow, where gold-in-soil anomalism has now been traced over 1 kilometre, containing areas of quartz stockwork, chalcedonic quartz with hematite breccia clasts that have returned up to 22 g/t gold from initial rock chip sampling.

In addition to the Company’s 100%-owned gold projects, it has recently acquired a 51% interest, with the option to acquire up to 100%, in the Ulaan license, a 1,780 hectare exploration property, located immediately west of its Bayan Khundii license.

The license has no history of trenching or drilling, and is host to a very large, 3-kilometre diameter, intense alteration zone with characteristics thought to be related to a porphyry complex at depth.

The Company intends to complete a maiden drill program at Ulaan in late Q2-2018.

Through its Alliance with Teck Resources Limited, Erdene also intends to continue to assess regional opportunities for porphyry and porphyry-related mineralization within the larger Edren Terrane and intends to pursue acquisitions as opportunities arise in the Alliance’s area of interest in southwest Mongolia.

Erdene’s Bayan Khundii, Altan Nar, Altan Arrow, Ulaan, Khuvyn Khar and Zuun Mod properties are excluded from the Teck Alliance areas of interest.

Qualified Person and Sample Protocol

Michael MacDonald, P.Geo. (Nova Scotia), Vice President Exploration for Erdene, is the Qualified Person as that term is defined in National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the technical information contained in this news release.

All samples have been assayed at SGS Laboratory in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. In addition to internal checks by SGS Laboratory, the Company incorporates a QA/QC sample protocol utilizing prepared standards and blanks.

Erdene’s sampling protocol for drill core consisted of collection of samples over 1 m or 2 m intervals (depending on the lithology and style of mineralization) over the entire length of the drill hole, excluding minor post-mineral lithologies and un-mineralized granitoids.

Sample intervals were based on meterage, not geological controls or mineralization. All drill core was cut in half with a diamond saw, with half of the core placed in sample bags and the remaining half securely retained in core boxes at Erdene’s Bayan Khundii exploration camp.

All samples were organized into batches of 30 samples including a commercially prepared standard, blank and either a field duplicate, consisting of two, quarter-core intervals, or a laboratory duplicate.

Sample batches were periodically shipped directly to SGS in Ulaanbaatar via Erdene’s logistical contractor, Monrud Co. Ltd.

Source: Company Press Release

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Mongolia’s foreign trade turnover reaches USD2.6 billion www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ As of the first quarter of 2018, Mongolia made trades with 160 countries and its foreign trade turnover reached USD2.6 billion, reported the National Statistics Office.

In detail, Mongolia’s export reached USD 1.5 billion and the import USD1.1 billion. Exports of minerals products, textiles, precious and semi-precious gemstones and metal ornaments made up 94.7 percent of total exports.

About imports, minerals products, machinery, equipment, electrical appliances, vehicles and their parts as well as food products covered 68.5 percent. The import rose by USD354.2 million against the same period of previous year. It was mainly caused by the increase in imports of mineral products, diesel fuel, machinery, mechanic equipment, electrical appliances and their parts, and vehicles and their parts. 
M.Unurzul

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EBRD to help upgrade engineering cables in Erdenet www.news.mn

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has expressed its willingness to seriously consider a proposal to cooperate with the Orkhon provincial administration to upgrade the network of power transmission cables in the city of Erdenet.

Earlier today, Orkhon Deputy Provincial Governor S.Batjargal held a meeting with Irina Kravchenko, Head of the EBRD representative office in Mongolia. During the meeting, S.Batjargal proposed cooperating with the EBRD in upgrading the 42 year-old power cable network of Erdenet.

The EBRD has been operating in Mongolia since 2006 and has invested a total of USD 1.5 billion in the country.

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Mongolia confirms role in Asian highway network www.news.mn

On 12 April, the Mongolian Parliament approved a bill ratifying an intergovernmental agreement established between Mongolia, China and Russia on international transport via the Asian Highway Network.

A new era of trade cooperation between China, Mongolia and the Russian Federation was launched in Moscow on 8 December 2016, when the governments of the three countries signed the Intergovernmental Agreement on International Road Transport along the Asian Highway Network. By signing the Agreement, each country agreed to give the other two countries traffic rights for international road transport operation on the parts of Asian Highway routes AH3 and AH 4 connecting their respective territories.

To demonstrate the benefits of the initiative, in August 2016, the transport ministries of the three countries concerned organized a pilot run of a nine-truck convoy that travelled the 2,150-km distance in seven days from the Chinese port of Tianjin to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia and then on to Ulan-Ude on the shores of Lake Baikal in the Russian Federation.

 
 
 
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Moody’s eyes weaker outlook on Mongolia’s credit rating www.ubinfo.mn

Moody’s, one of the three major credit rating agency, assessed Mongolia’s credit profile as “vulnerable to commodity price boom-bust cycles” and credit negative in an email statement, reported Bloomberg yesterday.

The statement emphasized that delays and reversals of some structural reforms mandated by the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program pose a risk to the continuity of donor assistance. “Reforms subject to delays and reversals were those primarily designed to prevent a return to pro-cyclical fiscal policies and to strengthen and empower institutions to support adherence to fiscal rules,” highlighted Moody’s.

Earlier this week, the IMF staff team disclosed the report for the third review under the EFF. The team foresaw that growth is expected to remain strong in 2018; however, the report addressed several several risks including changes in global commodity demand and bottlenecks at the border. According to Moody’s, an asset quality review of Mongolian banks, stipulated by the program and conducted by an independent consultant, also points to a much smaller capital adequacy shortfall than the IMF previously forecast, resulting in lower potential recapitalization costs to the Government. In addition, Moody’s view that Mongolia’s growth outlook rests critically on the continuation of the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine and the expansion of the Tavan Tolgoi coal project over the next five years.

In January, Moody's upgraded the Government of Mongolia's long-term issuer ratings and the senior unsecured ratings to B3 from Caa1, and the senior unsecured medium-term note (MNT) program rating to B3 from Caa1. The short-term issuer ratings are affirmed at Not Prime and the outlook stable

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