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Monday, March 20, 2017

EVENT: Mongolia Mineral Exploration Roundup 2017 International Forum, March 23-26, Corporate Convention Center

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Monday, March 20, 2017

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Mongolia Mineral Exploration Roundup 2017 International Forum, March 23-26

It is our great pleasure to formally inform you that the 9th International Geological Forum and Exhibition “MONGOLIA MINERAL EXPLORATION ROUNDUP 2017” (MMER-2017) organized by Mongolian Society of Economic Geologists (MonSEG), will take place March 23-26th, 2017 at Corporate Convention Center, in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

This forum is co-organized by Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry, Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority of Mongolia, State Specialized Inspection Agency, Mongolian University of Science and Technology and Mongolian National University.

We cordially invite all of you to take part at one of the significant annual upcoming event in the exploration industry, where will be discussed major issues related to mineral sector of the country. 

The following activities will be organized in the framework of the forum:

·         Pre-forum geoscience students conference

·         Main sessions

·         Exploration and mining projects introduction, investors meeting

·         Exploration and mining companies exhibition including the ministry of mining and heavy industry, government regulatory agencies

·         Annual awards for “Best exploration team” and “Best mapping team”

·         “The Explorer in the nature” photo exhibition

·         Minerals and rocks exhibition

·         One day workshop

·         Geo-tour to the Bogd mountain

Pre-forum geoscience students’ conference

9th pre-forum geoscience and mining bachelor students conference will be organized by “Golden Hill”.

Registration deadline: March 5, 2017.

Date: March 9, 2017.

Location: Mongolian University of Science and Technology

Main sessions

Forum main sessions will be covering the topics of government policy to improve the competitive environment of investment for 2016-2020 years, government support for the mineral sector, regional geological study, exploration methods and equipment, introduction of exploration and mining projects, exploration licenses application issues. 

The Forum recommendations will be delivered to related government organizations with following performance.

Participants:

Members of the Parliament

The ministry of mining and heavy industry

The ministry of finance

The ministry of environment and tourism

The ministry of energy

Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority of Mongolia

State Specialized Inspection Agency

Foreign Embassies officials

Exploration and mining companies

Consulting, professional and exploration geologists

Geoscience universities

Date: March 23-24, 2017 (9a.m-6p.m)

Location: Corporate Convention Center

Exploration and mining projects introduction, investors meeting

Business meetings for potential investors to introduce mineral exploration and mining projects under special programme.

Participants:

Exploration and mining license holders

Bank and financial organizations

Potential investors

Mineral exploration consulting companies

Mining companies

Laboratories

Registration deadline: March 20, 2017

Date: March 24, 2017 (9a.m-6p.m)

Location: Corporate Convention Center

Exhibition

During the 2-day event the government organizations and 30-40 companies are participating the exhibition and will receive around 1200 visitors.

Participants:

The ministry of mining and heavy industry

Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority of Mongolia

State Specialized Inspection Agency

Exploration and mining companies

Drilling and geophysical service companies

Geoscience universities

Laboratories and supply companies

Registration deadline: March 20, 2017.

Regular booth size: 2m х 2m х 1m

Location: Corporate Convention Center

One day workshop

We have 3 different workshops within the forum.

1.    Workshop hosted by Dr Gotovsuren.A on “Geochemistry Exploration”.

2.    Workshop hosted by professional geologists from MRPAM, “Erdenes Methane” and “Petrovis Resources” LLC on “CBM-Coal bed methane exploration”.

3.    Workshop hosted by professional engineer Tatsuya SATO on “Applied Magnetotellurics and EM survey”.

The workshop costs are 200 000 MNT.

10% discount for Mongolian Society of Economic Geologists (MonSEG) members.

The costs include coffee, teas and lunches and workshop materials.

On completion of the workshop you will receive a certificate of attendance. 

The deadline for booking is Monday 20th March.

If you are interested in attending please contact to:

Mchirbat

info@mmer.mn

99085258

B.Sunjidmaa

sunjidmaa.b@mrpam.gov.mn

99093797

S.Jargalan

sjrgln@gmail.com

99239467

Date: March 25, 2017 (9a.m-6p.m)

Location: Mongolian University of Science and Technology

Sponsorship & Sponsors benefits:

Platinumsponsor: 10 mln MNT

Yellow badge - 5

Blue badge - 10

Workshop attendees - 6

Prime exhibition area - 1

Free introduction to business meeting

Goldsponsor5 mln MNT

Yellow badge - 3

Blue badge - 6

Workshop attendees - 3

Exhibition area - 1

Free introduction to business meeting

“Sponsor”: 1 mln MNT                      

Yellow badge - 1

Blue badge - 1

Exhibition area 1 (50% discount)

Discounted price to business meeting

All sponsors opportunities:

Company logo on conference hall announcement

on all media advertisement

on conference brochure

Company logo and link to www.mmer.mn website

Forum registration fee

Yellow badge:  100000MNT (Forum sessions, Exhibition, Gala             dinner)

Blue badge:     50000 MNT (Forum sessions, Exhibition)

Green badge:   20000 MNT (Student)             

2m x 2m x 1m exhibition area: 500000 MNT (including 2 blue badges)

Workshop costs: 200000 MNT

Bank information      

BankKhan Bank

Account name: Mongolian Society of Economic Geologists

Account number: 5029666223

Advertisement: All participants will get forum package including brochure, “The Explorer” magazine, forum bookmark.

More information at www.mmer.mn

Facebook address: Monseg Monseg

Contact us:

M.Ochirbat

info@mmer.mn

99085258

B.Sunjidmaa

sunjidmaa.b@mrpam.gov.mn

99093797

S.Jargalan

sjrgln@gmail.com

99239467

Ts.Mungunhsagai

mungunshagai@monseg.mn

99106869

D.Khashbat

khashbat.d@gmail.com

99109116

 

 

AGENDA: МONGOLIA MINERAL EXPLORATION ROUNDUP 2017

(Preliminary agenda)

Day-I.                                                                                                   March 23, 2017

 

08.30-09.00

Registration and reception

09.00-09.05

Opening remarks

Оchirbat.M

Head of the Organizing Committee

09.05-09.15

Greetings

Dashdorj. Ts

Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry

 

09.15-09.20

Greetings

Baatartsogt.B

Head of MRPAM

09.20-09.40

"Policy and topics of the ministry of mining and heavy industry, implementations and results” 

Ganbat.D

Head of Geology Policy Department

Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry

09.40-10.00

“Mineral sector law environment3

Mandakhbat.S

Head of law division

Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry

10.00-10.40

Panel session-1:  Mineral sector law environment and its improvements

Moderator:

10.40-11.00

Tea break  

11.00-11.20

“How to attract investment? Why Mongolia?”

Batkhuu.D

Head of International cooperation division

Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry

11.20-12.00

Panel session-2: Investment environment

Moderator:

12.00-12.20

“Mineral sector tax environment, its changes”

Gerelchimeg. Ts

The Ministry of Finance

12.20-12.40

“Exploration and mining environmental issues”

Saran.B

The Ministry of environment and tourism

12.40-13.00

“Energy policy and its implementation”

Boldkhuu.N

The Ministry of Energy

13.00-14.00

Lunch break

14.00-14.20

“Geology and exploration division’s 2016 results and further tasks”

Enkhjargal.M

Deputy director of MRPAM

14.20-14.40

“Mineral resources information technology center’s current situation and further tasks”

Zolsaikhan.G

Head of Mineral resources information technology center, MRPAM

14.40-15.00

“Australia: Geo Information and Governance”

Andrew Jones

Australia-Mongolia Extractives Program

15.00-15.20

“Geology and mining cadaster current situation and further tasks”

Munkhtamir.D

Head of Cadastral Office, MRPAM

15.20-16.00

Panel session-3:

16.00-16.20

Tea break

16.20-16.40

“……………………….”

Munkhtsetseg.Ts

State Specialized Inspection Agency

16.40-17.00

“Introduction of Mongolian, Geology and Mining Trade Unions” 

Buyanjargal.Kh

Head of Mongolian, Geology and Mining Trade Unions

17.00-17.20

Magnetotellurics, EM survey”

Tatsuya Sato

17.20-17.40

:

17.40-18.00

:

17.40-18.00

:

 

Day-II.                                                                                                  March 24, 2017

09.00-09.20

“Alteration of Mongolian porphyry deposits”

Khashgerel.B

“Plus Minerals” LLC

09.20-09.40

Моngolian reserve and resources classification-modifying factors”

Enkh-Amgalan.Ch

“Gem Prospectors Mongolia” LLC

09.40-10.00

Lеapfrog3D-geology modeling:Моngolian case study”

Tsolmon.G

Leapfrog

10.00-10.20

Implicit modelling use in geology and its results”

Munkhbileg.P

Мicromine Mongolia” LLC

10.20-10.40

“Possibility of private funded  1:50000 scale geologic mapping general prospecting”

Chin-Erdene.B

10.40-11.00

“Drone’s use in mineral prospecting”

Purevbat.E

“Terraseed” LLC

11.00-11.20

Tea break

11.20-11.40

“New analyses trend in Mongolia”

Odbileg.Sh

ALS Group

11.40-12.00

“National professional geologist…”

Oyungerel.B

MPIGM

12.00-12.20

“Geophysical survey in south east Asia”

Azjargal.B

“Galaxy Geo Mongolia” LLC

12.20-12.40

“Smokeless briquette production”

Б.Цогтбадрах

Master Heat

12.40-13.00

“The best student presentation”.

 

13.00-14.00

Lunch break

14.00-14.20

Metallogeny….

Jargalan.S

MUST

14.20-14.40

“………………….”

Enkhjargal.B

MUST

14.40-15.00

“Western Australia mineral deposits”

Baatar.B

15.00-15.20

 

15.20-15.40

 

15.40-16.00

 

16.00-16.20

 

16.20-16.40

 

16.40-17.00

 

17.00-17.40

Annual awards ceremony

17.40-18.00

Closing of the forum

 

 

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Suite 303, Level 3, Elite Complex

14 Chinggis Avenue, Sukhbaatar District 1

Ulaanbaatar 14251, Mongolia
Email: info@covermongolia.com

Website: www.covermongolia.com

Phone (Office): +976 7711 6779

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Friday, February 24, 2017

[BREAKING: Mongolia sets 8.75% minimum yield on new seven-year bonds]

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- BREAKING NEWS -

Friday, February 24, 2017

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Mongolia sets minimum yield for new dollar bonds

By Daniel Stanton and Spencer Anderson

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG, Feb 24 (IFR) - The Government of Mongolia's new US dollar bonds, to be issued as part of an exchange offer for Development Bank of Mongolia's state-guaranteed March 2017 bonds, will have a seven-year tenor and minimum yield of 8.75 percent.

The exchange offer ends on March 1 and the new notes will be priced on March 2. Investor meetings run until February 28.

Credit Suisse and JP Morgan are managing the transaction.

There had been concerns that Mongolia might struggle to meet the $580 million DBM bond redemption on March 21.

However, over the weekend the International Monetary Fund said it had reached an agreement on funding for Mongolia. The agreement is subject to the confirmation of financing assurances and approval by the IMF executive board. That means funding would not be received before the DBM bonds mature, raising the need for the exchange offer.

Link to article

 

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Suite 303, Level 3, Elite Complex

14 Chinggis Avenue, Sukhbaatar District 1

Ulaanbaatar 14251, Mongolia
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Website: www.covermongolia.com

Phone (Office): +976 7711 6779

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

[BREAKING: GoM Offering Certain Cash Consideration to Exchange DBM Notes]

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- BREAKING NEWS -

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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Mogi: name of PDF was named “Khuraldai”. I’m assuming the new notes are being called as such. Lucid Issuer in an email said the Exchange Offer Memorandum is only available for noteholders.

GoM Offering Certain Cash Consideration to Exchange DBM Notes with New Sovereign “Khuraldai” Notes

OFFER TO EXCHANGE GOVERNMENT OF MONGOLIA NOTES FOR UP TO US$580 MILLION OF DEVELOPMENT BANK OF MONGOLIA LLC’s OUTSTANDING 5.75% GUARANTEED NOTES DUE 2017

February 20 (Government of Mongolia) --

 ISIN

Common

Code

Coupon

Maturity

Amount

Outstanding

New Note Description

Exchange Consideration per US$1,000 of Old Notes

XS0755567301

075556730

5.75%

March 21, 2017

US$580,000,000

Notes due

US$1,000 of New Notes plus certain cash consideration (as described in the Exchange Offer Memorandum)

Upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the exchange offer memorandum dated February 20, 2017 (the “Exchange Offer Memorandum”), the Government of Mongolia (the “Government”) is offering to exchange (the “Exchange Offer”) up to US$580 million of Development Bank of Mongolia LLC’s (“DBM”) outstanding 5.75% Guaranteed Notes due 2017 (the “Old Notes”) for the Government’s new debt securities (the “New Notes”). Capitalized terms not otherwise defined herein shall have the same meaning as in the Exchange Offer Memorandum.

THE EXCHANGE OFFER WILL COMMENCE ON FEBRUARY 20, 2017 AND EXPIRE AT 5:00 P.M., CENTRAL EUROPEAN TIME, ON MARCH 1, 2017, (SUCH DATE AND TIME, AS THEY MAY BE EXTENDED OR EARLIER TERMINATED AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE GOVERNMENT, THE “EXCHANGE EXPIRATION DATE”).

Interest on the New Notes will accrue from the Settlement Date and will be payable semi-annually. Old Notes being tendered for exchange may only be submitted in a minimum size of US$200,000. The aggregate principal amount of New Notes to be issued to any holder in the exchange offer will be in a minimum size of US$200,000. As discussed in the Exchange Offer Memorandum, the total principal amount of Old Notes that will be accepted in this exchange offer is equal to US$580 million.

Valid tenders of Old Notes are irrevocable and may not be may not be withdrawn. Instructions in connection with the Exchange Offer are irrevocable. Once you tender Old Notes in the Exchange Offer, you may not withdraw from the Exchange Offer. The Exchange Offer may be amended, modified, terminated, withdrawn or extended. Notice will be provided of any amendments, modifications, withdrawals or extensions as and if required by applicable law.

You must make your own decision whether to tender your Old Notes for exchange in the Exchange Offer. Neither the Government, DBM, the Dealer Managers (as defined herein), the Information and Exchange Agent (as defined herein), nor any other person is making any recommendation as to whether or not you should tender your Old Notes for exchange in the Exchange Offer.

In making your investment decision, you should rely only on the information contained in the Exchange Offer Memorandum.

Copies of the Exchange Offer Memorandum describing the Exchange Offer may be obtained from Lucid Issuer Services Limited (the “Information and Exchange Agent”), at the addresses, website and telephone numbers set forth below.

The Dealer Managers for the Exchange Offer are:

Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) Limited

Level 88, International Commerce Centre

1 Austin Road West

Kowloon

Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2101 6000

Email: list.ibprojectkhuraldai@credit-suisse.com

J.P. Morgan Securities plc

25 Bank Street

Canary Wharf

London E14 5JP

United Kingdom

Fax: +44 20 3493 1413

The Information and Exchange Agent for the Exchange Offer is:

Lucid Issuer Services Limited

Tankerton Works

12 Argyle Walk

London WC1H 8HA

United Kingdom

For information by telephone: +44 20 7704 0880

Attention: Thomas Choquet / Arlind Bytyqi

Email: mongolia@lucid-is.com

Link to offer

 

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Suite 303, Level 3, Elite Complex

14 Chinggis Avenue, Sukhbaatar District 1

Ulaanbaatar 14251, Mongolia
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Sunday, February 19, 2017

[BREAKING: GoM offers new sovereign notes to DBM bondholders]

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- BREAKING NEWS -

Sunday, February 19, 2017

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Government of Mongolia Offers to Exchange New Notes for Guaranteed DBM Notes

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, February 19, 2017 (Ministry of Finance) The Government of Mongolia (the "Government") is pleased to announce an exchange offer for the US$580,000,000 5.750% Senior Notes due 2017 issued by Development Bank of Mongolia LLC, which mature on March 21, 2017 (the "DBM Notes").  The exchange offer, which we expect to launch on February 20, 2017, provides existing holders of the DBM Notes the opportunity to exchange such notes for new sovereign bonds directly issued by the Government. We are confident that there will be strong participation in the exchange offer on the back of positive developments for Mongolia and against an improving outlook for commodities prices.

In addition, the Government continues to make progress with discussions involving the IMF and expects an official announcement soon with respect to an IMF-supported economic and financial aid program. We intend to engage the holders of Mongolian government and government-guaranteed debt with a view to improving medium-term financial stability.

Link to release

 

MEDIA COVERAGE OF IMF DEAL

IMF to Loan Mongolia $440 Million as Part of $5.5 Billion Bailout Package

by Michael Kohn

  • Facility will help Mongolia repay $580 million bond due March
  • GDP growth slowed to 1% last year amid commodity price drops

February 19 (Bloomberg) Mongolia reached an initial agreement with the International Monetary Fund for a three-year program that includes a $440 million loan package as part of a $5.5 billion bailout to help the north Asian country with looming debt repayments.

"The Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and bilateral partners including Japan and Korea are expected to provide up to another $3 billion in budget and project support, while the People's Bank of China is expected to extend its 15 yuan billion ($2.2 billion) swap line with the Bank of Mongolia for at least another three years," the IMF said in a statement on Sunday. "The total external financing package will thus be around $5.5 billion."

Economic growth in Mongolia slowed to 1 percent last year as commodity prices fell and growth slowed in China, the main buyer of the nation's copper and coal exports. The country also saw foreign investment collapse after a dispute with Rio Tinto Pl cover the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine.

The Extended Fund Facility (EFF) will support the government's plan to address balance-of-payment pressures and also help the government repay looming debts, including the Development Bank of Mongolia's $580 million bond repayment due in March.

This marks the sixth time since 1990 that the IMF has bailed out Mongolia, the most recent a stand-by agreement in 2009-2010, according to an e-mail from IMF spokesman Keiko Utsunomiya.

Restore Stability

The financing will support a Mongolian program, "which intends to restore economic stability and debt sustainability as well as to create the conditions for strong, sustainable and inclusive growth," according to the IMF statement. The agreement is subject to the confirmation of financing assurances, the completion of prior actions by the authorities, and the approval of the IMF Executive Board. The board is expected to consider Mongolia's request in March.

This is "great news, the market will receive this positively," Dale Choi, head of the research firm Mongolia Metals & Mining, said in an e-mail. It is the "bottom out everyone has been waiting for and the only way is up."

Ahead of the agreement, parliament amended the development bank law, making changes recommended by the IMF. The amendments were designed to depoliticize the bank and include a rule that board members can't have held political office in the past five years.

Central Bank

Mongolia's central bank had $1.3 billion in foreign reserves at the end of December, well below the $4.1 billion it held at the same time in 2012, when money was pouring into Mongolia's mining sector amid the commodities boom. The tugrik fell 20 percent last year, fifth-worst among exotic currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

"While many Mongolian businesses may feel the short-term pressure of a marginal increase in taxes, the successful implementation of the EFF arrangement in Mongolia will stabilize the domestic currency and boost confidence in the banking sector," Bilguun Ankhbayar, Chief Executive Officer of the Mongolian Investment Banking Group, said by e-mail. "This will likely result in increased activity in those economic sectors that have the most competitive advantage."

Foreign exchange reserves should rise to $3.8 billion by the end of the program, according to the IMF statement. By 2019, economic growth is projected to pick up to around 8 percent.

"Fiscal consolidation will leave room for the banking sector, over time, to extend more credit to the private sector, consistent with projected growth. These policies would also put public debt on a declining path over the course of the program," the IMF said.

The country's budget deficit at the end of 2016 tripled to 3.67 trillion tugrik ($1.5 billion), compared to a year earlier, while total external trade dropped 2.3 percent and non-performing loans in the banking system rose 25 percent.

"Attempts to stem the decline through expansionary policies proved ineffective after a few years, and the economy is now stagnating, weighed down by high debt and low foreign-exchange reserves," according to the IMF.

Link to article

Link to list of other articles

 

Mongolia agrees $5.5 billion economic bailout plan with IMF, others

By Terrence Edwards | ULAANBAATAR

February 19 (Reuters) Mongolia has agreed with the International Monetary Fund and other partners for a $5.5 billion economic stabilization package, according to a statement from the IMF on Sunday.

The landlocked nation saw its economy grow at a double-digit annual rate over 2011-2013 as foreign investors rushed in to take advantage of its vast untapped mineral deposits, but it has been hit hard by an economic crisis since 2016 due to government overspending and declining revenues from commodity exports.

To bailout the country - which is now scrambling to avoid missing a $580 million sovereign-guaranteed debt repayment due in March - the Asian Development Bank, World Bank and bilateral partners, including Japan and South Korea, will provide up to $3 billion in aid, the IMF said in its statement.

People's Bank of China will expand a swap line worth 15 billion yuan ($2.19 billion), while the IMF will offer three-year loans worth about $440 million, the latter added.

The bailout plan is pending formal approvals from the IMF board in March, according to the statement.

"Fiscal consolidation is a key priority, as loose fiscal policy in the past was a major driver for Mongolia's current economic difficulties and high debt," said Koshy Mathai, IMF's team leader for the package.

Paving the way for the bailout was a move by the country's lawmakers earlier this month to allow the Development Bank of Mongolia, which issued the $580 million debt that is up for repayment, to act independently of the government.

Under the bailout plan, Mongolia has pledged to implement fiscal reforms for greater budget discipline, maintain a flexible exchange rate and build a stronger regulatory environment for banking and finance.

The president of the Bank of Mongolia, Nadmid Bayartsaikhan, said the central bank would no longer bankroll fiscal policy programs, including a mortgage subsidy one that will now be self-sustaining rather than dependent on additional financing from the central bank.

Bayartsaikhan added that an independent study of the banking sector would be launched to identify weaknesses at institutions and the need for new regulations.

The Mongolian economy grew at 1 percent last year, its slowest pace in seven years, and may slip into recession when austerity measures imposed on the country for a debt bailout are rolled out.

However, the bailout terms will not affect Mongolia's social spending. It plans to subsidize some drug costs and a universal allowance for children will be given to those in need, Finance Minister Battogtokh Choijilsuren told reporters on Sunday.

With these structural changes in place, Mathai of the IMF said Mongolia could look forward to sustainable growth built upon its lucrative mining sector, as well as its growing industries in agriculture and tourism.

"I think we're looking at a pretty good outlook for Mongolia," said Mathai.

Link to article

 

Mongolia reaches $5.5bn IMF deal as debt repayments loom

Deal a relief for mining-dependent country but still needs final approvals

by: Lucy Hornby in Hong Kong and Tom Mitchell in Beijing

February 19 (Financial Times) Mongolia has reached a $5.5bn bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund just weeks before the country's development bank faced repayments on a $580m bond.

The IMF will provide Mongolia funds totalling $440m, with the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Japan and South Korea offering $3bn in preferential loans.

The mining-dependent country has been buffeted by the steep slump in coal, copper and other commodity prices over the past five years. It is now anticipating a recovery in the commodities cycle and new investment in giant mines in the Gobi desert.

Mongolia is in separate negotiations with the Chinese government over a three-year extension of an Rmb15bn ($2.2bn) central bank swap agreement, which has been its largest single source of foreign financing. N. Bayartsaikhan, governor of the Bank of Mongolia, told reporters that China has "agreed in principal" to extend the swap.

Mongolia has sought support from the US, Japan and Europe as part of its "third neighbour" policy to avoid domination by China and Russia.

In November, a Chinese border town raised transit fees on trucks, forcing Rio Tinto to suspend shipments from the massive Oyu Tolgoi mine.

"[Mongolia's] long-run future is promising," the IMF said in a statement. "But in recent years it has been hit hard by the sharp decline of commodity prices and a collapse in foreign direct investment."

The fund projected that economic growth will recover to 8 per cent by 2019 as foreign exchange reserves reach $3.5bn — a level not seen since 2012.

The Bank of Mongolia shocked international markets in August by raising interest rates 450 basis points to 15 per cent. Mongolia's currency, the tughrik, has fallen almost 30 per cent against the dollar since June.

Final approval of the IMF-led package is conditional on Mongolia's parliament approving fiscal discipline measures, including the repeal of a politically popular cash subsidy for all families with children.

"Fiscal consolidation is a key priority as loose fiscal policy was a major driver of Mongolia's current economic difficulties and high debt," the IMF said. It added that budget deficits would be "reduced steadily", but not at the expense of "priority" social spending.

The "staff-level agreement" is also subject to final approval by the IMF's executive board.

The IMF agreement comes a month before a $580m payment is due on a bond issued by the Development Bank of Mongolia. It is the first of several payments over the next year that together amount to about $2bn, or about one-sixth of the country's gross domestic product.

On Sunday the government said it planned to launch an exchange offer this week for the DBM bonds, swapping them for government debt. No maturity for the new bonds was given.

Extending the swap agreement with China — which Mongolia has mostly drawn down at interest rates of about 6 per cent — will allow Mongolia to defer a hefty repayment.

According to people familiar with the bailout negotiations, the ADB intends to lend Mongolia about $300m per year over the next three years in budgetary support. That will replace previous loans of a roughly equivalent amount that primarily went towards infrastructure construction and poverty alleviation programs.

Link to article

 

IMF PRESS RELEASE

IMF Reaches Staff-Level Agreement with Mongolia on Three-Year Extended Fund Facility

End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF's Executive Board. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF's Executive Board for discussion and decision.

February 19, 2017 (IMF) A staff team of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by Koshy Mathai visited Ulaanbaatar during February 1-19 to continue discussions with the Mongolian authorities on a set of economic policies that could be supported by IMF financial assistance. At the end of the visit, Mr. Mathai made the following statement:

"The Mongolian government and the IMF team have reached staff-level agreement on an economic and financial program to be supported by a three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for SDR 314.505 million (435 percent of quota), or about $440 million. Other international partners also plan to support the government's program: the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank, and bilateral partners including Japan and Korea are together expected to provide up to $3 billion in budget and project support; and the People's Bank of China is expected to extend its RMB 15 billion swap line with the Bank of Mongolia for at least another three years.

"The total external financing package will thus be around $5.5 billion and will support the authorities' "Economic Stabilization Program," which intends to restore economic stability and debt sustainability as well as to create the conditions for strong, sustainable, and inclusive growth, while protecting the most vulnerable citizens.

"This agreement is subject to the confirmation of financing assurances, the completion of prior actions by the authorities, and the approval of the IMF Executive Board. The Board is expected to consider Mongolia's request in March.

"Mongolia is well endowed with mineral resources, strong potential in agriculture and tourism, and a young and dynamic population. Its long-run future is promising, but in recent years it has been hit hard by the sharp decline of commodity prices and a collapse in foreign direct investment (FDI). Attempts to stem the decline through expansionary policies proved ineffective after a few years, and the economy is now stagnating, weighed down by high debt and low foreign-exchange reserves.

"Fiscal consolidation is a key priority, as loose fiscal policy in the past was a major driver of Mongolia's current economic difficulties and high debt. Budget deficits will be reduced steadily, while priority social spending will be maintained: for instance, the savings from better targeting the Child Money Program will be used entirely to increase spending on the food stamp program for the most vulnerable. Also, to boost revenue, the personal income tax will be made more progressive, with rates on only higher-income households increased.

"The Development Bank of Mongolia (DBM) will henceforth operate in an independent, purely commercial manner, as laid out in the recently passed DBM law, and the Bank of Mongolia (BOM) will not engage in additional quasifiscal activity, with the mortgage program now operating essentially as a revolving fund. In addition, the law on concession projects will be reformed, and the public investment program (PIP) will be rationalized and better aligned with national development priorities.

"The authorities will adopt a set of important fiscal reforms to ensure that budget discipline is maintained, building on the existing framework for fiscal responsibility. These include the creation of a Fiscal Council to provide independent budget forecasts and costings of new policy proposals, and provisions to give the government sole authority to determine the total amount of spending in the budget, as well as to require Ministry of Finance approval of any proposals to cabinet with a budgetary cost.

"Monetary policy will remain appropriately tight, given the objective of price stability. Over time, however, as the economy normalizes, it may be appropriate to cut the policy rate if external and inflation indicators permit. The exchange rate will continue to move flexibly, with intervention limited to smoothing excessive volatility and preventing disorderly market conditions. A major priority will be the adoption of a new BOM law to clarify its mandate, strengthen governance, and improve independence.

"Strengthening the banking system is a crucial part of the program, to ensure that the banks can support sustainable and inclusive economic growth. The authorities' first priority is to undertake a comprehensive diagnosis of the banking system to assess institutions' financial soundness and resilience. With the results of this diagnostic in hand, the BOM will engage banks to ensure appropriate restructuring and recapitalization, as necessary. The BOM will complement these actions by strengthening the regulatory and supervisory framework, and government is committed to improving the deposit insurance system. The authorities are also committed to strengthening the regime for Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT).

"The authorities intend directly to boost economic activity and prospects by attracting new investment to major mines, and by implementing an array of structural reforms to promote economic diversification and improve competitiveness, especially in agriculture and tourism. The broad range of reforms envisaged under the program have been developed in close collaboration with the World Bank and ADB.

"The authorities' adjustment and structural reform program, supported by the large package of external financing, is expected to stabilize the economy and lay the basis for sustainable, inclusive, long-run growth. By 2019, growth is projected to pick up to around 8 percent, as economic and financial conditions improve and key mining projects take off. Foreign exchange reserves should rise to a healthy $3.8 billion (above 6 months of imports) by the end of the program, similar to levels seen in 2012, before Mongolia was hit by external shocks. Fiscal consolidation will leave room for the banking sector, over time, to extend more credit to the private sector, consistent with projected growth. These policies would also put public debt on a declining path over the course of the program.

"The government's recently announced plan to engage with its private external creditors to secure financing assurances for the program should help restore debt sustainability. Specifically, the financing parameters of the program assume that external private creditor exposure will be maintained at its current level over the program period, on terms consistent with debt sustainability, and gross financing needs will remain at prudent levels during the post-program period.

"On behalf of the staff team, I would like to thank the authorities for their warm welcome, and the constructive discussions and excellent collaboration we have had over recent months, bringing us to today's successful conclusion."

Link to release

 

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