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(Apologies for Friday, but it was a quiet Friday morning)
Tavan Tolgoi Draft Submitted to Parliament
May 28 (UB Post) Best interests for the nation will be highest priority in choosing strategic investor of Tavan Tolgoi project, reaffirmed Minister of Minerals and Energy D.Zorigt. “No any side will be given advantageous rights. Each of them will have equal chance to win,” he said. But he admitted that there is growing demand to push national producers and national-level large businesses into growth under umbrella of this project concept. ... The government submitted on Thursday a package of documents to the State Great Khural (Parliament) for approval, which includes a draft changes to the Minerals Law, draft investment agreement, and several draft resolutions of the Parliament. The package also includes draft documents of preliminary selection of potential winner.
The draft investment agreement, that has 19 articles, and 144 clauses, will be signed by Erdenes MGL, a state corporation that owns license of Tavan Tolgoi, and Minister of Finance, Minister of Nature and Environment, and Minister of Minerals and Energy from the side of Mongolia’s government with investor side. The sides may include Minister of Road, Transport, Construction and Urban Development. ... http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4900&Itemid=40
Mongol Gazar sells its share in Olon Ovoot to Just Group
May 26 (news.mn) A joint statement from the two companies has revealed that Mongol Gazar LLC has sold its share in the Olon Ovoot gold mine, the refining plant there, and its gold reserves to Just Group for USD130 million. All unpaid debts, including loans from Zoos Bank and Anod Bank, are the liability of Just Group now, following an agreement made on December 3, 2009.
Olon Ovoot Gold was equally owned by Mongol Gazar and Just Group since June 2009, and the present transaction makes Just Group 100% owner.
Polo Resources Limited - Update on memorandum of understanding with Peabody Energy Corporation and Winsway Coking Coal Holdings Ltd. for the sale of Polo's interest in Mongolian Joint Venture
TORONTO, May 28 /CNW/ - Further to the execution of the memorandum of understanding between Winsway Coking Coal Holdings Ltd., Peabody Energy Corporation and Polo, as announced on 24 May 2010, Polo is pleased to announce that on 27 May 2010 Winsway paid the non-refundable deposit of US$1.75 million to Polo.
Negotiations with respect to the sale of Polo's interests in Peabody-Polo Resources BV continue and a further announcement will be made in due course.
Oyutolgoi directors reminded of their responsibility to nation
May 26 (news.mn) The head of the State Property Committee, D. Sugar, has told the newly appointed three Oyu Tolgoi LLC Board members from the Mongolian side that their main responsibility was to ensure maximum profit for the state, so that it could spend money on national development. This was his first meeting with N. Bagabandi, P. Tsagaan, and Ch. Ganbold since their selection by the Committee for the positions. ... http://english.news.mn/content/13717.shtml
Government to sell MNT16 billion bonds to fund Development Bank
May 28 (news.mn) The Government has decided to issue bonds worth MNT16 billion to raise capital for the new National Development Bank.
The MNT19 trillion needed to implement the government’s Industrialization program has not yet been found. A survey has revealed that in 2010-2012 the government’s own income and aid from donors will total MNT10 trillion. The new Bank will be state-owned and provide capital to main economic sectors such as infrastructure and industry.
Standing committee rejects draft on agriculture stock exchange
May 27 (news.mn) The Standing Committee on Environment, Food and Agriculture yesterday refused to approve the draft law on establishing an agriculture stock exchange, and asked its initiators to redraft it in the light of the Mongolian Livestock program approved by Parliament last week.
The proposed stock exchange will trade in animal products to help raise herders’ income. Raw materials from all over the country will be listed in the exchange to be set up in Ulaanbaatar and will be traded online. ... http://english.news.mn/content/13919.shtml
Statistical Office releases data
May 27 (news.mn) All figures in the following social and economic data released by The National Statistical Office are for the four months ended April 2010, unless otherwise specified, and all comparisons are with the same period in 2009, unless, again, mentioned otherwise. ... The national consumer price index in April 2010 increased by 2.1 per cent, 9.7 per cent and 8.3 per cent respectively over March, the end of last year, and April, 2009. The m-o-m rise was mainly due to the 4.3 per cent increase in food prices. ... Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2010 stood at MNT 663.4 billion at 2005 constant prices, increasing 7.6 per cent over the same period in 2009. This was mainly because of increased industrial and construction output and more taxes. ... The number of registered unemployed people rose 3.8 percent.
... Tax revenue rose 73.2 percent over the same period last year. Revenue from the windfall profits tax was 9.0 times more, from corporate income tax 2.3 percent more, and from VAT 67.9 percent more. Non-tax revenue increased by 3.1 percent. ... Total turnover from trade with 112 countries reached USD1,552.2 million, a rise of 58.1 percent. Exports accounted for USD729.4 million, a rise of 64.2 percent, and imports stood at USD822.8 million, 53.1 percent more than in the first four months last year.
... In 22 trading days in April of this year, 5.8 million shares valued at MNT 6.2 billion were traded at the stock exchange. The number of shares was half of the March figure, and 2.7 times less than in April 2009.
MPs said the original Oyutolgoi investment agreement called for employment of 1,009 Mongolians in 2009 and of 4,331 more in 2010. Neither of the two figures has been reached. The Minister of Social Welfare was asked to post on the Internet all information related to employment related to the Oyutolgoi project. Ministry officials said they had discovered this clause only recently.
May 27 (news.mn) Cafés and restaurants serving liquor, and all shops and supermarkets selling alcohol have been ordered by Mayor G.Munkhbayar to install cameras. The move comes in the wake of persistent complaints that the rule prohibiting sale or serving of alcohol after 12 midnight was being flouted. A recent check found 27 night clubs and restaurants had been regularly breaking the law but continuing to do business after paying a fine. The Mayor has ordered all 27 establishments to be shut down. ... http://english.news.mn/content/13924.shtml
Victory Nickel and Prophecy Complete Reciprocal Private Placements
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 28, 2010) - Prophecy Resource Corp. ("Prophecy") (Mogi: Prophecy and Red Hill merged to form the new Prophecy) and Victory Nickel Inc. ("Victory Nickel") (TSX:NI) (www.victorynickel.ca) have completed reciprocal private placements announced on May 13, 2010.
May 28 (news.mn) MIAT resumed its international operations with the 2.20 a.m. flight to Beijing on Friday. Earlier, prolonged negotiations had led to all the 94 workers of the technical department agreeing to withdraw their resignation letter and return to normal duties. This means the only two persons to go are the head of the department, Yo.Enkhtur, and his deputy, Ch.Bayar, both of whom have been dismissed. ... http://english.news.mn/content/14113.shtml
Non-performing loans fall, but still higher than in 2009
May 28 (news.mn) The Mongol Bank has reported that money supply (broad money or M2) at the end of April rose to MNT 3163.0 billion, an increase of MNT 188.5 billion or 6.3 percent over March, and of MNT 821.1 billion or 35.1 percent over April last year. ...
Loans outstanding at the end of April amounted to MNT 2764.9 billion, a fall of MNT 3.7 billion or 0.1 percent from March, but MNT 184.6 billion or 7.2 percent more than in April, 2009. Principals in arrears were MNT 139.0 billion at the end of April, MNT 14.3 billion or 9.3 percent less than in March, and MNT15.2 billion or 9.8 per cent less than in April last year.
The amount of non-performing loans stood at MNT416.0 billion at the end of April, a drop of MNT15.8 billion or 3.7 per cent from March, but MNT142.1 billion or 1.5 times more than in April last year.
NSO official says cash distribution has not led to inflation
May 28 (news.mn) The Director of Macroeconomics at the National Statistical Committee, B.Badamtsetseg, traces the 9.7 percent inflation to the dzud that killed 8.1 million livestock and thus led meat price to rise 15 percent over the same period last year. The official saw “little relation” between the distribution of money from the Human Development Fund and the inflation as the money is being distributed over a period of time.
May 28 (news.mn) The Mongol Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Khan Bank and Trade and Development Bank on an integrated payment card clearing system to come into effect on June 16. Golomt Bank is expected to join the system by the end of the year. At the end of 2009, the number of card holders in Mongolia was over 2 million, of which 476,000 were termed active, indicating that they used their card at least 5 times a month. Some 27% of the total card holders and 32% of active users reside in rural areas. Khan Bank and TDB together cover 70% of the market share in terms of number of transactions.
May 28 (news.mn) G. Ankhbayar, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, has said Discover Mongolia 2010 will offer international mining investors a resourceful base to launch and expand businesses, establish new contacts, and learn of the latest developments and make deals. After a year’s absence, the founding members of the Forum have come together again and this year’s meeting, scheduled to be held in Ulaanbaatar from September 8-10, will have more value. ... These will include a mining conference; the Government Hour, where Government officials directly discuss Government policies in the mineral industry with participants; an investors’ exhibition; a mine tour and a fishing tour. ... http://english.news.mn/content/14107.shtml
Wen Jiabao arrives on June 1
May 26 (news.mn) Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrives in Mongolia on June 1 and will leave the next day, according to the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He will hold wide ranging talks with his host, Prime Minister S. Batbold.
May 29 (China Daily) China and the Republic of Korea (ROK), two of Asia's largest economies, are expected to kick off formal talks on establishing a free trade area (FTA) this year or in the first half of next year in a bid to boost trade ties and regional integration, Premier Wen Jiabao said on Friday. ... (Mogi: As you know, China also announced in May that it has initiated feasibility studies for a FTA with Mongolia: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2010-05/12/content_9838829.htm)
May 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Friday, capping off their worst month in over a year as a downgrade by Fitch of Spain's credit rating reignited worries about euro-zone debt issues.
... For the month, the Dow fell 7.9 percent, the S&P shed 8.2 percent and the Nasdaq lost 8.3 percent. The declines were the worst for the Dow and S&P since February 2009 while the Nasdaq suffered its worst monthly drop since November 2008. ... The downgrade follows similar cuts in ratings earlier this month of Greece and Portugal as those nations attempt to grapple with debt problems by implementing austerity measures. ... Volume was light with about 9.06 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, below last year's estimated daily average of 9.65 billion. ... http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE64R54R20100528
Sovereign wealth rewrites old-world rules
May 27 (Reuters) - Sovereign wealth funds -- national vehicles created to grow state wealth for the future -- have long experience investing in exotic and lesser-known lands. To these funds, many of which originate in what the West calls the "frontier" region, it's a local market.
This year alone, countries including China, Singapore, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Abu Dhabi have invested easily more than $1 billion (688 million pounds) in frontier markets, in such projects as mines in Mongolia and companies in Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America. ... Just as in the 17th century it was European corporations that laid the grounds of modern global finance, today the sovereign wealth funds are driving the world towards a new financial order.
May 26 (news.mn) A team of journalists was last week taken to Khustai where N.Enkhbold, chairman of the board that runs the Khustai complex, said that at latest count, the number in the country of the Mongolian wild horse, or the takhi, stood at 240. Once common on the Mongolian steppes, the animal ended up in the Red Book of endangered species some decades ago.
A rehabilitation program began in 1992 when 87 takhis from zoos in the Netherlands were sent in three groups and their number has been growing steadily. This summer around 40 foals will be born. Seven of the nine foals born this spring are doing well. The success of the program owes much to Jan Bauman, a Dutch billionaire who is now buried in Khustai according to his wishes. His widow Inga continues to support the Khustai Complex with an annual donation of USD20,000.
Endangered species of horse increases in size at Calgary Zoo
May 27 - An extremely endangered species of horse just added several members to its family with the birth of three foals at the Calgary Zoo. Keeper Rick Wenman says the Asian wild horses were once extinct in the wild. The species is classified as critically endangered by the World Conservation Union. The horses live in the wild only in Mongolia, where they were reintroduced in the 1990s.