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Itochu Targets Mongolian Coal to Expand Trade as Prices Surge
May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Itochu Corp., Japan’s fourth-largest trading company, invested in Winsway Coking Coal Holdings Ltd. to secure coal from Mongolia, stepping up competition with China and Russia for the steelmaking ingredient as prices jump.
Itochu joined a group led by Hopu Investment Management Co., the $2.5 billion fund run by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner Fang Fenglei, in investing in Winsway with the purchase of $10 million of convertible debt last month, Ken Tezuka, manager of the company’s coking coal section, said in an interview in Tokyo. Winsway, based in the British Virgin Islands, transports coal from Mongolia to China. ... “The current levels enable Mongolian coal to sufficiently compete against coal produced in other regions,” Tezuka said May 14. “Mongolian coal wasn’t viable to export when prices were around $30 and $40” a metric ton.
Coking coal for immediate delivery traded at $1,610 yuan ($236) a ton as of April 30, according to McCloskey/Xinhua Infolink prices. That’s 18 percent more than the April quarter contract price of $200 a ton. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest exporter, won a 55 percent price increase from Japanese mills for the three months started April . ... Winsway may raise as much as $800 million through an initial public offering in Hong Kong, two people familiar with the plan said this month.
Itochu invested $10 million in Winsway through bonds convertible into equity within three years, according to Tezuka. That follows the Hopu-led group’s $110 million acquisition of a 23 percent stake. The Hopu group includes Silver Grant International Industries Ltd. and state-owned China Minmetals Corp., the country’s largest metals trader. ... China bought about 4 million tons of coal in total from Mongolia in 2008 out of national production of 10 million tons, according to a March 18 statement released by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. ... http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aRmVtfBxsNAg
SouthGobi Suspends Mongolia Mine Rail-Link Plan
May 18 (Bloomberg) -- SouthGobi Resources Ltd., the coal miner backed by China’s sovereign wealth fund, halted plans to build a rail link between its pit in southern Mongolia and the Chinese border because of uncertainty over government policy. ... “Given the question marks over rail policy, we decided to suspend work on the rail link,” Molyneux said. SouthGobi had earmarked $150 million to develop rail and road links near its Ovoot Tolgoi mine. ... Mongolia last month suspended the issuance of mining licenses and barred the practice of transferring permits. The Mongolian president had said that about 40 percent of permit holders were not actively developing mining assets and he wanted to ensure the country’s assets were properly used, said Molyneux.
Erdene Provides First Quarter Project Updates and Financial Results
HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - May 17, 2010) - Erdene Resource Development Corp. ("Erdene" or "Company") (TSX:ERD) today provided an update on its principal projects in conjunction with the release of its first quarter 2010 financial results.
Joint Project of Government and Central Bank to Increase Capital
May 18 (UB Post) Representatives of banking sector largely unfavored the recently disclosed US$500,000 program reform plan that the whole industry was not aware of it.
So-called “Banking Reform and Recapitalization”, a joint project of the Government of Mongolia and Bank of Mongolia (central bank), may require private commercial banks to increase their capitals with a certain threshold within certain months, if not, those may fall into subject of forced liquidation, consolidation or bankruptcy. ... Two South Korean advisors were hired as consultants to the program, whose goal was described as “capacity building” of commercial banks. The Bank of Mongolia increased its 10 percent policy interest rate up to 11 percent on May 10 in a efforts to ease down soaring inflation into double digits. ... http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4848
May 17 (news.mn) The working group established by the Government to prepare a draft plan to set up a development bank has finished its work. The draft was presented to the Government earlier last week. ... Development banks began to appear after World War II and were most successful in Japan and Germany. If Mongolia gets one, its banking system will be diversified.
May 17 (news.mn) The civil movements that organized last month’s prolonged anti-Government and anti-Parliament protests told a news conference on Friday that they would soon launch another joint program of agitation, more intense than the last This has become necessary as the Government has taken no steps to implement the terms of the agreement with an MPs’ working group that persuaded them to call off their hunger strike on April 22. ... http://english.news.mn/content/12154.shtml
D.Dorligjav: No mercy to corrupt prosecutors
May 17 (news.mn) Parliament last Friday approved the appointment of D.Dorligjav as Prosecutor General, with 92 percent of MPs accepting his nomination by the President. Talking to reporters after the Parliament vote, Dorligjav said his priority will be to ensure that prosecutors at all times abided by the law. The goal of the proposed judicial reforms is to encourage those who work competently and according to proper practice, but at the same time “to show no mercy” to those who bring disrepute to the judiciary and abuse their power. ... Born in Uvs aimag in 1959, Dorligjav trained as a veterinarian and a lawyer in Mongolia and also attended the Military Politics Institute in Moscow from 1980 to 1983. Among the important positions he has held are Minister of Defense, Chairman of Erdenet Mining Concern, head of the Democratic Party, Advisor to Prime Minister, Secretary General of DP, and head of the President’s Office.
Advance payment for Tavantolgoi wilI not be in cash only
May 17 (news.mn) The Prime Minister has made it clear that the Oyu Tolgoi agreement is not an inviolate template and the decision on Tavan Tolgoi will stay clear of the mistakes in it, says The Mongolian Mining Journal in its April issue. He has identified the principal areas where the departure will be seen. Mongolian companies and individuals will play a larger role in developing the project in cooperation with foreign investors and operators, and the benefit to national interests will be the main criterion for selection of the investor(s). Preference will be given to companies and consortiums with their national Government behind them. ...
Not only will the “advance payment” demanded be “much more than in the case of Oyu Tolgoi”, but the Prime Minister has indicated that selection of their companies would be conditional on Russia and China agreeing to reduce transit transport rates and, in the case of Russia, on its agreeing to buy more meat from Mongolia. With regard to the USA, the demand will extend to a free trade agreement and offering opportunities for young Mongolians to study in the USA. Advance payment will thus not be in cash only. There would be other demands also, such as a USD2 billion fund for the infrastructure projects in the southern Gobi region, setting up of value added production plants, and import of advanced technology.
May 14 (blog by D. Jargalsaikhan) Our Parliament members have started to make another budget clarification (amendment) for 2010. Several years had passed since Mongolia started the ill practice of clarifying the annual budget any time the Parliamentarians want to increase the expenditure. May be we have the state budget approved every month instead of calling it annual budget?
Mongolian Grapplers Wins Four Silver and Two Bronze in Asian Wrestling Championships
May 18 (UB Post) Mongolian freestyle wrestling team won four silver and two bronze medals in the 23rd Senior Asian Wrestling Championships, which was held in under three categories (Freestyle, Greco Roman and Female) at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi, India on May 12-16, 2010. ... http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4840