EBRD and Mongolia’s Khan Bank sign first co-financing facility
July 29 (The FINANCIAL) -- The EBRD and Mongolia’s largest bank Khan Bank have signed a participation agreement for USD 10 million under the EBRD Medium-Sized Co-Financing Facility (MCFF).
"The MCFF is designed to provide co-financing by EBRD for up to 50 per cent of Khan Bank’s loans to selected customers. This will allow Khan Bank to expand its lending capacity providing larger, longer term loans while reducing the risk of single borrower credit concentration. The signing of this agreement is an important part of Khan Bank’s strategy to diversify and develop its financial services and banking products," EBRD informs.
Khan Bank’s CEO J. Peter Morrow said: “We are very pleased to be expanding our strategic relationship with the EBRD. At an important time in Mongolia’s development, this facility will expand Khan Bank’s ability to meet the growing financial needs of its customers with well structured, longer term loans.”
“This facility is an important step in the further enhancement of our cooperation with Khan Bank, which will enable more businesses to access bank financing and facilitate growth of a medium-sized private sector in Mongolia, ” said Philip ter Woort, Head of the EBRD office in Mongolia.
EBRD has been one of the principal international financial institutions that cooperate with Khan Bank in a number of ways including long term funding, trade finance, and technical assistance.
Khan Bank, with 496 branches across all of Mongolia, provides banking services to an estimated 80 per cent of Mongolian households. As the largest bank in Mongolia, Khan Bank finances corporate, small and medium businesses, consumers, and agriculture.
Japan, Mongolia agree to cooperate on resource development
July 29 (Kyodo) Japan and Mongolia agreed Thursday to closely cooperate with each other in the development of mineral resources and energy in Mongolia through technology transfer and investment, Japanese officials said. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku met with visiting Mongolian Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Dashdorj Zorigt and briefed him on Japan’s new growth strategy that features exports of technology, finance and personnel training know-how.
Zorigt called for a closer partnership between Japanese and Mongolian private-sector businesses and sought investment and the transfer of environment-friendly Japanese technologies in tapping his country’s rich mineral resources such as coal and uranium. Later in the day, the Mongolian minister also met with Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada to talk about cooperation in resource development.
Fresh Clashes in Uvs Province
(posted to show discrepancies between the Chinese (below) and Mongolian media (current) descriptions of the same event)
July 30 (UB Post) On July 22, 17 people were arrested after security guards of a Chinese wholly-owned gold mining company in western Mongolia clashed with over 300 illegal miners. The clash took place at GCCI company’s mining site located in Omnogobi soum of Uvs province.
Two hour long fight involved gas pistol “warning” shoots by security guards, 14 illegal miners were later released on bail, and three remained in detain for further criminal investigation on charge of robbery.
The company was found operating illegally since July 1, when the local professional inspection authority have stopped the mine.
A special working group deployed by the government to the province to assess the situation last week. It is unclear what caused the incident and police continue investigation. According to press reports, local residents claimed that the company is spoiling main water source of the region – Orlogo River, and late cases of abnormalities among local people and animals might involve chemical contamination by gold miners.
Mongolian mining company guards clash with illegal miners
(reposted to show discrepancies between the Chinese (current) and Mongolian media (above) descriptions of the same event)
ULAN BATOR, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Security guards of a mining company in western Mongolia clashed with illegal miners known as "ninja miners," leaving many of the combatants injured, local media said Wednesday.
About 50 security guards of a gold mining company fought for over two hours with about 200 ninja miners and local residents in Omnogobi county of Uvs province in western Mongolia.
A bill to regulate ninja mining activities is pending in the Mongolian parliament.
Japanese Volunteers Making Difference in Mongolia
July 30 (UB Post) Good oral health is vitally important for Mongolians; said Japanese health volunteers came in Baganuur mining town, most remote satellite district town located 140km east from Ulaanbaatar’s city center.
Oono Aya, 35, originally from Yokohama city, and Ueoka Uchiko came in Baganuur through Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and found oral health is no good especially among children of kindergarten and school ages. At the Bagannuur District Hospital, where they have been working since 2009, Aya and Uchiko are providing health care to some 26,000 population of the mining town and nursing trainings to local doctors. They provide oral health care and healthy eating advises to local people as well as intensive trainings to local nurses on cardiorespiratory rehabilitation, physical therapy for elderly, cathing, and infusion set.
“Mongolians eat a lot of meat, I keep telling pregnant mothers to eat more vegetable,” told Uchiko to an expecting mother pictured right. …
“I came here in January, it was very cold. Maybe coldest winter. Now it is very hot,” said Uchiko in Mongolian language fluently, who starts her day at work by introducing her name in Mongolian language to the visitors.
The health volunteers have raised more than JPY100,000 (around US$1,200) in Tokyo’s spring fair festival held last May. More than 300 people have visited a special pavilion designated for the Baganuur District Hospital in two days to donate funds that will help purchase of medical upplies in shortage.
Mongolia’s View on the Security of the Korean Peninsula
July 30 (UB Post Op-Ed) In the past 57 years, the conflict at the Korean peninsula was one of the most sensitive and troubled spot in the region and world. Today this conflict continues with various disputes.
Due to the 1950-1953 civil war on the Korean Peninsula, established two states with two different system one the Republic of Korea and the another state named the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
MONGOLIA AND KOREAN PENINSULA
There is a period in Mongolian history, where it had close relations with Korea. According to historians, these relations had a history of millennium. It began in the Kidan period and later during the Great Mongol State and Yuan Empire, Mongols made kin relations with Korean royal family eight times. Also it is well described in “Korea Sa”, the Korean historical annals, that Koreans paid levies and duties to Mongolia. These relations broke by 200 years of the Manchu Qing dynasty domination over Mongolia. With the victory of 1911 Xinhai revolution, the Manchu dynasty was overthrown over China and Mongolia, became independent states, while Korea was a colony of Japan till 1945. During these times, particularly in 1911-1915, when the Korean exile government has been based in Shanghai, there were traces of their activists visiting Mongolia. Some of them, like Dr. Lee Te In had been awarded the Erdene Ochir Order from the Government of Mongolia led by the Bogdo Khaan.
Dr. J.Bayasakh is a professor at the National University of Mongolia. He can be contacted at 98116338 or email@example.com
Stock loss pares gain for week, month
July 30 (AAP) Australian shares lost ground for a second day but extended their winning streak to four weeks, the best run since mid-April.
For the day, Macquarie Group was among companies to issue negative reports that took the sheen off the corporate outlook.
Miners were also dragged lower, with BHP Billiton off 34 cents at $40.12 and rival Rio Tinto down 89 cents, or 1.24 per cent, at $70.61.
Gold producer Newcrest fell one cent at $32.71, while the company it is seeking to take over, Lihir Gold, rose one cent at $4.07.
At the local close, the spot price of gold was trading at $US1,160.00 per fine ounce, down $US8.50 on yesterday’s close of $US1,168.50.
Dollar caps best monthly gains in a year
July 30 (AAP) The Australian dollar held on to most of its recent hefty gains on Friday despite a bout of profit-taking, to make their best monthly performance in as long as a year.
The Australia dollar was trading at $US0.9010, just off a high of $US0.9022 hit earlier in the day. One trader said a range of investors were taking profits after its half-a-cent gain offshore on Thursday.
At the local close, the dollar was buying $US0.9012/14 cents, up from $US0.8991/93 a day earlier.
It was also buying 68.9 euro cents, 57.6 pence and 77.9 yen.
He said concerns the US economy is losing steam in its recovery, and bets that Australian rates will not rise much further from here should combine to weigh on the Aussie dollar.
To be sure, the Reserve Bank is seen leaving rates unchanged at 4.5 per cent at its next policy meeting on Tuesday.
China's sovereign fund rebounds
July 30 (AFP) China's $US300 billion ($A337 billion) sovereign wealth fund recorded a double-digit return on its overseas investments in 2009, state media said on Thursday, reversing a decline in the previous year.
China Investment Corporation made 11.7 per cent on $US58 billion invested overseas last year, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing the fund's annual report.
The figure marked a turnaround from 2008, when the return on the sovereign fund's overseas investments fell 2.1 per cent as the global financial crisis savaged markets around the world, Xinhua said.
The fund was established in 2007 to invest overseas some of China's massive foreign exchange reserves - which stood at a record $US2.454 trillion at the end of June - partly to gain better returns.
CIC said 36 per cent of its overseas portfolio was invested in equities last year, 26 per cent in fixed income securities, 32 per cent held in cash and six per cent in alternative investments, reflecting a shift to higher-risk assets.
In terms of geographic distribution, nearly 44 per cent of CIC's diversified equity investments were in North America.
The Asia-Pacific region attracted 28.4 per cent, while Europe had 20.5 per cent, and Latin America had 6.3 per cent. Africa accounted for just 0.9 per cent of those investments.
According to a filing with the US securities regulator, the fund held shares worth a total of $US9.6 billion in dozens of US-listed companies including blue-chips such as Coca-Cola, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley at the end of 2009.
Its shares in Canadian resources firm Teck Resources were valued at $US3.5 billion, according to the filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
The fund's direct equity holdings in US-listed firms also included shares in steel giant ArcelorMittal, pharmaceutical firms Pfizer and Merck and telecommunications company Motorola and other industry sector leaders.
Asian Stocks Decline on Japan’s Jobless; Yen Near 8-Month High
July 30 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks fell for first time in six days after Japan’s industrial production slid and a gain in unemployment signaled the world’s second-largest economy may slow. The yen rose to an eight-month high versus the dollar.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index sank 0.5 percent to 119.15 as of 4:03 p.m. in Tokyo. The Stoxx Europe 600 decreased 0.2 percent to 255.72. Futures on the U.S. Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 0.1 percent. Crude oil fell 0.3 percent and copper dropped 0.2 percent. The yen strengthened against all 16 of the most- active currencies as signs the global recovery is losing momentum boosted demand for Japan’s currency as a refuge.
“Some investors are cautious,” said Yoshinori Nagano, a senior strategist in Tokyo at Daiwa Asset Management Co., which oversees about $104 billion. “People cannot remove uncertainties about the future in terms of the macro economy.”
Three stocks fell for each one that rose in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, paring its weekly gain to 1.3 percent and its monthly advance to 5.5 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 1.6 percent, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 0.7 percent, South Korea’s Kospi Index declined 0.7 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 0.5 percent.
“Some companies’ earnings were better than I thought, but those can’t be factors in determining the direction of the macro economy,” said Koichi Kurose, chief strategist in Tokyo at Resona Bank Ltd., which manages about $57 billion. “Global economic growth will remain flat for a while.”
China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5 percent, trimming its montly gain to 9.8 percent.
“The rumor is that the Chinese PMI number is going to be worse,” said Tim Kelleher, vice president of institutional banking and markets at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Auckland.
Copper for delivery in three months dropped to $7,218.50 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. Crude oil for September delivery fell to $78.11 a barrel in New York. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 commodities yesterday rose to a 12-week high, led by gains in coffee, sugar, and heating oil.
Brazil miner Vale profit soars on new iron pricing
* Vale earnings soar on 344 pct on higher iron prices
* Quarterly pricing system boosts revenues
* Iron production up 32 pct over year earlier (Recasts, adds details, background)
RIO DE JANEIRO, July 29 (Reuters) - Brazilian mining giant Vale's second-quarter profits soared more than four-fold from a year earlier on higher iron prices and a new pricing system that let the company get higher prices for its ore. Vale (VALE.N)(VALE5.SA), the world's largest iron ore producer, in the second quarter boosted prices for its ore by moving to a quarterly pricing system after the aging annual benchmark mechanism unraveled amid quarrels with China – the world's largest buyer of the metal.
Profit jumped to 6.64 billion reais ($3.77 billion), an increase of 344 percent from 1.49 billion reais in the same period a year earlier, roughly in line with the average forecast of six analysts polled by Reuters showing profits of $3.83 billion.
Fifth Women's Chess GP held in Mongolia
ULAN BATOR, July 29 (Xinhua) -- The fifth Women's Chess Grand Prix opened here on Thursday.
FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said,"the tournament is the highest ranking in the history of women's chess championships and tournaments.
The most outstanding 12 women chess players from Mongolia, France, Qatar, Turkey, China, India, Russia and Bulgaria will be competing in the tournament.
The tournament will end on Aug. 12.
Mongolian wrestler weeps after unlikely promotion to juryo division
July 29 (Mainichi Japan) FUSO, Aichi -- The sumo ranking committee has promoted seven wrestlers to the second-highest juryo division for the autumn tournament, including one Mongolian grappler here who was caught up in the recent baseball gambling scandal that shook the sumo world to its foundations.
Twenty-six-year-old Shironoryu, who acquired Japanese citizenship last year, was allowed to participate in the recent Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament because his connection to the gambling was minimal. However, the young wrestler was obviously moved by his promotion from the third-highest makushita division, as he broke down in tears during a news conference to announce the move at the Sakaigawa stable on July 28.
Skyward Beauty of Five Colors Exhibition
July 30 (UB Post) On July 21, 2010, an opening of the special exhibition of intangible cultural heritage with the title of “The Skyward Beauty of Five Colors” took place at 2:00pm in the National Museum of Mongolia to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the amity between Republic of Korea and Mongolia.
"Mogi" Munkhdul Badral
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