CPSI NewsWire brings you market updates on Mongolia, compiled by CPS International, a Mongolian marketing arm of CPS Securities, a Perth, WA based stockbroking and corporate advisory firm, specialising in capital raising for mining and junior stocks.
Eumeralla Resources Closes 15% Higher on Debut
May 3 (Mogi) Eumeralla Resources Limited (ASX:EUM) finished off its debut day on the ASX with 15% gain from the IPO offer price.
EUM raised A$3.5m issuing 17.5m shares at A$0.20. CPS Securities was Lead Manager and Broker, and Garrison Capital acted as Corporate Advisor the IPO.
Link to recent article on EUM - Proactive Investors, April 27
SouthGobi Resources to announce First Quarter 2012 financial results on 14 May 2012
May 2 -- SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX: SGQ, HK: 1878). The board of directors of SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (the “Company”) will meet on Monday, 14 May 2012 to consider and approve the first quarter 2012 financial results of the Company and its subsidiaries, and make announcement before the TSX market open.
Voyager: RESIGNATION OF MANAGING DIRECTOR
May 2, Voyager Resources Limited (ASX:VOR) -- The Company would like to advise that Mr Kell Nielsen has resigned from his position as Managing Director to focus on other business opportunities. Mr Nielsen will continue to consult to Voyager on the exploration and development of the KM Copper Project. The Board would like to thank Mr Nielsen for his considerable efforts in acquiring the KM Project for Voyager and then in leading the discovery of arguably the most exciting copper discovery in Mongolia since the giant Oyu Tolgoi Copper Deposit.
The Company will continue to be managed on a daily basis by Mr George Tumur, Operations Director, and Mr Matthew Wood, Executive Chairman
Haranga Resources Presentation Briefing Hosted by Foster Stockbroking
May 2 -- Foster Stockbroking will be hosting a presentation briefing by Haranga Resources Ltd (ASX:HAR) on Tuesday 8 May at 12.30pm.
Attending from HAR will be Rob Wrixon (MD).
The venue will be Foster Stockbroking, Level 21, 25 Bligh Street, Sydney.
As places will be limited, please RSVP your Foster Stockbroking sales contact or Alex Drysdale (Ph: 02 9993 8167) should you wish to attend. Alternatively, click on the link below to RSVP.
Ivanhoe Mines names new CEO, CFO under Rio Tinto regime
May 2 (Reuters) - Ivanhoe Mines appointed a new chief executive to replace founder Robert Friedland, who was ousted last month when the Canadian miner's majority owner, global miner Rio Tinto, took control over management.
Ivanhoe said late on Tuesday that Kay Priestly, who served as interim CEO, would stay on as the new chief executive. Ivanhoe also appointed Chris Bateman as chief financial officer.
Priestly and Bateman, both plucked from Rio Tinto's ranks, take on their roles just as Ivanhoe's key asset, the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine run by Rio Tinto in Mongolia, moves toward production.
Priestly was chief financial officer of Rio Tinto's global copper division while Bateman was chief financial and business development officer for Rio's diamonds and minerals group.
Rio Tinto won management control of Ivanhoe last month in return for agreeing to buy more shares in the company and guaranteeing $3.3 billion needed for Oyu Tolgoi to reach commercial production on target in the first half of 2013.
Ivanhoe's shares closed 1.6 percent lower at C$11.35 ($11.53) on Tuesday.
S&P Summary: Winsway Coking Coal Holdings Ltd.
May 2 (S&P via Reuters) Mongolian coking coal producers have a cost advantage in China, in our view. Winsway has expanded its logistic centers and processing plants over the past year to improve handling capacity. We expect that competition for end customers and for railway capacity will intensify as more players start importing coal from Mongolia. However, we believe that potential competition from state-owned enterprises would decrease if Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. (foreign currency BBB/Negative/--; cnA-) completes its planned acquisition of Winsway.
Winsway's financial risk profile is "aggressive", in our view. We believe the company can maintain good financial strength for the rating level, although its debt leverage has increased after the GCC acquisition. We expect Winsway's Mongolian coking coal import business to continue to perform satisfactorily in the next 12 months. We forecast the company's ratio of total debt to EBITDA at 3x-3.5x, and the ratio of funds from operations to total debt at or slightly more than 20% in the next 12 months. However, the coal mining business and an uncertain global economy could weaken Winsway's cash flow.
Winsway's liquidity is "adequate", as defined in our criteria. We expect the company's sources of liquidity to cover its uses by more than 1.2x in 2012. Our liquidity assessment is based on the following factors and assumptions:
-- Winsway's sources of liquidity include cash, pledged deposits, funds from operations, US$350 million loan to finance the GCC acquisition, and US$50 million facility for GCC's working capital.
-- As of Dec. 31, 2011, Winsway has cash and cash equivalents of about Hong Kong dollar (HK$) 3,137.8 million, pledged deposits of HK$1,590.5 million, and short-term debt of about HK$660.9 million.
-- Winsway's uses of liquidity include cash consideration for the acquisition, planned capital expenditure, working capital needs, debt repayments, and dividend distribution.
-- We expect net sources to remain positive even if EBITDA declines by 15%.
About HK$8.2 billion of Winsway's uncommitted bank facilities are undrawn as of Dec. 31, 2011. The company's bank loans do not have financial covenants.
The stable outlook reflects our view that Winsway's Mongolian coking coal import business will remain satisfactory despite the company's exposure to the coal mining business. We therefore expect Winsway to maintain its financial risk profile.
We could lower the rating if: (1) Winsway continues to expand aggressively through debt, particularly in the upstream business; or (2) GCC's cost structure deteriorates significantly, which could happen if GCC can't ramp up its production effectively and its sales and margins are much lower than our projections.
We could raise the rating on Winsway if: (1) GCC ramps up its coal production and significantly lowers its average production cost; (2) Winsway establishes a record of disciplined investment; and (3) Winsway maintains its financial risk profile on a consolidated basis. An adjusted ratio of funds from operations to total debt of more than 20% and a ratio of adjusted total debt to EBITDA of less than 4x can indicate such stability.
Altan Rio sees potential in Mongolia's mineral frontier
VANCOUVER, May 2 (The Northern Miner) — Vancouver-based exploration outfit Altan Rio (AMO-T) is aiming to take advantage of latent exploration potential in Mongolia’s western frontier. With a collection of greenfield copper-gold prospects in its back pocket and extensive geophysical testing as a guide, Altan looks poised to take the next step with roughly US$2 million worth of drilling slated for 2012.
Though relatively new to the Canadian market — the company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange in January — Altan has invested US$6 million in its 3,800-sq.km Mongolian land package since it was established in 2006.
Altan’s ability to raise funds privately isn’t really surprising considering the company comes from the brain-trust of successful Australian gold-silver producer Troy Resources (TRY-T, TRY-A),
“We’re one of the few groups that really worked things a long privately for quite a while,” explains president and CEO Evan Jones during an interview at the Altan’s Vancouver offices. “It started when I stepped out of Troy and we teamed up with Kelly Cluer, our head geologist. The founders put in the initial capital, and we basically backed Kelly to put a portfolio of properties together in Mongolia.”
Cluer is Altan’s director of exploration, and worked extensively with Cameco Corp. (CCO-T, CCJ-N) prior to the company’s divestiture of its precious metal assets for US$872 million in 2009. Cluer continued to work with Centerra Gold (CG-T) following its spin-off from Cameco, and spearheaded advanced-exploration and feasibility work at Centerra’s Boroo gold mine 110-km northwest of Ulaanbaatar.
“Kelly ran exploration for Centerra for ten years in Mongolia before he started with us,” Jones explains. “It was his team that found Gatsuurt, which is a one-million-oz. gold deposit fifty-kilometres from Boroo.”
Altan’s flagship asset is the Chandman-Yol copper-gold porphyry, which spans 1,400 sq.km in Western Mongolia's Altai mountain range,
“We’re hunting for world-class copper-gold porphyry and we have a piece of the Altai Mountains. It’s the same trend that hosts Ivanhoe Mines’ (IVN-T) Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold deposit,” Jones says. “We’re really the first company to do Western exploration on the trend, and have spent millions identifying our prospective targets.”
Altan Rio owns 100% of four tenements that compose the Yol zone, as well as 100% of five tenements that make-up the Chandman zone subject to a 2.5% net smelter royalty return agreement with Mohammed Al Fayed’s Gallant Minerals.
Geophysical work to date has identified a 60-km-long strike at Chandman, with the most advanced target being the KY porphyry intrusion complex. Altan released preliminary drill results from its 2011 program in early March, with holes collared at KY intersecting elevated metal values, including 0.5% copper and 0.5 gram per tonne gold from one-to-three metre core samples. Hole 27 cut one metre grading 28 grams gold at a depth of 206 metres.
Due to complications arising during drilling, however; four of the five holes aimed at KY’s deeper IP features failed to reach required depths, leaving many of Altan Rio’s geophysical targets untested,
“Last year unfortunately the drilling operators let us down and couldn’t get to the depth we wanted,” Jones comments. “We’ll be using different contractors this year. It wasn’t all bad, in drilling down towards these features we got lots of smoke and noise, not the main zones so no big runs or anything, but lots of noise so we have some geochemistry to go along with the geophysics. In essence, we upgraded the targets for this coming field season.”
Altan is targeting a potential sulfide shell in the KY intrusion. Assay results to-date have shown gold-copper values increasing with depth, so the company remains optimistic on what it will find when drilling resumes,
“We have an intrusion that’s similar size to the one that drives Rio Tinto’s (RIO-N, RIO-L, RIO-A) Bingham Canyon copper mine in Utah,” Jones explains. “If you look around those porphyry intrusions at host deposits, we’re seeing similar big, base-metal anomalies.”
Geophysical profiling also identified the Ovoot target at Chandman-Yol, which lies northeast of the KY zone. Altan completed soil-grid surveys and sampling on the site last year, which returned grab-sample grades as high as 2% copper,
“We found this 3-km-long feature at Ovoot we think might very well be driven by the same intrusion, which is a compelling structural setting,” Jones says. “It’s become a first-order target for us now.”
Altan is planning on spending US$1.7 million on drilling at Chandman-Yol this year, with a focus on targeting the depth anomalies at KY as well as testing the new geophysical targets at the Ovoot target.
Altan’s second major project is its 100%-owned, 71-sq.km Khavchuu gold property 10-km west of Centerra’s Boroo mill complex. Surface sampling identified strong gold and arsenic anomalies that were supported by geophysical surveying,
“We kept an eye on this project since it was with Centerra,” Jones explains. “The underlying land ownership changed, and we happened to be able to pick it up. Kelly believes it’s the best untested gold target in the district. Our drilling is the first ever undertaken on the property.”
The company is in the process of completing a 6-hole, 1,800-metre inaugural drill program at Khavchuu, with results expected in the next few weeks.
Altan remains in the introductory stages with Canadian-equity markets. The company only has 1.7 million shares outstanding courtesy of its US$1 million qualifying transaction with Macquarie Capital. Altan’s founders, including Troy company-builder John L.C. Jones, continue to own 40% of its outstanding shares with institutional investors in London also on board. The company is hoping to appeal to Canadian capital pools and offer investors unique exposure to greenfield assets in a relatively stable jurisdiction,
“We’ll be looking to raise in the range of US$2 million to US$3 million this year to get active. I think we’ll get great support from our original shareholders, and we would like to increase our exposure to Canadian markets, and get them more involved in the story,” Jones comments, “Mongolia is vastly underexplored and proven to host world-class deposits.”
Origo posts fall in NAV per share
May 1 (ShareCast news) Origo Partners (OPP:LN), a Beijing-based private equity investment firm, has estimated its unaudited net asset value (NAV) to be 238.6m dollars, or 0.67 cents per share, at March 31st, down slightly from the 240.6m dollars at the end of 2011.
The equivalent NAV per share translated into sterling was 43.7p, compared to 44.1p at December 31st 2011.
During the first three months of the year, the firm's portfolio had a total value of $267m, compared to $260m at the end of 2011.
The firm was keen to emphasise that the top ten investments represented 89% of the fair value of the portfolio, with the top five accounting for 71%.
57% of the portfolio relates to the metal and mining sector, 25% agriculture, 14% cleantech, and four per cent consumer, technology and media.
During the period the group invested $7.5m, of which $5.1m went to existing invetee companies, and $2.4m in new portfolio companies.
At March 31st the company had cash and equivalents of $39.6m, offset by debt and liabilities of $2.6m.
The share price fell 1.68% to 29.25p by 12:33.
Guildford Coal Investor Presentation, May 2012
May 3, Guildford Coal Limited (ASX:GUF) --
Mogi: I will be presenting at this event.
CapitalistExploits.at Announces Mongolia Meet Up and Investor Summit
We're a couple of globe-trotting capitalists looking for unique and profitable investment opportunities in exotic and frontier markets, typically in the private equity space.
Ex-Im Bank of USA, Development Bank of Mongolia Sign MOU to Facilitate Trade Partnership Between Countries
Ex-Im Chairman conducting first business development mission to Mongolia
ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia, May 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and the Development Bank of Mongolia (DBM) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to facilitate trade opportunities between the United States and Mongolia.
Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg and DBM Chairman Batjargal Bazarsuren signed the agreement at the Development Bank of Mongolia.
"Mongolia has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and there are enormous opportunities for U.S. businesses to help meet the country's growing infrastructure needs," said Fred P. Hochberg, chairman and president of Ex-Im Bank. "Signing this document represents a pledge of cooperation, and we look forward to working together on upcoming projects that benefit both of our countries."
Chairman Hochberg is on a business-development mission in Mongolia to encourage sourcing of U.S. products and services for regional infrastructure projects. The Bank has historically had limited exposure in the country, however, several products are currently in the pipeline that will increase Ex-Im's activity.
This is Hochberg's first visit to Mongolia, and it is the first recorded visit of an Ex-Im Bank chairman to the country since the Bank was formed in 1934.
About Ex-Im Bank:
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past five years, Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers $1.9 billion above the cost of operations. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.
Ex-Im Bank approved $32.7 billion in total authorizations in FY 2011 -- an all-time Ex-Im record. This total includes more than $6 billion directly supporting small-business export sales -- also an Ex-Im record. Ex-Im Bank's total authorizations are supporting an estimated $41 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 290,000 American jobs in communities across the country. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.
Tavan Tolgoi IPO Delayed Again
HONG KONG, May 2 (WSJ) —The $3 billion initial public offering of Mongolia's Erdenes-Tavan Tolgoi Co., previously pushed back from June to the third or fourth quarter, is now planned for the first quarter of 2013, a senior official said, and the state-owned miner is looking to raise $600 million to cover its needs until then.
The main reason for the delay is that Mongolia still lacks the legal framework Hong Kong requires for a listing there, Graeme Hancock, Erdenes TT's chief operating officer, told Dow Jones Newswires. A three-city listing is planned, the other two being London and Ulan Bator. He cited the same reason in March, explaining the previous delay.
Hong Kong recognizes more than 20 jurisdictions in which companies seeking to list in the territory can be incorporated; the list excludes Mongolia. Mongolian officials have said they are talking with the Hong Kong exchange about permission to list there. But the lack of the legal framework is a barrier.
The ministry of justice has submitted a draft of the needed securities law to parliament, Mr. Hancock said, but it remains uncertain when it will be passed.
"Now we're unsure of whether that will pass before the general election, and if it doesn't ... then it won't happen until September or October, which means the earliest time we can list is the first quarter of next year," Mr. Hancock said. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for next month.
The election campaign has also delayed government plans to award mining licenses to international companies to exploit the western part of Tavan Tolgoi, which is another factor affecting the listing plan. Mr. Hancock reiterated that Erdenes-TT, which controls what may be the world's largest undeveloped coking-coal deposit, is willing and able to develop the western block if negotiations with international miners fall through.
The further delay in the IPO increases the amount Erdenes TT will have to raise in the months before the offering. The $600 million estimate is up from the $400 million it had previously planned to raise for funding initial infrastructure—which under the original schedule would have been financed from IPO proceeds, Mr. Hancock said. The projects include building the main mine facilities, among them the coal-handling and processing plants, and the transport facilities, and ensuring a supply of water.
Mr. Hancock said options for the pre-IPO funding included debt financing and issuing convertible bonds, which could be done in tranches.
"We don't have to do it all at once," he said. "We are hoping that we can finalize some debt which would give us the breathing space to negotiate the convertible bond which is little more complex."
He also said the company had added Barclays and Jefferies as bookrunners for the share sale, bringing the total number of investment banks working on the planned listing to six.
Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs are joint global coordinators for the planned IPO, with BNP Paribas and Macquarie as bookrunners.
MSE Daily Market Update: STATE DEPARTMENT STORE WILL CONVERT LOANS TO SHARES
02 May 2012 (BDSec) – The market retreated today after three consecutive days of trading in the green. BDS index declined 46.01 points or 1.01% to 4,519.37 points while MSE Top 20 eased 198.40 points or 0.97% to finish at 20,329.50.
Just Agro’s MMB bonds worth of MNT 34.1 million were traded on the exchange today. Eermel (EER) jumped 10.44% to close at MNT 2,888 and coal miner Aduunchuluun (ADL) recovered, up 9.76% to MNT 4,500.
State Department Store (UID) gained 5.26% to MNT 500. The Annual General Meeting of State Department Store, which held on April 30th, approved proposal of debt conversion to shares. According to the proposal, the company will issue about 22 million additional shares to cover its debt obligations of MNT 10.6 billion.
Today’s decliners were Hermes (-4.60%), BDSec (-3.95%) and APU (-2.17%).
Local News in Brief
- Ivanhoe Mines appointed a new chief executive to replace founder Robert Friedland, who was ousted last month when the Canadian miner's majority owner, global miner Rio Tinto, took control over management. Ivanhoe said late on Tuesday that Kay Priestly, who served as interim CEO, would stay on as the new chief executive. Ivanhoe also appointed Chris Bateman as chief financial officer.
- Mongolia plans to set up a new sovereign wealth fund with $600 million after the country’s June elections, Vice Minister of Finance Ganhuyag Chuluun Hutagt said at a conference in London today.
- The Mongolia-Austria business forum will run on May 18 in Mongolia's National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) in Ulaanbaatar. The forum aims to expand the economic and business cooperation between the two countries. Some 20 Austrian business delegates will arrive led by Austria's Ambassador to China.
MSE Daily Market Update: TAVANTOLGOI IS TO PAY DIVIDEND OF 1,368 TUGRIGS PER SHARE
01 May 2012 (BDSec) – BDS index rose to 4,565.38 points on Tuesday, a gain of 1.86 percent. MSE Top 20 climbed by 1.39 percent to 20,527.9. The largest company on the MSE in terms of market capitalization, Tavantolgoi (TTL) jumped 4.29 percent to close at MNT 10,950.
It is decided on Tavantolgoi’s annual general meeting held yesterday that a dividend of 1,368 tugrigs per share will be paid for the financial year 2011. The dividend will be paid to shareholders who were shareholders on the record date March 29, 2012.
Other noticeable advancers today were Talkh Chikher (+7.40%), Khukh Gan (+5.56%) and Zoos Goyol (+4.81%).
Olloo (OLL) slumped 8.11% to MNT 170, Genco Tour Bureau (JTB) tumbled 5.21% to MNT 91 and Darkhan Nekhii (NEH) fell 4.01% to MNT 6,479.
Mongolia to Benefit from Microfinance and Carbon Credit Deal
May 1, 2012 (Microfinance Focus) Citi’s London-based Environmental Products Trading and Origination team, working with Citi Microfinance, has agreed to purchase 1.17 million metric tonnes of carbon credits over the next seven years from Seattle-based social enterprise MicroEnergy Credits. This deal also combines microloans in Mongolia with the sale of carbon credits on the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
The carbon credits will be generated by capturing reductions of greenhouse gas emissions following the installation of more efficient household insulation and heating fixtures in Ulaanbaatar, the capital and largest city in Mongolia. The purchase and installation of the fixtures will be funded through microloans from Mongolia’s XacBank.
With this arrangement a XacBank customer will purchase an energy efficient stove or home insulation products like a “ger blanket,” which covers a ger, the traditional and ubiquitous Mongolian portable tent-like structures in which more than one quarter of the Ulaanbaatar population lives. Gers are traditionally under-insulated and heated by inefficient coal-burning stoves that contribute to Ulaanbaatar’s especially severe air pollution. Ger blankets greatly increase heat retention, and, like energy efficient stoves, lower the rate of fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
The reductions in household emissions accrued through the use of energy efficient fixtures will be earned by XacBank clients and then assigned to MicroEnergy Credits, which develops carbon finance projects and brings clean energy to low income microfinance households in developing countries. MicroEnergy Credits will then quantify, aggregate, and sell the credits to Citi, who will monetize these credits on the open market through its Environmental Products Trading and Origination team. Portions of the proceeds from Citi’s carbon credit purchase will be distributed by MicroEnergy Credits back to XacBank, allowing the Mongolian lender to expand its clean energy program, build additional marketing and distribution centers, and increase access to affordable clean energy loans.
Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Microfinance and Community Development said, “Citi and our partners collaborated to design a carbon credit financing chain that connects and values energy saved at the household level with global emission reduction targets and markets. Together, we are creating the capacity for Ulaanbaatar residents, living in gers, to access credit to make home energy efficiency improvements, save money, and limit their harmful environmental impact. It is a great example of using creative micro financing to address client and community needs, and a model that can be applied in other initiatives and countries.”
April Allderdice, CEO, MicroEnergy Credits, “MicroEnergy Credits provides the carbon monitoring and aggregating system to be sure these carbon incentives reach the people that can use them. Agreements like this one allow low income families to use microfinance to clean the environment and improve their quality of life.”
The first carbon credits are expected to be available for purchase by Citi in March 2013. The program is in the process of being registered and approved through the Clean Development Mechanism run by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Citi, the global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. MicroEnergy Credits is a financial intermediary which links microfinance institutions to the carbon markets when they lend for clean energy. XacBank is one of Mongolia’s banks, serving Micro customers, Small and Medium-sized Businesses as well as large corporations with a range of inclusive banking, fair investment and other financial products and services.
MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Citi to Buy 1.1m Tons of Carbon Credits from MicroEnergy Credits, Offsetting Cost of Efficient Heaters Financed by Mongolian Microfinance Institution XacBank – MicroCapital.org, May 1
Flights to begin between Turkey, Mongolia
Turkey and Mongolia will operate three flights a week under the agreement.
May 2 (World Bulletin / News Desk) Turkey and Mongolia have signed an agreement to launch regular flights, Turkish General Directorate of Civil Aviation (SHGM) said on Wednesday.
Turkish and Mongolian aviation authorities met in Ulaanbaatar on April 26 and 27, and signed air transportation agreement that envisaged flights between the two countries.
According to the agreement, Turkish destinations are Istanbul and Ankara Mongolian destinations are Ulaanbaatar and Hovd.
Turkey and Mongolia will operate three flights a week under the agreement.
Mongolia's opposition blames incumbent president for being behind arrest of predecessor
ULAN BATOR, May 1 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia's opposition coalition Tuesday blamed the country's incumbent president Tsakhia Elbegdorj for orchestrating the arrest of former president Nambar Enkhbayar.
The coalition of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) and the Mongolian National Democratic Party said in a statement that the Mongolian court system, which should have been independent from politics, is effectively controlled by Elbegdorj, and the country's independent anti-corruption agency has been under his direct control.
On April 13, Enkhbayar, also chairman of the MPRP, was arrested by Mongolia's special police agents upon the instruction of the anti-corruption agency.
The agency accused Enkhbayar of being involved in an illegal privatization deal of a hotel and publishing house and of using TV equipment donated by the Japanese Buddhist Organization to a Mongolian Buddhist organization to form his own TV station.
The opposition said: "The authorities have blocked every attempt of Enkhbayar, the opposition leader, politician and patriotic fighter, to defend himself."
The opposition said that Elbegdorj effectively controlled the court and law enforcement agencies and therefore orchestrated the arrest of Enkhbayar.
The arrest of Enkhbayar continuously shocked Mongolia's political system. On Monday, four lawmakers of the ruling Mongolian People's Party decided to quit after their demand to dismiss Interior Minister Tsend Nyamdorj was rejected by the party.
The lawmakers blamed Nyamdorj for being responsible for masterminding the arrest and rough handling of Enkhbayar. However, Nyamdorj has repeatedly claimed he was not aware of the planned arrest.
Enkhbayar is currently in jail in Tuv province of Mongolia after a district court of Ulan Bator last week decided to extend the arrest of the MPRP chairman for two more months until June 27, just one day before the June 28 parliamentary and local elections.
Enkhbayar's supporters claimed that the arrest was motivated by political purposes and aimed to stop him from running for the parliamentary elections.
China to deepen health cooperation with Mongolia: minister
ULAN BATOR, May 2 (Xinhua) -- China's Health Ministry will deepen bilateral cooperation with its Mongolian counterpart to benefit both countries, Chinese Health Minister Chen Zhu said here Wednesday.
The China-Mongolia relationship currently is in a good development period and bilateral exchanges in health sphere are increasingly expanding, Chen said when meeting Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold at Mongolia's State Palace.
Within the framework of the newly signed bilateral health cooperation program, China would like to work with Mongolia to further promote bilateral pragmatic health cooperation and further benefit the two countries and peoples, Chen said.
Batbold highly valued the health cooperation program reached between Mongolia and China, hoping the two health ministries could continuously deepen cooperation in health sphere.
Earlier, Chen met Health Minister N. Khurelbaatar to discuss bilateral health cooperation. The two sides agreed to strengthen their cooperation in health system construction, hospital management and the establishment of border-region infectious disease control mechanism.
After the meeting, the two ministers signed the Health Cooperation Plan from 2012 to 2016 between the two ministries.
Chen is paying a three-day visit to Mongolia on May 2-4.
STATE SERVANTS HAVE 23 PERCENT PAY RISE
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, May 2 /MONTSAME/ The cabinet announced on Tuesday that salaries of the state servants increased 23 per cent from May 1.
It is the second phase of the government's aim to make a pay rise and increase pensions in frames of the 2008-2012 action plan. In the first phase, there was a MNT 80,000 increase from February 1 of 2012. Thus salaries went up by 53 per cent in overall, and now an average salary size stands at MNT 630 thous.
From May 1 of 2012, average pension has reached MNT 222,900, increasing from 165 thous. This an increase of 75 per cent against the end of 2011, of 35 per cent against April 1 of 2012, and of 2.3 times against 2008.By
40 percent, or 63 thous., is increasing the pension of those 193 thous., or 64 per cent, who had their pensions fixed before the year 1995, and by 28 percent, or 49 thous., of those with the money fixed after 1995.
In view of increase of minimum level of livelihood, the government plans to fix newly the minimum at MNT 180,300, and the minimum level of per cent balanced pension at MNT 145,200.
MPP APPROVES ITS ELECTION PROGRAM
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, May 2 /MONTSAME/ The Mongolian People's Party (MPP) discussed and then approved its program for the 2012 parliamentary election.
At the party's conference, several officials gave reports such as S.Batbold PM and chairman of the MPP; U.Khurelsukh, the MPP Secretary-General; O.Enkhtuvshin, the MPP secretary and head of the MPP faction; and Ya.Sodbaatar, the MPP secretary.
The party's chairman said the election program has opinions, views and proposals given by the party's members and supporters and the Mongolian citizens,and is based on the developmental program for people.
The gathered talked about a realization of the 2008 election program, S.Batbold added that their party "has implemented all works that were promised". He went on that the economic growth of Mongolia reached last year 17.2 per cent and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita exceeded USD 4,000. It is expected to reach USD 5,000 by end of this year, he added.
The party chairman said "the biggest results have been achieved in reducing an unemployment and poverty rates, for example, the latter stood at 40 per cent in 2008 but by end of 2011 it dropped to 29 per cent". The program for 2012 election also has aims to reduce the poverty and unemployment, to equally deliver the social wealth to people, to run some works in frames of socio-economic, environmental and justice matters," he added.
“Our election program has four fundamental parts such as Human and Social policy, Human and Environment, Human and Economic Development, and Human and Just Governance, and it exists in frames of a concept of the human-centered left wing ideology,” S.Batbold said.
Is there quality in the quantity?
May 2 (UB Post) These days, it is said that Mongolia is the fastest growing economy with a GDP growth of 17.3%. There is expected to be even more real GDP growth of around 20.8%. But while the numbers are rising, is there actually an improvement in the livelihoods of the people? Is there sustainable development in the future? Economists and experts are afraid that this is not the reality. For example one need only look at the bitter experiences of Nigeria, Sierra Leon and Equatorial Guinea.
Let us examine the example that gave rise to the term “Dutch-disease”. In Holland, in 1959, due to the discovery of natural gas reserves the country expected more and more economic growth. After 5 years, the GDP started reducing. The main reason was that exports provided a large amount of GNP, but because of the appreciation of the Dutch guilder, exported goods were more expensive to purchase abroad. Thus, this one system of resource mismanagement was named after Holland as the “Dutch-disease”; though modern day Netherlands is one of richest and highest ranked countries in the Human Development Index.
In Mongolia, statistics show that exports do not exceed the import rate, which can cause trade deficits. The trading goods of Mongolia do not number highly, meaning that we don’t really have to worry about export decline, despite the fact that there are so few (from 2008 both exports and imports have been steadily rising). But what we, the people, the parliament and the government, have to ponder is the efficient spending of the windfall of mining. But it seems today, instead of proper financial management, the government is ‘throwing money from helicopters’.
The consequences? Almost no real improvement with nominally higher wages, stipends and pensions, whilst the inflation rate absorbs the real increase of goods they can be purchase. In the end, there are excessive and wasteful amounts of government spending, higher inflation, and poverty stricken households.
The National Statistical Organization has just released the average price of consumer goods on the 18th April. The average price of beef on the markets is 7000 MNT and in some bigger supermarkets downtown, it is more than 10000 MNT. The minimum wage is 140,400 MNT, which means with only one month’s salary, a citizen buy only 17kg of beef. But thankfully, the average price of other consumer goods was lower.
As the country’s income has increase, Government spending has risen shockingly by 56% last year. The wages, pensions and transactions constitute large amount of the budget. Unfortunately, while these increases do occur, the price of commodities goes up and lowers real income. The CPI inflation became 11.1%. However, fortunately the Bank of Mongolia (BOM) announced that in the near future inflation will hold at 8-9%.
Despite the excessive amount of budget spending, the BOM still warns the government about the increasing inflation. They have increased their policy rate by 0.5 which is a good measure against inflation. Maybe, due to the actions taken from the BOM, the average price is falling gradually. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) expressed their appreciation to the BOM. Moreover they recommend for the authorities to focus on environmental and educational sectors in order to reach long-term development.
Mongolia is experiencing a window of opportunity where the percentage of labor age people is at its highest period; there is a large potential labor force. If used well this can be a great opportunity for development. But unemployment rates were still over 60 thousand according to the statistic of 2011. Nevertheless, there is an opportunity to change this.
No matter how much amount of a natural resource is endowed in a country, it has its limits. Large amounts of spending with no real outcome, except the creation of the ‘temporarily’ rich, will have severe consequences when the resource runs out. The consequences are: poverty, hunger, indebtedness and lagging sectors.
As a student of economics myself, I am against giving away cash to every citizen instead of investing in the industrial sectors, rural areas and diversifying agriculture.
"Mogi" Munkhdul Badral
Senior Client Manager / Executive Director
CPS International LLC
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