Tuesday, August 7, 2012

[CPSI NewsWire: Justice Coalition Will Proceed Forming Government with DP, CWGP Despite Court Decision]

CPSI NewsWire brings you market updates on Mongolia, compiled by CPS International, a Mongolian marketing arm of CPS Securities, a Perth, Western Australia based stockbroking and corporate advisory firm, specialising in capital raising for mining and junior stocks.

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Origo: Interim Management Statement for the three month period from April 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012

August 6, Origo Partners Plc (OPP:LON) --

This Interim Management Statement by Origo Partners Plc ("Origo" or "the Company") and its subsidiaries ("the Group") relates to the three month period from April 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012 ("the Period"). 

Highlights from the Period: 

·          Unaudited net asset value of US$227.7 million compared to US$238.6 million for the period ending March 31, 2012 due primarily to the movement of fair market value of quoted investments and currency movements

·          Unaudited net asset value per share of US$0.64 at the end of the Period compared to US$0.67 per share for the period ending March 31, 2012

·          Total investments of US$3.1million

·          Net cash position of US$33.1 million 

Chris Rynning, Origo's CEO, said: 

"We continued to make good progress in executing on our strategy in Q2. Meanwhile, since the last revaluation of the Company's portfolio at the end of December 2011, global equity markets have fallen significantly. Global economic uncertainty and the ensuing downward pressure on asset prices has particularly impacted junior mining and commodity related companies, which make up the bulk of our portfolio. As a result, we anticipate downward adjustment in the carrying value of the portfolio in conjunction with the release of our Interim Results for the period ended 30 of June, 2012." 

"Origo remains confident in China's growth prospects and we have both a strong portfolio and a promising pipeline of investment opportunities in China and its neighboring territories. Whilst we cannot ignore prevailing market conditions and the related impact on asset prices, we continue to build value across the portfolio through our broad operational involvement and remain confident that we will be able to realise such value going forward." 

1.   Resources and Commitments 

At June 30, 2012, Origo had cash and cash equivalents of US$35.6 million. Payables to debtors and other liabilities equaled US$2.5 million (excluding USR fair value movements and provisions for performance incentives) leaving the Group with a net cash position of US$33.1 million. 

2.   Unaudited Net Asset Value 

No revaluation of the portfolio took place during the Period as per Origo's policy to reassess the value of the Company's assets on a bi-annual basis. However, adjusting to reflect the purchase and sale of investments, currency movements and market values in respect of quoted investments, the Company estimates unaudited net asset value at the end of the Period was US$227.7 million (US$0.64 per share). The equivalent NAV per share translated into British Sterling at the prevailing exchange rate at the end of the Period was 40.9 pence compared to 43.7 pence for the period ending March 31, 2012. The decrease in NAV was primarily due to the movement of fair market value of quoted investments (US$7.2 million), currency movements (US$1.5 million) and non-cash based charges relating to the provision for long aged receivables with investee company (US$1.2 million) and interest accrued (US$1.0 million) to the zero-dividend preferred shares. 

3.   Portfolio composition 

In line with the Group's strategy, investments are made predominately in privately held companies across various sectors of China's economy, and in companies and assets with exposure to the Chinese market, with the objective of providing shareholders with above market returns, primarily through capital appreciation. Currently, the Group focuses on the following sectors: metals & mining, agriculture and cleantech. 

As at June 30, 2012, the portfolio was carried at the aggregate value (excluding revaluations of unquoted portfolios) of US$260.5 million compared to US$267.0 million for the period ending March 31, 2012. The top ten investments represented 88 per cent of the fair value of the portfolio, with the top five investments accounting for 71 per cent. 

Table 1: Top 10 Investments (US$ million) 






Fair value

% of

Gobi Coal & Energy Ltd

Metals & Mining

Common Stock





R. M. Williams Agricultural Holdings Pty Ltd


Common Stock & Loan





China Rice Ltd


Preferred Stock & Loan





Celadon Mining Ltd

Metals & Mining

Common Stock





Unipower Battery Ltd


Preferred Stock & Loan





China Cleantech Partners, L.P.**


Limited Partnership Interests





Moly World Ltd

Metals & Mining

Common Stock





IRCA Holdings Ltd

Metals & Mining

Common Stock & Loan





Kincora Copper Ltd

Metals & Mining

Common Stock





Niutech Energy Ltd


Preferred Stock





*    Legal & beneficial interests, excluding impact of outstanding options/warrants and any outstanding convertible instruments

**   A private equity fund focusing on China's cleantech sectors, jointly formed and co-managed by the Group and Ecofin Limited 

Reflecting the Group's strategy of investing in privately held companies, 94 per cent of the portfolio (in terms of fair value) at the end of the Period was invested in unquoted portfolio companies. 

The Company's direct holdings in listed companies comprised stakes in HaloSource Inc. (LSE: HAL), Kincora Copper Limited (TSXV: KCC), Voyager Resources Ltd (ASX: VOR), SPT Energy Group Inc (HKE: SPT) and Hilong Holding Ltd (HKE: HILONG). 

The Group also has indirect interests in other quoted investments through its investments in two funds managed by the Group - the China Commodities Absolute Return Ltd ("CCF") and the Mongolia Stock Exchange ("MSE") Liquidity Fund.  

The weighted average holding period for the portfolio was 2.4 years, with 78 per cent of the Portfolio having been held for less than 3 years; 22 per cent having been held for 3 years or longer. 

In terms of sectors, the composition of the portfolio at the end of Period comprised: 

Metals & Mining (56 per cent)

Agriculture (26 per cent)

Cleantech (14 per cent)

Consumer, Technology and Media (4 per cent). 

4.   Investments 

The Group invested a total of US$3.1 million during the period, comprising US$0.9 million of deployments to existing investee companies and US$2.1 million of investments in existing and new quoted portfolio companies through the CCF.

Link to report


Metal-Tech: Results for the six months ended 30 June 2012

August 6, Metal-Tech Ltd. (MTT:LON) --

Metal-Tech, the producer and recycler of speciality metals such as Tungsten and Molybdenum, announces results for the half year ended 30 June 2012.

Update on Mongolian Operations 

There is no progress since the update provided in the Company's 2011 full year results statement. As stated on 28 June 2011, the Company was informed that the court in Erdenet has in May 2011 declared Shim-Tech, the Company's Mongolian subsidiary, bankrupt and ordered relevant authorities to freeze its accounts and seize its assets. As a result, the Company is no longer in control of Shim-Tech and therefore ceased to consolidate the financial statements of Shim-Tech. Metal-Tech is taking all necessary actions in Mongolia to attain a fair and just result for the Company, including the submission of its claims as creditor of Shim-Tech.

Link to report



August 6 (BDSec) Trading volume has recovered today when around 300k shares worth of MNT 44.9 mn (US$33.2k) were traded on the Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE). But it is still much lower than the daily average trading value which was around US$100k before the new trading system of the MSE launched earlier July.

The market has been witnessing depressed volumes due to the transformation to the new trading system. All the brokerage account holders must open settlement accounts at a local bank in order to participate in trading on the MSE and this process is taking some time.

Out of 10 companies traded today, 4 of them were coal mining companies and all fell. The MSE Top 20 index was down 1.66% to 19,593.36 points. Cashmere manufacturer Gobi (GOV) slumped 7.32% to close at MNT 4,000. Shivee Ovoo (SHV) tumbled 6.91% to MNT 8,085, Hermes (HRM) gave up 5.00% to MNT 95, Tavantolgoi (TTL) lost 3.81% to MNT 10,090, Baganuur (BAN) dropped 2.86% to MNT 6,800, and Sharyn Gol (SHG) plunged 2.71% to MNT 8,800.

Today's gainers were Genco Tour Bureau (JTB) and E-Trans Logistics (ETR), gaining 2.20% and 0.77%, respectively.

Local News in Brief

- Members of the "Justice" joint coalition (Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party and National Democratic Party) hope that the court of appeal will correct a verdict, made at the trial court last week, sentencing a former president to four years in prison for corruption cases. N.Battsereg, the head of the faction, denied rumors that the coalition would leave the new cabinet due to the above court decision. "Deputy Head of our faction Z.Bayanselenge said something about it but we do not have any hesitation in joining coalition government," stressed Mr. Battsereg.

- The only candidature for the City Mayor, E.Bat-Uul has received 98 percent of votes. Apart of nominating the new Mayor, the gathered discussed urgent problems facing the capital city such as air pollution, dust, traffic jam, land ownership, road repair.

"Discover Mongolia" International Mining Investors' forum is to take place in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia over the 30th and 31st of August, 2012. The Forum attracted over 1,500 delegates in 2011 from around the world. With 2012 participation expected to surpass that of the previous year, a strong focus of the forum will be on helping the attendees to continue identifying potential opportunities to benefit from Mongolia's resource-driven economic growth. To this end, the forum is expanding its scope to better support the understanding of regional supply and demand functions as they relate to the Mongolian growth story.

Link to article


Mongolia's champion of resource nationalism is going to jail for four years

August 6 ( Former Mongolian president Nambaryn Enkhbayar was found guilty on corruption charges and sentenced to four years in prison according to news reports on Friday. Enkhbayar also had some of his assets seized and has 14 days to appeal the decision.

Enkhbayar made a political comeback in Mongolia's recent election after his Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party became the junior partner in the new ruling coalition.

The coalition led by the Democratic Party that will rule Mongolia for the next four years is stacked with resource nationalists after an election that placed rising inequality in the nation of fewer than three million people front and centre.

Foreign investment nearly quadrupled to $5 billion last year according to official government data and as "mining money pours in, Ulan Bator has the air of a boom town with cranes and building sites dotting the horizon, a shiny Mercedes dealership and a Louis Vuitton boutique," Euronews reported during Hilary Clinton's visit to the country shortly after the poll when she called Mongolia a democratic model for Asia.

Enkhbayar, described as a larger-than-life character and the country's most popular politician, has advocated making Tavan Tolgoi – the world's richest met coal deposit holding some 6 billion tonnes – 100% state-owned.

Enkhbayar told Reuters as votes were counted: "For an initial period of 20 years it can be privately owned, because it was privately discovered. (Foreign companies) can invest in it, get their money back and make a profit but starting from the 21st year they should give it back to the Mongolian side."

The statements for the foreign press are tame compared to what the MPRP told voters on a campaign website. In the vernacular the party called ruling politicians the pawns of "shadow masters" referring to the foreign owners of Oyu Tolgoi,  and scaring to death the "few oligarchs who are getting filthy rich from this [Tavan Tolgoi] deposit.

In March Mongolia put on hold plans to privatize its Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi coal-mining company which controls the bulk of Tavan Tolgoi.

The country was hoping to raise $3 billion putting the valuation for the company at $15 billion through a listing in London, Ulan Bator and Hong Kong by selling a roughly 20% stake to investors.

The state would've held onto 51% and distributed the remaining shares to Mongolians. Rather than wait for an IPO, it put in place a program before the elections whereby citizens could sell allocated shares back to the state for  $750 (a cool million in the local currency, the tugrik) in cash. More than half of the country opted for the cash, handing the government a bill of roughly $1 billion, or 10% of the country's economy, Globe & Mail reported at the time.

Also in March Mongolia stopped all talks with international miners on developing the western Tsankhi block of Tavan Tolgoi which on its own holds 1.2 billion tonnes after a shambolic bidding process that stretches back as far as 2007.

Mongolia is walking a diplomatic tightrope with Tavan Tolgoi. Aside from closer ties with China it wants to use the project to strengthen its longtime political and cultural links with Russia and at the same time make room for the US as a geopolitical balancer in Asia.

Mongolia's National Security Council rejected a development deal struck with US giant Peabody Energy, Shenhua and a Russian-Mongolian consortium mid-September 2011, just two months after they were announced as winners. At the time losing bidders from Brazil, India and South Korea raised serious concerns and Japan went so far as to call the bidding process 'extremely regrettable'.

Read more on Oyu Tolgoi, Rio Tinto and Ivanhoe Mines' $13 billion copper-gold-silver project >>

Link to article


Erdene Bat-Uul nominated as City Mayor

August 6 ( Ulaanbaatar City Assembly held an irregular meeting today. The Assembly decided to nominate E.Bat-Uul as Ulaanbaatar city new Mayor. By the law Prime Minister have to confirm nomination of Mayor.

Chairman of City Assembly D.Battulga have delivered a letter of nomination of Mayor to the Prime Minister S.Batbold today.

"Ulaanbaatar city have to have official Mayor as soon as possible. In the city election Democratic Party took a majority seats 35 from 45. E.Bat-Uul managed a election campaign successful. Therefore we suggesting him as Mayor" said D.Battulga.

Link to article


PM Batbold postpones his trip to London at DP request

August 6 ( Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold postpones his trip to London-2012 Olympic games this week as requested D.Erdenebat, chairman of Democratic Party (DP) group in the parliament.

D.Erdenebat sent a request last Friday to the Premier where said "It is already almost a month after the new members took oath. Formation of new government is an urgent. The new government supposed to start urgent works such as autumn harvest, preparation for winter. Therefore DP is going to negotiate nomination of new Prime Minister with the President early next week (this week). Considering this please postpone your planned trip to London".

Link to article



August 6 (InfoMongolia) The "Justice" Coalition merged from MPRP and MNDP held its meeting on August 06, and public attention was greatly drawn into what they have discussed at the meeting.

Media and some people were predicting that sentencing their leader N.Enkhbayar might bring them to a conclusion to abandon the negotiations on forming the Coalition Government. Thus, after the meeting the Leader of the "Justice" Coalition group in the Parliament N.Battsereg gave official denial to above prediction and has informed that they would form the Coalition Government with DP and CWGP.

"With today's meeting we have formed the working group in designated routes. Directions have been given to members of the groups on formulating the draft bills that our coalition members shall submit at the autumn session meeting of the Parliament and issues on groups that will be included in auditing group have been discussed at the meeting along many other important matters. We also have exchanged our thoughts on the sentence imposed upon the MPRP leader N.Enkhbayar by the Sukhbaatar District Court last week. We understand that failures do appear in the Primary court practice, thus the members have said that they were hoping for the failures to be cleared at higher appellate court.

We have requested DP to express their position on this situation and courts decision. The Head of DP group in the Parliament D.Erdenbat said that he would talk with the authorities of the Party firstly. Moreover, we have negotiated with DP and CWGP on forming the Coalition Government. The first meeting of the negotiations went smoothly and agreements have been established accordingly. The agreement has been approved by the higher bodies of the negotiating sides. As of now none of the members of "Justice" Coalition are opposing the negotiations on forming a Coalition Government", said N.Battsereg after the meeting.

Link to article



August 6 (InfoMongolia) On August 04, the Mongolian National Democratic Party (MNDP) that merged with Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) in order to run in the 2012 Parliamentary Elections made a statement regarding current political matters and the court decision released to Head of MPRP N.Enkhbayar.

In the statement, the authorities of MNDP expressed deep regret for the sentence pronounced, though considered that it was not the last decision and believes the higher court would correct the wrong one. Nevertheless, Head of MPRP N.Enkhbayar voiced, "However the current matters occurred in Mongolian political stands are not stabilized, the Democratic Party, Civil Will Green Party and 'Justice' Coalition formed from MPRP-MNDP have to work promptly under the agreement of co-operation in order to implement its Action Plans and Tasks that were based under people's choice and prioritize the country's interest".

Link to article


French Chambers of Commerce in Korea & Vietnam Organizing Business Trips to Mongolia

August (The Korea Herald) The French Korean Chamber of Commerce in Korea, in partnership with the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam, has organized a business delegation trip to Mongolia.

According to the chamber, the trip will help interested investors, entrepreneurs, and representatives explore potential business opportunities in the landlocked central Asian country.

Registration and applications must be completed by Aug. 10, according to the FKCCI website. 

Several options are being offered, so for more details and information, please visit

Link to article


Hilton Worldwide Names Senior Vice President, Operations for Greater China and Mongolia

August 6 (e-Travel Blackboard) Hilton Worldwide today announced the appointment of Bruce McKenzie as senior vice president, operations – Greater China and Mongolia. In his new role, McKenzie will oversee the operational interests of over 30 trading hotels and aggregate the growth of the more than 100 pipeline hotels in one of Hilton Worldwide's most important markets outside of the United States. McKenzie will be based in Shanghai.

McKenzie brings with him over 20 years' experience in hospitality management, and was most recently chief operating officer Australasia at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), a position he has held since 2009.

McKenzie is no newcomer to working in China, having worked with IHG as senior vice president, operations - Greater China from 2004 to 2009. Before joining IHG, he was director of operations with Mirvac Hotels Pty. Ltd., the hotel management division of the multi-billion dollar Australian property company, The Mirvac Group. Prior to this, McKenzie was based in Singapore for almost two years at Choice Hotels International Inc. as vice president Asia Pacific, and tasked to significantly grow the business in Asia Pacific.

McKenzie started his career in hospitality management with Sheraton/Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 1989, where he worked for 13 years in various positions including director of sales, financial controller, general manager and area managing director across the company's different entities in Australasia and Indonesia.

"China is one of Hilton Worldwide's most important markets outside the United States, and we have steadily increased our presence there. We are pleased to have McKenzie on the team. His 20-year career in the hospitality business and previous experience in China will be an asset to us as we continue the rapid expansion of our trading estate in China over the next few years," said Martin Rinck, president, Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide.

Link to article


Illegal gravel exploiting companies to be shut down

August 6 (UB Post) The number of entities who dig up, exploit gravel and carry it to Ulaanbaatar is increasing. There are about 70 entities that carry gravel from the Tuul River and 34 of them have permanent operations.

The big trucks that are carrying the gravel are massive and they drive whenever they want. The dust in the air from these trucks goes into the air and wind and covers the western part of the city, making it grey. Around 200 people from 32 household live in this area of the Khan-Uul district. Each household breeds 10 to 200 heads of cattle. The residents of this area earn their living by selling milk from their cattle in Ulaanbaatar. Unfortunately, because of the project to accommodate all the citizens, gravel businesses have boomed. The gravel carrying trucks have been destroying the living environment of those people and the grazing land of the cattle.

The dwellers of this area have complained to the authorities several times. The authorities and officials, headed by the minister for Nature, Environment and Tourism, D.Tsogtbaatar have met the residents of the areas which have been destroyed by the gravel carrier trucks.

"The Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism pursue the policy to restrict the operation of mining and gravel exploiting companies and entities that operate in the river's protected areas. Any damage that was made will be compensated by those entities. There is a certain demand for gravel behind the buildings which are under construction in Ulaanbaatar. But gravel exploitation raises the issue of environment damage. Capital City planning should be grounded on the water resource," said Z.Batbayar, the deputy chairman of the Water Authority.

Big trucks that carry the gravel to the city cause lots of damage to the environment and the companies and entities that exploit the gravel in the Tuul River also pollute the Tuul River badly.

Minister D.Tsogtbaatar, warned gravel carrying companies that are deteriorating nature and the environment. He also said they need to take serious measures. In 2012, only 5 entities out of 70 that carry the gravel, submitted the rehabilitation plans to the Nature, Environment and Tourism Ministry. Thus, the Ministry has decided to urgently shut down the operation of 10 companies in the first phase. These are companies who did not submit the rehabilitation plans to the Specialized Inspection Agency. The remaining entities and companies will be shut down in the future, because those gravel exploiting companies do the operations and are in breach of the law. Also, the authorities want to make those companies perform rehabilitation in the damaged areas.

Link to article


Capitalist Exploits: Context Versus Content…

August 6 (Capitalist Exploits) It seems our last post on Mongolia touched a nerve with some of our friends and readers.

Before addressing the reasons for that, let's step back and look at our past views on Mongolia.

In August of 2010 I wrote a post titled: "Mongolia – The New Asian Tiger".

Dozens of positive posts later, we followed with a Special Report focusing on the country, and then continued to write even more. Consequently, some readers accused us of being one-sided in our reporting. Did we actually believe it was all unicorns and rainbows on the Steppe? Not a chance!

Chris and I are anything but naive when it comes to investing and doing business in the frontier markets.

However, we wanted to tell the Mongolia story by highlighting the positive effects capitalism has had on the country, and get other frontier market investors excited about the myriad opportunities we saw.

We've interviewed quite a few entrepreneurs and professionals who have made Mongolia their singular focus. These men and women are a cut above in our opinion. It takes a VERY special person to succeed there. I don't mean just the expats either…even Mongolian nationals face substantial challenges in their own country.

After spending a month on the ground, living with locals (no, there was no hotel or fancy "expat compound" for the majority of my time there), I met with all of the people we've interviewed herein, plus a bunch of new contacts. We formed some opinions and also made new observations.

We'd be remiss if we didn't share these with you…the good, the bad, and yes, there's always the ugly! Believe it or not (even we don't sometimes!), a few of our readers actually changed their career paths and left the safety of their "jobs" and country to blaze a trail to Mongolia! Therefore, we MAINTAIN a responsibility to be brutally honest!

Several of these new transplants hunted us down the day we got there, presumably to either strangle us, or simply meet the two lunatics who helped launch them onto their crazy new path. Thankfully, they were all satisfied with their decisions! Phew!! There were no strangulations, profanity-ridden rants or otherwise.

That is until our last post, "Mongolia – It's a Wrap!"

Chris and I call it like we see it. You either appreciate that about us or you don't.

The post touched, rather graphically, on one aspect of the "other side" of Mongolia. A side that, as Chris pointed out, is shared by many of the CIS countries. I won't repeat herein, as you can go and read it for yourself.

In reviewing what we had written (100% factual, by the way), we came to the conclusion that the issues might have come from the context more than the content. Chalk it up to a month of cold showers, 48-hours of plane flights, unfamiliar accommodations and near asphyxiation, perhaps…who knows?

We did not plan to offend anyone, especially our Mongolian friends, who helped us greatly on the ground and made our Meet Up possible!

After our month in the country, our view of Mongolia has NOT changed. We still firmly believe it is one of, if not the, single best places to invest in to make multiples on your money over the next 5-7 years.

The reality that investors need to understand is that Mongolia has been a very poor, very overlooked country for a long time. The Soviet influence, while it provided some measurable benefits for Mongolia's people, has left many scars that have yet to heal. We didn't intend to open those, just acknowledge they are a reality and something for our highly-motivated readers to take note of.

This same story has played out throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Walking the streets of Ulanbaataar (Mogi: Ulaanbaatar) you will see some who obviously long for the "good ole days" of socialism…but they are clearly outnumbered by those who are fighting hard for a better life.

Overall we found Mongolians to be helpful, courteous and intelligent. They had a very thorough understanding of the world outside of their borders, despite being rather isolated and land-locked between two rather imposing neighbors.

The average man on the street wants to better his situation. In more than one instance I found myself teaching English to my cab driver. One guy actually offered to discount my cab ride on a sliding scale as I taught him more phrases! Another was on her 2 week vacation from her bank job, taking fares for extra money. She had me drill her with questions during our 30-minute cab ride so she could practice for an upcoming job interview.

These are proud, strong, hearty people who have a true desire to assert themselves and retake their place in the world. We fully support them, and we know instinctively that this place will be one of the richest countries in the world once again.

Mongolia is rising from the ashes and reasserting its unique and fascinating identity. It truly is like no other place I've ever been.

If you agree, great…if not, there are other places we like (Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Libya, Fiji…), and we'll be talking about those too, don't worry.

Over the next few months we'll be bringing you more Mongolia stories from our partner Scott, who has decided to extend his stay and really get to know the place. We can't wait to hear about the opportunities he discovers, and the people he'll end up meeting.

Meanwhile, Chris and I are back to our normal, crazy travel schedule. He's over in Laos right now. I'm back in Thailand gearing up for another trip to S. America, where I'll be passing through Chile, Brazil and Uruguay before heading back to SE Asia to join Chris in Myanmar.

If you're a member of our CPAN service you'll get first dibs on the research, opportunities and information that the three of us dig up. There are still a few spaces left, but their going fast.

- Mark

"With Heaven's aid I have conquered for you a huge empire. But my life was too short to achieve the conquest of the world. That task is left for you." – Chinggis Khan

Link to article


Expats in UB Series - Trevor Syrad, Talk Talk English

By Allyson Seaborn

August 6 (UB Post) In 2007 Trevor Syrad seized a golden opportunity to open an English language school that focused on speaking and listening. At the time he realized that, "most Mongolians learn English at school and at university; but usually study in big classes and have little opportunity to communicate in English. Our students will often have a reasonable knowledge of grammar and a good vocabulary, but what they really need is a teaching environment that helps them build their verbal skills and their confidence."

Over the last five years Trevor and his team have worked continually to improve their curriculum, their learning materials and the learning experience. He says "Talk Talk English is one of the few schools in the world that has written its own high quality textbooks. Patrick Kennedy, Talk Talk English's Education Director and author of the Talk Talk English textbooks, has recently completed a new series of textbooks. The new textbooks and the associated teaching method have been developed here in Mongolia and are based on our extensive teaching experience and feedback from our teachers and students." Talk Talk English also translates all the course vocabulary into Mongolian and has recently launched an online vocabulary learning system. This system is available to every Mongolian with internet access and is free to use. (

Five years from the day the school opened, Trevor can proudly say that Talk Talk English has played a part in helping many Mongolian students improve their English and a part in helping them to achieve their study and career goals.

As Mongolia becomes a bigger player in the world economy, it is becoming more important for Mongolians to be able to communicate in English. The number of foreign companies arriving in Mongolia increases weekly. Trevor explains that, "this has a direct impact on Mongolians working in commercial and government organizations that have relationships with foreign companies. Employees who have English language skills are increasingly in demand."

Trevor explains how, "foreign companies hiring Mongolian staff often require English language skills. Different positions require different levels of English and there is a relationship between seniority and English language competence. The more senior you are, the more likely it is that you will need a higher level of English. This means that English has become a factor in career progression."

People from all walks of Mongolian life have visited the Talk Talk English School located in Sukhbaatar District right next to the Mongolian National University. The company's website boasts that, "within a relatively short period of time Talk Talk English became the school of choice for career professionals, university students, business leaders, politicians, and celebrities."

The UB Post recently published an interview with L. Bold, the Chairman of the Language and Composition Institute at the Mongolian Academy of Science. Bold is concerned that, "the proper and appropriate use of the Mongolian language is being lost." Of course, all languages evolve and there is global trend towards the use of less formal language, particularly among the younger generation. It is certainly true of the English language.

Other Mongolians seem concerned that English is eroding the Mongolian language. Trevor is, however, very sure that while Mongolian may continue to borrow foreign words, Mongolian as a language will never be lost. He explains that, "all languages borrow words from each other. English was originally a West Germanic language and has been evolving for over 2000 years. The English language has been greatly influenced by French, Latin, and Scandinavian languages. Mongolian has borrowed many words from Russian. But generally, a word is only borrowed if it makes more sense to borrow it than create a new word or phrase to describe it. It doesn't make much sense for English speakers to translate the word 'airag' for example. Equally, why translate the word 'internet' into Mongolian? History should reassure people that languages are very robust and there is, in reality, no possibility of English edging out Mongolian. Finland for example was under Swedish control for 100 years and Russian control for another 100 years. Yet Finnish survived these periods of occupation at a time when there were less than 2 million Finns speaking the language." It's pretty hard to argue with that.


-Describe your first visit to Mongolia

-I first came to Mongolia, from the UK, in July, 2005. I came to Mongolia to go on a horse riding trip. Riding across the steppes for a week was a wonderful experience and made me want to return.

-What advice would you give people who want to improve their English?

-The most important thing to know about learning a language is that takes time and effort. There are no real shortcuts. No magic solutions. Don't dream of the day you will be fluent. Remember the power of studying a little every day. The more you study, the better you will be.

-What is the best thing aboutliving in Mongolia?

-For me the best thing about living in Mongolia is the experience of living in a culture so far removed from the one I have come from. Living in a young democracy, in a developing free market economy is a fascinating experience.

-How has UB changed over the years?

-The pace of life has changed a lot. People are busier and more stressed than before. Traffic has become quite chaotic and consumerism is taking hold. Downtown UB is really changing and whole new suburbs have sprung up on the south side.

-Describe a perfect weekend in Mongolia

-A perfect weekend would be a meal at the Veranda on Friday night, some shopping on Saturday, a few beers on Saturday night. Horse riding at Steppe Riders in Tov Aimag on Sunday.

-What's your advice to UB newcomers?

-Don't expect things to go quite as smoothly as they might in your home country. Be careful to respect the culture. And remember, we foreigners are now two a penny. All the other rules of life apply equally.

-Have you managed to learn any Mongolian?

-Unfortunately, my Mongolian is still fairly basic. I keep promising to learn the language properly. Hopefully one day it will happen. It is very easy to survive in Ulaanbaatar without Mongolian because very many Mongolians speak English.

-What are your favourite UB restaurants?

-The Veranda, Maggiano's, Le Trisquet, and the Kempinski's Japanese restaurant, the Sakura, are my favourite restaurants.

-What's your favourite pastime or something you like to do to relax?

-Watching movies is probably my favourite pastime.

-Picture Ulaanbaatar 20 years from now and tell me what you see.

-I see a new generation of ambitious open minded Mongolians, an improved city infrastructure, a modern tramway system (I think a metro system is unnecessarily expensive), apartment housing for all city dwellers, and better healthcare.

-What is your favourite Mongolian food?

-Buuz made of meat and vegetables.

-What music do you listen to when you are stuck in UB traffic?

-My radio has never worked properly and my Rod Stewart CD is broken. So, no music really.

-Who inspires you?

-Mongolian athletes. With limited resources and great determination they have achieved very much.

-What was the last book you read?

-The Death of Kings by Conn Iggulden. It is an historical novel about a young Julius Caesar. Conn Iggulden has also written a number of excellent novels about Chinggis Khan and the Mongol Empire.

-Do you have a favourite quote or motto to live by?

-Not really. But I would say that it is important, when considering political and religious matters, not to believe what people tell you without first evaluating the facts for yourself.

-If you could have dinner with five people who would they be?

-Karl Marx, Christopher Hitchens, Che Guevara, Margaret Thatcher, and Chairman Mao.

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Монголын уул уурхайн салбарт үйл ажиллагаа явуулж буй бүх уул уурхайн компани, хөрөнгө оруулагч компани, ханган нийлүүлэлтийн болон уул уурхайн салбарт үйлчилгээ үзүүлэгч аж ахуй нэгж, төрийн болон төрийн бус бүх байгууллагын нэгдсэн мэдээллийг хүргэдэг "МОНГОЛЫН УУЛ УУРХАЙН НЭГДСЭН ЛАВЛАХ-2013" номыг дөрөв дэх жилдээ Монголын Уул Уурхайн салбар үүсч хөгжсөний 90 жилийн ойг тохиолдуулан эрхлэн гаргах гэж байна. Тус ном нь гадаад, дотоодын уул уурхайн компани, Олон улсын хурал үзэсгэлэн болон Монгол Улсад суугаа Элчин сайдын яам, гадаад улсад суугаа Монголын Элчин сайдын яамдаар дамжуулан хөрөнгө оруулагч нарт үнэ төлбөргүй хүргэгддэг онцлогтой.

Монголын уул уурхайн салбарынханд бүтээгдэхүүн, үйлчилгээгээ хамгийн хүртээмжтэй хүргэхийг хүсч буй та бүхнийг "МОНГОЛЫН УУЛ УУРХАЙН НЭГДСЭН ЛАВЛАХ -2013" номтой хамтарч ажиллахыг урьж байна.

Эх сурвалж



Olympic judo: Mongolian fought in the final despite cruciate injury

• Tuvshinbayar Naidan was injured in semi-final fight
• Naidan now in a wheelchair and may have to retire

August 6 (The Guardian) Tuvshinbayar Naidan, the Mongolian judoka who won silver in the men's heavyweight competition last Thursday, competed in the final having torn his anterior cruciate ligament in the semi-final and the 26-year-old may now be forced to retire.

Naidan, the 2008 Olympic champion, had been "screaming in pain" following the injury and officials at the ExCeL's centre were preparing for the final to be called off before the judoka confirmed he would defend his title against Russia's Tagir Khaibulaev.

Following his win over South Korea's Hwang Hee-tae in the 100kg semi-final Naidan's distress meant he failed to recognise his father and he had to be carried away on the back of his coach. He flew back to Mongolia on Monday morning and will be in a wheelchair for two months. The injury is among the most serious an athlete can suffer.

Khosbayar Bat-Erdene, the Mongolia press attaché, told the Guardian: "Tuvshinbayar Naidan's was a very bad injury and he had to seriously consider whether he would fight on in the final. He tore the anterior cruciate in his left knee. He decided to fight the final because he thought it might be the only chance he would have to defend his Olympic title.

"Previously, he had a similar injury to his other knee, the right one, after the Beijing Games and was out for two years – he needed surgery in the USA and when he returned he had to lose 30kgs to get below the 100kg limit to start training to defend his title. He is back in Mongolia and is in a wheelchair and will be for two months. He is considering whether to retire."

After Naidan suffered the injury against Hwang, a London 2012 volunteer said: "The Mongolian came off after the semi-final and seemed totally out of it – screaming, shouting and crying – he couldn't say a word. First of all he was put on a stretcher but there was no access so then his coach had to piggy-back him and he was taken away to the back of the arena."

The final against Khaibulaev was around 30 or 40 minutes later that day. In front of David Cameron, the prime minister, and Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, Khaibulaev needed just over two minutes to beat Naidan with a decisive ippon. After his defeat Naidan did not attend the usually mandatory press conference. Reflecting on the manner of his win, Khaibulaev said: "I met the Olympic champion from the last Olympics. The final was easy somehow, maybe it just seems to me this way. I threw him quickly."

Naidan's bravery is similar to that shown by Shun Fujimotothe Japanese gymnast who broke his knee at the 1976 Montreal Olympics during the floor exercise. He continued to compete in the team event, scoring 9.5 on the pommel horse and 9.7 on the rings before collapsing in agony.

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August 6 (InfoMongolia) On August 04, 2012 yet another Mongolian Olympic hope regretfully left the Games with no medals. Silver Medalist from Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, World Champion of 2009, State Hero of Labor and Merit Athlete of Mongolia P.Serdamba, who competed in Men's Light Fly weight competition had a BYE at the start and was faced against Indian boxer Devendro Singh Laishram in Elimination round of 16, where our Olympic hope concluded the match with a 11-16 (3-4, 2-4, 6-8) loss. The 20 year old Indian boxer Devendro Singh Laishram had P.Serdamba in count two times.

On the same day Bronze Medalist from World Championships, Merit Athlete of Mongolia U.Munkh-Erdene in Men's Light Welter (64kg) faced Richarno Colin from Mauritius in Elimination round of 16 and defeated him by 15-12. On August 08 at 10:00 pm local time or 05:00 am on August 09 by Ulaanbaatar time U.Munkh-Erdene will fight for bronze medal. His opponent is a Bronze Medalist from Baku World Championships, twice Silver Medalist from European Championships - Thomas Stalker from the host country.

On August 03, International Master of Sports B.Tuvshinbat was defeated by French boxer Alexis Vastine by 12-13 in Men's Welter (69kg) weight competition and had to leave the Olympic Games.

N.Tugstsogt, a world silver medallist in 2009, defeated the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games bronze medallist Vincenzo Picardi by 17-16 in the Men's Fly Weight (52kg) in the round of last 16 and was qualified to fight for bronze. Although Vincenzo Picardi took the first round 6-4, our fighter took control of the bout using his impressive upper cut and claimed the next two rounds dominating by 6-4 and 7-6. On August 07 at 08:45 am London time or 03:45 am by Ulaanbaatar time N.Tugstsogt will fight against Jasurbek Latipov from Uzbekistan.

Hereby, two of Mongolian boxers have to leave the Games, where another two are left in Quarterfinals.

Moreover, Mongolian marathon runner L.Otgonbayar participated in women's marathon competition (42km) and finished the line in 2 hours 52 minutes and 15 seconds coming at 102nd out of total 118 runners. She covered the first 35 km long road in 2:15:25 and 40th km line in 2:40:51. With this result she finished the line in 29 minutes and 08 seconds following the winner. Her personal record is 2:39:50. Men's marathon event will take place at the last on August 12, where our marathon runner State Merit Athlete B.Ser-Od will compete.

Soon from August 08-11, the Freestyle wrestling competition will take place, where 4 male and 4 female wrestlers will represent Mongolia.

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Fossil Dealer Makes Claim on Disputed Mongolian Tyrannosaur

August 6 (LiveScience) A tyrannosaur may be headed for trial.

A Florida fossil dealer who attempted to sell a fossilized tyrannosaur skeleton at an auction before Mongolia's president intervened has made it clear he wants it back.

The dinosaur, a Tarbosaurus bataar, is now the subject of a federal lawsuit filed by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office seeking to take ownership of the dinosaur so it can be returned to Mongolia, from which paleontologists and Mongolia President Elbegdorj Tsakhia say it was taken illegally.

In a court filing on July 27, fossil dealer Eric Prokopi put the feds on notice that he plans to fight their attempt to take over ownership of it.

A claim on the fossils

According to the new claim he filed, Prokopi "purchased components of the (tyrannosaur) on the international market and then spent a year of his life and considerable expense identifying, restoring and mounting and preparing it." [Album: Battle over a Tarbosaurus]

The document refers to the dinosaur fossils as a "display piece."

This terminology reflects the work Prokopi put into preparing the mounted dinosaur, Prokopi's attorney Michael McCullough said.

"We are just trying to create a factual distinction between a fossil which is imported and a finished piece which is what was being sold at the auction," McCullough said.

Dinosaur dispute

Although the fossils fetched nearly $1.1 million at auction, the sale did not go through because of the Mongolian claim on the fossils. Paleontologists have supported this claim, saying that clearly identifiable remains for Tarbosaurus bataar, an Asian relative of T. rex, are only known to have come from a rock formation located within Mongolia.

Prokopi has questioned that, writing in a statement to the media in June that the bones could have come from elsewhere. "Other than (from) the diggers, there is no way for anyone to know for certain when or where the specimen was collected."

"I'm just a guy in Gainesville, Florida, trying to support my family, not some international bone smuggler," he wrote.

The case continues

Had no one put in a claim on the fossils, the federal government would have taken legal possession of them without a trial. Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, has declared his intention to return the dinosaur to Mongolia.

Anyone else with an interest in the dinosaur has until Aug. 26 to file a claim. 

According to customs documents, the fossils were shipped to Prokopi in 2010 from Chris Moore, of Forge Fossils in England. Moore would have split the proceeds of the sale with Prokopi, according to a consignment contract with Heritage Auctions, the auction house that offered the dinosaur for sale. Moore has not been named in the federal lawsuit. His attorney, John Cahill, told LiveScience by email: "Mr. Moore is not involved in the case and has no interest in becoming involved in it." [Image Gallery: Dinosaur Fossils]

Prokopi's attorneys McCullough and Peter Tompa declined to discuss the arrangement between the two fossil dealers.

Fossil law

The international legal landscape for fossils is complicated, since laws regarding fossil ownership and export vary by country. For instance, Mongolian law makes fossils found within its boundaries property of the state, but U.S. law allows for the collection and sale of fossils dug up on private land with permission by the land owner. But this case involves probable Mongolian fossils offered for sale in the United States.

"Until this case is tried in court, I don't know if there are any laws that have been broken here in the U.S.," said George Winters, executive director of the Association of Applied Paleontological Sciences (AAPS), a professional organization whose members include commercial dealers and collectors.

Ultimately, Winters said he suspects this case will result in changes to U.S. law.

"I am assuming that the trade agreements with these countries (such as Mongolia, which don't allow for the export of fossils) will at some point in time be amended to possibly ban the sale or importation of that material," he said.

It's not difficult to find fossils from the same species of dinosaur or others quite likely taken from Mongolia and listed in auction catalogs or on eBay.

To help collectors and dealers make sure what they are excavating or buying is legal, Winters is compiling individual nations' laws on fossils for a revised edition of Donald Wolberg's book "Collecting the Natural World" (Geoscience Press, 1997). Winters also plans to post the information on the AAPS journal website .

If you buy or collect fossils abroad, knowing the law of the country you are visiting is important. For example, in China, tourists may legally purchase fossils, but when they attempt to take their purchases home, they may be detained, even jailed, since Chinese law does not permit the export of fossils, Winters said.

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