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.
UPDATE 1-SouthGobi expects China's Chalco to drop takeover offer
* Mongolian government has made Chalco bid impossible - CEO
* Chalco has until Sept 4 to decide on offer
* SouthGobi shares down four percent in Hong Kong
* Mining licence suspension hurt Q2 profits
HONG KONG, Aug 14 (Reuters) - SouthGobi Resources Ltd (TSX:SGQ, HK:1878) said on Tuesday that it expects China's state-controlled Chalco to drop its takeover offer for the Mongolia-focused coal miner in the face of Mongolian opposition.
The proposed deal has the backing of SouthGobi's majority shareholder, Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd, formerly known as Ivanhoe Mines Ltd, but it faced political opposition almost immediately within Mongolia, which is becoming wary about the growing Chinese presence in its mining sector.
"I personally believe Chalco is not continuing to work on the deal," SouthGobi Chief Executive Alex Molyneux told Reuters.
"The evidence I have before me seems highly unlikely that the bid is going to go forward," Molyneux said by telephone, citing Mongolia's recent efforts to block the deal. "It's 100 percent clear that Mongolia has made the deal impossible."
Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, better known as Chalco, this month said it had decided to extend its offer for up to 60 percent of the common shares of Toronto and Hong Kong-listed SouthGobi Resources for the second time as it needs more time to "engage with the Mongolian government and review the terms and conditions of the transaction".
The company in April had announced a $926 million, or C$8.48 per share, bid for a controlling interest in SouthGobi, which owns large coal projects in Mongolia close to China, which has a huge appetite for energy and minerals to feed its giant economy.
Chalco has until Sept. 4 to formalize its bid.
SouthGobi's shares, which last traded at C$3.7 in Toronto, have wilted. Its Hong Kong-listed shares were down nearly 4 percent at HK$29.90 each in late morning trade on Tuesday.
SouthGobi has had no formal contact from Chalco for more than a month, another sign that the deal will not happen, Molyneux said.
Chalco board secretary Liu Qiang said she had no comment, when asked by Reuters whether Chalco was still pursuing a takeover of SouthGobi.
SouthGobi said late on Monday its second-quarter profit plunged on lower output after Mongolia suspended its mining licence following Chalco's bid.
Operations at its flagship Ovoot Tolgoi mine, which means "turquoise hill" (Mogi: Oyu Tolgoi means turquoise hill, Ovoot Tolgoi means mount hill) in Mongolian, in the south of the landlocked country had been "fully curtailed" since June 30 and were not expected to resume in the third quarter, SouthGobi said.
The company's second quarter net income attributable to equity holders fell to $237,000 from $67.3 million a year earlier.
· "They (Mongolian government) have done everything in their power to roadblock the deal by the Chinese state company," Molyneux said, adding that profits were also hurt by weakening demand for coking coal in China.
Norov Altanhuyag of the Democratic Party was confirmed as Mongolia's new prime minister on Friday. The transfer of power from the former ruling Mongolian People's Party, which is in favour of nationalising resources, (Mogi: not true, in favor of regulating foreign investment but not nationalizing) raised hopes of a friendlier investment climate.
SouthGobi's second quarter impacted by "significant uncertainty" – Proactive Investors, August 13
SouthGobi Resources profit spirals as licensing uncertainties remain – Mining Weekly, August 13
Monet Research: SouthGobi Resources – BUY, Target Price HK$43.03
August 13 -- Monet Capital updates coverage on South Gobi Resources Limited (HKG:1878, TSX:SGQ) and recommends a BUY rating with a target stock price of HKD 43.03 based on our discounted cash flows valuation and risk analysis.
South Gobi Resources is one of the largest coking coal producers in Mongolia, and one of the biggest listed companies in the country. A proportional takeover bid by Chalco was made in April for CAD8.48 per share, or HKD 65—a 31% premium to the market price at the time. However, soon after this bid the government of Mongolia passed a new foreign investment law that allows the state to block the deal, creating severe doubts as to whether it will go forward. SouthGobi’s license was also suspended following this event, causing setbacks to their operations in Q2 and severe drops in its share price.
We believe that despite these setbacks the market has overreacted to the news and there is now an opportunity to take advantage of the fear surrounding this new law. We have modeled pessimistic scenarios for the company’s future operations and taken into account the setbacks for this year, but the company’s fundamentals remain strong, and its flagship Ovoot Tolgoi mine is well positioned to take advantage of the vast coal markets in China – the largest consumer and producer of steel in the world.
· Ramping up production: Production volume rose by 56% in 2011 to 4.57mtpa. As production ramp ups continue, we assume a production of 8mtpa by 2013 and 10mtpa by 2018 with a 26% average net margin over this period and 44% net margin by 2021.
· Adding value to the product: The company is working hard to improve the value of its product, and have made a deal with a wet washing facility in Ejin Jinda to process their high to medium ash coal into coking coal. We expect the current average selling price (ASP) of USD 50/t to rise steadily as it levels with other coking coal exporters such as Australia, but have used cautious growth rates due to the threat of a slow down in Chinese demand.
· Distressed company, strong fundamentals: The Government of Mongolia have suspended operations from SouthGobi while they decide how to proceed with the bid from Chalco. As such the market price is severely distressed despite strong fundamentals for the company.
Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. Publishes July 2012 Monthly Letter to Shareholders
Ulaanbaatar, MONGOLIA, August 13, 2012 /FSC/ – Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. (YAK – CNSX) is pleased to announce the release of its July 2012 letter to shareholders.
July 2012 Shareholder Letter
To the Shareholders of Mongolia Growth Group Ltd.,
During the month of July, business activity in Mongolia slowed substantially due to the weeklong Naadam holiday. Despite the slow-down, our daily operations proceeded normally. In particular, we saw a new monthly high for total rental revenue. We can attribute this to a larger portfolio of assets and some very determined work by our leasing team. It also should also be pointed out that when properties do come up for rent, we are receiving substantial increases in rental rates.
In past letters, I have described how when we purchase a property, we honor all existing leases in place. We do this because we want to be seen as reliable landlords. Thus far, this has hurt us on the revenue side as rental rates in Ulaanbaatar are increasing dramatically, yet we have been locked into leases at rates that are substantially below market. But now, our insistence in honoring contracts is beginning to work in our favor as larger Mongolian companies are increasingly seeking us out for their leasing needs. This means that we get a much more stable corporate tenant base that is easier on the management side. It also means that when we do go to re-lease these properties, we are now receiving current market rates, which are often at a substantial increase compared to the rates that we were previously receiving. In particular, we have a number of sizable leases that are expected to re-price in the next few months and these are currently some of the most egregiously below market leases in terms of per meter rates. (We intend to put some additional data on signed lease commitments and anticipated future rents based on market prices in our second quarter MD&A filed with SEDAR).
Over the past few months, I’ve received many questions about annual increases in market rates for commercial space in downtown Ulaanbaatar. On a very generalized basis, it seems that per meter rents on the best streets in downtown are up by at least 50% over the past year, while secondary streets have seen somewhat smaller increases. This seems to be driven by a desire by multi-branch Mongolian businesses to have an increased retail presence on the highest traffic streets. In particular, we have seen material increases in market presence from banks, multi-chain restaurants and cell phone companies. Recently, we have seen inquiries from international brands that now have Mongolia on their radar. Over time, it is only natural that these international brands will also need retail space. This demand, combined with rapidly increasing levels of disposable income from Mongolian consumers, is leading to an increased ability for tenants to pay higher rates and these tenants are bidding up prices along the high traffic streets in the city.
On the office side, there have been some very sizable increases in rents due to the extreme lack of available supply in downtown and 30% to 50% annual increases in per meter rents seem to be the norm throughout the spectrum of Class A all the way down to Class C space. These price increases are being driven by an extreme lack of available space coupled with a sizable increase in demand. It would seem that this undersupply of space will get more severe in the next few years, before new projects finally come online to alleviate the imbalance. However, the other variable is on the demand side. As an economy matures, the percentage of office workers in the economy grows. I would expect to see a similar thing happen here in Mongolia and this will continue to put pressure on the very limited stock of existing space.
Returning to our actual operations, during the month of July, we purchased one small (approximately 1,100 gross meters) distressed office building that is quite dilapidated, but in a great location. Our expectation is that after renovations, we will experience a mid-teens yield on our invested capital based on current market rates. Offsetting this purchase, we have continued to make small sales from our “held for sale” portfolio. Our goal remains to completely exit the residential market by year-end with the exception of a handful of units mainly reserved for employees.
In general, we continue to target (and receive) a mid-teen pro-forma yield as a minimal threshold on all non-re-development properties that we acquire. Of course, we are willing to make exceptions for very well located retail locations. When we do acquire leasable properties, you should remember that it often takes some time for this pro-forma yield to show up in our financial statements. To start with, we frequently acquire properties with legacy tenants. This means that we do not get the benefit of Ulaanbaatar’s rapidly increasing property rents until the lease renews. In addition, we frequently do extensive renovations of these properties when they finally do become vacant. This means that the property is not producing any revenue while it is being remodeled. Afterwards, it takes some time for the property to be re-leased.
Property is a very long duration asset. If we do not experience our yield thresholds immediately, we aren’t all that concerned. If anything, it means that we probably got a better bargain because of the reduced current yield. We are long term investors in Mongolia and take a very long term view of buying, renovating and maintaining high quality properties.
Chairman & CEO
Mongolia Growth Group Ltd.
Turquoise Hill Resources Appoints Two New Directors
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 13, 2012) - Turquoise Hill Resources (TSX:TRQ)(NYSE:TRQ)(NASDAQ:TRQ) today announced that the company's Board of Directors has appointed Charles Lenegan and Jeffery Tygesen as directors of the company, bringing the total number of directors to 13.
Dr. David Klingner, Chairman of the Board, said, "Charles and Jeffery both have extensive backgrounds in the global mining industry and will bring valuable knowledge and experience to the board as Turquoise Hill moves toward production at Oyu Tolgoi."
Mr. Charles Lenegan currently serves as a director of Oz Minerals Limited and as non-executive Chairman of Rey Resources Limited. He previously spent 28 years with Rio Tinto in various senior management positions and is a former Chairman of the Minerals Council of Australia.
Mr. Jeffery Tygesen currently serves as Vice-President, Copper Development at Rio Tinto, a position he has held since 2009. He has been with Rio Tinto for the past 30 years in a variety of positions within the company's copper, energy and diamond divisions.
About Turquoise Hill Resources
Turquoise Hill Resources (TSX:TRQ)(NYSE:TRQ)(NASDAQ:TRQ), formerly Ivanhoe Mines, is an international mining company focused on copper, gold and coal mines in the Asia Pacific region. The company's primary operation is its 66% interest in the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold-silver mine development in southern Mongolia, which is expected to begin commercial production in the first half of 2013. Other assets include a 58% interest in Mongolian coal miner SouthGobi Resources (TSX:SGQ)(HK:1878); a 59% interest in copper-gold miner Ivanhoe Australia (TSX:IVA)(ASX:IVA); and a 50% interest in Altynalmas Gold, a private company developing the Kyzyl Gold Project in Kazakhstan.
Follow us on Twitter @TurquoiseHillRe
MIG: APPOINTMENT OF NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS AND AN INDEPENDENT NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND CHANGE OF COMPOSITION OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE
August 13, Mongolia Investment Group Limited (HK:402) --
The Board of the Company announces that:
(i) Mr. Wong, Kwok Kee and Mr. Ng, Wing Keung have been appointed as non-executive directors of the Company with effect from 10 August 2012; and
(ii) Mr. Hui, Yat On has been appointed as an independent non-executive director of the Company as well as a member of the audit committee of the Board with effect from 10 August 2012.
Erdene: Morien Resources Corp. Selected as Proposed New Name and John Budreski as CEO Designate for Company to Hold North American Assets
HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 13, 2012) - Erdene Resource Development Corp. ("Erdene" or the "Company") (TSX:ERD) and Advanced Primary Minerals Corp. ("APM") (TSX VENTURE:APD) are pleased to provide an update on the proposed transaction that would result in the separation of Erdene's North American and Mongolian assets into two public companies.
Morien Resources Corp. has been selected as the new name for Amalco (successor to Advanced Primary Minerals Corp.) subject to receiving all requisite approvals. Morien Resources Corp. will hold all of Erdene's North American property interests, comprised primarily of Erdene's interest in the Donkin Coal Project in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. John Budreski, who was appointed to the Erdene Board of Directors in January 2012, is the CEO designate of Morien Resources Corp.
"As we move towards a restructuring of our company to allow for a more focussed approach to the development of the Donkin Coal Project and to our Mongolian exploration efforts, it was an important initial step to ensure we identified an individual who possesses the management expertise and broad experience to lead the North American business. We are very pleased that we have been able to secure as CEO someone of John's caliber as we proceed through a very exciting time for the Donkin Coal Project. The new name, Morien Resources Corp., was selected to reflect the rich mining history of the area. Port Morien, the village adjacent to Donkin, was the site of the first commercial coal mining in North America and the first mineral exports from Canada," said Peter Akerley, CEO of Erdene.
John Budreski, as the proposed new CEO of Morien Resources Corp., will be effectively taking on that role to manage the North American assets within the Erdene group, working closely with Peter Akerley to ensure an effective transition takes place. John is a native Maritimer and was most recently Vice Chairman of Cormark Securities Inc. and, prior to that, President and CEO of Orion Securities Inc. which was sold to Macquarie Group in 2007. He has over 25 years of broad experience in the resource and resource investment banking industries. Mr. Budreski is also a Director of Sandstorm Gold Ltd., Sandstorm Metals & Energy Ltd., and Alaris Royalty Corp. John holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Dalhousie /TUNS University, Halifax, N.S. and an MBA from the University of Calgary, Alberta.
John will be joined on the executive team of Morien Resources Corp. by Michael MacDonald, Vice President Technical and Government Affairs and Ken MacDonald, Chief Financial Officer.
Aspire Mining Director Buys on Market
August 14 (Mogi) In a director’s interest notice released today, Mr. Neil Lithgow, Non-Executive Director of Aspire Mining (ASX:AKM) bought 440,000 shares for A$50,375.43 through 9-10 August, making the average price 11.45c.
MATURED GOVERNMENT BONDS DELISTED FROM MSE
August 13 (MSE) According to Mongolian stock Exchange /MSE/’s chief executive officer decree No.94 of August 10 2012, following government bonds, traded through MSE trading and principle and interest payments have been fully paid, delisted from MSE registration:
• Government bond code # 1014 and 1083 which have been issued on June 08 2011
• Government bond code # 1023 which has been issued on August 03 2011
Government of Mongolia to have 16 ministries
August 13 (Business-Mongolia.com) Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag presented his draft law on the Government structure and its members to the President of Mongolia. The New Government will have 16 ministries and 19 ministers including Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Cabinet Secretariat. Ministries are divided into two categories: General (policy making) and directional (implementing)
1. Environment and Green Development
2. Foreign Relations
5. Construction and Urban Development
7. Education and Science
8. Roads and Transport
9. Culture, Sport and Tourism
11. Industry and Agriculture
13. Human Development and Social Welfare
14. Economic Development
“Justice” Coalition of MPRP-MNDP group will hold meeting at 10.00, August 14 2012, on the structure and forming of the Government with attendance of PM Altankhuyag.
The Premier submitted a proposal of new government structure
August 14 (news.mn) Norov Altankhuyag submitted his proposal of structure of new government to the Speaker Z.Enkhbold today morning. Yesterday he discussed the proposal with the President of Mongolia Tsakhia Elbegdorj.
Norov Altankhuyag suggested structure of new government with 16 ministry and 19 ministries. The Prime Minister said first will discuss on structure of government and then will decide who will be minister. By the unofficial source possible names of ministries:
Prime Minister - N.Altankhuyag (DP)
Deputy Prime Minister- D.Terbishdagva (MPRP)
Minister of Government Office- Ch.Saikhanbileg (DP)
Minister of Environment and Green Development- S.Demberel (Civil Will-Green Party)
Minister of Foreign Affairs- L.Bold (DP)
Minister of Finance- M.Enkhsaikhan (MNDP)
Minister of Justice- Kh.Temuujin (DP)
Minister of Construction and City planning- A.Gansukh (DP)
Minister of Defense- Sh.Tuvdendorj (DP)
Minister of Education and Science- L.Gantumur (DP)
Minister of Road and Transport- B.Ariunsan (DP)
Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism- Ts.Oyundari (DP)
Minister of Mining- G.Batkhuu (DP)
Minister of Industry and Agriculture- Kh.Battulga (DP)
Minister of Labour- Ts.Oyungerel (DP)
Minister of Human Development and Social Welfare- R.Amarjargal (DP)
Minister of Economical Development- N.Batbayar (DP)
Minister of Energy- M.Sonompil (MNDP)
Minister of Health- N.Udval (MPRP)
MONGOLIAN PEOPLE’S PARTY WILL NOMINATE M.ENKHBOLD FOR THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER
August 14 (InfoMongolia) Mongolian People's Party (MPP) grouping in the Parliament held their meetings yesterday on August 13, where they have resolved to nominate Parliamentarian Miyegombo ENKHBOLD for the Deputy Premier of Mongolia and submit the proposal to the Parliament accordingly.
Moreover, as cited in the law on Parliamentary procedures, political parties who claimed seats in the Parliament shall submit their proposals on forming their grouping within 24 hours since the appointment of the Speaker as they failed to do so by having a boycott against Democratic Party and not attending the session meetings, though their grouping haven’t been formed yet, thus on yesterday’s meeting they have discussed issues related on official formation of their grouping.
“We had officially introduced our proposal on forming the grouping at the plenary session meeting that took place on August 09, therefore we deem that there is no necessity to submit a proposal on attaching amendments to the law on Parliamentary procedures. If the amendments are must, we are kind of obliged to accept the illegal appointing of the Speaker”, said Chairman of MPP group Nyamaa ENKHBOLD.
“At today’s meeting we have discussed about our internal structures. Also, we received suggestion and comments from our members, who would be the members of the Standing Committees. From tomorrow, August 14, they will start their office of term officially. MPP claimed 25 seats and its members given their parliamentarian oaths respectively. We can potentially to form 3 groupings, thus it is not appropriate to say that MPP still does not have their grouping in the Parliament. We would stand strong on our stance”, added N.Enkhbold.
World's best economies
By at least one measure, these economies rank best in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund's estimates.
August 13 (CNN Money) --
Mongolia: Best investment
Measure: Total investment as % of GDP
2012 reading: 64%
Sandwiched between China and Russia, Mongolia is in the midst of a bona fide economic boom. Fueled by a surge in mining activity, the country's gross domestic product grew by 17.3% in 2011 and is on track for another big gain in 2012.
Mongolia also leads the world in investment, which registers at 63.6% of its GDP -- by far the highest in the world. Elevated investment does appear to be something of a neighborhood trend however, as China ranks second with 48.4% and Bhutan is fourth at 46.6%.
But Mongolia's economy is still heavily dependent on its neighbors. China receives 90% of the smaller country's exports and Russia provides 95% of its petroleum.
Wind farms in Mongolia could help minimize pollution, reliance on coal
In Mongolia, the construction of wind farms means big changes for a coal-powered country.
SALKHIT, Mongolia, August 13 (GlobalPost) — In the vast rolling plains of Salkhit, 45 miles outside the capital of Ulan Bator, a work crew are busy bending large metal cables into an elaborate, squat structure. Once complete, and with a turbine the length of a football field inserted into the top, it will form a key part of the first wind farm to operate in this coal-rich but infrastructure-poor Asian country.
Over the next month, 31 wind turbines will go into operation across this isolated site, supplying an impressive 5 percent of the nation’s current power needs. More importantly, those involved are hoping it will kick-start a clean energy revolution in a country in dire need of non-polluting energy sources.
“We have a vision to transform Mongolia into a clean energy powerhouse of Asia,” says Bayanjargal Byambasaikhan, CEO of Newcom Group, the company behind the project.
Mongolia actually has all of the natural advantages that could make it one of the key sources of clean energy in the world: high plateaus with constant winds; vast, sparsely inhabited plains that could be developed without too much disruption to traditional herder’s lives; and strong sunlight even in the bleak winter months.
“In Mongolia you have large expenses of land, you've got more than 300 days per annum of sunlight and fairly constant wind. So it’s got basically the perfect trifecta for renewable energy in the world,” says Neal Detert, an American project manager at Clean Energy LLC in Mongolia.
The problem is that Mongolia’s past, present, and future are indelibly tied to coal. The black carbon fuel drives the economy (which grew at over 17 percent last year) and is the country’s major export.
It also made Ulan Bator, by some people’s reckoning, the most polluted capital city in the world last winter.
“I had seen the pollution numbers before arriving, but living here is a whole different experience,” says Christa Hasenkopf, a research fellow at the University of Colorado who is studying pollution in Ulan Bator.
Hasenkopf compares the levels of smoke, soot and dust particles present in the capital’s air to those around a firefighter battling a wildfire — “and this is all winter long,” she adds.
Rapid urbanization over the last few decades has resulted in nearly 60 percent of this once-nomadic population living in the capital city alone. A vast shantytown of ex-herders, many still living in traditional yurts and cooking on coal fires, stretches to the north of the city as far as the eye can see.
This migration has pushed existing infrastructure to near breaking point. Roads in and out of Ulan Bator are crammed with traffic and heavily potholed. Classrooms and hospitals are overcrowded, and limited power plants are running at full capacity.
“All of the power plants in Mongolia are old and coal-fired,” says Saurabh Sinha, an economist with the United Nations Development Program in Ulan Bator.
“Increased urbanization and major mining projects are causing a serious strain on the power sector, and the energy infrastructure really needs a lot more investment,” he adds.
Money is pouring into the Mongolian economy like never before, mostly from a handful of large mining concessions run by foreign firms like Ivanhoe and Rio Tinto. Yet so far these projects are, if anything, stretching the existing infrastructure further by using significant quantities of power from the grid.
Over 80 percent of Mongolia's electricity is produced by five coal power plants built mainly in the 1970s and 80s. The newest went into operation in 1991, and with power demands across the country rising dramatically over the last few decades each plant is forced to run at full capacity most of the year, especially in winter when temperatures drop to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
“The power stations were never intended to serve a population this size, so there is only low capacity electricity in the shanty town areas — enough for basic lighting but not heating,” says Hasenkopf. “This makes the situation worse since poor people have to burn low-grade coal to keep warm.”
Those involved in the clean-tech industry are optimistic that wind and solar energy have the potential to radically transform the country, moving it away from coal and at the same time developing an industry as valuable to the country as the fossil fuel is today.
A Japanese research group set up in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster last year has proposed establishing an Asian super-grid, with Japan and other countries importing electricity via high-voltage transmission lines that originate predominantly in newly-created wind and solar farms in Mongolia. So far the project is just at the drawing board stage, but the potential is clearly there.
“Mongolia has a lot of solar and wind energy resources,” says Newcom CEO Byambasaikhan. “Our abundant resources are enough to power all of Asia.”
Newcom, along with its suppliers and partners, which include General Electric and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, are already looking beyond the 31-turbine Salkhit pilot project that will start producing electricity later this year.
They are beginning the development of what could eventually be a 1,000-square-mile wind farm in the Gobi Desert. In its first phase alone it will be able to produce six times as much electricity as the Salkhit site, and account for a significant proportion of the country’s energy needs.
Mongolia is developing fast. If developed right, many believe the country has the potential of going from a nation with one of the most polluted cities in the world for almost half of the year to one of the least polluted countries on the planet.
“Mongolia holds some of the greatest potential in the world right now,” says Clean Energy’s Neal Detert. “Twenty wind farms of a similar size to this first one would be able to power all of Ulan Bator’s energy requirements.”
Link to article (photo album and video)
First half GDP at 13.2% higher compared with last year, was 16.7% in Q1, July CPI (inflation) 14.5% higher than last year, Q1 inflation was 15.3%
Social and economic situation of Mongolia (As of the first 7 months of 2012)
August 11 (National Statistics Office) --
I. Social indicators
In the first 7 months of 2012, 42559 mothers delivered 36129 children (live births) increased by 2713 mothers, and 2723 children or 6.8 percent respectively, compared to same period of the previous year.
In the first 7 months of 2012, at national level infant mortality decreased by 11 or 1.6 percent to 686, and child mortality aged 1-5 decreased by 8 or 5.4 percent to 141.
The number of unemployed reached 45.6 thousand at the end of July 2012, reflecting an increase of 5.1 thous.persons or 12.5 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
In the first 7 months of 2012, 613.4 thous.persons were registered as insurer, of which 404.6 thousand or 66.0 percent were those from the establishments, and 208.8 thousand or 34.0 percent from the government budgetary organization. Compared to same period of the previous year, the number of insurers increased by 72.9 thousand or 13.5 percent, of which the increased by 63.0 thousand or 18.4 percent from establishments, and increased by 9.9 thousand or 5.0 percent from government budgetary organization.
In the first 7 months of 2012, social welfare pensions and benefits allocated to 56.6 thous.persons, showing a increase of 478 persons or 0.9 percent, total amount of the allocated fund increased by 12.2 bln.tog or 63.4 percent compared to same period of the previous year...
Of the cash allowances amounted to 583.8 bln.tog granted from the Human Development Fund to 2.8 mln.people (with double accounted) in the first 7 months of 2012, 373.8 bln.tog was spent on the cash allowances of 10.0 thous.tog, 21.0 thous.tog, and 70.0 thous.tog and 210.0 bln.tog on the cash allowances of 1.0 mln.tog for the elderly and disabled persons.
Of the cash allowances of 1.0 mln.tog for the elderly and disabled persons granted from the Human Development Fund, 210.0 bln.tog was allocated to 309.9 thous.persons in the first 7 months of 2012.
In the first 7 months of 2012, the total number of infectious disease cases reached 27063, increase by 3807 cases or 16.4 percent compared to same period of the previous year. The increase in the number of infectious disease cases was mainly due to the increases of 6705 or 9.2 times in mumps and 132 or 5.4 percent in syphilis although there were decreases of 1800 or 29.7 percent in viral hepatitis, 711 or 28.2 percent in varicella, 196 or 16.8 percent in shigellosis, 103 or 3.7 percent in tuberculosis, and 71 or 2.4 percent in gonococcal infection.
At national level, 12812 crimes were registered in the first 7 months of 2012, reflecting an increase of 1435 crimes or 12.6 percent compared to same period of the previous year. The increase in the number of crimes was mainly due to the increases in crime against the right of ownership (912), crime against human life and health (or physical well-being) (276), crime against the rules of safety of traffic and use of motor vehicles (140), crimes against environmental protection rules (64) compared to same period of the previous year.
In the first 7 months of 2012, occurred crimes caused 4941 injuries and 613 deaths. The number of injuries up by 389 persons or 8.5 percent and the number of deaths down by 101 persons or 14.1 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
II. Macroeconomic indicators
In the first half of 2012, GDP by reached 6185.7 bln.tog at current prices increases 31.8 percent compared to the previous year.
In the first half of 2012, GDP by reached 2429.2 bln.tog at 2005 constant prices increases of 13.2 percent compared to the previous year.
The national consumer price index in July 2012, increased by 0.6 percent compared to the previous month, 10.4 percent compared to the beginning of the year, and 14.5 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
The increase in national index compared to the previous month was mainly due to 1.3 percent increase in food and non-alcoholic beverages and 0.8 percent in furnishings, household equipment and tools.
According to the report of the Bank of Mongolia, money supply (broad money or M2) at the end of July 2012, reached to 6953.5 bln.tog, decreased by of 97.7 bln. tog or 1.4 percent compared to the previous month, and increased by 1033.1 bln.tog or 17.4 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
At the end of July 2012, currency issued in circulation reached 801.4 bln.tog, decreased by 90.1 bln.tog or 10.1 percent compared to the previous month, and increased by 127.5 bln. tog or 18.9 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
Loans outstanding at the end of July 2012, amounted to 6428.5 bln.tog, up by 110.3 bln.tog or 1.7 percent compared to the previous month, and up by 1747.1 bln.tog or 37.3 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
Principals in arrears at the end of July 2012, reached 85.1 bln.tog, increased by 33.3 bln.tog or 64.3 percent compared to the previous month, increased by 13.8 bln.tog or 19.4 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
At the end of July 2012, the non-performing loans over the bank system reached 305.7 bln.tog, showing decreases of 2.1 bln.tog or 0.7 percent compared to the previous month, of 76.2 bln.tog or 20.0 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
In July 2012, there were 19 trading days and 2.3 mln.shares valued at 749.8 mln. tog were traded.
In the first 7 months of 2012, total equilibrated revenue and grants of the General Government Budget amounted to 2744.5 bln.tog and total expenditure and net lending amounted to 3344.1 bln.tog, representing deficit of 599.6 bln.tog in the equilibrated balance of General Government Budget.
Current revenue of the General Government Budget amounted to 2735.3 bln. tog and current expenditure reached 2586.8 bln.tog. Thus, the budget equilibrated current balance was in surplus of 148.5 bln.tog.
Compared to same period of the previous year, tax revenue increased by 455.5 bln.tog or 22.8 percent. The increase was mainly due to the increases of 139.0 bln.tog or 18.7 percent in taxes on goods and services, 135.5 bln.tog or 36.3 percent in other taxes, 133.0 bln.tog or 57.7 percent in social security contribution, 37.3 bln.tog or 8.2 percent in income tax, 8.1 bln.tog or 4.4 percent in taxes on foreign trade and 2.6 bln. tog or 30.5 percent property taxes.
Compared to same period of the previous year, non-tax revenue increased by 23.5 bln.tog or 8.9 percent. The increase was mainly due to the increases of 15.8 bln. tog or 65.3 percent in revenues from others, 14.0 bln.tog or 58.5 percent in revenues from oil petroleum, 7.2 bln.tog or 27.4 percent in revenues from interest and 1.4 bln.tog or 5.7 percent in navigation fee although there was decreases of 13.5 bln.tog or 35.2 percent in revenues from dividends.
In the first 7 months of 2012, total expenditure and net lending of the General Government Budget increased by 1163.8 bln.tog or 53.4 percent to 3344.1 bln.tog compared to same period of the previous year. This was mainly due to increases of 474.5 bln.tog or 50.9 percent in subsidies and transfers, 363.1 bln.tog or 2.0 times in capital expenditure, 353.4 bln.tog or 45.5 percent in expenditure of goods and services, 27.6 bln.tog or 2.2 times in interest payments although there was decreases of 54.8 bln.tog or 60.7 percent in lending minus repayments.
In the first 7 months of 2012, spending of 721.8 bln.tog on capital expenditure increased by 363.1 bln.tog or 2.0 times compared to same period of the previous year. This was mainly due to increases of 367.9 bln.tog or 2.1 times in capital expenditure of domestic sources, and decreases of 4.8 bln.tog 18.1 percent in capital expenditure of foreign financed compared to same period of the previous year.
In the first 7 months of 2012, Mongolia traded with 124 countries from all over the world and total external trade turnover reached 6506.0 mln.US dollars, of which exports made up 2538.0 mln.US dollars and imports made up 3968.0 mln.US dollars.
Foreign trade balance showed a deficit of 1430.0 mln.US dollars in the first 7 months of 2012, reflecting 329.2 mln.US dollars or 29.9 percent increase compared to same period of the previous year. The foreign trade deficit in the first 7 months of 2012 was mainly caused by the fact that the import growth was higher by 6.9 points than the export growth.
Total external trade turnover increased by 722.0 mln.US dollars or 12.5 percent, of which imports up by 525.6 mln.US dollars or 15.3 percent, and exports up by 196.4 mln. US dollars or 8.4 percent, compared to same period of the previous year.
Mineral products, natural or cultured stones, precious metal, jewelry, coins, raw & processed hides, skins, fur & articles, animal origin products, and textile articles accounted for 98.3 percent of the total export value amount.
III. Economic sector indicators
In the first 7 months of 2012, the total industrial output increased by 97.1 bln.tog or 9.0 percent to 1181.9 bln.tog (at 2005 constant prices) compared to same period of the previous year. The increase in the industrial output was mainly due to 2.9 percent to 2.8 times, increases in mining and quarrying products such as copper concentrate with 35 percent, molybdenum, with concentrate, crude oil and iron ore and 2.4 percent to 6.1 times increases in industrial main products of manufacturing sector such as carpet, alcoholic beverage, kind of sausage, knitted goods, spirit, bakery products, soft drinks, steel casting, bread, cement, metal steel, beer, metal foundries, sawn wood, electric wire, plastering mortar, metal sleeper, briquette and plank for floor.
In the first 7 months of 2012, 11524.9 thous.t freight and 2344.7 thous.passengers (double counting) were carried by railway transport. Compared to same period of the previous year, the number of carried freight rose by 1369.9 thous.t or 13.5 percent and the number of carried passengers rose by 160.4 thous.persons or 7.3 percent. Due to the increase in carried freight and passengers, revenue from railway transport increased by 28.0 bln.tog or 13.1 percent to 241.8 bln.tog in the first 7 months of 2012, compared to same period of the previous year.
In the first 7 months of 2012, 2263.3 t freight and 403.4 thous.passengers (double counting) were carried by air transport. Compared to same period of the previous year, the number of carried freight increased by 984.8 t or 77.0 percent, the number of carried passengers rose by 97.8 thous. persons or 32.0 percent. Due to the increase in carried freight and passengers, revenue from air transport increased by 12.4 bln.tog or 14.8 percent to 96.3 bln.tog in the first 7 months of 2012, compared to same period of the previous year.
According to the report of the Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, maximum precipitation was registered in Bayan-Ondor soum (274.6 mm) of Orkhon aimag in July 2012. In July 2012, Shinejinst soum of Bayan-Khongor aimag had the highest air temperature (39.0°C), while Tsetsen-Uul soum of Zavkhan aimag and Renchinlkhumbe soum of Huvsgul aimag had the lowest air temperature (2.0°C). Wind speed reached 25 m/sec in Mandalgovi soum of Dundgovi aimag.
Daily average concentration of nitrogen dioxide exceeded 27 times around the 13th micro district of Ulaanbaatar city, 6 times around the 32nd Toirog and Kharkhorin market respectively, 2 times around the 1st micro district, daily average concentration of sulphur dioxide exceeded 2 times around the 13th micro district, particulate matter less than 10 micrograms exceeded 23 times around Kharkhorin market, 13 times around the 13th micro district, 12 times around the West crossroad and 10 times around the 32nd Toirog, particulate matter less than 2.5 micrograms exceeded 4 times around the West crossroad from the maximum allowable concentration of air quality standard in July 2012.
In the first 7 months of 2012, 2573 disasters and accidents occurred. As a result, 143 people died, 7.9 thous.livestock and animals had lost. There were 2235 structure fires, 155 forest fires and wildfires, 53 accidental drowning and submersion incidents, 27 animal madness diseases, 23 heavy rain and floods, 16 incidents related to artisan mining rock falls, 12 severe storms and thunder occurred and 10 emergency calls related to malignant anthrax and chemical substance usage made in the first 7 months of 2012. In the first 7 months of 2012, estimated damage caused by the disasters and accidents amounted to 14.3 bln.tog.
Compared to same period of previous year, disaster and accidents occurred increased by 473, people died down by 3.
A foreign investment lesson from Mongolia
August 13 (Business Spectator) Last month Tony Abbott created a bit of a stir when he called for tougher rules on foreign investment and said it would be rarely in Australia’s interests to allow a foreign government or its state-owned enterprises to control an Australian business. It didn’t, however, appear to get the Chinese particularly agitated, at least in public.
Perhaps that’s because they are now very familiar with the tensions and cynicism with investments by its state-owned enterprises are received in the West. Certainly they are experiencing very similar sentiments far closer to home.
In April, Ivanhoe Mines (now Turquoise Hill Resources) announced that it had received notice from Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco) that it intended to make a proportional takeover bid for between 56 per cent and 60 per cent of the shares in South Gobi Resources, 58 per cent owned by Ivanhoe. The bid valued South Gobi, a Mongolian coal producer, at about $1.5 billion.
Ivanhoe, now controlled by Rio Tinto, stood to extract between about $514 million and $866 million by selling into the offer, funds that would make a useful contribution to the first $US6.2 billion development phase of Ivanhoe’s giant Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project in Mongolia.
The bid, however, has yet to be made. Last week Chalco, for the second time, extended the deadline for the making of the offer by 30 days.
The problem for Chalco was the attitude of the former Mongolian government, led by the Mongolian People’s Party, towards foreign investment. Just ahead of June’s elections the Mongolian parliament passed laws limiting foreign ownership of strategic sector companies and projects to 49 per cent. (Mogi: Not true, it does not limit at 49% but rather adds a parliament approval requirement after 49%)
That left Chalco’s bid in limbo and would have been quite disconcerting for Rio, which now has a very large financial interest in Oyu Tolgoi, itself 66 per cent owned by Turquoise Hill. Moreover, the government asked South Gobi to suspend production at its mines while it considered its proposed bid and also failed to renew some of South Gobi’s pre-mining licences, causing South Gobi, which is listed in Canada, to issue a notice of dispute.
On Friday, despite not winning a majority of seats at the election, the Democratic Party’s Norov Altanhuyag was appointed prime minister, which may produce a slightly more welcoming attitude towards foreign investment, although the DP will govern in a coalition with other parties, including the MPP. (Mogi: Again not true, coalition is being formed with MPRP-MNDP, CWGP) Certainly party spokesmen have said the new government would welcome foreign investment and provide a stable legal environment.
Mongolia’s nervousness about allowing its giant neighbour – and the biggest customer for its rich resources sector – to gain control over significant resource projects is understandable. It is unclear whether the new government will allow a Chinese SOE to acquire control of a company that produced about five million tonnes of metallurgical and steaming coal a year for Chinese customers.
The more conciliatory sounds, however, will be a relief for Rio, which already has the government as a 34 per cent partner in Oyu Tolgoi.
Ultimately, Rio’s not going to do anything to jeopardise its hard-fought control of Turquoise Hill and, through it, control of Oyu Tolgoi and, given that Chalco is a subsidiary of Chinalco – Rio’s biggest shareholder and a partner in its giant Simandou iron ore project in Guinea – one suspects Chalco would modify or withdraw the offer for South Gobi rather than escalate the dispute with a new and apparently more moderate government.
As for Australia’s policy, it isn’t quite the one Abbott articulated, or at least not yet, and there’s certainly no suggestion of nationalising existing foreign investment as the former Mongolian government planned.
There is sensitivity to and increased scrutiny of investments by SOEs to ensure they are purely commercial and not an extension of a foreign government’s political or economic agenda, as Foreign Investment Review Board chairman Brian Wilson said recently.
That’s quite a reasonable and rational position to take, provided truly commercial investments are allowed, and is in broad terms consistent with the stances of many Western governments in relation to Chinese investment -- and one that the Chinese appear to have recognised and largely accepted, however reluctantly. No one wants foreign government ownership of key sectors of their economies to distort the economics and undermine the value of those sectors.
There haven’t been quite the same high-profile offers for foreign companies by Chinese SOEs this year, although China National Offshore Oil Corp’s $US15.1 billion bid for Canadian oil sands group, Nexgen, is generating some debate in Canada. The emphasis this year appears to have shifted to encouraging China’s private companies to invest more both at home and abroad to try to defuse, or at least reduce, the cynicism and opposition while still pursuing the objective of gaining access or exposure to key resources and markets to improve security of supply and physical hedges against commodity prices.
If that is China’s strategy it would be a sensible and pragmatic change.
Mogi: another piece of utter BS from Douglas Schoen
Mongolia's Democracy Continues To Be In Question
By Douglas Schoen
August 13 (Forbes) As of last Friday, the Mongolian Democratic Party (DP) finally took control of parliament as Norov Altanhuyag was confirmed as prime minister. His confirmation ended weeks of political uncertainty after the DP failed to win enough seats in the June parliamentary election to form a government on its own.
Mongolian People’s Party leader Nambar Enkhbayar (Mogi: do I need to comment here?) could only hear the news from his jail cell where he will remain for the next four years after being convicted of corruption. The charges, including the illegal privatization of a hotel and newspapers, have been fabricated (Mogi: Enkhbayar didn’t even deny having privatized these assets) and Enkhbayar’s three-day trial has once again highlighted that the health of democracy in Mongolia is very much in doubt.
Indeed, the judiciary continually demonstrated its lack of independence throughout Enkhbayar’s trial. The court would not accept new evidence from defense lawyers even though Mongolian law stipulates that all evidence provided during a hearing must be considered. Key witnesses were not permitted to participate in Enkhbayar’s trial. Most importantly, the evidence collected by investigators and prosecutors proved extremely weak – it was missing any factual data. For instance, a statement against Enkhbayar included the charge that “I heard from a friend of a friend that Enkhbayar made a call to…” with no data whatsoever surrounding the call, including any phone records. (Mogi: obviously someone in Mongolia seems to be feeding him these “information”)
Enkhbayar himself accused state prosecutors of twisting facts and once again connected the case against him as politically driven by President Elbegdorj. He said, “I’m not afraid of anyone. I will fight for justice and a new Mongolia.” His wife also pledged her support and vowed to fight this injustice by any means.
There is no doubt in my mind that democracy in Mongolia has greatly deteriorated under President Elbegdorj. The entirety of Enkhbayar’s hearing was public via live TV, with public opinion definitive that the prosecutor’s evidence was fabricated and that Enkhbayar did not breach any laws (Mogi: going so far as saying he’s completely innocent and clean is …). It follows that Elbegdorj can no longer argue that he is fighting corruption and, most importantly, that the international community must focus on the corruption within his own administration.
This is, indeed, a crucial week. Enkhbayar is appealing to Ulaanbaatar City Court, the next level of the judicial system. If Ulaanbaatar City Court rules the same as the district court, it will be all the more clear that Mongolia’s democracy has been destroyed. Comparisons with totalitarian states such as North Korea will abound and for good reason. (Mogi: Long live our Great Father Elbegdorj Tsakhia!)
I’ve said this before and I will say it again, time is running out for intervention in Mongolia on behalf of democracy and Enkhbayar (Mogi: intervene in a sovereign country? Well, the US is no stranger to that exercise). President’s Elbegdorj’s regime has shown no respect for free and fair elections or for the right to a fair trial and an independent judiciary. We in the West have a responsibility to campaign on Enkhbayar’s behalf and to fight for democratic values in Mongolia. (Mogi: Doug must has some serious conflict of interest here to be declaring his love for him as thus)
His previous articles:
Democratic Challenge in Mongolia – June 4
President Elbegdorj Ups the Ante – June 9
A Crucial Week In Mongolia – June 25
Cronyism At Its Worst In Mongolia – June 28
Mongolia: Shoring up technology gaps
August 13 (Oxford Business Group) The information and communications technology (ICT) sector has been boosted in recent months by measures to enhance local online content and implement e-bidding systems for investors. However, technological glitches during the elections in June have highlighted issues with internet coverage.
On June 22, the country took a step towards increasing Mongolian content on the internet with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ acceptance of its proposal for new internationalised country-code, top-level domains. This will allow Mongolia to use domain names that use Mongolian Cyrillic script rather than the Latin alphabet, similar to applications by countries that use other Cyrillic languages, or Arabic and Chinese characters.
A study between 2005 and 2009 by Intec, a domestic ICT consulting firm, found just 2535 websites with Mongolian content. The low figure contrasts with the 16% rise in internet users to 390,000 between 2006 and 2011, according to estimates by BuddeComm, a telecoms research firm. Broadband users increased from 3500 to 85,000 in the same period.
To improve connectivity in the country’s more remote areas, the government also plans to launch a communications satellite by 2015 with assistance from Japan. In March, Prime Minister S. Batbold signed a memorandum of understanding with Yukio Edano, the Japanese minister of economy, trade and industry that will include cooperation for technical studies on communications satellite systems and earth observatory satellites.
Meanwhile, an e-bidding system that will be used for that satellite and other government tenders, developed with support from the Korean International Cooperation Agency, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, was unveiled in May. The first official online tender under the new system was for office equipment for the Ministry of Finance, with local media estimating that some $2.61m will be saved per bidding process conducted online.
Despite the progress seen in this initiative, Mongolia was ranked 76th out of 190 countries in this year’s UN E-government Survey, a fall of 23 places on 2010. While the country scored well in its environmental index and was praised for linking social media website Facebook to government portals, it received a poor index ranking on the telecommunication infrastructure index.
The poor score relating to infrastructure comes despite the existence of some 21,000 km of fibre-optic connections, which now link more than half of all aimags (provinces) and 160 soums (districts). The government programme “One Home, One PC”, which provides low-cost computers to homes, is credited with helping nationwide PC penetration reach 60% by 2009. Additionally, there are also over 70 internet service providers.
However, the drop in ranking is largely due to internet access issues, which were blamed for delays in the vote count following the parliamentary elections on June 28, which saw the opposition Democratic Party edge out Mongolia’s ruling party.
To emphasise its commitment to improving e-government services, in April the cabinet approved an E-governance Action Plan for 2016. Without providing further details, officials have said that the action plan will benefit from the approval of a law on e-signatures in November 2012, meaning the country can move forward with the creation of a legal environment for developing bills on ensuring IT security.
In a separate sign of progress, the country performed well in the Networked Readiness Index 2011-12, released by the World Economic Forum in April. Achieving 63rd place out of the 143 counties surveyed – a significant rise on its position the previous year – the country scored well in its business and innovation environment (69th), but poorly on its political and regulatory environment (105th). While government and business usage ranked at 44th and 84th respectively, individual usage of the internet ranked just 101st.
“In the future, our objective is to enable individuals, households and entrepreneurs to access social services electronically through high-speed broadband. To accomplish this, the sector’s stakeholders need to invest in building infrastructure, while the state must regulate the market appropriately,” said J. Bat-Erdene, the chairman of the Information, Communication, Technology and Post Authority.
While the government has worked hard to build fibre-optic links and its progress on e-governance is to be lauded, more must be done to encourage the private sector to improve ICT infrastructure so the sector can play its expected role in the country’s economic growth.
THE MESSAGE BEHIND SECRETARY CLINTON’S TRIP TO MONGOLIA
by Alicia Campi
Asia Pacific Bulletin, No. 174
Publisher: Washington, D.C.: East-West Center in Washington
Publication Date: July 26, 2012
Free Download: PDF
Alicia Campi, Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington and President of the US-Mongolia Advisory Group, writes that “The secretary said that she was inspired by the Mongolian people’s commitment to democracy and refuted arguments that somehow democracy was unsuited to Asian history and values.”
UN: Mongolia’s international security and nuclear-weapon-free status
Report of the Secretary-General
July 23 (United Nations General Assembly) --
The present report contains an account of new developments and the assistance accorded to Mongolia by the Secretariat and relevant United Nations bodies since the issuance of the previous report on this subject (A/65/136). The year 2012 marks the twentieth anniversary of the address given on 25 September 1992 by the President of Mongolia to the General Assembly at its forty-seventh session, in which he declared Mongolia to be a nuclear-weapon-free zone.
Mongolia has continued to receive international recognition for its nuclear weapon-free status and to promote other nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation objectives. Mongolia has continued to seek the institutionalization of its nuclear weapon-free status, and in that regard has undertaken discussions with the five nuclear-weapon States, namely, China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America, towards the conclusion of a legal instrument.
The Government and people of Mongolia have received assistance from various United Nations departments, agencies, funds and programmes, including the Department of Political Affairs, the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Population Fund, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Bank.
Chinese State Councilor to visit Mongolia at Government’s invitation
BEIJING, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo will head to Russia to hold a seventh round of strategic security talks.
He has been invited by Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev. The Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang made the announcement on Monday.
During the trip, Dai will also pay an official visit to Mongolia at the invitation of the Mongolian government. His trip to Russia and Mongolia will last from Aug. 19 to 25.
Mongolia: Immigrants in Los Angeles Feeling Economic Pull of Homeland
August 13 (EurasiaNet) Starting just over two decades ago, tens of thousands of citizens started leaving Mongolia amid a wrenching economic transition from a planned-economy to a free market. Now, with the Mongolian economy poised to boom, many émigrés are wrestling with a dilemma – whether or not to abandon the new country for the old?
According to 2010 figures from the National Statistical Office in Ulaanbaatar, over 100,000 Mongolians live abroad. That number’s significance is magnified when considering the country’s overall population is estimated to be 3.17 million. (Mogi: Estimated little over 2.8m)
The most recent US Census figures place the number of Mongolians in the United States at around 15,000, a 300 percent increase from a decade ago. Los Angeles has perhaps the largest Mongolian community in the country, roughly 5,000.
Mongolians abroad can’t help but keep a close eye on what’s going on at home. The economic news of late has been eye-popping: some mining experts estimate that the country possesses as much as $1 trillion-worth of untapped precious metals and minerals. Gerelt Tserenjigmid came to Los Angeles one year ago to work on a doctorate at Cal Tech. He says that compatriots that he knows in the United States are both excited and conflicted by developments back home. It used to be that many Mongolians perceived a student visa as a one-way ticket to the United States or elsewhere. But such assumptions are changing. “Now that Mongolia has the second fastest growing economy, people are deciding whether they should go back home or not,” he said.
While the possibilities may be greater in America, many find the immigrant path to prosperity to be a difficult one. Gerelt said his preference was to secure a job in the Southern California after he completes his studies. At the same time, he has noticed that many Mongolians who arrived in the United States with advanced university degrees have had difficulties finding jobs. And when they did find employment, it was often in the service sector, leaving them unable to take advantage of their professional qualifications.
A 2005 study on the “Status and Consequences of Mongolian Citizens Working Abroad” that surveyed over 100 migrants from Los Angeles, Denver and San Francisco found that although many had extensive educational backgrounds and professional qualifications, most were in “low-status occupations” due to a lack of legal documentation and other factors.
The economic pull of returning home is even working on Mongolians who are already relatively settled in the United States. One of those feeling the tug is Zula Damdin, an accountant who emigrated 12 years ago, and who is president of the Los Angeles Mongolian Association. “I think there are more opportunities in Mongolia than the United States,” said Damdin, who visited Mongolia earlier this summer to show non-Mongolian friends around. “A lot of people have gone back; you can have a better career in Mongolia.”
Rosie Erdenebileg who came to Los Angeles as a teenager six years ago and is now an undergraduate majoring in biology at the University of California, Riverside, expressed excitement over the chance to spend some time this summer back in Mongolia visiting relatives. Prior to her departure, she indicated that she would also use the trip as a fact-finding mission, weighing whether it would be worthwhile to move back to her homeland after graduating from college. “I'm excited to see how it has changed,” she said.
Although sizable by Mongolian standards, the émigré community in Los Angeles isn’t large enough to support an infrastructure, such as specialized food stores and restaurants, that can help bridge the gap between old world and new. Efforts to secure official recognition by the Los Angeles City Council of a “Little Mongolia” neighborhood in the city have not succeeded so far.
Those determined to build new lives in Los Angeles are attempting to bolster the sense of a Mongolian community anyway they can. In addition to the Mongolian Association, established in 2006 to help promote Mongolian culture and heritage, there's a Mongolian school, a Christian church founded by a former Korean missionary to Mongolia and a Buddhist temple.
Norovsambuu Dorjsuren, the director of the American-Mongolian Buddhist Association, estimates that 80 percent of the city's Mongolian population is Buddhist, adding that the temple has experienced steady growth in the number of worshipers in recent years.
This year, community leaders organized a Naadam festival, which is the biggest event on the Mongolian calendar. The celebration featured wrestling competitions, traditional music and Mongolian food, including Khuushuur, fried meat dumplings. Byambajav Ulambayar, a Mongolian sumo wrestler who now makes his home in Los Angeles, was a headliner at the festival.
No matter what community leaders are doing to make immigrants in Los Angeles feel closer to their homeland, though, Mongolia is looking more and more appealing. “People go to school, finish their degrees and just go back home,” says Maya Dovdon, a volunteer at the Mongolian School in Los Angeles. “They don't stay here for long.”
Video: Military might on display in Mongolia
August 13 (ITN) Soldiers from around the world are in Mongolia for the tenth Khaan Quest multinational peacekeeping exercise.
Khaan Quest 2012 Opening Ceremony at Mongolia's Armed Forces Peace Support Center
FIVE HILLS TRAINING AREA, Mongolia, August 13 (DVIDS) – Hundreds of service members and distinguished guests from U.S. Army Pacific Command (USARPAC) and surrounding countries gathered for the Khaan Quest 2012 (KQ12) opening ceremony held at the Mongolian Armed Forces Peace Support Center in the vicinity of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on Aug. 12.
Mongolian President Ts. Elbegdorj; Lt. Gen. Ts. Byambajav, chief of general staff, Mongolian Armed Forces; and Lt. Gen. Francis J. Wiercinski, commanding general, U.S. Army Pacific Command, addressed the audience and welcomed those in attendance.
“Welcome to the ancient land of Mongolia,” Elbegdorj said. “For the seventh consecutive year, these ancient hills in central Mongolia graciously host the servicemen from peace-loving nations striving together for the cause of peace on our planet.”
Khaan Quest 2012 is a combined joint-exercise hosted by the Mongolian Armed Forces in partnership with USARPAC that contributes to enhancing the defense readiness and tactical interoperability of U.S., Mongolian and other international forces in the Pacific region. Approximately 80 Alaska National Guardsmen are slated to participate in KQ12.
“It is delightful that that Khaan Quest has become a symbol of mutual respect among nations in our vast region and a vivid example of how countries can collaborate despite differences in forms of government, social and economic systems,” Elbegdorj said.
Khaan Quest is designed to promote regional peace and security while strengthening multinational relations. Participation in this exercise strengthens participants’ capabilities in international peacekeeping operations and stability operations worldwide.
“In this new century, our nation actively strives to broaden multilateral cooperation with all countries around the world and safeguard our security through political and diplomatic means,” Byambajav said. “Within the context of this policy, the Mongolian Armed Forces takes active part in international peace operations.”
Byambajav wished success to all the participants and declared the KQ12 exercise open.
The relationship between the U.S. and Mongolian militaries continues to be one of mutual respect and holds the promise of continued improvement for years to come.
“This year marks the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the United States. The relationship between our two countries has grown and matured over the last quarter century into the valued partnership it is today,” Wiercinski said.
KQ12 consists of a battalion-level staff exercise, platoon-level Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Training, Field Training Exercise Lane Training, Military First Responder Training, Engineer Subject Matter Expert Exchange and a Medical Humanitarian Civic Action Outreach Project.
“This is a truly great opportunity for each country to enhance military-to-military relations,” Wiercinski said. “You could not ask for a broader representation of professional soldiers from around the world.”
KQ12 is slated to host more than 1,000 service members, including approximately 300 U.S. personnel and participants from South Korea, India, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, France, the United Kingdom and Germany. Kazakhstan, Russia and China will also have observers present during the exercise.
Video: Military might on display in Mongolia – ITN, August 13
Video: Multinational military drill on display in Mongolia – ITV News, August 13
Fourteen Russian beavers set out to work in Tuul River
August 13 (UB Post) Fourteen out of 25 beavers, brought from Russia in July, were sent out into nature on August 8. The beavers were released at the riverhead of the Tuul River. As they were brought from the harsh Siberian climate, they will adapt to the Mongolian environment easily.
Beavers prepare for the upcoming winter in August and September. Releasing them in the suitable weather conditions of August will enable them to start their preparations and adapt in the right time.
R.Samiya, Professor of the National University of Mongolia and beaver expert stated “Animals go through difficult times getting accustomed in new conditions. They are just like people when they arrive in unfamiliar places. The nature conservators, in charge of beavers, will supervise them. We have built enclosure to make them stay within the riverhead area. We will regularly observe how the beavers are doing.”
By setting them free, the researchers will formulate further working methods. In short, the beavers have set off to hopefully increase the flow of Tuul River.
Interning on a Journalism Internship in Mongolia
August (Projects Abroad) As an intern on a journalism internship in Mongolia, you could work for a newspaper, radio station or national TV station. Living and working in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, you will find you have no shortage of interesting and unusual experiences that will provide plenty of inspiration for your reports.
There are a variety of different journalism internships available in Mongolia and wherever you work you will be given responsibilities according to your abilities and interests. Let us know what kind of reporting you'd like to pursue when you apply and we will find you an internship to match.
For interns on a gap-year looking to get into a related university course or those looking for employment following graduation, a Projects Abroad internship will set you on the right path. Your resume will be greatly enhanced by the practical skills you gain during your journalism internship and you will have a large portfolio of work from your time abroad. In addition to this, the experience of living and working in a foreign country will act as proof of your adaptability, while giving you an interesting subject of discussion in future interviews.
These journalism internships are also suitable for working journalists and experienced professionals who wish to take a career-break or broaden their horizons. In the past we have had journalists from major broadsheet publications trying their hand at working as a journalist in Mongolia.
Print Journalism Internships in Mongolia with Projects Abroad
Our Print Journalism interns work on weekly English language newspapers - the UB Post or the Mongol Messenger. You will initially work alongside local journalists, observing the work they do and assisting them in their tasks. Once you have learned the ropes, you will be given the freedom you might expect as an established journalist in your own country.
Newspapers have flourished since the democratic revolution in 1990; you will be working in a country where the idea of a free press is relished. Being one of the only English-speaking journalists in the city has its advantages. One intern recently interviewed the American Ambassador and, to the envy of other newspapers, he secured an interview with a famous English speaking Mongolian pop star!
We also have a number of internships with Mongolian newspapers where your work will be translated into Mongolian and used in the main body of the paper; an exciting addition to any journalist's portfolio. You may even be asked to write your own regular column for the English language section!
Radio Journalism Internships in Mongolia with Projects Abroad
We also arrange journalism internships in radio stations. Interns work as both presenters and behind the scenes. At one radio station we had an intern fronting a chat show which went out live to residents of Ulaanbaatar and the surrounding region.
Volunteer Profile: Sarah Rajabee
Being on a journalism placement enabled us to film in the press pit and exchange stories with other foreign journalists. It was great to see how other TV stations worked in a third world country and surprisingly, how technologically advanced they are. Read more...
Interns get involved with production as well as broadcasting during their internship. You could be producing a radio show or searching out stories in the town, giving you lots of opportunities to meet local people. If you can demonstrate enthusiasm and creativity, you will be offered plenty of opportunities to get involved with different stories and projects.
Previous interns have co-presented live current affairs programs, conducted interviews and reported on news and sports.
TV Journalism Internships in Mongolia with Projects Abroad
Our TV journalism internships offer you a great insight into how TV broadcasting works. We work with privately owned television stations like NTV and C1 Television, where interns can get involved in many areas both in front and behind the camera. The local staff are eager for you to bring new and exciting skills to the job; a previous intern began work as a cameraman but soon found himself working as a director!
With cuttings and tapes to bring home, a journalism internship in Mongolia is an interesting way to add something extra to your portfolio.
"Being on a journalism placement, we were able to film in the press pit and exchange stories with other foreign journalists. It was great to see how other TV stations worked in a third world country and surprisingly, how technologically advanced they are. I worked at one of the biggest stations in Mongolia and the crews are there at most major events"
Sarah Rajabalee - Journalism intern in Mongolia
"Mogi" Munkhdul Badral
Senior Client Manager / Executive Director
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