Monday, April 8, 2013

[Haranga completes met testing, expects significant resource uplift, BoM cuts interest rate again to 11.5%, and MPP boycotts first day of spring sessi

CoverMongolia NewsWire

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Haranga: Metallurgical Testing Completed, Significant Resource Uplift expected for the Selenge Iron Ore Project in Mongolia

April 8, Haranga Resources Limited (ASX:HAR) --

·         Davis Tube Recovery (DTR) tests have now been completed on all of the mineralised core from the 2012 drill program.

·         DTR tests were conducted on 2,660 six metre composite mineralised samples from the 35,000m drill program completed late last year.

·         These results will be added to the updated resource model which is in the final stages of compilation and verification.

·         A significantly increased and enhanced JORC compliant resource for Selenge is expected in approximately four weeks.

·         The Mining Licence application will be submitted shortly after the new resource is completed.

·         An updated independent assessment of the project economics based on the new resource will be then completed and followed by a full Feasibility Study to commence later this year.

Link to release




South Gobi Coal Project Secured under MOU by Newera

April 8 -- Newera Resources Limited (ASX: NRU) is pleased to advise that it has entered into a Binding Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) to work towards completing a formal Joint Venture agreement covering a single large Exploration Licence in the South Gobi region of Mongolia.

The project has been designated the Ulaan Tolgoi project.

Project Highlights:

·         The Ulaan Tolgoi project is located in the South Gobi province of Mongolia – 84km south of the giant Tavan Tolgoi coking/thermal coal project.

·         The Ulaan Tolgoi Licence is a large licence covering 43,830 hectares in area.

·         The Ulaan Tolgoi licence is considered prospective for coal in concealed extensions of the late Permian coalbearing Tavan Tolgoi Group rocks of the South Gobi Basin.

·         Visible in satellite imagery, striking east to west through the south of the licence is the Sonduult thrust fault. The Sonduult thrust fault is postulated to be a potential extension of the Nariin Sukhait thrust fault.

·         Minor coal outcrops along the Nariin Sukhait Thrust Fault to the west of Ulaan Tolgoi led to the discovery of the large MAK and Ovoot Tolgoi coking/thermal coal deposits as well as the Soumber, Biluut, and Guilford Coal’s South Gobi deposits.

·         In terms of coal, the South Gobi province of Mongolia has recently become known as the epi-centre of recent exploration and mining developments particularly for coking coal and high energy thermal coal within southern Mongolia.

·         Advanced plans exist for the expansion of the Mongolian rail network to connect Tavan Tolgoi to the Chinese rail network. The new rail line will greatly assist the economics of any new coal discovery within Ulaan Tolgoi.

Link to release


Formerly Robe Australia (ASX:ROB) acquired Kumai Energy by way of reverse takeover, backed by CPS Securities

Mongolian Resources poised to pounce on acquisition

April 5 -- Mongolian Resources (ASX: MRF) is preparing to announce a potential acquisition, with the ASX granting the company a trading halt this morning - with its shares placed in pre-open.

The company recently raised $2.5 million, which is to be allocated to defining JORC Resources on the Licences, while also to allow the company to undertake a number of due diligence programs on other projects.

The halt will last until the earlier of an announcement being made to the market, or the opening of trade on Tuesday 9th April 2013.

Link to article


Mogi: Guess it’s time to stop including Blue Wolf news too. This would be the last folks:

Blue Wolf Mongolia Investor Presentation, April 2013

April 4, Blue Wolf Mongolia Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:MNGL) --

Link to preso



4 April 2013, Thursday (BDSec) – Advancers outpaced decliners on the Mongolian Stock Exchange by about 2 to 1. The MSE Top 20 Index rose to 15,062.99 on Thursday, a gain of 0.02%. The day’s value traded on the MSE was about MNT 75 million or USD 53.6 thousand. 

Among the day’s best performing stocks, Moninjbar (MIB) was up 5.77 percent at MNT 275 and Hermes (HRM) was up 3.88 percent at MNT 107. HBOil (HBO), State Department Store (UID), Mongol Savkhi (UYN), and Khukh Gan (HGN) added more than 2 percent today.

Baganuur (BAN) retreated 2.33 percent to MNT 4,200 after gaining 2.38 percent yesterday. Berkh Uul (BEU) lost as much as 14.95% to finish at MNT 4,550.

Download the whole report in PDF

Link to report



April 5 (BDSec) Financial Regulatory Commission /FRC/ has approved the offer to buy 184 shares equal to 0.16 percent of Uvs Khuns JSC /MSE:HUN/ for not less than MNT 150 per share, made by O.Amartuvshin, N.Tserenbat, D.Gombo, and L.Munkhnaran, related parties that are currently holding total of 122,532 shares or 99.84 percent of the Company.

According to the FRC’s resolution, the offer shall remain valid for 60 days beginning 27th of March 2013.

FRC has approved an offer to buy 3,022 shares, equal to 1.93 percent of Tegsh JSC /MSE:HAL/ for not less than MNT 2,987 per share, made by D.Ganbat, G.Munkh-Erdene and Eleganttown LLC, related parties that currently hold total of 156,857 shares or 98.07 percent of the company. According to the FRC’s resolution, the offer shall remain valid for 60 days beginning 27th of March 2013.

Source: Mongolian Stock Exchange

Link to article


Agricultural products exchange piloted

April 5 ( An agricultural products exchange piloted today with an opening bell at 12.00. Government officials from Ministry of Industry and Agriculture, Agency for Fair Competition and Consumer Rights and 19 brokerage companies gathered at the opening ceremony to participate in the pilot trading.

As decided, Sukhbaatar, Khentii, Dornod aimags were covered in first turn trade in which are rich in wool and cashmere. Buying orders linked to suppliers via internet and dedicatory software at the auditorium. The market will trade in agricultural products and other raw materials and contracts based on them such as trading contracts to receive products in a certain time and it aimed to protect the herders-suppliers from price drops and the processors-buyer from price rises.

Link to article


Mongolia Cuts Interest Rates Second Time This Year to Aid Growth

April 5 (Bloomberg) Mongolia’s central bank cut interest rates for a second time this year to bolster economic growth as inflation eases and foreign investment falls.

The Bank of Mongolia reduced its policy rate to 11.5 percent from the previous 12.5 percent effective April 8, according to a statement posted to its website today. The cut is aimed at increasing domestic credit and investments and stimulating business activities, it said.

Mongolia in January cut interest rates for the first time since 2009 after economic expansion moderated to 12.3 percent last year from a record 17.3 percent in 2011 and foreign investment fell 17 percent. Growth slowed as the price of coal, Mongolia’s biggest export, declined and the government introduced more controls on foreign ownership of mining assets.

A deceleration in the pace of inflation over the last four months and the monetary authority’s estimate for further slowing was the main reason for the cut, Sandagdorj Bold, the central bank’s chief economist, said in an interview in Ulaanbaatar today. Mongolian trade and foreign investment were also factors in the decision, he said. “We are concerned about the FDI and foreign trade environment.”

Foreign investors have criticized steps by Mongolia’s government to increase controls over the mining industry. The Business Council of Mongolia, which counts Rio Tinto Group, Peabody Energy and General Electric Co. among its members, issued a letter in January criticizing amendments to mining laws proposed by President Tsakhia Elbegdorj, saying the changes would deter investment.

The president’s proposal followed the passage of a law last year that made it more difficult for foreign companies to control strategic assets in Mongolia.

Rio Tinto

The Mongolian government and Rio Tinto, the nation’s biggest foreign investor, have also been at loggerheads over how to develop the $6.6 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine. The two sides have spent much of this year sparring over cost overruns and management control.

Inflation eased to 11.3 percent at the end of February from 14 percent at the end of December, Bold said. The central bank expects the pace to fall further this month, he said.

In upcoming months we think we will see downward inflation,” Bold said. “So it’s consistent with our target of eight percent inflation by the end of the year.”

Link to article

Link to BoM statement


BoM issues 1-week bills

April 5 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 106 billion at a weighted interest rate of 12.50 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


Mogi: excellent article

Mongolia's Growing Pains

Mongolia's blue skies may soon be darkening. A key challenge: Putting the mining companies in their place. 

April 5 (Foreign Policy) As I suspect others with a professional interest in Mongolia's transition to democracy and capitalism have found, the country seems to attract attention in a predictable cycle. On the up side, some peripatetic journalist based in Beijing with time to kill discovers the miraculous changes wrought in only two decades after effectively being a Russian colony (complete with mandatory mention of its fabulous blue skies). Then comes the corrective: A jeremiad on Mongolia's incipient slide into self-destructive nationalism and dysfunctional economic policies (with mandatory mention that the skies over the capital, Ulaanbaatar, are the world's most polluted). Publish, forget and repeat. 

In the latter half of 2012, the cycle entered the downside. The Economist found the mood  "bitter" in Mongolia, while The New York Times warned that "the underlying fundamentals of the country look increasingly shaky," noting that "foreign direct investment plunged" in the closing months of 2012. The Times was echoing complaints from the IMF, the World Bank and foreign embassies. Standard & Poor's was apparently listening, too: in October, it lowered its rating outlook for Mongolia's debt quality

Growth did fall in 2012, but only to 11 percent (Mogi: 12.3%), which is the stuff of dreams of most political leaders and talking heads. Moreover, in those apparently foreboding last months of 2012, Mongolia floated its first international bond issue, surprising many analysts by easily selling $1.5 billion of five- and ten-year bonds at rates of 4.125 percent and 5.125 percent respectively  (rates below those being offered by Spain at the time). Many countries at Mongolia's level of development could not hope to enter world capital markets -- certainly not with a bond issue so large relative to the size of the economy. 

What accounts for the cycles of boom and gloom in media coverage? My own guess is that it's just not very interesting to write about Mongolia's ups and downs as par for the course for a poor democracy struggling to make its way in a very difficult world. Far better to delve into the soap-opera of Mongolian politics, which can be fascinating in a tiny (population three million) (Mogi: 2.85m) country on the verge of a mammoth hard-rock mining boom with China, its resource-guzzling leviathan neighbor, looking hungrily on. 

Two events precipitated last year's apprehensions.  First, in May 2012, the Mongolian parliament passed the "Strategic Entities Foreign Investment Law," which opens the door to ill-defined political interference in foreign projects. Nevertheless, the law does address a legitimate problem: The fear of the political, economic, and diplomatic spillover effects of vast mining projects -- a fear most relevant when the mining companies are Chinese state-owned enterprises. 

This issue is hardly unique to Mongolia. Other countries -- think Canada -- have reacted warily to the prospect of dominance by the global power next door. But Mongolia does not have Canada's soothing track record of pragmatic political decision-making. Nor does it have the institutional capacity and technical expertise to write and enforce mining regulations that are clear and reasonable. Hence those who care about Mongolia worry that the mining rush is a recipe for exploitation, corruption, or populist excess that retards economic development. 

Adding to such concerns, the June 2012 election brought to power a government whose members included "resource nationalists" aiming to maintain government ownership and control of natural resources. The mining minister, Davaajav Ganhuyag, made vague statements about wanting to renegotiate the agreement with foreigners investors in the Oyu Tolgoi (or simply OT) copper and gold mine project.  He has the unqualified support of only a vocal minority of members of the State Great Hural, Mongolia's parliament. Nevertheless, a more moderate version of his views has found favor across the Mongolian political spectrum. Indeed, the 2013 government budget depends on revenue increases from a successful renegotiation of the OT agreement. 

At the moment, almost everything in Mongolia revolves around Oyu Tolgoi, one of the biggest mining projects in the world located in a country with one of the smallest GDP's ($15 billion in terms of purchasing power). The project, effectively controlled by the multinational giant Rio Tinto, began production ahead of schedule in December 2012.   

Big doesn't even begin to describe it: This one project is expected to double Mongolia's GDP by 2020.  By then, other projects will be coming online. But their size and timing will depend upon how Mongolia deals with OT.  

The other side of the coin is that the flow of benefits to Mongolians from OT will be a crucial sign to the electorate of the mettle of politicians.  With a thirst for democracy, surprisingly high levels of education (the Soviet Union's only lasting gift to Mongolia) and access to a robust media, that electorate will be following developments very closely.  

The western financial press (not to mention western governments) presume that politicians dealing with OT have the discretion to act as if they are simply businessmen signing contracts supported by sophisticated legal systems. Once signed, the thinking goes, contracts should be binding and foreign investors should be given the benefit of doubt on matters of goodwill. 

But this probably isn't realistic when so much is at stake for a country that has been isolated for so long from the world economy, and where legal institutions are developing from a base of near zero just two decades ago. Actually, it may not be realistic anywhere. Contracts for such projects are regularly renegotiated in developed economies -- just delve into the history of the United Kingdom and Norway on North Sea hydrocarbons. And don't forget whom Mongolia is dealing with: Rio Tinto's recent episodes of ethical challenge hardly inspire confidence. 

There is a huge difference between what Mongolia would earn if it settled for merely a normal competitive market return on its national resources and what Mongolia would earn if foreign companies settled for a normal competitive market return on their capital. The windfalls to be divided -- what economists call the rents -- are mindboggling. And securities markets offer a sense of just how big they are. Back in October 2011, when the Mongolian government reaffirmed its commitment to the original OT agreement after having made noises about forcing a renegotiation, the market value of outstanding Rio Tinto stock increased by $5 billion dollars in a single day. 

By the same token, the expected size of the rents to be divided is always changing. Gold prices have nearly doubled since the agreement was signed, while copper prices have increased by over 20 percent -- neither of which were expected in light of lagging resource demand from the advanced industrial economies. 

But each new glitch should not be taken as a sign of impending collapse of the OT agreement, but rather another installment in the high-stakes bargaining. One of the earliest insights from economic game theory is that, in negotiations, weakness can lead to strength -- as in, "I'd love to give you better terms, but I am constrained by my sales manager, my dean, my mother-in-law, my political opponents [pick one]. A Mongolian negotiator would be letting down his side if he silenced the resource nationalists who are now stirring the pot. The real test of Mongolia's political class in coming years, then, is its ability to walk the line between populist nationalism and doormat to the global economic powers. 

Financial markets could use a reality check here, too. Last December, when one of the smaller parties in the newly elected coalition threatened to decamp, the market value of Mongolia's largely foreign-owned sovereign debt fell by seven percent ($100 million) in a day. In fact, the contretemps had little to do with finance. It was an attempt to pressure the Supreme Court to rule in favor of the party's former leader, who was appealing a jail sentence for corruption. 

One day in 1777, Adam Smith was confronted by a panicky young acolyte predicting ruin for Britain after the loss of a battle with George Washington's army. Smith nonchalantly replied that "There is a great deal of ruin in a nation," implying it is all too easy to jump to the wrong conclusions when otherwise successful countries suffer reverses. That surely applies to Mongolia, which can afford a few setbacks in its efforts to reconcile capitalism and democracy before it is time to declare them a failure.

Peter Murrell is the Mancur Olson Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland.

Link to article


Maptek Provides Vulcan Software for Mongolian Mine Engineering Students

April 5 (Maptek) Mining technology developer Maptek has provided educational licences of Vulcan geological modelling and mine planning software to the Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST), based in Ulaanbaatar.

Maptek reseller for the region, Information Technology Experts LLC will conduct the training of staff and ongoing teaching of fourth year students in the School of Mining Engineering. About 2400 students study mine engineering at MUST, with 9 different specialisations offered. 

Addressing guests at the launch ceremony for the Maptek Vulcan laboratory on Friday April 5, Manager of IT Experts Mr Batchuluun Bayanmunkh said that the software would help prepare students for job opportunities in the private sector as well as with state agencies.

The School of Mining Engineering has a strong research base that is closely linked to industry. Many academic staff come from industry and bring practical, educational and research experience to the faculty. 

Maptek will provide 15 networked Vulcan licences, giving students access to open cut and underground mine design, pit optimisation and geostatistical applications.

About Maptek

Founded over 30 years ago, Maptek™ is a leading provider of innovative software, hardware and services for the mining industry. Maptek products, covering the complete mining cycle from exploration to reclamation, are used at more than 1200 sites in over 60 countries. Maptek Vulcan™ is one of the longest standing 3D mine planning and modelling packages. Maptek I-Site™ is an integrated hardware and software system for 3D laser scanning, surveying and imaging. Maptek BlastLogic™ provides intelligent 3D drillhole validation and load design software, while Maptek Eureka™ features an interactive 3D environment for visualising and interpreting geophysical and seismic data.

About IT Experts LLC 

IT Experts LLC, founded in 2009, is the official representative for Maptek Vulcan mining software and Pitney Bowes software in Mongolia. IT Experts LLC proudly supports local and multinational corporations doing business in the Mongolian mining sector, providing a range of mine consulting and training services. With a balanced management team of expatriate and Mongolian professionals, IT Experts LLC delivers international excellence to the Mongolian mining sector. 

Link to release



April 5 (InfoMongolia) On April 05, 2013, the Spring Plenary Session of the State Great Khural (Parliament) has been officially opened at 10:00am with 79.7% of attendance, of which 59 members out 74 parliamentarians were present.

Speaker of the Parliament Z.Enkhbold opened the meeting and introduced the agenda to be discussed, where President Ts.Elbegdorj, Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Ts.Zorig, Governor of the Central Bank of Mongolia N.Zoljargal, Mayor of Ulaanbaatar E.Bat-Uul and other officials have attended.

The first issue to discuss was an announcement of the day of Presidential Election to be held this year followed by amendments to the Law on Regulation of the Foreign Investments in the Strategically Significant Industries, but the morning session was canceled due to boycott by representatives of Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) in the Parliament expressing their dissatisfactions with current Government Action Plan. MPP members were holding protest signs during the opening of the session that stated as follows “Press freedom is suffered”, “Democracy is threatened”, “Democratic parliamentary government, which is a proof of the national security, is under chaos”, and some were directed to the President.

Also, during the speech by President Ts.Elbegdorj MPP members left the meeting hall that caused to cancel the session meeting. Moreover, outside the Government House MPP fellowship organized a demonstration led by former Foreign Minister G.Zandanshatar demanding the Government’s resignation.

Link to article



Ulaanbaatar, April 5 /MONTSAME/ The plemary spring session of the State Great Khural (parliament) started on April 5. It was adjourned on February 8.

The attendance stood at 79.7 percent. The Speaker Z.Enkhbold opened the session, reporting on the works done during the break. He said many MPs, including him, had worked in regions to speak about approve laws, to propagandize legislative documents, to introduce this session's agenda, and to learn people's opinions and comments.

Ther Speaker went on that, together with some MPs he had been to Khentii, Dornod and Sukhbaatar aimags to get au fait with schools, kindergartens and hospitals, to meet with the locals, to witness works of the Tamsag oil industry and Bichigt checkpoint. "We have seen much progress, for example, Mongolia has become the oil-extracting state, a Polytechnics college has been educating many hundred young people at requests of employers for the first time," he mentioned.

Apart of this, he had paid visits to the USA and Canada, he went on. Many important meetings had been run aimed at elevating the Mongolia-USA relationship and cooperation into the strategic partnership level, at deepening the Mongolia-Canada ties in social, economic and business spheres, he said.

After this the Speaker sounded the spring session's agenda and said that several profound works await parliament such as o providing the youth with jobs, ceasing cases of infectious diseases, and others.
Then, the President of the country Ts.Elbegdorj took the floor.


Right at the moment when the President was saying "Now the law is in power not any bosses...We are required to be tough towards the guilty and gentle towards the innocent", the faction of the Mongolian People's party (MPP) left the session.

From the very beginning the faction members had been sitting with slogans "Democratic parliament is in crisis", "Voices of minority is suppressed" and so on. After leaving the faction went to the Sukhbaatar square to organize a demonstration.

The MPP secretary-general G.Zandanshatar said their party sees "how the Democratic party is breaching the law, how the national security and independence are being lost, how the state servants are being dismissed."

He also spoke about the "Chinggis" bonds, "at interest of which we could have erected many schools and kindergartens", price rise and others.

The MPP wants the powers "to keep to the election promises, to prioritize justice, to withdraw the government", he said.


The President mentioned that this time is coinciding with the last year's start of the election campaign, and hoped that all MPs remember their speeches and political promises.

Then he focused on five matters he considers as the progress: firstly, the Mongolian people are changing, their mentality, spirit and lifestyle are changing day by day, and their willingness is rising to be an owner of their rights and of wealth; secondly, the people want more participation in decision-making and in work because they see that civil society-made decisions, an individual's creations and results are becoming more and more accessible; thirdly, the legislative power is stabilizing, Mongolia is becoming the law-powered state not the one man-ruled, the law catches anyone guilty whether he/she is high official or wealthy one, and we demand Mongolian or a foreigner that the law must be obeyed always; fourthly, a prestige of Mongolia is rising, and the world community is respecting us more and more, Mongolia-related issues are more appreciated than reproached; fifth, a lot of things have been regularized despite problems existing, the main issue is that we have learned to clearly see these difficulties, to frankly discuss them and to seek solutions, we have all chances to correct our mistakes.

After this the President turned to some negative issues: firstly, we forget about a human, this is our main mistake, we talk a lot about the mining, great construction, reforms "but when will we talk about the human?", "look around, there are many who even cannot afford to smell meat, who sell nuts to get a 10-togrog profit, who crowd hospitals' corridors because free beds are not found"; secondly, the state does not support creators, those who work for something needed, this is a big mistake, "why are so little non-state investments in education and health?"; firstly, the state is becoming huge, expenses for the power are increasing, it is also a mistake and we must do something with it, we should freeze all expences apart of those dependent on rates changes, "and I do expect that the government will take it into consideration when planning the budget frames this spring", also "I want all to cooperate, for example in fighting with the corruption and in helping those in need, the corruption is like fungus, it must be scraped away time to time"; fourthly, another great mistake--the people still do not have an access to the social wealth, Mongolia still has few rich people and many poor, if not to share the wealth with them, we will lose the rich, so in solving this problem we do not have to invent something, we just must attract people to deeds that produce the wealth, it must be for all not for one family or a clan, it is impossible; fifthly, our ongoing merciless attitude to the nature cannot be justified at all, "how should we react to someone who chop down a young growing tree?", it is like killing a youngster, and how we can tolerate those who destroy water springs?"

Link to article (click English, then try link again)



April 5 (InfoMongolia) On April 05, 2013, after leaving the meeting hall of the State Great Khural (Parliament) on the first day of the Spring Plenary Session, representatives of Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) called a press conference explaining the reason of their act.

Head of MPP U.Enkhtuvshin told to reporters that there were two reasons to leave the meeting, first the Speaker of the Parliament did not allow MPP members to voice following the opening ceremony, and second MPP Parliamentarians were not agree with President’s remarks.

In conjunction, MPP representatives were about to express their opinions on the following 9 issues.

1.    Immediately to take some measures on improving foreign investment’s environment in Mongolia. (Mogi: seems hypocritical of MPP to be demanding this)

2.    To focus on coal export and partner with two neighbors considering their policies.

3.    Raise the salary and take some arrangements on sustainable consumer price index.

4.    Make clear and open the expenditure list to be done by the “Chinggis” Bond.

5.    Stop decisions on shrinking business environments.

6.    Prime Minister himself is violating the Constitution of Mongolia by replacing job positions.

7.    Stop the mass job firing procedure.

8.    Pay attention on crime ratings, as of the first three months it was increased by 28.3% compare to last year’s statistics.

9.    Government must pay compensation to those 400 people who lost jobs by being closed their 9 TV stations and 16 websites.

Link to article


Mongolian opposition demonstrates against government

ULAN BATOR, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia's opposition party demanded dismissal of the government Friday during a peaceful demonstration in the capital of Ulan Bator.

"It has been eight months since this government formed. During this period, Mongolia's reputation in the international arena is very much damaged and foreign investors are escaping from Mongolia," Ulziisaikhan Enkhtuvshin, chairman of the Mongolian People's Party (MPP), said at the demonstration in the capital city's central square.

"Investment climate in Mongolia is deteriorating," he added.

At the end of the demonstration, the MPP delivered a letter to the country's president, prime minister and parliament speaker, all members of the ruling Democratic Party of Mongolia.

"Mongolia's economic growth is decreasing and the number of unemployed people are on the rise because of chaotic changes implemented by the government. We demand dismissal of the current government," the letter said.

Also on Friday, President Tsakhia Elbegdorj admitted not paying enough attention to the development of his people and entrepreneurs as well as protecting the country's environment and natural resources.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the parliament's spring conference, Elbegdorj stressed the necessity to build a law-based government, intensify the fight against corruption and improve Mongolia's international reputation.

Link to article


MPP holds demonstration on Sukhbaatar Square

April 5 ( Members and supporters of MPP, the former ruling party, is holding a demonstration on Sukhbaatar Square protesting current Government policy. In particularly they are protesting the ruling party DP in retaliation for DP previously having threatened to hold a protest during the opening of the spring session before. 

Party members of MPP left the Parliament Hall during the opening of the spring session after the start of the demonstration on Sukhbaatar Square.

Members and supporters of MPP are holding the demonstration insisting on the following five demands to the Government: 

·         For the Prime Minister to take responsibility for violating the Constitution law twice

·         Re-open closed TV stations, ease comment restrictions on websites

·         Publicly announce about bond agreement, at least to members of parliament

·         Increase salaries and pensions

·         Decrease consumer products and goods prices

Link to article


Mongolian lawmakers to consider foreign investment, development plan

ULAN BATOR, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Mongolian lawmakers were expected to discuss foreign investment, health insurance and other issues during the parliament's spring conference that started Friday.

The lawmakers would also consider such areas as markets and approve Mongolia's social and economic development plan for 2014, said Parliament Speaker Zandaakhuu Enkhbold.

Speaking at the conference's opening ceremony, President Tsakhia Elbegdorj admitted not paying enough attention to the development of his people and entrepreneurs as well as protecting environment and natural resources.

Mongolia, in the past 20 years, has seen unemployment, poverty and other social problems, the president said.

He stressed the necessity to build a law-based government, intensify the fight against corruption and improve his country's international reputation.

Meanwhile, members of Mongolian People's Party and the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party held a protest, demanding that the government curb prices, raise wages and pensions, and continue to implement the "100,000 homes" project.

Link to article


Xi pledges stronger ties with Mongolia

BEIJING, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday pledged to take a strategic and long-term view on China-Mongolia relations.

Xi made the remarks in a meeting with Chairman of the State Great Hural of Mongolia Zandaakhuu Enkhbold on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2013, which opened on Sunday in Boao, a coastal town in south China's Hainan Province.

Xi underscored the great importance China has placed on developing ties with Mongolia and said both countries are at a key development stage.

Xi called on the two countries to seize opportunities, upgrade cooperation, enrich their bilateral strategic partnership and bring benefits to the two countries and peoples.

The Chinese president urged the two countries to respect each other, take care of each others' concerns and enhance strategic trust on issues concerning sovereignty, safety and territorial integrity.

The two countries should strengthen high-level visits and communication, deepen understanding, give play to each other's strengths and promote cooperation in infrastructure and finance, Xi said.

He said China will follow mutually-beneficial principles and work more closely with Mongolia in the advanced processing, new energy and husbandry industries.

In a bid to lay a solid foundation for maintaining neighborly relations, Xi also called for stronger exchanges in culture and education.

Enkhbold voiced appreciation for China's good-neighbor policy, saying China's development will further benefit surrounding countries.

He underscored Mongolia's commitment to developing a partnership with China that is based on mutual respect, trust, equality and common prosperity.

Mongolia would like to maintain high-level visits with China, expand cooperation in trade and the economy, energy and minerals, agriculture and cross-border transportation, he said.

Enkhbold said Mongolia will take active measures to attract Chinese business investment and the State Great Hural of Mongolia, the country's parliament, will provide legal support for such investment.

Link to article


Turkish PM to visit Mongolia, April 11-12

Erdogan's visits will take place between April 9 and 12. 

April 6 (World Bulletin) Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will pay visits to Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia between April 9 and 12.

He will visit Kyrgyzstan on April 9 and 10, and hold meetings with President Almazbek Atambaev, Prime Minister Jantoro Satybaldiev, attend the second meeting of Turkey-Kyrgyzstan High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council as well as Turkish-Kyrgyz Business Forum.

Erdogan will then proceed to Mongolia, and meet President Tsakhia Elbegdorj and Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag on April 11 and 12. 

Link to article


Deputy Speaker admits to ethics failure

April 5 ( The Deputy Speaker, Sangajav Bayartsogt, made a statement at a press conference due to the reports about a secret Swiss bank account and offshore company at 2:00 pm on Thursday April 4th.

The Deputy Speaker of parliament, Sangijav Bayartsogt, said in the statement that “It is true that there is 1,658 Euros or 2.9 million MNT in a Swiss bank account. I opened the account to trade in international stocks with three other acquaintances in 2008. My failure of responsibility is that I did not include the company in my declaration of income. I have admitted my ethic failure and I am ready to take responsibility.”

The case will be discussed in a parliament session.

Link to article


Mysterious mail to Australian journalist triggers global tax haven expose

April 5 (AFP with BusinessDay) It all began when Australian journalist Gerard Ryle received a mysterious package in the post

The former Fairfax Media investigative reporter was busy trying to unravel the details of a large financial fraud in Australia when a hard drive — with the details of 2.5 million digital files — appeared.

The drive was a treasure trove of WikiLeaks-style proportions that shed light on the often murky world of offshore tax havens — where millions of dollars are stashed in secret accounts — and would yield information on 120,000 offshore companies and nearly 130,000 individuals.

But Ryle, who later moved to head the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), did not know that yet.

"My instinct told me it was big but you do not know," Ryle told AFP. Technical impediments also frustrated his early attempts to pore over the information he had received.

"The files were almost impossible to read, they kept crashing my computer," Ryle said. "I've seen a lot of names from all around the world; they were people that meant nothing to me.

"I just did what any reporter would do — you just go on the Internet and you Google them."

Embarrassing the powerful

In his capacity as head of the Washington D.C.-based ICIJ, a non-governmental organisation founded in 1997 to help co-ordinate the work of reporters seeking to uncover corruption, Ryle set about mobilising a worldwide army of journalists to help mine the rich seam of information he had received.

"It's always been on my mind to get some help from reporters all around the world," Ryle said. "The ICIJ was the perfect vehicle."

The ICIJ coordinated a 15-month long probe that involved 86 investigative journalists in 46 countries to compile a series of reports it began releasing around the world this week, using a strategy similar to that used by WikiLeaks when it released hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables in 2010.

So far, the revelations have made waves in several countries, causing embarrassment to French President Francois Hollande's former campaign treasurer Jean-Jacques Augier, as well as the family of the president of Azerbaijan.

One of Mongolia's most senior politicians, former finance minister Bayartsogt Sangajav, told the ICIJ he was considering resigning after the study claimed he had set up an offshore entity and a secret Swiss bank account which at one point contained more than $US1 million ($A960,000).

"I shouldn't have opened that account. I should have included the company in my declarations," he said. "I should probably consider resigning from my position."

Millions in secret accounts

Another case cited by one of the newspapers involved, The Guardian, was the wife of Igor Shuvalov, a businessman close to President Vladimir Putin who has been first deputy prime minister since 2008, who is recorded as setting up several offshore companies. Olga Shuvalova made no comment.

Canada's top class-action lawyer and husband of a senator, as well as 450 other Canadians, were also exposed in the unprecedented leak.

Tony Merchant, dubbed by local media Canada's class-action king because of the large settlements he has won for his clients, hid at least $C1.7 million ($1.6 million) in a Cook Islands trust set up in 1998.

The European Commission reacted to the reports by calling on EU states to do more to tackle tax fraud, estimating it costs their cash-strapped governments around one trillion euros a year.

"For the Commission, there can be no exceptions whether for individuals, companies or third countries who... abet tax evasion," Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly said.

Larger than WikiLeaks

Ryle cautioned, however, that many of the individuals brought to his attention by the hard drive may not have broken any laws.

"What you first realise is that you can't accuse people of doing something wrong because you don't have the full story, you don't know what they've declared in taxes," he noted.

"You kept asking yourself: where's the story here? Is it illegal? Your instinct tells you it's a story but you need to find it, you need to look for patterns, for trends."

Recruiting the services of foreign journalists to decipher the information was necessary because of the vast amounts of detail in the hard drive, estimated as being 160 times larger than the cache released by WikiLeaks, totalling some 260 gigabytes of data.

Australian support

The ICIJ's efforts were also assisted by an Australian software company that provided free software to help make sense of the information in the files.

"I approached the firm and said 'Don't ask me why I need it but can you give it to me?'" Ryle recalled.

He also acknowledged that the sheer scale of the global investigation went against the instincts of many of those journalists involved.

"I wanted to encourage collaboration among journalists, something that we, investigative journalists, normally don't like to do. We like to work on our own and keep our secrets," Ryle said.

Other revelations are set to be released on April 15, while the ICIJ promises further reports later this year.

"We're pretty confident we have a lot more because it's so vast and it takes a long time to understand," Ryle said, adding that he was not concerned about whether the revelations ultimately lead to criminal prosecutions.

"It's not our duty — our duty is to report and to let other worry about that," he said. "Our job is to inform the public about something they didn't know and what people or authorities do afterwards is up to them."

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Mogi Munkhdul Badral Bontoi

Cover Mongolia



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