Monday, April 15, 2013

[Minimum wage raised by 37%, cabinet outlines new housing policy, and MPP gains an extra seat in run-off election]

CoverMongolia NewsWire
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Cover Mongolia Update
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Mogi: interview I gave to the wonderful Allyson Seaborn
B.Munkhdul: I love being informed and in the know
By Allyson Seaborn
April 14 (UB Post) CoverMongolia NewsWire was officially launched in 2012 by B. Munkhdul "Mogi". He tells me it's fundamentally world and daily news coverage on Mongolia, "leaning towards business because of my personal interest."
It's not just Mogi and his growing number of fans boasting about this news wire either. US based financial writer and Mongolian economic and political guru Jon Springer says, "To subscribe to Mogi's CoverMongolia NewsWire is to be informed. There is no better aggregation of news in English about any single country I have come across (from Djibouti to Myanmar, from Bangladesh to Uruguay). That said, an opportunity to talk to him is to insightfully understand how the news relates to the daily life and future of Mongolia's citizens."
Mogi describes how after resigning from his last job he was looking for new opportunities. There wasn't a lot out there that excited him as perhaps would have done so a few years ago. "I've always had my newswire which kept me in touch with friends and contacts and they were always telling me I should make something out of it. So that always encouraged me to do it consistently, day in, day out. And in the midst of looking for other opportunities, I realised maybe I could make a career out of this. It's no longer a hobby. It's my business. It all just started as me trying to find out more about my own country after having come back home after seven years abroad. Then I started sharing this information with colleagues and clients – and the rest is history."
After receiving a scholarship from the Japanese Government and studying business at Saitama University in 2008, Mogi returned "home." I should mention that prior to studying in Japan, Mogi had no knowledge of the Japanese language, but came out of Saitama fluent in Japanese.
"I learned to speak Japanese when I was twenty years old," he tells me matter of factly – like it's no big deal. I think of the sheer tenacity it must take to achieve this small feat. Most could not fathom obtaining a degree in a foreign language, particularly one as difficult as Japanese, but Mogi's humbleness about this achievement is as impressive as he is.
"After I came back to work in brokerage, I realised I knew very little about Mongolia today, so I was forced to be knowledgeable about all things Mongolia in order to sell stocks. In 2009 I started reading what was on the web like a few Reuters articles. There wasn't much back in those days, but I got caught up in it and wanted to share what I read. So I started sharing with my colleagues what I read and it became a habit. My colleagues and boss appreciated it, so I started adding clients to it."
Mogi's father was a diplomat and as a young boy Mogi lived in Laos from 88-92, his first school being Russian. "So my first written language that I learned was Russian, but I spoke to my parents in Mongolian."
Mogi was born in Nalaikh in 1983. His dad was in the army and his mother gave birth to him at his maternal grandmother's town. After he was born he came to UB where he grew up until moving to Laos in 1988. "So we were away when Mongolia transitioned to a democracy. I was lucky in some ways not to be there as the initial years were hard. Laos was a great tropical country. Food was being rationed in Mongolia, Laos was tropical and food was plentiful."
His later childhood memories are not uncommon, but descriptions like this never cease to amaze me: "I guess when I came back from Laos in 1992 at that time there were so many street bullies that everywhere you walked you'd get bullied. Everyone went through it. There were a lot of turf wars and everyone knew everyone within their own district – if there was somebody you didn't recognize you'd get bullied."
As a new kid on the block, Mogi found this a difficult time. He relays to me over a sandwich surrounded by expats at Rosewood Cafe that even his precious chewing gum had been stolen from his mouth. "It was 1992 – I guess the rationing was over, but people were still in struggle mode and everybody relied on the state for so much."
I ask him about Mongolia today. "It's such a big commercial town now and politics is politics."
We talk about the recent financial debacle surrounding the deputy speaker, the PM getting lost in the Khentii Mountains and the opposition walking out during the President's speech. "It's just politics," he assures me again.
I egg him on asking about the flow through effect into the economy, but he's adamant and says, "C'mon look at America today. Nothing gets done in American politics, but still business is good and is reviving. The business community there has built a tolerance towards politics because at the end of the day politicians won't do anything to deter the country's growth right? It's just about deciding who the presides over this growth."
What does Mogi miss about the old way of life in Mongolia? "In Mongolia things were simpler, people were nicer to each other it seemed, especially in the city. There seemed to be more time for family and friends. Progress makes people busier."
Mogi's paternal grandparents were from Khovsgol and he describes to me how he'd like to spend time in this region of Mongolia – relaxing for a month in a ger, "waking up to the sun and going asleep with the sun," he beams.
I think to myself you can take the boy out of Mongolia, but you can't take Mongolia out of the boy. "We were all at some point nomads and people in the city quickly forget this," he smiles. To this day, Mogi loves spending time in the countryside in the summer with friends to just "enjoy nature."
We discuss the future of Mongolia and he points out, "Nobody these days disputes that the Mongolian economy is going to grow, but we have to improve the quality of life of each and every Mongolian. We need to make everyone healthy and skilled and as smart as possible so we'll be the ones who control and manage this growth instead of having to rely on expat expertise."
I want to know about the modern day inspirations in his life. Mogi's parents left a memorable imprint, particularly his father who worked in the public service his whole life. "He's my moral compass. He never drifted into the more immoral or corrupt side of public service, probably to the detriment of his career. He's got a lot of integrity and gained a lot of respect for being so well grounded. Even in the 1980's when everybody was becoming a party member, he didn't get into politics or became a party member which was interesting. He also showed me the world and took me abroad so I'll always be grateful to him. My mom was the backbone of course taking care of us. She sacrificed a lot to look after us all."
And how does he feel about foreigners living in UB? I tell him he doesn't have to be diplomatic and he quite bluntly retorts, "I'm not going to be diplomatic."
"At one point I had spent two thirds of my life abroad, so I understand what the expat life is like. Of course this moment in Mongolia's history we all need each other and the opportunity is here for expats to invest and teach us and leave us with a skilled work force so we can take over. A lot of the expats here are short term oriented and say they won't live here forever and I find it a little insulting I guess. That just means to me they're here to make money and then leave. I endorse this in many ways because they will make money and we will make money with them and become more skilled. The majority of Mongolians do not, however, understand this. This short-term mentality is how some expats behave here. When I go to a restaurant or club and I see only expats there grouped together, I sometimes cringe to myself and think this is why some Mongolians dislike you. They can also be a bit patronising at times especially when I hear them talking about how stupid our politicians are."
He goes on, "You could have a hundred Mongolians understand what foreign investment is and why Mongolia needs this, but still they wouldn't be able to do much about it because people don't really have a grasp of capitalism. A sense of ownership is a new concept. For 100 years we didn't own anything, the sheep we herded were not ours. They belonged to the state. In the 90's when the state gave back the herds and apartments we understood it as property, but not as assets. They knew it was theirs, but they didn't understand you could use it to increase your wealth. The privatization effort of the early 90s was such a failure because nobody understood they actually had investments. So everybody got shares and stocks in these privatised companies thinking they were just pieces of paper that might go to waste if they didn't sell them right away. Of course, the savvy guys bought them cheaply. In the 90s everyone had an equal playing field. Now twenty-three years later, the world expects us to know what a stock, investment, asset or liability is and they complain and start rolling their eyes. I just hate it when I see it in articles or hear expats talking about Mongolians like this."
Mogi recently created a petition to try and encourage the world to start spelling Mongolia's capital correctly – Ulaanbaatar and not Ulan Bator. "I recently convinced Bloomberg to use the right word," he says proudly. He also has a second petition in force which is trying to make the world spell Chinggis Khaan correctly and not Genghis Khan.
I move back to the topic of Mogi's brainchild "Cover Mongolia" and ask him to reiterate again. "People are becoming a lot more interested. When the number of subscribers reached 100, I was happy, but now I have 1300 followers and the number is growing daily. Everybody who is interested in reading about Mongolia should take a look at my blogspot. I love being informed and in the know."
Business Council of Mongolia Executive Director, Jim Dwyer, agrees with Mogi and has this to say, about him: "Mogi's interests range from financial/corporate to social trends. He is really worth paying attention to." And pay attention you can by finding Cover Mongolia on Facebook, Twitter and at

Overseas Market
SouthGobi makes a slow crawl back from Mongolian purgatory
April 12 (Terrence Edwards, bne) Though Mongolia-focused coal miner SouthGobi Resources (TSX:SGQ, HKEx:1878) had time for a short hooray following the relaunch of operations at its Ovoot Tolgoi project, it still has a myriad of issues to contend with if it's to appease both investors and the Mongolian government. 
Just three days after announcing the relaunch of operations on March 22, SouthGobi released an inevitable dismal annual report that included a $103m loss for 2012 —inevitable because the company became the epicentre of a fierce fight over resource nationalism in Mongolia and worries there about growing Chinese influence, and had to endure nine months of being unable to mine its coal deposits while the Mongolian government put the company's licenses under a microscope. That loss compared with a $57.7m net profit for the previous year when operations went undisturbed. 
"While a certain amount of volatility remains in the coal markets, signs of improvement justify this restart of operations," said the Canadian-listed company in a statement about the return of operations. "The flow of coal and sales will be carefully managed in order to react quickly to any future changes in market conditions." 
For many, the company's fate was sealed in January 2012 when Rio Tinto bought a controlling stake in Turquoise Hill Resources (then known as Ivanhoe Mines), the majority owner of SouthGobi. Rio made it clear that it was interested in holding on to only one of Turquoise Hill's Mongolian assets, with its eyes clearly fixed on the prized Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine. 
The day to cut SouthGobi loose finally came in March 2012 when a deal was struck to sell Turquoise Hill's 57.6% stake in the coal miner to Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco). Another Chinese entity, the sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation, already owned 14% of the SouthGobi. 
Turquoise Hill had hoped to use the proceeds from the sale of the SouthGobi stake to directly fund the development of its $6.6bn Oyu Tolgoi copper/gold mine, but instead the proposed deal set alarms bells ringing in political circles already on edge about growing Chinese influence in the country. The result was the politicians dusted off a piece of draft legislation on foreign investment in the country's natural resources that until then had been languishing and rushed its passage through Mongolia's parliament, plunging SouthGobi into financial difficulties and sending shock waves rippling out through the rest of Mongolia's mining sector. 
Government officials said the law was meant to create a review process for deals involving foreign investors in the country's resources that involved parliament, but without a mechanism to see the process through, it effectively killed the deal. Chalco announced last October it had given up trying to take control of SouthGobi, as well as the proposed purchase of a 29.9% interest in Mongolian coking coal supplier Winsway Coking Coal Holdings. 
Immediately following the March 2012 announcement of Chalco's proposed purchase of the stake, the government also said it would suspend SouthGobi's licenses, although the company insisted its licenses were in good order. But then an official at the Mineral Resources Authority of Mongolia was arrested for an illegal transfer of licenses, including one held by SouthGobi. Extraction halted at the end of June 2012 and SouthGobi had to start burning through its stockpiled reserves to supply customers. SouthGobi saw its share price on the Toronto Stock Exchange fall 74% from a 52-week high hit in April 2012 of $7.32 to as low as $1.84. 
According to Philipp Marxen, chief executive of Xacleasing, which provides the trucks and other base equipment necessary for mining operations, the ups and downs experienced by the coal miner were largely indicative of the sentiment felt throughout the industry as a whole. "In discussions with our lessees, which have been sub-contractors of SouthGobi, the importance of this mining firm's success as a bellwether of the foreign-invested mining sector has become obvious," says Marxen. "If the company can start full-scale production and increase coal exports again, this will positively affect the supply chain." 
SouthGobi is likely hoping for some backing from the Mongolian government as it tries to put the incident behind it. The investigation that began last year for the alleged illegal license transfer is still ongoing and the president of the mining unit leading the Mongolian operation, Justin Kapla, is prohibited from leaving the country while authorities continue to look into the matter. According to company spokesperson Altanbagana Bayarsaikhan, one other remaining license requirement under question for failing to meet minimum spending was not considered "material to its business". 
The company will also need the government to honour its past project approvals as it deals with a legal battle with a local citizens' council in a province called Umnugobi. The council placed some of its licensed territory for exploration under special protection. Although a local court revoked that protection, the council is appealing the decision. "We are working hard to maintain good relationships with all of our stakeholders including the Mongolian government," Ross Tromans, SouthGobi president and CEO, said in an investor call for its 2012 annual financial results. 
He added, "I think that generally, we are working at improving those relationships and it's an ongoing process, whether there's been huge change, it's hard to tell but certainly the relationship is cordial and respectful." 

Aspire Mining's MD David Paull to discuss Ovoot coal project in Sydney
April 15 (Proactive Investors) Aspire Mining (ASX:AKM) is focused on coal in Mongolia, and just last week completed a Rail Pre-Feasibility Study Revision confirming that it could save US$200 million by taking a more direct route further to the south for its proposed Erdenet to Ovoot rail extension in Mongolia.
Aspire has the second largest coking coal reserve in Mongolia at Ovoot and the coal ranks amongst the highest quality coking coal in the world.
Managing director David Paull will present to investors at the "Stars in 2013 Series" Forum on Wednesday 8th May 2013.
Aspire has this year reached a number of signposts on the road to developing Ovoot, most notably expanding its strategic alliance with Noble Group, Asia's largest diversified commodities trading company.
The revised arrangements with Noble will facilitate Noble's provision of additional supply chain management services to Aspire. 
It will also provide potential access to Noble's Russian Far East Port, while retaining Noble's overall obligation to assist Aspire to identify potential logistics partners to deliver coal to customers and identifying viable logistics paths.
Aspire has also completed initial pilot coke tests confirming that the mammoth Ovoot project in Mongolia contains high quality blending coking coal that can be blended with hard coking coal and weak caking coals to produce quality coke.
Projected development costs have also been reduced following the Rail Pre-Feasibility Study Revision, reducing capital expenditure for the rail line to US$1.3 billion
Start time:  6.00pm - Please arrive by 5:45pm. 
Date: Wednesday 8th May 2013
Place: Radisson Blu Hotel - Cnr Pitt & O'Connell Street
Four exciting companies are presenting with three Lucky Door Prizes, which is then followed by a wine and canapé reception where you can personally interact with the presenting MD's & CEOs.
The event is FREE to attend but make sure you REGISTER today as the seats are filling quickly already.

Mogi: sad to see this another "Mongolian" stock turning into one that's not entirely Mongolian, especially one that just only recently became "Mongolian"
April 12 -- The Board of Mongolian Resources Ltd (ASX:MRF) ("the Company or MRL") is pleased to announce the completion of the Heads of Agreement with The Supreme Group as detailed in the 9th April ASX announcement.
MRL will now move toward the completion of the Share Sale Deed in the near future and has commenced detailed exploration planning including the re-establishment of existing historical workings. The exposure of existing graphite veins will increase the understanding of the mineralisation and drive further exploration and future development opportunities.
Background on Sri Lankan Graphite
Sri Lanka is perhaps one of the most promising new frontiers in the graphite sector. The Asian nation currently produces a very small amount of graphite - approximately 4,000 metric tonnes (MT) yearly, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). Sri Lanka has a long history in mining graphite and has the unique position of being the only producer of crystalline vein graphite. . In 1916, 35% of the world's graphite consumption (33,411 metric tonnes) was exported from Sri Lanka.
Vein & flake graphite are the highest-value natural graphite products found globally, the USGS notes. In 2012, prices for Sri Lankan vein and flake graphite averaged between US$1,900 to US$3,500 per tonne, significantly higher than prices reported for other products, such as amorphous graphite.
Sri Lanka is a vibrant fast growing economy following from the 26 year conflict which ended in May 2009. The country has grown consistently at a rate of 6.5% - 8% from 2010 – 12.
Infrastructure in the areas of interest is excellent with suitable power, water, communications and a ready work force available.
Sri Lanka has favourable investment and tax regimesfor the import of capital equipment and foreign investment in natural resources including the potential for a tax free holiday period of up to 10 years upon an investment agreement being approved by the Board of Investment (BOI). The legal system is based on the British common law system.
The country has a population of approximately 20 million people and a high literacy rate approaching 92%. As a Member of the Commonwealth English is taught and spoken as a second language.
MRL will have in The Supreme Group, a well respected local partner, to advise and assist with the implementation of the business plan.
Mongolian Resources Managing Director Mr Craig McGuckin commented:
"The Board of MRL is excited to have executed the Heads of Agreement with The Supreme Group. MRL staff will be in Sri Lanka working with The Supreme Group to finalise the Share Sale Deed and strategy to understand and develop the significant graphite potential immediately over coming weeks"

Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. to Host Corporate Update Presentation in New York
Thunder Bay, Ontario, April 12, 2013 /FSC/ - Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. (YAK - TSX Venture),("MGG" or the "Company") announces that Harris Kupperman, Chairman and CEO of MGG, will host a corporate update presentation and reception for shareholders and interested investors on May 9th, 2013 at New York's Hotel Pennsylvania, from 5:30-7:30PM. If you would like to attend this presentation, please contact Genevieve Walkden at

Frontier: Updates on Foreign Listed Mongolian Companies
April 2013 (Frontier Securities) By end of March, 2012 Financial results of major foreign listed Mongolian companies were released. Frontier LLC has done detailed analysis on financial statements, company presentations and investors feedbacks bases on the analysis of the report written by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Below are to answer your following questions:
Why share prices of those companies have gone down so much in the last 12 months?
Which factors are discounted in the share prices and which factors are not in the weak share prices?
Based on the valuations and other factors, are they attractive to buy at current level?
If you are interested in knowing more about the contents, please download full report from here.
Local Market
11 April 2013, Thursday (BDSec) – Manufacturing stocks rose on Thursday, driving the MSE Top 20 to its best one-day gain since December 2012. The benchmark index closed up 1.45 percent to sit at 15,106.28 points.
Zoos Goyol (ZOO), a jewelry maker and real estate company, once again jumped more than 14 percent to MNT 1,312. 
Mongolia's largest beverage producer APU (APU), which weights about 30 percent alone in the benchmark index, gained 4.08 percent, followed by Eermel (+1.82%), Darkhan Nekhii (+1.59%), Talkh Chikher (+0.85%) and Khukh Gan (+0.10%).
Winners outpaced losers by 4 to 1. Mongol Savkhi (UYN), a real state company, dropped 3.70 percent to close at MNT 1,300 while E-Trans Logistics (ETR), a cargo transloading company at Zamyn-Uud, lost 2.34 percent to MNT 125.
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BoM issues 1-week bills
April 12 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 124.5 billion at a weighted interest rate of 11.50 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Mogi: critical errors in this report
Clyde & Co: Investment in Mongolia
Ildiko Gergely and Алтансувд Бямбасүрэн Брювин (Altansuvd Brewin)
April 12 (Clyde & Co) Mongolia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Its mining sector currently accounts for 89% of total exports and generates almost one-third of Government revenues. The enthusiasm of foreign investors has been dampened in the recent past by actions of the Mongolian Government aimed at capturing a bigger share of revenues generated by the natural resources sector. However, new legislation is in prospect which may serve to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of foreign investors.
According to the Bank of Mongolia, foreign direct investment dropped 17% in 2012. This followed the introduction of certain legislative measures. In response to that drop and to the negative reaction from industry leaders (in particular in the natural resources sector), the Mongolian Government is now looking to reassure investors by introducing new laws and revising some of the existing legislation, as described in this note.
The Strategically Significant Entities Foreign Investment Law (SSEFIL) was passed by the Great Khural (Mongolian Parliament) in May 2012. Presently under the SSEFIL foreign investors are required to obtain parliamentary approval before they can acquire more than 49% of, or invest 100 billion MNT (approximately US$70 million) in, "strategic sectors" (Mogi: hmmm, even a law doesn't understand SEFIL. It's not above 49% OR 100 billion. It's investments above 49% AND 100 billion and more). These sectors include natural resources, banking and finances and media and telecommunications.
In March 2013 the Government submitted a revised draft of the SSEFIL to the Parliament, which aims to ease these conditions and so encourage foreign investors. The key amendments to SSEFIL under consideration are:
<![if !supportLists]>      <![endif]>the removal of the 100 billion MNT investment threshold; and
<![if !supportLists]>      <![endif]>restricting the requirement for the parliamentary approval to the acquisition of more than 49% interest in "strategic sector entities" so that it shall only apply to acquisitions made by foreign state-owned interests, not privately owned companies.
A new Mining Law was also prepared for submission to the Mongolian Parliament last year. The draft Mining Law would (if passed) require every mineral company to be at least 34% Mongolian owned (Mogi: not true, only mining license owners); allow the government to change tax rates applicable to mining licences; and make it easier for the mining authority to withdraw mining licences.
The Mongolian Government has announced the postponement of the parliamentary debate on the new Mining Law until after the presidential elections scheduled for June 2013. This has been viewed as a positive move, as the delay will afford the Government time to carry out further discussions with the stakeholders of the mining industry.
Some caution that SSEFIL and the proposed new Mining Law may further deter foreign investments, without which the exploitation of the country's mineral wealth is not feasible. Others are of the view that the creation of a stable regulatory and fiscal regime will contribute towards the country's ability to realise its resource potential and will encourage investments through local financial institutions and the Mongolian Stock Exchange.
In furthering the development of a stable regulatory and fiscal regime, the Mongolian Government has prepared a revised draft of the Securities Law which was enacted in 1994. Despite several amendments to the existing Securities Law it is now generally accepted that the law does not adequately regulate the market. The new, substantially revised Securities Law is expected to pass later this year. The key aspects of the revised Securities Law will facilitate:
<![if !supportLists]>      <![endif]>participation in the capital markets by private and state owned pension funds and other financial institutions
<![if !supportLists]>      <![endif]>issuance of depositary receipts
<![if !supportLists]>      <![endif]>offshore listing of onshore listed companies and vice versa
<![if !supportLists]>      <![endif]>derivatives, and
<![if !supportLists]>      <![endif]>custodial services by local banks
Once the new Securities Law is in force, it will provide a solid legislative framework for new investments which in turn is hoped will counter-balance any negative impact which the proposed new Mining Law may have had.
On 16 April 2013 Clyde & Co will lead a workshop on "Navigating the foreign investment law and analysing the potential impact of the new securities white paper" as part of the Mongolia Investment Summit in London (by Resourceful Events 2012). The high number of participants at this event is testimony to the increasing interest in Mongolia.
To register for the event please click here.

Frontier: Investment Policy Review of Mongolia
April 2013 (Frontier Securities) Frontier LLC has attended "Investment Policy Review of Mongolia" Conference jointly hosted by Ministry of economic Development and UNCTAD on March 26, 2013 in Ulaanbaatar. The conference was held at a very good timing because investment environment in Mongolia is deteriorating so rapidly that some measures should be taken as soon as possible. Speaking on the contents of the conference, UNCTAD has emphasized the importance of diversification (Sector, geographical and source country). Frontier LLC totally agrees with the idea of UNCTAD as its long term goal. However, the short term problems are so critical that Mongolia should ironically, increase the dependence of mining sector especially exporting coal and copper to China at this particular moment. In any case, we DO hope that the Government will ACT now to increase FDI.
Otherwise, Mongolia may face another difficulties of what happened in 2009 when they had to ask support from IMF. 
Click here for details.

Credit Guarantee Fund established
April 12 ( The State budget has allocated 150 billion MNT to support small-to-medium enterprise this financial year. This money has been set aside for programs but there have been complaints that these programs have nothing to do with small and medium enterprisers. 
Struggling private enterprisers or financially restrained business that need financial help are unable to step over the threshold of the bank requirements to get the loans. 
Therefore the Credit Guarantee Fund was established officially aiming to solve these difficulties. 
MP and member of the Standing Committee on Budget, Ts.Davaasuren, the Chairman of Executive board of the Credit Guarantee Fund, G.Kherlen and the Assistant to the Speaker of Parliament Z.Narantuya attended and cut the ribbon at the ceremony for the establishment of the Credit Guarantee Fund. 
Member of the Standing Committee on Budget, Ts.Davaasuren said that "the law on the loan guarantee fund was in answer to a social demand. The Fund has been established now to support small and medium enterprisers who have not enough current assets or who have failed to get a bank loan. I hope the Credit Guarantee Fund will bring reform in the financial sector".
The Government of Mongolia, Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Mongolian Employer's Federation agreed to jointly establish the Credit Guarantee Fund and approved rules for the fund in November 2012. 
Now the Credit Guarantee Fund is open and to run officially. 
The long expected Credit Guarantee Fund will provide collateral of up to 60 percent on a loan. A creditor who has 40 percent in their own collateral can take loans from the bank via the Credit Guarantee Fund using collateral security. 
The Credit Guarantee Fund can provide 250 million MNT collateral for three schemes at once, such as current assets, investment and micro loans.
According to the Executive Director of the Credit Guarantee Fund, Sh.Altankhuyag, it was estimated that the Fund will provide 50 billion MNT collateral in total in the 2013 financial year. Government will cover 100 percent investment for the Fund. 

Minimum wage to increase by 36.7% from September
April 12 ( The Minister of Labor, Yadamsuren Sanjmyatav, has announced the nationwide re-set of the minimum labor wage to 190,000 MNT with an increase of 36.7 percent by September 1st 2013 during a press conference to reporters on Friday April 12th. The minimum labor wage re-set was based on a decision by a three-way negotiation between the labor unions, employers and Government to increase the previous minimum labor wage at 140400 MNT to 190,000 MNT. 
The previous minimum labor wage per hour at 835.71 MNT will be increased to 1142.85 MNT. 
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MPP gains an extra seat in parliament
April 15 (Cover Mongolia) MPP candidate Sumiyabazar, an ex-wrestling champion and the elder brother of retired sumo champion Ashashoryu won the run-off election for Ulaanbaatar's Songinokhairkhan District's 3rd seat over DP candidate Erkhembayar yesterday. News will follow.

Mongolian opposition demands PM's resignation
ULAN BATOR, April 12 (Xinhua) -- The Mongolian opposition has demanded the dismissal of Prime Minister Norov Altanhuyag, claiming he violated the country's constitution.
Twenty-five lawmakers from the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) submitted a letter demanding Altanhuyag's dismissal to Speaker Zandaakhuu Enkhbold on Friday.
The letter said, since the establishment of the new government eight months ago, the country's economy had deteriorated, inflation had increased and foreign investment fallen. It also claimed cronyism was rampant among government officials.
"The prime minister illegally appointed many top officials and dismissed many professional government workers and replaced them with Mongolian Democratic Party members and their relatives," MPP chairman Ulziisaikhan Enkhtuvshin said.
He said Altanhuyag, accompanied by a large number of people, went to worship a mountain on a personal tour and endangered his entourage's lives during a snow storm.
"Finding the prime minister led to the waste of millions of tugrug (Mongolia's currency), this is a very unethical act. For all these, Altanhuyag should be dismissed," Enkhtuvshin said.
Enkhbold said the demand would be discussed by the parliament's standing committee next week.
Under Mongolia's laws and procedures, the issue is to be reviewed by the parliament's standing committee first and then discussed by a full parliamentary session within 14 days.

Ulaanbaatar, April 12 /MONTSAME/ All those who had got lost in snows of the Burkhan Khalduun mountain after having climbed it and were rescued later this Monday will reimburse the money spent for the rescue operation.
"We have to do this because many people are angry that a lot of money of taxpayers were spent on this operation," said Friday N.Iderbat and D.Gantulga, two of those 71 who had been in the mountain together with the Premier.
As the National Emergency management agency (NEMA) says, the rescue operation involved 130 people and 13 vehicles from the Intelligence agency, Ministry of justice, the NEMA and the Health MInistry, and a helicopter. All this costs 14 milion 445 thous. togrog, "and if to divide it to 58 people, each of us is to pay 250 thousand, even the PM himself," they said.
The money will be collected this week and passed to the state emergency committee.
Link to article (click English and try link again)

MPRP marks 1 year anniversary of Enkhbayar arrest with march
April 12 ( Members and supporters of MPRP, Mongolian People`s Revolutionary Party held a yellow flower demonstration on Sukhbaatar square recalling former president, the Head of the party, Nambar Enkhbayar has been jailed for a year after he was arrested last year. 
Demonstrators announced to throw yellow flowers in front of the Court and Prosecutor`s Office during a press conference to reporters on Friday April 12th. 
At the press conference Deputy Prime Minister, D.Terbishdagva, Deputy Speaker L.Tsog, Minister for Finance, Ch.Ulaan, Minister for Health, N.Udval, MP O.Baasankhuu made a joint statement claiming former president Nambar Enkhbayar has been repressed with politically motive. The authorities continue political repression so MPRP has decided to take urgent actions against the repression on the same day of Nambar Enkhbayar`s arrest. 
Senior politicians of MPRP has announced to put flowers to the monument dedicated to the victims of the repressions in Ulaanbaatar and throw yellow flowers to legislatives who failed ruling justice. 

Eagle TV reporter feels the pressure over Bayartsogt
April 13 ( Last month when ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) released French budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac's undisclosed Swiss account he kept insisting on his innocence. Eventually, he was caught, resigned and excluded from the government and now could face 3 years in jail.
In the series of ICIJ releases, Mongolian ex-finance minister, and now, deputy-speaker Mr. Bayartsogt Sangajav was also revealed of his secret BVI company and its' Swiss bank account. After he admitted that he didn't declare those in his income and profit report for over 4 years, required by Mongolian Anti-Corruption Law, Mr. Ulmaa Kh an Eagle TV news anchor covered a comparative story about the French minister and Mr. Bayartsogt S.
He concluded his news coverage by stating that the French minister is behind bars, whereas Mongolian politician is calling for ethical punishment.
It became public after the reporter wrote about his disappointment in his TV station on his Facebook status that the director asked him to not to release or make stories any further regarding Mr. Bayartsogt S.
Eaglet-TV an American invested, pro-Christian, TV station is considered as the most independent and free from political influences among viewers. (Mogi: ownership changed to Bodi Group (Golomt Bank, Foreign Minister Bold, MP Zorigt. It still carries Christian programs, probably due to a deal struck) covered the news previously here.
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ZTE faces Mongolia corruption probe
April 12 (FT) ZTE, the world's fifth-largest telecommunications equipment maker by shipments, is facing a corruption probe in Mongolia, adding to the Chinese company's difficulties as it tries to fend off western suspicions about its government connections.
The management of ZTE is being investigated following the arrest of a Mongolian tax official who handled ZTE's tax affairs, the anti-corruption agency's lead investigation officer, E. Amarbat, said at a press conference.
The Mongolian probe could further damage ZTE's reputation at a time when the Hong Kong-listed, state-owned company is actively seeking to break into western telecoms markets.
ZTE prides itself on its transparency but has had trouble entering some overseas markets due to political opposition.
A US Congress report in October branded ZTE and its larger rival Huawei a national security threat. Both companies rejected the allegations at the time.
Separately, ZTE is being probed by the US Department of Commerce and the FBI for allegedly selling equipment to Iran in violation of trade sanctions. Previously ZTE has fought accusations of corruption in several overseas markets, including Algeria and the Philippines.
In its Mongolian operations, ZTE has previously denied any wrongdoing. In response to questions from the FT in March, a ZTE spokesman wrote: "The company's operations in Mongolia comply with all relevant local and international rules and regulations." ZTE did not respond to written questions about the fresh allegations on Friday.
Mongolia, a landlocked country that is sandwiched between China and Russia, has stepped up its fight against corruption since the election of a new parliament last year. The probe against ZTE was initially triggered by authorities' investigation into the assets of a Mongolian tax official – who has been arrested – and his family. The authorities are also looking at tenders and purchases made by the Mongolian ministry of education, science and culture.
ZTE's previous contracts in Mongolia include a 2004 deal to expand Skytel's CDMA spectrum coverage and a 2005 deal with ICTA of Mongolia to improve infrastructure for international phone calls, according to the company's website.
The group has been trying to transform itself from a telecoms infrastructure equipment maker to a more consumer-facing smartphone maker amid tough competition in the telecoms equipment market.
It expects to make a full-year loss of more than Rmb2.5bn ($400m) for 2012, due to weakness in the handset sector, according to preliminary estimates from the company.

Mogi: was skeptical at first of this article, but later saw MPs elected from the district, Foreign Minister Bold and Culture, Sport and Tourism Minister Oyungerel taking up the matter. Interestingly the Mongolian general involved is the same one who made the jet deal with North Korea
Army Chemists of Tambov City NGO attempted to dump chemical waste in remote district
April 11 ( A local newspaper reported that an attempt wasmade to dump chemical magnesium waste in an abandoned air force base in 1st Khoroo in Bagakhangai district on March 31st. Three trucks loaded with 220 tons of magnesium waste drove at night to the abandoned air force base in the territory of Bagakhangai district at night in an attempt to dump he waste in secret.  
According to the residents report the magnesium waste dump attempt came after an agreement between the director of "Army Chemists of Tambov City" non-governmental organization, L.Bayarsaikhan and the Military commander for Air Attack Protections from the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Brigadier-General T.Dashdeleg, to dump chemical waste at the old air force base. 
Warehouses of the old air force base are not correctly covered so it is unsafe to store chemicals there. The air base is also near to the only reserve of drinking water in Bagakhangai District. 
Residents of the district opposed such illegal action to ensure their security and safe. 
Residents also explained about the military official refusing to consider residents complaints when they signed the secret agreement. The debate weakened after residents` expressed strong objections. 
But the "Army Chemists of Tambov City" non-governmental organization attempted to dump chemicals anyway with no safe packaging or documents of origin at the air base claiming permission had come from the Head of the Natural Resources Department of the Ministry of Environment and Green Development, D.Enkhbat last March. 

The Cabinet announced a housing policy
April 13 ( 23.8% of the entire population and 40% of the Ulaanbaatarers live in apartments with heating and running water. Therefore, the need for more affordable apartments for regular citizens is vital for improving quality of life. The new riches have been investing into the real-estate sector instead of investing in production, services industries or as savings in banks shooting up the price for per square meter. Since 2005, the average apartment price for per square meter in Ulaanbaatar quadrupled from 350 – 500K MNT to 1.6 – 2 million MNT.
One of the main missions for the government is to solve air pollution by solving housing problems. The cabinet charged the Minister of Economic Development and Minister of Construction and Urban Development to organize a 8%  + 1% annual rate 20 year mortgages to the qualified population. The Prime Minister Mr. Altankhuyag stated that the mortgage will not be only limited to the public servants, but to all those who have stable income.
Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Bank of Mongolia and the government on mortgage policy.
We suggested our housing problem solution in the previous editorial comment here.
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Mongolian General Probed for North Korean Jet Deal
April 12 (Ganbat Namjilsangarav for AP) Mongolia's anti-corruption agency is investigating the recently resigned commander of the Mongolian air force for attempting to sell the engines and other parts of old Russian-made jet fighters to North Korea.
Investigators this week confirmed the probe, which had been ongoing, against Brig. Gen. Tojoon Dashdeleg and two private businessmen. The deal to sell the engines and scrap from about 20 disused MiG-21 fighters for $1.5 million dated from 2011. It resurfaced in November when a North Korean envoy complained to Mongolian officials that Pyongyang had paid but never received the parts.
E. Amarbat, the head of the investigative department of the Independent Agency Against Corruption, told reporters Thursday that the general and the businessmen have returned about half the money to North Korea. "However, this does not mean they will receive reduced sentences," Amarbat said at a news conference. He did not elaborate on the possible sentences.
The disputed deal highlights landlocked, democratic Mongolia's role as one of totalitarian, hermetic North Korea's few conduits to the outside world. Close relations date from when both were Soviet allies. During the Korean War, Mongolia supplied horses and food to the North Korean side, and still sends food assistance, mostly livestock. About 5,000 North Koreans work in Mongolia, mostly in construction, farming and textiles, providing needed labor in a manpower-short economy.
It was when Mongolia was hosting diplomatic talks between Japan and North Korea in the capital of Ulan Bator in November that the MiG deal came to the attention of the Mongolian government. According to Mongolian media reports, North Korean envoy Song Il Ho told Mongolian officials, "We want our money back."
Selling the engines and scrap apparently violated a 1979 agreement which prohibited Mongolia from selling or transferring Soviet-made military equipment or hardware to any third country without obtaining approval from the Soviet armed forces. Russian security services refused to give permission for the transfer, but the engines and scrap were shipped to North Korea by way of China but never arrived, Mongolian media reported.
After learning of the investigation earlier this year, Dashdeleg hastily submitted a request to retire and resigned from his position.

Ulaanbaatar Dialogue initiative proposed for Northeast Asian Security
April 12 ( Interview with the National Security and Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Mongolia, Mr. L.Purevsuren
- As tensions continue to escalate on the Korean Peninsula, the situation in Northeast Asia has worsened drastically. How does this tension reflect on Mongolia? 
- In the past few months, situation in Northeast Asia has worsened drastically. Since World War II and the Korean War, countries in the region still have not signed a Peace Treaty. Five out of six countries in Northeast Asia have unresolved conflicts -  island dispute between Japan and China,  nonexistence of a Peace Treaty between Russia and Japan, territorial dispute between Japan and Russia, to name but a few. The relations between the Koreas have been tense and an atmosphere of the Cold War is prevalent between the two countries. However, Mongolia enjoys positive relations with the five countries of the region. The main priority of Mongolia's foreign policy and diplomacy is to create a favorable external environment in line with our sustainable development goals. In this sense, it is Mongolia's duty to expand cooperation within Northeast Asia, to be involved in and contribute to keeping peace and stability in the region. 
It's clear that regional conflicts and wars pose threat to Mongolia's external environment, hence affecting domestic development. Therefore, President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj believes that Mongolia should take the initiative to alleviate the tensions in the region.
- How is the situation between North and South Korea at present?
- Very tense. DPRK has carried out rocket launch test and conducted its third nuclear test. North Korean army has taken further steps to prepare for a military action. The United States declared its readiness to defend its allies, South Korea and Japan, and has deployed military units. Countries have started to worry about the citizens residing in North Korea. On April 5, 2013, the North Korean authorities warned about the safety and security of foreign citizens residing in the country to their respective Embassies. At present, over 30 Mongolian citizens are in North Korea and the President of Mongolia pays close attention to their safety. 
If a war emerges, the issue of Mongolian citizens residing not only in North Korea, but also in South Korea will arise, won't it?
Of course. In the recent years, the number of Mongolians working and living in South Korea has declined to 22.000. Seoul, where many Mongolians live and study, is located a mere 50-60 km from the nation's border. Thus, we're paying close attention to this issue as well. However, international experts have concluded that a war will not emerge so fast. The Embassies of the European Union and the Russian Federation believe that at present, there's no need to call back their staff. Our country is doing the same, closely observing the situation.
- Recently, the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe visited Mongolia. Did he exchange views on the Northeast Asia situation?
-During the Prime Minister's visit, the focus of the visit was our bilateral relations. In addition, discussions about regional security were also held. Mongolia's role is crucial in this respect. Last year, Japan and North Korea meetings were held twice in Ulaanbaatar, under the auspices of the President of Mongolia. As a result of the meeting, it was clear that Mongolia has the potential to play a substantial role in discussions on security and peace. On the other hand, Mongolia gained experience through facilitating the meetings. 
Considering the importance of regional security of Northeast Asia for Mongolia, the President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj proposed the "Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on the Northeast Asian Security" initiative to Prime Minister Abe during his visit to Mongolia. The Prime Minister stated that it would consider and study the proposed initiative. We will discuss further about the initiative with the countries of the region.  As a country which maintains friendly relations with the five countries of Northeast Asia, Mongolia has the potential to play a key role in the matter. On the other hand, there is also the Six-Party Talks. Since it has come to a standstill, Mongolia can provide its support and make contribution to promoting regional peace and security talks. 
In other words, Mongolia can be the country to settle peace in Northeast Asia?
As I mentioned before, Mongolia maintains friendly relations with the other five countries in Northeast Asia. Therefore, President Elbegdorj has made the abovementioned initiative as a way of actively participating in promoting and contributing to regional peace and security.

Japan and Mongolia Held the First Joint Committee Concerning the Joint Crediting Mechanism
Full Operation of the Joint Crediting Mechanism is to be Launched
April 12 (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Ministry of Environment, Japan) --
On April 11, 2013, Japan and Mongolia held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the first Japan-Mongolia Joint Committee concerning the Joint Crediting Mechanism (hereinafter called the "JCM"). In the committee, both sides adopted basic rules, guidelines, and other directions concerning the JCM.
Japan and Mongolia are to launch full operation of the JCM.
<![if !supportLists]>1.    <![endif]>On April 11, 2013, Japan and Mongolia held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the first Japan-Mongolia Joint Committee concerning the JCM. People involved from the Ministry of Environment and Green Development, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Development and others from the Mongolia side, and those from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and others from the Japan side, attended the committee.
<![if !supportLists]>2.    <![endif]>The committee was held based on the bilateral document that was signed on January 8, 2013, by Mr. Takenori Shimizu, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Mongolia, and Ms. Sanjaasuren Oyun, Minister for Environment and Green Development of Mongolia, and is the first partnership of the signing of a JCM for Japan. In the committee, both sides adopted basic rules, guidelines, and other directions concerning the JCM. These documents are to be available at the following website: (in Japanese)
<![if !supportLists]>3.    <![endif]>Japan will contribute to international efforts to prevent global warming by facilitating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Mongolia through full operation of the JCM.
Reference 1: Joint Crediting Mechanism
The Joint Crediting Mechanism is a program in which Japan's contribution to reduction and absorption of greenhouse gas emissions in partner countries through transferring Japan's low-carbon technology and products is calculated and evaluated as credits for contribution. Currently, MOFA, METI, and MOE are jointly proceeding with bilateral negotiations with countries that are interested in the mechanism. This Japan-Mongolia partnership is the first partnership signed by Japan for this purpose.
Reference 2: Outline of the bilateral document (signed on January 8, 2013)
To promote the Low Carbon Development Partnership between Japan and Mongolia, both countries will establish the JCM and also create a joint committee to operate the JCM.
Both countries mutually recognize that reduction/removal or absorption of emissions under the JCM can be used as a part of their own internationally pledged greenhouse gases mitigation efforts.
Both countries ensure the transparency and the environmental integrity of the JCM, and do not use it for the purpose of any other international climate mitigation mechanism.

Turkish minister opens Ankara Blvd in Mongolia's capital
April 12 (World Bulletin) Erdogan met with the Mongolian President over breakfast in Ulan Bator on Friday, as Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc held the inauguration of Ankara Boulevard in Ulan Bator. 
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday visited the Tonyukuk Stele, some of the oldest inscriptions of the Turkic world, in Ulan Bator.
Erdogan met with the Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj over breakfast in Ulan Bator on Friday.
After the one-hour breakfast, Erdogan proceeded to the region where the Tonyukuk Stele are present.
Mongolian officials provided information to Erdogan on the inscriptions.
Prime Minister Erdogan later inaugurated the Konya Culture Center and Mosque, constructed by the joint efforts of the Turkish International Cooperation Agency (TIKA) and the Dosteli Association.
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, Prime Minister Erdogan performed Friday's prayers at the mosque.
Ankara Boulevard opens in Ulan Bator
Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc has held the inauguration of Ankara Boulevard in the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator.
After completing talks in Kyrgyzstan, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan proceeded to Ulan Bator to hold meetings with Mongolian officials on Thursday and Arinc is accompanying Erdogan during his visit.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony at the Ataturk Primary School which is on the newly opened Ankara Boulevard, Arinc said that he is proud to hold the opening of the boulevard.
The environmental planning and asphalt pavement of the boulevard have been completed by Turkey's International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) and Ankara Metropolitan Municipality.
Arinc thanked Mongolian officials, TIKA and Ankara Metropolitan Municipality for their efforts and said, "The boulevard is important for us from another point of view is that, there is Ataturk Primary School. The school used to be named the 5th School but now the name of Ataturk --founder of Turkey-- has been given, which makes us prideful."

April 12 (InfoMongolia) On April 11, 2013, following the meeting with Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag, Premier of the Republic of Turkey Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan was received by the Speaker of the State Great Khural (Parliament) Z.Enkhbold.
At the beginning of the meeting Speaker Z.Enkhbold expressed his interest to develop mutual cooperation in all potential sectors, in particular to partner more effectively in economical and social spheres.
Since his first visit to Mongolia in 2005, Ulaanbaatar has been changed and developed greatly noted Premier and said it was good to see these changes achieved in such short period, and further expressed his willingness to increase Turkish investments into Mongolia, where the trade turnover between the two countries was 36.4 million USD in 2011, of which Mongolia's export estimated at 356 thousand USD and import made 36 million USD.
Speaker Z.Enkhbold underlined that at the initiation of the Prime Minister R.T.Erdogan, the 46 km paved road was constructed from Mongolia's ancient capital Kharkhorin to Khoshoo Tsaidam area of Khashaat sum, Arkhangai Aimag, under the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TICA) sponsorship, where a project to restore Turkic Era Monuments and historical items is being implemented.
Also, Speaker mentioned to jointly re-construct an airport in Kharkhorin sum of Uvurkhangai Aimag, which was discussed during the latter Turkey-Mongolia intergovernmental commission meeting and develop it into international level. By implementing this project it would able to conduct direct flight from Kharkhorin via Ulaanbaatar to Istanbul, where citizens of Turkey will be provided with an opportunity to visit their ancestors' historical site, meantime to develop the tourism sector of the two countries.
In response, Premier R.T.Erdogan confirmed to collaborate in the project of establishing international-level airport in Kharkhorin and voiced that Turkish Airline is planning to conduct a daily flight to Mongolia.

Belarus, Mongolia to deepen all-round cooperation
MINSK, 12 April (BelTA) – Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei has met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus on concurrent Doloonjin Idevkhten whose diplomatic mission is nearing completion, BelTA learnt from the press service of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry. 
Vladimir Makei praised the efforts of the Mongolian diplomat to intensify Belarus-Mongolia ties. The parties agreed that Belarus and Mongolia need to expand and deepen the bilateral cooperation across all the areas. 
The diplomatic relations between Belarus and Mongolia were established on 24 January 1992. In 2012 the Belarusian export to Mongolia was estimated at $112 million (with the growth rate at 144.8% against 2011). Belarus' major exports included oil products ($84.3 million, up four times), vehicles and farm machines ($21 million), foodstuffs, wallpaper and drugs. In 2012 Belarus started exporting cranes ($115,000), footwear ($91,000), and cotton fabric with chemical fiber ($71,000). Belarus' export to Mongolia consists of over 110 commodity items.

China, FAO-sponsored agricultural project popular in Mongolia
ULAN BATOR, April 11 (Xinhua) -- An agriculture cooperation project sponsored by China has proved popular in Mongolia.
Jargal, head of the South-South Cooperation project, said Thursday the scheme, supported by both countries and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, had achieved significant results since it was launched three years ago.
The project was welcomed by local Mongolians, he told an agriculture forum here, adding the Mongolian government would travel to China to seek a second phase of the project.
The program focuses on joint development of Mongolia's food safety and promoting its green agriculture and animal husbandry.
It has offered training and study tours for hundreds of Mongolian technicians, provided agricultural equipment and sent Chinese technicians to Mongolia.
It has also served as a platform for business cooperation between the two countries in agriculture.
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Social, Environmental and Other
Documentary brings Mongolian hip hop to the silver screen in Nelson
April 14 (Nelson Star) When you picture Mongolia, you probably think of the traditional herders and nomads.
Filmmaker and former Nelsonite Benj Binks wanted to challenge that view. In 2006, he brought a film crew to the Central-Asian country to interview budding hip hop artists and find out what it means to be a young Mongolian today.
The result is the feature-length documentary Mongolian Bling, which has its Canadian premiere tonight in Toronto and will be screened in Nelson on Wednesday.
Binks, an Australian who lived in Nelson for a couple ski seasons, finished the film last year and is now promoting it at festivals and screenings around the world.
"It's my first film and I like to be there at the screening to see how the audience responds to it," he says.
Few films have been made about modern Mongolia, much less its music scene. The country was under communist rule until the early-90s and music was heavily censored. Only after democracy came has hip hop been able to thrive.
Binks interviewed the country's first female rapper and a variety of hip hop artists who are gaining a strong following among young Mongolians. Those artists are now getting noticed by Western audiences, thanks to the film.
"Gennie [the female rapper] has been getting posts on her Facebook wall from people who discovered her through Mongolian Bling and want to know where they can get her music," Binks says. "A lot of people don't realize there's hip hop music in Mongolia and with this film being seen by predominantly non-Mongolian audiences, it's helping the artists get discovered elsewhere."
Fliks presents Mongolian Bling at the Capitol Theatre on Wednesday, April 17 at 7 p.m. Binks will be on hand to answer questions following the film. Tickets are $10. The Light Thief will also screen that night at 9 p.m.

Mongolia and Italy to cooperate on preserving cultural heritage
April 14 (UB Post) Within the framework of the project, "Strengthening the Fight against the Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Objects," carried out by Interpol and UNESCO, the specialists and officials of relevant ministries and agencies are attending a training session in Rome, Italy, to learn about and from the experiences of the Cultural Heritage Protection Department at Carabinieri, the National Military Police of Italy. The training is being conducted from April 9 to April 12.
The legislative organizations of Italy have accumulated a great deal of knowledge in preserving the country's cultural heritage and in fighting against the illicit trafficking of cultural objects. The government of Mongolia is attaching great significance in expanding mutual cooperation with the government of Italy in these matters.
The Italian Carabinieri's Department of Cultural Heritage Protection significantly contributed in the operation to transfer the Tyrannosaurus Bataar skeleton from the United States to Mongolia.

Cover Mongolia
Cover Mongolia Fundraising Proposals
Dear subscribers,
Here are 3 fundraising ideas I'm launching:
<![if !supportLists]>1)    <![endif]>Donation Scheme for Individuals: To pilot the donation scheme starting in the near future. I will set up a PayPal account for anyone residing overseas, and a local bank account for individuals residing in Mongolia.
<![if !supportLists]>a.     <![endif]>Starting from May, I would run two different versions of the newswire. One to donors the current version, and a cut version to non-donors. A cut version would mean just the headlines and first few paragraphs with no links.
<![if !supportLists]>b.    <![endif]>Donations could be on a quarterly basis
<![if !supportLists]>2)    <![endif]>Banner Advertising: Also, I'm proposing an opportunity to advertise on the newswire as well. A top banner as you see above and 6 Middle Banners seen below, positioned between sections 1. Overseas Market 2. Domestic Market 3. Economy 4. Politics 5. Business 6. Diplomacy and 7. Social, Environmental, Others. Pricing proposals could be:
<![if !supportLists]>a.     <![endif]>50,000 per issue for Top Banner,
<![if !supportLists]>b.    <![endif]>₮45,000 per issue for Middle Banner 1,
<![if !supportLists]>c.     <![endif]>40,000 per issue for Middle Banner 2,
<![if !supportLists]>d.    <![endif]>35,000 per issue for Middle Banner 3,
<![if !supportLists]>e.    <![endif]>30,000 per issue for Middle Banner 4,
<![if !supportLists]>f.      <![endif]>25,000 per issue for Middle Banner 5, and
<![if !supportLists]>g.    <![endif]>20,000 per issue for Middle Banner 6
<![if !supportLists]>3)    <![endif]>Corporate Subscription: Since the newswire is going to be split into a full and a cut version, I thought perhaps this would create an incentive for individuals to convince their companies to pay for the subscription. Pricing scheme could be in the range of 100,000-500,000 a month depending on company size and relevance of my newswire to their business.
<![if !supportLists]>a.     <![endif]>Best way for companies to take it would be: Wouldn't it be much more expensive than 500,000 to hire a person to do this type of market research?

Mogi Munkhdul Badral Bontoi
Cover Mongolia
Mobile: +976 9999 6779
Skype: mogibb
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