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Mongolia Replaces Its Oyu Tolgoi Board Members Amid Dispute
By Michael Kohn
September 3 (Bloomberg) Rio Tinto Group (RIO)'s Oyu Tolgoi venture, a $6.6 billion copper and gold project in Mongolia, replaced three board members as it seeks to break an impasse with the country's government over financing for the mine.
The new directors are Davaadorj Ganbold, executive director at project partner Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi LLC, Ganzorig Temuulen, deputy director of parent company Erdenes MGL LLC, and Chuluuntseren Otgochuluu, director-general of the Ministry of Mining's Department of Strategic Policy and Planning, Ganbold said today by telephone from Ulaanbaatar.
Progress at Oyu Tolgoi has stalled as the partners discuss how to finance a $5 billion expansion. Mongolia, which controls 34 percent, claims cost overruns are delaying future dividends and wants the mine's underground extension funded with revenue from concentrate sales until disagreements are resolved. That's been a subject of debate with Rio, which manages the project through its 51 percent ownership of Turquoise Hill Resources (TRQ).
Deliveries of copper concentrate from the mine's open pit began in July. Oyu Tolgoi plans to export 300,000 metric tons of the material this year, gaining $1 billion in revenue, Mining Minister Davaajav Gankhuyag said in August. While open-pit works continue, the dispute has led to the halt of underground construction and the layoff of about 1,700 workers last month.
"We have an intention to move this project forward, otherwise I would not accept this position," said Ganbold, who was hired by Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi on Aug. 19. "The problems are serious and the investment is large, I don't know how long it will take to resolve these problems."
The three outgoing directors are Puntsag Tsagaan, Chuluun Ganbold and Natsag Bagabandi. A fourth Mongolian national, Galsan Batsukh, remains as chairman of the board (Mogi: Batsukh is a RIO appointee).
Changes may also come from the Rio side. Cameron McRae, the chief executive officer of Oyu Tolgoi LLC, plans to vacate the CEO position by the end of his three-year contract in November, a person with knowledge of the matter said in July.
Illtud Harri, a spokesman for Rio Tinto in London, didn't immediately respond to calls and an e-mail seeking comment.
Turquoise Hill owns 66 percent of the mine in the Gobi Desert.
SouthGobi Resources Appoints Bold Baatar as Non-Executive Director
HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - Sept. 3, 2013) -- SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX:SGQ)(HKSE:1878) ("SouthGobi" or the "Company") today announced the appointment of Bold Baatar as a non-executive director of the Company effective immediately.
Mr. Bold Baatar, 40, currently serves as the President, International Operations of Rio Tinto Copper group. Prior to joining Rio Tinto, Mr. Baatar was CEO of Golden East LLC, a gold exploration and mining company in Mongolia. Previously, Mr. Baatar was CEO of Newcom, where he managed and built a diverse investment portfolio across the telecom, airline, property management, mining services and renewable energy sectors. He held senior-level positions with JP Morgan in London, Moscow and New York, where he acquired extensive experience in the mergers, acquisitions and divestment arena. Mr. Baatar holds a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree from Mongolian Technical University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, US. Mr. Baatar is Chair of the Board of the Mongolian National Mining Association and a member of the Executive Board of Business Council of Mongolia.
Mr. Baatar has not held any directorships in publicly listed companies in the past three years. Mr. Baatar owns no shares or options in the Company or in Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. ("Turquoise Hill"), the Company's majority shareholder, and no shares or options in Rio Tinto, Turquoise Hill's majority shareholder.
There is no specific term or proposed length of services for Mr. Baatar's appointment, but he is subject to retirement and re-election at annual general meeting of the Company in accordance with the article of continuation of the Company. Mr. Baatar does not have any relationship with any other directors, senior management, substantial or controlling shareholders of the Company other than as disclosed above. Save as disclosed above, there is no other information relating to the appointment of the Mr. Baatar as a non-executive director that is required to be disclosed pursuant to Rule 13.51(2)(h) to (v) of the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the "Listing Rules") nor any matters that need to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the Company. Save as disclosed above, the new non-executive director does not have any interest in the shares of the Company within the meaning of part XV of the Securities and Future Ordinance.
As a non-executive director, Mr. Baatar will receive a fee of C$25,000 per annum and C$1,500 per in-person meeting attended and C$600 per conference call meeting attended. He will also receive a travel allowance of C$2,000 per round-trip in excess of four hours travel time. As Mr. Baatar is an employee of Rio Tinto, the majority shareholder of Turquoise Hill, his fees are payable to Rio Tinto.
Mongolia Growth Group gets in as a ground floor investor in economy that is set to boom
September 3 (Proactive Investors) Mongolia is the Asian Tiger that seems ready to pounce. The Asiatic nation composed of a massive land patch peopled by a tiny population and mighty mineral assets is set to assume the mantle of the next powerhouse Asian economy, according to industry watchers. Harris Kupperman, CEO of Mongolia Growth Group (MGG) (CVE:YAK) (OTC:MNGGF), will be right there to capitalize on the boom to come in the form of judiciously acquired property.
Kupperman, who came to Mongolia with years behind him as a hedge fund manager, says he sees the country as a "frontier market," in the mould of Dubai around 1970 or Saudi Arabia around 1940 and thus an opportunity that those in on the ground floor– like Mongolia Growth Group -- are set to make the most of.
Much of the former Soviet bloc nation's wealth is traceable to the newfound mineral prospects and the foreign interest that attends to those: for example, the Oyu Tolgoi mine, a combined open pit and underground mining project in the south of the country, is being developed as a joint venture between mining giants Rio Tinto and Turquoise Hill Resources with the participation of the nation's government.
With estimates that the site contains roughly 46 billion pounds of copper and 25 million ounces of gold in the measured and indicated resource category, that one project alone is set to be the engine of tremendous growth for years to come. The mine is expected to account for almost a third of the nation's GDP upon completion, according to some estimates.
It is this kind of rapid economic expansion that has conferred on the nation the distinction of the fastest growing economy in the region.
"We think Mongolia is going to go from mineral exports of $2 billion in 2010 to between $20 billion and $80 billion in exports in 2020; and we think GDP will go from $10 billion today to around $50 billion in 2020," says Kupperman.
"This means that over a seven year period, the GDP is going to soar. As an investor, I found that very interesting and exciting and we therefore decided to build a company to put our own capital at work."
MGG's strategy is to buy high quality retail locations on the main streets along with new structures just off the main streets, while at the same time focusing on the accumulation of properties for redevelopment. Typically, the company concentrates its real estate investment efforts on the downtown area of Ulaanbaatar, the nation's capital and also its biggest city, as geographical features and traffic circumstances conspire to make the location of property even more important than usual.
The Thunder Bay-based company raised $51 million, "all through friends of [theirs]," for what is still the only institutional property investor in Mongolia.
"We've seen lots of guys make 10 or 20 times their money in a frontier market over a decade or two; they've become billionaires really by investing early. We wanted to put our own money to work in Mongolia as investors."
The company, which has $5 million still available to invest and "no immediate need for cash", is owned about 30 per cent by management and board members, with the rest owned by mutual and hedge funds. Of the 3,000 retail shareholders, many are Mongolians, meaning, Kupperman says, that locals are aware of what the company is doing and are drawn to it as well.
"We're a property company, which makes it lower risk than most investments you could make and we do focus on cash flow and eventually paying a yield to investors. It's an interesting investment for people who believe in what Mongolia's doing.
Specifically, MGG takes what seems like a foolproof approach to the coming boom-times, which, if history is any guide, is set to filter down to the average Mongolian, who is in turn likely to suddenly find themselves in possession of more disposable income and more retail purchasing power than ever before. "In terms of business plan, we've looked at other frontier markets throughout history – places with small populations that have had resource booms; we looked at Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait -- and it seems that what you want to do is go to the largest city, which in Mongolia is the capital, go to the heart of downtown and try to buy the best property you can."
A lack of roads in the city and the concentration of traffic on the single two lane street that cuts through the nation's capital can make a commute of about 10 km from the fringes of the city to the downtown take more than 2 hours. This factor, coupled with the fact that Ulan Bator is hemmed in on two sides by mountains that restrict expansion renders a concentration of downtown development likely, meaning that territory in the centre of the city is to come at a premium.
"We have a very heavy focus on ground floor retail. We assume that this boom in commodities will be a huge benefit to the average Mongolian and the standard of living will increase substantially, and if that happens, they will have disposable income – a little shop today will be an Armani store in five years as we like to say."
Also in the offing for the company, Kupperman adds, is a number of "very valuable" development sites they own downtown in the capital.
"Over the next couple of years, we hope to develop some of those sites ourselves and with partners, and build the next generation of international-standard buildings that all Mongolians can be proud of."
After only two and a half years "of really huge success" in Mongolia, the company has already grown to 104 employees, half of which are employed in the insurance arm, which is on the verge of being sold off, "to make a pure play property company."
The market is already heating up, Kupperman says. "In the two years I've been there, we've seen property prices go up over 20 per cent each year. This is just the start."
On MGG's side is Mongolia's status as a highly urbanized nation, with just under half of the population– roughly 1.4 million of a total population based of about 3 million -- resident in Ulaanbaatar. Many of these residents are new additions to the city, having moved there in the last 10 years.
Recent difficulties experienced by mining companies have made headlines, but Kupperman asserts that resource extraction is a special case, and says in his experience, conditions are good for free-marketeers. "Mongolians are very pro-Western, very pro-free market -- they do everything possible to attract foreign capital. We're very happy with Mongolia and the Mongolian people."
"Mongolia is the biggest story no-one's talking about."
Prima Fluorspar Corp. Enters Into LOI to Acquire Controlling Interest in a Mongolian Fluorspar Mining Company Resulting in an RTO by Affiliates of Firebird Management LLC
TORONTO, Sept. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - Prima Fluorspar Corp. (TSX-V:PF) ("Prima" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that on August 30, 2013 it entered into a non-binding letter of intent with three funds managed by affiliates of New York-based Firebird Management LLC ("Firebird"), to negotiate the purchase of holding companies through which Firebird controls it 99.8% ownership stake in Berkh Uul JSC (Mongolian Stock Exchange: BEU; Bloomberg code: BEU MO; "Berkh Uul"), which owns the high grade, large resource Delgerkhan fluorspar mine ("Delgerkhan") in the Khentii Province of Mongolia. The transaction, which will be at arm's length, assuming that final terms are agreed to by both parties, the execution of binding agreements, and that all conditions precedent to closing are met, would result in Firebird acquiring a controlling stake in Prima, which would emerge as a significant fluorspar company with a diversified portfolio of fluorspar assets. The transaction will be considered a reverse takeover (RTO) of Prima by Firebird, and will result in Prima's stock being halted from trading until TSX Venture Exchange conditions have been met.
- Historic high grade fluorspar asset with an indicated resource of 6.6 million tonnes @ 33.7% CaF2 and an inferred resource of 3 million tonnes @ 33.7% CaF2;
- China, Berkh Uul's target market is expected to be a net importer of fluorspar which will support attractive long term fluorspar market fundamentals;
- Prima's 100%-owned Liard Fluorspar Property ("Liard") a development property in British Columbia, Canada provides geographic diversification while maintaining pure-play fluorspar exposure; and
- Experienced management team and strong industry partnerships set to drive rapid process execution.
The transaction will be subject to various conditions, including but not limited to:
- Indicative valuations being performed on each of the Berkh Uul project and Prima, and Prima to issue shares for the Berkh Uul fluorspar assets; the terms and agreements of each are to be negotiated;
- Prima required to raise a minimum of $6,000,000 in financing for the Berkh Uul project;
- Prima shareholders to approve transaction before closing; and,
- TSX-V Exchange approval.
President and CEO of Prima, Robert Bick commented, "As a result of a disciplined sourcing approach, we identified the Berkh Uul as an ideal acquisition target. This transaction provides the potential for Prima to become a near-term producer. The consolidation of the Delgerkhan mine in Mongolia with our Liard Fluorspar Property in Canada will position Prima as a potential global fluorspar producer and supplier."
Firebird Management LLC
Berkh Uul is super-majority owned by affiliates of Firebird Management LLC, a New York-based, SEC-registered private American company that manages four private funds dedicated to investment in equities of publicly traded companies operating in Russia and early stage Eastern European countries, as well as two global portfolio equity funds and two funds dedicated to local Mongolian securities.
The net cumulative return for the Firebird Fund since inception in 1994 is 4,543% and a net cumulative return since inception in 1996 of 2,357% for the Firebird New Russia Fund.
Berkh Uul JSC
Berkh Uul is a Mongolian-based fluorspar resource company established in 1954 with six mining licenses in jurisdictions displaying a significant presence of fluorspar. The most prolific is the Delgerkhan mine which was actively mined from the early 1980's to 2008. A technical report resource estimation prepared by Micromine Proprietary Limited ("Micromine") completed in August 2012, which stated that it was prepared in compliance with NI 43-101, reported an indicated resource of 6.6 million tonnes @ 33.7% CaF(2) and an inferred resource of 3 million tonnes @ 33.7% CaF(2.)
Berkh Uul has been listed on the Mongolian Stock Exchange ("MSE") since 2006 under the symbol BEU. Firebird acquired a controlling stake in Berkh Uul in 2011.
Reopening the Delgerkhan Mine
The Delgerkhan mine is currently being prepared to reopen with initial production expected in 2014 with annual production targeted at approximately 120,000 tonnes. Relative to other fluorspar assets, and based on historical data, Delgerkhan has the potential to be one of the highest grade producing fluorspar mines in the world. Upon completion of this acquisition Prima is positioned to be a significant fluorspar producer. In addition to reopening the Delgerkhan Mine, Prima will continue to advance development of its flagship Canadian asset, the Liard Fluorspar Property.
Historical Data Regarding the Delgerkhan Fluorspar Mine: The Micromine technical report is very recent and no additional work has been done on the Berkh Uul properties since the completion of the report. We therefore consider that the report is very reliable and very relevant. However, as the report was not prepared for Prima, it is required under NI 43-101 to be updated and until then, we are not treating the historical estimate as current mineral resources or mineral reserves.
Non-Brokered Private Placement for Liard Fluorspar Project
Prima has arranged a non-brokered private placement financing of up to 10,000,000 Units (the "Units") of the Company at a price of $0.10 per Unit for gross proceeds of $1,000,000. Each Unit will consist of one common share and one common share purchase warrant ("Warrant"). Each Warrant will be exercisable into one common share at $0.15 for a period of 24 months from closing.
The Company also announces a private placement financing of up to 8,333,333 flow-through units (the "FT Units") of the Company at a price of $0.12 per FT Unit for gross proceeds of $1,000,000. Each FT Unit will consist of one flow-through common share and one half non flow-through common share purchase warrant. Each whole warrant, (a "Warrant") will be exercisable into one common share at $0.18 for a period of 12 months from closing.
Proceeds from the private placements will be used to conduct exploration on the Company's Liard Fluorspar property and for general working capital.
The private placements remain subject to the final acceptance of the TSX Venture Exchange (the "TSXv"). Finder's fees may be payable in accordance with the policies of the TSXv. The securities issued will be subject to a four-month hold period.
In conjunction with the proposed transaction, Prima has agreed to the issuance of 200,000 stock options to a metallurgist and mining engineer that has been engaged to assist in the completion of due diligence on the Delgerkhan property. The stock options have an exercise price of $0.10, vest on December 20, 2013 and expire on August 20, 2018.
Fluorspar is the commercial name for fluorite (CaF(2) ). It is an industrial material that is primarily used in the production of hydrofluoric acid, fluorocarbons, (aerosols, refrigerants etc.), fluoropolymers (Teflon), aluminum smelting, steel production, and the refinement of petroleum, uranium and concrete.
The worldwide market for fluorspar is estimated at $2.4 billion. China is currently the global leader in fluorspar production and consumption. However, China has been steadily decreasing its exports of fluorspar leaving the global supply constrained. Europe and the US Department of Defence have designated fluorspar as a strategic commodity due to projected long term supply shortfalls, which have created an attractive opportunity for new entrants in the industry to fill the deficit.
Highlights about Prima's Liard Fluorspar Property
Liard has the potential to become a major supplier of Fluorspar to the USA and Canada, both strategic markets for Fluorspar with limited access to supply. There are currently no commercial fluorspar producers in Canada or the United States. Furthermore, there are no other fluorspar companies with near term cash flow in Canada or United States.
- 3.2 million tonnes at an average grade of 32% fluorspar; Mineralization at surface, quarry mining potential;
- 30 km strike length;
- Metallurgical Testing: 97% CaF2;
- 22,500 ha (55,000 acres), 100%-owned claims; and
- Easy access, on the Alaska Highway in British Columbia
Historical Data Regarding the Liard Fluorspar Property
Prima Fluorspar Corp. has not undertaken an independent verification to classify the historic resource estimate quoted from a Mineral Potential Compilation Report for the BC Department of Economic Development, written by Wright Engineers Limited and H.N. Halvorson Consultants Ltd., in January 17, 1975 as a current mineral resource. Neither has Prima independently verified the results of the previous exploration work. Therefore, the historical mineral resource should not be relied upon, but the issuer believes the information to be relevant and reasonably reliable. An unknown quantity of the 3.2 million tonnes is on mineral claims outside of the current Liard Fluorspar Property. However, based on the information available, the majority of the estimate is based on the deposits located on Prima's Liard Fluorspar Property. The key assumptions, parameters and methods of the resource estimate are unknown at this time. New deposit definition drilling is needed to develop a current resource estimate on the property. Prima believes that these historical mineral resources provide a conceptual indication of the potential of the property and are relevant to ongoing exploration.
Prima is positioned to become a major global fluorspar producer and supplier through development and acquisition of leading fluorspar assets. With the completion of the Berkh Uul acquisition Prima will be the only publically traded Fluorspar company in Canada or United States with near term cash flow potential.
Jacob Securities Inc. is acting as financial advisor to Prima on the transaction and Clark Wilson LLP is acting as legal counsel to Prima.
Jacob Securities Inc. subject to completion of satisfactory due diligence, has agreed to act as sponsor to Prima in connection with the transaction. An agreement to sponsor should not be construed as any assurance with respect to the merits of the transaction or the likelihood of completion.
Completion of the transaction is subject to a number of conditions, including Exchange acceptance and Shareholder approval. The transaction cannot close until the required Shareholder approval is obtained. There can be no assurance that the transaction will be completed as proposed or at all. Investors are cautioned that, except as disclosed in the Management Information Circular to be prepared in connection with the transaction, any information released or received with respect to the RTO may not be accurate or complete and should not be relied upon. Trading in the securities of Prima Resources Corp. should be considered highly speculative.
975 closed +1.91% on Wednesday to HK$1.6
Credit Suisse cuts Mongolian Mining to HK$1.2
[ET Net News Agency, 3 September 2013] Credit Suisse cut its target price for Mongolian Mining Corporation (MMC)(00975) to HK$1.2 from HK$1.3, and maintained its "underperform" rating. The research house said MMC's cash balance was US$129mn at end of 1H. While major debt principal is due after 2015, cash may still dry down to US$50mn in 2H for debt and interest repayment. MMC needs to stretch its cash position by extending certain debt and collecting government reimbursement on railway/paved road.
Credit Suisse revised its estimates for 2013 to net loss of US$39mn and for 2014 to net profit of US$4mn (from net profit of US$9mn in 2013 and US$50mn in 2014) to reflect lower assumptions for coal prices and sales volumes.
NatSec MSE Trading News, 3 September: Top 20 +0.53%, Turnover ₮29.7 Million
September 3 (National Securities) At the MSE on September 3rd, the TOP-20 Index ended +0.53% at 13,846.93. A total of 76,214 shares were traded at a value of 29.7m MNT. Of the companies that traded today, half were un-changed, 5 companies were up and 6 companies were down.
UB BUK (BUK), whose main product is iron concrete and it is used mostly in housing, was the biggest gainer as it rallied up +14.42% to 23,000 MNT. Undurkhaan (ONH), an agri play, closed down -14.29% to 5,400 MNT. The most actively traded share was Remicon (RMC), which produces 5 types of concrete. It's price edged up 1.08% to 180 MNT. 73,704 shares were traded with a value of 13.2m MNT. The company's market capitalization was 14.1 billion MNT.
Please click here to see the detailed news
Montsame MSE News, 4 September: Top 20 +0.34%, Turnover ₮7.4 Million
Ulaanbaatar, September 4 /MONTSAME/ At the Stock Exchange trades held Wednesday, a total of two thousand and 557 shares of 12 JSCs were traded costing MNT seven million 413 thousand and 279.00.
Rates of shares of four companies increased, of two decreased and share price of six were stable.
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 335 billion 629 million 422 thousand and 861. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 13,912.29, increasing by 46.54 per cent (Mogi: points) against the previous day.
FRC Gives Notices to 36 Companies
September 4 (MSE) According to the joint examination for listed companies conducted by the Financial Regulatory Commission and Mongolian Stock Exchange in 2008, it was decided to suspend securities trading of 165 companies that failed to meet its legal obligation or violated the legal acts, In August 2013, 57 companies were delisted from MSE while 36 companies were obligated to improve their operations.
These 36 companies have attempted to perform their legal duties in recent years. However, they have not permanently complied with the main laws and regulations, such as the Securities Market Law, the Company Law, the Trading and Listing Rules of the MSE as well as the listing requirements, and the principles of corporate governance. Furthermore, their securities trading has been suspended. It affects not only the shareholders' rights, but also the stock market development.
Therefore, these companies are obliged to convene their shareholders meeting and decide either to recover their operation or reorganize the company and afterwards submit the decision along with the request before 1st December, 2013.
JSC that noticed to improve their operations:
No Company Name
2 Torgon Ur
3 Devshil Mandal
4 Dornod Noos
7 Dornod Khuns
8 Ikh Uusgel
9 Kherlen Khivs
10 Darkhan Impex
11 Urgun Khereglee
12 Selenge Ar Khuvch
13 Ulzii Dundgovi
15 Altai Khan.material
16 Ariljaa Impex
17 Dar Zam
19 Khorgo Khairkhan
20 Mongol EEG
21 Dornod Teever
22 Uujim Khangai
23 Mandal Orgil
25 Chandmani Dundgovi
26 Erdenet Auto Zam
29 Sumber Ulzii
31 Selenge Dulaankhan
32 Dornod Impex
33 Selenge Impex
34 Teever Tuv
36 Gan teerem
LSE's Head of Global Business Development Visits MSE
September 4 (MSE) Based on the resolution no.11 from 2010 by Mongolian Parliament and the resolution no.115 from 2010 by Mongolian Government, State Property Committee, London Stock Exchange Group and Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE) concluded "Master Service Agreement" in April 2011 for 3 years to develop the market and started the work of reform. Within the framework of "Master Service Agreement", we have achieved substantial goals such as reformed market rule and regulations, launched Millennium IT integrated trading platform, shifted securities clearing and settlement system from pre-placing payment system, about 120 personnel's have been trained.
Within the framework of the Agreement, we have implemented Millenium IT system, a system used in over 30 stock exchanges and financial institutions of 20 countries, reviewed the market laws and regulations, shifted the securities clearing and settlement system to T+3 post paid system from prepaid one as well as organized the training for market professionals.
During August 27th to August 30th 2013, Head of Global Business Development of London Stock Exchange Group Antonella Amadei paid a visit to Mongolian Stock Exchange and met related government officials and market participants and shared their opinions and suggestions to develop domestic capital market. During the meeting, she expressed her confidence on forming long-term partnership with MSE and expanding the mutual cooperation and also noted that there is a wide development opportunities for Mongolian capital market.
MSE Accepts Brokers' Association's Request for Audit
September 4 (MSE) Based on the resolution no.11 from 2010 by Mongolian Parliament and the resolution no.115 from 2010 by Mongolian Government, State Property Committee, London Stock Exchange Group and Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE) concluded "Master Service Agreement" in April 2011 for 3 years to develop the market and started the work of reform. Within the framework of the Agreement, one of the many works done for the improvement of market development and regulatory environment is the implementation of the Millenium IT system in Mongolian capital market.
This is an integrated securities trading, clearing and settlement, depository and surveillance system used in over 30 stock exchanges and financial institutions of 20 countries, including London Stock Exchange, Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Clearing, Italian Stock Exchange and Singapore Exchange. It has been operating normally without any technical difficulties since it became fully operational on 02 July 2012.
As the Mongolian Association of the Securities Dealers proposed indirectly to get audited the system by an independent auditing company if it qualifies the international standards, MSE accepts this proposal and is ready to be audited by a reliable international firm (Big Four).
Mongolia: Official Exchange Rates, September 4
Total outstanding 1-week bills drop ₮14 billion to ₮1,108.6 billion
BoM issues 1-week bills
September 4 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 317.8 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
RESULT OF GOVERNMENT SECURITIES AUCTION
September 4 (Bank of Mongolia) Regular auction for 52 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 20 billion MNT and each unit was worth 1 million MNT. Face value of 20 billion /out of 45.0 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold to the banks at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 9.70%.
First 43 Days of New Mortgage Program
September 4 (Cover Mongolia) Bank of Mongolia announcement dating September 3 (in Mongolian only) reports that commercial banks have so far received requests to refinance ₮794.6 billion (₮792.1 billion on 42nd day) worth of old mortgages and accordingly have converted ₮437.8 billion (previously ₮434 billion) old mortgages of 15,336 citizens (previously 15,234) to 8%.
₮393.7 billion (previously ₮368.2 billion) worth of new mortgage requests were received and ₮327.7 billion (previously ₮303.5 billion) out of these of 5,945 citizens (previously 5,536 citizens) were issued at 8%.
Link to release (in Mongolian)
Mongolia eases gold mining regulations to increase transparency and national reserve
September 4 (UB Post) During last week's regular meeting of the government, the cabinet agreed to submit a bill that would ease and increase transparency in gold trading to stop illegal exportation and increase the nation's gold reserve.
The cabinet agreed that the Law on Taxation for Products that Increase in Value (Mogi: seems to be talking about the windfall profits tax), approved in 2006, has put a lot of tax pressure on gold miners and served as the primary reason behind illegal trading and exportation of gold, and tax evasion by gold mines. The illegal activities around gold mining have resulted in a steep fall in gold deposits at the Central Bank of Mongolia, as well as having a negative impact on the state currency reserves, as all currency in Mongolia is backed by gold reserves.
Studies show that before the law was passed in 2006, 77 tons of gold was mined nationwide. After four years of implementation of the law, gold mining dropped to 48 tons, a drop of 38 percent.
The value of gold has increased steadily for more than a decade and has been rising faster in recent years. Studies show that an ounce of gold was valued at less than 274 USD on the London Stock Exchange at the end of 2000. By the end of 2009, gold prices reached over 1,000 USD per ounce. By the end of 2012, gold prices rose to 1,657.50 USD but settled at around 1,300 – 1,400 USD in 2013.
Although gold prices are relatively high, analysts state that the only reason for a decline in gold mining in Mongolia is due to the legal environment.
The cabinet concluded that gold mining and trade needs more transparency and efficiency as soon as possible, hence they pledged to petition for a new bill on gold mining with the parliament. According to the cabinet, the draft bill will decrease royalties on gold to 2.5 percent, down from a previous five percent, if sold to the Central Bank or any domestic commercial banks within five years of extraction. A study conducted by a government task force estimates the bill will increase gold production by 20 tons per annum which will drastically boost gold reserves.
The Central Bank of Mongolia was instructed to purchase and export gold, and made responsible for gold registry and estimation, as well as implementing a unified system that would regulate all gold mines to stop illegal gold trading.
Billion Dollars to Be Invested in Mongolia Under EBRD Deal in Local Currency
September 3 (Business-Mongolia) 2nd of September, 2013, Bank of Mongolia and European Bank of Reconstruction and Development have signed a memorandum on local currency loan to be provided by EBRD. The loan is dedicated for the countries that are in initial phase of transition. The interview with the Head of Financial Markets Loan Unit Zh.Bataa as follow.
It has been said that the investment made by EBRD will be increased by two-times. What is the amount of the current investment provided by the bank?
Since the EBRD commenced its operation in Mongolia in 2006, it has invested USD1 billion in over 60 projects. Therefore, by the program implementation the loan will be increased by two-times enabling the country to receive another billion dollars in investment.
The bank talked about providing local currency loans to the SMEs. What would be the result and the significance?
It will enable the borrowers to obtain relatively low cost loans. The shared risk by the contributors will make the low cost local currency loan possible. The targeted borrowers are those who provide goods and services by local currency which make them risk adverse if the loan is taken in foreign currency. We consider this a big step towards promoting national businesses.
Mongolia rethinks law on takeovers
Government set to change rules limiting foreign ownership, which have been blamed for the sharp drop in investment and economic growth
September 4 (South China Morning Post) The Mongolian government looks set to repeal its contentious foreign investment law after just one year as inflows dry up and economic growth grinds to a halt.
Foreign direct investment fell an estimated 20 per cent last year and is believed to have dropped a further 43 per cent this year.
Concerned that the law is hurting Mongolia's reputation as an investment-friendly frontier economy, officials say they want to turn back the clock.
"We'll bring back the old system. The Mongolian investment environment is damaged," says Ch Otgochuluu, the director of planning at the Ministry of Mining.
According to government officials, a new law is being discussed by the cabinet and will be presented to a specially convened session of parliament this month.
The proposed changes will undo many of the restrictions placed on foreign investment in the so-called strategic sectors, including mining, banking and finance, media and telecommunications.
In May last year, Mongolia passed the Strategic Entities Foreign Investment Law, under which an investor acquiring more than 33 per cent of a firm in a strategic sector would require government approval.
An acquisition of more than 49 per cent, or more than 100 billion tugriks (HK$480 million), would require parliamentary approval.
The law was passed just before the last general election following concerns among political parties that the country's mining resources were being sold cheaply to foreigners.
In particular, a bid by Aluminum Corp of China (Chalco) to buy 60 per cent of coal miner SouthGobi Resources saw the government suspend SouthGobi's licence before enacting the law after only a month's consultation. Chalco then withdrew from talks.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Frontier Investment Conference, Otgochuluu said the revised law would still include provisions requiring state-owned firms investing in strategic sectors to seek government approval. He envisions an investment approval bureau similar to Australia's.
Singling out Chalco, Otgochuluu confirmed fears about a Chinese takeover.
"Chalco is a state-owned enterprise and they can buy any mine in Mongolia. They could introduce a dumping price and distort the market. In that case, they might be the buyer and producer at the same time and bring the price down very low.
"The Chinese mining companies want to buy Mongolian mining companies but we don't want that. They have a different system. A state capitalism. We want to protect the small and medium-sized enterprises. Mongolia is trying to have an economy dominated by private ownership. We want prices to be set by market mechanisms."
The government was also considering a seven to 10-year tax-benefit window for companies investing more than US$10 million, he added.
Landlocked between China and Russia, Mongolia often tries to reach out to Western, Korean and Japanese companies and governments. But recent events have diminished the appeal of Mongolia for investors.
Last year's foreign investment law was followed by attempts to rework the terms of a deal with mining group Rio Tinto over Oyu Tolgoi, a giant gold and copper mine that is expected to boost the country's economy by a third. Government officials and mining executives from Rio Tinto are in talks in London. Recently, the mine laid off 1,700 workers.
The Oyu Tolgoi renegotiations and frequent legal and regulatory changes have frustrated domestic and foreign investors.
"Resources nationalism is very damaging to stable investment planning. It's a lose-lose situation for both investors and Mongolia," said Dale Choi, the founder of Independent Mongolian Metals & Mining Research.
SAIKHANBILEG: TONY BLAIR VISIT UNRELATED TO OYU TOLGOI ISSUE
September 4 (InfoMongolia) On September 04, 2013, Minister of the Cabinet Office of the Government of Mongolia Ch.Saikhanbileg held a press conference and informed that the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair will be visiting Mongolia this weekend.
Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg stated, "The Cabinet Office of the Government of Mongolia established an agreement with the Tony Blair Foundation, founded by former Premier Tony Blair. The Foundation cooperates with Governments of over 20 countries to share its experience and provide with advice services. Within this framework, the Government of Mongolia established a one year cooperation agreement with the Foundation for advice service on education, health, increasing work places and foreign investments and support mortgage loans. Last year, the Foundation offered to cooperate with the Government of Mongolia and asked on which sectors to collaborate; the Cabinet Office revised the proposal and made its decision to cooperate on above mentioned sectors, which was agreed by Tony Blair".
As of today, three representatives from the Foundation are working in Mongolia and former Prime Minister Tony Blair will visit Mongolia on September 07-08 to acquaint with the Foundation's operations. Moreover, Tony Blair will be visiting Mongolia three times within the frameworks.
At the end of the press conference, Minister of the Cabinet Office Ch.Saikhanbileg added, "Lately, there have been reports that Tony Blair is advising Mongolia to resolve disputes between Rio Tinto and the Mongolian Government. When we first established the one year agreement, it was set there will be no conflict of interest with Rio Tinto and was established to cooperate within international law regulations. Therefore, I would like to officially state that the agreement and collaboration with the Tony Blair Foundation has nothing to do with Rio Tinto".
Speaker Enkhbold: Investors will be supported whether foreign or domestic
September 4 (Business-Mongolia) Following interview with the SGK Speaker Z.Enkhbold is the translation from the Daily News newspaper edition appeared on 3rd of September, 2013.
When there are analysts stating our country is in an economic crisis, there are also people who says the whole world is under crisis. In your opinion, are we going through a crisis?
Crisis is perceived when the economic growth diminishes and unemployment increases. Currently, our economic growth rate is 11% comparing to last year, and we created 3000 thousand jobs so far. So, it is not a matter of crisis. However, we can call this as an economic difficulties. People who has interest in making things look worse are making these kind of statements.
But, there are solid reasons such as decrease of foreign investment and export revenue. The most notable example is the mining sector, would you agree?
Of course there are obstacles. SGK is the reflection of the people. The demand from the people that there are too much mining operations, license trading, environmental pollution, and request to cease the license issuance made a big effect at the parliament in 2008 and 2012. Presidential ordinance was released to cease all the license issuance. Therefore, we can say that mining sector's fall was reflected through the government policy that has been requested by the people. This is the accumulative result. The foreign investment was not diminished in a single day.
Mineral's license is still prohibited. We concluded that the current issued licenses will be sufficient for the country to develop economically, thus, voiding the need for further license issuance. There are some temporary difficulties, I admit. The commodity prices have fallen at international markets. In connection with that, the foreign trade volume has been decreasing. If we earned 100$ selling a ton, now we are earning 50$. Thus, it does not matter if we increase the coal mining two fold because the revenue has been decreased by two-fold as well.
Foreign investment has decreased sharply. The reason is the OT project. The project has two phases, and the initial phase has been completed. No investment is needed for the open pit, and it is fully operational now. Mongolia now has an open pit mine that can produce as same amount of product as Erdenet JVC. The underground development will require further investment. It is clearly stated in the law of Mongolia what is considered investment in the country. Cost that has been incurred in some other part of the world cannot be included as an investment. The law is clear.
Please elaborate on what is an investment that has came into Mongolia?
Equipment that came into Mongolia through customs, salaries paid for the people who worked in Mongolia is considered as an investment in the country. Salary of someone who didn't work in the country is not. Because, we are paying one third of the investment as a shareholder, OT investment is under a strict verification. The work of OT related contractors have been stopped because there aren't any need. The job cuts occurred in these companies were necessary. The financing of the OT project cannot be continued without a disruption. I will state again, the first phase has been completed and the second phase is on hold. Also, it is the reason for the decrease in foreign investment.
How did the opposing attitude on mining sector effected the fall of the sector?
The opposite attitude has been impacting the foreign investment every year. The Strategic Investment Law made it worse. It is apparent that this law made a significant contribution to make the situation worse. Secondly, the foreign trade has decreased. Thirdly, we are in deficit. We planned our budget very optimistically making an enormous spending. The income didn't become reality, and the spending as well. Thus, we have these three obstacles. I would reiterate what I said earlier, this is not a crisis but a difficulty. SGK and the government is seeking for the solutions.
We view that the new Investment Law that will be discussed in the special session of the SGK will be one of the solutions to the these obstacles. What is the content of the law?
Mongolia approved a law that is dedicated for only foreign investment back in 1995 after categorizing the investment into big, small, foreign, and domestic. The Strategic Investment Law was approved last year. So, the new law will be that of replace both of these laws. The principal is very simple. Main concern any investor is the tax environment. Biggest risk is for example when a calculated 10% tax is amended to 20% when the investment hadn't paid back yet. It will impossible to see the return on investment. Any investor would want to see the returns of its investment or at least a full payback. This is the sole purpose of an investor.
There aren't any investor who is investing in sake of generosity or charity. Tax and legal environment stability is the main concern for investors. Countries compete on this. Unfortunately, our country have been shaking the environment by the laws such as 68% windfall tax.
If we keep doing this kind of things, nobody would be interested in investing in our country. Today, the SGK is trying to approve a law that guarantees the stability of the legal environment. It means that changes after the agreement has been made will not affect the agreement. It will be applicable to all investments, from MNT5 million to USD5 billion. All the investors will be protected under this law. It doesn't matter if it is a MNT 5 million bakery or the multi-billion dollar OT project. If the bakery can earn their investment in 1 year, there will a guarantee for a year, and if OT will require 30 years, there will be 30 year-guarantee. We are trying to approve law that has a table that includes the time and investment amount. If an investor has made a MNT5 million investment, it will only be registered.
The draft of the new law indicates that the foreign state-owned enterprises will have to get an approval if they are going to invest in the country. Is the guarantee period same as with those who are privately owned?
The state-owned enterprises will have to get an approval. If approved, the period of the guarantee will be the same.
The bond money is being spent on certain sectors. When will we see the benefits?
Some people are seeing the bond money as a physical investment. However, since the bond money entered Mongolia, it has been keeping the stability of our financial system. It had a good effect. The physical investment has been made on road and construction materials production. The result will be apparent after 2, 3 or even 10 years.
One of the projects that has been financed by the bond money is the house production plant. When we talk about a prefabricated houses we think of the old Russian buildings that loses the heat quickly, and of a bad quality. How is it better than this?
Russia had the same plant we have today. They replaced their technology by German's, so it satisfies the European standard. This technology enables them to build houses that can be mass built, affordable, and with better heat preservation. Mongolia is the last to upgrade to this technology. This technology will allow us to build districts as big as the current 3, 4th district, and of course by European standard. Energy efficient, heat preserving housing will be built from next year. 30% of the financing was paid by the bond money. European quality is obviously good, and we will have advantage to learn the technology training our engineers locally. Drafting companies will also learn the standard. The related infrastructure will also be in place following this.
So, from next year there will be no lack in supply of housing, and thus increase in prices?
The plant will enable us to build houses that for 10-15 households per year. The current capacity in the country is 25 thousand annually. Therefore, the capacity will be 40 thousand apartments a year. This is a sufficient number.
One the reasons of housing price increase is concrete. Number of projects are being implemented by national companies. Some will be in operation soon. There was a news that Chinese invested concrete plants are going to be in operation soon. Is it really necessary to allow foreign investment on the goods that the national companies can produce?
As for the construction materials, we used to have the capability to produce it. There was two concrete plants in the previous era. Private owned factories are taking long time to be built. Khutul plant has been upgraded and the operation is just beginning. It has been said that the price for one square meter of an apartment is MNT1 or 2 million. Instead, we have to focus on the content. Where is the concrete, reinforcing, and the labor force. If the labor force in the construction sector is paying foreign laborers, and they are just taking away their wages out of the country, we cannot support this. Also, it is not good if it is being built 100% by foreign imported materials. In these cases, the mortgage will make no sense. It will be an income that is irrelevant to us. But, if the concrete, reinforce, and the labor force is Mongolian, it will be economically beneficial for us. The whole world is following the principle that if it can be produced locally, it shall be made domestically. In the other hand, we should invite foreign investment in the sectors we hadn't developed. Of course, in the future we will be able to do things that we weren't in the past.
The government raised the bond money with very low interest rate. However, today the yield is over 7%. What would be the negative effect on us because of this?
Our country is not responsible for the increased yield. This is a concern for those who holding these bonds. We issued the bond with 4.5% initially. We will pay that price. This is one of the features of the bond market. The people that are blaming us are the people who don't have the ABCs in economics. There are also people who are panicking over the increase in yields. We issued the bond once. Therefore, the yield volatility is a concern for those who are in secondary markets. If we are perceived favorable for the foreign investment, the yield will decrease, and if we approve laws such as the one we approved back in May last year, it will be increased. Thus, bond yield is the measurement towards our economy, not a debt we have to pay.
But we are planning to issue another bond. It will have a direct effect. For example, is there possibility of another bond issuance next year?
There will be a negative effect if we issue another bond. We don't see any possibilities this year and the next. The we issue another bond on remaining USD3.5 billion, we can talk about it after our economic indicators are positive, ratings are improved, and the OT second phase financing is approved. After that, it will be economically viable. This is not the time. Countries issue bonds at the right time after assessing the situation carefully. We also stopped trusting the international rating agencies. Our bond was sold over the ratings. Bonds of countries like us that have BB- ratings usually sells at 7-8%, where ours have been sold at 4.5%-5.5%. This proves that the ratings cannot reflect the reality. Lately, they have been lowering our rating. However, we don't know how much it will be valued in the actual markets.
One of the laws that are being waited by the investors is the 2006 Minerals Law. Is the law going to be amended or renewed?
We consider the 2006 law is a fair one. Our opinion is that it is preferable if we amend the current law instead of considering the law that has been initiated by the president. It will be more stable. The industry participants also suggested the same opinion. Therefore, the SGK will make a choice between the new law or the amendment of the current law. Currently, there is the amendment of exploration possibility on approved areas.
What laws and decision will be made regarding the economic issues at the special sessions of the SGK?
The new Investment Law will be approved at the session. A resolution will be made on fighting the economic difficulties. The budget adjustment will be approved, and at the regular sessions we will discuss about state budget. Due the new circumstances, budget will be cut significantly. We have to cut our coat according to our cloth. We will give further information on Minerals Law. Also, the final answer on whether to renew or amend the law will be apparent soon. The law initiated by the president went through a discussion by the investors. The result was that the 2006 law could be sufficient if it had relevant amendments.
You have mentioned that the budget adjustment will be discussed at the special session. Is there going to be many changes?
No. We will cut the optimistic projections. Also, there are some planned buildings that doesn't even have drafted blueprints that will be deleted from the budget.
Can you elaborate more on the policy on fighting economic difficulties?
First, foreign investment has been halted. We are trying to fix it by law. Second, there are unreal incomes planned in the budget. Also, we are deleting the investments on buildings that has no drafted blueprints and no tender had been announced. It means we cutting both income and spending. A certain decision will be made on increasing the currency reserve. The gold reserve will be centralized at the Bank of Mongolia. Only the Bank of Mongolia will be able to export gold. Gold increases the currency reserve.
The underground development of OT has been stopped. One of the biggest levers would be continuing the project. Will we find a common language with Rio Tinto?
There are no opposing personas. We just have to agree on certain numbers.
How long would it take?
The two sides must be on agreement on the numbers. It is not possible to allow errors that has occurred on the first phase. Nobody will be in favor of considering the costs incurred somewhere in the world as an investment in our country. The reason is that we are also paying for the project's development.
The foreign currency is steadily increasing. Will the Bank of Mongolia intervene?
The increase of USD against local currency is result of many of our actions. USD is as just same as the other goods. If many people want to buy a certain shoe, despite the production cots of the shoe, the price will be increased. In the other hand, if massive volume of these shoes will be on the market, regardless of its original cost, the price will fall. The is the principal of market economy. If the buyer and seller are at the equilibrium, the price will be stable. USD is just as same as the shoe. If the channels that flows USD into the country such as foreign investment is good, and there is no foreign trade deficit, USD will be stable in our country. Our consumption is not going to decrease depending on the disruption on these channels. If there are more buyers than sellers of USD, then there will be a change in currency. That is what's happening.
There are ways that central bank intervenes as a temporary solution. We see this as an unviable solution. We will end up just wasting the 2USD billion reserves we have. Instead, we shall see this period as an opportunity. We have been appealing to develop the domestic manufacturing for over 20 years. We are even importing the goods that we can produce locally. The most simple example is rapeseed. We export the rapes we grew to the south, and import vegetable oil. Because it is cheaper to buy it from Earlian, China. But, when USD increases, the price of the vegetable oil will be increased. It will be economically feasible to process the rapes and produce oils. Of course, we can't substitute all the goods we need. For example, we cannot grow bananas. Therefore, producing the vegetables oils that we can is a good side of the increase of USD.
So, are you saying that we should just leave USD to the market to resolve?
Even if we want to manage, we don't have the resources. The economy is adjusting itself. It is sign for businesses to produce certain goods domestically. It means that we have to send our children to domestic schools. It will be expensive to study abroad. It means we should be the domestically produced Yanmal socks. When USD increases, domestic producers and manufacturers are happy. Exporters are happy. The unhappy people are the importers such as Urbanek, because it will be expensive to buy vegetables grown in Poland. But, Gazar Shim LLC is enjoying the moment, because if they sell more, more local vegetable growers will be able to benefit from it. All the vegetables in this salad is being grown in the country. Like this, we have to see it as an opportunity for the local producers. There is no regulation that the exchange rate must be locked at MNT1400 or 1500. The market is adjusting itself, so, it is not because the cabinet or SGK and Bank of Mongolia is doing bad job and increasing the rate of USD.
But, most of the goods in the market are imported. Inasmuch as the increase, the price of the essential goods will be increased, and the main impact will be on the people?
One day, we will be using our local produced products. As long we hold USD through artificial methods, the development of the local industries will be delayed as by that long. The increase in exchange rate means that want it or not, you have to live by the market rules.
There are some fear that spending the bond money massively will affect the rate of USD?
The people who are responsible for this are making the necessary adjustments. Leaving USD to the market doesn't mean that it doesn't matter how much it will be. It means that when the market is adjusting, the suitable interference will also in tact. Bond money is affecting the financial sector in a good way. It was spent on roads and railroads. Of course, we haven't spent the whole USD1.5 billion. We planned some funds to re-planning the ger-area infrastructures. We haven't spent it yet. There are also funds planned on some projects that we haven't spent a single dime.
A way to increase the value of our coal is to build a railroad. How is the process of the railroad project?
The work has started. Some construction is taking place at the moment.
When we will be able to use the railroad?
If we complete the fill and put the tracks, it will process rapidly. From next year, the Tavan Tolgoi – Gashuun Sukhait track will be operational.
The discussion of wide or narrow gauge has not finished to this day. Economists argue that it is viable to have narrow or world standard gauge. What will be the decision?
SGK has decided on the policy. The cabinet has a right to seek a final decision on tracks that will carry export products.
What is your personal opinion on the matter?
We have to do the calculations. When the coal price was at a certain level, it was profitable for us to transport it even via heavy trucks. But, when the price falls, the transportation cost becomes a bottleneck. So, in principal, there must a be railroad. The decision on the gauge can be decided by the request of the cabinet by SGK.
Besides coal, we have significant reserves of uranium, rare metals, and shale. What is the policy on exploiting these?
It has been five years since we established our policy on uranium. We hold the same policy. It will not be changed because of some conservationist shouts that uranium is poisonous. We are adding a chapter on the Petroleum Law that includes the non-traditional oil. We have included no only shale-oil, but coalbed methane, and other non-traditional oil sources. We have to become independent on petroleum. There may be new sectors that will be in use.
O.Magnai Apologizes for Taxi Fare Increase Proposal
September 3 (news.mn) The Head of the Authority for Fair Competition and Consumer Protection (AFCCP), O.Magnai apologized to the people for the undue decision to increase taxi fares amid criticism during a press conference on Monday August 2nd.
Last Wednesday the Authority for Fair Competition and Consumer Protection (AFCCP), the Capital City Transportation Authority and taxi operators announced an increase to taxi fares by 300 MNT per km promising a good standard taxi service.
But the announcement was followed by strong public criticism.
The head of the Authority for Fair Competition and Consumer Protection (AFCCP), О.Magnai said that "I do officially apologize to people for the undue decision. Everything is in place. There will be no taxi fare increase. I want to say again. I apologize."
Therefore the taxi tariff is still 700 MNT per kilometer in Ulaanbaatar City.
Former MIAT directors' sentences reaffirmed
September 4 (news.mn) The City Court discussed an appeal by former MIAT directors who were sentenced for money laundering and conspiracy involving large amount of money under the cover of a War Risk Insurance. The City Court reaffirmed the sentences after a day long trial on Tuesday September 3rd.
The City Court confirmed the sentences given by both the Primary Court and the Appeal Court for the former MIAT directors`.
The City Court separated the case of the former accountant N.Gantumur whose case was adjusted by the Primary Court and annulled restitution order.
The former MIAT directors who were convicted in the money laundering case arrived with their 19 attorneys with complaints stating the charge for money laundering is not appropriate to be tried in the City Court.
However the City Court's final verdict was that the Primary Court followed the proper procedures for the case and the sentences were delegated accordingly. The City Court therefore reaffirmed the ruling.
The trial of the former MIAT directors who were being held at 461 detention center last June sentenced former MIAT director B.Erdenebileg to 13 years, B.Bat-Erdene to 12 years and a month, Ts.Orkhon to 11 years, former Vice Director Ch.Khorolsuren to 13 years and a month, former director of Mongolian Airlines group Ch.Suuritogtokh to 10 years and a month and former Golomt branch director G.Saranchimeg to 11 years and a month.
During the investigation the former accountant for convict Ch.Khorolsuren`s company was separated and annulled because of findings not related to the MIAT case.
Also arrested in the MIAT case were suspects Yu.Tsetsegmaa and B.Mandakhbayar. Their cases were annulled because of lack of evidence.
Prime Minister's autobiography now available for international purchase
September 4 (UB Post) "Orgil Uud" (Towards the Summit) is the autobiography of Mongolian Prime Minister, N.Altankhuyag. He has been the Prime Minister of Mongolia since 2012 and was twice elected as a Member of Parliament. During the 1990 Democratic Revolution in Mongolia, he was a pioneer in the youth movement. With his colleagues, he initiated the Democratic Socialist Movement, and now his story in his own words is available to the public.
The book includes not only details of his private life, but also facts about Mongolia's economic rise and the history of its democratic revolution since 1990. He also writes about ordinary Mongolian life and the life of nomadic herders. The publication is expected to attract the interest of foreign readers. The publisher reports that the book is already successfully attracting the interest of European politicians, making sales from its first available day of purchase at international bookstores on September 3, 2013.
The book's English version was published by Frankfurter Verlagsgruppe, which is a German publisher located in Frankfurt, in the German state of Hesse.
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Three local companies win bid at West Tsankhi
September 3 (news.mn) Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi LLC (Erdenes TT) has granted a one-year contract to extract coal at the West Tsankhi block of Tavan Tolgoi coal mine to the "Mongolian Miners" partnership. The partnership consists of three local companies; "Khishig Arvin Industrial LLC", "Mera" and "Mongolian National Extractor".
Khishig Arvin Industrial LLC completed removing soil at the giant Tavan Tolgoi coal mine at the West Tsankhi block. The "Mongolian Miners" partnership of Khishig Arvin Industrial LLC, Mera and the "Mongolian National Extractor" won the bid at a tender for extracting coal at West Tsankh block of Tavan Tolgoi mine.
Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi LLC has been delivering cocking coal from East Tsankhi to China to help pay off the 350 million US dollar loan for Chalco. But Erdenes TT is seeking other buyers to buy coal from West Tsankhi.
Erdenes TT plans to mine 3-4 million tons of coal at East Tsankhi and 2-3 million tons of coal at West Tsankhi this year.
Mongolia, Erdenes TT in Talks With Peabody, Shenhua: Batsuuri
By Michael Kohn
Sept. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Cos discussing "strategic partnership" to develop Mongolia's Tavan Tolgoi coal basin, Yaichil Batsuuri, chief executive officer of state-owned Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, said at a conference in Ulaanbaatar.
* Timeframe for negotiations with Shenhua and Peabody is open-ended: Batsuuri
* Erdenes TT plans to make first shipments of coal from west Tsankhi pit on September 5. Buyers including Winsway: Batsuuri
* Erdenes TT expects to export 7m tons of coal this year: Batsuuri
* Tavan Tolgoi coal basin contains 6.4b tons of reserves
ART Logistics increases Europe to Mongolia freight service capacity
September 4 (Logistics Manager) ART Logistics has increased its direct Europe to Mongolia less-than-truckload service, to now run three times a month, using three trucks.
The company said the development of mining operations in Mongolia, and the supply of equipment and general supplies there, have driven demand for transport services from Europe to the mine sites.
ART plans to extend the service to North America, and eventually Australia and South East Asia, in the future.
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No land allocation in forested areas near Ulaanbaatar
September 3 (news.mn) No land ownership rights in forested areas and the natural water basin near Ulaanbaatar City will be granted according to an order by the Governor of the Capital City and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar, E.Bat-Uul.
The Governor of the Capital City and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar, E.Bat-Uul has instructed the Property Relations Department of the Capital City, the District Governors and Property and Land Relations Departments not to allocate land in the green area close to forests and rivers near to Ulaanbaatar City.
If any official or clerk is found to grant or made a decision to allocate land in violation of the laws and regulations, causing large amounts of damage to the environment and ecological imbalance in the green areas and neighboring land owners, the issue should be investigated and charges made according to the laws and regulations.
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Belarus, Mongolia to set up joint ventures to assemble buses, tractors
ULAANBAATAR, 4 September (BelTA) – Belarus and Mongolia have agreed on establishing joint ventures to assemble buses and tractor equipment, Deputy Industry Minister of Belarus Alexander Ogorodnikov told reporters on 4 September, BelTA has learnt.
The prospects of the bilateral cooperation were discussed on 4 September during the official visit of the Belarusian delegation led by Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich to Mongolia. The parties reached an agreement to implement joint projects envisaging establishment of joint ventures.
The projects will involve Belarusian companies MAZ and MTZ. The machines made by these companies have been used in Mongolia since Soviet times. According to Alexander Ogorodnikov, MTZ has plans to set up a joint venture to produce energy efficient farm machines at the premises of a repair facility of the Defense Ministry of Mongolia. "This project will consist of two parts: assembly production of new machines and maintenance of existing machines. The project envisages comprehensive maintenance service and personnel training, including training at the central conveyor in Minsk," the Deputy Industry Minister said.
The company to assemble MAZ passenger buses will also be located on the premises belonging to the Defense Ministry of Mongolia. "MAZ is ready to offer farm machines adjusted to the climatic conditions of this country. This will again include comprehensive service, personnel training and maintenance of the machines during their entire operation cycle," he said.
Minsk Automobile Plant was founded in 1944. In 2009 it was reincorporated into the public joint-stock company OAO MAZ. In 2012 OAO MAZ became the management company of the holding company BelavtoMAZ. MAZ offers over 500 models and modifications of freight vehicles and about 20 models of passenger vehicles.
Minsk Tractor Works was founded in 1946. Now it is affiliated with the Industry Ministry. MTZ produces more than 60 models and modifications of tractors and machines in over 100 versions and configurations for all climatic and operational conditions.
Belarus Premier, Mongolia President discuss transport corridor to Baltic Sea ports
ULAANBAATAR, 4 September (BelTA) – Prime Minister of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich met with Mongolia President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj on 4 September, BelTA has learned.
The meeting took place as part of an official visit of the Belarus government delegation led by the Prime Minister to Mongolia.
The sides discussed several matters, including possibilities of organizing a transport corridor from Mongolia to Baltic Sea ports via Belarus. The President of Mongolia confirmed his readiness to support the projects that the governments of the two countries are going to implement in various areas. Those include the establishment of joint manufacturing facilities, technology transfer, projects in the area of education and science, military and technical cooperation, and other things.
Mikhail Myasnikovich expressed the best wishes to the President of Mongolia on behalf of the Belarus President and invited Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj to visit Belarus.
BelTA reported earlier that a Belarus government delegation is in Mongolia on an official visit on 3-5 September. In addition to meeting with the Mongolia President the Belarusian head of government met with Mongolia Prime Minister Norovyn Altankhuyag and Chairman of the Mongolia Parliament Zandaakhuu Enkhbold on 4 September. On Thursday, 5 September Mikhail Myasnikovich is expected to take part in the opening of the National Expo of the Republic of Belarus and in the operation of the Belarusian-Mongolian business forum.
Myasnikovich: Belarus and Mongolia need new forms of cooperation
ULAANBAATAR, 4 September (BelTA) – Belarus and Mongolia need to shift to new forms of cooperation, Belarus Premier Mikhail Myasnikovich said as he met with Chairman of the State Great Khural (Parliament) of Mongolia Miyeegombyn Enkhbold on 4 September, BelTA has learnt (Mogi: LOL).
The Belarusian head of government noted that he had had constructive talks with his Mongolian counterpart Norovyn Altankhuyag: "We discussed new projects, new approaches for cooperation." According to Mikhail Myasnikovich, the parties took note of a big potential in bilateral all-round relations as well as the need to shift to new forms of cooperation – investment projects.
According to the Premier, Belarus views Mongolia as a promising partner in the Asian-Pacific Region. "We are interested in expanding supplies to Mongolia and are ready to set up assembly plants to produce buses and tractors as well as service centers in the country," Mikhail Myasnikovich said. He also emphasized the country's interest in joint projects in the mining industry, fuel and energy sector.
The recent years have seen the development of favorable conditions for closer cooperation between Belarus and Mongolia. Over the past five years the bilateral trade has soared almost 15 times. The trade in goods and services totaled $114.7 million in 2012. In January-June 2013 Belarus' exports to Mongolia made up $73.1 million (a 262.1% increase on the same period in 2012).
According to Mikhail Myasnikovich, Belarus is ready to supply Mongolia with the whole range of its mechanical engineering goods: road construction, utility, quarry and agricultural equipment: "For our part, we are ready to use financing packages and the interest rate cheapening schemes. With your support we are ready to set up joint companies in the mechanic engineering sector."
The Belarusian delegation named the transfer of technologies and the organization of engineering plants in Mongolia as a long-range goal.
The Belarusian government delegation led by Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich is in Mongolia on an official visit on 3-5 September. On 4 September the Belarusian PM met with Mongolian counterpart Norovyn Altankhuyag. On 5 September the Belarusian head of government will take part in the opening ceremony of the National Exhibition of the Republic of Belarus and the Belarusian-Mongolian business forum.
Belarus, Mongolia sign agreement on abolition of visas
ULAANBAATAR, 4 September (BelTA) - Belarus and Mongolia signed an intergovernmental agreement on the abolition of visas, BelTA has learnt.
The document was signed during an official visit of a government delegation of Belarus headed by Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich to Mongolia. In addition, the heads of government of the two countries signed the joint communiquй. The parties also concluded intergovernmental agreements on cooperation in education, on military and technical cooperation, and on cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters.
The Belarusian Prime Minister met with Mongolian counterpart Norovyn Altankhuyag. This is the first visit by a head of government since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1992. According to the Premiers, this will expand the horizons for the all-round bilateral cooperation and will contribute to the development of the friendly relations between the two countries.
"Today, thanks to the efforts of the governments of the two countries, and commercial organizations, economic contacts and projects of Belarus and Mongolia are developing quite successfully. The potential is much higher than the current level of trade turnover," said Mikhail Myasnikovich. "Therefore, we would like to propose to Mongolia the strategy of cooperation that is somewhat different from the traditional one. We believe that the trade cooperation should be complemented by investment efforts. We need to ensure the appropriate financing mechanisms, investment, export credit, project financing," the Belarusian head of government added. According to him, this will allow the partners to make strides in the development of trade, economic and investment projects.
The Mongolian side expressed its interest to develop more intensive cooperation with Belarus, in particular in industry and agriculture. Norovyn Altankhuyag proposed to organize a joint venture to manufacture food products. He voiced interest of the Mongolian side to develop cooperation with Belarus in education and science, and a number of other areas.
"We came to a mutual decision to support the initiatives of private business who is going to establish joint ventures to assemble and manufacture mining equipment and plan to export agricultural products from Mongolia in Belarus," the Mongolian head of government said. According to him, Belarus expressed its willingness to import the products of the cashmere and wool industry.
The Belarusian head of government stated that Belarus is committed to long-term cooperation with Mongolia. "We are pleased that these approaches are supported by its government. I believe that our joint projects will be included in the government programs, which would contribute to the progress of our joint ventures in Mongolian market (especially at the initial stage)," Mikhail Myasnikovich said.
The Prime Minister of Belarus noted that the parties aim for the joint partnership that will benefit both Belarus and Mongolia.
At the end of the meeting, the Prime Minister of Belarus invited Mongolian head of Government Norovyn Altankhuyag to pay an official visit to Belarus.
As was reported, the government delegation of Belarus headed by Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich is in Mongolia on an official visit from 3 to 5 September. On 5 September, the Belarusian head of government is scheduled to take part in the opening ceremony of the National Expo of the Republic of Belarus and the Belarusian-Mongolian Business Forum.
Mongolia's Foreign Ministry Urges Peaceful Resolution to Syrian Crisis, Condemns Use of WMDs
September 4 (news.mn) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia is observing the deteriorating domestic crisis in Syria with concern.
We are deeply concerned about the loss of lives of many Syrian people, including children. The use of chemical weapons can never be justified under any circumstances and Mongolia firmly stands for the complete elimination and non-proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction.
We urge all relevant parties to end violence and resolve the conflict through peaceful means.
Mogi: Remember this article I posted on Tuesday? Well, funny story, we already have a Kazakhstani Embassy here. Apparently the Ambassador was just asking the mayor for a piece of land to build a new embassy building. Can't believe this is our "national" news agency.
KAZAKHSTAN WANTS TO OPEN ITS EMBASSY IN MONGOLIA
Ulaanbaatar, August 27 /MONTSAME/ The Republic of Kazakhstan wants to erect a building for its Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, and it has received a positive response from the Mongolian government.
Foreign Policy Roundup: August 18-September 1
By Brandon Miliate
September 1 (Mongolia Focus) [The last two weeks of foreign affairs news from Mongolia. Most articles directly translated from Mongolian news sources.]
Mongolia's , presented his credentials to President Asif Ali Zardari. Among other things, they discussed Mongolian-Pakistani cooperation in the ADB's Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation () program.
Mongolia's director of Parliament, Z. Enkhbold, met with a group of Thai representatives in Ulaanbaatar, expressing that for Mongolia in Southeast Asia. This year, Mongolia and Thailand mark 40 years of diplomatic relations.
On official invitation from the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, , and met with L. Bold. They discussed ways to increase mutual cooperation, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding on furthering cooperation.
and ran an article on Mongolian-Kazakhstani relations proposing 3 reasons for the limited ties between the two countries: historical political boundaries, Kazakhstani-Russian relations, and the democratic-authoritarian restrictions.
Consultations were held between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, during which they discussed opportunities for cultural and governmental cooperation in the area of education. They also took the time to mark .
On the invitation of vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, D. Gankhuyag, Russia's undersecretary of foreign affairs . During his trip, he met with the Mongolian Prime Minister and head of the Mongolian-Russian Governmental Commission. They also held official between their respective Foreign Affairs Ministries.
Mongolian , which will operate out of Mongolia's Embassy in Cairo. The consulate will not only handle issues of trade of investment, but also provide protection for Mongolian citizens' interests in the country.
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Students protest tuition increases
September 4 (UB Post) Student representatives of Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST), led by B.Myagmardorj, President of MUST's Student's Union, announced at a press conference held yesterday that they will demonstrate outside the offices of the administration of MUST, speaking out against the unjustified increase in tuition fees.
"Although the Student's Union of MUST, which represents the voices and views of students, made numerous requests and demands to the board of directors of MUST to listen to the views of its students on the matter of an increase in tuition fees, they did not want to listen," said B.Myagmardorj.
"In this academic term, tuition fees increased by 13.9 percent and the annual rent for student dormitories increased by 70- 150 percent. But students study in lecture halls with rain water dripping through the roof, and they are equipped with laboratories and instruments only to be heard of and looked at, but never to be held and used, like museum pieces. Students live in dorm rooms covered in mold and dust, that are so freezing cold in the winter that students have to wear their coats at all times. The only change we see and feel at the university is the heavy burden of an increased tuition fee," he added.
MUST is a well-respected state institution for multidisciplinary studies, and a multileveled center for education, training and scientific research. Among universities of technology and science in Asia, it was ranked 7th in 2002. It is also one of the largest centers for scientific and cultural exchange in Mongolia, and offers bachelor's, master's, and PhD programs. Approximately two-thirds of formally educated Mongolians graduated from MUST. Currently, the average fee for one credit is around 44,500 MNT, and the average student takes classes adding up to 18-21 credits in a semester, which is around 801,000 MNT to 934,500 MNT. Last year, the average cost of a credit was around 35,000 MNT.
According to the Student's Union, the careless spending of the institution's administration, the easy solution for financing through an increase to tuition fees, and ramping up enrollment has resulted in a nearly 50 percent increase in tuition fees over the last three years and overcrowded classrooms, laboratories and other student services. Reports for this year's enrollment state that a total of around 38,000 students are studying at the university.
"Although there are no visible changes to the quality of education, the offices of unknown higher management members are getting larger and more lavishly furnished. Unnecessary positions for personnel who have worked for over a year yet did not yield any benefits to students, are being funded by student tuition. Furthermore, classrooms for seminars and use by student clubs are being cancelled for administrative purposes that do not serve student development and education, and violate students' rights. T.Namnan and other directors all give different explanations for the increase in tuition fees. Until today, no official reason for the increase has been given," said the president of the Student's Union.
"Inflation is at 8.3 percent and the construction of the new laboratory, Director T.Namnan talked about is only 10 percent complete, but no guarantee or explanation for the rise in tuition fee has been given," he added.
B.Myagmardorj explained that because of the board of director's unwillingness to listen to the opinions of the students, the Student's Union will resort to protests outside the administrative section of MUST.
In a letter addressed to the Chairman of MUST's board, D.Odkhuu, announcing that the Student's Union would be holding an official demonstration against the unjustified tuition fee increase, B.Myagmardorj stated, "You have stated through your departments that it is not necessary to listen to the views of students and respond to their requests, proposals, and demands… We cannot accept the 13 percent increase in tuition fee as there is no justifiable reason for such a high increase. Until we hold an official discussion, negotiation and understanding, the student union pledges to protest."
When asked why the organization is taking action against the increase in tuition fees when the term has already started and students have already paid their tuition, the Student's Union explained that they formally requested to arrange talks with university directors many times, all of which were ignored.
According to B.Myagmardorj, in accordance with the Law on Education, a student representative is supposed to be at the board meeting when discussing tuition fees, to voice student's views. Although he was legally obliged to be involved in tuition fee setting, he was asked to leave the meeting by the directors. Student representatives on the board are supposed to be elected by students, but the current students on the board have been selected by teachers, he explained. Therefore, the tuition fees were set without the consultation of a student representative, and as a state institution, this is against the law, said the Student's Union members.
Last week, the directors of MUST did not attend a conference with students regarding the tuition fees, which was scheduled on Thursday at 12:30. Their notification that they would not be able to attend was given to the Student's Union at 12:00. Since the conference could not proceed, students marched to the Chairman of MUST's Director's Office, who was not present. Finally, the students entered the office of T.Namnan, director of Student Development and Social Partnership and stated their demands, after which Professor T.Namnan agreed to voice the demands to the board of directors and hold a resolute discussion with students on Monday, September 2. But T.Namnan was not present at the discussion on Monday, and neither were the critical directors responsible for the increased tuition. Instead, the frustrated students met subordinates reciting the same old non-explanatory statements.
Yesterday, after the press conference, the Student's Union held a peaceful demonstration outside MUST's Administrative Building. They stated that the protest will continue until their demands are met.
Tiger Street Football raring to go in Mongolia
The tournament's fourth leg is set for Mongolia as Tiger Street Football continues to make waves around the world
September 4 (Goal Singapore) The date is set and now it's time for Tiger Street Football to take over Mongolia.
After successful stints in Cambodia, Australia and Malaysia, the fourth stop for the total non-stop action football will be taking place at the Drama Theater Square in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Taking to the Tiger Street Football Cage to battle for street football supremacy, players will pit their skills against each other under the watchful eyes of Tournament Ambassador, former World Cup-winning captain and 2006 Ballon d'Or winner Fabio Cannavaro – who has cemented his place in history as not just one of the greatest defenders of his generation, but as an inspiration for aspiring footballers across the world.
Specially for Mongolia, there will apperances by Emcee Tsomo, Famous Football TV host Amaraa; performances by DJ Zoloo, BMX stunt riders, Urban dance crew, Mohanic alternative band and none other than the football freestylers.
Having already seen action-packed street football festivities in the earlier two legs of Phnom Penh, Cambodia (March) and Sydney, Australia (May), Malaysia (July) Tiger Street Football 2013 is sure to sizzle Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia this September, before continuing on to Guangzhou, China and Singapore.
The winning teams from each nation will then converge in Ho Chi Minh City for the Grand Finals, where the excitement will hit fever pitch as the region's street footballing creme de la creme take to the caged pitch, to battle with invited international sides for the crown of Tiger Street Football Grand Champion 2013 and the huge prize purse of USD$30,000!
Be sure to come to cheer the street warriors, get involved in the exciting street festivities and meet Tiger Street Football Ambassador Fabio Cannavaro at the Mongolian leg of Tiger Street Football 2013 happening on September 7-8 at the Drama Theater Square.
For more information, please hop on over to www.tigerstreetfootball.com today!
Munkhdul Badral Bontoi
Founder & CEO
Mobile: +976 9999 6779
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