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Thursday, October 24, 2013
Aspire Mining's shares jump 48% on Tuesday, company not aware of reason
October 23 (Proactive Investors) Aspire Mining (ASX: AKM) shares have jumped 48% to a high of $0.08 on Tuesday, 22 October 2013, from its close of $0.054 on Monday, 14 October 2013, resulting in its receiving an ASX price query.
The company said it was not aware of any reason for the sudden investor interest.
However, it noted that there maybe an improvement in investor sentiment towards Mongolia associated with Turquoise Hill Resources (TSE: TRQ), the owner of the Oyu Tolgoi Copper-Gold Project, announcing on 21 October 2013 that it had started concentrate sales from Mongolia to Chinese customers.
Aspire had in September highlighted potential capital expenditure savings for the Northern Railways Erdenet to Ovoot rail project that is key to commercialising its Ovoot Coking Coal Project in Mongolia.
The report also confirmed the project is viable from an engineering and railway operational aspect.
Miami Beach investor sets sights on Mongolia
October 22 (Miami Herald) With the wind chill, temperatures in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, dipped below 10 degrees last week. Still, Harris Kupperman showed up for his job in a short-sleeve polo and Ray-Bans, an iced coffee in hand.
As CEO of Mongolia Growth Group, Kupperman, 32, splits his time between Mongolia's capital city and Miami Beach, where he was last week, working from a Starbucks in the South Beach Marriott.
"I think we're keeping Skype in business," he joked about his company's heavy use of the videoconferencing site.
When Kupperman, a millionaire who also runs Miami Beach-based hedge fund Praetorian Capital Management, makes the 24-hour, three-plane jaunt from Miami to Ulan Bator, he flies coach.
"I don't take a salary as CEO (of Mongolia Growth Group)," he said over dinner at the Local House in South Beach. "I own 15 percent of the company, so every dollar we spend is like $.15 out of my pocket. Then again, if our investments do well, I do very well."
So far, his investments have been doing quite well.
When Kupperman co-founded Mongolia Growth in 2011, he took it public with about $4 million in capital, mostly from himself, friends and family. The company raised $51 million that year, and it's invested about $40 million in Mongolian real estate. Those investments, Kupperman said, have "appreciated quite substantially." The company ( MNGGF in U.S. OTC Market, YAK in Canada) now has more than 3,000 shareholders and more than 100 Mongolia-based employees.
Kupperman, a native of Long Island, N.Y., moved to Miami Beach in 2004 after graduating from Tulane University in New Orleans. He started Praetorian from his college dorm room and continued to manage the fund from South Florida as he sought other investment opportunities.
(The investment bug bit Kupperman early: As a high school senior, he finished second out of 9,500 competitors in a fantasy stock market game, turning $500,000 in play money into $18 million in six weeks. The winner was a professional trader.)
A three-day trip in 2010 to "kick the tires" of Mongolia's fledgling economy turned into an intense three-week stay for Kupperman and laid the foundation for Mongolia Growth.
"I was just amazed at how much potential I saw," he said. "As an investor, you go to where the growth is. The economy of Mongolia is set to grow 12 percent this year. There is nothing else in the world that is as close to as exciting as what's happening in Mongolia right now."
Kupperman and his company are banking on reaping the rewards of a massive new copper mine coming online in Mongolia's Gobi Desert.
The mine will employ thousands and is expected to produce $7 billion worth of copper a year, giving a major boost to Mongolia's gross domestic product, which was $10 billion last year. Several other mining projects that tap into natural resource-rich Mongolia also are contributing to what Kupperman says is the world's fastest-growing economy.
"In the next 10, 20 years, nothing will grow like Mongolia has been growing," he said.
Mongolia Growth is heavily invested in Ulan Bator real estate and, to a lesser extent, the insurance business. Most of the 75 commercial, retail and residential properties it owns or manages are on Peace Avenue, the main drag that runs through the crowded downtown.
Kupperman, who compared current-day Ulan Bator to "Manhattan in the 1850s," sees Peace Avenue as becoming the next Fifth Avenue or Lincoln Road, and he envisions the capital city developing like wealthy Doha, Qatar, or Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
"We know it's going to be a huge city, so it's all about getting in early and getting the right locations," he said. "The noodle shop we own today will be an Armani store in five years."
Mongolians, from nomads to businessmen to government officials, have been friendly and welcoming, Kupperman said. They even managed to turn the longtime vegetarian back to meat, in large part with mutton-filled fried pastries called khuushuur.
When in Ulan Bator, Kupperman stays in a 12-story Soviet-era apartment building that frequently has no electricity – a far cry from his luxurious digs in the Muranocondominium in South Pointe Park.
Of Mongolia Growth's dozens of Mongolian employees, about a quarter of them live in traditional nomadic tents on the outskirts of Ulan Bator while others have risen toward the middle class.
"Some guys who work for us were literally chasing goats three years ago, and they're making $2,000 a month now," he said. "I believe in Mongolia, in the Mongolian people, and I love being on the ground for this stage of its development. We're going to be there for at least the next 20 years. We're there to stay."
Kupperman's confidence has managed to persuade peers and potential investors who are reluctant at first pitch.
"Most people don't wake up and say, 'I'm going to invest in Mongolia today.' Most people don't even know it exists. So it takes a fair amount of educating and convincing."
Mongolia was nowhere on Matthew Goodman's radar when he moved to South Florida from New York in 2011 to work for Praetorian Capital. Before he could unpack his bags, Goodman found himself on a flight with Kupperman, his new boss, headed to Ulan Bator.
Goodman's first impressions upon landing: It's freezing. No one speaks English. The food is lousy. There are no taxis. What are we doing here?
"Some of the things (Kupperman) does, he thinks they are normal, but they're not," Goodman said. "But then you sort of realize the brilliance behind the madness: He's found this pot of gold in a place where no one wants to go get it."
Kincora Copper identifies high priority targets at Bronze Fox
October 23 (Proactive Investors) Kincora Copper (CVE: KCC) has identified a number of "large scale, high priority" follow up targets at its flagship Bronze Fox licence in Mongolia.
Particularly, these are near surface and merit further drilling, the firm said, updating on previous and current fieldwork and corporate matters.
It comes after a recently completed Induced Polarization (IP) study and other geological work.
"Further analysis and integration of various activities completed in the current and previous field seasons are ongoing but initial findings have confirmed Bronze Fox's strategic location in a proven but underexplored productive porphyry copper belt and enhanced our understanding of its favourable regional setting, extensive copper-gold system(s), and advanced both nearer surface and potentially higher grade target areas," president and chief executive Sam Spring said.
The company boss highlighted that construction of the Tsagaan Suvarga project, owned by MAK, a Mongolian national firm, continues within 40 kilometres (km) of Bronze Fox.
Meanwhile, initial production from Rio Tinto's huge Oyu Tolgoi mine, 140km away along strike, is ramping up, with discussions for financing of the underground development continuing.
Kincora also noted that on October 3, Mongolia's parliament voted to approve a new investment law intended to create a stable legal environment, which does not distinguish between foreign or domestic investors.
The new law is proposed to come into effect on November 1.
Kincora also continues to look to take steps to reduce cash outflows, the company said on Wednesday.
Sentosa Starts Drilling at Darvii Naruu, Copper Gold Project
October 24 -- Sentosa Mining Ltd (ASX:SEO) advises that it has commenced reverse circulation drilling on its Darvii Naruu Copper Gold Project in Govi-Altai province, western Mongolia to test 4 of the 37 anomalies identified by the recent airborne geophysics survey conducted over the north western sector of the 62,735.8 Hectare Project. A 2,000 meter scout drilling programme is now under way at the highest priority targets comprising the Mushroom Reef, Mushroom East, Sulphide Creek and Anomaly 13 prospects. Supporting the prioritization of the drill targets is recent analysis of surface rock chip samples from field work completed in 2012; with gold grades of 10.8 g/t Au, 7.8 g/t Au and 1.2 g/t Au from float at Anomaly 10 (see Figure 1). Perth based Sentosa acquired a 100% interest in Darvi Naruu on October 1st and has since raised $1.14 million in an over-subscribed issue (placement), primarily to fund its first drilling on the project.
Guildford: Appointment of New Chief Executive Officer
October 23 -- Following on from the announcement on 16 October 2013 regarding the appointment of Mr Peter Kane as a Non-Executive Director, the Board of Guildford Coal Limited (Guildford, ASX:GUF) is pleased to announce Mr Peter Kane has accepted the position of interim Chief Executive Officer of Guildford, effective immediately.
This appointment arises from the resignation of Mr Peter Westerhuis as Group Managing Director of Guildford, also effective immediately.
Eumeralla Resources: Notice of Annual General Meeting, November 26
October 23, Eumeralla Resources Limited (ASX:EUM) --
NatSec MSE Trading News, October 23: Top 20 +0.13%, Turnover ₮37.7 Million
October 23 (National Securities) The MSE TOP-20 Index moved-up marginally by +0.13% to 14,138.07. 50,275 shares in 15 companies traded with a value of 37.7 million MNT. 3 shares went up, 7 shares went down and 5 shares were stable.
On the gainers side, boot factory, Gutal (GTL) closed at 9,990 MNT, soaring +9.78%. Tourist company, Genco Tour Bureau (GTB) rose +4.8% to 89.08 MNT. Telecom Mongolia (MCH) declined -7.69% to 1,200 MNT. Today's volume leader was HB Oil (HBO), which saw 26,270 shares traded for a value of 9.9 million MNT. HBO is an petroleum importing and merchandising firm with a market valuation of 3.5 billion MNT. It's share have been traded actively the latest 3 days.
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NatSec MSE Trading News: Top 20 +0.62%, Turnover ₮393.9 Million, TTL Block Trade ₮306.3 Million
October 22 (National Securities) Today, another block trade, this time in coal miner Tavantolgoi (TTL)'s, some 91,456 shares were traded with a worth of 306.3 million MNT. The total trading amount was 393.9 million MNT with 164,331 number of shares. The MSE TOP-20 index went up +0.62% to 14,160.39. 7 shares went up, 9 shares went down and 12 shares were stable.
Today's top gainer was Mongol Shevro (MVO), which soared +14.97% to 1,943 MNT. HB Oil (HBO) was the 2nd biggest gainer, rising +7.61% to 380 MNT and in which 24,853 shares were traded at a value of 9.3 million MNT. The most active share was E-Trans Logistic (ETR), in which 291,400 shares were traded with a worth of 34.6 million MNT. The price was 119 MNT, and trading volume represented 39.5% of ALL trades, exluding the TTL MO block trade.
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BDSec: TOP 20 GAINS 0.62% TO 11-WEEK HIGH
October 22 (BDSec) Stocks of Tavantolgoi (TTL:MSE) helped MSE Top 20 index to finish up 0.62% or 86.40 points to 14,120.28 points, its highest close since August 8, 2013. TTL jumped 6.5% today after the news that Court has recently ruled in favor of TTL in a land dispute.
It is believed that around 30Mt of coking coal reserves can be mined at the disputed land of 101-ha, which will increase TTL's total coking coal reserve to 70Mt from current 40Mt . TTL was MSE's most actively traded stock today with more than 94 thousand shares traded at a value of around US$ 190k. HBOil (HBO:MSE) added 7.61% after gaining 7.01% yesterday. The shares of 28 companies were traded, the shares prices of 7 companies rose, the shares prices of 8 declined.
Energy Resources LLC made $1 bn supply agreement (news.mn) Energy Resources LLC finalized its supply agreement for fuel, office& camp service, and security service last week. 4 agreements made with suppliers (with NIK LLC, Shunkhlai LLC & Transgobi LLC, Universe Solution LLC, and MCS Armor LLC) totaled $1 bn and duration is between January 1st 2014 and December 31st 2016.
Metallurgic sector will be financed with $50 mn (Zuunii Medee). By the GoM's decree, working groups to produce "Mongol Iron" and "Mongol Copper" projects were formed. Within the frame of the project, steel factory, copper mill, copper refinery will be built. GoM decided to finance metallurgical plants, especially construction armature and iron concentration plants, with $50 mn from Chinggis bond.
Training instructor from London is lecturing on capital markets (news.mn) Chadley House Training Limited's instructor, Paul Meadows, was invited to by Financial Regulatory Commission and Mongolian Association of Securities Dealers to give lecture named "Stock Exchange Listing Procedure and International practice". In the lecture, Mongolian private sector representatives, interested in IPO process, are attending.
Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFG ltd is to launch representatives office in UB (news.mn ). Japanese banking giant, MUFG's daughter company's request to open representative office in Mongolia has been approved by the Mongol Bank this October 10th. The MUFG Financial Group, with market cap of $92 bn, operates in 40 countries through 500 offices& branches.
Prime minister's official visit to China starts today (BloombergTV Mongolia). PM Mr. N.Altankhuyag's official visit to China starts today. One of the important focus of the meeting will be to discuss Mongolian coal export to China. PM is planning to attend The 14th Western China International Fair and Chinese Vice Premier, Mr. Wang Kang will attend the event as well. Interestingly, Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev's official visit also overlaps with Mr. N.Altankhuyag's visit in terms of timing. Today's meeting, Mr. Medvedev is planning to discuss efforts to increase bilateral investment and push for collaboration on big-scale projects.
Trading Value Leaders
E-Trans Logistics (ETR)
Ulaanbaatar BUK (BUK)
E-Trans Logistics (ETR)
Telecom Mongolia (MCH)
FTSE GROUP SIGNS COOPERATION AGREEMENT WITH MSE ON ESTABLISHING FTSE MONGOLIA INDEX BY Q2 2014
October 22 (Mongolian Stock Exchange) International capital market index calculation and research leader, the UK's FTSE group has signed "Cooperation Agreement in the direction of financial index processing" with MSE on 18th October 2013.
FTSE calculates over 120,000 end of day and real-time indices covering more than 80 countries and all major asset classes. A great number of professional investors base their investment's prudent decision based on FTSE index calculation and market information, which places FTSE in a leader position in the world financial market.
MSE is working together with FTSE group to adopt global index methodology to Mongolian capital market by 2nd quarter 2014. The new indices will enable accurate measurement of the market performance, attract international investment and boost investor confidence to Mongolian Capital Market.
BoM Exchange Rates: October 23 Close
BoM holds FX auction: US$8 million, CNY84.4 million, US$100 million swap agreements
October 22 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on October 22nd, 2013 the BOM has received bid offer of USD and CNY from local commercial banks. BOM has sold 8.0 million USD and 84.4 million CNY to the local commercial banks.
On October 22nd, 2013, The BOM has received bid offer of USD for Swap agreement from local commercial banks and sold 100.0 million USD.
RESULT OF GOVERNMENT SECURITIES AUCTION: ₮70 BILLION 3-YEAR TREASURY NOTES AT 10.1%
October 23 (Bank of Mongolia) Auction for 3 years maturity Government Bond was announced at face value of 70 billion MNT and each unit was worth 1 million MNT. Face value of 70 billion /out of 162.5 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold to the banks at premium price and with weighted average yield of 10.01%.
Total outstanding 1-week bills at ₮1.58 trillion, ₮18 billion more than October 21
BoM issues 1-week bills: ₮705.6 billion
October 23 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 705.6 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
Mortgage Program Update: ₮464.6 Billion Refinanced, ₮578 Billion Newly Issued at 8%
October 23 (Cover Mongolia) As of October 22, ₮464.6 billion (₮461.5 billion as of October 17) existing mortgages of 16,492 citizens (16,421 as of October 17) were refinanced at 8% out of ₮796.1 billion (795.6 as of October 17) worth requests.
Also, ₮578 billion (₮553 billion as of October 17) new mortgages of 9966 citizens (9,598 citizens as of October 17) were issued at new rates out of ₮658.5 billion (₮636.9 billion as of October 17) worth requests.
Link to release (in Mongolian)
Fitch: Mongolian banks under pressure from state involvement
Oct 21 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Fitch Ratings says in a new report that the Mongolian government's credit stimulus adds pressure on banks' margins, capital, and asset quality. However, state involvement remains important to maintain confidence in the banking sector, including banks depending on the government for liquidity and currency risk mitigation.
Fitch believes that the government's MNT2trn (about USD1.2bn) loan programme and resultant margin pressure could remain in place until the government attains sustainably low inflation through higher interest rates or tighter fiscal policies. Steady access to equity is an important rating driver for the rated banks, as lending directed to strategic sectors under the loan programme could be more susceptible to deterioration and the programme's preferential lending rates insufficient to cover resulting loan losses. While there are plans to securitise banks' mortgages in Q413 to create capacity for continuous growth, it remains unclear to what extent this benefits liquidity and capital.
Foreign-currency (FC) risk remains the main pressure point for banks' asset quality and liquidity. The Mongolian tughrik's high volatility can quickly lead to large currency mismatches, which banks manage through a swap facility with the central bank. FC deposits increased rapidly following the tughrik's 24% depreciation from end-2012 to September 2013. Liquidity remains tight despite improving FC loan/deposit ratios given low levels of FC liquid assets and cashflow sensitivity to FC borrower defaults.
The report, "Mongolian Banks: Growing Ties with the State - Credit Stimulus Pressures Margins and Capital; Dollarisation Risk", is available at www.fitchratings.com, or by clicking on the link below.
Link to Fitch Ratings' Report: Mongolian Banks: Growing Ties with the State here
Bill on criminal law submitted to parliament
Ulaanbaatar, October 22 /MONTSAME/ The Minister of Justice Kh.Temuujin MP Tuesday submitted a bill on crimes to the Speaker of parliament.
The Minister noted that the criminal law always regulates the relations in protection of the society, state and civilians against any criminal actions, and keeps the values of politics, ideology, law and culture at their generations.
Since an approval in 2002, the law on criminals has been amended several times depending on various conditions and reasons, and it has clauses on the criminal actions against human body, mentality and properties under analysis of a number of crimes against human rights and freedom, Mr Temuujin stressed.
Moreover, the bill includes an additional article on the crimes against children and sexual immunity, and punishments for these crimes have toughened, Temuujin said.
In conjunction with the bill, the MP also submitted to parliament draft amendments to the laws on administrative jurisdiction and on court administration.
SMBC becomes first Japanese bank to open office in Mongolia
October 23 (The Asahi Shimbun) Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. has become the first Japanese bank to open an office in the central Asian nation of Mongolia, opening a representative office in Ulaanbaatar, the landlocked nation's capital, on Oct. 23.
Mongolia is becoming more attractive for foreign business interests due to the double-digit economic growth it has experienced by making the most of its abundant natural resources, such as copper and coal, SMBC said.
Development Bank of Mongolia, Mongolia's only government-operated bank and Khan Bank, Mongolia's largest private bank, already have business ties with SMBC.
SMBC also sees growth in Mongolia's underdeveloped energy sector. The bank along with Hitachi Ltd. and the Mongolia Ministry of Energy have executed a business alliance agreement to jointly develop an electrical transmission and distribution network in Mongolia.
MAK's Khukh Tsav cement plant to produce 2Mt/yr from 2014
Mongolia, October 23 (Global Cement) President of the Mongolian Alt Corporation (MAK) has announced that the Khukh Tsav cement plant will be able to produce 2Mt/yr of cement from 2014. At a state visit to the site by the Minister and the state secretary of the Construction and Urban Development Ministry, Ts Bayarsaikhan and R Erdeneburen, B Nyamtaishir of MAK asked that a quota of foreign workers be allowed to work at the plant.
Engineering firm FLSmidth has been contracted to provide machinery for the project. Once operational PC42,5 PC52,5 and PC62,5 cement will be produced at the cement plant located in Dalanjargalan Sum, Dornogovi aimag in the south-east of the country.
Poland's Famur to sell $100 mln in equipment to Mongolian firms
October 22 (Warsaw Business Journal) Polish mining machinery producer Famur may sign contracts worth $100 million with companies in Mongolia, Economy Minister Janusz Piechociński said. Famur was one of 40 businesses that took part in a Polish-Mongolian economic forum on Monday.
The Polish firm signed letters of intent for the supply of machinery to three Mongolian mining companies: Baganuur, Tsagaan Shonkhor Holding and Tsetsens Mining and Energy.
Mr Piechociński said that apart from Famur, other Polish sector companies, including Damel, Kopex and Węglokoks, have plans to do business in Mongolia. He expects Polish-Mongolian cooperation in the mining industry to increase in the coming years.
Minister Piechociński and Mongolian Minister of Mining Davaajav Gankhuyag signed a declaration of cooperation in the mining sector.
"We will increase our involvement in the mining industry and we will share our experience in the field," said Mr Piechociński. The declaration also covers an exchange of scientific knowledge and education of the sector employees.
According to Ministry of Economy data, after seven months of 2013, Poland's exports to Mongolia were worth €23 million, 22 percent more than the same period of 2012. Imports from Mongolia amounted to just €36,000.
Mapping Ulaanbaatar's Ger Districts
October 23 (The Asia Foundation) Mongolia is now one of the world's fastest growing economies, and nowhere is this growth more evident than the bustling and energetic capital, Ulaanbaatar. Expensive high rises, luxury stores, and modern apartment buildings are common in this city of 1.5 million; tower cranes dot the rising skyline, harbingers of even more cutting-edge development projects to come. But in the shadows of the cranes and high rises, are the city's ger districts, where more than half of the capital's residents live without access to basic public services like water, sewage systems, and central heating.
In 1989, 26.8 percent of Mongolia's population lived in Ulaanbaatar; by 2006 that number had risen to 38.1 percent; and by the 2010 census, 45 percent of Mongolia's population lived in the capital. Looking forward, population growth in the capital is expected to continue at the same pace, and with little affordable housing available, most of the newcomers ultimately settle in the ger areas.
Dealing with the ramifications of such large settlements in unplanned locations and effectively delivering services to all the city's residents, particularly in Mongolia's extreme weather conditions, is a massive challenge. Given the fluid nature of the areas, and the very limited data on demographics and availability of services for the neighborhoods, or khoroos, citizens' participation in decision-making and planning has been limited. In addition those managing the city have faced significant information deficits when making decisions on how to invest their limited public resources.
Working together with activists and kheseg (local) leaders, the mayor's office and The Asia Foundation have partnered to map each and every khoroo in the ger areas, and then used that data to carry out spatial analysis to identify service levels and gaps in accessibility and coverage of public services. Using eight indicators, the maps measure the availability and accessibility of services in five sectors: water, health, education, transportation, and safety. The data collected by the local leaders is plotted onto local maps that can be used by citizens and city officials. The mapping process is also designed to activate local citizens and leaders to engage in discussions of the availability of public services in their communities, and to form clear ideas for the prioritization of resources and investment by the city and the community members.
The process started in 2012 as a pilot project in 11 khoroos, but at the Ulaanbaatar mayor's request, the Foundation and city municipality extended the project to cover all 87 khoroos of the Ulaanbaatar ger area. Last week, the mayor's office and The Asia Foundation presented the results and analysis of their joint community mapping initiative to officials from the City Municipality.
Feedback on the results was positive. Mr. Bat-Uul, the capital city governor and the mayor of Ulaanbaatar, said that, "previously all decisions were made based on statistics. However, statistics are not 'live' numbers; they may not always reflect the reality. Now we have community-made maps, which clearly show us where schools and kindergartens are located, where we need additional water kiosks, and what the optimal locations are for infrastructure development across the city."
Ulaanbaatar's city manager, Mr. Badral, reiterated the importance of community mapping for future budget discussions and city planning, saying that "the mapping process should continue, given its positive implications not only for the community, but also for decision-makers."
The mapping process turned out to be a useful process for community members as well: they may know about their gudamj, or street, they may know where the nearest shops or water kiosks are, but they may not know much about their entirekhoroo area. After seeing this information on a map, many people discover the bigger picture and start to make comparisons between advantages and disadvantages of neighboring khesegs or khoroos. These maps are helping ger residents to understand how their community relates to the wider surrounding environment and to build stronger community relationships in their neighborhoods, where they often live close together, share common goods, and need to work toward the community's well-being as a group.
The results and analysis of the community mapping process will be used in discussions of the city's five-year investment plan, as well as the parliamentary budget sessions for 2014. It will be the first time that spatial analysis is used as a basis for the political level budgetary discussions. We are also supporting the city on a new website, which will be launched soon as an online resource with community maps available to citizens. The site will serve as a database for Ulaanbaatar city officials to update the maps and track progress over time. The Foundation will also support the city to make community mapping a sustainable tool through training and planning for regular updates of information as well as through further discussions on the strategic use of the data generated by the maps.
Since May 2012, The Asia Foundation has been implementing the Urban Services Project for the Ger Districts of Ulaanbaatar (USP) project as part of its Strategic Partnership with the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).
Premier Gets Au Fait with Construction of New Airport
Ulaanbaatar, October 22 /MONTSAME/ The Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag Monday ran the "Hours of great construction" meeting to get au fait with a construction works of an international airport in Khoshigt Valley, Tov aimag.
The construction launched last June. The overburden stripping has been done on 2.8 million square meters, some 94% of the work has been completed so far, a project director N.Enkhbat told the Premier. Earth-moving works have started, and an erection of terminals and control tower will begin next year, he added.
After the report, the Premier appreciated that the process is intensive despite the short time passed, and said the airport will be able to go into use in due time if the constructors keep the works dynamic.
The project works are being implemented by 700 professionals and workers and 80 engineering and technical experts from Mongolia, Japan, South Korea, Great Britain and the Philippines, moreover, more than 180 units of machinery and hi tech are exploited. As estimated, the project's construction works cost JPY 49.5 billion which are financed from soft loan of Japan's developmental official assistance.
Apart of the Premier, present at the weekly meeting were Ch.Saikhanbileg, the head of the Cabinet Secretariat for Government; N.Batbayar, the Minister of Economic Development; Shimizu Takenori, the Ambassador of Japan to Mongolia; and other officials.
China receives PMs of Russia, India and Mongolia at same time
October 23 (Global Times) China Tuesday simultaneously received prime ministers from neighboring countries Russia, India and Mongolia, underlining an emphasis on peripheral diplomacy in its overall diplomatic strategy against the backdrop of the US pivot to the Asia-Pacific.
Tuesday's packed diplomatic activities started with the 18th regular meeting between the Chinese and Russian heads of government in Beijing, which saw the signing of an array of deals, followed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Beijing on Tuesday evening for a three-day visit. He is scheduled to hold talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and meet Xi on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Mongolian Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag visited Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province on Tuesday, before heading to Liaoning Province to improve economic ties and Beijing for talks with Chinese leaders, according to Mongolian media.
It's rare to have three foreign leaders make simultaneous visits.
"In recent months, China's efforts in peripheral diplomacy have been way more significant than I had imagined," Jin Canrong, a deputy dean of the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times.
The simultaneous visits came after President Xi and Premier Li's relayed visits to Southeast Asian countries earlier this month, signifying China's emphasis on relations with neighbors.
Shi Yinhong, a professor with the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times that the receiving of the leaders is also a response to the US pivot.
The US strategic pivot to Asia has put great pressure on China and triggered some problems in its neighboring region, Su Hao, director of the Asia-Pacific Research Center at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times. "Therefore, China needs to stabilize its neighboring environment and strengthen its relationship with neighboring countries, especially those big powers," he said.
During the meeting with Medvedev, Xi spoke highly of fruitful bilateral cooperation in global and regional affairs, adding they had safeguarded common interests and justice.
"Both Russia and China feel pressure from the US and the consolidation of China-Russia relations will contain the US' pivot to Asia," said Su.
As for India, the US has been trying to draw it to its side so as to establish a strategic circle from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean, the expert noted. "India is an independent power and the strengthening of Sino-Indian relations will help reduce the pressure from the US, and contain Washington's pivot," Su said.
After the meeting with Medvedev, Li said, "(We) reached many new consensuses on further advancing practical cooperation, especially on large-scale projects," adding they had witnessed the signing of 21 bilateral cooperation agreements.
Among the deals, energy cooperation is one of the most important achievements.
"(We) will supply an additional 10 million tons of crude oil each year (to China), which will be done by Russia's biggest oil company Rosneft. It means 100 million tons in the next 10 years, worth a total of $85 billion," said Medvedev in an online chat via Xinhuanet.com.
In a separate deal, Rosneft and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) agreed on supplies to a planned oil refining joint venture in Tianjin, Reuters reported.
Novatek, Russia's largest independent natural gas producer, agreed to supply 3 million tons per year of liquefied natural gas to CNPC, one of the partners in its $20 billion project on the Arctic Yamal peninsula. The deal covers a period of 15 years.
Meanwhile, Gazprom, the world's largest gas company, said that it had reached an agreement on a price formula to supply 38 billion cubic meters per year of gas by pipeline to China.
However, final price terms were not agreed, meaning talks are likely to run into 2014, according to Reuters.
Separately, in a written reply to a question raised by the Global Times, Manmohan Singh said India welcomes Chinese investment and the Chinese proposal to establish a Chinese Industrial Park in the country.
The prime minister said India faces an unsustainable imbalance in its trade with China and one of the ways of overcoming the trade deficit is for India to attract larger flows of foreign direct investment from China.
Xinhua contributed to this story
China Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin Holds Consultations with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs D. Gankhuyag of Mongolia
October 18 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC) On 16 October 2013, Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin co-chaired annual consultations between Vice Foreign Ministers of China and Mongolia with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs D. Gankhuyag of Mongolia.
Liu expressed that Mongolia is an important neighbour of China. China has always attached great importance to relations with Mongolia and put the relations with Mongolia in an important place of foreign policy. China is ready to work with Mongolia to unceasingly push forward China-Mongolia strategic partnership. The Chinese side attaches great importance to Mongolian Prime Minister Norovyn Altankhuyag's upcoming visit to China and is ready to work closely with the Mongolian side to ensure the full success of the visit.
Gankhuyag expressed that the Mongolian side is satisfied with the high-level development of Mongolia-China relations. Mongolia always takes the development of relations with China as one of the top priorities for the foreign policy. Prime Minister Altankhuyag's upcoming visit to China is of great significance. It is expected to yield fruitful outcomes to further push for in-depth development of Mongolia-China strategic partnership in all fields.
Mongolian president to meet with N. Korean leader in Pyongyang
October 22 (Kyodo) Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj will travel to North Korea next week to discuss bilateral and regional affairs with the country's leader Kim Jong Un, a Mongolian government source said Tuesday.
The president will be the first head of state in the world to hold talks with Kim since he took up the post of first secretary of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea in April last year, after the death of his father and longtime ruler Kim Jong Il.
Elbegdorj's official visit to North Korea is scheduled to start Monday, the source said.
While in North Korea, there is a possibility of the Mongolian president raising the issue of Pyongyang's past abduction of Japanese nationals.
The source said Japan and North Korea are "both friendly nations for Mongolia" and "it would be good if Mongolia could contribute to strengthening relations" between Tokyo and Pyongyang.
Last month in Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussed the abduction issue with his Mongolian counterpart Norov Altankhuyag.
In July, Japan's abduction issue minister Keiji Furuya also met with Elbegdorj in Ulan Bator and sought Mongolia's cooperation over the issue.
The abduction issue remains a key stumbling block in establishing diplomatic relations between Japan and North Korea, with Pyongyang saying it has been resolved and Tokyo calling for a reinvestigation into the whereabouts of those abducted in the 1970s and 1980s.
Japan officially lists 17 nationals as having been abducted by North Korea, but suspects Pyongyang's involvement in other disappearances. Five abductees were repatriated in 2002.
Report: Mongolian president to visit N. Korea next week – Yonhap News Agency, October 23
Kazakhstan FM Sends Letter to Mongolian Counterpart on 20th Anniversary of Ties
Ulaanbaatar, October 22 /MONTSAME/ The Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Mr Erlan Idrisov Monday sent a letter to Mr L.Bold, the Mongolian Foreign Minister.
Mr Idrisov congratulates the Minister and the people of Mongolia on the 20th anniversary of the Friendly relations and cooperation Treaty between the Republic of Kazakhstan and Mongolia.
He stresses that this document plays an important role in the consistent development of the collaboration between the two countries bonded with long history of traditional friendship.
He also writes that the significant contributions of Mongolia to the further democratization of the society and to the regional integration clearly indicate how the position and authority of Mongolia have strengthened in the international arena.
Kazakhstan highly appreciates the cooperation with Mongolia and it intends to continue expanding the cooperation with it in the spheres of security, politics, economics and in cultural and humanitarian fields, underlines MrIdrisov.
He expresses a willingness to further join efforts with Mongolia to strengthen the mutually beneficial cooperation, and welcomes Mongolia's Foreign Minister to Kazakhstan with a visit.
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Mongolian Basketball Association Defines Its Future Strategy
ULAANBAATAR - Known worldwide for its expansive blue skies, vast green rolling countryside, wild horses, wresting and the great Emperor Genghis Khan, Mongolia now wants to be know for something else: basketball.
The Mongolian Basketball Association (MBA), under new leadership since January of this year, has great expectations for the future basketball in the landlocked country of just under three million people sandwiched between China and Russia. Lead by President Ganhuyag Hutagt, Secretary General Orgil Bathuyag and Special Advisor Eddie Ganbat, the MBA is developing ambitious plans to remake the MBA make it a player on and off the court in the East Asian and Asian basketball scenes.
The MBA's main project is completely rebuilding from the ground up the National Teams programs from U16 to Senior teams for both men and women. Undertaking this challenge is recently hired American coach and consultant Alan Walls. Walls has 19 years of coaching experience around the world on the youth, high school, college and professional levels. Before coming to Mongolia Walls was the Director of Instruction and Head Coach with Five-Star Basketball China. The ultimate goal of the project is to transform Mongolia into a regular participant in the FIBA Asia Championships held every two years, both men's and women's, starting with 2015. Mongolia has never qualified to compete in the championship.
Other projects that the MBA plans to undertake include:
drafting a four-year business and sport development strategic plan.
designing a new logo, slogan, website and marketing plan that reflect the MBA's new direction.
establishing regional satellite branches of the MBA in various cities throughout the country that will assist with talent scouting and organizing grassroots basketball events outside of the capital.
establishing "Blue Wolves Basketballs Schools" for youth ages 6-18 throughout the country.
the formation of the Mongolia Collegiate Basketball Association which will organize an annual nationwide college league that will run for five to six months concluding with a NCAA-type national tournament.
the formation of the Mongolia High School Basketball Association with a league similar to the college league.
establishing a FIBA 3X3 National Team program to compete regionally and globally.
the participation of MBA staff and board members on various FIBA Asia and EABA committees.
organizing international competitions on all levels in Mongolia including one FIBA Asia or EABA event annually.
conducting summer camps and clinics for players and coaches lead by foreign coaches.
fostering partnerships with other associations in different FIBA regions for coaching, player and best practices exchanges.
STRENGTHENING DISASTER RISK REDUCTION IN MONGOLIA
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, October 22 (Asian Disaster Preparedness Center) – In its efforts to strengthen the national and local-level capacities for disaster risk reduction in Mongolia, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) signed a memorandum of understanding and a tripartite letter of agreement together with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia in the beginning of October.
"Asian Disaster Preparedness Center will continue to bring technical expertise to Mongolia in order to contribute to reducing disaster risks and supporting the national disaster risk reduction agenda being led by the National Emergency Management Agency", says ADPC's Chairman and Executive Director Prof. Dr. Krasae Chanawongse.
National Emergency Management Agency gave its full support for the implementation of disaster risk reduction -related activities in the Mongolia. According to NEMA's Chief Mr. T. Dulamdorj, it is important for the Government of Mongolia to build partnerships with international technical organizations and development partners in order to address disaster-related issues in a longer-term perspective.
The Resident Coordinator's Office in Mongolia stated it will be happy to extend all the possible support during the implementation of a set of activities over the next year. In a bilateral meeting with ADPC, Mongolia's Deputy Prime Minister H. E. D. Terbishdagva expressed his wish that ADPC's efforts will help minimize the risks and vulnerabilities of the local populations.
Consultations and workshops to facilitate the development process
Following the signing of the agreements, National Emergency Management Agency chaired a consultation on community-based disaster risk reduction and local-level development planning processes in Mongolia. Facilitated by ADPC, UNDP, and United Nations Resident Coordinator's office, the consultation was attended by representatives of different line ministries, departments, donors and INGOs.
ADPC and UNDP also organized two capacity-building workshops for district governors in Khentii and Selenge provinces. Focusing on community-based disaster risk reduction and its linkages with local development planning, the workshops were attended by 65 government officials including district governors and local NEMA officials. ADPC will develop a community-based the framework for Mongolia and help develop its linkages with the local level development planning process.
Mr. Irfan Maqbool
Safer Development Planning and Implementation (SDPI)
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center
IFCR: Long Term Planning Framework 2012-2015: Mongolia
October 22 (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies) --
Who are we?
The Mongolian Red Cross Society (MRCS) was established as a voluntary organization with the mission of delivering life-saving services to the Mongolian population and through its actions embody the principles and philosophy of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. As an auxiliary to the Mongolian Government it promotes the respect and adherence to its principles, norms and visions of International Humanitarian Law (the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their additional protocols), furthermore it provides support to the government's humanitarian policy, whilst remaining as a self-governing humanitarian organization serving the Mongolian society at large.
MRCS delivers services through the following programmes: Basic health services through health and first aid programmes; psychosocial and income generation services through social care and volunteer programmes; volunteer blood donor programmes to increase blood supply; disaster response and early recovery services through its disaster management programme; Red Cross youth programmes; water sanitation and hygiene programmes to enable healthy living environments and behaviour; and HIV/AIDS programme to improve reproductive health. All these services are being delivered to all Mongolian population through a wide range of network consisting of volunteers, primary and middle-level branches (MLBs) established in every corner of the country. Since its establishment, MRCS has created and sustained its MLBs in Ulaanbaatar city in all provinces and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and primary branches at the General Authority for border Protection as well as all over the country.
Gobi Desert project to save critically endangered camel
October 22 (Voice of Russia) Efforts are underway in the Gobi Desert to save a newly discovered species of camel from extinction. The critically endangered double-humped camel is restricted to parts of Mongolia and China and was once thought to be the same species as the better known Bactrian camel. We spoke to John Hare, who runs the Wild Camel Protection Foundation (WPCF) which is behind the conservation programme.
Only around 1,400 of the camels survive in China and Mongolia.
"They are remarkable creatures," Hare told us. "I mean, in China, for example, they withstood 43 atmospheric nuclear tests. They lived in the Lop Nur nuclear test area. And they're still breathing naturally and they haven't got three humps."
The WCPF is working to save the camels through successful captive breeding and subsequent re-introduction of the young animals into the wild.
They are thought to be a very ancient species from which the better known single-humped species may be descended.
The wild double-humped camel has to manage without fresh water for much of its life. "Young wild camels are drinking water with a higher salt content than seawater," says Hare. "Only around 1,400 camels survive in China and Mongolia. And they are fighting for their existence every day."
With regard to the kind of challenges the camels face just to survive, he explains:
"People are going into the desert illegally. We found a case of them setting landmines near a water point to blow the camel up so they can get food. There's a lot of going against them. Wolves are another threat."
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