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Thursday, November 14, 2013
Restatement shows SouthGobi did better in first half 2013 than first reported
VANCOUVER, November 11 (The Canadian Press) - SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX:SGQ) is restating its financial reports for the first half of 2013 and the previous three years, and reporting a bigger third-quarter loss than analysts expected.
The Mongolia-focused coal company's results fell short of estimates compiled last week before the restatements were issued Monday morning.
SouthGobi's loss for the three months ended Sept. 30 was US$41.9 million or 23 cents per share — down from a restated $46.4 million or 26 cents per share a year earlier — while revenue was $15.6 million.
Estimates compiled before the restated numbers were released called for SouthGobi's third-quarter loss to decline to five cents per share, compared with 18 cents per share in the three months ended June 30.
In brief, the restatements show the mining company's loss in the first six months of this year was slightly smaller and revenue much higher than reported in August.
For the six months ended June 30, SouthGobi's net loss was $56.8 million or 31 cents per share, a penny less than previously reported, while SouthGobi's revenue in the first half of 2013 was $6.9 million higher than previously reported at $10.5 million.
Note to readers: CORRECTS that loss was down, not up from year earlier.
SouthGobi Provides a Summary of Information on Unaudited Third Quarter 2013 and Unaudited Year to Date September 30, 2013 Financial Results – SouthGobi Resources, November 11
Turquoise Hill Announces Unaudited Restated Financial Information for the Years Ended December 31, 2010, 2011 and 2012 - Turquoise Hill Resources, November 11
SouthGobi Resources to Announce the Interim Financial Results for the Three and Nine Month Periods Ended September 30, 2013 on November 14, 2013
Conference call to discuss results
HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - Nov. 11, 2013) - The board of directors of SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX:SGQ)(HKSE:1878) (the "Company") will meet on Thursday, November 14, 2013 to consider and approve the Interim financial results of the Company and its subsidiaries for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2013. These financial results will be released before TSX market open.
The Company will host a conference call and audio webcast to discuss third quarter 2013 financial results and provide an update on the Company's operations. Date and time of the call for various regions will be as follows:
· Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. EST / 3:00 p.m. PST
· Friday, November 15, 2013 at 7:00 a.m. Hong Kong Time
Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi now connected to central power supply
November 13 (Mongolian Economy) The 2-year project to build a power line from central Mongolia to SouthGobi (UmnuGobi) wrapped up and was presented to the state commission on November 11. The newly built power lines connect Mandalgobi (capital of Dundgobi province or the central province), Tavantolgoi and OyuTolgoi. There was also addition work on extending and upgrading certain power lines and substations located in Choir (the capital of Gobisumber province, located to the east of Dundgobi) and Mandalgobi city.
Over the course of OyuTolgoi's development, occasional power outages occurred in SouthGobi and its nearby provinces, prompting the government to finally deal with the power infrastructure in those provinces. The construction work was carried out by MCS International LLC over a 28-month period.
The new power lines are of strategic importance to Mongolia; every territory within the area – which includes areas around UB and Tuv Province – will have better power stability and southern provinces will no longer have power shortages. On the strength of the connection, new power plants based on Tavan Tolgoi coal may be built in the future. This also enables the Oyu Tolgoi project to utilize domestic energy rather than solely depending on imported energy from China.
Additionally, it sets the foundation for a multinational Russia-Mongolia-China power line across the country.
Oyu Tolgoi board members ignore MP Ganbaatar's meeting requests
November 11 /www.news.mn/ MP S.Ganbaatar invited the Oyu Tolgoi LLC board members, who are involved in the massive Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement, for a meeting on Friday November 8th 2013. However the Oyu Tolgoi LLC board members who represent the Mongolian Government failed to attend the meeting that was scheduled to be held at Government House. The only person who accepted the invitation and arrived at the meeting was former CEO of Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi LLC, Ts.Sedvaanchig.
MP S.Ganbaatar, who is supposed to get a document on the Oyu Tolgoi project, invited 13 officials including S.Bayar, S.Bayartsogt, D.Zorigt and L.Gansukh who signed the Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement. The current board members representing the Mongolian Government D.Ganbold, G.Temuulen, Ch.Otgochuluu as well as former board members Ch.Ganbold, P.Tsagaan, N.Bagabandi, D.Batbaatar and Ts.Sedvaanchig (Mogi: Batbaatar and Sedvanchig were never OT board members) were also invited to the meeting on Oyu Tolgoi project. Of these, 10 of them sent their apologies and excuses as to why they could not attend but three; S.Bayar, S,Bayartsogt and N.Bagabandi, failed to reply to the invitation said MP S.Ganbaatar.
Ts.Sedvaanchig expressed his despair about the politicians failure to take responsibility via twitter.
But MP S.Ganbaatar says he will not give up on trying hold the meeting with officials related to the massive Oyu Tolgoi issues.
ETG rose 2.78% to C$0.37, EGI fell 0.03% to US$0.36
Entree Gold Reports on Third Quarter 2013
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 13, 2013) - Entrée Gold Inc. (TSX:ETG)(NYSE MKT:EGI)(FRANKFURT:EKA) ("Entrée" or the "Company") has today filed its interim operational and financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2013.
Highlights for the quarter and beyond include:
Ann Mason, Nevada
Oyu Tolgoi Project Update
Entrée has a carried joint venture interest in two of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold deposits in Mongolia - the Hugo North Extension and the Heruga deposits. The remaining deposits are held by Entrée's joint venture partner, Oyu Tolgoi LLC ("OTLLC") (66% Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd.; 34% Government of Mongolia). Phase 1 (Southern Oyu open pits) is in commercial production and Phase 2 (Lift 1 of the underground block cave mining operation, which includes a portion of the Hugo North Extension deposit) is being developed by Rio Tinto.
· Turquoise Hill announced that the first shipment of copper concentrate left the Oyu Tolgoi open pit mine for customers in China on July 9, 2013. The necessary approvals from Chinese customs officials to allow those customers to collect purchased concentrate were received in October and a convoy carrying concentrate departed from the Chinese-border warehouse on October 19, 2013.
· On July 28, 2013, Turquoise Hill announced that notification had been received from the Government of Mongolia that project financing for Oyu Tolgoi will now require approval by the Mongolian Parliament. As a result, funding and development of the Oyu Tolgoi underground mine will be delayed until outstanding matters with the Mongolian Government can be resolved and a new timetable has been agreed. (Mogi: by parliament? Is that the official line still?)
· As of September 1, 2013, the Oyu Tolgoi open pit mine achieved official Commencement of Production, as defined in the October 2009 Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement ("2009 OTIA").
· On October 14, 2013, Turquoise Hill reported that the concentrator is now operating at name-plate capacity of approximately 100,000 tonnes of ore processed per day. Turquoise Hill expects Oyu Tolgoi to produce between 75,000 and 85,000 tonnes of copper in concentrates for the year.
· The board of OTLLC has replaced three directors representing the Government of Mongolia.
Entrée - OTLLC Joint Venture
· On October 1, 2013, the Company was advised that the temporary transfer restriction on the Shivee Tolgoi and Javhlant joint venture mining licences (MV-15225A and MV-15226A) will be lifted. The Company has also been notified that the reserves for the joint venture deposits as approved through Order No. 167 in July 2009 will now stand as originally presented.
· Entrée has been in discussions with stakeholders of the Oyu Tolgoi project, including the Government of Mongolia, OT LLC, Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi LLC, Erdenes MGL LLC and Rio Tinto, since the Government of Mongolia temporarily restricted the joint venture licences from transfer in February 2013. The discussions to date have focussed on issues arising from Entrée's exclusion from the 2009 OTIA, including the fact that the Government of Mongolia does not have a full 34% interest in the joint venture property; the fact that the mining licences integral to future underground operations are held by more than one corporate entity; and the fact that Entrée does not benefit from the stability that it would otherwise have if it were a party to the 2009 OTIA. Meetings to discuss possible ways of addressing all parties' concerns in a mutually satisfactory manner have been positive and constructive. No final agreements have been reached and further discussions with all stakeholders are required.
For the three months ended September 30, 2013, net loss was $2,930,602 ($0.02 per share) compared to $1,899,158 ($0.01 per share) in the three months ended September 30, 2012. For the nine months ended September 30, 2013, net loss was $10,298,063 ($0.07 per share) compared to $10,218,695 ($0.08 per share) in the nine months ended September 30, 2012. During the three months ended September 30, 2013, Entrée incurred higher operating expenditures, due to a combination of higher foreign exchange losses and consultancy and advisory fees, relative to the three months ended September 30, 2012. While lower exploration expenditures occurred in all regions, the decreases were primarily related to the Ann Mason Project.
Audit of Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi Mine in Mongolia Shows Failure to Adequately Protect Herders and the Environment
November 13 (Accountability Counsel) Today, Accountability Counsel, OT Watch, and an international coalition of advocacy organizations delivered a review of Rio Tinto's recently published audit and Operational Management Plans to the World Bank Board. The audit revealed that Rio Tinto has failed to fully address nearly 90% of non-compliance issues that, according to the auditors, are "reasonably likely" to cause negative impacts, material damage or even irreversible harm to sensitive resources. The assessment of audit findings critique of the management plans is aimed at informing the Board members prior to their November 19 technical briefing on the Oyu Tolgoi project. To learn more about the project, please see our Mongolia page.
Sentosa Mining completes first round of drilling at Mongolia copper-gold project
November 12 (Proactive Investors) Sentosa Mining (ASX: SEO) has completed the first round of reverse circulation drilling at its Darvii Naruu Copper Gold Project in Govi-Altai province, Mongolia.
Darvii Naruu is located within the South Gobi Arc which hosts Rio Tinto's (ASX: RIO) world class Oyu Tolgoi porphyry copper gold deposits.
The company drilled 18 holes totalling 2,020 metres to test six anomalies selected from the 37 identified by a recent airborne geophysics survey.
Samples from the drill holes are currently being transported to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia where they will undergo geochemical analysis.
In addition a selection of 23 surface and RC drill chip samples from various locations are being transported back to Perth, Western Australia were they will undergo Petrology analysis.
Analysis should be completed by the end of this month with results expected in early December.
Sentosa had acquired 100% interest in Darvii Naruu on 1 October 2013 and has since raised $1.14 million to fund drilling on the project.
Mogi: if not mistaken all these convertible notes are held by MEC's two biggest shareholders Simon Lo and Cheng Yu-tung, owner of Chow Tai Fook Enterprises
MEC: BREACH OF THE SF CONVERTIBLE NOTE
November 12 -- This announcement is made by Mongolia Energy Corporation Limited (the ''Company'' and together with its subsidiaries, the ''Group,'' HKEx:276) pursuant to the provisions of inside information under Part XIVA of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 571, Laws of Hong Kong) (the ''SFO'') and Rule 13.09(2) of the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the ''Listing Rules'').
The Company refers to its announcement on 29 October 2013 (the "Announcement"). Capitalized terms in this announcement have the same meanings as those defined in the Announcement, unless otherwise stated.
The SF Convertible Note was expired on 12 November 2013. The Company has not redeemed the principal and repaid the interest thereon on its maturity; therefore, the Company is in breach of the redemption requirement under the SF Convertible Note.
The Company's default on redemption of the SF Convertible Note also triggers the Company' potential early redemption obligation under other existing convertible notes. As of the date of this announcement, these outstanding convertible notes, excluding the SF Convertible Note, have the aggregate principal amount of approximately HK$2.4 billion.
The holders of the SF Convertible Note have proposed a conditional six-month moratorium from 12 November 2013 on repayment of principals and interests due under the SF Convertible Note subject to formal agreement between the parties and the Company. The Company will exercise its endeavour to reach an acceptable moratorium and debt restructuring plan with all the noteholders and loan provider.
If the Company fails to reach the terms of the moratorium and debt restructuring with the holders of the convertible notes and the loan provider and they take enforcement action against the Company, material adverse impact may occur on the operations and financial position of the Group. The Company will further announce any developments as and when appropriate.
Shareholders and potential investors of the Company are urged to exercise caution when dealing in the shares of the Company.
Mogi: Looks like Origo is truly "out" of Mongolia. Thinks the investment law was passed in September 2012. Ok, the authors might've mistook 2013 for 2012, but then again it was passed in October 2013. But what's worse, says the new bill is "yet" to be ratified. "Out of Mongolia" indeed.
Origo backs out of Mongolia
The private equity firm has refocused its investment strategy on China and significantly reduced its headcount in Mongolia, according to CEO Chris Rynning.
November 7 (Private Equity International) UK-listed Origo Partners (LON:OPP) will no longer make investments in Mongolia, an investment destination that makes up 20 percent of its portfolio, Chris Rynning, chief executive of the firm told Private Equity International.
As a result, Origo has significantly downsized its investment team based in Mongolia's capital of Ulaanbaatar to just three people from about 25 people in early 2012, he said.
The remaining staff will manage the firm's legacy portfolio, which includes five portfolio companies, but will make no new investments in the foreseeable future.
"Now we are exclusively focusing on China and view Mongolia as a legacy portfolio, which we are looking to realise, distribute or reinvest in China," Rynning said. He added that the firm could also make opportunistic investments in Mongolia or Myanmar, where the firm has a small office.
Mongolia has attracted a lot of attention over the past few years with its abundance of natural resources and location next to China. However, the country is not providing foreign private equity players with good opportunities, which is making it difficult for Origo's to deploy capital and to exit.
Most important, investors have long-awaited a foreign investment law. A bill was approved in September 2012 (Mogi: October 2013 is when the new Investment Law was passed) offering the same investment rights to foreign investors as domestic firms. However, the bill is yet to be ratified (Mogi: you can see from here Origo is truly out of Mongolia, doesn't even know the law is already in effect from November) and Mongolia remains in "wait and see mode", Rynning said. Moreover, the ongoing dispute involving Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine and the government over the $7 billion project in the Gobi Desert continues. The conflict concerns a number of issues including project financing and cost overruns, adding further uncertainty for foreign investors. "In current environment, no one is going to go to Mongolia to look for new investments, something that would allow us to exit – to sell to a strategic or another financial institution – while these issues are unresolved. So the ability for Mongolia as a country to raise money for growth or to provide an environment to exit investments is not there. The market has just been dry for the last two years. Until those things are resolved, this market is not going to reopen." Rynning adds that Mongolia is "going nowhere" unless it builds railway infrastructure. "Mongolia's track record on building rail infrastructure and coal washing plants is disappointing. Unless they fix these things, not only Origo, but I don't think any serious public or private equity investors are going to take a long, hard look at that country." Origo is a China-based private equity firm listed on the London stock exchange. Most of the firm's employees are based in Beijing. The firm mostly invests in clean technology and is currently raising a $200 million fund, according to PEI's Research & Analytics division.
Origo Partners: Interim Management Statement
November 13 -- This Interim Management Statement by Origo Partners Plc ("Origo" or "the Company," AIM:OPP) and its subsidiaries ("the Group") relates to the three month period from July 1, 2013 to September 30, 2013 ("the Period").
Highlights from the Period:
· Unaudited net asset value of US$127.1 million compared to US$131.2 million for the period ending June 30, 2013
· Unaudited net asset value per share of US$0.36 at the end of the Period compared to US$0.38 per share for the period ending June 30, 2013
· Total investments of US$4.7 million
· Cash position of US$4.3 million
In Mongolia, market conditions too have gradually improved throughout the summer and early autumn. This week, Mongolia annulled 106 exploration licenses, including two low priority licenses held by Kincora Copper Ltd, an Origo portfolio company. Understandably, this was reported in the international press as something of a backlash against foreign investment in the country. In fact, this decision was widely anticipated, following a notice to relevant license holders in February this year in the wake of charges against the former head of the Mineral Resource Authority for Mongolia (MRAM). As far as Kincora is concerned, the company's flagship license, Bronze Fox, is not contested and remains in good standing. The same applies to all licenses held by Origo's other portfolio companies.
Looking at the bigger picture, we believe the direction of policy is moving in the right direction, albeit less quickly than one would wish.
Notably, on October 3 Mongolia's Parliament approved the Mongolian Law on Investment which overturns two previous laws, easing the regulatory approval required for foreign private investment. Furthermore, it contains legal guarantees, provides tax stability and sets out other incentives so as to promote investment in Mongolia. In sum, the revised law represents a significant, positive change to government policy. We also take comfort in reports indicating that the Mongolian government and Rio Tinto are making progress - albeit slowly - towards a resolution over the financing of Ouy Tolgoi - widely considered as the litmus test for foreign investment in the country. Yet, we anticipate that it will take well into the second half of 2014 until investor sentiment and asset prices respond to improving conditions on the ground. Meanwhile, our portfolio companies effectively remain in a holding pattern, preserving cash and maintaining their exploration and development budgets at a minimum.
1. Resources and Commitments
At September 30, 2013, Origo had cash and cash equivalents of US$4.3 million. Payables to debtors and other liabilities (excluding USR fair value movements, provisions for performance incentives and deferred income tax liabilities) amounted to US$1.6 million, comprising tax provisions applicable in the event of realisation of certain assets (US$500k) and pension accruals to Directors and employees (US$700k).
In the Period,Origo ceased to control the Mongolia Stock Exchange (MSE) Liquidity Fund, which is in the process of being wound-up. In accordance with relevant accounting standards, the cash balance (equivalent to US$3.2 million) of this former Group company is no longer consolidated in Origo's accounts. At the end of the Period, Origo maintained a residual interest of US$1.7 million in fixed deposits held through MSE. These deposits matured and the cash was returned to the Company in October.
Table 1: Top 10 Investments (US$ million)
China Rice Ltd
Preferred Stock & Loan
Gobi Coal & Energy Ltd
Metals & Mining
Celadon Mining Ltd
Metals & Mining
Unipower Battery Ltd
Preferred Stock & Loan
China Cleantech Partners
Limited Partnership Interests**
IRCA Holdings Ltd.
Metals & Mining
Common Stock & Loan
Niutech Energy Ltd
Moly World Ltd
Metals & Mining
Kincora Copper Ltd
Metals & Mining
Common Stock & Loan
Rising Technology Corporation Ltd
Guildford Coal cracks Noble and OCP Asia financing for Baruun Noyon Uul project
November 11 (Proactive Investors) Guildford Coal (ASX: GUF) should trade higher after entering into a binding term sheet for new financing arrangements with OCP Asia.
The new financing will total USD$65 million, comprising 2015 convertible bonds and 2016 amortising notes with detachable warrants.
Formal documentation is also being finalised with Noble Resources International for funding of USD$22 million to complete construction of the 98 kilometre haul road connecting the company's Baruun Noyon Uul coal mine with the China border and coal distribution hub at Ceke.
The OCP Asia bonds and notes will effectively re-finance 100% of Guilford's outstanding convertible bonds, subject to completion of final documentation.
These arrangements materially extend the maturity of existing funding, with the first potential principal repayment now not due until 2015.
Combined with the Noble facility, Guildford is now fully funded until maiden coal sales into China, expected in the first quarter next year.
Denison Mines Exploring Strategic Alternatives at Mongolia Uranium JV – Third Quarter Results
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 7, 2013) - Denison Mines Corp. (TSX:DML)(NYSE MKT:DNN) ("Denison" or the "Company") today reported its results for the three months and nine months ended September 30, 2013. All amounts in this release are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated.
Mineral Property Exploration
In Mongolia, exploration expenditures on the Company's Gurvan Saihan joint venture ("GSJV") properties totaled $94,000 and $491,000 for the three months and nine months ended September 30, 2013, compared to $309,000 and $3,131,000 for the same periods in 2012. Exploration activities have been reduced in 2013, as the Company focuses on completing the field programs and studies necessary to convert the Company's exploration licenses to mining licenses. By comparison, the Company completed a 29,600 metre drill program on the Urt Tsav and Ulziit properties in 2012.
The Company has recently started exploring strategic alternatives regarding its ownership interest in the GSJV. The Company currently has an 85% interest in the GSJV, with Mon-Atom LLC holding the remaining 15% interest.
Trimble Quantm Alignment Planning System Helps Optimize Route for Aspire Mining's Mongolian Rail Project
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) announced today that its Quantm® alignment planning system was used for route optimization on the Mongolian Northern Railways project from Ovoot to Erdenet. Quantm was selected to investigate alignment alternatives by Aspire Mining and their appointed consultants, SMEC International, on the 547-kilometer coal freight rail pre-feasibility study.
The pre-feasibility study revision that SMEC prepared for Aspire identified a more direct route from the Ovoot project to Mongolia's second-largest city, Erdenet. The more direct route has resulted in a lower capital expenditure projection for the Northern Rail Line project, with potential savings of approximately US$200 million.
"The Quantm software was a direct factor in enabling us to achieve the results from the rail study," said Matt Crompton, Infrastructure Manager, Aspire Mining Ltd. "It helped us do the analysis quickly and the results are now ready for use by more traditional platforms for detailed engineering and analysis."
MSE Weekly Review, November 5-8: Top 20 -6.9%, Turnover ₮175.7 Million
Ulaanbaatar, November 11 /MONTSAME/ Four stock trades were held at Mongolia's Stock Exchange on from November 5-8.
In overall, 299 thousand and 591 shares were sold of 43 joint-stock companies totaling MNT 175 million 714 thousand and 069.00.
"Hai Bi Oil" /108 thousand and 040 units/, "Remicon" /104 thousand and 724 units/, "Mongolian Telecommunication Company" /21 thousand and 208 units/, "Hermes Center" /13 thousand and 717 units/, " Genco Tour Bureau" /ten thousand and 560 units/ and were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Hai Bi Oil" (MNT 36 million 711 thousand and 480), "Mongolian Telecommunication Company" (MNT 33 million 791 thousand and 460), "APU" /MNT 28 million 868 thousand and 805/, "Remicon" /MNT 18 million 181 thousand and 425/ and "Suu" (MNT six million 079 thousand and 750).
MSE News, November 11: Top 20 +1.79%, Turnover ₮15.6 Million
Ulaanbaatar, November 11 /MONTSAME/ At the Stock Exchange trades held Monday, a total of 21 thousand and 488 shares of 19 JSCs were traded costing MNT 15 million 578 thousand and 980.00.
"Remicon" /10,693 units/, "State Department Store" /5,189 units/, "Hermes Center" /2,000 units/, "Tavan Tolgoi" /1,380 units/ and "Genco Tour Bureau" /1,000 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Tavan Tolgoi" (MNT five million 134 thousand and 780), "State Department Store" (MNT two million 385 thousand and 450), "Remicon" (MNT one million 828 thousand and 510), "Mogoin Gol" (MNT one million 612 thousand and 400) and "Bayangol Hotel" (MNT one million 440 thousand).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 492 billion 516 million 132 thousand and 001. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,619.03, increasing by MNT 257.55 or 1.79% against the previous day.
MSE News, November 12: Top 20 -1.36%, Turnover ₮33.4 Million
Ulaanbaatar, November 12 /MONTSAME/ At the Stock Exchange trades held Tuesday, a total of 47 thousand and 804 shares of 25 JSCs were traded costing MNT 33 million 395 thousand and 520.00.
"Hermes Center" /26,000 units/, "Remicon" /12,528 units/, "Aduun Chuluun" /2,560 units/, "Khukh Gan" /2,200 units/ and "APU" /957 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Bayangol Hotel" (MNT seven million 802 thousand and 400), "Aduun Chuluun" (MNT four million 331 thousand and 650), "Hermes Center" (MNT four million 160 thousand), "APU" (MNT three million 641 thousand and 700) and "Material Impex" (MNT two million 378 thousand).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 471 billion 308 million 945 thousand and 678. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,419.50, decreasing by MNT 199.53 or 1.36% against the previous day.
MSE News, November 13: Top 20 +1.7%, Turnover ₮33.8 Million
Ulaanbaatar, November 13 /MONTSAME/ At the Stock Exchange trades held Wednesday, a total of two thousand and 142 shares of 18 JSCs were traded costing MNT 30 million 837 thousand and 183.00.
"Mogoin Gol" /1,200 units/, "Shivee Ovoo" /336 units/, "UB Buk" /150 units/, "Bayangol Hotel" /101 units/ and "Eermel" /100 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Mogoin Gol" (MNT 15 million 960 thousand), "UB Buk" (MNT five million 725 thousand), "Bayangol Hotel" (MNT five million 50 thousand), "Shivee Ovoo" (MNT two million 264 thousand and 640) and "Material Impex" (MNT 658 thousand).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 490 billion 873 million 444 thousand and 795. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,664.54, increasing by MNT 254.04 or 1.70% against the previous day.
BoM Exchange Rates: November 13 Close
BoM holds FX auction: CNY 80 million, USD 23.5 million & CNY 3 million swap agreements
November 12 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on November 12th, 2013 the BOM has received bid offer of USD and CNY from local commercial banks. BOM has sold 80.0 million CNY to the local commercial banks.
On November 12th, 2013, The BOM has received bid offer of USD for Swap agreement from local commercial banks and sold 23.5 million USD and 3 million CNY.
RESULT OF GOVERNMENT SECURITIES AUCTION: ₮20 Billion 28-Week Treasury Bills at Average 8.39%
November 13 (Bank of Mongolia) Regular auction for 28 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 40.0 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold to the banks at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 8.39%.
Total outstanding 1-week bills fall by ₮103.1 billion to ₮1.165 trillion
BoM issues ₮485.4 billion 1-week bills
November 13 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 485.4 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
Mortgage Program Update: ₮468.5 Billion Refinanced, ₮617.1 Billion Newly Issued at 8%, In Total ₮1.086 Trillion
November 13 (Cover Mongolia) As of November 12, ₮468.5 billion (₮467.7 billion as of November 6) existing mortgages of 16,652 citizens (16,621 as of November 6) were refinanced at 8% out of ₮796.9 billion (₮796.7 billion as of November 6) worth requests.
Also, ₮617.1 billion (₮606.6 billion as of November 6) new mortgages of 10,654 citizens (10,460 citizens as of November 6) were issued at new rates out of ₮697 billion (₮686.2 billion as of November 6) worth requests.
Link to release (in Mongolian)
Mongolia 3Q GDP Growth 11.9% on Year, Statistics Office Says
By Michael Kohn
Nov. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's gross domestic product grew 11.9% on year in the third quarter, the National Statistics Office says in statement distributed today.
* GDP grew 11.5% in the first nine months, the agency says in statement distributed at its office today.
* Mongolia's economy grew 14.3% in the second quarter and 11.3% in the first half, according to data reported earlier by the statistics agency. Annual growth in 2012 was 12.4%.
Mongolia Export Drop 4.9% in First 10 Months: Statistics Office
By Michael Kohn
Nov. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolian exports fell to $3.48b in Jan.-Oct. compared to $3.66b yr earlier, National Statistics Office says today in statement on its website.
* Imports fell 6.8% to $5.34b from $5.73b yr earlier, statistics office says
* Mongolia exported 13.44m tons of coal in the first ten months compared with 16.56m tons in same period a yr earlier, office says. Copper concentrate exports rose to 520,600 tons from 479,100 tons from yr earlier
* Mongolia exported 7.2 tons of gold compared with 2 tons a year earlier, office says
Social and economic situation of Mongolia (As of the first 10 months of 2013)
November 11 (National Statistics Office) --
I. Social indicators
In the first 10 months of 2013, 66277 mothers delivered 66618 children (live births) increased by 4192 mothers or 6.8 percent and 4271 children or 6.9 percent, compared to same period of the previous year.
In the first 10 months of 2013, at national level infant mortality increased by 4 or 0.4 percent to 953 and child mortality aged 5 increased by 26 or 2.3 percent to 1181.
The number of unemployed reached 39.4 thousand at the end of October 2013, reflecting an decrease of 688 persons or 1.7 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
In revenue of social insurance fund of the first 10 months of 2013, 997.0 bln.tog, expenditure 872.2 bln.tog, showing an increase 182.7 bln.tog or 22.4 percent in revenue, 123.0 bln.tog or 16.4 percent in expenditure compared to same period of the previous year.
In social welfare fund of the first 10 months of 2013, 196.2 thous.persons 109.8 bln.tog granted pensions, showing in increase 18.0 thous.persons or 10.1 percent in number of persons received social welfare pensions and allowances, 17.0 bln.tog or 18.3 percent in social welfare pensions and allowances compared to same period of the previous year.
In the first 10 months of 2013, a total of 188.4 bln.tog distributed for 988.3 thousand children ages below 18 by the Human Development Fund for children. For the 21 thous.tog cash allowances to allocated from The Human Development fund paid 215.1 thous.persons a total 21.8 bln.tog. For the one mln.tog cash allowances to allocated from The Human Development fund for elderly and disabled of 5.4 thous.persons, the fund paid a total 4.3 bln.tog.
In the first 10 months of 2013, the total number of infectious disease cases reached 31730, decrease by 4343 cases or 12.0 percent compared to same period of the previous year. The decrease in the number of infectious disease cases was mainly due to the decrease of 3457 or 60.3 percent in viral hepatitis, 2884 or 36.1 percent in mumps although there were increase of 1716 or 81.6 percent in varicella and 1038 or 26.3 percent in syphilis.
At national level, 21190 crimes were registered in the first 10 months of 2013, reflecting an increase of 2938 crimes or 16.1 percent compared to same period of the previous year. The increase in the number of crimes was mainly due to the increases in crime against the right of ownership (1925), crime against human life and health (or physical well-being) (956) compared to same period of the previous year.
In the first 10 months of 2013, occurred crimes caused 7888 injuries and 817 deaths. The number of injuries up by 941 persons or 13.5 percent and the number of deaths up by 17 persons or 2.1 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
II. Macroeconomic indicators
In the first 9 months of 2013, GDP by production approach reached 12266.4 bln.tog at current prices increases 22.1 percent compared to the previous year.
In the first 9 months of 2013, GDP reached 4369.7 bln.tog at 2005 constant prices increases of 11.5 percent compared to the previous year.
The national consumer price index in October 2013, increased by 1.4 percent compared to the previous month, 9.7 percent compared to the beginning of the year and 10.8 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
The increase in national index compared to the previous month was mainly due to 3.6 percent increase in clothing, footwear and cloth, 3.8 percent housing, water electricity and fuels.
According to the report of the Bank of Mongolia, money supply (broad money or M2) at the end of October 2013, reached to 8717.7 bln.tog, increased by of 235.7 bln.tog or 2.8 percent compared to the previous month, and increased by 1585.1 bln.tog or 22.2 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
At the end of October 2013, currency issued in circulation reached 824.8 bln.tog, decreased by 50.2 bln.tog or 5.7 percent compared to the previous month and increased by 107.2 bln.tog or 14.9 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
Loans outstanding at the end of October 2013, amounted to 10488.8 bln.tog, up by 335.3 bln.tog or 3.3 percent compared to the previous month, and up by 3633.4 bln.tog or 53.0 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
Principals in arrears at the end of October 2013, reached 169.4 bln.tog, increased by 16.0 bln.tog or 10.4 percent compared to the previous month, and increased by 36.9 bln.tog or 27.8 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
At the end of October 2013, the non-performing loans over the bank system reached 560.5 bln.tog, showing a increase of 23.3 bln.tog or 4.3 percent compared to the previous month, and a increase of 254.3 bln.tog or 83.1 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
In Securities trading of the first 10 months of 2013, the 59.4 mln.shares valued at 68.7 bln.tog were traded. The Securities trading was decreased by 74.8 bln.tog or 52.1 percent and shares decreased by 72.2 mln.shares or 54.9 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
In the first 10 months of 2013, total equilibrated revenue and grants of the General Government Budget amounted to 4458.8 bln.tog and total expenditure and net lending amounted to 4641.8 bln.tog, representing deficit of 183.0 bln.tog in the equilibrated balance of General Government Budget.
In the first 10 months of 2013, current revenue of the General Government Budget amounted to 4458.0 bln.tog and current expenditure reached 3539.0 bln.tog. Thus, the budget equilibrated current balance was in surplus of 919.0 bln.tog.
Compared to same period of the previous year, tax revenue increased by 439.6 bln.tog or 12.6 percent. The increase was mainly due to the increases of 201.3 bln.tog or 15.2 percent in taxes on goods and services, 149.0 bln.tog or 20.9 percent in income tax, 147.9 bln.tog or 27.8 percent in social security contribution, although there was decreases of 102.0 bln.tog or 16.2 percent in other taxes.
Compared to same period of the previous year, non-tax revenue increased by 112.6 bln.tog or 27.7 percent. The increase was mainly due to the increases of 63.4 bln.tog or 92.7 percent in revenues from oil petroleum, 59.6 bln.tog or 2.2 times in interest and fines, 12.3 bln.tog or 7.4 times in revenues from budget entities although there was decreases of 27.3 bln.tog or 72.9 percent in revenues from dividends.
In the first 10 months of 2013, total expenditure and net lending of the General Government Budget increased by 120.3 bln.tog or 2.7 percent to 4641.8 bln.tog compared to same period of the previous year. This was mainly due to increases of 274.3 bln.tog or 17.4 percent in expenditure of goods and services, 84.8 bln.tog or 3.1 times in lending minus repayments, 62.7 bln.tog or 65.6 percent in interest payments although there was decreases of 221.0 bln.tog or 12.6 percent in subsidies and transfers, 80.5 bln.tog or 7.6 percent in capital expenditure.
In the first 10 months of 2013, Mongolia traded with 130 countries from all over the world and total external trade turnover reached 8821.2 mln.US dollars, of which exports made up 3480.2 mln.US dollars and imports made up 5341.0 mln.US dollars.
Foreign trade balance showed a deficit of 1.9 bln.US dollars in the first 10 months of 2013, reflecting 213.8 mln.US dollars or 10.3 percent decrease compared to same period of the previous year.
Total external trade turnover decreased by 582.8 mln.US dollars or 6.2 percent, of which imports down by 398.3 mln.US dollars or 6.9 percent, and exports down by 184.5 mln.US dollars or 5.0 percent, compared to same period of the previous year.
Mineral products, textile articles accounted, natural or cultured stones, precious metal, jewelry, coins, raw & processed hides, skins, fur & articles, animal origin products for 96.9 percent of the total export value amount.
III. Economic sector indicators
On the 1st of November 2013, 384.3 thous.tons of cereals, 193.7 thous.t of potatoes, 100.1 thous.t of vegetables were harvested and 1055.0 thous.t of hay harvest, 31.5 thous.t of handmade fodder and 2949.6 t of silage crops were produced.
Compared to same period of the previous year, vegetables rose by 2.3 thous.t or 2.3 percent, silage crops rose by 1974.3 t or 2.0 times, cereals down by 86.6 thous.t or 18.3 percent, hay harvest down by 85.0 thous.t or 7.5 percent, potatoes down by 51.9 thous.t or 21.1 percent, handmade fodder down by 2.3 thous.t or 6.7 percent.
In the first 10 months of 2013, the total industrial output increased by 222.6 bln.tog or 12.2 percent to 2046.9 bln.tog (at 2005 constant prices) compared to same period of the previous year. The increase in the industrial output was mainly due to 0.8-60.2 percent, increases in mining and quarrying products such as coal, crude oil, copper concentrate with 35 percent, gold and 0.2 percent to 8.2 times increases in industrial main products of manufacturing sector such as wine, soft drinks, bread, copper 99 %, kind of sausage, milk, metal foundries, combed down, concrete mortar, vacuum windows and doors, printing plastic cards.
In the first 10 months of 2013, 17397.5 thous.t freight and 3190.4 thous.passengers (double counting) were carried by railway transport. Compared to same period of the previous year, the number of carried freight rose by 448.9 thous.t or 2.6 percent and the number of carried passengers decreased by 178.0 thous.persons or 5.3 percent.
The revenue from railway transport increased by 977.9 mln.tog or 0.3 percent to 350.2 bln.tog in the first 10 months of 2013, compared to same period of the previous year.
In the first 10 months of 2013, 3480.1 t freight and 660.2 thous.passengers (double counting) were carried by air transport. Compared to same period of the previous year, the number of carried freight increased by 94.5 t or 2.8 percent, the number of carried passengers rose by 5.2 thous.persons or 0.8 percent.
The revenue from air transport increased by 21.5 bln.tog or 12.6 percent to 193.0 bln.tog in the first 10 months of 2013, compared to same period of the previous year.
According to the report of the Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, maximum precipitation was registered in Ulaanbaatar city (34.5 mm) in October 2013. In October 2013, Khovsgol soum of Dornogobi aimag had the highest air temperature (29.6°C), while Alag-Erdene soum of Khovsgol aimag had the lowest air temperature (-27.6°C).
Wind speed reached 35 m/sec in Sainshand soum of Dornogobi aimag.
Daily average concentration of nitrogen dioxide exceeded 30 times around the West crossroad of Ulaanbaatar city, 19 times around the 32nd Toirog, 10 times around Kharkhorin market, 7 times around the 1th micro district, 6 times around the 13th micro district, daily average concentration of sulphur dioxide exceeded 5 times around the 13th micro district, 3 times around the 32nd Toirog, 1 times around the 1th micro district and 1 times around the Kharkhorin market, particulate matter less than 10 micrograms exceeded 25 times around 13th micro district and around the West crossroad, 23 times around the 32nd Toirog, 20 times around the Kharkhorin market, 2.5 micrograms exceeded 14 times around the West crossroad, 9 times around 13th micro district from the maximum allowable concentration of air quality standard in October 2013.
In the first 10 months of 2013, 3899 disasters and accidents occurred. As a result, 199 people died, 235.3 thous.livestock and animals had lost. There were 3274 times fires of construction, 176 times forest fires 120 accidental floods and river and lake accidents, 71 times animal madness diseases, 52 times heavy rain and floods, 3.5 magnitude earthquake 39 times, 37 times severe storms, 27 times thunder, 26 times related to chemical substance usage and emergency calls, 18 times anthrax, 14 times industrial accident in the first 10 months of 2013.
In the first 10 months of 2013, estimated damage caused by the disasters and accidents amounted to fires of construction 8.7 bln.tog, fires on forest 6.1 bln.tog, heavy rain and floods 3.1 bln.tog, severe storms 700.4 mln.tog, foot and mouth disease 595.5 mln.tog, thunder 125.8 mln.tog, animal madness diseases, anthrax, malignant catarrhal fever, chemical substance usage and emergency calls 76.0 mln.tog.
In the first 10 months of 2013, floods and river and lake accidents 118 people, fires of construction 52 people, thunder and industrial accident respectively 8 people, mining and rock falls artisanal mining and rock falls 6 people, heavy rain and floods 3 people, fires on forest and severe storms 2 people died.
Compared to same period of previous year, disaster and accidents occurred up by 532.
A loss and deaths of livestock and animals increased by 223.1 thous.heads in the first 10 months of 2013, compared of the previous year.
Korean mafia money laundering case revealed
November 13 /www.news.mn/ Local newspapers have reported that the Economic Crime Combat Division of the Criminal Police Department have brought down a South Korean mafia money laundering operation in Mongolia.
According to a confirmed source, evidence has been found proving the boss of one branch a South Korean mafia Gangpae, or street gang, Ahn Jae Man, was laundering money in Mongolia from extortion, loan sharking and gambling in South Korea.
Ahn Jae Man, the boss of an illegal gambling establishment was sentenced for gambling business and illegal large amounts of money in South Korea. But he transferred the money via the office of "Юилсот" (Youilsot) Company director Lee Jae Gun in order to disguise the money as an investment.
The company used the money to build a hotel named Richfield in Chingeltei District, Ulaanbaatar. The charged Ahn Jae Man was sentenced for illegally obtaining large sums of money reaching 4.5 million US dollars in South Korea.
Now law enforcement officers have collected evidence against the company in Mongolia, "Юилсот" (Youilsot), and Lee Jae Gun the Director, transferred to his boss`s account a large sum of money equal to 11 billion MNT.
Lee Jae Gun, the owner of Richfield hotel in Mongolia was investigated for forcing women into prostitution by Chingeltei District Police in 2011. However prosecutors remitted the case due to lack of evidence.
Now the State Investigation Department has confiscated the Richfield hotel in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia in connection with the money laundering case.
R.Amarjargal Wants to Leave Parliament
Ulaanbaatar, November 13 /MONTSAME/ A member of the State Great Khural (parliament) R.Amarjargal, who was elected from Sukhbaatar district of Ulaanbaatar city, submitted his resignation letter to parliament on Monday.
His request will be discussed at the plenary session of parliament. If the appeal is approved there, Mr Amarjargal will be the second MP to resign on his own request, in history of our parliament.
Prior to that, October 4, he requested to withdraw his membership from the National Consultative Committee of the Democratic Party, attributing his reasons to do so to "legal inability of the party organizations and to disappearance of initiatives to set the principles that give a right to decide on the party policies to the members who received mandates from the people, into the party rules".
R.Amarjargal (53) was Prime Minister of Mongolia in 1999-2000. He is a leading member of the Democratic Party.
He contributed to the democratic movement in Mongolia from the beginning. He was a founding member of the New Progress-Union and the National Progress-Party. He also helped to form the National Democratic Party (NDP). As per the latter, he was elected to the State Great Khural in 1996.
In April of 1998, he became a foreign minister under Ts.Elbegdorj. In September of the same year, he nearly became a prime minister, according to an agreement between the governing coalition and the President, but was rejected by parliament in a close vote. He then remained as the FM until Elbegdorj's government had to step back in December.
In 1999, Amarjargal became a chairman of NDP. He was finally designated as the PM on July 30 of the same year. He stayed in office for almost a year until July 2000, when the democratic parties were beaten at the parliamentary elections. While holding office, he had to abandon his seat at the parliament, because of a Constitutional clause still in force at that time. Also in the year 2000, NDP and Social Democratic Party merged to form Democratic Party.
In 2004, Amarjargal was elected to the parliament as an independent candidate, before being re-elected there from the Democratic Party in 2012.
Mongolia's wealthy politicians
By Frik Els
November 13 (MINING.com) The median net worth of members of the US Congress – 435 representatives and 100 senators – is a comfortable $440,000, more than six times the wealth of your average American household.
Among US lawmakers there are also haves and have-nots with the bank accounts of the 50 richest members holding a tidy $1.6 billion.
That translates to small beer across the Pacific.
The wealthiest 50 delegates to China's National People's Congress, a body that acts as a rubber stamp for Communist Party decisions, control $94.7 billion, according to the Hurun Rich List.
While it seems fair to say that these days you have to be rich to be elected in the US and that being wealthy in China ingratiates you with the Communist Party, Mongolia takes the concept to a whole new level.
Mongolian parliamentarians and high-ranking government officials have been required since 2007 to disclose their assets and net worth to the Asian nation's Independent Authority Against Corruption.
The Mongolist blog has crunched the numbers and it looks like Mongolia's top politicians have managed to expand their asset base much quicker than the rate of economic growth in the country.
According to latest 2012 annual filing, current parliament members are sitting on 1,137 billion tugrik in total net assets or approximately $785 million. Of the 74 MPs that disclosed their wealth, the top four control about 64% of the total.
Those are impressive numbers particularly when you consider Mongolian politicians' hoard relative to the size of their country's economy.
US Congress members' combined fortunes is a rounding error when you consider America's $15.7 trillion economy. Chinese politicians fare better. They control 1.1% of the globe's second largest economy.
The rulers of Mongolia's fewer than 3 million citizens have amassed moolah to the equivalent of 7.6% of the country's GDP.
Put another way, if US politicians concentrated the wealth of America to the same degree they'd each be worth more than $2.2 billion.
Click here for more from The Mongolist.
The Wealth of Parliament Redux: What's It Worth?
By Brian White
November 11 (The Mongolist) Government officials holding high-ranking elected and appointed positions have been required since 2007 to annually disclose their level of wealth and financial holdings to the Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC), Mongolia's agency charged with investigating corruption within the government. This data is publicly available on the IAAC website,1 and it can be used to answer some interesting (and appalling?) questions such as: How much is Parliament worth?
Of course, if that were a set up for a classic political joke, the answer would be "nothing!" Ba-da-bum. But, the IAAC data provides a way to answer that question in real terms using numbers the MPs submit themselves. Over a year ago, I first answered questions like this using the IAAC data here, here, and here. Recently I revisited the data set that I created then and added the 2012 disclosures for the current Parliament. Just for fun, I also created a new data widget to allow readers to play around with the data here. I plan to add more functions to the data widget as my programming time allows.
For now, what does this year's data tell us about how much Parliament is worth? One answer is: a lot more than the last Parliament. The graph below shows the net worth (assets - liabilities) of each Member of Parliament ranked from poorest to richest. The richest members of the current parliament are so rich that it makes the rest of the members look quite poor. It is hard to make much of the data at this scale.
If the graph is broken into percentile blocks, it is much easier to see that at every level the current Members of Parliament as a group are much richer (or more honest with their disclosures?) than the 2008-2012 Parliament.
The most staggering way to see the difference is plotting the total net worth of Parliament incrementally as a cumulative sum.
Table 1. Total Net Worth of Parliament by Year
Again, how much is Parliament worth? Another answer: approximately 7.6 percent of GDP in 2012!3There were only 74 MPs out of 76 seats sworn-in when the disclosures were submitted, and only 4 MPs accounted for 64 percent of that net wealth. In spite of the skewed wealth "inequality" among MPs, the institution is hardly poor. With more than 90 percent of the current Parliament disclosing a net worth greater than MNT 200 million (approximately USD 138 thousand),4 Parliament is definitely a rich man's game.
1. See: Independent Authority Against Corruption (Авлигатай тэмцэх газар) at http://www.iaac.mn.
2. Exchange rate of 1450MNT/USD.
4. See World Bank - http://data.worldbank.org/country/mongolia.
5. Exchange rate of 1450MNT/USD.
P.Tsagaan: Over 360 court rulings will be reevaluated
November 12 /www.news.mn/ The Mongolian Parliament is enforcing judicial reforms whereby 57 judges from the primary court and 21 judges from the appeal court are supposed to be replaced.
To explain the new judicial law, P.Tsagaan, the Chief of Staff of the President of Mongolia, and Ch.Unurbayar, Legal policy adviser to President Ts.Elbegdorj, spoke about the judicial reform in Mongolia.
-It is widely spoken that if judges are paid more, the worse corruption will become. What are your opinions on the consequences?
P.Tsagaan: Previously the judicial budget used to be submitted by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Finance to the Government. But now the General Council of Courts will directly deliver the judicial budget to Parliament starting from the next budget year.
The main goal of this reform is to keep judicial power away from improper influence from other branches of government, or from private or partisan interests, by separating the budget. The increase in the judicial budget was given strong consideration for the necessary investment for guaranteeing justice in society.
As a result judges will decide cases and make rulings according to the rule of law and judicial discretion, even if those decisions are politically unpopular or opposed by powerful interests.
-Are there any records of judges being charged for being involved in corruption?
P.Tsagaan: Complaints of bribery and corruption are piled up at the Office of the Staff of the President of Mongolia. There are still numerous complaints of judge`s unfair decisions and conflict of interests which is why the judicial reform was launched.
Ch.Unurbayar: According to the Corruption Perceptions Index, Mongolia has made progress in the fight against corruption but the Corruption Perception Index is high in judicial power.
The law stipulates that the Anti Corruption Authority Mongolia will investigate the corruption cases instead of the State Investigation Department in order to cut corruption in the judicial system.
-The Judges will be replaced next month. Do you think that a task force can manage to do an analysis of the hundreds of decisions made by each judge?
P.Tsagaan: Our agenda is to do an analysis on former decisions.
If a judge rules on 50 cases, some of these might have gone to the appeal and control court. Then we will check how many of them are affirmed and how many rejected in order to analyze if the judge made a one sided decision or used the law wrongly. There are over 70 thousand cases in the primary court. The task force will undertake analysis on a selected 360 judges decisions, particularly for rejected and changed cases.
Elbegdorj: Mongolia will never bury nuclear waste
November 13 /www.news.mn/ On Wednesday November 13th President Ts.Elbegdorj expressed Mongolia`s strong stance on nuclear via twitter due he spread of suspicion about nuclear waste disposal in Mongolia among the public. Young members of MPRP held a press conference protesting against yellow powder and nuclear waste in Mongolia.
President Elbegdorj posted on Twitter that: "Mongolia still stands on its nuclear-free status. I assure you again the rumor about nuclear waste burial in Mongolia is not the policy of Mongolia."
The Government of Mongolia issued a statement regarding the nuclear waste issue on Tuesday November 12th: "Some political parties and public organizations released a note claiming Mongolia is allowing the burial of nuclear waste from Japan in Mongolia. The note claimed that the Prime Minister signed a nuclear waste agreement during his visit to Japan and the Foreign Minister signed a uranium deal with France. Mongolia has declared its policy on nuclear energy and uranium exploration. The reform Government takes this responsibility seriously announcing that Mongolia has neither buried nuclear waste nor will bury nuclear waste in the future."
MAK to Attend Mongolia Investment Summit, Hong Kong, November 18-20
November 12 (MAK) Mongolyn Alt (MAK) LLC was established in 1993 and is one of the leading mining companies in Mongolia. The company`s main business is semi-soft coking coal production and export.
Mongolyn Alt (MAK) LLC started diversification of its business starting in 2011 and is developing projects in the construction materials, mineral processing and coal chemicals sectors.
- "Thukh Tsav" Cement Plant with the capacity of 1 Mtpa
- Autoclaved aerated concrete block with the capacity of 465 cubic meter p.a.
- "Tsagaan Suvarga" Copper-Molybdenum ore mine and processing plant with the output of 300,000 tpa of Copper and 5,000 tpa of Molybdenum concentrate.
- "Aduunchuluun" Coal-to-liquid and power plant project. 300MW power plant and 400,000 TPA gasoline output.
- "Khoot" Coal and Oil-Shale hydrogenation project. 1.6 Mtpa Semi-coke smokeless fuel, 25,000 tpa gasoline, 75,000 tpa diesel fuel, 60,000 tpa bitumen.
MAK will be attending the Mongolia Investment Summit 2013 in Hong Kong from November 18th through 20th.
Bamboo Finance Successfully Exits from Xac Bank in a Sale led by ORIX Corporation
Transaction demonstrates attractive financial returns can be combined with positive social impact
Luxembourg, October 30, 2013 –- Bamboo Finance, a global private equity group specializing in investing in business models that benefit low-income communities in growth markets, announced today along with other investors, that it has exited from its investment in TenGer Financial Group, the holding company of Mongolia's Xac Bank, in a sale to a group of investors including Tokyo-based ORIX Corporation, resulting in expected returns above 25% in local currency and 2x its investment.
Xac Bank started in 2001 as a nonprofit microfinance lender to Mongolia's herding community. Today it is a fully regulated commercial bank and the country's fourth largest in terms of assets. Xac Bank is also the flagship subsidiary of the major Mongolian financial services provider TenGer Financial Group ('TFG').
"Xac Bank has demonstrated what is possible when you combine an unwavering commitment with a vision that business and positive social impact can work successfully together," said Jean-Philippe de Schrevel, Chief Executive Officer, Bamboo Finance.
Bamboo Finance ('Bamboo') first invested in Xac Bank in 2009 and prior to the exit, was TFG's second largest shareholder. "Xac Bank's ability to constantly innovate in response to the changing needs of its customers has been impressive, and is due to the efforts and outstanding leadership of its management team. It's commendable that they've been able to push the boundaries of traditional financial services while maintaining their commitment to achieving positive social impact. Today's transaction demonstrates that attractive commercial returns and social impact can be achieved," added Xavier Pierluca, Chief Investment Officer of Financial Services at Bamboo Finance.
"We very much appreciate the support we've received from our investors through the past years, and this has greatly contributed to expanding our business portfolio and the range of banking services that we provide to local communities and businesses in Mongolia. Now with ORIX Corporation on board as a strategic partner, we look forward to leveraging their expertise and global platform to pursue new investments and expand our offering, both within Mongolia and in neighboring regions," commented Bold Magvan, Chief Executive Officer of TenGer Financial Group.
ORIX Corporation ('ORIX') is a leading Japanese diversified financial services group with operations through its subsidiaries or affiliates primarily in ASEAN and East Asia, Australasia, Middle East and Greater China. ORIX has been instrumental in the establishment of the leasing products for SMEs in markets across Asia and the Middle East. "Our investment in Xac Bank underscores our belief in the growth potential of the Mongolian economy and the further positive development of the country's financial services industry. We envision this partnership to be mutually beneficial in opening new opportunities and areas for expansion," added Yoshiaki Matsuoka, Managing Director, ORIX Corporation.
Bamboo's Financial Inclusion fund is the largest microfinance private equity fund globally with US$195 million in assets under management. The Fund acquires minority stakes while participating in governance and sharing international experience, information, networks, knowledge and taking an active role at a board level. It has played a key role in facilitating the transformation of several microfinance organizations into full-fledged banks with a portfolio of investments that provide financial services to more than 8 million clients to date.
"TFG-Xac Bank perfectly exemplifies the high standards successful social entrepreneurs apply to their companies. Management's persistence and sharp business acumen with no compromise on the ambition to improve financial inclusion for Mongolian citizens has transformed a small NGO started 12 years ago into one of the most regarded, transparent and ethical banks in emerging markets to date.
It's been a pleasure and honor to be part of the adventure over the past four years. Undoubtedly, TFG will continue to innovate in Mongolia and beyond," said Sarah Djari, Senior Investment Manager – Asia, Bamboo Finance and who has served on the board of TFG-Xac Bank since Bamboo invested.
Enclude Capital Advisory acted as Financial Adviser to the sellers on the transaction, and Michelmores LLP acted as Legal Adviser to the sellers.
About Bamboo Finance
Bamboo Finance is a commercial private equity firm specializing in investing in business models that benefit low-income communities in emerging markets with offices in Luxembourg, Geneva, Bogota, Nairobi and Singapore. Bamboo Finance uses a market-oriented approach to deliver social and environmental value and provide attractive financial returns to investors. Bamboo Finance launched in 2007 with a goal to demonstrate that private capital can be profitably deployed as a tool for effective change. To date, Bamboo Finance manages US$250 million, representing two global funds and a combined portfolio of 46 investments operating in 25 countries. Bamboo has a track record of demonstrated commercial returns, and a portfolio of investments that have provided services to over 16 million clients and created more than 20,000 jobs. For further information, please visit www.bamboofinance.com.
Triodos Investment Management completes sale of equity stake in XacBank, Mongolia
November 4 -- Triodos Investment Management, together with other investors, has sold the majority of its 13.5% equity stake in TenGer Financial Group, the holding company of Mongolia's XacBank, to new strategic investors including ORIX Corporation, IFC and MAK. Through its funds Triodos-Doen and Triodos Fair Share Fund, the global impact investor has been a shareholder with an active role at board level since 2004. The primary rationale behind the sale is that XacBank has achieved a level of maturity as a fully-fledged bank, in terms of its outreach, governance, risk management and performance.
Frank Streppel, Deputy Director Emerging Markets at Triodos Investment Management: 'Our long-term relationship with XacBank shows how Triodos Investment Management supports financial institutions to achieve the next level of development. We are proud to have been closely involved in XacBank's journey to evolving into the bank it is today. We feel this is the right time for other strategic investors to step in. We are confident that this diverse and reputable group of new investors brings valuable expertise to the further sustainable growth and development of the bank. Triodos Investment Management will continue its relationship with XacBank by maintaining a minority shareholding and by providing debt financing.'
Mongolia's fourth largest bank
XacBank started in 1998 as a non-governmental microcredit organisation supported by the United Nations Development Program. In 2002, it became a fully licensed commercial bank with a strong focus on Mongolia's low-income and remote rural populations. XacBank now is the country's fourth largest bank in terms of assets and gradually moving into SME and corporate lending.
Bold Magvan, Chief Executive Officer of TenGer Financial Group: 'We very much value the sustainable banking expertise and knowledge that Triodos has brought to the table in the past decade. Also their introduction to international networks such as the Global Alliance for Banking on Values allows us to further promote sustainable banking in Mongolia and the rest of the region. We are looking forward to continuing this journey together with our new strategic partners.'
One of the new strategic investors is ORIX Corporation, a Japan-based financial services group with operations in ASEAN and East Asia, Australasia, the Greater China regions, the Middle East, United States and Europe. 'ORIX Corporation's investment in TenGer Financial Group is a sign of improving investor sentiments towards Mongolia. We see the Mongolian financial sector as a key growth market, and TenGer Financial Group as a partner who has the reputation, historic performance, customer and branch base, corporate governance and team with which to further access that market', commented Yoshiaki Mutsuoka, Managing Director at ORIX Corporation.
Enclude Capital Advisory acted as Financial Adviser to the sellers on the transaction, and Michelmores LLP acted as Legal Adviser to the sellers.
About Triodos Investment Management
Triodos Investment Management is a 100% subsidiary of Triodos Bank, one of the world's leading sustainable banks. Triodos Investment Management is a globally recognised leader in impact investing, managing direct investments ranging from sustainable energy infrastructure to microfinance institutions. Since 1994, its assets under management in inclusive finance have increased to over EUR 500 million, making it one of the leading investors in the industry. Through specialised funds it currently provides finance – both debt and equity - to 103 upcoming and well-established financial institutions in 45 countries. They hold equity stakes in 21 financial institutions; senior staff of Triodos Bank joins the Board of Directors and actively contributes to the governance of these institutions.
Michelmores advised on Bamboo Finance, Triodos sale of TenGer Financial Group stake to Orix, IFC, MAK
November 13 (Lawyer Monthly) Leading law firm Michelmores' London office has advised private equity groups Bamboo Finance and Triodos Investment Management on the sale of a significant stake in Tenger Financial Group (TFG) (Mogi: TenGer Financial Group) to a consortium led by Japanese bank ORIX Corporation and which included the International Finance Corporation and Mongolyn Alt Corporation (Mogi: MAK).
TFG's flagship subsidiary is Xac Bank (Mogi: XacBank) – an established, fully regulated commercial bank and the country's fourth largest in terms of assets. The transaction has taken over a year to bring to completion as a result of a series of complex constitutional and regulatory hurdles that needed to be overcome, including the approval of the Ministry of Economic Development and the Bank of Mongolia.
Enclude Capital Advisory UK Ltd, a London-based specialist corporate finance advisor with significant experience of advising on M&A and capital raising transactions in the microfinance and impact investment space, acted as the sole financial advisor to the sellers.
The Michelmores team was led by Corporate Partners Richard Cobb (pictured) and Joe Whitfield and included Solicitor Harry Trick.
Joe Whitfield, who was previously General Counsel at CDC Group Plc and who has more than 20 years' experience advising on private equity, M&A and finance transactions in the emerging markets, comments:
"This complex multi-party multi-jurisdictional deal is further evidence of Michelmores' growing expertise in advising private equity funds, financial institutions, corporates and government agencies on a wide variety of cross-border transactions in some of the most challenging emerging markets."
Frank Streppel, Deputy Managing Director at Triodos Investment Management, commented: "We are proud to have been a long term partner with TFG and an active supporter in its transition from a specialized microfinance company to a leading bank. We could not have done it so successfully without the committed and professional help of our advisors at Enclude and Michelmores."
Ian Callaghan, Managing Director of Enclude's Capital Advisory business and who previously headed the Microfinance team at Morgan Stanley, added:
"We are delighted to have worked with the Michelmores team to bring this transaction to a successful conclusion. The deal provides TFG with a highly aligned and experienced strategic investor who can help Xac Bank grow in a sustainable manner going forward, whilst maintaining its original vision and mission to enhance financial inclusion for the citizens of Mongolia."
EBRD SUPPORTS MONGOLIA'S LEASING SECTOR WITH US$3M LOAN IN TUGRIK TO XACLEASING
The loan will be used to finance leases to SMEs in need of equipment and machinery
November 13 (EBRD) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a loan in Mongolian tugrik – equivalent to US$ 3 million – to XacLeasing Mongolia, which is a diversified specialised leasing company and the second largest provider of leasing services in Mongolia. The funds will be used to finance leases to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a particular focus on machinery, equipment and vehicles.
Leasing is a small but growing sector in Mongolia, where it represents an important alternative to bank lending for SMEs in need of vehicles and equipment. Almost 90 per cent of all registered businesses in Mongolia are SMEs. However, many SMEs have limited access to long-term bank financing owing to lack of collateral and credit history.
Noel Edison, the EBRD's Director for Insurance and Financial Services, said: "This project is the EBRD's first engagement with the leasing sector in Mongolia and it will increase the availability of long-term local currency funding for SMEs that are under-served by bank finance. The development of SMEs is of strategic importance for the economy, as SMEs account for most employment and make a high contribution to GDP."
Tsevegjav Gumenjav, the CEO of XacLeasing added: "XacLeasing is one of the leading companies in Mongolia for the development of leasing products. The EBRD's financing will not only help us to increase leasing to SMEs, but will also help our clients to avoid foreign exchange risk. The loan from the EBRD will be provided in Mongolian tugrik, as will most of the leasing contracts with our clients."
Since 2006 the Bank has invested about US$ 1 billion in over 60 projects across Mongolia and has mobilised approximately twice that amount in further financing for these projects from other sources, with a focus on infrastructure development, energy, support for small and medium-sized enterprises and strengthening of the financial sector.
PM: It Is Time for Mongolian Software Producers to Unite Under One Management
Ulaanbaatar, November 11 /MONTSAME/ Attending a software forum, the Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag Monday briefed on his Government's policies and planned projects on information technology and software industry.
The first forum on the software industry has been organized by the Information technology, Post and Telecommunication Authority under auspices of the PM.
Mr Altankhuyag noted that advancement of information technologies and software industry has become a part of everyday life and has a great impact on the government activities, private businesses and career successes.
Now it is time for software producers to get united under one management and one solution in order to create a new wealth, abolishing experiences of eking out a living between small projects, he said.
The Mongolian engineers are now able to substitute each other and reach all the information needed, he went on. Within this possibility, the Government for reforms is ready to cooperate with "you under its policies, providing a loan, financing and investment". An intellectual property creator or owner should be given a chance to receive a loan in ransom of his/her new software work patent in a similar way of taking out a bank loan to a mineral license, he said.
APU to discontinue use of "Chinggis Khaan" name for beers
November 11 /www.news.mn/ The Fair Competition and Consumer Protection Authority Mongolia have delivered a claim notice to APU, an alcoholic beverage manufacturer, to halt the production of the beer named "Chinggis Khaan" due to complaints by consumers. The consumers claimed in the complaints that the company uses the same name for the beer product as it does for the "Chinggis Khaan" vodka.
In reply to the Fair Competition and Consumer Protection Authority Mongolia, the APU Company accepted the claim and announced the company would stop the repeated name of Chinggis Khaan for beer production.
Parliament started to discuss legislation around the usage of Chinggis Khaan's name and image, which would ban its use in the marketing of alcohol and tobacco products. This legislation would mean that all alcoholic beverage manufacturers' premium brands named Chinggis Khaan would be restricted.
Royal Roads grads assist Mongolian small business in Oyu Tolgoi deal
November 12 (Times Colonist) Five Royal Roads University graduates are heading to Mongolia to lend their expertise to small business in the south Gobi region.
The consulting project in Mongolia is the first under an agreement between the school and Oyu Tolgoi LLC, a company developing a mine on one of the world's largest copper-gold resources.
The five graduates — Laura Dohan and Sarah Campbell of Victoria, Christian Mundhenk of Kamloops, Lyndsay Cliche of Calgary and Matt Antwright of Edmonton — left last week for a month.
The team will be working with three local businesses to assist with their supply-chain management and business development requirements in order to become suppliers to the mining company.
Through the project, the team will help develop business plans and assessments of the local markets so the companies are not entirely dependent on Oyu Tolgoi for continued operations.
"Coaching small businesses is a terrific application of the business planning skills honed in our bachelor of commerce program which is focused specifically on entrepreneurial management," said Geoff Archer, RRU faculty member and director of the Eric C. Douglass Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies.
The project is also being conducted in a region that could have an impact on the B.C. economy down the road. Natural Resources Canada estimates that Canadian companies have about $400 million in assets in Mongolia.
Dundgovi Aimag Now Connected to Ulaanbaatar by Paved Road
Ulaanbaatar, November 12 /MONTSAME/ A center of Dundgoviaimag has been connected to the capital city by a paved road, becoming thus the third of six cities to get connected such within this year.
Last one hundred kilometer of a 300-km road construction between Ulaanbaatar and Mandalgovi that started in 2009 has been completed so after the contractors received a financing of 49.2 billion MNT from Chingis Khaan Bonds one year ago.
The construction has been jointly done by four contractors–three Mongolian and one China-invested.
At the road opening ceremony Monday, the Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag noted that Dundgovi province has become one of the key junctions in the national road networks and will give tangible benefits to the locals.
PM also noted a significance of the road to the regional development, as auto roads connecting Oyutolgoi and Tavantolgoi mines to Ulaanbaatar passes over it.
The province governor S.Sukhbaatar was in the same opinion with PM about the road that, he believes, will give a great impetus to the regional development.
EC President Barroso to Visit Mongolia, November 17-18
Ulaanbaatar, November 12 /MONTSAME/ The President of the European Commission (EC) Jose Manuel Barroso is to pay an official visit to Mongolia November 17-18.
He has been invited by the leader of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj.
During the visit, our President Elbegdorj and Mr Barroso will hold official negotiations, then, the high guest will meet with the Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag.
The President of the European Commission is also planning to deliver a lecture for teachers and students of the National University of Mongolia.
The European Commission (EC) is the executive body of the European Union responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and day-to-day running of the EU.
Jose Manuel Durao Barroso (57) is the 11th and current President of the European Commission and a Portuguese politician. He served as Prime Minister of Portugal from 6 April 2002 to 17 July 2004.
EC President Jose Manuel Barrosoto Become Honorary Doctorate at National University of Mongolia – InfoMongolia, November 12
Speaker Meets OSCE Representative
Ulaanbaatar, November 12 /MONTSAME/ The Speaker of the State Great Khural (parliament) Z.Enkhbold Monday received Thierry Mariani, a Special Representative at Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Special Representative for Central Asia, Mariani thanked the Speaker for arranging time to meet with him, and congratulated Mongolia on joining the organization as the 57th member state.
He noted that the French National Assembly was pleased to hear the above news, and said he would like to hear Mongolia's opinion on its further cooperation with the organization.
In response, the Speaker said Mongolia attaches a great significance to activities of OSCE and pays more attention to the bilateral cooperation in economy, environment, and human security matters with the organization. Furthermore, he expressed an interest in conducting professional training and cooperative measures under a number of themes including facilitating transit transport, developing border trade, strengthening South-Asian regional security, enhancing border protection management, fighting transnational crimes and corruption.
The Speaker also highlighted an interest in opening an OSCE representative's office here to implement a number of joint projects and programs.
FM Meets OSCE Delegate – Montsame, November 12
Mongolia to Cooperate with OSCE on Human Rights – InfoMongolia, November 12
Mongolian Nationals Holding Diplomatic E-Passports to Travel to Germany Visa-Free from November 18
November 12 /www.infomongolia.com/ During the intergovernmental meeting between Mongolia and Germany held in Ulaanbaatar on May 08, an agreement on "Visa Liberalization for Mongolian nationals of Holders of Diplomatic e-Passports" was signed, which is effective from November 18, 2013.
Accordingly, Mongolian nationals with Diplomatic e-passports will travel to Germany under visa-free up to 90 days in any 180 day-period, or up to 180 days a year. Also, with this Diplomatic e-passport, Mongolian nationals are allowed to enter only the territory of Germany and not permitted to travel to other Schengen Area countries.
In addition, Mongolian nationals holding Diplomatic and Official passports are allowed to conduct a direct travel from/to Germany to/from Poland, Czech, Slovak and Hungary under visa-free terms.
Starting from 2012, the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia has been issuing the new foreign e-passport that is aimed to facilitate the conditions of reciprocal travelling of citizens based on the reference of the International Civil Aviation Organization, foreign policy concept and national security concept.
In Mongolia, all diplomatic and official passports will be converted into e-passports that include an electronic data chip and contain biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identity of travelers such as facial recognition, fingerprint recognition and eye print recognition.
Mongolia to Implement Joint Program with Revenue Watch Institute
Ulaanbaatar, November 12 /MONTSAME/ The secretary-general of the parliamentary office B.Boldbaatar Tuesday met with Galib Efendiev, Eurasia Regional Coordinator for Revenue Watch institute (RWI).
The main subject of their talks was an upcoming joint program that aims at transparency in natural resources management.
RWI has so far held some joint meetings with the parliamentary office in order to undertake preliminary steps for their cooperation program. This time, Mr Efendiev said, a number of issues preceding the joint program have been solved, including a settlement of the program financing, the first step of a national coordinator selection, and a draft bill of a cooperation memorandum.
Giving a priority to citizens' participation in providing natural resources management transparency, "we are ready to cooperate with RWI", said Mr Boldbaatar. He emphasized concurrence of today's meeting with ongoing budget and mineral discussions in parliament of Mongolia. "Surely, there is a lot to learn from others experiences, and we believe the program will greatly contribute to that kind of experience sharing," the secretary-general noted.
The Revenue Watch Institute is a non-profit policy institute and grant-making organization that promotes the effective, transparent and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources for the public good. Through capacity building, technical assistance, research and advocacy, the organization help countries realize the development benefits of their natural resource wealth.
Through its research, RWI is building a body of literature on best practices in the management of revenues, including contracting, oil fund laws, and fiscal regimes for mining and effective parliamentary oversight.
RWI also publishes the Revenue Watch Index, analyzing transparency practices in more than 40 countries that are among the top producers of petroleum, gold, copper and diamonds.
At the Resource Governance Index, Revenue Watch's measure of quality in oil, gas and mining sector governance, Mongolia received a "partial" score of 51, ranking 26th out of 58 countries. A very good Institutional and Legal Setting score was contrasted with Mongolia's poor performance on the Reporting Practices component.
Foreign Policy Roundup #10: October 28-November 10, 2013
By Brandon Miliate
November 11 (Mongolia Focus) Here are the highlights from the last two weeks in Mongolian foreign policy news, including: Elbegdorj's trip to North Korea and L. Bold's attendance at the recent UNESCO forum.
President , where he was met by the head of the People's Parliament, Kim Young Nam and Mongolia's Ambassador to North Korea, M. Ganbold. Official talks were later held between Kim Young Nam and President Elbegdorj. In the , Elbegdorj was invited to a number of non-military locations and paid his respects to the mausoleum of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Later in the trip he had an audience with , and with the . He concluded his trip by . During his lecture, he spoke about Mongolia's commitments to human rights and multilateral engagement with the international community. During the trip, an agreement on increased economic cooperation was signed. For Bloomberg's analysis on this agreement, . The Diplomat also offered analysis of the visit, . noted the oddity that President Elbegdorj was not able to meet with Kim Jong Un during the first visit by a foreign head of state to North Korea since he took over command. Finally, Julian Dierkes and Otgonbaatar Byambaa published a piece in of the possibility of Mongolia mediating on the issue of North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens.
Z. Enkhbold met with a the director of the and his accompanying delegation in Ulaanbaatar, to mark the 20 year anniversary of the Agreement on Friendly Relations and Cooperation between Mongolia and Kazakhstan.
L. Bold where he was received by Serbian PM Ivitsa Dacic. During the visit he participated in the Mongolian-Serbian Business Council and discussed ways to refresh the traditional friendship between Mongolia and Serbia.
Z. Enkhbold received to express his appreciation for the historical and cultural connections between their two countries. Later in the meeting they turned to joint development projects and economic relations.
The , where he met with the Deputy Director of the Mongolian Parliament, R. Gonchigdorj. The primary purpose of the visit seems to have been to discuss how to strengthen cooperation in the mining sector.
Mongolia Sees Its Third Shift of 850 Peacekeepers Off for UN Mission in South Sudan
November 11 /www.infomongolia.com/ The Secretariat of the United Nations proposed a request addressing the Government of Mongolia to involve its Motorized infantry battalion in the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS).
Thereby, two shifts each comprising 850 Mongolian troops were sent to South Sudan, where the first farewell ceremony was held on March 26, 2012, and the second ceremony a year later on March 04, 2013 under the Cabinet resolution from April 11, 2012.
So, the third farewell ceremony by the III shift of Mongolian 850 militants to constitute security and peacekeeping operations under the UN 7th mandate in the UNMISS took place on the parade ground of the General Headquarters of Mongolian Armed Forces, Ulaanbaatar on November 08, 2013.
At the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Defense A.Battur, Chief of the General Staff of Mongolian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Ts.Byambajav, Special envoy of the UN Representative Office Mohamed Moustapha Malick Fall and other officials and family members were present.
The third shift is appointed to command by Chief of Military Unit No.350, Lieutenant Colonel B.Erdenebat to support for peace consolidation and thereby fostering longer-term state building and economic development, support the Government of the Republic of South Sudan in exercising its responsibilities for conflict prevention, mitigation, and resolution and protect civilians, and well as support the Government of South Sudan in developing its capacity to provide security, to establish rule of law, and to strengthen the security and justice sectors.
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National University to close several schools in major overhaul
November 11 /www.news.mn/ The Board of the National University of Mongolia held a meeting to make structural changes to the university last Friday on November 8th.
The board discussed issues on structural changes of 14 faculties in the School of Law, School of Environment and Humanity, School of Social Sciences and School of Business.
However the decisions were made without any consideration or consultation of academic staff of the University.
The Director of the National University of Mongolia, A.Galtbayar, commented on it to reporters; "We conducted surveys in the faculties in previous years. Since the decision has been made we will collaborate with academic staff and students of the University. In making this decision we aim to bring better and a more credible structure for the University. Looking over the past two decades in the education system in Mongolia, numerous new schools and colleges were created based on the most in demand qualifications.
I think the National University of Mongolia must expand its structure in order to provide our students with a wide range of education. It is like a huge supermarket where a student can make their own choices."
The decision on structural changes faced academic staff and student resistance.
According to the decision by the Board of the National University of Mongolia the following Schools will be closed down:
School of Mathematics and Computer Science
School of Physics and Electronics
School of Information Technology
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
School of Biology and Biotechnology
School of Geography and Geology
School of Mongolian Language and Culture
School of Foreign Services
School of Foreign Languages and Culture
UEFA President Platini Pledges Support for Football Development in Mongolia During Visit
November 11 /www.infomongolia.com/ On November 09, 2013, President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Michel Francois Platini has conducted a one-day visit to Mongolia, witnessing the "Deren Cup 2013" and meeting with football fans including Government authorities.
The famed player M.Platini, who was accompanied with the UEFA fifth Vice President Grigoriy Surkis and UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino, was received by the President Ts.Elbegdorj at the State Affair Ger Palace.
During his meeting, President Ts.Elbegdorj noted, "Welcome to Mongolia, the nation once upon a time conquered a part of the world with its warriors and you are the contemporary conqueror in the football. Football is being broadly developed in Mongolia, the unique sport unanimously agreed by the world fans. When I got home, the only channel to watch is football.
We have proposed two goals in developing the football; first, to inland the sport in rural area across the country and the second is to engage young generation to love the football. Every school in Mongolia is equipped with a sport hall, and as part of programs, an indoor football is played. I think this is a result of achievement. I and my family members prefer to present football balls to rural secondary schools. Recently, when I was visiting the DPRK, I took with me Mongolian children to have a friendly match with their North Korean players and I presented a ball to each child, they were very surprised. This was as part of promotion the sport of football in the region. I believe football is a guide to the freedom, because every fan expresses his real emotion through a game".
In response, Mr. Platini pledged to involve Mongolian football coaches and referees in the vocational trainings in France and Switzerland, in particular expressed his readiness to support Mongolian children.
Later, UEFA President was received by the Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag at the Mongolian Football Federation building, where parties exchanged views on developing the sport in Mongolia.
Meet Sumo Champs & Coffee Kings: Further East
(Bloomberg) Think Siberia or Mongolia and you probably picture cold desolation and maybe a bit of mining. But there's plenty more to the region as David Tweed discovered. From yogi businessmen and rock stars, to former sumo wrestlers and drifting champions - Bloomberg introduces you to the Far East, through the eyes of people who do business here.
DPRK Boxers Return Home From Mongolia
PYONGYANG, November 13 23:59 KST (KCNA) — DPRK boxers returned home on Wednesday after taking part in the Asian Championship of the International Boxing Federation (IBF) held in Mongolia.
Paek Chung Hyok knocked down his Mongolian rival in the match for the title Asian champion in the fifth round of the bantamweight (53.52 kg), winning championship.
At an awarding ceremony he received the championship belt, cup and diploma.
Wui Sol Gyong, Jo Kuk Chol and Kwon Hye Sun separately beat their Mongolian and Chinese rivals in the light flyweight (48.98 kg), flyweight (50.80 kg) and the super bantamweight (55.34 kg), being qualified to challenge champions in the body weight event.
They were greeted at Pyongyang Railway Station by officials concerned and their families.
Sportspersons congratulated the boxers and coaches on their successes in the matches, presenting garlands and bouquets to them.
Land Art Mongolia LAM 360° 3rd Biennial 2014 Call for artistic proposals
November 10 (Land Art Mongolia) Land Art Mongolia / LAM 360° focuses on Land Art as one possible form of spatial and outdoor visualization of the relations between nature, culture, and social practices. It promotes freedom of expression in joining people and institutions from all sectors of Mongolian society by meshing their respective backgrounds and perspectives through collaborations of local, regional and international scope. By doing so LAM 360° would like to incite an advanced discourse on cultural and social policy which will take up aspects of environmental and social sustainability. A strong emphasis on the most vulnerable sectors of society in Mongolia will be put in a broader perspective of cultural change in Central Asia.
To put it in more abstract and less site-specific terms, looking at relationships between men and animals evokes questions regarding ethics, politics and power, but also subjectivity. "Becoming-animal", a concept of Deleuze and Guattari, means a process and a method. "To become", writes Deleuze, "is not to attain a form (identification, imitation, Mimesis) but to find the zone of proximity indiscernibility, or indifferentiation where one can no longer be distinguished from a woman, an animal, or a molecule - neither imprecise nor general, but unforeseen and non-preexistent, singularized out of a population rather than determined in a form".
The third edition of Land Art Mongolia / LAM 360°, taking place in August 2014 in the Orkhon valley nature reserve, will be guided by the theme "men & animals". Sensitive topics such as overgrazing, desertification, poaching and illegal wildlife trade, decentralization and general questions on animal husbandry from the perspective of different species are motivating this discussion. Thus it is for our very pleasure to announce this open call for artistic projects:
Mongolia's Uukhai: Dreaming a Skateboarding and Arts Complex into Reality
November 12 (Ignite.Me) What do you know about modern day Mongolian culture? If you have any kind of answer to that question, you're a few steps ahead of me. That's one of the reasons why I was fascinated to learn about Uukhai, an organization formed by Mongolian men and women for the purpose of promoting skateboarding and the arts.
"Skateboarding saves lives, as does the arts. No matter what age or race, it gives the individual the sensation of freedom and rebellion against society. See the world through your eyes and soul and connect to the earth below you. We are here to support our community and teach our youth. We are Skateboarding, We are the Arts of Mongolia." That's Google Translate's version of the "About" section from Uukhai's Facebook page. With that kind of big and powerful language, how can we doubt that the Uukhai group will do big things in this world?
Who is the Mongolian Uukhai Skateboarding Association?
Based in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (the capital city), Uukhai was started by a small group of pioneering Mongolian skaters. When this group started skating, it was nearly impossible to get a skateboard in Mongolia. Internet access was rare, but they would search for skate videos on the internet. They figured out how to do tricks by watching these videos.
In some ways, skateboarding became integral to their personal identities. People in their community looked at them a little differently, and some had a tough time accepting what they saw as strange. Skateboarding, then, became an act of rebellion, a physical expression of independence from group-think. To the committed, skateboarding became a way of life.
Now that the original Mongolian crew is getting older, they are committed to actively mentoring and teaching the younger generation. The numbers of Mongolian skaters are growing. This older crew hopes they can encourage the talented young ones to follow their dreams and become professional skateboarders. In order to nurture the art of skateboarding in their community, Uukhai is planning to build an indoor skate park in Ulaanbaatar. This complex will not be exclusive to skateboarding. They want this center to be a hub for the arts, as well. They see music and the arts as companions to skateboarding. This kind of skate and art center is particularly important in Ulaanbaatar because they have such a long, frigid winter. They need a place to gather. Plus, the streets of Ulaanbaatar are rough. They're full of holes and bumps, which is not ideal for skaters who are trying to learn crazy tricks.
Right now, Uukhai Skateboarding Association is raising funds to build this skate and arts park. They put together this documentary which introduces the skaters, shows some great footage of them skating the streets of Ulaanbaatar, and talks about why they want to build the complex.
When I watched the documentary, I was impressed by the tenacity of these skaters. They are fully committed to their sport and their vision. They believe in the power of dreams, and they want to help others in their community manifest beautiful, extraordinary lives. These men and women are inspirational because of what they've already accomplished and what they will soon build for the benefit of their community. If you're interested in donating to help make the Uukhai skate park a reality, contact UukhaiSkateboarding@Gmail.com.
What do you think of the Uukhai skaters' vision? Tell us about it in the comments section below!
Bust of Maidar Buddha Introduced At Chinggis Square, Ulaanbaatar
November 11 /www.infomongolia.com/ In the frames of the Grand Maitreya Project, a 54-meter statue of Maidar (Maitreya) Buddha along with 108-meter stupa and facility are being constructed in the territory of Sergelen Sum of Tuv Aimag, in particular at the Uguumur Am area, downhill of the Zurkh Mt.
Under the project, top part of the Maidar Buddha is introduced in the pavilion at the Chinggis Square, where previously was stored the T-Bataar fossils, a temporary museum. The presentation ceremony was held on November 09, 2013 and currently is shown for public as free of charges.
The project is initiated by the Minister of Industry and Agriculture, Parliamentarian Kh.Battulga and being implemented under the auspices of the President of Mongolia. The "Grand Maitreya" Foundation, established in September 2010, is executing the project, where the facility base will be finished in 2014, the stupa in the following year, and the whole project will be accomplished in 2016 due to plan.
"Tony Gee and Partners" British company has created the blueprint and working on structural engineering design for 202 tons steel stupa structure that resistant at cold weather up to -45°C. The 80% of total structure is made of copper, 9% of tin, 3% of zinc under ASTMB584/C90300 standard, also it was guaranteed to stand over a thousand year. The statue is taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York by 8 meters and taller than the Statue of Chinggis Khaan in Tsonjin Boldog by 14 meters respectively.
The Grand Maitreya statue was designed by State Merit Servant sculptor D.Erdembileg, who is known for his creature of the Chinggis Khaan equestrian statue in Tsonjin Boldog.
Last year on August 03, the bottom part of feet of the statue was presented in front square of Gandantegchinlen Monastery in Ulaanbaatar.
Mogi: wow, didn't expect this when started reading. Heartbreaking story of a New Yorker staff writer who had a miscarriage while on assignment in Mongolia
THANKSGIVING IN MONGOLIA
Adventure and heartbreak at the edge of the earth.
By Ariel Levy
November 18 (The New Yorker) My favorite game when I was a child was Mummy and Explorer. My father and I would trade off roles: one of us had to lie very still with eyes closed and arms crossed over the chest, and the other had to complain, "I've been searching these pyramids for so many years. When will I ever find the tomb of Tutankhamun?" (This was in the late seventies, when Tut was at the Met, and we came in from the suburbs to visit him frequently.) At the climax of the game, the explorer stumbles on the embalmed Pharaoh and—brace yourself—the mummy opens his eyes and comes to life. The explorer has to express shock, and then says, "So, what's new?" To which the mummy replies, "You."
I was not big on playing house. I preferred make-believe that revolved around adventure, featuring pirates and knights. I was also domineering, impatient, relentlessly verbal, and, as an only child, often baffled by the mores of other kids. I was not a popular little girl. I played Robinson Crusoe in a small wooden fort that my parents built for me in the back yard. In the fort, I was neither ostracized nor ill at ease—I was self-reliant, brave, ingeniously surviving, if lost.
The other natural habitat for a child who loves words and adventure is the page, and I was content when my parents read me "Moby-Dick," "Pippi Longstocking," or "The Hobbit." I decided early that I would be a writer when I grew up. That, I thought, was the profession that went with the kind of woman I wanted to become: one who is free to do whatever she chooses. I started keeping a diary in third grade and, in solidarity with Anne Frank, gave it a name and made it my confidante. To this day, I feel comforted and relieved of loneliness, no matter how foreign my surroundings, if I have a pad and a pen with which to record my experiences.
I've spent the past twenty years putting myself in foreign surroundings as frequently as possible. There is nothing I love more than travelling to a place where I know nobody, and where everything will be a surprise, and then writing about it. The first time I went to Africa for a story, I was so excited that I barely slept during the entire two-week trip. Everything was new: the taste of springbok meat, the pink haze over Cape Town, the noise and chaos of the corrugated-tin alleyways in Khayelitsha township. I could still feel spikes of adrenaline when I was back at my desk in New York, typing, while my spouse cooked a chicken in the kitchen.
But as my friends, one after another, made the journey from young woman to mother, it glared at me that I had not. I would often listen to a Lou Reed song called "Beginning of a Great Adventure," about the possibilities of imminent parenthood. "A little me or he or she to fill up with my dreams," Lou sings, with ragged hopefulness, "a way of saying life is not a loss." It became the soundtrack to my mulling on motherhood. I knew that a child would make life as a professional explorer largely impossible. But having a kid seemed in many ways like the wildest trip of all.
I always get terrified right before I travel. I become convinced that this time will be different: I won't be able to figure out the map, or communicate with non-English speakers, or find the people I need in order to write the story I've been sent in search of. I will be lost and incompetent and vulnerable. I know that my panic will turn to excitement once I'm there—it always does—but that doesn't make the fear before takeoff any less vivid. So it was with childbearing: I was afraid for ten years. I didn't like childhood, and I was afraid that I'd have a child who didn't, either. I was afraid I would be an awful mother. And I was afraid of being grounded, sessile—stuck in one spot for eighteen years of oboe lessons and math homework that I couldn't finish the first time around.
I was on book tour in Athens when I decided that I would do it. My partner—who had always indicated that I would need to cast the deciding vote on parenthood—had come with me, and we were having one of those magical moments in a marriage when you find each other completely delightful. My Greek publisher and his wife took us out dancing and drinking, and cooked for us one night in their little apartment, which was overrun with children, friends, moussaka, and cigarette smoke. "Americans are not relaxed," one of the other guests told me, holding his three-year-old and drinking an ouzo. Greece was falling apart. The streets of Athens were crawling with cats and dogs that people had abandoned because they could no longer afford pet food. But our hosts were jubilant. Their family didn't seem like a burden; it seemed like a party. The idea bloomed in my head that being governed by something other than my own wishes and wanderlust might be a pleasure, a release.
I got pregnant quickly, to my surprise and delight, shortly before my thirty-eighth birthday. It felt like making it onto a plane the moment before the gate closes—you can't help but thrill. After only two months, I could hear the heartbeat of the creature inside me at the doctor's office. It seemed like magic: a little eye of newt in my cauldron and suddenly I was a witch with the power to brew life into being. Even if you are not Robinson Crusoe in a solitary fort, as a human being you walk this world by yourself. But when you are pregnant you are never alone.
My doctor told me that it was fine to fly up until the third trimester, so when I was five months pregnant I decided to take one last big trip. It would be at least a year, maybe two, before I'd be able to leave home for weeks on end and feel the elation of a new place revealing itself. (It's like having a new lover—even the parts you aren't crazy about have the crackling fascination of the unfamiliar.) Just before Thanksgiving, I went to Mongolia.
People were alarmed when I told them where I was going, but I was pleased with myself. I liked the idea of being the kind of woman who'd go to the Gobi Desert pregnant, just as, at twenty-two, I'd liked the idea of being the kind of girl who'd go to India by herself. And I liked the idea of telling my kid, "When you were inside me, we went to see the edge of the earth." I wasn't truly scared of anything but the Mongolian winter. The tourist season winds down in October, and by late November, when I got on the plane, the nights drop to twenty degrees below zero. But I was prepared: I'd bought snow pants big enough to fit around my convex gut and long underwear two sizes larger than I usually wear.
To be pregnant is to be in some kind of discomfort pretty much all the time. For the first few months, it was like waking up with a bad hangover every single morning but never getting to drink—I was nauseated but hungry, afflicted with a perpetual headache, and really qualified only to watch television and moan. That passed, but a week before I left for Mongolia I started feeling an ache in my abdomen that was new. "Round-ligament pain" is what I heard from everyone I knew who'd been pregnant, and what I read on every prenatal Web site: the uterus expanding to accommodate the baby, as he finally grew big enough to make me look actually pregnant, instead of just chunky. That thought comforted me on the fourteen-hour flight to Beijing, while I shifted endlessly, trying to find a position that didn't hurt my round ligaments.
When my connecting flight landed in Mongolia, it was morning, but the gray haze made it look like dusk. Ulaanbaatar is among the most polluted capital cities in the world, as well as the coldest. The drive into town wound through frozen fields and clusters of felt tents—gers, they're called there—into a crowded city of stocky, Soviet-era municipal buildings, crisscrossing telephone and trolley lines, and old Tibetan Buddhist temples with pagoda roofs. The people on the streets moved quickly and clumsily, burdened with layers against the bitter weather.
I was there to report a story on the country's impending transformation, as money flooded in through the mining industry. Mongolia has vast supplies of coal, gold, and copper ore; its wealth was expected to double in five years. But a third of the population still lives nomadically, herding animals and sleeping in gers, burning coal or garbage for heat. Until the boom, Mongolia's best-known export was cashmere. As Jackson Cox, a young consultant from Tennessee who'd lived in Ulaanbaatar for twelve years, told me, "You're talking about an economy based on yak meat and goat hair."
I got together with Cox on my first night in town. He sent a chauffeured car to pick me up—every Westerner I met in U.B. had a car and a driver—at the Blue Sky Hotel, a new and sharply pointed glass tower that split the cold sky like a shark fin. When I arrived at his apartment, he and a friend, a mining-industry lawyer from New Jersey, were listening to Beyoncé and pouring champagne. The place was clean and modern, but modest: for expats in U.B., it's far easier to accumulate wealth than it is to spend it. We went to dinner at a French restaurant, where we all ordered beef, because seafood is generally terrible in Mongolia, which is separated from the sea by its hulking neighbors (and former occupiers) China and Russia. Then they took me to an underground gay bar called 100 Per Cent—which could have been in Brooklyn, except that everyone in Mongolia still smoked indoors. I liked sitting in a booth in a dark room full of smoking, gay Mongolians, but my body was feeling strange. I ended the night early.
When I woke up the next morning, the pain in my abdomen was insistent; I wondered if the baby was starting to kick, which everyone said would be happening soon. I called home to complain, and my spouse told me to find a Western clinic. I e-mailed Cox to get his doctor's phone number, thinking that I'd call if the pain got any worse, and then I went out to interview people: the minister of the environment, the president of a mining concern, and, finally, a herdsman and conservationist named Tsetsegee Munkhbayar, who became a folk hero after he fired shots at mining operations that were diverting water from nomadic communities. I met him in the sleek lobby of the Blue Sky with Yondon Badral—a smart, sardonic man I'd hired to translate for me in U.B. and to accompany me a few days later to the Gobi, where we would drive a Land Rover across the cold sands to meet with miners and nomads. Badral wore jeans and a sweater; Munkhbayar was dressed in a long, traditional deelrobe and a fur hat with a small metal falcon perched on top. It felt like having a latte with Genghis Khan.
In the middle of the interview, Badral stopped talking and looked at my face; I must have been showing my discomfort. He said that it was the same for his wife, who was pregnant, just a few weeks further along than I was, and he explained the situation to Munkhbayar. The nomad's skin was chapped pink from the wind; his nostrils, eyes, and ears all looked as if they had receded into his face to escape the cold. I felt a little surge of pride when he said that I was brave to travel so far in my condition. But I was also starting to worry.
I nearly cancelled my second dinner with the Americans that evening, but I figured that I needed to eat, and they offered to meet me at the Japanese restaurant in my hotel. Cox was leaving the next day to visit his family for Thanksgiving, and he was feeling guilty that he'd spent a fortune on a business-class ticket. I thought about my uncomfortable flight over and said that it was probably worth it. "You're being a princess," Cox's friend told him tartly, but I couldn't laugh. Something was happening inside me. I had to leave before the food came.
I ran back to my room, pulled off my pants, and squatted on the floor of the bathroom, just as I had in Cambodia when I had dysentery, a decade earlier. But the pain in that position was unbearable. I got on my knees and put my shoulders on the floor and pressed my cheek against the cool tile. I remember thinking, This is going to be the craziest shit in history.
I felt an unholy storm move through my body, and after that there is a brief lapse in my recollection; either I blacked out from the pain or I have blotted out the memory. And then there was another person on the floor in front of me, moving his arms and legs, alive. I heard myself say out loud, "This can't be good." But it looked good. My baby was as pretty as a seashell.
He was translucent and pink and very, very small, but he was flawless. His lovely lips were opening and closing, opening and closing, swallowing the new world. For a length of time I cannot delineate, I sat there, awestruck, transfixed. Every finger, every toenail, the golden shadow of his eyebrows coming in, the elegance of his shoulders—all of it was miraculous, astonishing. I held him up to my face, his head and shoulders filling my hand, his legs dangling almost to my elbow. I tried to think of something maternal I could do to convey to him that I was, in fact, his mother, and that I had the situation completely under control. I kissed his forehead and his skin felt like a silky frog's on my mouth.
I was vaguely aware that there was an enormous volume of blood rushing out of me, and eventually that seemed interesting, too. I looked back and forth between my offspring and the lake of blood consuming the bathroom floor and I wondered what to do about the umbilical cord connecting those two things. It was surprisingly thick and ghostly white, a twisted human rope. I felt sure that it needed to be severed—that's always the first thing that happens in the movies. I was afraid that if I didn't cut that cord my baby would somehow suffocate. I didn't have scissors. I yanked it out of myself with one swift, violent tug.
In my hand, his skin started to turn a soft shade of purple. I bled my way across the room to my phone and dialled the number for Cox's doctor. I told the voice that answered that I had given birth in the Blue Sky Hotel and that I had been pregnant for nineteen weeks. The voice said that the baby would not live. "He's alive now," I said, looking at the person in my left hand. The voice said that he understood, but that it wouldn't last, and that he would send an ambulance for us right away. I told him that if there was no chance the baby would make it I might as well take a cab. He said that that was not a good idea.
Before I put down my phone, I took a picture of my son. I worried that if I didn't I would never believe he had existed.
When the pair of Mongolian E.M.T.s came through the door, I stopped feeling competent and numb. One offered me a tampon, which I knew not to accept, but the realization that of the two of us I had more information stirred a sickening panic in me and I said I needed to throw up. She asked if I was drunk, and I said, offended, No, I'm upset. "Cry," she said. "You just cry, cry, cry." Her partner bent to insert a thick needle in my forearm and I wondered if it would give me Mongolian aids, but I felt unable to do anything but cry, cry, cry. She tried to take the baby from me, and I had the urge to bite her hand. As I lay on a gurney in the back of the ambulance with his body wrapped in a towel on top of my chest, I watched the frozen city flash by the windows. It occurred to me that perhaps I was going to go mad.
In the clinic, there were very bright lights and more needles and I.V.s and I let go of the baby and that was the last I ever saw him. He was on one table and I was on another, far away, lying still under the screaming lights, and then, confusingly, the handsomest man in the world came through the door and said he was my doctor. His voice sounded nice, familiar. I asked if he was South African. He was surprised that I could tell, and I explained that I had spent time reporting in his country, and then we talked a bit about the future of the A.N.C. and about how beautiful it is in Cape Town. I realized that I was covered in blood, sobbing, and flirting.
Soon, he said that he was going home and that I could not return to the Blue Sky Hotel, where I might bleed to death in my room without anyone knowing. I stayed in the clinic overnight, wearing a T-shirt and an adult diaper that a kind, fat, giggling young nurse gave me. After she dressed me, she asked, "You want toast and tea?" It was milky and sweet and reminded me of the chai I drank in Nepal, where I went backpacking in the Himalayas with a friend long before I was old enough to worry about the expiration of my fertility. It had been a trip spent pushing my young body up the mountains, past green-and-yellow terraced fields and villages full of goats, across rope bridges that hung tenuously over black ravines with death at the bottom. We consumed a steady diet of hashish and Snickers bars and ended up in a blizzard that killed several hikers but somehow left us only chilly.
I had been so lucky. Very little had ever truly gone wrong for me before that night on the bathroom floor. And I knew, as surely as I now knew that I wanted a child, that this change in fortune was my fault. I had boarded a plane out of vanity and selfishness, and the dark Mongolian sky had punished me. I was still a witch, but my powers were all gone.
That is not what the doctor said when he came back to the clinic in the morning. He told me that I'd had a placental abruption, a very rare problem that, I later read, usually befalls women who are heavy cocaine users or who have high blood pressure. But sometimes it happens just because you're old. It could have happened anywhere, the doctor told me, and he repeated what he'd said the night before: there is no correlation between air travel and miscarriage. I said that I suspected he was being a gentleman, and that I needed to get out of the clinic in time for my eleven-o'clock meeting with the secretary of the interior, whose office I arrived at promptly, after I went back to the Blue Sky and showered in my room, which looked like the site of a murder.
I spent the next five days in that room. Slowly, it set in that it was probably best if I went home instead of to the Gobi, but at first I could not leave. Thanksgiving came and went. There were rolling brownouts when everything went dark and still. I lay in my bed and ate Snickers and drank little bottles of whiskey from the minibar while I watched television programs that seemed as strange and bleak as my new life. Someone had put a white bath mat on top of the biggest bloodstain, the one next to my bed, where I had crouched when I called for help, and little by little the white went red and then brown as the blood seeped through it and oxidized. I stared at it. I looked at the snow outside my window falling on the Soviet architecture. But mostly I looked at the picture of the baby.
When I got back from Mongolia, I was so sad I could barely breathe. On five or six occasions, I ran into mothers who had heard what had happened, and they took one look at me and burst into tears. (Once, this happened with a man.) Within a week, the apartment we were supposed to move into with the baby fell through. Within three, my marriage had shattered. I started lactating. I continued bleeding. I cried ferociously and without warning—in bed, in the middle of meetings, sitting on the subway. It seemed to me that grief was leaking out of me from every orifice.
I could not keep the story of what had happened in Mongolia inside my mouth. I went to buy clothes that would fit my big body but that didn't have bands of stretchy maternity elastic to accommodate a baby who wasn't there. I heard myself tell a horrified saleswoman, "I don't know what size I am, because I just had a baby. He died, but the good news is, now I'm fat." Well-meaning women would tell me, "I had a miscarriage, too," and I would reply, with unnerving intensity, "He was alive." I had given birth, however briefly, to another human being, and it seemed crucial that people understand this. Often, after I told them, I tried to get them to look at the picture of the baby on my phone.
After several weeks, I was looking at it only once a day. It was months before I got it down to once a week. I don't look at it much anymore, but people I haven't seen in a while will say, "I'm so sorry about what happened to you." And their compassion pleases me.
But the truth is, the ten or twenty minutes I was somebody's mother were black magic. There is no adventure I would trade them for; there is no place I would rather have seen. Sometimes, when I think about it, I still feel a dark hurt from some primal part of myself, and if I'm alone in my apartment when this happens I will hear myself making sounds that I never made before I went to Mongolia. I realize that I have turned back into a wounded witch, wailing in the forest, undone.
Most of the time it seems sort of O.K., though, natural. Nature. Mother Nature. She is free to do whatever she chooses.
Munkhdul Badral Bontoi
Founder & CEO
Mobile: +976 9999 6779
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