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Monday, December 23, 2013
Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original
Guildford: Financing Facilities Update and Mongolia Haul Road Construction Complete
December 23 -- Guildford Coal Limited (ASX:GUF) is pleased to announce that negotiations with Noble Resources International Pte. Ltd. regarding funding of USD$22 million have been concluded, long form documents executed and all monies under the agreement have been drawn down.
As part of these negotiations the Company has also reached agreement with Noble to work together on potential options for the continuing development and expansion of the South Gobi region into a major coking coal producing region in Mongolia exporting into China. Further details of these development options and activities will be announced as they are progressed.
The Company has also completed the negotiation and signing of long form documents for the new financing arrangements with OCP Asia which remains subject only to fulfilment of conditions precedent including the approval by Shareholders at the EGM on Monday 30th December, 2013.
The Company would like to clarify that the current OCP Asia Bond Warrants, for 87.5 million shares at a minimum strike price of $0.45 per share expiring October 2014, will be cancelled when the new OCP Asia facilities and warrants are approved and issued.
The OCP and Noble financings will complete the Company's current funding requirements to ensure that the Company's BNU mine's first sale of coal into China will be delivered during Q1 2014.
The Company is also pleased to announce the completion of the 98km current haul road construction in Mongolia connecting the Company's Baruun Noyon Uul (BNU) mine (The Mine) with the coal distribution hub at Ceke, at the China border. Development activities at The Mine have continued including mine advancement, additional key mining equipment delivered and facilities construction. The Mine is currently being assessed by the Mongolian authorities for the purpose of commissioning and the company is confident this will be verified shortly.
A series of recent photographs from the Company's Mongolia operations follow this update.
Mogi: In short: no coal produced in said period, dry processing and washing plant almost finished but stopped due to winter, Khushuut being considered for strategic deposit inclusion by parliament, MEC has agreed to mediation proposal by Leighton in ongoing ₮19.9 billion claim against MEC.
276 closed last at HK$0.227
MEC: Interim Report 2013
December 17, Mongolia Energy Corporation Limited (HKEx:276) --
On behalf of the board of directors (the "Board"), I hereby present to the shareholders the interim results of Mongolia Energy Corporation Limited (the "Company") and its subsidiaries (collectively the "Group") for the period ended 30 September 2013 (the "Financial Period") as follows:
Our principal project is the Khushuut Coking Coal Project in Western Mongolia.
During the Financial Period, our commercial coal production came to a halt and we were focusing on the construction of the coal screening infrastructures.
Bestway: Interim Report 2013
December 17, Bestway International Holdings Limited (HKEx:718) --
Since completion of the acquisitions of the Mongolia subsidiaries in December 2009, the operation of the Mongolian tungsten mines has remained stagnant. The Group has re-engaged Ms. Yang Lee (our former executive director who has extensive experience in the resources industry) as consultant and has engaged a Mongolian professional firm to prepare a feasibility study report and an environmental report for the Group to reconsider the overall operating strategy for the mining business in Mongolia.
The Company was informed by its Mongolian legal advisers on 21 August 2013 that certain state inspectors in Mongolia have conducted inspection over the tungsten mines of the Group in Mongolia and required the Mongolian subsidiaries of the Company to undertake backfilling and technical and biological reclamation of destroyed opencast mining sites area and have proper security fencing and guarding over the minerals deposits (the "Requests").
As advised by the Company's Mongolian legal advisers, the Requests were made in accordance with applicable laws of Mongolia and failure to comply with the Requests may result in a fine not more than Mongolian Tugriks MNT1,000,000 (approximately US$593.30) for each of the Requests and there is also a risk that the mining licences can be revoked by the Minerals Authority in case the Ministry of Environment made a conclusion that the Company has failed to fulfill its environment restoration obligation based on a recommendation of the local administrative body. The Company's Mongolian legal advisers recommended the Group to fulfill the Requests within 15 September 2013.
On 6 September 2013, the Company remitted funds to Mongolia for its subsidiaries to commence rehabilitation work in order to fulfill the Requests and has instructed the Mongolian legal advisers to communicate with local governments and state inspectors in that regard. The Board believes that the Company will comply with the Requests in good time to avoid any fine or adverse consequences
Asia Resources: Interim Report 2013
December 17, Asia Resources Holdings Limited (HKEx:899) --
MANAGEMENT DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS
BUSINESS REVIEW AND PROSPECT
Iron Ore Mining Operation
For the period under review, the turnover contributed from the Iron Ore Mining Operation is HK$5.8 million (2012: HK$Nil). The turnover is the first sales transaction recognised for the export of iron sand from our Indonesia Iron Mine to China.
Overall speaking, the iron ore mining operation segment recorded a loss of approximately HK$2.9 million for the period ended 30 September 2013 (2012: approximately HK$2.0 million). The loss was mainly comprised of administrative expenses for Mongolia Mine and Indonesia Mine, as well as the cost of the trial production of Indonesia Mine.
Mongolia Iron Mine
In accordance with the letter (dated 24 December 2012) from the Ministry of Environment and Green Development of Mongolia advising the Group that the Iron Mining Licence is located within the protected area of Shudtiin river, forest front and water source basin of Mongolia. According to the legal opinions on 31 December 2012, 10 January 2013 and 7 June 2013, the Group was advised that according to the provision of a new law on "Prohibition of mining and exploration activities in river heads and banks, water basins and forests" the Iron Mining Licence is subject to the new law and shall be cancelled since the Mongolia Mine is located in the Protected Area.
As at the report date, no further notification or advice from the Government of Mongolia concerning the Iron Mining Licence has been received by the Group. Our consultant in Mongolia advised that there was no further update on the law on "Prohibition of mining and exploration activities in river heads and banks, water basins and forests".
Under the circumstances, the operating activities of Mongolia Mine continued to be temporarily suspended in order to minimizing the expenses to be incurred. The Company is also considering disposing the Mongolia Mine to potential risk-taking investors who are interested in the Mine.
Asia Coal: Interim Report 2013
December 18, Asia Coal Limited (HKEx:835) --
Mining Prohibition Law
On 16th July 2009, the Parliament of Mongolia enacted the Law of Mongolia on the Prohibition of Minerals Exploration and Mining in Headwater Areas, Protected Zones for Water Reserves and Forest Lands (the "MPL") which prohibits minerals exploration and mining in areas such as headwaters of rivers and lakes, forest areas and areas adjacent to rivers and lakes.
During the year ended 31st March 2013, legal counsel of the Mongolian subsidiary has confirmed two mining rights of the Group are within the area designated, on a preliminary basis, as land where mineral exploration and mining are prohibited under the MPL, However, there has been no revocation of these licenses as at the date of approval of these condensed consolidated financial statements. The management also considers that even if the licenses were revoked due to the MPL, the Mongolian government would pay a reasonable compensation to the Group.
Hence, the management concluded that there is no impairment on the mining rights in this regard.
Guildford Coal: Issue of shares to Terra Holdings Ltd
December 20 -- Guildford Coal Limited (Company, ASX:GUF) advises that it has today issued 20,000,000 fully paid Ordinary Shares (Shares) to Terra Holdings Ltd.
The 20,000,000 Shares (at an issue price of $0.75 per Share and aggregate value of $15,000,000) have been issued in payment of the final deferred consideration for the acquisition of the remaining 25% of Terra Energy Limited in accordance with the terms of the restructure agreement between Guildford Coal Limited and Terra Holdings Limited dated 2 November 2012 as approved at the Annual General Meeting held on 28 November 2013.
The terms of issue of these Shares were included in the Notice of Annual General Meeting announced to the ASX on 29 October 2013. The terms of restructure agreement were announced to the ASX on 29 November 2012.
An Appendix 3B in relation to the issue of the Shares is lodged in a separate announcement.
Mogi: IPO of Beren Mining, subsidiary of Beren Group, is offering 30% of company raising ₮130.5 billion. First MSE IPO since E-Trans Logistics in April 2012.
"БЭРЭН МАЙНИНГ" ХК НЬ ҮНЭТ ЦААСАА АНХДАГЧ ЗАХ ЗЭЭЛД САНАЛ БОЛГОЛОО
12-р сарын 20 (МХБ) "Бэрэн Майнинг" ХК нь анх 2006 онд "Бэрэн Групп" ХХК-ийн охин компани болон байгуулагдаж Монгол Улсын хар төмөрлөгийн салбарт үйл ажиллагаа явуулж эхэлсэн. Энэ ажлын хүрээнд Архангай аймгийн Төвшрүүлэх суманд байрших "Тамирын гол"-ын төмрийн хүдрийн ордын ашиглалтын асуудлыг хариуцаж жилдээ 250 мян.тн 63-67%-ийн төмрийн агуулгатай хүдрийн баяжмал үйлдвэрлэх хүчин чадалтай уулын баяжуулах үйлдвэрийг 2007 онд ашиглалтанд оруулсан.
Үнэт цаас гаргагч нь Архангай аймагт орших 4 ордыг зэрэг эзэмшдэг бөгөөд ордуудын нийлбэр нөөц нь 84.6 сая.тн байна.
"Бэрэн Майнинг" ХК нь уг нөөцийг цаашид үр ашигтай ашиглах үүднээс одоогийн 250 мян.тн-ны төмрийн хүдрийн баяжуулах үйлдвэрийн хүчин чадлыг 500 мян.тн болгож үүнээс 300 мян.тн Шууд ангижруулсан төмөр үйлдвэрлэх үйлдвэр байгуулахаар Монголын хөрөнгийн зах зээл дээр компанийнхаа нийт хувьцааны 30 хувь буюу 522,243,996 ширхэг хувьцааг олон нийтэд санал болгож байна.
Хувьцааны захиалгыг Монголын Хөрөнгийн Биржид бүртгэлтэй брокер, дилерийн компаниудаар авах бөгөөд Үнэт цаасны дэлгэрэнгүй болон хураангуй танилцуулгыг www.frc.mn, www.mse.mn, www.beren.mn, www.bdsec.mn зэрэг цахим хаягуудаас гадна андеррайтер "БиДиСЕК" ХК-иас авах боломжтой.
Нэрлэсэн үнэ: 157.35 төгрөг (Mogi: nominal price)
Олон нийтэд санал болгож буй үнэт цаасны тоо ширхэг: 522 243 996 ширхэг (Mogi: number of shares to be issued)
Олон нийтэд санал болгох хувь: 30% (Mogi: percentage of company being offered)
Олон нийтэд санал болгох үнэ: 250 төгрөг (Mogi: offer price)
Олон нийтэд санал болгох арга: Тогтоосон үнийн арга (Mogi: IPO to be conducted on fixed price method)
Үнэт цаасны танилцуулгыг энд дарж үзнэ үү. (Mogi: the link to the Prospectus here is not working)
FRC has approved Meriks restricted shares for MSE listing
"МЕРИКС" ХХК-ИЙН НИЙТЭД САНАЛ БОЛГОН ГАРГАХ ҮНЭТ ЦААСЫГ СЗХ БҮРТГЭСЭН БАЙНА
12-р сарын 20 (МХБ) Санхүүгийн зохицуулах хороо, 2013 оны 12 дугаар сарын 18-ны өдрийн 514 тоот тогтоолоор "Мерикс" ХХК нь нээлттэй хувьцаат компани болгон өөрчлөн зохион байгуулагдсантай холбогдуулан тус компанийн нийт гаргасан нэг бүр нь 100 төгрөгийн нэрлэсэн үнэ бүхий 65,005,000 ширхэг хувьцааг үнэт цаасны бүртгэлдээ бүртгэж, Монголын хөрөнгийн биржийн үнэт цаасны бүртгэлд бүртгэхийг зөвшөөрсөн байна.
MSE News for December 20: Top 20 +0.76%, Turnover ₮50.1 Million
Ulaanbaatar, December 20 /MONTSAME/ At the Stock Exchange trades held Friday, a total of 31 thousand and 737 shares of 27 JSCs were traded costing MNT 50 million 071 thousand and 032.00.
"Khokh gan" /12 thousand and 100 units/, "Aduunchuluun" /4,568 units/, "BDSec" /3,990 units/, "Remikon" /3,360 units/ and "Hai Bi Oil" /2,790 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value-"Aduunchuluun" (MNT 10 million 652 thousand and 750), "BDSec" (MNT nine million and 576 thousand), "Tavantolgoi" (MNT six million 629 thousand and 655), "Sharyn gol" (MNT five million and 390 thousand) and "Shivee ovoo" (MNT three million 492 thousand and 225).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 719 billion 171 million 738 thousand and 753. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 16,736.67, increasing by MNT 126.57 or 0.76% against the previous day.
BoM MNT Rates: December 20 Close
Total outstanding 1-week bills up ₮212 billion to ₮1.38 trillion
BoM issues ₮534.2 billion 1-week bills
December 20 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 534.2 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
8% Mortgage Program Update: ₮481.8 Billion Refinanced, ₮694.7 Billion Newly Issued, Total ₮1.18 Trillion
December 20 (Cover Mongolia) As of December 16, ₮481.8 billion (₮470.1 billion as of November 22) existing mortgages of 16,923 citizens (16,701 as of November 22) were refinanced at 8% out of ₮798 billion (₮797.3 billion as of November 22) worth requests.
Also, ₮694.7 billion (₮634 billion as of November 22) new mortgages of 12,106 citizens (10,942 citizens as of November 22) were issued at new rates out of ₮755.2 billion (₮714.8 billion as of November 22) worth requests.
Link to release (in Mongolian)
The Sales Managers' Index: Mongolia - December 2013
Challenging seasonal conditions dampening economy
· Mongolia headline SMI suggests growth continues to slow
· Speed of price inflation slows but remains very high
· Despite this, markets are still expanding
The Mongolia Sales Managers' Index brings together the collective wisdom of Sales Managers throughout Mongolia to produce the earliest source of understanding about what's really happening in one of the most dynamic countries in the world.
The Headline Index is designed to reflect overall economic growth, bringing together the average movement of Confidence, Market Expansion, Product Sales, Prices Charged and the Staffing Indices. The Index reveals sustained growth in what is notionally the fastest growing economy in the world.
However a cooling trend continues to be evident. Panellists have cited seasonality in sales & construction, as well as the weak Tugrik as possible causes for economic cool down.
Confidence among Sales Managers has been falling steadily since April. This suggests that a majority of Mongolian Sales Managers' believe business conditions will not improve in the coming months.
Panellists have revealed that the winter season is having a strong impact on all aspects of business and many construction projects have been paused.
The December reading represents a partial upturn, suggesting a feeling amongst panellists that the current decline in confidence may reverse in the coming months.
The Market Growth index reflects growth of the general marketplace in panellists' own industry sectors. Sales Managers' report that the overall speed and direction of growth remains modest in comparison to readings seen earlier in the year.
The index reading of 53.5 indicates an economy that is expanding, although the trend is congruent with the cooling of GDP growth.
The Product Sales Index reflects the sales of individual companies rather than the wider economy.
The Index has continued to decline, reaching 45.4 in December. Panellists have suggested that continuing problems with investment in the key mining sector, as well as challenging seasonal conditions means sales continue to decline.
The Prices Charged Index fell slightly to 67.9 in December. Despite this, Sales Managers are still passing on large price increases to business and consumers.
Panellists suggest that decline in value of the Tugrik has stabilised, however importing costs remain prohibitive.
Managers are recruiting staff to meet new demand at a modest pace – and despite several months of falls in the growth of recruitment, the jobs market remains fluid.
The Staffing Levels Index reading is congruent with a growing economy. Despite short term problems, it is clear that managers expect strong GDP growth to continue.
World Economics Chief Executive Ed Jones commented:
"Sales Managers have told us that the weakened Tugrik appears to be stabilising against the US Dollar – despite this, price inflation remains high.
Overall Market Growth is still cooling. However the figures remain indicative of an expanding economic environment. Whereas Sales remain subdued, partly due to price inflation
Taken together, these data suggest Panelists are confident the worst of the price rises may be behind us."
Mongolia to Import One Million Tons of Petroleum from Russia in 2014
Ulaanbaatar, December 20 /MONTSAME/ Mongolia is planning to import oil of one million tons from neighboring Russia, next year.
The Mining Ministry Thursday announced that the nation has an oil reserve enough for 41 days so far. In 2013, oil consumption of the country reached one million 200 thousand tons.
Apart from Russia, Mongolia will also buy oil from South Korea and the southern neighbor China.
The price of the oil imported will be set up in accordance with Mongolia's market rates and previous month's prices, officials of the Ministry say.
Mongolia to Host World Economic Forum on East Asia in 2016
December 20 (news.mn) Foreign Affairs Minister of Mongolia, L.Bold and the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab had an official talk in Geneva on Monday December 16th, 2013. During the talks Foreign Affairs Minister L.Bold and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab exchanged views on wide range of issues ranging from Mongolia`s current economic situation to preparation works for the World Economic Forum in 2014, further cooperation with the organization.
A memorandum of understanding between the Government of Mongolia and the World Economic Forum was signed in January 2013. Since then WEF scenario team had worked in Mongolia conducting observation and survey on economic development of Mongolia. In September Ulaanbaatar hosted "Strategic Dialogue on the Future of Mongolia" roundtable discussion.
In the framework of annual meeting in Davos, a session on development based on natural resources in Mongolia, Myanmar and Qatar suggested executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab during the talks.
Foreign Affairs Minister L.Bold stressed about the importance of discussing development issues of resource rich countries at the World Economic Forum.
The World Economic Forum Strategic dialogue on Future of Mongolia and Mongolia meeting to introduce Mongolia to investors will be organized during the World Economic Forum in January 2014.
During the official talks Foreign Affairs Minister L.Bold and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab agreed to sign a MoU in January in order to organize World Economic Forum on East Asia in Mongolia in 2016.
Then the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab addressed about preparation and completion works for the World Economic Forum in Davos where participants from more than 50 countries, including political and business leaders, international and regional organizations and development funds will attend. the World Economic Forum will be held in Davos between 22 to 26th January in 2014. Key participants from the region at the World Economic Forum are Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, President of the South Korea Park Geun-hye, President of Indonesia Susilo Yudhoyono, Prime Minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra and President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj.
Is Mongolia institutionally strong enough to manage its mineral resources and sovereign debt?
December 20 /business-mongolia.com/ Mongolian economic problems are often due to internal conflicts of political powers racing for populist promises by the expense of the nation's future. Back in 2008 elections, both MPP and DP talked about cash promises and share distributions to the whole population believing that its booming coal mine industry would generate enough to feast and transfer itself to a path of rapid economic development. In the times when technology and value added goods and services generate 10-1000 times more than the commodity itself, merely exporting a copper and gold through a barely functioning port and infrastructure is not enough.
Geopolitically, Mongolia served as a buffer state between China and Russia, currently economic and military superpowers. Now, it seems even our friendly two neighbours avoid dealing with Mongolia in economic and infrastructure projects. Besides the Trans-Siberian Railway China announced a Trans-Asian Railway network which excludes Mongolia. In terms of having our own foreign policy such as third neighbour or attracting more western investments in the country, we are definitely stubborn and try to take advantage of the current international order. While politically it makes sense, economically we are distancing ourselves from the regional economic integration (Mogi: politically makes sense? Oh please, if using the people's fears against them makes political sense then … Oh, wait! Yeah, yeah, I heard myself.). One example being the quarrel between politicians over gauge sizes of railways to be built (Russia and China have a different gauge sizes and currently, Mongolian railway system is aligned with Russian standard. However, it makes sense to build Chinese gauge size, because all the commodity export is toward China and there will be no wheel changing or re-loading time delays or costs.)
Also, in terms of air carrier its flag carrier state-owned MIAT failed to improve and upgrade itself despite the geographic advantages. For the last 3-4 years Mongolian government talked of new upgraded airport near the capital in order to increase air traffic and transit capabilities which hasn't been materialized yet. Mismanagement of MIAT is widely known to the population. However, it is one of the sources that few in the political sphere plunder upon. Just a few days ago, the cabinet decided to introduce a new international management team to improve its competency. Business-Mongolia Research Team assume the management team is likely to be hired from Lufthansa. Often, when the political elites invite a foreign agent to operate it puts pressure to share the assigned budget for a promise of non-interference.
Power has been centralized to the cabinet and SGK as we chose a parliamentary system 22 years ago. However, now it seems assumption of distributing power equally to the parts of the society and having equal opportunities have been fading away. Political elites and huge business entities wield both powers. State's meddling with business sector and its own attempt to manage and operate strategically important deposits will make the policy-makers wealthy and more keen to stay in power in order to extract economic benefits for themselves. Also, in order to stay in power it will weaken the state-institutions to serve for their interests and it is creating a term "political resource curse".
Few days ago, it became apparent that the new electronic traffic penalty system that cost MNT1.8 billion was 3-4 times greater than the actual cost of the devices. A bidder in the tender announced on facebook that his/her company offered a better device with a lower price. However, the bidding committee accepted cheaper and lower quality devices with a higher price. This is an example of how politicians announce a bid and make their own relatives or affiliated win the bid.
As Mongolian state-institutions start serving their elected politicians, will the state be able to manage its both politically and economically extractive institutions for the benefit of the people through sovereign debt and mineral exports when it cannot even be fair on merely a million dollar bid?
Public Discussion on State Policy on Mineral Sector Until 2025 to Be Held
Ulaanbaatar, December 20 /MONTSAME/ The Ministry of Mining Friday announced that it will hold a discussion called "Mineral sector until 2025".
According to D.Bat-Erdene, an advisor to the Mining Minister, the gathered are supposed to consider why foreign investments decreased 30%, what the social tendency toward the geological and mining sectors is, and how the Mining Ministry is to cooperate with professional associations.
Apart from this, the discussion will try to change negative views of both domestic and foreign companies towards the sector, will determine a state policy on mineral sector until 2025 to make it more attractive for the foreign and domestic investors.
New Fingerprint Devices Force Parliament to Postpone Sessions Due to Malfunction
December 20 /infomongolia.com/ Lately, the plenary session of the State Great Khural (Parliament) has been postponed occasionally due to insufficient attendance of the members of Parliament.
In order to resolve the situation, the State Structure's Standing Committee submitted a bill to introduce fingerprint devices, because to date one parliamentarian used to register on behalf of others, since the identification card reading machines were installed.
However, the bill was supposed to be discussed and approved at the plenary meeting, but Speaker of Parliament Z.Enkhbold decided to implement and put into service from the Thursday meeting, December 19, that caused much conflicts among Parliamentarians.
The main reason of controversies was incorrect function of these newly installed machines, for instance when 10 women parliamentarians were registered on the screen it showed 17 female members, besides opposition members (MPP) were disagree with such rush implementation. They said it breaches the Law on Parliamentary Bylaw and Regulation, some amendments and settlements to the law must be implied first.
After aroused disputes, MPP (Mongolian People's Party) parliamentarians left the meeting hall and asked for two-day break to consider the issue and let the devices to proceed under re-examination.
So today on December 20, Head of MPP Group in the Parliament S.Byambatsogt delivered a letter to Director of Central Intelligence Agency B.Ariunsan to inspect immediately the fingerprint devices' security.
President of Mongolia Appeals Nation to Unite Against Domestic Violence
December 20 /infomongolia.com/ By the initiation of the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj, "Let's Unite Against Violence" meeting was organized at the Citizen Hall of Presidential Office today on December 20, 2013.
At the meeting representatives from Ministry of Justice, National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia, National Police, Judge Council, General Prosecutor's Office, National Center Against Violence and hospitals and universities were present.
In his speech, President Ts.Elbegdorj noted that domestic violence has become a domestic slavery and further said, "There are several forms of violence and abuses are exist today in our society, namely the Abuse of Power and Control, Financial Abuse, Moral Abuse, Physical Violence, Sexual Violence, and Emotional Violence. Over 80% of victims are underage girls and women, and mostly occurred in our families. Domestic violence exists in one third of households somehow and the World War III is happening in the family. If we cannot to protect our women, we cannot protect our country, if we cannot protect our citizens, we cannot protect our humanitarian society. To address our men, I would like to appeal 'Let's be real men and let's protect our women' and I believe the domestic violence in Mongolia would be ended with the year of 2013".
Also, President initiated to prepare more skilled personnel against domestic violence and stressed that it is necessary to open One Window Service in each Aimag and more in the capital city, which is currently counted for only 5 centers.
Meeting against Violence Runs – Montsame, December 20
"Let's unite against human violation" meeting was held – news.mn, December 20
Ministers at Open Hearing "Poverty and Health"
Ulaanbaatar, December 20 /MONTSAME/ The parliamentary Standing Committee on social policy, education, culture and sciences, together with several ministries ran an open hearing event "Poverty and Health" Tuesday.
At the action at the State Residence, a Health Minister N.Udval highlighted some statistics regarding public health funding that usually comes from the government budget (76%), health insurance fund (20.9%), individual pays, foreign donation and loans. The public health expenses account 2.9 percent in Gross domestic product, and 6.9 percent in the Government budget, she said.
Mortality of children under five years has decreased four times in 1990-2102, she noted. However, a significant association has found between household income and infant mortality, as a two and half time higher mortality risk has been observed for babies born to poor mothers.
After this, a Human Development and Social Welfare Minister S.Erdene made a presentation on health insurance, noting that the Ministry is planning to introduce an electronic card system in order to overcome burdens in receiving health treatment and imbalanced allocation in the health insurance fund.
Another presentation was made by a representative of the Asian Development Bank who introduced the bank's projects aimed at reduced poverty in the nation.
South Korean Mobile Broadcasting Service Launches in Mongolia
Mongolia joins Korea, Norway and Cambodia for commercialized mobile digital media broadcasting (T-DMB) services.
SEOUL, December 20 (The Hollywood Reporter) — A new mobile digital media broadcasting (T-DMB) service that was developed in South Korea launched recently in Mongolia, the Korean culture ministry announced.
The pilot service for the Mongolian T-DMB endeavor will begin with four free channels, and will add five more early next year before eventually becoming paid services.
The T-DMB service has become the international standard since it was developed in 2007. Korea adopted the medium that year, followed by Norway in 2008 and Cambodia in 2009. Vietnam and Laos are also considering commercialization of the service.
Since 2011, the Korean Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning has been providing locally developed broadcasting equipment and the technological consultation required to launch the pilot service and the commercialization of T-DMB service in Mongolia.
UBDMB, the Mongolian T-DMB service provider, and UNITEL, Mongolia's second largest mobile telecommunications company, have taken part in the pilot service. The launching event took place Dec. 12 in Ulaanbaatar, and was attended by state officials from Korea and Mongolia.
"I am glad that Mongolia's mobile broadcasting service has started with Korean T-DMB technologies," said Balgansuren Batsukh, chairman of the Mongolian Communications Regulatory Commission (CRC). "I hope the two countries will cooperate further on technological exchanges and in the field of broadcasting and telecommunications."
Best Websites and Personalities Recognized at First Online Media Awards
December 20 /infomongolia.com/ Mongolian Association of Informational Websites for the first time has organized the"Online Media Awards 2013" and the winners of 11 nominations were announced at the Best Western Premier of Tuushin Hotel in Ulaanbaatar on December 19, 2013.
These 11 categories' winners were polled via social networks including Facebook and Twitter between December 13 and 18, where in each category three promoters were nominated.
The selection process was conducted among 250 guests attended yesterday, who gave their votes by sending SMS to panel members.
So, the Online Media Awards 2013 winners are:
1. Most Viewed Video on YouTube - "Khar Kharkhan Kharts" by Merit Artist of Mongolia S.Javkhlan and his spouse Frontier Cultural Servant G.Erdenechimeg (Mogi: Frontier Cultural Servant, LOL!!!!!!)
2. Debut Website - www.paparatsi.mn
3. Best Diversified Website of the Year - www.goolingoo.mn
4. Best Facebook Page and Group - Sweetkitchen group
5. Best Provincial Website of the Year - www.khuvsgulnews.mn of Khuvsgul Aimag
6. Best Publication Blog - www.chuhal.mn
7. Best Blog - anime.blog.gogo.mn
8. Best Twitter - @Tanhai_Emee
9. Most Reported Persona on Media - President Ts.Elbegdorj
10. Best Governmental Website of the Year - www.ulaanbaatar.mn administered by Mayor's Office
11. Best Website of the Year - www.gogo.mn
UB City's First Bicycle Lanes Opening with Further Being Planned
Ulaanbaatar, December 20 /MONTSAME/ First 58 km bicycle lanes with 20 designated stops are to run in the UB city.
A total of 186,7 km bike lanes and 99 stops will be constructed in three years as planned in land utilization approved by the Citizens' Representative Khural of the city.
Every two kilometers there will be a stop with the wheel repair center and controlling camera and road signs of international standards.
In frames of "Ulaanbaatar with bicycle" project, the first ever bicycle lanes project has been worked out upon opinions of the city people.
Export peacekeeping training to Central and East Asia
Canada could use its Mongolia experience as a successful model for others.
By Jargalsaikhan MENDEE
December 19 (Embassy News) Canada, a co-creator of United Nations peacekeeping, has a substantial comparative advantage in transferring peacekeeping knowledge to Central and East Asian countries, including former communist states, as it has done for generations of peacekeepers from Africa, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.
The transfer of peacekeeping knowledge is a unique Canadian addition to the Canada-United States Asia-Pacific Defense Policy Cooperation Framework that both countries' defence ministers signed in November.
Although the operational map of the Department of National Defence has not changed much since the end of the Cold War, formerly socialist Mongolia, unexpectedly, has appeared on the DND map. Canadian military assistance there has been repeatedly highlighted by political leaders of both nations, most recently by Governor General David Johnston during his state visit to Ulaanbaatar in October.
In March 2001, DND hosted four Mongolian delegates. Presentations at the Pearson Centre and the Peace Support Training Centre in Kingston, Ont. opened the eyes of Mongolian officials to peacekeeping.
It was knowledge offered at just the right moment when the Mongolian military was trying to explain its vision to political leaders and the public.
In 2003, Mongolian artillery trainers were stationed at the Canadian-run Camp Julien just outside Kabul. Here, the Mongolian military became familiar with the rules of engagement, organization, structure, equipment and even culture of Canadian forces serving in Afghanistan.
From 2006 on, Mongolian military personnel officially began participating in Canada's foreign military help initiative, the Military Training Assistance Program. It was recently renamed Military Training & Cooperation.
Since 2006, almost 100 Mongolian military members have participated in peacekeeping training courses, including those of the Pearson Centre, and other professional and language courses.
The foreign military help program provides an excellent environment for Mongolian military personnel to learn the complexity of contemporary peace support operations, and a venue for understanding Canadian culture and civil-military relations.
Mongolian forces now offer their unique experiences of coalition operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo as well as UN peacekeeping operations in Africa. The Canadian model and experience are more applicable than the US model for states like Mongolia.
Diplomacy of knowledge
This help has prompted Mongolian political and military leaders in encounters at regional events (like the Shangri-La Dialogue, and the Chiefs of Defense Conference) to request more slots in the Canadian military co-operation program, to organize a workshop on peacekeeping strategy and plans, and to invite Canadian forces to attend the annual Mongolian-hosted peacekeeping exercise Khaan Quest.
With support from the US and other NATO members, especially Germany and Canada, Mongolia is now one of the largest contributors for UN peacekeeping operations from Central and East Asia (with 1,200 to 1,500 deployments per year) and operates the only peacekeeping training centre with annual multinational and bilateral exercises. Canada has played an important role to help Mongolia overcome challenges in embarking on this new peacekeeping journey.
Governor General and Commander-in-Chief David Johnston has used the term "diplomacy of knowledge," which he says is "our ability and willingness to work together and share our learning across disciplines and borders." Even DND's limited engagements with Mongolia have proven Canada's ability to transfer knowledge to a newly found friend in Asia.
The Canadian defence attaché office in Beijing has administrated Canadian military training assistance for Mongolia and participation in multilateral exercises. The results were visible and applauded by the Mongolian military. And they didn't even require Canada to set up new defence attaché posts. The Canadian experience with the Mongolian military could be extended to other states in the region like Cambodia, China, Laos and Vietnam, some of which have communist-style political and defence structures but are open to new ideas.
Despite the increasing peacekeeping contribution of the People's Republic of China and Cambodia, both are encountering numerous challenges, including training (from individuals to contingents), organizing logistics of deployments, sustainment, and redeployment, dealing with international and host nations' laws and culture, and educating politicians, military personnel and the public.
Vietnam has declared its intention to participate in peacekeeping operations starting in 2014. Laos is attending all US-hosted events toward peacekeeping, while North Korea is not objecting to any UN peacekeeping operations. All Central Asian states, especially Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, are inclined to participate in peacekeeping operations.
Canada seems to be in a better position to disseminate its peacekeeping knowledge in Central and East Asia, because its contender, Australia, appears to be focused on Southeast Asia.
The peacekeeping knowledge transfer would enable countries like Mongolia to become active members of the international community and open more constructive political channels for Canada with these prospective friends. While Canada would not do the UN peacekeeping, Canada would help others become peacekeepers, not troublemakers.
The well-targeted, efficient peacekeeping knowledge of the Canadian Armed Forces will contribute to changing the mindsets of Asian military personnel and help them internalize the norms of professionalism, multilateralism, and most importantly help them become contributors to the global peacekeeping endeavour.
Jargalsaikhan Mendee is a political science PhD student and Institute of Asian Research fellow (2013-2014) at the University of British Columbia. He is a former Mongolian military officer involved in the development of peacekeeping capacities from 1999 until 2009.
Mongolian ambassador to Turkmenistan accredited
December 20 (TREND News Agency) Chairman of the Parliament of Turkmenistan Akja Nurberdieva received credentials of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Turkmenistan Badamdorj Batkhishig, Turkmen government said on Dec.20.
The diplomat conveyed the greetings and good wishes of the leadership of his country.
The message reads that "noting the importance of strengthening strong and mutually beneficial bilateral contacts, the envoy underlined the fact that, despite the geographical distance, the two nations share a desire for world peace and harmony, and it will undoubtedly serve as a reliable basis for the development of constructive intergovernmental cooperation ."
The diplomat was informed of the main directions of domestic and foreign policy of Turkmenistan, and became familiar with key aspects of the ongoing large-scale projects and programs of socio-economic development of the country.
The envoy was also provided information on the structure and activity of the Turkmen Parliament, its legislative work and international contacts. In this context, it was suggested establishing closer inter-parliamentary relations, according to the Turkmen government.
The Turkmen Foreign Ministry also received Badamdorj Batkhishig.
"Daw Suu Kyi and President Elbegdorj are riding horses"
Link to video posted by Elbegdorj Tsakhia
Middle Banner 7 (600 pixels wide)
Mogi: not to be confused with the state National University of Mongolia, which actually should be called Mongolian State University. Bravo to Kevin for snatching this up before the slow state unis even could comprehend it.
University Of California And Mongolian National University Embark On Solar Thermal Research Project
December 20 (Solar Industry Magazine) Mongolian National University (MNU) and the University of California (UC) have agreed to cooperate on high-temperature solar thermal technology research in Mongolia in 2014.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Mongolian Innovation and Technology Center at MNU will install a 100 kW non-tracking solar thermal array on its campus. The system, developed by Roland Winston, UC professor and solar director, will be installed, monitored and evaluated by MNU's engineering department.
"Given the design, these thermal solar arrays perform extremely well in hazy conditions so we're quite optimistic about our prospects," Winston says.
Similar designs of the non-commercial solar thermal system are operating at UC, Purdue University and the Gas Institute of Chicago.
The Minister of Agriculture has proposed exempting wheat import from customs and VAT
GIEWS Country Brief: Mongolia 18-December-2013
December 18 (FAO) –
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Lower 2013 wheat harvest estimated
Breeding stock numbers have recovered
Prices of wheat flour stable, while those of beef and mutton decrease seasonably
Vermont Nurse Works With Mongolian Herders
December 19 (VPR) Sas Carey is a registered nurse and holistic healer in Middlebury. For the last 19 years she's been spending part of the year in Mongolia, working with nomadic herders on health care issues. In addition to teaching some basic health education (tooth-flossing, the importance of getting vitamin C to prevent scurvy), she has also worked to help local hospitals gain access to technology they need.
"It's so easy for us to look at them as 'ooh, those cute little people over there.' But that's not it at all. They have solar panels. They have satellite dishes and TVs. They're up on the fashion. They don't wear it, but they know. - Sas Carey"
Carey has also been documenting the lives of the people she spends time with. Traditional nomadic herding has declined precipitously in Mongolia as people move to the city, and Carey has been working to preserve some of the knowledge and culture of the traditional lifestyle.
Link to article (has audio and video)
Mongolia spends ₮426.5 million for gobi bear protection programs
December 22 (UB Post) This year, over 426.5 million MNT was spent for programs designed to protection of the endangered mazaalai (gobi bear). The programs were funded by governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as project organizers.
As part of the program, officials reported that two springs in Shar Khuls and Khushuut of the Great Gobi National Park were recovered, and two solar and wind powered automatic artesian wells were prepared at Myangan Tooroi and Baruun Shargad regions.
Furthermore, the program officials said that three ground-based generators were built which influence the climate to produce rain. Thanks to the generators, Great Gobi "A" Highly Protected Area experienced rain twice this year and the precipitation rate in the Segs Tsagaan Bogd region increased by five to ten milliliter.
This year, two gobi bears gave birth to twins, increasing their population by four. Gobi bear protectors said this is a very good news as only less than 30 gobi bears were left in the world.
Zoologists constantly debate on whether the gobi bear is an independent specie or a sub-specie of the common brown bear. The Mazaalai Genetics Research Center said it is focusing on the issue to classify the gobi bear and end the debates. The first research of the center proved that the gobi bear is genetically different from the brown bear that live in Altai, Khangai and Khentii mountain ranges of Mongolia.
Mongolian researchers are now jointly conducting a genetic analysis with international experts at the University of Idaho to find out whether the gobi bear is genetically different from the brown bears in Himalaya.
Eagle hunting in Bayan-Ölgii Province, Mongolia
December 21 (Faraz Shibli) Kazakh men hunting a fox with golden eagles and galloping down the hillside to collect their kill in Bayan-Ölgii Province, north western Mongolia. www.farazshibli.com
Munkhdul Badral Bontoi
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