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Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original
TRQ closed -0.6% Tuesday to US$3.33
Oyu Tolgoi Board to Reconvene This Wednesday
Ulaanbaatar, December 10 /MONTSAME/ Members of the managing board of the Oyu tolgoi project are planning to hold a meeting this Wednesday.
They aim to reach a consensus on accumulated issues waiting a solution, within the project. At the previous meetings of the board, the directors found a solution to license issues regarding Oyu Tolgoi deposit's smaller parts and agreed to secure some licenses within a related law.
The investors are paying attention to a need of increasing a copper production and export in 2017. However, the Mongolian side is more interested in setting up an independent laboratory that is able to control a volume of the gold and copper exported.
The directors of the Oyu Tolgoi board have already arrived in Ulaanbaatar.
Mogi: no better way to handle this huh? For digging gravel, sand without permit?
State Specialized Inspection Agency takes Oyu Tolgoi to court over disputed fine
December 10 (news.mn) A local newspaper reported that the over filed a lawsuit against Oyu Tolgoi LLC late last week.
The State Specialized Inspection Agency had imposed a fine worth 457 million MNT to Oyu Tolgoi LLC on the basis that the company exploited sand and gravel without permission when it built a road over 100 km long from Gashuunsukhait to the Oyu Tolgoi mine.
However Oyu Tolgoi's official stance is that the fine imposed by the State Specialized Inspection Agency is baseless. Now the matter that has caused a disagreement between the State Specialized Inspection Agency and Oyu Tolgoi LLC has been taken to Court.
Previously, when the two parties had a minor disagreement they solved the issues calmly.
This time officials of the State Specialized Inspection Agency commented that the Agency noticed the company`s illegal acts and therefore delivered demands to the company. However, officials say the Oyutolgoi LLC did not accept the demands.
Oyutolgoi LLC denies the claims. Now the matter is being taken to Chingeltei District Court to be solved. The hearing will be scheduled next week.
Senior official of the State Specialized Agency J.Altanbagana refused to comment on the issue until the Court has reached a decision.
ERD closed -21% to 7.5c
Erdene Announces New Gold Discovery at Altan Nar
Trenching Returns 38m of 1.6 g/t Gold including 6.2 g/t over 4m
Multiple New Gold Zones Confirmed
HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - Dec. 10, 2013) -
Editors' Note: There are three maps associated with this press release.
Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX:ERD) ("Erdene" or the "Company"), is pleased to report significant gold and silver results from the second phase of trenching that was completed during the fourth quarter at the Company's 100% owned Altan Nar gold-polymetallic project in southwest Mongolia. Results have been received for an additional 11 of the 28 trenches completed (results from the first four trenches at the Discovery Zone were reported November 18th, see release "Three Trenches Over 250 Metre Strike Return Greater Than 1 g/t Gold Over Widths of 44 to 50 Metres"). The trenching program was designed to test ten distinct mineralized zones across the 5.5 kilometre ("km") long Altan Nar target area. Samples from the final thirteen trenches over the central Altan Nar prospect area have been submitted to SGS laboratories with results anticipated during first quarter 2014.
· Discovery of a new high-grade gold mineralized zone 1km north of Discovery Zone (Maggie prospect)
· Significant gold mineralization (Northbow prospect) identified in the northern portion of a previously untested, 700 metre ("m") long, IP chargeability anomaly, that widens and intensifies to the south
· Gold and base metal mineralized zones confirmed at northwestern and southeastern extent of the 5.5km long Altan Nar target area (Northwest and Far South prospects)
· All eleven trenches, testing six distinct targets, returned highly anomalous precious and base metal mineralization
December (MIBG) Kincora Copper (TSXV:KCC) has recently introduced their IP survey interpretations which was conducted in 2013. Upon review of the initial results MIBG feels that the management of the company is adopting more efficient ways of exploration. The company's flagship project, "Bronze Fox" does provide a unique opportunity for any investors who are looking for exposure to a potentially world class mineral deposit discovery. Shallow drilling programs coupled with geophysical survey have identified mineralization which is in line with other porphyry discoveries.
Things we like about Kincora:
· Exploration potential: The new results suggested by the IP survey and its interpretation suggest that previous drilling campaigns missed the target areas, however a correlation between mineralization and the IP anomalies seem strong and needs further testing.
· Location: Kincora's "Bronze Fox" project is situated 140km NE of Oyu Tolgoi Copper-Gold Mine and 40km NW from Tsagaan Suvarga Copper development.
· Management: Kincora Copper had recently appointed Mr. Sam Springs as the Chief Executive Officer, whom we believe will be able to create value for investors through appropriate management and a marketing strategy, supported by a strong technical team led by Mr. Yawen Cao.
· Investors: The investors in the company include a good mix of institutional and retail players such as Origo Partners, Quantum Partners LP which is controlled by Soros Fund Management LLC, as well as key Mongolian shareholders.
· Financial Position: The company currently has over CAD $1.461 million in working capital as of the end of 3rd Quarter 2013. Which we believe will be sufficient to carry out additional exploration activities. There is a CAD $2.5 million of debentures due in 2015 convertible debentures outstanding, however the conversion price is CAD $0.25 share with a full warrant @ CAD $0.45. Given the difference between the current price and the conversion price, we do not believe that it will pose a dilution risk for current investors.
Potential Oyu Tolgoi Mineralization Belt?
Things to watch out for:
· Affected by 106 licenses: The company has written down approximately CAD $7 million due to two of their licenses being affected by the revoking of 106 licenses which were illegally tendered to the vendors of the license to Kincora. At MIBG we believe that the licenses will be reissued to the original owner, in this case Kincora, once the legal process concludes.
· Unstable legal environment: The Government of Mongolia and its unexpected actions have hurt many junior exploration companies such as Kincora. However at MIBG we are starting to see positive changes taking place within the legal environment of Mongolia especially aimed towards mineral exploration companies.
At MIBG we believe that Kincora will likely emerge as one of the quality exploration companies with promising base metals exploration projects in Mongolia. The company will need to test deeper targets for potential porphyry system as identified by the latest geophysical survey. We continue to monitor the developments for the company and remain bullish on its outlook.
BDSec: MONGOLIAN STOCKS START WEEK WITH 1.30% DECLINE - DEC 9, 2013
December 9 (BDSec) Mongolian stocks started the week with 1.30% decline as 18 stocks dropped and 3 stocks rose. Tavantolgoi (TTL) moved 1.91% higher to finish at MNT 5,615. The stock traded between MNT 5,450 and MNT 6,000 today. The biggest losers of the day were Mongol Savkhi (-8.33%), Sharyn Gol (-6.20%), State Department Store (-6.16%), Telecom Mongolia (-5.38%), and Genco Tour Bureau (-5.25%). Trading value for Monday was MNT 39.1 million.
Trading Value Leaders
Khasu Mandal (HSR)
Eurofeu Asia (SOI)
Mongol Savkhi (UYN)
Sharyn Gol (SHG)
State Department Store (UID)
BDSec Daily Market Update, Dec 10: Top 20 +0.53%, Turnover ₮63.2 Million
December 10 (BDSec) Mongolia stocks advanced on Tuesday. MSE Top 20 increased 0.53% to 15,594.20 points. Nearly two companies rose for every one that lost. Sharyn Gol (SHG), a thermal coal producer in Northern Mongolia, led the gain with 10.97% increase to close at MNT 7,890. Tavantolgoi (TTL) retreated 4.45% to finish at MNT 5,365. Trading value for the day was MNT 63.2 million.
Trading Value Leaders
Sharyn Gol (SHG)
Genco Tour Bureau
Darkhan Nekhii (NEH)
BoM FX Rates: December 10 Close
Total outstanding 1-week bills fall ₮19.7 billion to ₮1.13 trillion
BoM issues ₮229.8 billion 1-week bills
December 9 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 229.8 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
BoM holds FX auction
December 10 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on December 10th, 2013 the BOM has received from local commercial banks ask offer of 36.0 million USD and bid offers of 1.0 million USD and 22.0 million CNY. BOM has refused all offers.
On December 10th, 2013, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement offer in equivalent to 2.6 million USD and USD Swap agreement offer of 20.3 million USD from local commercial banks and accepted all offers.
RESULT OF GOVERNMENT SECURITIES AUCTION
December 10 (Bank of Mongolia) Auction for 10 years maturity Government Bond was announced at face value of 10 billion MNT and each unit was worth 1 million MNT. Face value of 10 billion /out of 13.0 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold to the banks at premium price and with weighted average yield of 12.85%.
Mogi: this year's Fiscal Stability Law-mandated debt ceiling of 50% is already tapped out. GoM failed in parliament earlier to raise next year's ceiling to 60% from 40%. So, this issuance looks like will technically happen in 2014, pinning the hope on raising the debt ceiling next year to facilitate these Samurais and possibly Chinggis II, and also of course, the economy improving significantly.
Development Bank of Mongolia steps into Samurai
State-run Development Bank of Mongolia is issuing its first Samurai that will be backed by a guarantee from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).
December 10 (EuroWeek) Nomura and Daiwa have been mandated for the 10 year bond, and one of the bankers on the trade said the size is expected to be smaller than the usual sizes of ¥50bn ($484m) seen in the JBIC guaranteed Samurai markets. The deal is slated for early next week, added the banker. (Mogi: amount not determined yet, I'm sure whatever they can get)
The Development Bank of Mongolia is rated B1/BB-, which is on par with the sovereign and will be one of the lowest standalone credits that have come to the Samurai market, according to the banker.
But Japanese investors are viewing the bonds effectively as a JBIC credit since 90% of the coupon payments will be backed by the Japanese finance agency. The weaker performance of outstanding US dollar bonds issued by DBM and the Mongolia sovereign are also a separate issue to the upcoming Samurais since those two markets are not inter-related, he said.
After this bond prices, either DBM or the Mongolia sovereign may return to the Samurai market, said the banker. Both issuers are also considering another return to the US dollar market, he said.
Mongolia's 10 year credit spreads widened almost 200bp in the past three months before recovering most of the lost ground from a delay in QE tapering, according to a Morgan Stanley report.
Public sector external debt more than doubled to $4.7bn in 2012 (compared from the previous year due two US dollar bonds issued by DBM and the sovereign. The Samurai would add to the government's debt burden, according to a October 7 Moody's credit outlook.
The Development Bank of Mongolia has outstanding March 2017s that were sold last year. The Mongolia sovereign sold a $1 .45bn bond due 2023 last November. (Mogi: Incorrect, $500m due in 2017, $1b due in 2022)
December 10 (MIBG) In mid September the GoM announced its intention to revive growth through the issuance of US $1B worth of Samurai bonds. This coincided with Prime Minister Altankhuyag's state visit to Tokyo where he intended to expand cross border relations. We have now learned that the bond is ready to hit the markets, backed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and with the Development Bank of Mongolia (DBM) acting as the lead and we are still awaiting official confirmation.
Long time Mongolia observers will remember that the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), the group slated to back the issue, had announced its interest in a Mongolia sale in early 2010. While those talks seem to have finally come to a head, it is not without speculation.
Mongolia's on-the-run 10 year issue currently trades at 87% and yields 7.61%. With sovereign ratings of B1/BB-/B+ (M/S&P/F), it would be interesting to see the pricing and the terms of the securities under consideration.
In conversations that MIBG has had with Government officials from both sides and a range of Japanese industry leaders the Samurai bond was not intended to hit the markets this year. This leads us to believe that JBIC is acting in favor of the GoM in order to curve the worsening economic conditions in country. That said, previous announcements have not included any favoritism in terms of spending on Japanese equipments and the state-owned Development Bank of Mongolia (DBM) is expected to act as the lead issuer.
In addition to the pending Samurai Bond, Mongolia and JBIC have cooperated in the past. In June of this year the two signed an export credit line providing companies looking to export equipment to Mongolia with favorable loans. Similarly, during the September visit when the bond was announced, JBIC and the DBM signed a memorandum allowing for loan rights and guarantees for GoM debt to be issued.
All things considered, questions still exist around the timing of the sale. With the GoM previously stating that further debt could not be issued until the ceiling was raised we are, as mentioned, awaiting an official statement from Parliament. That said, the actual placement may not happen until 2014, which would result in the projected 2014 revenues being used to offset the issue.
Regardless of the timing, previous discussions surrounding an issue resulted in a call for future debt to be tied directly to revenue generating activities. Therefore, we expect to see a strategic plan accompany the Samurai bond, outlining spending that will likely be linked to specific projects with near term potential.
With JBIC poised to guarantee up to 90% of the sale, expectations of success are high. If the recent media information surrounding the Samurai Bond is accurate this could be the catalyst that the markets have been waiting for to calm the depreciating Tugrik. Similarly, it would provide the GoM with much needed breathing room in order to plan out their strategic spending for 2014 in order to spur the highest economic growth possible.
Total outstanding 1-week bills fall ₮19.7 billion to ₮1.13 trillion
BoM issues ₮229.8 billion 1-week bills
December 9 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 229.8 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
Mongolia reports substantial oil shale resources
December 9 (bne) Mongolia has over 700bn tonnes of oil shale resources, according to research from the mining ministry. Developing the country's oil shale could help ease dependence on oil and fuel imports, which mainly stem from Russia.
The report showed that Mongolia has more than 60 oil shale deposits, in several parts of the country including the Tov, Ovorkhangai, Dundgobi and Omnogobi districts, state news agency Montsame reports. Ulaanbaatar has already taken some initial steps towards developing the country's reserves, signing a five-year exploration agreement with US-based Genie Energy earlier this year.
Mongolian oil production is low, and the country lacks processing capacity. The government is looking to alternative sources, as demand for fuel is expected to grow strongly in the coming years as the population grows and economy expands.
Currently the country imports around 90% of its oil and oil products from Russia, with the remainder coming from China. In June, Mongolia's HBOil announced it had bought at 20% stake in the operator of North Korea's Sungri refinery. The company plans to supply crude to the refinery for processing, then reimport the products. (Mogi: not exactly true, the envisioned method would be to swap our crude with petroleum with a closer Russian refinery, and the same Russian company supplying crude to Sungri from a closer location)
MIBG: Minerals Policy Enters Final Discussions
December 10 (MIBG) This week we are presenting a review of the final draft of Mongolia's State Policy on the Minerals Sector (2013-2025). The document was first presented to Parliament in July, 2013 and is now entering final discussions during the autumn plenary session of Parliament. We have mentioned in previous newsletters that Mongolia's FDI has fallen 42% with the currency falling 23%. This has sent a strong message to lawmakers that: Mongolia is in need of a stable legal environment in order to provide a strong foundation for future growth. Since the second quarter, we are starting to see progress towards this goal. The legal environment in particular is strengthening as the Government attempts to encourage foreign investment, especially into the mining sector.
In relation to these changes we have reviewed the proposed State Policy on the Mineral Sector, which we feel will be a positive step forward if passed. The passing of this policy will result in more transparency and an increasing participation from foreign investors. That said, it will take time for these feats to be accomplished and investors will be weary of Government promises as they seek longevity to prove Government intentions.
Overview of the State Policy on the Minerals Sector
The proposed policy is divided into four main sections: rationale, principles, main policy and implementation-results. The major points stressed in the policy include transparency and responsible mining. Therefore, we feel that the rationale underlying the document is based on mid and long term economic growth. One of the most positive sentiments expressed is that this growth is going to be driven by private sector participation. Additionally, the core principles expressed include providing a stable investment environment, technological innovation and value added activities. This last point is one that Mongolia has been discussing for some time – value added activities are seen as a means for Mongolia to sustain its economic and international competitiveness.
Key priorities that have been present since the early stages of this policy include:
· Stability of taxation and the legal environment
· No discrimination between foreign and national investors
· Preservation of strategic resources and deposits
While there has been consistency across the drafts produced so far, the most recent version has seen the inclusion of a new section supporting development of local areas and the interests of local citizens.
· Registration and control systems for exploration and operating license transfers
· Transfer of ownership of controlling interest in mining entities
· Improved law and regulations tightening gold extraction and trade control
· Support for international initiatives on open, transparent and responsible mining
· Compliance with international standards for mineral resources and deposit reserves
· Standardized mineral sectors dispute settling systems
Additionally, there are key elements of the new draft that require attention. These include:
Increased government regulation and responsibility with regards to strategic mineral deposits to ensure economic benefits and cooperation between both the private and public sector. That said, the government will aim to reduce bureaucracy by removing local government control, payments and fees for the sector. Additionally, the government will extend their support to the sector by conducting scientific and technological studies to increase productivity and competitiveness.
Support projects that hold value-added economic benefits for the country. These include coal processing, coking or chemical plants, coal fired power plants, and coal to liquid plants.
Local Support, Development and Citizen Interest
The new document also includes a section to highlight support for local areas. This includes increased management participation and responsibility during pre-production to ensure understanding between investors and local citizens and the introduction of social and economic benefits to local citizens on a project by project basis. Additionally, support for social developments in local area during production will be a priority, with investors and local authorities being required to adhere to transparent development contracts.
Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation
One change that the new document highlights is increased support for non-governmental organizations. This allows them to claim damages from mining operations, as a result of the negative effects that these operations have had on their activities. Through the new document the NGO will be able to receive support from the government.
Management and Human Resources
From the minerals revenues the government will establish new funds to support economic diversification, export oriented production, environmental protection and rehabilitation and national competitiveness. This will be directed at increasing cooperation between the mineral research facilities and strategic planning projects to be implemented through public and private sector partnerships.
The new draft has removed the risk assessment section and replaced it with a section on implementation. This includes the improvement of the legal environment and producing of relevant regulations, programs and projects (2013-2015), followed by the implementation of programs and projects (2014-2025), and finally the provision of conclusions on midterm policy implementation and further planning (2020, 2025).
Apart from the above mentioned additions to the new draft, the main policy outcomes have not changed. These include:
· Long term development of Mongolia's mining sector
· Open, transparent and responsible mining practices
· Government support for technological innovation, environment and well being
· Increased quality and quantity of value added products
· Ensuring safety and decreasing operational accidents
· Expansion of infrastructure and long term infrastructure planning
· Decreased population migration, as result of industrial centers
· Creation of new employment opportunities
· Establishment of favorable business environments through mineral exchanges
We believe that this policy will take us one step closer to attracting investors and supporting private sector development in Mongolia. Despite current investor hesitation this state policy, in addition to the new Minerals Law set to pass next year, will further encourage investors to enter the market and will build support for the junior mining community.
Mongolia Ready to Move Forward Cooperation with International Anti-Corruption Academy
Ulaanbaatar, December 10 /MONTSAME/ The Minister of Foreign Affairs addressed the second session of the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) of Parties which kicked off Monday in Bangkok, Thailand.
Mr L.Bold highlighted his government's policy on combating corruption, its results, actions, the collaboration between Mongolia and the IACA, and corruption prevention.
The same day, he met with Mr Martin Kreutner, Dean of IACA and Executive Secretary to the Assembly of Parties. Affirming a principal position of Mongolia to back the IACA's activities, Mr Bold underlined an importance of the Mongolia-IACA ties and cooperation, saying Mongolia is ready to forward this cooperation.
Vienna-based IACA is an international organization aiming to substantially contribute to the global fight against corruption by addressing shortcomings in knowledge and practice in the field. Its principal mission is to deliver anti-corruption education and trainings for professionals and practitioners from all sectors of society. IACA has a constituency of 58 UN Member States and 3 international organizations. It obtained a status of international organization March 3 of 2011.
The State Great Khural (parliament) ratified the agreement on making the IACA an international organization on December 5 of 2012, and it came into force June 11 of 2013.
Mogi: says here that McDonald's restaurant will open on January 1st, near Chinggis Square (formerly the Sukhbaatar Square) with specially created menus for Mongolian consumers, like "McMutton" burgers and goat milk shakes. On the opening day the restaurant will offer McMutton burgers free for 10 hours. Wholesome Foods Mongolia is the company that is "representing" McDonald's in Mongolia.
"McDonalds" Монголд ирнэ
12-р сарын 10 (Eagle.mn) Тун удахгүй монголчууд алдарт Биг Мак сэндвич болон Монгол хэрэглэгчдийн хоолны зуршилд тусгайлан зориулсан онцгой хоолны цэс болох McMutton гамбургерийг ямааны сүүгээр хийсэн шейктэй амтархан зооглох боломжтой болох нь. Тус рестораны сүлжээ өмнө нь Монголд салбараа нээхгүй байсан шалтгаанаа хүн амын нягтаршилтай холбон тайлбарлаж байсан юм.
Өнөөдөр Улаанбаатар хот 1.3 сая хүн амтай болж, олон улсын брэндүүд манай хотод салбараа нээсэн нь Макдоналдсын Азийн салбарууд хариуцсан захирал Пи Ранкын анхааралд өртжээ. Эхний ресторан Чингисийн талбайн ойролцоо ирэх нэгдүгээр сарын 1-нд нээлтээ хийх бөгөөд нээлтийн өдөр бүтэн арван цагийн турш үйлчлүүлэгчид McMutton бургерийг үнэ төлбөргүй амтлах боломжтой аж. McDonalds сүлжээ рестораныг Монголд "Wholesome Foods Mongolia" компани төлөөлөх эрхтэй юм байна.
Mogi: McDonald's website lists Mongolia as with no set date for a restaurant development and that is "seeking" a franchisee:
McDonald's International Franchising: Mongolia
We have not set a firm date for the development of McDonald's restaurants inMongolia. In the future we may take steps to open McDonald's restaurants inMongolia and if we seek a franchisee to represent us the person will have the following characteristics.
High integrity, business experience in the market, history of success, ability to work well with a franchisor, ability to complete a training program that can take about nine months, willingness to devote full time to the McDonald's restaurant business, retail experience, knowledge of the real estate market, significant capital.
If you would like to complete an application please click on the link below and submit it to us. We will retain all information sent to us in a database and give you consideration if we take steps to develop McDonald's restaurants in Mongolia.
We sincerely appreciate your expressed interest in our company and patronage of our restaurants.
Click here to apply for a franchise in Mongolia or select a different country in the selection box below.
$50 Million Initial Financing for TT Power Plant to Be from Chinggis Bonds
Ulaanbaatar, December 10 /MONTSAME/ Fifty million USD from the bond capital is planned to spend for Tavan tolgoi power plant construction.
A remaining 70 percent of the required financing for the plant, projected to be located near the major coal mine of Tavan Tolgoi, will come from the market revenue. (Mogi: means capital raised on the market)
The power station will be one of the several electricity sources the Energy Ministry has planned in order to meet swelling energy consumption of the nation, which is expected to see a constant increase of 5-7 percent for five years to come.
The government has changed electricity production capacity of the plant to be 450 MW, instead of 350 megawatt as previously stated in its feasibility study, settling the contractor to be an affiliate firm of the Energy Ministry as well.
A project to attract foreign and domestic investments will launch in near time, highlights Ya.Batsuuri, the executive director of Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi Co.
EBRD Scraps Financing for Coal Power Plants, Except Only in Mongolia
December 11 (Bloomberg) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will scrap most assistance for coal-fired power plants, joining the World Bank and the U.S. in a retreat from supporting the most polluting fossil fuel.
'Tiptoeing Around Coal'
NEW EBRD ENERGY STRATEGY: ROADMAP TO SUSTAINABILITY – EBRD, December 10
Bulgan Aimag Introduces Smart Phone Application for Taxpayers
Ulaanbaatar, December 10 /MONTSAME/ The Taxation Department of Bulgan aimag has started introducing the smart phone application for taxpayers.
It is a part of the General Department of Taxation work on developing a smart phone "MTA" application.
Before introducing this application, related officials had done much, for example, the information on how to use this application was posted on the locality state organizations' websites, several trainings were run for specialists, and handbooks were spread.
The application enables taxpayers to get the related information and to prevent risks, says a staffer of the Taxation Department of Bulgan N.Tserensodnom. People can now read news, view tax return filing deadline, obtain information on tax payment account, obtain information on tax offices such as location, official addresses and phone list, online service web addresses of tax offices and receive answers to frequently asked questions, as well as use search engine to find the list of VAT payers individuals and legal entities, list of taxpayers with violations for fabricated VAT receipts, list of inactive companies, list of taxpayers that are not located at the address enlisted at the taxation authority and so on.
Japan-Mongolia "Sun Rice" Joint Factory Opens Its Doors in Ulaanbaatar
December 10 /infomongolia.com/ The Niigata Prefecture is known for the highest-quality rice, the second producer in Japan after Hokkaido and from today the rice is now being produced in Mongolia.
Mongolia's "Tekhnik Import" LLC in collaboration with Japan's "Niigata Kubota" have established a joint company namely "MJ Partners" and in the frameworks sides opened a "Sun Rice" factory in Ulaanbaatar, where the opening ceremony of the plant took place on December 10, 2013.
At the ceremony, Deputy Minister for Industry and Agriculture B.Tsogtgerel, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Mongolia Takenori Shimizu, "MJ Partners" Executive Director Ch.Baatarbeel, "Tekhnik Import" Executive Director D.Gantsetseg and other officials have attended.
In his remarks, Deputy Minister B.Tsogtgerel noted, "Mongolia has been receiving rice from the people of Japan under aid program for many years. During the latter event, I and Ambassador Takenori Shimizu were discussing that the period of receiving rice as aid is over and now the time of reciprocal assistance has come, and the "Sun Rice" factory is a sample of joint cooperation to produce the world known quality in Mongolia".
In the frameworks, Niigata brown rice will be imported, and sorted and packed at the factory with daily capacity of manufacture of 2-3 tons. The plant is equipped with full-automated machines from Kubota and preliminary the rice will be sold to domestic markets at 5,000-7,000 MNT per kg.
ADB to Finance Ulaanbaatar Urban Services and Ger Areas Development Program
December 10 /infomongolia.com/ Minister of Economic Development, MP N.Batbayar and the Asia Development Bank (ADB) Permanent Representative to Mongolia, Robert Schoellhammer have signed the General Financing Agreement on "Ulaanbaatar Urban Services and Ger Areas Development Investment Program" at the Government House on December 09,2013.
At the signing ceremony, Deputy Governor of the Capital City responsible for Construction, Urbanization and Investment Issues S.Ochirbat and Director of Capital City Administration Yo.Gerelchuluun and other officials were present.
The Program aims at improving the quality and coverage of urban infrastructure and basic services such as roads improvement, water supply and sewerage systems improvement, and heating service expansion, and implementing a sustainable and inclusive process of urban development for middle Ger areas of Ulaanbaatar. In the frameworks, it will support the socio-economic development of existing urban sub-centers and urban corridors to progressively transform the Ger areas into livable, productive and well-functioning peri-urban areas.
The expected results of the program include: (1) a well-developed network of sub-centers, providing economic opportunities, housing and employment, with reduced impact on the environment, particularly regarding soil and air pollution; (2) water supply, wastewater and district heating service providers that are financially self-sufficient and use modern technologies to provide high-quality services; and (3) an efficient and growth-oriented urban planning system based on sound legislative foundation in a market environment, with an active public participation process.
The initial tranche of the program will focus on two priority sub-centers: (1) Bayankhoshuu Sub-center in Songinokhairkhan District (Khoroos 7, 8, 9, 10, 28); and (2) Selbe Sub-center in Sukhbaatar District (Khoroo 14) and Chingeltei District (Khoroos 14, 18). Both sub-centers are in the mid-ger areas in the northwest and north of Ulaanbaatar City, respectively.
The Program will be financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) through its multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) in three tranches over a period of 9 years. The MFF is estimated to be a total of 320 million USD, of which 224 million will be financed by ADB and the remaining 96 million USD by the Government of Mongolia.
In the scope of the General Agreement, financing performed by the ADB is under easy terms for 25 years with APR of 2%, andthe grace period for principal is 5 years.
The General Financing Agreement will be approved during the ADB Board Members meeting to be held on December 12,2013.
ADB Gives Finance for Redeveloping Ger Areas – Montsame, December 10
Asian Development Bank pledges support for urban development – news.mn, December 10
Japan's Kokusai Kogyou to build garbage processing plant in Bayanzurkh District
Ulaanbaatar, December 10 /MONTSAME/ Bayanzurkh district of Ulaanbaatar city will have a garbage processing and burning plant.
A cooperation contract on erecting this plant was signed Tuesday between the administration of Bayanzurkh district and Japan's Kokusai Kogyo company.
Accordinly, the plant will be equipped with the latest technologies, expected to tackle many problems such as air and environment pollutions and garbage sorting. Regarding the social matter, the plant will provide people with jobs.
The Kokusai Kogyo company has been collaborating with Ulaanbaatar in improving the city's garbage management since 2005.
Present at the signing ceremony were D.Purevdavaa, the governor of Bayanzurkh district; T.Battsogt and S.Gantulga, deputy governors; B.Amartuvshin, a head of the District's Office; Kono Ichiro, a section head at the Kokusai Kogyo; Kikuchi Koosuke, an expert.
Ulaanbaatar grateful for Oyu Tolgoi contribution to city development and prosperity
- Oyu Tolgoi supported and financed devlopment of modern street -
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, December 10 (Oyu Tolgoi LLC) Citizen's representative Khural and the Governor's office of the capital city have publically thanked Oyu Tolgoi for improving a public street and square in Ulaanbaatar, making a valuable contribution to the development and prosperity of the capital through private investment.
Ulaanbaatar's Students' Street, stretches from the crossing at the State University of Education to the northwestern road crossing of Central Sports Palace. It covers 3,000 square metres and has been fully improved and modernised through a 400 thousand dollar investment from Oyu Tolgoi LLC. The improvements have been made using the latest technology and construction designs and include the installation of LED lights, walkways, rest benches and trash bins as well as a free Wi-Fi internet network.
Last April, Oyu Tolgoi signed a Memorandum of Understanding named, 'Partnership for Development' to provide private sector social investment for Ulaanbaatar's development. According to the Memorandum, Ulaanbaatar Municipal Administration proposed a project to improve and modernise the street. Oyu Tolgoi gladly accepted this proposal and financed this development work which was completed recently.
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Google translate adds Mongolian language support
December 10 /news.mn/ Google's free online language translation service has added Mongolian language to its repertoire.
Google Inc. Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt promised to add Mongolian language to Google translate when he visited Mongolia in 2011.
Speaker of Mongolian Parliament, Z.Enkhbold, conducted a vote to gauge support for Mongolian language being offered by Google translate via his twitter page following Eric Schmidt's promise.
Now Google translate has newly added Mongolian language so readers can have access to free online translation of written text information and news from English, Russian and Japanese into Mongolian language.
Google Translate uses a system called statistical machine translation, basing its algorithms on statistical analysis.
Since 2006 Google translate has been popular in use and now it offers translations in 65 languages.
Google now translates in Mongolian – Montsame, December 10
Brokering social consensus: Germany's support to social health insurance reform in Mongolia
Published by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, December 2013
Writer: Andrew Wilson
Peer reviewed by Dorjsuren Bayarsaikhan, WHO, and Axel Weber
Brokering social consensus - Short version pdf 351 KB, English, Link opens in a new window PDF 351 KB, English
Brokering social consensus - Long version pdf 1,2 MB, English, Link opens in a new window PDF 1,2 MB, English
(Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) This publication describes Mongolia's attempts to expand and strengthen its social health insurance system with technical assistance from Germany.
In the mid-2000s, both politicians and the public were increasingly critical of Mongolia's social health insurance, notably regarding the low quality of services covered and rising levels of out-of-pocket payments. A major problem was the fragmentation of responsibilities between the Social Insurance General Office (SIGO), the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Social Welfare and Labour, the Ministry of Finance, and the National Social Insurance Council. As well, employers and trade unions felt they had little influence on policy, despite the fact that their members' contributions accounted for the majority of the social health insurance fund.
In 2008, Germany agreed to fund a three-member independent Expert Group to assist with the reform. The Expert Group successfully moved the social health insurance agenda forward, and in late 2010 a set of draft amendments to the Citizens Health Insurance Law was submitted to Mongolian Parliament. For a number of reasons, these were not fully supported by the cabinet, resulting in legislative stalemate. Meanwhile, other urgent problems remained unaddressed.
At the request of the Mongolian government, Germany agreed in early 2011 to fund a project entitled 'Reform of the social health insurance' to try to make further progress. The project had four priority areas:
· Reforming the legal and institutional framework
· Strengthening the relevant institutions' management and organisational capacities
· Improving access and quality of health care services provided to contributors
· Strengthening social dialogue and consensus among stakeholders.
An early task was to assess organisational bottlenecks in the system, using the 'Capacity WORKS' methodology developed by GIZ. It found that SIGO's Health Insurance Department was ineffective as a purchaser of health care and lacked the ability to monitor health care quality on behalf of the insured. Staffing levels had not changed since 2000, despite activities having more than quadrupled, a situation that affected productivity, quality of work, and the reputation of the organisation.
Increased organisational capacity. In line with the project's recommendations, the number of Health Insurance Department staff almost doubled by early 2013. Anticipating this increase and the many new procedures introduced by the reform project, a range of training packages were rolled out beginning in 2012. As well, a Mid Term Strategy was created to provide a business plan for the HID over next four years.
Improving quality of services. The project supported the design of a continuous quality improvement programme with the assistance of international experts, including one of Germany's largest health insurance funds. It included detailed contracts between SIGO and health care providers; new claims submissions and control processes; patient satisfaction surveys; a peer review process to resolve conflicts. A one-year pilot programme in four hospitals in Ulaanbaatar increased efficiency in the claims process, improved error identification in claims, and improved the adversarial relationship between health insurance inspectors and hospitals. In 2013, the contracts were renewed in the pilot hospitals, and the new approaches will be rolled out across the country starting in 2014.
Breaking the stalemate through social dialogue. The most visible reflection of the project's successful brokering of consensus was the development of a Long Term Strategic Policy for Mongolia's social health insurance. Facilitated by GIZ experts under the umbrella of the P4H Network (a global network of which Germany is a member), the process brought together all stakeholder organisations over the course of 2012/2013. The resulting Strategy explicitly aligns the Mongolian social health insurance system with the WHO's concept of Universal Health Coverage. Mongolia's cabinet approved it on 13 April 2013.
Legislative reform. New proposals to amend the Citizen's Health Insurance Law are currently being discussed in Parliament. Among other reforms, the amendments refocus the Law on fulfilling the needs of beneficiaries and increasing the operational independence of the health insurance organisation as a health care service purchasing organisation.
Choosing the correct 'entry points.' In 2008-2010, creating the Expert Group helped both to inform and to gain consensus from all stakeholders. In 2011-2013, improving the Health Insurance Division's performance brought it significant support from government, health care institutions, and social partners.
Learning by doing. Carrying out capacity building in a participatory way allowed lessons learned in pilots and early phases to be accepted and even eagerly anticipated as reforms were rolled out country-wide.
Addressing power issues. Significant bottlenecks were reduced by resolving longstanding tensions over institutional 'turf' between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Population Development and Social Protection, and by increasing the social partners' ability to influence policy.
Statement on the steppes
Maitreya statue taller than the Statue of Liberty symbolises the new ambitions of resource-rich Mongolia.
By Jacopo Dettoni
December 9 (Bangkok Post) The foundations of the Great Maitreya Buddha statue rise from the steppe surrounding Mongolia's capital Ulaanbaatar, an area beaten by howling winds and freezing winter temperatures. The workers have had to take a break from their monumental task until spring returns.
When they are done, the Great Maitreya Buddha will stand 54 metres tall, about eight metres taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York. An attached 108-metre-high stupa towering over an expansive park will complete Mongolia's vision of one of the world's largest Buddhist shrines, with total costs set to reach more than US$230 million — $32 million for the statue and the stupa alone.
When the structure is completed by 2020, the complex is expected to attract pilgrims and tourists from all over the world, and eventually become an icon of modern Mongolia.
"The young, walking Maitreya symbolises the Mongolia of nowadays: a young democracy and economy moving forward driven by the new energy that runs through its veins," said D. Erdembileg, a sculptor and artistic father of the project.
Sparsely populated, resource-rich Mongolia is experiencing rapid economic growth driven by the development of the mining sector. With largely untapped deposits of coal, copper, gold and uranium worth hundreds of billions of dollars, the country "has the potential to become the Saudi Arabia of Asia", in the words of veteran emerging markets investor Marc Faber.
Massive mining developments such as Rio Tinto's $14-billion Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine are taking shape in the Gobi desert. Farther north, cranes and skyscrapers tower over Ulaanbaatar's apartment blocks and outlying neighbourhoods of traditional ger, the nomadic tents often referred to as yurts.
The Great Maitreya project embodies the ambitions of modern Mongolia. Pilgrims and tourists will be able to explore it from toe to head and then move on to the attached six-level stupa building, where they will find a prayer space and educational facilities, alongside 108,000 smaller copies of the statue. All around, a truly multi-purpose Buddhist complex will sprung up over an area of 108 hectares where visitors will find all the they need to fulfil their spiritual needs — or just have fun.
The complex will feature Buddhist museums and meditation halls, a five-star hotel, an opera theatre and a zoo park. Its total costs could reach $200 million, according to figures from the Maitreya foundation, which is developing the project on behalf of a group of private donors.
"Tourism will allow us to cover the shrine maintenance costs," said Tsogtbayar Bukhbaata, the foundation's CEO. The development of the whole complex will wrap up in 2020, as long as private donations can cover the costs.
Farther down the road, the overall vision also encompasses the construction Maitreya Eco City, which a real estate company aims to develop to host 200,000 new citizens and a "green triangle" expanding from the shrine all the way to the Chinese border.
While projecting an image of Mongolia striding into a prosperous future, promoters also hope the shrine can serve to heal the open wound created by seven decades of communism that ended in 1990.
"There is stirring in the hearts and minds of some Mongolians [a feeling] that the time has come to regain some of the glories that Mongolia possessed in Buddhism prior to Soviet occupation," Bataa Mishigish, a former monk and religious expert on religion's place in international relations, wrote in a recent essay.
"Mongolia has many ancient monasteries that were destroyed during the socialist days — now only a few are left standing, and these not very accessible to the average person."
Ruled by Soviet Union-backed governments between 1924 and 1992, the country experienced Stalin's fury in the mid-1930s, when some 30,000 Mongols were executed in a series of campaigns against Mongolia's cultural and religious heritage.
Thousands of lamas were either killed or secularised —in 1935, a lamas' industrial production association employed some 35,000 holy men in forced labour.
Altogether, 1,250 monasteries and temples were destroyed, according to estimates from Mongolia's Arts Council. In a few years, the Gandan monastery in Ulaanbaatar survived as the only active monastery left in the whole country.
The purge also targeted national hero Genghis Khan as the Russians tried to stifle any nationalistic feeling prompted by the memory of the father of the great Mongol empire. Today, a massive, brand-new Genghis Khan equestrian statue dominates the steppe 54 kilometres east of Ulaanbaatar. The Great Maitreya Buddha will soon match its magnitude and brightness. Both are the brainchild of D. Erdembileg.
"The Genghis Khan statue is meant for the glory of the nation, whereas the Great Maitreya Buddha symbolises spiritual immunity," he said.
"Only through spiritual immunity can the glory of a nation last forever."
New book inspires Mongolia visits
A new book is said to have inspired a spike in interest in trips to Mongolia
December 9 (The Telegraph) Intrepid travellers looking for destinations that are genuinely off the beaten track have been inspired by a new book by the Australian adventurer Tim Cope in which he describes a journey by horseback following in the steps of the legendary Genghis Khan.
The book, "On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey through the Land of the Nomads", is an account of an extraordinary feat: the traversing on horseback of the entire Euroasian steppe from Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia, through Kazakhstan, southern Russia, the Black Sea coast of the Crimea, coming to a conclusion some 6,000 miles later on the banks of the Danube River in Hungary.
The journey - not undertaken since the days of the Mongol empire – took almost three years, along the way providing Cope with a range of unique experiences and encounters – and temperatures that went from -50C to +54 C.
According to World Expeditions, an adventure travel specialist, publication of the book and publicity surrounding it have generated a surge of interest in trips to more remote locations with a 50 per cent increase in the number of enquiries about trips specifically to Mongolia.
"With so many places in the world now offering Starbucks coffee and Wi-Fi on demand, Tim's account of his travels seems to have fired the imagination of those looking for something that is really remote," said Gordon Steer of World Expeditions. "In his journey he really did get out into the wild and spend time with peoples that are still leading a nomadic lifestyle."
Genghis Khan, the fearsome warrior who in the 12th and 13th centuries was responsible for extending the Mongol empire into Europe, still forms a huge part of the mindset in a country in which horseback and archery are still prized skills – and where a very large number are said to be his descendants.
For those wanting to get a deeper insight into Tim Cope's experiences, World Expeditions offers a tour – "Mongolia in the Footsteps of the Nomad" - which is led by the author and involves spending some 18 days in some of the remotest parts of western Mongolia.
On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey through the Land of the Nomads is published by Bloomsbury Publishing. RRP £20.
For details of the World Expeditions trip, see worldexpeditions.co.uk
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