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Thursday, December 5, 2013
Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia
TRQ closed -22.15% to US$3.41
Turquoise Hill sinks 26% as rights begin trading
December 4 (MINING.com) Shares in Turquoise Hill (TSE:TRQ) operator of the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in Mongolia, dropped sharply on Wednesday as the rights issued under its recent $2.4 billion offering began trading in Toronto
By midday Turquoise Hill stock was changing hands at $3.44, down 26% in an anticipation of the more than one billion shares to be issued under the rights offering, doubling the number of shares outstanding.
The Vancouver-based firm decided on the rights offering to help the company repay a $600 million bridge loan and a $1.8 billion interim funding facility after talks with the Mongolian government over financing for the mine went nowhere.
Investor confidence in Mongolia has been shaken by the impasse over Oyu Tolgoi with foreign direct investment in the country dropping by almost half this year compared to last year.
Oyu Tolgoi – turquoise hill in the vernacular – which could have a final bill of as much as $14 billion if an underground expansion goes ahead is 34% owned by the Mongolian government with Rio Tinto-controlled Turquoise Hill owning the rest.
Talks over Oyu Tolgoi's expansion and the reworking of the initial 2009 deal which first unleashed the Mongolian investment boom, have dragged on for the better part of a year.
Both sides provided fresh faces for the Oyu Tolgoi board in September to break the impasse.
Talks on financing arrangements with the Mongolian government including a World Bank-led $4.5 billion debt package – the largest in the history of mining – have gone nowhere forcing Turquoise Hill's hand to launch the right offer.
The disputes are centred on costs with Rio's management fees and the Mongolian government's share of funding of surrounding infrastructure proving particular sticking points.
Production at Oyu Tolgoi's open pit began this year and the mine is now operating at nameplate capacity of 100,000 tonnes of ore processed per day.
The giant copper, gold and silver mine is set to contribute as much as a third of the nation's economy if the underground expansion – where some 80% of the value of the deposit is situated – in put into production.
Turquoise Hill – then called Ivanhoe Mines – was founded by mining financier Robert Friedland after making the Oyu Tolgoi discovery in 2001.
Friedland, who lost control of the miner to Rio Tinto in 2012 and still owns 8-9% of the company, told CEO.ca he plans to take up his rights, which means the colourful billionaire will have to fork out at least $200 million for the privilege.
"Idiots in Canada do not understand rights offerings,'' said financier Robert Friedland
In an email to Tommy Humphries at CEO.CA, Friedland said Turquoise Hill shareholders should participate in the rights offering, which aims to raise $2.4 billion, money that will be used to repay amounts owed to the company's majority shareholder Rio Tinto PLc (NYSE: RIO, Stock Forum).
Friedland's spokesman in Vancouver said the financier owns 8% of Turquoise Hill, which in turn holds a 66% stake in the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold-silver mine in Mongolia.
Turquoise Hill said last week the company has filed a final prospectus with securities regulators, outlining details of a rights offering.
Under the terms of the offering, each Turquoise Hill shareholder will receive one transferrable right for each common share held as of December 6, 2013.
Each right entitles the holder to purchase one common share of the company at either US$2.40 per share or US$2.53 per share, an amount that represents a discount of approximately 42% to the closing prices on the NYSE and TSX on November 25, 2013.
Turquoise Hill shares rose 3.6% to $4.27 Tuesday, leaving a market cap of $4.3 billion, based on over one billion shares outstanding. The 52-week range is $9.62 and $3.81.
Under an earlier agreement Rio Tinto is required to acquire any shares not taken up under the rights offering.
"People should buy the rights and exercise them hand over fist,'' Friedland told CEO.CA by email on Monday evening.
He went on to say in the email that "post the rights issues, the company is in full commercial production, the company will be debt free and have receivables of $750+ millions in copper-gold inventory and sales pipeline, plus a $2 billion receivable from the Mongolian government."
"Idiots in Canada do not understand rights offerings are not dilution..everyone participates equally…rights offerings are the fairest form of equity finance ever developed by the human mind,'' he said.
Turquoise Hill has said over one billion shares are expected to be issued under the rights offering.
It seesm that Humphreys attended one of Friedland's speaking engagements in London this week.
Trading in Turquoise Hill Rights to Commence
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Dec. 2, 2013) - Turquoise Hill Resources (TSX:TRQ)(NYSE:TRQ)(NASDAQ:TRQ) today announced that rights to be issued under the Company's recently announced rights offering will begin trading on a 'when issued' basis on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ) on Tuesday, December 3, 2013. The rights will begin trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) on Wednesday, December 4, 2013. The 'when issued' trading will allow trading of the rights before they are formally issued and the resulting conditional transactions are settled after the rights have been issued to shareholders.
On the NYSE and NASDAQ, the rights will trade under the symbols "TRQ RT WI" and "TRQ.V", respectively, until December 11, 2013. On December 12, 2013, when regular way trading begins, the rights will trade on the NYSE and NASDAQ under the symbols "TRQ RT" and "TRQ.R", respectively. Trading of the rights will stop on the NYSE and NASDAQ at the close of trading on January 6, 2014.
On the TSX, the rights will trade under the symbol TRQ.RT. Trading of the rights will stop at noon (EST) on January 7, 2014.
Details of the rights offering are contained in the final prospectus dated November 25, 2013, which is available on SEDAR and EDGAR. The rights offering was summarized in a news release issued by the Company on November 26, 2013.
Key terms contained in the final prospectus for the rights offering include:
· Each Turquoise Hill shareholder will receive one transferable right for each common share owned as of December 6, 2013, the record date of the rights offering.
· Each right will entitle the holder to purchase one common share of Turquoise Hill.
· Each holder may choose a subscription price of either US$2.40 per share or CDN$2.53 per share. The US and Canadian subscription prices represent a discount of approximately 42% to the closing prices of US$4.16 on the NYSE and CDN$4.39 on the TSX on November 25, 2013.
· Approximately 1,006 million common shares are expected to be issued under the rights offering, representing 100% of Turquoise Hill's current outstanding common shares.
· On or about December 11, 2013, a rights offering prospectus will be mailed to each shareholder of record as of the record date, and a rights certificate together with a prospectus will be mailed to each registered shareholder resident in Canada or the United States as of the record date, subject to applicable law.
· The rights offering will be open for exercise for 27 days from the date of mailing to shareholders and will expire at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on January 7, 2014.
· Shareholders who do not wish to exercise their rights to buy new common shares under the offering will have the option of selling the rights that they receive from Turquoise Hill through the TSX, the NYSE or NASDAQ.
· Shareholders who do not exercise all of their rights will have their present ownership interests in Turquoise Hill reduced, as a percentage of the total outstanding common shares, as a result of the rights offering.
Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd Price Target Lowered to C$4.85 at CIBC (TRQ)
November 28 (WKRB News) Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd (TSE:TRQ) had its price objective trimmed by CIBC from C$5.50 to C$4.85 in a research report released on Wednesday morning, AnalystRatingsNetwork reports. CIBC currently has an underperform rating on the stock.
CIBC has also updated their ratings on a number of other stocks in the last week. The firm reiterated its sector underperform rating on shares of Mercer International. Also, CIBC reiterated its sector outperform rating on shares of Augusta Resource Corp. Finally, CIBC upgraded shares of Pretium Resources Inc from a sector perform rating to an outperform rating.
A number of other firms have also recently commented on TRQ. Analysts at TD Securities cut their price target on shares of Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd from C$4.25 to C$4.00 in a research note to investors on Friday, November 15th. They now have a reduce rating on the stock. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and three have given a hold rating to the stock. Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of C$5.27.
Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd (TSE:TRQ) traded up 1.33% on Wednesday, hitting $4.56. The stock had a trading volume of 20,252 shares. Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd has a 1-year low of $3.94 and a 1-year high of $9.48. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $4.67 and a 200-day moving average of $5.46.
Wolf Petroleum: Highly encouraging geochemical results received
December 3, Wolf Petroleum Limited (ASX:WOF) --
The Company is extremely pleased to announce that additional geochemical analysis on samples taken from seismic shot holes has identified additional abundant light crude oil seeps and gaseous hydrocarbon anomalies.
· Wolf's recent geochemical results have reaffirmed the Company's previous results that had identified the existence of an active petroleum system within the Toson Tolgoi and Talbulag Basins located on the Companys 100% owned Sukhbaatar Block.
· High gravity oil seeps have now been identified in 90 out of 522 samples analysed.
· Medium gravity oil seeps have been identified in 32 out of 522 samples analysed.
· Propane (C3) gaseous hydrocarbon anomalies have been identified in 63 out of 522 samples analysed.
Wolf Petroleum AGM Presentation: Unlocking Mongolia's Multi-Billion Barrel Oil Potential
November 27 Wolf Petroleum Limited (ASX:WOF) --
Aspire Mining signs up Russian customers for Ovoot coking coal
December 3 (Proactive Investors) Aspire Mining's (ASX:AKM) Ovoot Coking Coal Project in Mongolia continues to draw interest with two non-binding Memoranda of Understanding signed with large Russian buyers for up to 1.3 million tonnes per annum of coking coal.
This brings its total coking coal MoUs to 6.9Mtpa, well above the 5Mtpa capacity under its low capital development option.
Separately, the company has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding to transport up to 2Mtpa of Ovoot coking coal through Russian Federation rail systems and reloading of coal at Russian Far East coast at competitive tariffs.
This follows its reaching agreements in September to access port capacity in the Black Sea and Russia's Far East.
"We are very pleased with the initial interest received in Ovoot coking coal, given the relatively short time that preliminary marketing of the coal has been undertaken," managing director David Paull said.
"We are pleased that we have been able to also now generate buying interest in Russia which has a significant steel making industry and where Ovoot Project coking coal compliments product offerings from established Russian coal miners. We have also been successful at expanding rail and port capacity through Russia to other markets."
Russian End Users
The MoUs with the large Russian coking coal end users cover an initial commitment to potentially purchase up to 1.3 million tonnes per annum of coking coal, over a minimum period of five years.
Additional interest received from other Russian and Eastern European users indicates that Ovoot Coking Coal will have a significant customer base in the blast and foundry furnace steel making industries outside of China.
Russia is a key market for Ovoot Project coking coal given its proximity and relatively lower transfer and logistics costs in delivering coal to markets.
The Ovoot Project coking coal's superior blending properties, which is classified as a 'Fat Coking Coal – an in demand blending feedstock for coke plants in Russia, compliments many coals from Russia's ageing Kuzbass Basin where fluidity and caking properties are declining due to the increasing depth of mining.
This interest follows recent negotiations between Mongolia, Russia and China to fund and construct upgrades to road, rail and pipeline infrastructure within Mongolia, creating a significant transit corridor between Russia and China.
Proposed changes include upgrading capacity along the Trans-Mongolian Railway to 100Mtpa.
The investment into infrastructure will allow the transport of oil and gas from Russia into the Chinese market, the delivery of Mongolian coal, iron ore and other commodities into China, as well as the delivery of Chinese and Mongolian exports into Russia and through Russia to Eastern European markets.
Russia is an important transit country for Aspire with the agreement to access 2Mtpa of rail and port capacity through the Russian Far East coast at competitive tariffs highlighting this.
Previous agreements had included a port access agreement with the operator of Taman Port at the Black Sea, which has generated additional interest from users, particularly in Eastern Europe, as well as a similar agreement with a terminal operator of the Nakhodka Port on Russia's Far East coast for exports to north Asian markets.
These are all key parts in its strategy to geographically diversify the customer base for the Ovoot Coking Coal Project.
Ovoot Coking Coal Project
Aspire has progressed the Ovoot Coking Coal Project in recent months with:
- Signing port access agreements to penetrate the lucrative European markets and expanding its access to North Asian markets;
- Identifying a low capital development for the project by using contractors wherever possible for a 5 million tonne per annum initial project, reducing initial capital costs to US$144 million from the original US$459 million for a 6Mtpa Stage 1 plan;
- Financing support with the receipt of non-binding letters of intent from Deutsche Bank and BHF Bank to provide US$40 million and US$50 million respectively in Export Credit Agency backed loans;
- A US$20 million working capital facility made available to the company from Noble Group;
- Interest from potential customers to acquire Ovoot Project coking coal; and
- Studies confirming Ovoot Coking Coal has superior blend carrying capacity and can be blended with coal from the Government owned Tavan Tolgoi mine in southern Mongolia to upgrade the latter's coking coal properties.
In addition, the operating environment in Mongolia has changed dramatically in November with the Government passing new legislation that makes Mongolia a far more attractive business destination.
This has been achieved by introducing incentives and increasing the confidence for investors to commit to projects or move existing projects into construction and production phases.
For Aspire, the company looks likely to meet criteria for a tax Stabilisation Certificate or Investment Agreement covering a period of greater than 20 years, based on its investment in Mongolia since 2010 and future expected investment to develop the Ovoot Coking Coal Project and Northern Rail Line.
Ovoot has a Probable Ore Reserve of 255 million tonnes Run of Mine. It has Open Pit Resources of 253.1 million tonnes and underground resources of 27.9Mt.
Aspire has a 100% interest in the Ovoot Coking Coal Project in northern Mongolia.
While still at an early stage, the MoUs signed with Russian end users for up to 1.3 million tonnes per annum of coking coal demonstrates the strong interest in Aspire Mining's Ovoot Coking Coal project and is value accretive.
The interest is due to its location between key markets as well as the superior blending properties of its coking coal, which is ranked as one of the highest quality in the world. Aspire is building significant development momentum at Ovoot and we expect this to continue with key milestones ahead.
Adding that to Mongolia's new business friendly legislation, lower capital costs for an initial development and set financing options in place, this is another plank in place for development of Ovoot.
Aspire Mining Investor Presentation, November 2013: The Ovoot Coking Coal Project
November 27, Aspire Mining Limited (ASX:AKM) --
Newera Resources eyes large coking coal deposit in Mongolia
December 2 (Proactive Investors) Newera Resources (ASX:NRU) should trade higher a lot after revealing results from a mini-sosie seismic survey conducted over sections of its Ulaan Tolgoi coking coal joint venture in Mongolia which indicate it could have a significant deposit on its hands.
While early days, consulting seismic geophysicists, Logantek, identified multiple, flat lying, gently folded seismic reflectors within a 150 to 200 metre thick interpreted P2 late permian strata, considered to have high coal-bearing potential.
Notably, the reflectors are considered consistent with seismic reflectors from previous substantial coal discoveries in the South Gobi basin.
South Gobi basin deposits often contain large tonnages of coking coal, such as the nearby 6 billion tonne Tavan Tolgoi coking coal mine, providing encouragement that significant, undiscovered coking coal deposits may lie in the basin under thin cover.
Given the interpretive results of the seismic survey within Ulaan Tolgoi, Newera has every chance of discovering the next significant deposit in the region.
Logantek and Nordic Geological Solutions have outlined initial drill hole collar locations designed to test the interpreted coal reflectors in a drilling program to commence in early 2014.
In addition, Newera has entered into a series of convertible loans with various parties for a total value of $500,000, which includes a first right of refusal for Cygnet Capital to manage a future capital raising which is likely by mid 2014.
The various loan agreements, which have been finalised, will be converted to convertible notes at $0.004 per Newera share or 80% of the subscription price of the anticipated capital raising.
Newera looks as if it could be sitting on a significant coking coal deposit, and Cygnet's eagerness to manage the future capital raising is indicative of the obvious potential.
KCC closed flat at 2.5c
Kincora Cooper identifies high priority porphyry targets
Although results are only preliminary, the programme and additional desktop work have indicated a number of high priority, potential world-class size, copper porphyry targets offering significant resource potential in the project area, Kincora said.
The company had a cash balance at end-September of C$1.65m (£940,000) with net working capital of C$1.46mln, which will support at least minimum expenditure requirements on Bronze Fox in 2014.
Discussions with potential strategic investors regarding technical and financial synergies remain ongoing, it said.
The company is also attempting to recover its licences at Golden Grouse, Tourmaline Hills and North Fox that were part of a group of 106 licences revoked by the Mongolian government following a criminal action involving former government officials.
A C$7mln write down for Golden Grouse was largely responsible for C$7.5mln in the three months to September. Losses for the nine months to September were C$8.62mln.
Kincora to announce significant write-down following licence revocation
The copper junior is set to announce a write down worth more than its current market capitalisation following the revocation of two exploration licences earlier this month.
GRONINGEN, November 29 (MINEWEB) In the latest fallout from Mongolia's recent decision to revoke 106 mineral exploration licences, copper junior, Kincora Copper is set to announce a writedown on two impacted licences worth more than its current market capitalisation.
Speaking first to Bloomberg yesterday, Kincora CEO, Sam Spring, confirmed by phone to Mineweb that the group will announce the writedowns in financials out later today in line with its regulatory requirements.
In a release issued on November 6th, the copper explorer, said it received official notification that the Mineral Resources Authority of Mongolia ("MRAM") had revoked its licences for its Tourmaline Hills and North Fox properties, which are wholly owned by its subsidiary company, Golden Grouse LLC.
Kincora paid $5m for the two licences in 2012 and has subsequently spent almost $1,9m on further exploration.
The group is currently valued at around $5m.
Asked about a time line for the resolution of the licence issue Spring says at present there is very little certainty.
"We are told that the licences should be reissued according to a competitive tender process. If you speak to the various government agencies privately you are told that under the new minerals law, there will be a reissuance of licences and these 106 will be reissued at that time and that we will probably have some preferential rights but, at the same time it will be a competitive tender process. so, it is hard to gain too much comfort from that and nothing is yet documented. "
While the news is disheartening, Spring remains upbeat, telling Mineweb, the licence for the group's flagship asset, Bronze Fox, remains in good standing and, at an operational level the asset keeps getting better the more work gets done on it - according to Spring, it has a number of similarities to a pre-discoveryhole Oyu Tolgoi.
"It is a tough one because operationally things are going very well, but at a corporate and a macro level there are a fair few headaches, so it is getting the right balance between expenditure, strategy and making sure that everyone that is involved knows what is going on."
He adds, "The fortunate thing for us is that winter has come, so we get to pause for a bit, our cash burn slows down and we basically now get to sit down and work out from the latest set of exploration results what we would like to do next year."
In a note out following the report by Bloomberg, Dale Choi, founder of Independent Mongolian Metals & Mining Research writes, Kincora's financial statements and write down will most likely result in additional media attention beyond Bloomberg's short article and likely further negative headlines which is not in the interests of the GoM, impacted license holders or Kincora (particularly given Kincora extremely promising exploration results on its flagship Bronze Fox license).
According to Choi, "While we do not expect resolution for the 106 license issue in the near term, continued uncertainty is not in anyone's interests....we reiterate our evaluation of increased sovereign risk of Mongolia and believe that investors should demand commensurate compensation for this increased risk."
For Spring the equation is straightforward, "We are a pretty simple story, we are a Canadian-listed Mongolian exploration play looking for copper, we had 3 exploration licences now we have one, it is pretty easy for people to work out if they want to get involved or not."
Kincora Copper to Write Down Mongolian Business by $7m
By Michael Kohn
Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Co. to write down exploration business after 2 licenses revoked, CEO Sam Spring says by phone from Ulaanbaatar.
* Permits withdrawn by Mineral Resource Authority of Mongolia
* Co. to release statement tomorrow w/ details of writedown, remains hopeful of resolution
* NOTE: Writedown greater than co.'s C$5.2m ($4.9m) mkt value
* NOTE: Co. paid $5m for licenses in April 2012; also spent
$1.9m in exploration costs, legal fees: Nov. 6 statement
From Bloomberg First Word
Kincora Copper Presentation, Mines and Money London 2013, December 3-5
Kincora Copper Ltd attending the 2013 London Mines & Money Exhibition December 3, 2013 - December 5, 2013.
Kincora Copper Third Quarter Financial Statement and MD&A
YAK closed +1.73% to C$2.35
Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. Files its Q3 2013 Financial Statements
Thunder Bay, CANADA, December 02, 2013 /FSC/ - Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. (YAK - TSX Venture),announces that on November 29, it filed its third quarter interim financial statements and MD&A on SEDAR. Investors are invited to go to SEDAR to read the filings. In addition, the Company has updated its third quarter business presentation on its website http://www.MongoliaGrowthGroup.com.
SGQ closed +3.57% to C$0.87 Wednesday
SouthGobi Resources to Announce the Restated Financials for 2011 and 2012 on December 12, 2013
HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - Dec. 4, 2013) - SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX:SGQ)(HKSE:1878) (the "Company"). Reference is made to the announcements of the Company dated November 8, 2013, November 11, 2013 and November 14, 2013 in relation to the decision by the Company board of directors (the "Board") to restate the financial statements of the Company for 2011 and 2012 (collectively, the "Restated Financials").
The Board will meet on Thursday, December 12, 2013 to consider and approve the Restated Financials. The Restated Financials will be filed before TSX market open.
FeOre: RESTRICTED SECURITIES DUE FOR RELEASE FROM ESCROW
December 3 -- In accordance with ASX Listing Rule 3.10A, FeOre Limited (ASX: FEO) advises that the following restricted securities will be released from escrow on 15 December 2013:
Ordinary fully paid shares
Options excisable at A$0.25 per share, expiring on 9 December 2015
Application for quotation will be made on the prescribed form in compliance with ASX Listing Rule 2.8.2 in respect of 283,508,001 ordinary fully paid shares.
Bestway: INTERIM RESULTS
November 27, 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.
GUF closed flat Friday at 8c
Guildford Coal: Board of Directors Update
November 28 -- Guildford Coal (ASX:GUF) is pleased to confirm that Mr Peter Kane, previously appointed as Interim CEO, has accepted the role of Group Managing Director.
As previously advised Mr Kane held Chief Executive Officer roles at both Boardwalk Resources and Aston Resources before being appointed Chief Operating Officer - Projects with Whitehaven Coal following the merger of Whitehaven with Aston. Previously, Mr Kane spent 3 years as Chief Operating Officer with Macarthur Coal, leading the Company's mines and project developments in Queensland prior to the purchase of Macarthur by Peabody. During his tenure at Macarthur Coal and Aston, Mr Kane also covered the role of Joint Venture Chair on multiple operations with numerous JV partners.
Prior to that, Mr Kane spent 10 years with Leighton (contractors) in various roles including General Manager of the Australian mining contractor business. His earlier career included 10 years with BHP in their iron ore and coal divisions.
Guildford Coal further advises that Gary Humphrys after initially indicating that he would be seeking election at this AGM, has recently advised that he would not be seeking a further term.
As such resolution 2 (d) relating to Mr Humphrys election will be withdrawn from today's AGM agenda.
The appointment of Mr Kane as Group Managing Director and resignation of Mr Humphrys as a Non‐Executive Director will take effect immediately.
Guildford Coal: 2013 AGM Managing Director's Presentation
November 28, Guildford Coal Limited (ASX:GUF) --
Chairman's Address to AGM, November 28
MATD closed -2.4% to 3.05p Wednesday
Petro Matad: Issue of Equity and Total Voting Rights
November 27, Petro Matad Limited (LON:MATD) --
Issue of Equity
Petro Matad announces that today it will issue over a total of 1,380,788 ordinary shares of US$0.01 each under the Company's Long Term Equity Incentive Plan (the "Plan") ("New Shares"). Of the New Shares, 620,788 ordinary shares of US$0.01 each will be issued to Ridvan Karpuz, a Director of the Company. The New Shares will be issued, under the terms of the Plan, at nominal value.
Following the issue of New Shares, Mr Karpuz's shareholding will be 620,788 ordinary shares of US$0.01 each, representing 0.22% per cent. of the Company's new issued share capital.
Application has been made for the New Shares to be admitted to AIM and it is anticipated that this will occur on or around 2 December 2013.
Total Voting Rights
Following the issue of the New Shares, Petro Matad will have 279,340,879 ordinary shares in issue, which will also represent the total number of voting rights in the Company. This figure should be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, the Company under the FCA's Disclosure and Transparency Rules.
BDSec Daily Market Update, November 27: Top 20 +0.43%, Turnover ₮29.8 Million
November 27 (BDSec) Mongolian stocks rose for 6th straight day as 33 stocks ended the session in green whereas 10 stocks declined out of 54 stocks traded on the bourse. MSE Top 20 added 0.43% to 14,911.20 points. Olloo (OLL), Hotel Mongolia (MSH) and Shivee Ovoo (SHV) gained more than 11 percent.
Trading Value Leaders
Darkhan Nekhii (NEH)
Hotel Mongolia (MSH)
Shivee Ovoo (SHV)
Ulaanbaatar BUK (BUK)
Khukh Gan (HGN)
BDSec Daily Market Update, November 28: Top 20 -0.65%, Turnover ₮52.6 Million
November 28 (BDSec) Market retreated today after six consecutive days of trading in the green. MSE Top 20 declined 0.65% to 14,814.01 points. Tavantolgoi (TTL) shares came down 3.07% to close at MNT 4,263 after gaining 16% since November 19. Remicon (RMC), a concrete manufacturer, was the most actively traded company on the bourse with a value of MNT 19.1 million. Trading value for the day was MNT 52.6 million.
Trading Value Leaders
Darkhan Nekhii (NEH)
Sharyn Gol (SHG)
Material Impex (MIE)
State Department Store (UID)
BDSec Daily Market Update, November 29: Top 20 +3.3%, Turnover ₮69.4 Million
November 29 (BDSec) Mongolia's stocks rose over 3 percent on Friday, posting its largest daily gain since last month. APU, the largest beverage producer of the country, led the charge with a respectable 8.56% pop for the day. Shivee Ovoo (SHV) lost as much as 10.07% to close at MNT 7,500 after 3-day win. Trading value for the day was MNT 69.4 million (~US$ 40k).
Trading Value Leaders
Darkhan Nekhii (NEH)
Bayangol Hotel (BNG)
Shivee Ovoo (SHV)
BDSec Daily Market Update, December 2: Top 20 +0.09%, Turnover ₮48.5 Million
December 2 (BDSec) Mongolian shares edged up on Monday. MSE Top 20 index 0.09% to 15,315.78 points after jumping over 3 percent last Friday. Coal mining companies performed well during the session with Shivee Ovoo (+6.67%), Sharyn Gol (+2.43%), and Tavantolgoi (+0.19%). Baganuur (BAN), which was traded between MNT 4,600-5,000 during the session, closed at MNT 4,601 down from its last close of MNT 4,616. Trading value for the day was MNT 48.5 million.
Trading Value Leaders
Sharyn Gol (SHG)
Shivee Ovoo (SHV)
Sharyn Gol (SHG)
Mongolia Development Resources (MDR)
Material Impex (MIE)
Telecom Mongolia (MCH)
BDSec Daily Market Update, December 3: Top 20 +0.39%, Turnover ₮1.8 Billion
December 3 (BDSec) MNT 1.8 billion or US$ 1.0 million worth of shares were traded on the Mongolian Stock Exchange on Tuesday. 79.4% of Darkhan Hotel (DZG) were traded as a block on the bourse. MSE Top 20 added 59.30 points or 0.39% to finish at 15,375.08 points.
Trading Value Leaders
Darkhan Hotel (DZG)
Bayangol Hotel (BNG)
Mongolia Development Resources (MDR)
Genco Tour Bureau (JTB)
Bayangol Hotel (BNG)
BDSec Daily Market Update, December 4: Top 20 +1.92% (8-Month High), Turnover ₮44.3 Million
December 4 (BDSec) Mongolia's stocks rose on Wednesday, sending the benchmark index to an 8-month high. MSE Top 20 index added 1.92% to finish at 15,670.78 points. Tavantolgoi (TTL), a coking coal producer, soared 12.83% to close at MNT 4,880. It is currently the second largest company on MSE by market value after APU (APU). On the bourse, MNT 44.3 million worth of shares were traded for the day.
Trading Value Leaders
Mongol Nekhmel (MNH)
State Department Store (UID)
Shivee Ovoo (SHV)
Mongolian Stock Exchange In NYC...
By Harris Kupperman
December 3 (Adventures in Capitalism) As long-time readers know, I am now focusing a considerable percentage of my time on Mongolia. For those who are interested in learning more about one of the most rapidly growing economies in the world, Thursday's presentation by the Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE) should be highly informative.
Altai Khangai, CEO of the MSE, and Saruul Ganbaatar, Deputy CEO of the MSE, will be making a presentation in New York City to educate investors about recent positive changes to the Investment Law, the Securities Markets Law and the Investment Fund Law of Mongolia.
The event will be held on December 5th at 6pm at the TKP New York Conference Center, East Village Room, located at 109 West 39th Street in New York City.
Following the presentation, I will be moderating a question and answer session.
If you wish to attend the presentation in New York City, please contact Amanda Loubier at Amanda@MongoliaGrowthGroup.com
I look forward to seeing many of you there.
FMG Funds: The Case for Mongolia
Mongolia remains one of the world's fastest growing economies and is predicted to stay among the top five over the next 10 years. With the new investment law in place we believe foreign direct investment will accelerate in 2014 and beyond. Over the next years we expect Mongolia to become a commodity exporting powerhouse and transition to a very rich country in the process. Mongolia has evolved from a backward communist country to a thriving democracy. In the past few months the pro-business government has:
• Passed the securities markets law, which will substantially modernize the financial markets.
• Initiated a program providing 20 year mortgages at 8% to home buyers (down from 17-20%).
• Embarked upon an aggressive anti-corruption campaign.
• Reduced government bureaucracy.
The FMG Mongolia Fund is well positioned to take advantage of today's exceptional value along with tomorrow's exceptional growth.
Mongolia Looks To Stock Trading As Trade With China Sinks, Hopes To Find An Antidote To Declining Fortunes In Coal, Gold Mining
ULAN BATOR, Mongolia, November 29 (IBTimes) For decades, this remote and fabled region -- known for the 13th century dynasty of Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes, who raided the continent from their base in the country's windswept, sparsely populated steppes, mountains and deserts -- has relied upon what's underground to feed its contemporary economy. The effort has brought new prosperity to a nation where a large sector of its population is still nomadic, with the extraction of rich deposits of coal, gold and other minerals has brought a sevenfold increase in per capita income during the last 10 years alone.
With a sparse population of only 2.9 million occupying a vast, landlocked area (600,000 square miles, or 1.5 million square kilometres), the former Soviet satellite state has used mining to produce great wealth: From the end of the Cold War in 1991 to this year, gross domestic product has .
Lately, though, things have taken an unexpected twist for the worse. Commodity prices have dropped; Chinese demand is slowing. As a result, Mongolians are going from boom to bust.
"With the coal sector going through the floor, I'm almost out of business," Batorchiriin Ariguun (Mogi: perhaps Ariguun Bat-Ochir?), the founder of a local marketing research firm, said while working out on a treadmill in a gym in Ulan Bator, Mongolia's capital. "I might freeze the company for one year waiting for the economy to bounce back in 2015."
Mongolia is one of mining's last big frontiers, with massive and still untapped deposits of coal, copper, gold and uranium. When global commodity prices were highs, Canadian and Australian junior mining firms rushed in, looking for top-class deposits such as Oyu Tolgoi, the copper-gold deposit that was recently tapped by Rio Tinto plc (LON:RIO); even given the downturn, that mine is set to become the world's third largest of its kind.
During the heyday, other overseas investors followed suit, and Mongolians began enjoying unprecedented levels of economic growth. Skyscrapers and cranes were soon towering over Ulan Bator's apartment blocks and outlying neighborhoods of traditional ger, the Mongolian nomadic tents also referred to as yurts.
But all that came at a price: dependence upon next-door neighbor China, Mongolia's almost-exclusive trading partner. With China now cutting Mongolian coal imports, worldwide commodity markets turning south and flagging investor sentiment, mining exports have declined this year and foreign investments are drying up. The economy is still expected to grow at more than a 12 percent rate in 2013, but most of that relatively breakneck pace is due to the central bank's expansionary monetary policy. The central bank has cut interest rates from 13.25 percent to 10.5 percent and pumped money into the system through subsidies mortgages and other measures, with the result that almost 30 percent of the banking system's total assets are directly dependent upon central bank funding -- more than debt-laden European nations such as Greece, Cyprus and Portugal. Inflation, meanwhile, is running at just under 10 percent, which cuts down real growth to a meagre 2/3 percent. Within this context, entrepreneurs like Ariguun are struggling to make ends meet.
Four Times Bigger Than The Economy?
All of which means that Mongolia's government is looking to diversify away from China and commodities, and one area it's betting on is potentially lucrative, if far less finite: the growth of its stock exchange. Undercapitalized and illiquid, the Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE) is still a relative minor player, but the government has big plans.
In a push to make long-term equity capital available for businesses other than mining, the State Great Khural or SGK, Mongolia's congress, passed two sweeping laws overhauling the stock market which will take effect in January 2014. The new laws "will hopefully bring capital markets onto a new stage of development," Byambaa Losolsuren, a partner at local investment firm , told IBTimes.
Back in 2011, then-MSE chairman Bold Baatar claimed the market would reach a capitalization of $45 billion within five years -- more than four times the size of the entire economy today. But since then Mongolia's blue-chip index has lost more than 50 percent, after peaking in February 2011, and today the MSE's overall capitalization is just around $850 million. Because shares are heavily concentrated with majority shareholders, liquidity is dramatically low and daily trading volume averaged under $150,000 this year. Only a third of the 262 listed companies actually trade.
"The absence of an enabling regulatory framework restricts capital-raising opportunities for Mongolian companies," a report by the law firm Hogan Lovells concluded.
Things are now set to change. In July, the SGK approved the Revised Securities Law, which expands the range of tradable securities to derivatives, depositary receipts and warrants. It also introduces, among other things, IPO procedures and takeover rules.
"The Revised Securities Law seeks to overcome the limits and shortcomings of the existing Securities Law and introduce international standard market regulations," the Hogan Lovells report said.
Later in the year, the SGK passed the Investment Fund Law, which lays the foundation for the development of a local asset management industry. The new law introduces two types of funds: mutual funds, which will be allowed to advertise to raise funds and will be subject to tight supervision, and private funds, in which only institutional investors will be allowed to invest.
"Institutional investors will definitely have a high impact on liquidity and reduce systemic risks," UMC's Losolsuren added.
With better rules and the liquidity coming from investment funds, IPOs are expected to pick up and stir the appetite of financial investors.
"The overall aim of ongoing reforms is to better intermediate between privately held Mongolian firms looking for cheaper sources of equity, and a growing pool of foreign investors seeking to unlock the value of the market in the coming years," Oxford Business Group said in its latest country report.
Mongolia's overall economy is currently worth just over $10 billion; it's unlikely that the MSE will reach a total market cap of $45 billion in five years, as its former chairman had predicted. Still, the MSE is often compared to the stock exchange of neighbouring resource-rich Kazakhstan, whose overall value has grown 30 times since 2001, piggybacking on the country's solid economic growth. Local investment bank Eurasia set a target for the MSE market cap at $20bn by 2020.
"Equity financing is particularly important for sectors other than mining to grow and Mongolia today suffers from a shortage of risk capital," Asian Development Bank country economist Jan Hansen told IBTimes.
Established local conglomerates such as MCS Group and , with a presence in a wide range of industries from real estate to food and beverage, and telecommunications firm , have long been in the list of possible candidates for a market debut compiled by local and international analysts. Overall, analysts suggest they could add as much as $5 billion to the MSE's current market cap. State-owned airline and several banks are also considered ideal candidates for an IPO. Small and medium enterprises in Mongolia's dairy products, textiles and tourism sectors will also have a chance as liquidity flows in.
90 Percent Mining
Today, mining accounts for 90 percent of Mongolia's exports and 85 percent of investment into the country, and even given its declining output, its contribution to the national GDP (which now stands at 20 percent) is set to steeply increase as OT reaches full capacity and other mines comes online. The resource industry long ago surpassed the traditional agriculture sector as the economy's main engine of growth, though the latter still accounts for 15 percent of the GDP.
"The dual undiversified nature of the economy makes it susceptible to boom-bust cycles, accentuated by the structural shift in economic activity to mining from agriculture," a report by credit rating agency Moody's said.
Yet diversification is a slow process, and in the meantime, Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi mine, which began production in July 2013, is expected to account for one-third of the country's GDP all by itself by 2020. The state-owned Tavan Tolgoi mine, one of the world's largest untapped coking and thermal coal deposits, is expected to reach full capacity in the next decade. The overall value of the country's 10 largest deposits is about $1.3 trillion, according to figures from Singapore-based investment company Temasek.
As the mining cycle cools off -- OT's US$5.1 billion planned expansion is being delayed, global commodity prices are declining and coal exports to China were down 44.8 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2013, muscled out by Australian exports -- symptoms of Mongolia's economic malaise are impossible to ignore, which accounts for the government's moves toward diversification. Overseas investments decreased 46.8 percent from January to August; the local currency, the tugrik, has lost more than 25 percent to the U.S. dollar this year, plummeting to the lowest level in 10 years; and GDP forecasts continue to be revised downward by international observers such as the IMF and the World Bank. Skepticism is mounting.
"Talk to any Mongolian business owner and you'll hear that there are considerably fewer customers coming into their stores or requesting their services," a report by local real estate developer MAD Investment Solutions notes. "High-end shopping malls built on the 2011 consumer hype are deserted and empty on the weekends. There is a discernible drop in the number of expatriates inhabiting the city centre cafes and pubs. And importantly, a bleak and pessimistic sentiment permeates the Ulaanbaatar community, no small fact for a country with such enormous untapped potential."
But in order for diversification to work, analysts as well as local business owners say, the government will have to ensure that economic growth takes place nationwide. "In Mongolia, if you want to survive you can't do just one business, you have to diversify," Ariguun observed. "Successful conglomerates all have businesses in every field. Beside market research, I'm also in the meat market, which is definitely more lucrative at the moment. And I would like to start up a metallurgical business. Mongolia exports iron ore, coal; the ingredients for steel production are already here, but somehow there is no domestic metallurgical industry yet."
Simple extraction, in the view of entrepreneurs like Ariguun, is no longer the answer.
If the government's stock market plan succeeds, the Mongolian economy may become less of a one-trick pony. A friendlier foreign-investment law could also help bring in capital. The long-awaited law, which took effect Nov. 1, eases restrictions on investment in key sectors such as telecommunications and banking, as well as mining, and stabilizes tax rates over a period of 22 years. And unlike previous legislation, it makes no distinction between domestic and foreign investors, which, the government hopes will open the door for wider economic exploration, from inside and outside the country.
BoM FX Rates: December 4 Close
Balance of Payment Preliminary Report, October 2013: Current Account Deficit $2.83 Billion, FDI -51%
November 27 (Bank of Mongolia) Current account deficit stands at US$ 2,834.3 million which is increased of 2 percent or US$ 45.1 million on a YOY basis. Of which (i) trade of goods deficit decreased by 13 percent to US$ 1,208.8 million; (ii) trade of services deficit increased by 23 percent to US$ 1,099.9 million; (iii) deficit of income account decreased by 11 percent to US$ 642.2 million; and (iv) current transfer declined by 47 percent to US$ 116.5 million.
Capital and financial accounts showed surplus of US$ 1,256.2 million which is decrease of 59 percent or US$ 1,835.3 million on YOY basis. This is due to i) 51 percent decline of surplus on foreign direct investment from abroad to Mongolia equaling to US$ 1,823.8 million, ii) surplus of portfolio investment decreased by 119 percent or US$ 1,036.0 million and iii) deficit of other investments decreased by 66 percent or US$ 1,241.5 million compared to a year prior.
Mongolia October FDI Declines 30% on Year, Central Bank Says
By Michael Kohn
Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's foreign direct investment in October declines to $148.2m from $211.2m a year earlier, according to the nation's central bank.
* Jan-Oct FDI was $1.966b compared with $3.995b a year earlier, the Bank of Mongolia says in statement.
* FDI for the first nine months was revised to $1.818b from a preliminary figure of $1.923b, according to the Bank of Mongolia.
From Bloomberg First Word
GOVERNMENT SECURITIES AUCTION: ₮10 BILLION 12-WEEK TREASURY BILLS AT 8.635%
December 4 (Bank of Mongolia) Regular auction for 12 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 10 billion MNT and each unit was worth 1 million MNT. Face value of 10 billion /out of 19.0 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold to the banks at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 8.635%.
Increase of ₮62 billion on total outstanding 1-week bills to ₮1.14 trillion
BoM issues ₮446.3 billion 1-week bills
December 4 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 446.3 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
BoM holds FX auction
On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on December 3rd, 2013 the BOM has received from local commercial banks ask offers USD, ask and bid offer of CNY and refused all the offer.
On December 3rd, 2013, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement offer in equivalent to 5 million USD and Forward agreement offer of USD from local commercial banks and accepted the offer.
IMF: Selected Macroeconomic Indicators, November 20, 2013
November 20 (IMF)
MONGOLIAN CABINET MINISTER DISCUSSES INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN MONGOLIA
Media Advisory: National Press Club Newsmaker
WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Monday, December 9th, 10am-11am
The National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW
The Zenger Room, 13th Floor
Mongolian Cabinet Minister Saikhanbileg Chimed
Mongolia sits on a vast amount of mineral wealth. Mining and related infrastructure projects have drawn huge interest from the foreign investment community and accounted for the country's status as the fastest growing economy in the world in 2011 with a record 17.5 % growth.
In October 2013, Mongolia's Parliament approved an investment law that ended different rules for domestic and foreign private investors. This change marks a turning point for Mongolia and has been widely praised in the investment community. As the democratic anchor of the East with a growing population, fair elections and rule of law, Mongolia is poised for even greater success.
Minister Saikhanbileg's trip to Washington launches a new effort by the government called Invest Mongolia. He will detail how the new legislation provides opportunities for foreign investment and additional partnership in his vast land that remains full of opportunity.
The event is open to the media.
*This material is distributed by Venn Strategies LLC on behalf of the Government of Mongolia. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.
SOURCE Government of Mongolia
Invest Mongolia Signs MOU with InvestHK to Promote Bilateral FDI
December 4 (Invest Mongolia) The Invest Mongolia and Invest Hong Kong signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote foreign direct investment for both parties.
The MOU was signed by Mr.Javkhlanbaatar, the Director General of the Invest Mongolia, and Mr. Simon Galpin, the Director General of Invest Hong Kong on 28 November, 2013, during the state visit of H.E. Mr. Ts.Elbegdorj, the President of Mongolia, to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.
The main purposes of the MOU are to exchange the experience in promoting and attracting the foreign investment, and to open new opportunities for local companies interested in setting up or expanding their businesses in Mongolia and in Hong Kong.
Erenhot-Zamyn-Uud Dedicated Cargo Transport Road in Service
SHANGHAI, Nov 28, 2013 (Menafn - SinoCast Daily Business Beat via COMTEX) --A dedicated cargo transport road in joint inspection area between China's Erenhot and Mongolia's Zamyn-Uud, which is built with assistance by Inner Mongolia, has come into service.
Erenhot is China's biggest land port to Mongolia. There was merely one road for both passenger and cargo transport. The dedicated road will separate passenger transport and cargo transport after being operational.
The new road is 21 meters wide and 1.15 kilometers long and can serve trucks with loading capacity being 30 tons.
Total investment in the project is CNY 13 million; investment in Mongolia is CNY 9.7 million.
Source: www.chinanews.com.cn (November 28, 2013)
China, Mongolia Opened 2 More Joint-supervision Pilot Ports
HOHHOT, Nov 27, 2013 (Menafn - SinoCast Daily Business Beat via COMTEX) --The sixth Sino-Mongolian customs joint supervision meeting was held on November 11, deciding to include Qeh (Shiveekhuren - Ceke) and Zhuengadabuqi (Bichigt – Zuun Khatavch) ports into the joint-supervision pilot ports in 2014, disclosed Hohhot customs on November 26.
Mongolia is the second neighboring country conducting customs joint supervision with China following Kazakhstan. Previously, Erenhot, Ganqimao and other border ports between China and Mongolia had been included into the pilot ports.
Source: www.chinanews.com.cn (November 27, 2013)
The Banker's Best Bank of the Year 2013 Mongolia: XacBank
November 29 (The Banker) Mongolia's economy has been undergoing changes in recent years, and one of the challenges for its domestic banks is keeping up with the pace of growth. In line with this trend, XacBank has modified its strategy to adjust to the changes in the domestic market and has been working on improving its service as well as enhancing its electronic channels.
Commenting on the bank's major challenges over the past year, Bat-Ochir Dugersuren, CEO of XacBank, says: "The main challenges were advancing institutional transformation in our business processes, IT infrastructure, and delivery channels." He adds that all this was done while maintaining the bank's market positioning. XacBank had additional challenges in the context of the slowdown in the global economy and weak investor confidence.
The bank was able to maintain its market share in challenging conditions and maintain a higher growth in its retail deposits when compared to the rest of the market in Mongolia, says Mr Bat-Ochir.
He says of XacBank's plans for the coming year: "The bank wants to build scalable and efficient institutional capacity to expand both in the small and medium enterprise [SME] and corporate and retail segments." He foresees that there will be high growth potential in the SME and corporate segment once a stable investment environment in Mongolia has been established and confidence has returned to the market. The SME sector is expected to expand alongside Mongolia's mining boom, as it is hoped that smaller companies will benefit in the supply chain of the mining industry. In recent months, XacBank has increased its SME loan book as well as its foreign exchange trading volume.
The bank is also notable for its emphasis on corporate governance and has a three-pronged philosophy of 'planet, people and profit' as well as a focus on financial inclusion.
International Investment Bank Expands its Partnership Network in Mongolia
November 27 -- The International Investment Bank and the Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia (TDB) concluded an Agreement on strategic cooperation. The Agreement was signed by the Chairman of the Board of IIB, Nikolay Kosov and Chief Executive Officer of TDB, Balbar Medree. The Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Mongolia to the Russian Federation H.E. Mr. Shukher Altangerel also participated in the signing ceremony.
The agreement provides for a large variety of spheres of cooperation on mutually beneficial terms – including organization of syndicated financing of investment projects, extending credit lines for SMEs support, insuring warranties, including financing of export-import operations and other spheres of interbank cooperation. Regular consultations regarding bank practices, information exchange, and organization of training courses for employees were envisaged.
As Nikolay Kosov noted, cooperation with TDB is one of the important components of building strong partnership network of financial institutions for the achieving of IIB's strategic objectives of the support of SMEs in Member States.
Trade and Development Bank is one of the largest financial organizations of Mongolia (assets – $1, 9 bn). TDB is a full-service bank with a large branch network – 45 departments which actively work with small enterprises.
The signed Agreement strengthens the cooperation between the two banks, which started in September this year. IIB jointly with FMO (Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V.) participated in extending a syndicated credit to TDB for financing credit activities, including SMEs sector. The total amount of financing is – $ 82 mio, IIB's part - $ 10 mio.
Balbar Medree stated the successful start of cooperation of TDB with IIB, emphasizing that the signed Agreement opened new possibilities for effective and mutually beneficial partnership between the two banks.
The meeting of the governing body of IIB in the expanded format with the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Mongolia to the Russian Federation H.E. Mr. Sh. Altangerel took place after the signing ceremony. H.E. Mr. Sh. Altangerel is one of the leading Mongolian politicians and diplomats. He headed Mongolian embassies in France and Belgium in different years, held an office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Ambassador was informed about the current situation in the Bank, preparation to the 100th meeting of the Council of IIB, results of reforms implemented during the last year, projects conducted in Mongolia and with the participation of Mongolian banks. H.E.Mr. Sh. Altangerel confirmed Mongolia's interest in IIB's development as the multilateral institution for development, expressed Ulan-Bator's intention to develop this sphere of financial and economic policy.
The regular session of the Russian-Mongolian Intergovernmental Commission also took place in Moscow. The Bank's delegation traditionally took active part in the session.
Mongolia Investment Summit Hong Kong 2013 Presentations
(Business Council of Mongolia) --
Regulatory Update: Navigating Mongolia's legal framework for foreign direct investment, Javkhlanbaatar Sereeter, Director General, Foreign Investment Regulations and Registration Department, MINISTRY OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF MONGOLIA
Investment keynote: Investing into Mongolia in 2013 – Where do the opportunities lie?, James Passin, Co-Founder and Manager, FIREBIRD MONGOLIA FUND
Development keynote: Key challenges and opportunities for continued growth in Mongolia, Randolph Koppa, President, TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT BANK OF MONGOLIA
Outlining government policies and long-term plans for Mongolia's mining sector, Amarjargal Khurelbat, Head of International Cooperation Division, MINISTRY OF MINING OF MONGOLIA
From copper to met coal: Demand and price outlook and expected impact on Mongolia's economy, Ghee Peh, Managing Director Metals and Mining Research, UBS SECURITIES ASIA
How Mongolian banks and financial institutions are dealing with the challenges and opportunities of a fast growing economy, Norihiko Kato, Chief Executive Officer, KHAN BANK
Update on the Mongolian stock market – Impact of the new Securities Law, Altai Khangai, Chief Executive Officer, MONGOLIAN STOCK EXCHANGE
From investment banking to trade finance to micro credits to insurance, Amartuvshin Hanibal, Managing Director, TENGER FINANCIAL GROUP LLC
Spotlight presentations: Showcasing Mongolian investment opportunities, Peter Morrow, Board Director, ASIA PACIFIC INVESTMENT PARTNERS
Spotlight presentations: Showcasing Mongolian investment opportunities, Munkhbat Davaatseren, CEO of Golomt Securities, GOLOMT BANK
Spotlight presentations: Showcasing Mongolian investment opportunities – Natural Resources, Batmunkh Batkhuu, Chairman, SHARYN GOL JSC
Spotlight presentations: Showcasing Mongolian investment opportunities – Natural Resources, Jimmie Wilde, Chief Operating Officer, BERKH UUL JSC
Spotlight presentations: Showcasing Mongolian investment opportunities – Natural Resources, Mona Forster, Executive VP, ENTRÉE GOLD INC
Mongolian venture a win for expert
GRAIN farming on the Mongolian steppes is a highly challenging project, writes PETER HEMPHILL
December 4 (Weekly Times Now) It's not hard to unearth an exploded bomb, a piece of a tank or a part of a warplane on Chris Lightfoot's Mallee-type country.
Along with the bomb craters dotted in some paddocks, the remnants of munitions are evidence a major battle was fought on the eastern side of the property run by his wife and himself in remote Mongolia.
In fact, the former Soviet Union successfully fought off an invading Japanese army in 1939 during Japan's expansionist era prior to World War II.
Chris is a Longerenong Agricultural College graduate and former University of Melbourne lecturer, and runs 10,000ha of cropping country in the far eastern region of Mongolia with his wife Uuganbileg (Uugana) Erdene.
They travel to the farm from Melbourne a few times a year, staying three months at a time.
Chris oversees work on the farm by a full-time workforce of five, although employee numbers rise to 20 during harvest.
The property is an investment but also a challenge in turning a former socialist collective operation into a highly productive farm.
Chris has worked much of the past 30 years overseas as an agricultural consultant.
That included time in Mongolia working for the Ministry of Finance.
Mongolia was a socialist state up until 1990, with all the farms run as collectives.
After the collapse of the socialist system, the farms and equipment were given to the farm workers.
"But it didn't work," Chris said. "Annual wheat production in Mongolia fell from 600,000-700,000 tonnes down to about 100,000 tonnes.
"And most of that grain was not millable."
It was during his stint at the Ministry of Finance in 2002 that Chris met Uugana.
She had also worked as a consultant in overseas countries, sometimes for the United Nations.
Uugana's father was a provincial governor under the socialist system. He was a flour milling engineer with post-graduate training from Russia.
He is the foremost flour milling expert in Mongolia.
Links to food production run in the blood, with Uugana's mother a food technologist.
Through a family company, Munkh Tal Pty Ltd, Chris and Uugana secured a 60-year lease on 10,000ha of land in eastern Mongolia in early 2006.
"It is classic grass steppe country," Chris said.
"We are about 720-750m above sea level and at a latitude of 48 degrees.
"The land we have is designated for cropping. Most of it had not been cropped within the past 15 years."
Having the land designated for cropping strengthens the rights to the land.
"Half the population of the country is still nomadic," Chris said.
"There are no fences in Mongolia. Mongolians have this sense of land being common property. If you want to pitch a tent and graze your animals you just set up camp and do so.
"But with designated cropping land, animal herders can't just come and graze it."
Chris said the aim of Munkh Tal was to turn the property into a modern, highly productive, no-till grain operation.
It is being developed in three stages.
About 4800ha has already been brought into production, with a further 800ha expected to be cropped next year and the remainder in 2015.
Chris and Uugana planted wheat and canola and experimented with barley this year.
The climate varies from temperatures plunging to -40C in winter and there are about 10 days each summer when temperatures exceed 30C.
Annual rainfall is 280mm a year, evenly distributed between March and September.
"We start sowing from mid-May to the end of May, sometimes it is still snowing when we start," Chris said.
"And we can also get snow during the harvest, which starts in the first or second week of September."
Chris said the crops - and weeds - grow incredibly quickly and weeds are a particular challenge.
"Sometimes the weeds don't germinate until after the wheat has emerged," he said.
"Sometimes they come up so swiftly, if you don't spray on time they can swamp the wheat."
One weed, called wormwood, in a good season it can grow from 20cm to 1.4m in eight days.
Chris has imported a Goldacres boomspray from Australia to tackle the weeds.
It is part of a range of imported equipment to create efficiencies on the property.
The seeder is a DBS Ausplough from Western Australia and the main tractor is a John Deere 8420 with autosteer.
Chris said he had a small John Deere harvester for stripping the crop but they also rented Chinese-made harvesters during the harvest.
The longer-term average for wheat yields under the collective was about 1.2 tonnes/ha. Chris and Uugana have been doing better than that, achieving an average yield of about 1.8 tonnes/ha with some patches in a good year producing up to four tonnes/ha.
Breakdowns can occur at harvest time and can pose their particular problems.
"We had a harvester jam up at harvest last year," Chris said.
"We found the foot pedal of a Russian fighter plane in the harvester intake."
The canola and barley crops are sold across the border into China.
The wheat is sold to the nearest Mongolian flour mill, which is 360km to the west of the property.
Grain prices are generally slightly higher than world prices and the costs are generally marginally lower than Australia.
Chris said the gross margins were "very good".
"Last year, we got a 40 per cent net return on investment," he said.
Former Germany Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann on Visit, Interested in Mongolia's Mining Sector
November 27 /infomongolia.com/ A former German football goalkeeper, Silver and Bronze medalist of the FIFA World Cup, Jens Gerhard Lehmann is visiting Mongolia on November 25-28, 2013.
He has been invited at the German-Mongolian joint "Mitra" company that specializes in mining transport and during the press conference, J.Lehmann announced that he is interested to run a business in Mongolian mining sector.
J.Lehmann's visit program in Mongolia is tight, but he spared a time to Mongolian football fans and upon the invitation of Arsenal Fan Club member G.Gankhuu, the former football goalkeeper J.Lehmann stayed at the Grand Irish Pub to meet and take pictures with fan club members.
Today J.Lehmann is touring to countryside and leave the country tomorrow morning.
APU's cover story ad on the Tasting Panel liquor magazine.
The Mystique of Mongolia: Soyombo Vodka Emerges from the Legends of a Nomadic People
November 2013 (The Tasting Panel Magazine) --
Link to the magazine piece (Page 70-73)
DW's flagship channel now available on SkyMedia in Mongolia
November 29 (Deutsche Welle) Deutsche Welle (DW) is now available to viewers in Mongolia via SkyMedia. DW's English channel will be broadcast on channel 205.
As of November 25, DW's flagship channel with 24 hours of English programming is available on SkyMedia to viewers in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. This new agreement with SkyMedia is just further proof of how DW has expanded its reach in the market via new IPTV platforms.
"Viewers in Mongolia appreciate our precise and reliable reporting, and they have always been strong supporters of our brand of programming," said Petra Schneider, Director of Distribution at DW. "We are excited to include our 24/7 English language channel on SkyMedia, effectively enabling us to address new viewers who appreciate our perspective on European lifestyle, culture, arts and technology, as well as insights and analysis on business, politics and sports. It is an honor for us to have both our German and now English channels included in SkyMedia's lineup."
"DW's continuous support and commitment has made DW an invaluable partner to SkyMedia. We are pleased to welcome DW English to the SkyMedia family," added D. Byambatseren, CEO at SkyMedia.
DW's English channel will be available in the "News" bouquet of channels accessible to all subscribers of SkyMedia on channel 205. In addition, DW's German program DW (Asien) is available in Mongolia on channel 702.
SkyMedia Corporation LLC is the subsidiary of Skytel Group, which is the second largest mobile operator and one of the biggest conglomerate in Mongolia. In 2012, SkyMedia was awarded the second IPTV license in Mongolia and launched its IPTV service in July 2012. It offers the best international and local channels with more than 134 channels.
Mogi: Ooooh dear! Well, diversity from Korean soaps I guess is a good thing?
Telenovela 'Brazil Avenue' conquers the world and reaches Mongolia
November 28 (Globo) Nominated for the International Emmy Awards 2013 for Best Telenovela, 'Brazil Avenue' reaches two channels in Mongolia, an expanding market, and promises to fascinate the public of the country. The program, one of Globo's highlight during ATF (Asia TV Forum), is scheduled to debut in December on the broadcast channel Edutainment TV and on MovieBOX, on cable TV, both part of the group Mongol Mass Media LLC. 'Brazil Avenue', which was dubbed in Mongolian, is the second Brazilian telenovela to be shown in the country. In 2010, the public watched 'Pages of Life', another of Globo's superproductions, which attained good audience indices.
The saga of young Nina (Débora Falabella, 'Little Missy'), who struggles to recover the life that her terrible stepmother Carminha (Adriana Esteves, 'Belíssima') stole when she was still a child, has had its exhibition rights acquired by 124 countries in the last 10 months and has had versions made in 17 languages such as Spanish, English, Greek, Polish, and French. 'Brazil Avenue' has already shown its potential for success in Brazil. The telenovela attained an overall audience average of 42 points and 69% participation (source: Ibope). It finale had the largest audience of Brazilian TV in 2012, obtaining 56 rating points with 84% participation and with more than 50 million television viewers (source: Ibope).
Dynamic, modern, and with the rhythm of a mystery thriller, the program is on the air in Europe, in countries such as Hungary, Greece, and Croatia, and has been presenting good performance. In Portugal, where it was shown during primetime on SIC, it was the leader of its timeslot and one of the most watched programs in the country. In the same way, the telenovela won over the audiences in the countries of Latin America, including Panama, Ecuador, Uruguay, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Chile, where it is among the trending topics of a microblog. 'Brazil Avenue' has also been licensed to territories in Africa and the Middle East, as well as South Korea. The program has equally sparked the interest of programmers in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
With classic ingredients of successful stories such as love, betrayal, and revenge, and with a cast of great actors who bring the striking characters to life, such as Cauã Reymond ('The Enchanted Tale'), Murilo Benício ('The Clone'), and Ísis Valverde ('India – A Love Story'), 'Brazil Avenue' promises to remain in the imagination of the Mongolian public.
See the trailer for 'Brazil Avenue' here.
Turkey, Mongolia Companies to Build 3,000 Flat Residential District in Ulaanbaatar
Ulaanbaatar, November 27 /MONTSAME/ Grand Line Co of Mongolia and 216 Yapi Co of Turkey signed Tuesday a cooperation agreement to build a new apartment town in Ulaanbaatar.
"Tumen Amgalan" apartments of the German quality and of the Turkish standards are planned to be erected at Bayanzurkh district of the capital city.
This joint housing project of 3,000 flats and 2,300 garages will be a major part of the Government's re-planning program of ger (national dwelling) districts. Winning a government tender, the two contracting companies were awarded the right to implement the project.
Present at the agreement signing ceremony were the Ambassador of Turkey to Mongolia Mr Murat Karagoz, a head of managing board of 216 Yapi Co Bulent Dundar, a director of Grand Line Co B.Chuluudai and the district residents.
The Turkish construction and contracting industry is one of the leading industries in Turkey. A total of 33 Turkish construction/contracting companies were selected for the Top International Contractors List prepared by the Engineering News-Record in 2009, which made the Turkish construction/contracting industry the world's 2nd largest in that year, ranking behind China.
The Surprising Potential of Mongolian-Myanmar Relations
Despite some significant differences, the two countries have substantial scope for cooperation.
By Brandon Miliate
December 4 (The Diplomat) In November, Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (Mogi: think I commented somewhere/sometime in the newswire about needing to adopt a standard of how Mongolian names gets written in English. I prefer First Name, Last Name, Family Name) made an official trip to Myanmar as part of his tour of Southeast Asia. This was the first trip by a Mongolian head of state to Myanmar since diplomatic relations were established in 1956. While in Yangon and Naypyidaw, Elbegdorj met with the Myanmar's President Thein Sein, following which they released a joint statement of cooperation. Elbegdorj also met with Aung San Suu Kyi, gave a well-received speech at the University of Yangon, and met with the newly established Mongolian-Myanmar Business Council. This visit will likely serve as a starting point to increased Mongolia-Myanmar cooperation, and support the deepening of diplomatic and economic ties.
Mongolian-Myanmar relations have significant potential. Any comparison of the two countries would point to a myriad of potential avenues for cooperation. Most importantly, however, is ample scope for mutual cooperation and policy learning between Ulaanbaatar and Naypyidaw on democratic governance, natural resource management and foreign affairs.
Mongolia is widely recognized as a post-communist success story, having pursued economic and political opening simultaneously, surviving the transitions intact, stable and distinctly democratic. Today, Myanmar continues to pursue political liberalization, and has been able to quickly reap the international benefits of this historic political transition, including sanctions relief and increased economic and diplomatic ties with the U.S. and Europe. In this regard, Myanmar may be able to learn from Mongolian successes and pitfalls in how to manage political opening and economic liberalization. In fact, Thein Sein congratulated Mongolia on its successful democratization and presidency of the Community of Democracies in 2012-2013. Likewise, Elbegdorj noted Myanmar's unprecedented efforts at democratization, and extended his country's support in the fields of democratization, rule of law and human rights.
Mongolia and Myanmar are leading emerging markets for natural resources. Mongolia's Oyu Tolgoi mine is one of the largest cooper deposits currently under development, while Myanmar's largely untapped supplies of natural gas and metals has already attracted the attention of international businesses, not to mention governments eager to access these reserves. However, as I pointed out in a previous article, both governments are also keen to balance international investors' influence in the economy and both have had to respond to public demands for transparency and environmental protections. The potential for Mongolia and Myanmar to not only learn from each other in the field of resource management, but also to coordinate their policy decisions, was pointed out by recent pushes for an "M3 alliance" between Mongolia, Myanmar and Mozambique as three countries with quickly growing economies, bordering BRICS nations, keen to balance resource investment against political and societal concerns.
Mongolia and Myanmar already share important foreign policy and security concerns. Both are relatively small states when compared to their large neighbors. Mongolia has to contend with its two powerful neighbors: China and Russia. Myanmar also borders two great power neighbors – India and China – but also a number of smaller states – Thailand, Bangladesh, and Laos – that give it more options than Mongolia has in this regard. Both Mongolia and Myanmar will have to balance the influence of their larger neighbors by cultivating relations with other states, including North America, Europe and Australia. Mongolia has been pursuing this course quite successfully since the 1990s, and Myanmar has been leveraging its own newly established democratic credentials to improve ties with the West after decades of isolation. Mongolia and Myanmar are likely to travel similar paths in this regard.
Notwithstanding all that potential, there are important differences between these two countries that could ultimately limit cooperation. Dr. Julian Dierkes has produced a handy table comparing Mongolia and Myanmar on a number of measures, which highlights their similarities, but also significant differences. Mongolia has no internal security challenges, while Myanmar is still trying to manage ongoing interethnic strife in its territory. Myanmar is a country of 60 million people, while Mongolia has only 5 percent of that number (about 3 million). As a landlocked state, Mongolia's trade is limited by port access and international infrastructure; Myanmar, as a coastal state, has more freedom in this regard. Finally, the sheer physical distance between them will limit some aspects of their potential cooperation.
There are important differences between these two countries, but there are also many potential venues for increased cooperation and mutual policy learning and coordination. Whether it will be their differences, the space between them, or the similarities that define Mongolian-Myanmar relations ultimately remains to be seen, but recent developments suggest cause for optimism.
Brandon Miliate is a PhD Student in Political Science at Indian University – Bloomington. He is a regular contributor to Mongolia Focus, a well-read Mongolian policy blog.
Mongolian President Leads Business Mission to Hong Kong
Hong Kong, Nov 28, 2013 - (ACN Newswire) - Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj addressed an audience of approximately 200 businesspeople today at a Hong Kong luncheon organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). The president was in Hong Kong to promote emerging opportunities in the resource-rich country. He was leading a Mongolian mission of more than 100 senior businesspeople and government officials.
In his speech, the president outlined the latest developments in Mongolia. Along with mining, he welcomed Hong Kong companies to explore opportunities in infrastructure, financial services and tourism. Attached is an audio podcast of the president's speech, with an introduction by HKTDC Council Member and Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd CEO Benjamin Hung. To hear the podcast, click here:
Mongolia's GDP grew more than 12 per cent last year and was up more than 11 per cent through the first nine months of this year. The country, which became a WTO member in 1997, is enjoying a boom in mining and offers significant potential for Hong Kong traders.
Following the luncheon, the HKTDC and the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry signed an MOU designed to strengthen economic and trade ties between Mongolia and Hong Kong. On the same occasion, InvestHK signed an MOU with Invest Mongolia to boost investment between the two economies.
A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 global offices, including 12 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com. Follow us on Google+, Twitter @hktdc, LinkedIn.
Guest Post: Mongolia in the OSCE – One Year On
By Paul Bryce
November 21 (Mongolia Focus) --
Further Expansion of the OSCE
In the years immediately following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the membership of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) appeared to have expanded as far as it could. If this, the world's largest regional organization, were to grow beyond its 56 participating States, the assumption was that any new members would come from the secession of a sub-national unit within the existing boundaries of the OSCE. When Montenegro broke off from Serbia in 2006 and joined the OSCE the same year, the regional limits of the organization certainly seemed well-entrenched. Yet, on 21 November 2012, Mongolia defied these expectations and became the 57th participating State.
This announcement did not entirely 'come out of the blue'. Mongolia has been a kind of observer state in the OSCE since 2004, becoming one of the Asian Partners for Cooperation together with Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Afghanistan. In addition, a formal letter was sent by the Mongolian authorities to the Lithuanian Chairmanship in October 2011, indicating Mongolia's desire to join the OSCE and the country's willingness to comply fully with the terms of the OSCE's foundational agreements: the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris for a New Europe, and others.
But nearly a year after the accession, how has Mongolia met its obligations as a new member? How active has Mongolian participation been in the months following the country's admission?
Mongolia and OSCE Obligations: Elections
One of the chief obligations OSCE participating States is to hold 'free and fair' elections. To this end, countries are also generally expected to invite relevant bodies – namely the Parliamentary Assembly, and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) – to observe and report on the election activities. Not all of the founding members comply with these expectations, however; Russian authorities have frequently interfered with the conduct of OSCE election observer missions, while Canada has not invited observers since 2006. But Mongolia complied by inviting OSCE institutions to observe the June 2013 presidential election. In its final report, OSCE/ODIHR positively assessed the election, but noted that there were some administrative shortcomings which advantaged the Democratic Party candidate and victor, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj. The report sets out a series of interesting legislative remedies which could further enhance Mongolia's democratic process. Fortunately, Mongolia will have plenty of time to consider these proposals prior to the next parliamentary elections in 2016.
Mongolia and OSCE Obligations: Human Rights
Mongolia has also demonstrated a strong commitment to upholding OSCE obligations regarding the protection of human rights. In 2011, months prior to the formal application for OSCE membership, Mongolia adopted a 'Law on the Promotion of Gender Equality'. This legislation prohibits gender-based discrimination in the workplace, but goes further by setting out clear incentives for political parties and other government institutions to actively involve women in decision-making processes. For example, Article 8 specifies that "representation of any one sex in any central or local body of a political party shall not be lower than 25%." The country also enjoys an independent National Human Rights Commission, which was originally established in 2001 and fulfills the role of an ombudsman in multiple fields. The Constitution, which was amended in 2007 with input from the aforementioned Commission, also extends protection for human rights in line with OSCE standards.
Mongolia and OSCE Security Cooperation
However, with regard to security cooperation, Mongolian participation is (understandably) limited. For example, Mongolia does not seem to be engaging in the exchange of military information mandated under the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty. But the only OSCE participating State which Mongolia shares a border with is the Russian Federation, which suspended its participation in the CFE Treaty in 2007. The capacity for Mongolia to project its military power elsewhere in the region is also limited; demonstrative of this point, the Mongolian Air Force currently consists solely of one squadron of attack helicopters and one squadron of transport helicopters. In April 2013, the Air Force expressed interest in acquiring three C-130J transport planes from Lockheed Martin, mainly to support the deployment of Mongolian troops as part of international peacekeeping missions. As such, the CFE Treaty has limited applicability for Mongolia.
As has been outlined here, Mongolia is meeting the obligations of OSCE membership with enthusiasm. The invitation to observe the presidential election just seven months after joining is a clear demonstration of Mongolia's commitment to the values and principles on which the OSCE was founded. If the recommendations of the OSCE/ODIHR observers can be implemented gradually before the 2016 parliamentary elections, Mongolia will have entrenched itself as an example to the region and a reinvigorating force for the wider OSCE.
About Paul Pryce
Paul Pryce is a Research Fellow at the Atlantic Council of Canada. With degrees from the University of Calgary and Tallinn University, he has previously worked at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
Mogi: the U.S. supports permanent OSCE presence in Mongolia
U.S. Mission to OSCE: Statement on Mongolia
As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the Permanent Council, Vienna, November 21, 2013
Today marks the one-year anniversary of Mongolia becoming a full participating State of the OSCE. Ambassador Batjargal, I would like to take advantage of this occasion to thank you for the enormously positive contributions you, your team, and your country have made to this organization over the past year.
One of the first things Mongolia did as a newly-minted participating State was to invite ODIHR to observe its presidential elections last June. Mongolia was an exemplary host to the Election Observation Mission, providing all of us with a clear example of how to give ODIHR observers full and transparent access to the entire election process. More than that, as we can see from the final election observation report, Mongolia demonstrated how a country with a relatively recent past of authoritarian rule can conduct credible and inclusive elections that provided a meaningful opportunity for political participation for its citizens. There are many participating States that have much to learn from Mongolia's example in this regard. Of course, the Final Report highlighted several areas for Mongolia to focus on improving in order to fully meet its OSCE election-related commitments. The United States encourages and supports Mongolia in implementing all of the Report's recommendations, and we continue to encourage ODIHR to assist Mongolia in this effort where appropriate.
Mr. Ambassador, you and your team have also made valuable contributions to our work here in Vienna. Your comments and advice, whether at formal or informal occasions, are always measured, thoughtful, and substantive. I thank you for your strong engagement in our work and for the positive influence you have on our deliberations.
Your personal engagement and your country's participation have enhanced our shared endeavors.
Madam Chair, unfortunately, the OSCE has not fully reciprocated Mongolia's positive approach. Several months ago, Mongolia requested the OSCE to establish a field presence in Ulaanbaatar. The Chairmanship sent a representative to lead a small delegation of OSCE officials to Mongolia to study the need for, and feasibility of, establishing a field presence there. That visit produced a report that recommended establishing a small presence in Ulaanbaatar in order to assist our newest participating State to fully implement its OSCE commitments. Unfortunately, we have not had a formal discussion about Mongolia's request. Madam Chair, as a participating State of the OSCE, Mongolia deserves a response. We urge the Chairmanship to make the necessary arrangements for us to formally consider Mongolia's request. The United States fully supports the establishment of a small field presence in Ulaanbaatar and we see no reason that consensus cannot be found on this question as we see no substantive reason to deny such a strong and constructive partner this request of support.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Mogi: Uncontested? Well, Mongolia wouldn't like to think of itself as a country that is up for grabs for the powers that be, but I think Mongolia is learning quite well actually how to use this "uncontested" status. Elbegdorj has "played" it quite well during his presidency. Increasing cooperation with the EU (EU Partnership Agreement, OSCE membership), the U.S. (The Transparency Agreement that will lead up to a free trade agreement), Japan (the progress being made in the economic cooperation agreement negotiations), globally (successful chairmanship of Community of Democracies, being seen as a democracy mentor to countries like Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar). So, no, we're not "uncontested," but go ahead and think so, we'll be sure to try to use it to our advantage.
Mongolia, the uncontested buffer state
America's increasingly active presence in a state historically within Russia's sphere of influence (Mogi: Historically, just 70 years) might actually help solve some of Russia's most pressing security concerns in Asia.
November 27 (by Blake Holley for Russia Direct) Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia has actively fought against the United States' encroachment into the territory and politics of the states of the former USSR. Indeed, following the 2008 Russian-Georgian War and the 2010 debates about airbases in Kyrgyzstan, Russia has repeatedly insisted that the former Soviet space was inside of Moscow's sphere of influence of privileged interests, according to Director of Moscow Carnegie Center Dmitri Trenin's article published in The Washington Quarterly. There is one instance, however, where this sort of loud, vocal defense has not yet occurred – Mongolia.
The question becomes: Why is Moscow so nonchalant regarding increased U.S. activity and presence in Mongolia when Mongolia has historically been such a staunch Russian ally and is located at Russia's weakest geographical point?
December 4 (Gulf Times) HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani holding talks with Mongolian Defence Minister Dashdembereliin Bat-Erdene at the Al Bahr palace yesterday. They discussed bilateral relations and the means to enhance them.
MCC: Mongolia Compact Closeout Video
November 12 (Millennium Challenge Corporation) The Mongolia Compact is already making a difference in the everyday lives of people across the country. Watch beneficiaries describe how MCC helped install energy-efficient stoves in gers, provide vocational and technical education to help students find work in a growing economy, pave a road to link key markets, formalize land holdings, and work to make improve the health of all Mongolians.
Making Grasslands Sustainable in Mongolia: Adapting to Climate and Environmental Change
Date: November 2013
ISBN:978-92-9254-314-3 (print), 978-92-9254-315-0 (web)
Price:US$20.00 (hard copy)
Climate change threatens grassland ecosystems and herders' livelihoods in Mongolia. Herders depend on pasture and water resources for their livestock, and are thus among the most vulnerable groups to climate change impacts. However, although climate change impacts on grassland ecosystems are measurable, current institutional capacity and financial resources limit implementation of adaptation practices.
This publication reviews grassland management and traditional nomadic pastoralism in the local Mongolian context, and identifies potential adaptation strategies and practices, such as rotation and resting of pasture, long-distance migration of animals in fall and/or winter, and reduction of livestock stocking rates.
This publication aims to:
i. explain how good pasture management and livestock productivity are important for combating and adapting to climate change;
ii. provide information on adaptation practices, including those that have been prioritized by the Government of Mongolia and promoted under the government's Mongolian Livestock Program; and
iii. evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of potential adaptation practices.
The loss of mobility as a grassland management strategy and the weakening of institutions for the management of pastoral resources are still a key issue more than two decades after the transition to a market economy. The government has already identified many of the threats, and is taking a proactive approach to tackling them. Implementation of the country's national livestock program and new land use legislation will address many of the existing and potential issues.
Planned increases in financing from central government will enhance opportunities for co-financing adaptation measures in pasture and livestock management from climate finance. The government is exploring opportunities through the Special Climate Change Fund of the Global Environment Facility, the Green Climate Fund, and potential carbon markets in grasslands.
The adaptation actions and practices suggested here are only a modest beginning. The government and stakeholders are urged to review the appendixes and modify them, as needed, for their strategies and plans.
· Executive Summary
· Current Situation
· Vulnerability and Resilience in Mongolian Pastoral Communities
· Adaptation Strategies in Livestock and Grassland Management
· Constraints and Opportunities for Implementing Adaptation Strategies
· Adaptation Actions and Their Contribution to Building Adaptive Capacity and Reducing Vulnerability
· Conclusions and Recommendations
Mongolia: 8th Safest Asian Country for Female Travelers
June 24 (Skift) The safety of female travelers became a mainstream issue earlier this year amidst rape concerns in India, the disappearance of a solo female tourist in Istanbul, and the rescue of two kidnapped women travelers in Ecuador.
The well-being of women abroad isn't a new topic, but the reputation of destinations and their female-friendly activities are more important than ever as more women start traveling, especially alone.
Statistics suggest the women's travel market is worth more than $19 trillion a year and forty percent of corporate travelers are women.
Hotels started catering to the needs of female travelers in 2010 and the trend has since increased. This year, Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh joined a number of major hotels in New York, London, and Berlin in instituting a women-only floor.
Safety is especially a concern in Asia where the world's fastest growing tourism market and a number of male-dominated cultures are mixing for the first time. The following infographic ranks the top ten safest countries based on crime rate, personal safety, night safety, rape crime per 100,000 population, and global safety rank.
Singapore tops the list with a very low crime rate, 0.1 percent rate of assault, and 1.1 percent rate of reported theft. India does not make the top ten and served as the primary flashpoint for concerns surrounding female safety earlier this year.
The full list of top ten of safest Asian countries is outlined below:
Children in Mongolia experience climate change and extreme cold
December 4 (UNICEF Blog) In the last couple of weeks my winter coat has become necessary and I'm contemplating gloves. Yet any complaints I might have are put into perspective when I consider that for millions of children, winter is a time of threat.
When we think of climate change we often think of rising temperatures, but children are also affected in colder climates, experiencing harsher winters and declining water resources. In Mongolia some children can spend 3 to 4 hours every day collecting water, braving frozen rivers and wells, and hauling water containers over extremely long distances.
In western Mongolia in 2010, heavy snow, strong winds and extreme cold created crisis conditions in over half the country's provinces. Temperatures fell to minus-50 degrees Celsius, and snow meant access to food, fuel, sanitation and basic medical care was even tougher.
The crisis, known locally as a "dzud", killed at least nine children in one province, and trapped many others in dormitories with failing heating systems and limited food supplies. A 16-year-old girl recalled the extreme weather:
"In the last winter dzud, I took turns to herd our livestock… around 40 animals. I needed to dig the snow to help the livestock reach the grass, sometimes by hand. When there is a snow blizzard, I can't see my way and I'm afraid of getting lost. I'm also afraid of wolves. My cheeks and ears freeze and I get frostbite…This makes my ears very painful by the evening and liquid comes from my ears."
Climate change is not about a distant future. It is about a 16-year-old girl who uses her hands to reach the grass beneath the snow for her livestock. It is about children now.
Ever Innocent Child - UNICEF Mongolia
November 20 (UNICEF Mongolia) This music video is calling adults to stop violence against children as children are ever innocent
New York Times: Travelers should not miss 976 Art Gallery
November 27 (UB Post) World famous art book publisher Taschen recently expanded its collection with its "New York Times 36 Hours Asia and Oceania" travel book.
The book offers travelers information about various destinations in Asia and Oceania, including Mongolia.
Ulaanbaatar's 976 Art Gallery was featured in the travel book along with its exhibits. The art gallery was called, "a destination that travelers should not miss while staying in Ulaanbaatar."
Since its establishment in 2012, 976 Art Gallery has been working vigorously to introduce specific features of Mongolian contemporary art to domestic and international audiences.
The gallery operates under the Mongolian Contemporary Art Support Association, an NGO, which aims to support emerging talents of Mongolia by encouraging and helping them to participate in various exhibitions, international competitions, exchange and grant programs, engage the public, and promote public awareness through art.
The gallery has also been featured in Ocula, Canberra Times, Gallerist NY, Economic Times, Seattle Times and other international media outlets.
Paying a visit to the Erdene Zuu Monastery
This is the fourth part of Janet Landfried's series of columns on a trip to China and Mongolia.
By Janet Landfried
November 23 (Redlands Daily Facts) Who are the Mongolians? When mention is made of a visit to Mongolia, the image conjured up is of the bloody conquests of Genghis Khan and the misunderstandings that go with it. Before he was the great khan, Temujin was successful in uniting the various warring nomadic tribes of northeast Asia.
From his center of power, Genghis Khan expanded his control in conquest after conquest. By the end of his life in 1227, his domain occupied the largest land area of any empire in the history of the world, about the size of the continent of Africa. The empire stretched from Kiev in Russia almost to Moscow, to Hungary, from Damascus and Baghdad, to Tibet, northern India and into Vietnam, China and Korea.
He was an innovative military genius, organizing his armies in groups of 10, 100 and 1,000.
The total number in his army was only around 100,000. Among his techniques was speed and surprise, with disciplined cavalry moving in coordinated units. Instead of attacking the walled cities his forces encountered, they lay siege until the people capitulated.
Part of the success of the Mongol armies was that they brought their food source with them. The nomads had domesticated horses, cattle, goats and sheep. They always had fresh mounts. Their primary sources of food were meat and dairy products. Others, even defenders, depended on harvested grains or scourging the countryside for food, often running out of food or alienating the pastoral population. An army advances on its stomach.
Once conquered, most of the populace was spared. There were killings, but mostly of the military, aristocratic and bureaucratic leadership. Some cite that Genghis Khan was responsible for 40 million deaths. Others say that isn't possible, given the size of his armies.
He did not hold hostages but favored artisans, teachers, engineers, professionals and doctors. He encouraged these people to travel throughout the empire, sharing their expertise and promoting the exchange of ideas.
The northern routes of the Silk Road traversed Mongolia and aided in import of goods not found there. The Mongols grew no crops and manufactured no products so there was a receptive audience for the luxury goods from both east and west. This free exchange of goods and ideas was revolutionary in the 13th
Genghis Khan depended on the rule of law. He established a postal system throughout the empire. Paper currency was created to allow for the ease of exchange for trade goods. One of his most remarkable aspects of his rule was religious acceptance. Buddhists, Muslims, Taoists and Christian were tolerated and the free exercise of religion was encouraged.
The Mongol Empire of the 13th century was known to western Europe. Even the great Chaucer included him in "The Squire's Tale" in "The Canterbury Tales": "This noble king was called Genghis Khan, Who in this time was of so great renown, That there was nowhere in no region, So excellent a lord in all things." A Flemish Franciscan missionary, William of Rubruck, was a papal envoy to the Mongol court in 1254.
After Genghis Khan's death the leadership of his domain fell to his sons and grandsons. The empire became fragmented and different names developed, such as the Golden Horde in Russia, the Moghul Empire in India, and the Ilkhanate of Persia. The Yuan Dynasty of China was created by the fabled Kublai Khan, a grandson. It was there that Marco Polo spent 17 years, no doubt having traveled along the trade routes established by the Mongols.
The sons, grandsons and other descendants did not have the power or genius of Genghis Khan to control such a vast territory. Infighting began and the nomadic tribal loyalties led to the break up of the empire, never to rise again. With the development of other governments and the shift of power to the west, the role of the Mongols in the creation of the modern world was forgotten.
A biography, "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" by Jack Weatherford (2005), is based on so-called "Secret History of the Mongols." This latter document did not come to light until the 20th century and was suppressed by the Soviets for many years. Recent developments and Weatherford's extensive travels in modern Mongolia made possible his writing of the biography. His advice to the young Mongols: Never forget the Mongolian scholars who were willing to sacrifice their lives to preserve history.
We continued on our journey across the steppes until we arrived at the Erdene Zuu Monastery, or at least its remnants. It was at the place called Karakorum, the capital of Genghis Khan's empire. This historically important site was in a wind-swept valley but you could imagine the clusters of gers of the army spread over the hills and the court of the emperor, resplendent with the riches of the Silk Road.
Partially built from the ruins of Karakorum, the capital of Genghis Khan, the Erdene Zuu Monastery is a cultural treasure of Mongolia. It was started in 1585 when Tibetan Buddhism became the state religion of Mongolia. When the Soviets took over the country they destroyed most of the temples within the walls and murdered 1,000 monks. It is estimated that the Soviets killed more than 10,000 monks in the country. Today it is art of a UNESCO World Heritage site and is slowly being returned to a place of worship. There are a few remaining temples, some are now museums and open to tourists.
A striking feature of the monastery is the surrounding wall topped by white stupa that somehow survived the Communist destruction. There are 108 stupa spaced at intervals atop the wall, 108 or a multiple being a sacred number in Buddhism. The Bayon Temple in Angkor Tom in Cambodia features 54 towers each carved with the face of Buddha for a total of 216 faces.
It was getting late and we still had miles to go. We headed off cross country and continued pass nightfall. Finally we approached our camp for the night. There are ger tent camps for travelers at various locations throughout popular visiting areas. By starlight and flashlight we found our ger. Each was outfitted with beds and lots of blankets. For light we had a candle and someone came to light the fire in the little stove. We were late for dinner but it was delicious. Stewed pieces of lamb (I like to think it was lamb; others said it was mutton) were served with boiled potatoes and carrots and a delicious cole slaw. No hot water in the showers but at least there were working toilet, a short walk from the ger.
Our travel group felt like we were on a campout. While snug and safe in the ger, we did not have many of the amenities we take for granted, like electricity. But we were in one of the most isolated countries in the world surrounded by an almost treeless rolling landscape. We had stopped for the night at a tourist camp to sleep like a nomad in a ger.
The blackness of the sky and the lack of artificial light made for a glorious riot of the star-filled heavens. But it was time for bed and I crawled in, covered with more blankets than usual. We woke early to sub-freezing temperatures. As we stepped out of our ger we were greeted by a dawn giving color to the hills behind us. It was a lovely setting, very much like Yucca Valley with the rocks and low scrub brush. We were in the desert here, similar to our own Mojave Desert.
We visited the tiny Ovgon monastery, nestled in the cliffs. Like all the monasteries in Mongolia, it too suffered from the purges of Stalin with about 200 monks killed here. But there was a woman there to show us into one of the remaining temples and explain the stupa next to it. As tiny as it was and as remote as it was, there was still a little gift shop. There were handicraft items made by the dwellers or maybe pilgrims that came to worship.
It was time to get on the road again, back toward Ulaanbaatar. The dirt roads seem to stretch endlessly across the steppes. We saw gers and herds of animals being tended by the nomads. We came across a long line of camels that are the main pack animals and have been used here since the days of the Silk Road.
These are two-humped or Bactrian camels. Like their cousins, the dromedary of the Middle East, they are well suited to their dry environment and go without drinking water for extended periods of time. Their hooves are wide and large, the better to walk on the sand and support their loads. A movie made in Mongolia, "The Story of The Weeping Camel," was nominated for an Oscar as Best Documentary in 2005.
Our camp for the night was near the capital city and we reached it at nightfall. The gers here were well appointed and the dining hall ger was enormous. It was decorated with painted rafters and the skins of wolves. There were some artifacts of the glory years of the Genghis Khan empire, including a tunic of chain mail used by a warrior. It felt like a museum but we didn't have time to admire or study the interior very well.
There were about 30 ger in this camp, but we were the only visitors on this night. Good, since there was only one working toilet on the women's side and four cold-water showers. We were up early again the next morning, and after a nice breakfast we went to the airport for the next leg of our journey in Mongolia.
Join me next week as we continue to travel in Mongolia.
Janet Landfried taught social studies at Redlands High School and Redlands East Valley High School for many years and retired in 2001.
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