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Announcement made after Monday close. TRQ closed -2.24% Tuesday
Rio's Turquoise Hill Says Parties to Seek OT Funding Extension
By Michael Kohn
April 15 (Bloomberg News) Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TRQ), the miner controlled by Rio Tinto Group, said all parties in the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia agreed to seek a funding extension for the underground expansion amid talks with the government.
Rio Produces Record Iron Ore Output as Global Supply Gains – Bloomberg News, April 15
Rio Tinto makes 'progress' in Mongolia copper mine dispute
By James Wilson, Mining Correspondent
April 15 (Financial Times) Rio Tinto is aiming to resolve its differences with Mongolia's government over a vast copper mine expansion within the next five months, after asking potential lenders to extend a deadline to arrange financing for the project.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, one of the multilateral banks that would help to fund growth of the Rio-run Oyu Tolgoi mine, confirmed that it would push the project finance deadline out until the end of September.
Turquoise Hill, the Rio-controlled Canadian company that owns most of Oyu Tolgoi, said all parties had requested the extension of the deadline, which had passed last month.
The statement suggested there was agreement over the request between Turquoise Hill and Mongolia, the minority investor in Oyu Tolgoi.
"Significant progress" had been made, said Kay Priestly, Turquoise Hill's chief executive. Sam Walsh, Rio's chief executive, said the miner "remained keen to proceed".
Rio has been wrangling with Mongolia over the costs of developing the next phase of the mine, which is hugely significant for the miner – as its largest new copper development – and for the country, since it will generate up to one-third of Mongolian gross domestic product.
In Rio's case, investment in copper could also help to diversify the group away from heavy reliance on iron ore.
After Rio last year sanctioned a further expansion of its iron ore mines in Australia, output grew 8 per cent in the first quarter compared with the same period a year ago, while shipments were up 16 per cent. Output was down 8 per cent compared with the last quarter of 2013, the group said, as weather affected operations.
Rio maintained its full-year guidance for iron ore output and copper. "Rio Tinto delivered a mixed first quarter result with iron ore and coal production exceeding our expectations but with most other commodities falling short," said analysts at Investec. "The key takeaway … is that guidance across all of the key commodities is maintained." Shares fell 3 per cent in London.
Speaking at Rio's annual meeting on Tuesday, Mr Walsh and chairman Jan du Plessis faced anger from some investors and community groups over the miner's environmental and safety record, but was praised by the Natural Resources Defense Council in the US for pulling out of Pebble, a copper project in Alaska that is controversial because of its potential impact on salmon fisheries.
Among the criticism aimed at Rio was its participation in Grasberg, an Indonesian mine where 33 workers were killed last year, most of them in a tunnel collapse.
Rio is a minority partner in Grasberg alongside Freeport-McMoRan, which operates the mine. Mr du Plessis said Rio did not intend to sell its stake.
Breakthrough in sight: PM asks Rio Tinto to resume talks
April 16 (Mongolian Mining Journal) The Mongolian Government has blinked, and taken a step to resolve the impasse over the second phase of the Oyu Tolgoi project. Expressing the hope that this will "open a new chapter in our relationship", Prime Minister Altankhuyag wrote a letter to Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh on March 27, saying talks on financing the mine's further development can be resumed without waiting for the completion of the feasibility study. He, however, asserts that the Government has not been responsible for the delay in deciding on the issue.
Picking up on the Government move for a thaw, D. Ganbold, Executive Director of Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi, has also written to Rio Tinto, inviting them to return to talks to resolve the pending issues.
We give below the text of the Prime Minister's letter to Sam Walsh.
Dear Mr. Walsh,
I, as Prime Minister of Mongolia, would like to note that the Government of Mongolia is making solid endeavors to move our joint Oyu Tolgoi project to next stage with the introduction of new team and new approaches for the last one and half years. Even though we are making progresses through our mutual efforts, there are further accomplishments still needed for a successful Oyu Tolgoi.
Thus I am addressing you directly as we are reaching a significant stage to strengthen the relationship between your company and Mongolia. While the start of production of Oyu Tolgoi in 2013 was a great achievement and an important milestone, it is of the utmost importance for my Government and for Mongolian people that Oyu Tolgoi proceed as soon as possible with the underground mine development. We are thus most supportive of the Project Financing needed for next stage of this most important project.
Through the both parties' constructive discussions, there are only a very limited number of issues that remain outstanding between the Rio Tinto (RT) and Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi (EOT). We are confident that these issues can be readily solved in accordance with normal international business practices as was stated in the EOT letter to RT of 19 February, 2014.
We stressed the importance of RT maintaining positive stance in addressing public, but instead of that we have received a press release proposal from Mr. Jean Sebastian Jacques, which was insisting for request to extend lenders' commitment to 31st December 2014. It is unfortunate that we are acknowledged the doubtful approach for finalizing the project financing in such extended period of time.
Even though the updated Feasibility study will be delivered in Q2 2014, we are willing to complete the discussions immediately in Ulaanbaatar or London, with the full mandate to finalize the project financing before the lenders' commitment deadline of March 31, 2014.
The Government of Mongolia remains fully committed to the continued and successful operation of the open pit mine, the financing and development of the underground mine.
The Oyu Tolgoi project is of utmost importance to Mongolia and so is our partnership with Rio Tinto. I believe that now is the time to open a new chapter in our relationship and work in harmony to develop the Oyu Tolgoi project for the benefit of all stakeholders and of the Mongolian people.
VKA closed +0.1c to 3.7c Tuesday
Viking Ashanti's takeover offer of Auminco Mines reaches 56.62% acceptances
April 15 (Proactive Investors) Viking Ashanti (ASX:VKA) has reported that acceptance for its off market takeover offer for unlisted Mongolian thermal and coking coal company Auminco Mines has reached 56.62%.
This puts it on track to secure a package of advanced coal assets including the lead Berkh Uul in northern Mongolia next to a rail link that connects with Russian markets.
Jack Gardner, Chairman of Viking, commented:
"We are pleased to have successfully gained this level of acceptance from Auminco shareholders so promptly, and thank the Auminco directors for their support during this recommended offer process.
"We look forward to moving to the 90% acceptance level as soon as possible, and concluding our planned capital raising."
Under the terms of the offer, which was launched earlier this month, accepting Auminco shareholders will receive 60.6 Viking Shares and 20.2 Viking Options for every 100 Auminco Shares held.
Auminco shareholders will emerge with a 47% stake in Viking, and play a major role in the evolution of Viking as a participant in the Mongolian thermal and coking coal markets.
The combined entity could become a producer of thermal coal within the next 12 – 18 months.
Notably, Auminco was established by founding shareholders and management of Coalworks Ltd, which was eventually taken over by Whitehaven Coal (ASX: WHC) for around $200 million in 2012.
Viking's lead project, Berkh Uul, is located in northern Mongolia next to a rail link that connects with Russian markets, and provides quick access to domestic power plants and industrial users at Darkhan and Ulaanbaatar.
Near term, low cost production is forecast, with a JORC resource of 38.3 million tonnes of high quality, open pittable unwashed bituminous coal.
Development risk is considered lower than for most Mongolian coal companies as overall CAPEX for Berkh Uul is low by most standards; start-up mining rate will not be large, with flexibility to build over time with simple and proven mining and processing technology, thus reducing funding and execution risk.
Viking Ashanti provides an opportunity to acquire a company valued as an explorer before a likely share price uplift to a producer.
Berkh Uul has potential to generate robust operating cash flows.
A small scale conceptual mine may initially produce 500,000-750,000 tonnes per annum of thermal coal, generating free cash flow of $3-$5 million.
We have estimated a share price target of $0.085 to $0.165 within 12 months, with further upside as Berkh Uul moves to increased and value added production.
ERD closed +20.69% to C$0.175
Erdene Announces C$350,000 Private Placement to Teck Resources, Fulfilling Strategic Alliance Obligation
HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - April 15, 2014) - Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX:ERD) ("Erdene" or "Company"), is pleased to announce it intends to issue, by way of a non-brokered private placement, 2,000,000 shares to Teck Resources Limited ("Teck") at a price of $0.175 per share for gross proceeds of $350,000 ("Private Placement"). This fulfils Teck's equity investment obligation pursuant to the Strategic Alliance between Erdene and Teck announced by Erdene on April 11th, 2013. Net proceeds of the Private Placement will be used for exploration of the Company's Teck-Alliance projects in Mongolia, including the Khuvyn Khar copper porphyry project where additional geophysical and geologic mapping programs will be completed during the second quarter.
The Private Placement is expected to close on or before April 18th, 2014, and is subject to certain conditions, including, but not limited to, the receipt of all necessary approvals including the approval and acceptance by the Toronto Stock Exchange. All securities to be issued pursuant to the Private Placement will be subject to a four month hold period from the closing date.
Announcement made after TSX Monday close. 1878 closed -1.02% to HK$4.85, SGQ closed flat at C$0.65 Tuesday
SouthGobi Resources Annual Report 2013
Significant events and highlights
The Company's significant events and highlights for the year ended December 31, 2013 and subsequent period to March 24, 2014 are as follows:
· Resumed operations at the Ovoot Tolgoi Mine on March 22, 2013 after having been fully curtailed since the end of the second quarter of 2012. The Company completed the fourth quarter of 2013 in line with the coal sales and production guidance provided in November 2013.
· Production increased to 3.06 million tonnes of raw coal in 2013 compared to production of 1.33 million tonnes of raw coal in 2012. The increase in production from 2012 to 2013 primarily related to the operations at the Ovoot Tolgoi Mine being fully curtailed in the second half of 2012.
· Sales volumes increased to 3.26 million tonnes in 2013 compared to 1.98 million tonnes in 2012, whereas revenue decreased to $58.6 million in 2013 compared to $78.1 million in 2012 primarily due to lower average selling prices for the Company's coal products.
· On August 22, 2013, announced the withdrawal of the Notice of Investment Dispute on the Government of Mongolia in recognition of the fact that the dispute was resolved following the grant of three pre-mining agreements ("PMAs") on August 14, 2013 relating to the Zag Suuj Deposit and certain areas associated with the Soumber Deposit, and the earlier grant of a PMA on January 18, 2013 pertaining to the Soumber Deposit
· Announced the appointment of Bertrand Troiano as its Chief Financial Officer, Brett Salt as its Chief Commercial Officer and Enkh-Amgalan Sengee as President and Executive Director of SouthGobi Sands LLC, the Company's wholly- owned Mongolian operating subsidiary. Brett Salt resigned as a Non-Executive Director of the Company following his appointment as Chief Commercial Officer. Bold Baatar was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of the Company in 2013.
· Following an extensive review of the dry coal handling facility ("DCHF") at the Ovoot Tolgoi Mine and its contribution to the Company's product strategy, recorded a $66.9 million non- cash impairment charge in the fourth quarter of 2013 related to the DCHF. Refer to the Management's Discussion and Analysis section 5 "Processing Infrastructure – Dry Coal Handling Facility" for further analysis.
· Recorded a $30.2 million impairment loss in the fourth quarter of 2013 related to the $33.6 million of prepaid toll washing fees to Ejinaqi Jinda Coal Industry Co. Ltd ("Ejin Jinda"). The impairment followed the results of a trial sample from the wet washing facility and the delay in starting the commercial operations at the facility. The Company is cooperating with Ejin Jinda in reviewing the utilization of the facility. Refer to the Management's Discussion and Analysis section 5 "Processing Infrastructure – Wet Washing Facility" for further analysis.
MSE News for April 14: Top 20 -0.78%, Turnover ₮50.5 Million
Ulaanbaatar, April 14 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades held Monday, a total of 93 thousand and 139 shares of 26 JSCs were traded costing MNT 50 million 531 thousand and 414.60.
"Hermes center" /80 thousand units/, "APU" /4,205 units/, "Genco tour bureau" /2,375 units/, "Bayalag nalaikh" /1,288 units/ and "Remikon" /1,000 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"APU" (MNT 15 million 774 thousand and 910), "Hermes center" (MNT 12 million), "Sharyn gol" (MNT four million 827 and 200), "Tavantolgoi" (MNT four million 213 thousand and 280) and "Shivee ovoo" (MNT two million and 528 thousand).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 586 billion 230 million 788 thousand and 201. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,686.11, decreasing by MNT 123.59 or 0.78% against the previous day.
MSE News for April 15: Top 20 -0.76%, Turnover ₮26 Million
Ulaanbaatar, April 15 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades held Tuesday, a total of 30 thousand and 091 shares of 18 JSCs were traded costing MNT 26 million 766 thousand and 652.00.
"Genco tour bureau" /16 thousand and 735 units/, "Ulaansan" /4,000 units/, "Remikon" /3,001 units/, "Tavantolgoi" /1,894 units/ and "State Department Store" /1,348 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Tavantolgoi" (MNT nine million 449 thousand and 890), "Ulaansan" (MNT four million and 780 thousand), "APU" (MNT four million 208 and 940), "Genco tour bureau" (MNT one million 392 thousand and 085) and "Shivee ovoo" (MNT one million 191 thousand and 245).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 577 billion 016 million 767 thousand and 810. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,566.97, decreasing by MNT 119.14 or 0.76% against the previous day.
MSE Weekly Review, April 7-11: Top 20 -1.66%, Turnover ₮1.38 Billion
Ulaanbaatar, April 14 (MONTSAME) Five stock trades were held at Mongolia's Stock Exchange on April 7-11, 2014.
In overall, nine million 980 thousand and 066 shares were sold of 48 joint-stock companies totaling MNT one billion 383 million 664 thousand and 673.00.
"Bayankhairkhan" /200 thousand units/, "Remikon" /36 thousand and 600 units/, "Sharyn gol" /26 thousand and 003 units/, "Moninjbar" /16 thousand and 188 units/ and "Khokh gan" /7,025 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Sharyn gol (MNT 208 million 026 thousand and 800), "Bayankhairkhan" (MNT 100 million), "Tavantolgoi" /MNT 20 million 237 thousand and 080/, "Material impex" /MNT 14 million 714 thousand and 700.00/ and "Darkhan nekhii" (MNT eight million 650 thousand and 400.00).
MSE Quarterly Trading Report, Q1 2014: Top 20 +4.90%, Turnover ₮5.3 Billion, Average ₮85.9 Million/Day
April 15 (MSE) --
As of 31 March 2014, total of 3.4 million shares of 110 Joint Stock Companies were traded through 62 trading sessions with total worth of MNT5.3 billion and average MNT85.9 million daily. Out of 110 traded stocks, share price of 70 JSC increased, 30 decreased and 10 remained at same price compared to the same period of last year.
90.47% of total traded stocks, 95.9% of total stock trade value were "Remicon" JSC, "E-Trans Logistics" JSC, "Hermes Centre" JSC, "Genco Tour Bureau" JSC, "Khukh Gan" JSC, "Darkhan Guril Tejeel" JSC, "Ulsiin Ikh Delguur" (State Department Store) JSC, "Hai Bi Oil" JSC, "Goviin Undur" JSC, "Sor" JSC, "Bayangol Hotel" JSC, "APU" JSC, "Olloo" JSC, "Moninjbar" JSC, "Naco Tulsh" JSC, "Tavan Tolgoi" JSC, "Khuns-Arkhangai" JSC, "Gobi" JSC, "Khuvsgul Geology" JSC, "BDSec" JSC, "Baganuur" JSC, "Mongolia Development Resourse" JSC, "Ereentsav" JSC, "Max Impex" JSC, "Aduun Chuluun" JSC, "Ariljaa Impex" JSC, "Sharyn Gol" JSC, "Telecom Mongolia" JSC, "Khuvsgul" JSC, and "Mongol Savkhi" JSC.
During the reporting period, total of 387.9 thousand shares of 5 JSC were traded through 7 block trading sessions with total worth of MNT3.3billion which is equal to 62.4% of total trading value.
Total market capitalization of listed companies stood at 1 trillion 640.3 billion MNT indicating an increase of 4.85% or MNT75.9 billion compared to the same period of last year.
During the reporting period, the highest point of TOP-20 index for this quarter was 17153.80 units, the lowest point of this quarter was 15139.64 units and the average point was 16344.90 units. TOP-20 index has increased by 4.90% or 761.78 units compared to the same period of last year.
Broker and Dealer companies:
End of the reporting period, there were total of 79 listed brokerage firms and 45 of them participated in stock trading.
APU Announces ₮6.69 Billion Dividend, ₮90/Share, April 14 Close ₮3,850
April 15 (MSE) "APU" JSC (MSE:APU) were decided to distribute dividend of MNT90 per share or a total of MNT6,685,893,000.00 according to resolution No.14/04 of its Board of Directors meeting dated 18 February 2014.
About "APU" JSC's:
Date Listed: 1992-02-13
Type of shares: Ordinary
Closing price: 3850 ₮ (April 14)
Areas of activity: Manufacture of food products
FRC Approves Darkhan Impex Delisting, Revokes Licenses of Tend D Sec, NIKI, UGS, Tengri Securities, Mon Khan Trade
April 15 (MSE) During the regular session of FRC on April 9, 2014, the following issues were discussed and resolved:
· To start up "Merex" JSC's primary market trading on April 10, 2104,
· To delist "Darkhan Impex" JSC's securities,
· To revoke the license of "Ten D Sec" LLC, "NIKI" LLC, "UGS" LLC, "Tengri Securities" LLC and "Mon Khan Trade" LLC, respectively.
MNT historic low v. USD: 1,787.59, February 27, 2014
BoM MNT Rates: April 15 Close
April MNT Chart:
BoM FX Auction: US$10.4 Million Sold at ₮1,779.5, CNY33 Million at ₮286, US$48 Million MNT, CNY20 Million Swaps Offers Accepted
Сүүлчийн дуудлага худалдааны хаалтын ханш
МБ-наас худалдан авах:
2014 оны 4 дүгээр сарын 15-ны өдрийн гадаад валютын дуудлага худалдаагаар банкууд ам.доллар, юань худалдан авах санал ирүүлсэн бөгөөд Монголбанк 1779.50 төгрөгийн хаалтын ханшаар 10.4 сая ам.доллар, 33 сая юанийг 286 төгрөгийн хаалтын ханшаар тус тус худалдав.
2014 оны 4 дүгээр сарын 15-ны өдрийн ээлжит гадаад валютын своп, форвард хэлцлээр банкууд 48.0 сая ам.доллар худалдан авах төгрөгийн своп хэлцэл, 20 сая юанийн своп хэлцлийн санал тус тус ирүүлж, Монголбанк саналыг 100 хувь биелүүлэн, гадаад валютын дотоодын захад ам.доллар, юань нийлүүлэв.
Нэмэлт мэдээ, материал:
CPI Rises 0.2 Points to 12.4% YoY in March
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Mogi: wonder if anyone buys these things
Recently released market study: Mongolia Mining Report Q2 2014
New Materials research report from Business Monitor International is now available from Fast Market Research
[ClickPress, Tue Apr 15 2014] Mongolia is on the cusp of a mining boom. The commencement of production at the Oyu Tolgoi (OT) copper and gold mine in 2013 is set to transform the entire landscape of the country's mining industry. Situated in the South Gobi Desert, OT is Mongolia's main mining site and hosts rich deposits of copper, molybdenum, silver and gold. The OT project is the biggest economic undertaking in Mongolia's history and will account for one-third of the economy once it becomes fully operational in 2019.
We believe Mongolia will experience one of the fastest economic growth rates in the world over the next decade, a development that will have huge social and economic consequences, and therefore pose key challenges for policymakers. The deluge of foreign investment, attracted by the country's vast mineral wealth, will transform the country from a largely rural (and often nomadic) society, with a large section of the population employed in agriculture, to an increasingly urban and industrialised one. Moreover, the growth of the mining sector will dwarf other areas of the economy, leading to an increasing concentration of labour and wealth in this industry.
Full Report Details at http://www.fastmr.com/prod/782570_mongolia_mining_report_q2_2014.aspx?afid=301
Despite the bouts of resource nationalism over the past quarters, we believe the Mongolian government will eventually tone down its rhetoric against foreign miners. Crucially, the re-election of incumbent President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj has strengthened the Democratic Party (DP)-led coalition government's position, which should make it easier to formulate and implement policies.
We expect the government's policy priorities to shift away from the populist tones outlined during the election campaign, back to a more market-friendly platform. Campaigning for the presidential elections earlier in the year was aggressive and populist in nature, with resource nationalism a hotly-debated topic. Anti-foreign investor sentiment amongst the public was a major reason why the government took a more pronounced hardline stance towards key foreign investors in the country, most notably global mining major Rio Tinto. However, with elections now out of the way, the government can turn its attention to putting the economy back onto an even keel. To be sure, the government of Mongolia has adopted a new foreign investment law which came into effect on November 1, 2013, calling time on the much-maligned 2012 Strategic Entities Foreign Investment Law (SEFIL). The new regulations will look to level the playing field for foreign companies and introduce a much more transparent taxation system.
Sant Maral: Elbegdorj, DP Lead in Politbarometer, March 2014 Survey
April 14, Sant Maral Foundation --
The "Sant Maral" foundation presents the results of the March 2014 survey, conducted from March 17 to March 30, 2014. The representative sample of 1200 respondents was collected in the capital Ulan Bator and Bayanhongor, Bulgan, Zavhan, Selenge, Umnugovi, Suhbaatar aymaks (split proportionally by 4 regional divisions and Ulan Bator). In the data below, tabulations are sourted by "capital," "countryside," and "nationwide" when relevant.
2. "If Parliament Elections were held tomorrow, which party would you vote for?"
Mongolian People's Party
Civic Will - Green Party
Mogi: now THIS is the most disturbing poll of all for me. Nostalgia remains for our good ol' times with our brothers to the north.
42. Which country is the best partner for Mongolia?
Cumulative percentage, valid cases only.
56. "Of the prominent persons in the country, who would you like to name as those who, in your opinion, should play an important role in politics?"
(No names were suggested, each respondent could mention up to three persons. Responses are listed here in a rankingorder by percentage of cases. The cumulative percentage could be up to 300%.)
1. President Ts. Elbegdorj (DP) – 30.7%
2. Former President N. Enkhbayar (MPRP) – 17.9%
3. MP S. Ganbaatar (Independent) – 17.9%
4. Minister for Industry & Agriculture, MP Kh. Battulga (DP) – 13.9%
5. Prime Minister, MP N. Altankhuyag (DP) - 9.5%
6. Former President N. Bagabandi (MPP) – 8.6%
7. MP B. Bat-Erdene (MPP) – 8.0%
8. Ulaanbaatar Mayor E. Bat-Uul (DP) - 7.3%
9. Chairman of Agency for Fair Competition & Consumer Protection O. Magnai (DP) – 5.5%
10. Minister for Finance, MP Ch. Ulaan (MPRP) – 4.9%
MP O.Baasankhuu (MPRP) calls for resignation of Justice Minister
April 14 (news.mn) The Standing Committee on Justice in Parliament is scheduled to discuss MP O.Baasankhuu`s call for the resignation of Justice Minister Kh.Temuukin during Monday`s meeting on April 14th.
MP O.Baasankhuu claims that the Justice Minister is unable to handle his department and says there are several reasons for him to resign from his position.
MP O.Baasankhuu delivered a petition calling for the resignation of Justice Minister Kh.Temuujin on the basis of claims that he lost responsibility over offences against the law. The MP also claims that he is unable to handle the department and that he is unable to meet the ethical requirements needed by a cabinet minister.
The issues is expected to be discussed during today`s Standing Committee on Justice meeting. A call for the resignation of a cabinet minister should be discussed within a week according to a law.
Factions Divided on Call for Justice Minister's Resignation
April 15 (news.mn) During Monday's meeting, the Standing Committee on Justice in Parliament discussed the call by MP O.Baasankhuu for Justice Minister Kh.Temuujin to resign. The majority of the Committee members, however, voted for the discussion to be postponed.
The Democratic Party (DP) stated that the party does not take one particular position on the issue.
The DP caucus head D.Erdenebat commented that "It is an open issue for MPs to express their stance, because Justice Minister Kh.Temuujin`s reform in Mongolia`s legislative system is essential. The legislative reform itself is a key influence to DP`s policy on reform. Thus I hope MPs in the DP caucus will express their own stances themselves.
But for the opposition party, the Mongolian People`s Party MPP, only a few MPs who belong to the Standing Committee were against the issue.
Three out of the MPP members in the Standing committee voted to postpone the discussion of the call for the resignation of the Justice Minister. The MPP caucus decided to review the issue.
Member of the Justice Coalition O.Baasankhuu called for the resignation of Justice Minister and the incident embarrassed the Justice Coalition caucus. The coalition is divided into two on the issue as several members of the coalition voted in favor the resignation of the Justice Minister but a number say his resignation is not necessary. The coalition pledges to take one stance on the issue in one week's time.
'A Day in Mongolia' Protest Aims to Draw Policymakers' Attention on Struggles of Every Day Life
April 16 (UB Post) Some dedicated Mongolians spent Monday outside at Central Square. They gathered to attend a peaceful, public sit-in strike for "A Day of Mongolia-2014", held to show policymakers how citizens are living and what challenges and difficulties they face.
The participants believed that the authorities do not know how ordinary citizens live, as they live near the State Palace and Zaisan area, and the West and East central intersections. The strike organizers pointed out that almost all of the one thousand chairs prepared for the event were populated.
Usually, elders attend gatherings but they become desperate to go home as they get tired after standing for hours, that's why the decision was made to provide them with chairs, explained the event organizers.
There were many people who came with prepared posters stating the problems they face and the issues they want the authorities to resolve. It was a two-day open gathering for attendees to deliver petitions and comments on paper to members of parliament.
The demands gathered during the strike will be reviewed during the meeting of the Justice Coalition. Leaders of some civil movements and Members of Parliament, including O.Baasankhuu, attended to support the gathering crowd. Representatives from the Union of Mongolian Tenants, merchants from Narantuul Market, as well as circus performers took part in the meeting to state their opinions.
The following are comments from some sit-in attendees about what issues they want delivered to decision makers, published in Undesnii Shuudan Daily Newspaper.
Senior citizen M.Bold:
Banks are robbing the elderly who are receiving a pension loan. I have borrowed around 10 million MNT under a two year-term pension loan. But the bank has withdrawn around four million 400 thousand MNT. I have written a petition to Minister S.Erdene, however, I still haven't heard anything from him.
O.Doljinjav, 88 years old:
My son retired after working for 26 years with the airport police. Now he is blind and tired a lot. I worked for the state since I was 18 years old and retired in 1975. I get 300 thousand MNT. My pension is not enough to help my son, even to feed myself. Is there any place that can help my son?
U.Rina, citizen of Khan-Uul district:
I worked and served the state for 30 years and retired in 2008 with a monthly pension of 110 thousand MNT. It has been increased and has become 240 thousand MNT. I came here today to tell state authorities that it is time to change the pension policy.
Unit product traders behind Narantuul market:
In the area we are operating at the moment, over 100 traders used to earn a living selling second-hand stuff. There are around four to five people in a trader's family, which means the issue touches upon the lives of 500 people. We didn't beg for any welfare from the government and we didn't beg for food from anyone. But the policemen are pressuring us to stop our trade. They seized our products and never gave it back. They are treating us like dogs and the pressure and bullying has gone out of control.
Elders are allowed to be treated at traditional spas and resorts two times a year. Even though half of the expenses are covered by the state, spa resorts are too expensive. Is there any chance of taking care of this issue?
Member of Parliament G.Uyanga:
We have aimed to show the authorities and decision makers today's life in society, the way it is without any additional fixes. I wish every state authority sitting in the tall black buildings or the State Palace would come out of their rooms and be introduced to real lives. I wish they realized why the decisions they are making are not meeting reality. The majority of policymakers do not know what lives are like for ordinary citizens and that's why they make poor decisions.
Chinese Ambassador Expresses Hope Justice Coalition Will Support Joint Mining, Railway Projects
April 15 (infomongolia.com) Upon the request of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the PR of China to Mongolia, Wang Xiaolong, the Chairman of "Justice" Coalition (MPRP - MNDP) in the Parliament N.Battsereg received in his office the Ambassador on April 14, 2014.
During the meeting, parties exchanged views on bilateral trade and economic development, and the world economic crisis, its impact to the two countries' economic and trade relations, besides how to quickly exit the crisis.
Also, Ambassador Wang Xiaolong expressed his hope that the Coalition would support to accelerate and realize mining & railway projects being implemented and being discussed.
Battsereg MP Receives Chinese Ambassador – Montsame, April 15
Mongolia Aiming to Launch Two Satellites by 2016 for Reconnaissance and Communication
Ulaanbaatar, April 15 (MONTSAME) Chairman of the Agency of Information Technology and Communications (AITC) Ts.Jadambaa Monday attended the "Hours of great constructions" weekly meeting, reporting about projects and programmes implemented since 2012 and planned works and goals.
The department has set seven key goals to be realized between 2012 and 2016, Jadambaa said, adding that Mongolia plans to have two satellites of reconnaissance and communications by 2016 in frames of the "National Satellite" programme. Mongolia has sent its request to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for the first time to use cosmic space, he said.
The AITC head reported that a total of 47 electric machines for governmental services have been installed in the capital city and in all aimags, and extra 59 such devices will be placed this year within the goal called "Queue-free governmental service". He also highlighted the price of the Internet access reduced three times in localities, and the speed has fastened twice.
The AITC is working to transmit into the nationwide digital system on July 31 of this year, and the TV network is expected to transfer into the digital system around the country in second quarter of 2014, Jadambaa said.
Regarding postage service, the agency has installed 'smart' post boxes in 18 places of the capital city, in Darkhan and Erdenet cities, with an aim to make the service closer to consumers, the AITC head said.
Cabinet Meeting Resolutions in Brief: April 12, 2014
April 14 (infomongolia.com) The regular Cabinet meeting of the Government was held on Saturday, April 12, and the following issues were resolved.
- The draft bill on "Legal Status of Military Personnel" was discussed and agreed to submit to the State Great Khural (Parliament). The law is aimed to regulate and ensure any issues related to military officers' legal status and any administrative and legal aspects will be regulated under this law at any stage of an administration.
- For the 2014 spring sowing, it is decided to sell 5,940 tons of wheat seed from state reserve to farming enterprises, entities and individuals, where Deputy Prime Minister D.Terbishdagva is obliged to take measures on providing compensation sales within December 2014.
- The new version of the bill on Fire Safety was revised and agreed to submit to the Parliament.
- The intergovernmental agreement on visa requirement exemption for holders of Diplomatic E-passport between Mongolia and the Republic of Estonia was supported and Foreign Minister of Mongolia L.Bold is entrusted to sign the document.
- Plan to accelerate measures on providing earthquake disaster prevention was approved.
- Draft bill on "Civil-military mission and military service" was backed and agreed to submit to the Parliament.
Cabinet Meeting in Brief – Montsame, April 13
МIАТ considering Hong Kong IPO, offering 49%, later this year
April 14 (news.mn) Mongolia`s State policy on air transportation gives consideration to the privatization of some stakes in the state-backed MIAT, Mongolian Airlines.
According to the state-backed privatization plan, a 49% stake in the carrier will be publicly offered on the stock market later this year.
So now Mongolian Airlines, MIAT is working to have the company evaluated by international organizations. After the evaluation, the company will decide whether or not to make an IPO, selling its 49% stake on the international stock market.
If going ahead, MIAT is planning an IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange later this year.
Jim Dwyer: Businesses need more business
April 14 (Mongolian Economy) Mongolian Economy asked Jim Dwyer, Executive director of Business Council of Mongolia, three questions about risks threatening Mongolia's business sector.
Jim was appointed Executive Director to manage the activities of Business Council of Mongolia upon its formation in September 2007. He lived in New York City and worked for Wall Street-based firms as an investment banker specialising in Mergers & Acquisitions since the 1970s, including the position as Global Head of M&A for Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS).
What are the biggest risks threatening Mongolia's economy in 2014?
Big risks continue to be Government involvement in the economy and private business sector, including management control of major entities including Erdenes-Tavan Tolgoi, the Mongolian Stock Exchange and MIAT. Some other risks are:
• Possible major tax rate hikes and extensive reporting requirements for mining companies under consideration at Ministry of Finance;
• Continued negative investor sentiment as long as OT issues remain unresolved to enable work and investment to commence on Phase 2 underground development;
• Rising inflation and weakening foreign exchange reserves, which add to further weakening of the tugrug; and
• Unclear regulation regarding the new Investment Law and potentially more restrictive and cumbersome amendments to the Minerals Law, which delay the influx of needed FDI.
How do those risks impact companies?
Impacts to the private sector presently are severe and could continue for another 18 months. The mining supply chain is backed up and is struggling to survive due to less exploration activity and lower volumes of coking coal. Several large job layoffs have had to be made. Businesses are struggling to survive during this trying economic period. FDI which is so needed for the economy to recover will not pick up for a considerable period. Foreign investors could need considerable time to be convinced that stability has occurred and should be maintained.
What measures need to be taken to mitigate these risks from both public and private sector?
It is paramount for a mitigation of these risks that a reduction in government ownership and management involvement in the private sector and the economy be implemented. Businesses need more business! FDI needs to continue to be welcomed, perhaps forever.
Other visible large projects such as Erdenes-TT becoming a significant operation with access to international financing and Power Plant no.5's construction and connection to the grid for UB city energy should be completed without further bureaucratic delays.
Once private sector investments are made, the returns to investors need to be predictable. Such factors such as government instability, increased tax and royalty rates, frequent changes to laws and inefficient regulatory entity practices should be minimised. We need to see a "win, win" for Mongolia and all investors.
Mogi: correct spelling: Dr. Bilgee Jigjid, from http://www.digitaldental.mn/, Sant Asar Center, Seoul Street
Dentist Travels from Mongolia to Los Angeles to Be Trained in Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation®
The bimonthly training classes in Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation® are attracting doctors from around the world to be trained by Dr. John Chao, inventor of the minimally invasive treatment for gum recession. "Dr. Biigee Jijjid of Mongolia holds the record so far for traveling the farthest," says Dr. Chao.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) April 15, 2014 -- Dr. Biigee Jijjid of Mongolia joined an international class of 40 doctors to be trained personally by dentist and inventor Dr. John Chao at the most recent Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™ Seminar, held April 4-5 in the Los Angeles suburb of Alhambra, CA.
"Dr. Jijjid is the first doctor to travel all the way from Mongolia to attend the Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation® Seminar, which is a round trip of about 16,000 miles," says Dr. Chao. "We are very gratified to see that Dr. Jijjid, like many other doctors so appreciate the value and innovativeness of Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation® that they are coming from great distances for training." Dr. Jijjid says she learned about the minimally invasive treatment for gum recession through her research on the internet.
"Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation®, is changing the way many doctors are correcting gum recession," says Dr. Chao. "Also known as the Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique® (PST), this minimally invasive alternative to conventional gum grafting is receiving enthusiastic reviews from general dentists and periodontists across the country and around the world."
"Since the launch of Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation® Seminars in August 2013, we have trained over 350 doctors," says Dr. Chao.
Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation® is a breakthrough alternative to conventional gum grafting which requires no cutting, no sutures and little to no downtime. "This minimally invasive procedure takes just a few minutes per tooth and multiple teeth may be treated at the same time, all though 'pinholes' made in the gums which heal quickly," says Dr. Chao.
Dr. John Chao holds patents on the method and the special dental instruments used in the Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation® technique. Dr. Chao is currently training doctors at bimonthly training seminars in Alhambra, CA
For more information on Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™ seminars or to locate a doctor certified in the technique visit http://www.pinholegumrejuvenation.com or call 888-603-2953.
SURVEY: COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION IN MONGOLIA - WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
(Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP/New Grata) --
We are working with the Mongolian Government and USAID-funded Business Plus Initiative to identify ways in which commercial arbitration in Mongolia can become a more effective procedure of choice for resolving disputes. There are circumstances in which resolution of a claim through the courts will be the most appropriate way to deal with a dispute. However, there are many circumstances where having a dispute resolved by an independent arbitrator, appointed by the parties, will have advantages, whether the parties to the dispute are local Mongolian parties or overseas companies.
We would like to capture the experiences and views of the business community, users of arbitration, arbitrators, lawyers, judges and anyone else who is involved in trying to find a solution to a commercial dispute. We have attached to this email a survey containing 45 short questions on which we would like to have your views. The results of the survey will be analysed, on an anonymous basis, as part of the consultation process being undertaken to improve commercial arbitration in Mongolia.
Please take the time to tell us what you think. The survey will be open for the next 7 days.
The survey questions are available in English or Mongolian. Please click on the link to the language version you prefer.
Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP/New Grata working with USAID BPI implemented by Chemonics International
De Facto: Housing mess
By Jargalsaikhan Dambadarjaa
April 16 (UB Post) A total of 190,000 households are living in ger districts currently. Providing ger district households with apartments is not only a matter of housing but also a big challenge for Mongolia's development. It also goes without saying that housing will be instrumental in getting rid of air pollution in Ulaanbaatar. Furthermore, it is hard to use the term "urban households" when referring to households that have no running water.
During the last two years, since the management of our capital city was transferred to a different political party for the first time in history, we had an increased number of housing projects progressing simultaneously. Senior management of the capital city visited the United States, the Republic of South Africa, Singapore, and Korea to learn their experience in public housing. However, Ulaanbaatar residents are more interested in the outcome of housing projects than how many projects there are and how they will be implemented. We, the residents of Ulaanbaatar, need to have our own apartments as soon as possible which offers basic living conditions.
Ger District Redevelopment Project
Fifteen months ago, the Ulaanbaatar Citizens' Representatives Council, commonly referred to as the "City Council," approved a project to redevelop seven ger district locations into modern apartment areas. The Ger District Redevelopment (GDR) project's pipe construction alone costs 35 billion MNT. The project is expected to be completed by 2019 and provide 92,500 households with apartments. A total of 15 companies will implement this project and are expected to deliver 5,800 apartments this year and another 9,500 next year. The project is managed by D.Battulga, Chairman of the Ulaanbaatar Citizens' Representatives Council.
Government Housing Corporation Project
Eight months ago, the government made a decision to provide a funding of 100 million USD to establish a Government Housing Corporation (GHC) on the foundation of the Housing Finance Corporation. The corporation is aimed at building affordable housings for people opting for the eight percent interest mortgage program. The mortgage is being provided to people who have a full-time job and have paid a down payment of 30 percent. Furthermore, renting options are available for public servants, young families, people with disabilities, and elders. Loans that existed with the Housing Financing Corporations were fully transferred to the State Bank. This project is directly managed by the Prime Minister.
Ulaanbaatar Housing Corporation Project
Several days ago, a new project that targets people who are not able to make a down payment was announced by the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar. This project will allow people to put 25-30 percent of their salary in a housing accumulation fund every month to receive an apartment three to five years later. Afterwards, they will be eligible to gain ownership of the apartments by making the required monthly payments. It is expected that the Ulaanbaatar Housing Corporation (UHC) will receive 20,000 apartment orders in the first year and accumulate 50 billion MNT, which will allow them to commence the work to build two housing districts. They will build apartments in six locations that are owned by the city. This project is expected to run much faster as there will be no need to relocate ger districts from those locations. It looks like that the mayor will be in charge of this project.
Using the same approach, every province can establish an Aimag Housing Corporation (AHC). When many projects are implemented simultaneously, there could be overlapping management and organization. Such problems could lead to conflicting management, fights over authority, and ineffective spending. It means that we have to starting thinking about it now.
The policy on public housing has to be simple, clear, and highly efficient. The main reason for government involvement in housing is to provide mass housings at an affordable price in a shorter amount of time. The government has started to build studio apartments for elders and people in home care, rental apartments for low-income families, and apartments for middle-income families and above. It will also be efficient for the private sector, not the government, to build houses with spacey backyards for those with higher incomes.
HOUSING AND DEVELOPMENT BOARD
A project to build 200,000 apartments in the capital city is not only a construction project but also a matter of development. Therefore, we have to be wise in project management and organization. Although Korean models are similar to ours in terms of formatting, it seems that the Housing and Development Board of Singapore is more suitable to our case. Integrating different managements of the corporations mentioned above will better meet the needs of a country with a small population like us.
Since the Housing and Development Board of Mongolia (HDBM) will belong to and be governed by the government only, its highest authority should be the Ministry of Economic Development. Branch offices of the HDBM could be established in the capital city as well as province centers and be managed by local governments. It will be more efficient to have the Ministry of Economic Development provide high-level management, methodology, research, and evaluations to local governments, which will be working under integrated budget and funding.
The HDMB should be a limited liability company and eventually become a shareholding company. In terms of structure, the HDMB can have two main departments, one in charge of construction and another managing lands and corporations. The construction department should be responsible for planning and construction of infrastructure and buildings, research and development, building quality, and tenders. The other department could have a simple structure where they have two divisions; one in charge of real estate management, housing management, public involvement, and production, and the other managing the relations between corporations, financial and information services, laws, and internal audit. Apart from the two main departments, a third department needs to be established for research and studies.
The 400,000 hectares of land owned by Ulaanbaatar is quite a huge capital itself, therefore, it should have the same level of management, by the corporation that is in charge of its funding. The corporation should be able to issue bonds and raise capital to fund construction and purchase lands from people at market rates, which is the fastest method for land acquisition. Also, another way of raising capital would be by selling lands owned by the capital city for higher prices.
In terms of funding, the Housing and Development Council should establish a fund besides the public budget and raise capital by issuing local bonds, setting up a lottery in apartment sales, and land auctions. Singapore has a Central Provident Fund that collects all compulsory taxes from both employers and employees into retirement, healthcare, and housing (ordinary) accounts under the name of employees. It is allowed to make housing payments from an ordinary account.
Besides the proposal from the mayor to collect 30 percent of salary for an accumulation fund, every housing project needs a mechanism that will ensure a timely completion of the project and guarantee that people will move into their apartments in time. The Mayor's reassurance that the government will not go bankrupt is just not going to be good enough. South Korea solved this problem by establishing a Construction Guarantee that is owned by the government (55 percent), commercial banks (18 percent), and construction companies (14 percent). This organization provides all remainder funds needed for a successful project completion in case a construction company fails to complete its project within the deadline.
In terms of organization, international tenders should be announced only after finalizing the policy and mechanism. Otherwise, we will repeat our experience where a newly formed government denies the previous processes started by the former government and freezes large projects, stopping their progress.
Furthermore, it would be great if our mayor resolves the issue of heating and power sources by immediately starting the construction of Power Plant No.5.
If the housing projects in our capital city are successful, it will produce many positive changes including the recovery of our economy, shrinking of ger districts, and reduction of air pollution.
Translated by B.AMAR
Meeting Runs on Composition and Legal Reforms of Ulaanbaatar
Ulaanbaatar, April 15 (MONTSAME) A consultative meeting themed 'Composition and Legal Reforms of Ulaanbaatar' ran in the Civil Hall on Tuesday.
The meeting was organized by City Governor's Office, Presidential Office, Asia Foundation, together with Construction and Urban Development Ministry, and was also attended by Ulaanbaatar Mayor E.Bat-Uul and the permanent representative of Asia Foundation in Mongolia.
Korean Firm Proposes to Build Solid Waste Treatment Plant in Ulaanbaatar
Ulaanbaatar, April 15 (MONTSAME) MS Resources LLC of South Korea has put forward a proposal to build up a solid waste treatment plant in Ulaanbaatar.
The project is planned to take place under 100% financing of MS Resources. The plant will be capable to classify 500-1,000 ton of waste a day to produce building materials used in landfills. The company has applied to the Governor's Office of Ulaanbaatar to appeal for ownership rights of a landfill site in northern Ulaanbaatar for 15 years.
The capital city of Mongolia annually disposes one million ton of household and industrial waste.
McGill Students Declare Cold Ulaanbaatar One of the "Hot Cities" of the World
April 14 (business-mongolia.com) --
Consent gap fillers
Almost every investor in Mongolia struggles the huge gap of understanding (interpreting) the Mongolian decision makers and they acts and promises. It has become obvious expectation for the most of the foreigners living in Mongolia now. If "Hot Cities" trip was made 20 years ago, investors would see much different scenario and expectation from the top leadership of Mongolia. This looks little late but, in fact it was made in the right moment. If they visit two years ago, they would see the Mongolian "own horn-blowing" economists and populists in one hand and brain washed miserable mass on the other hand. The second part hasn't changed that much, but the boasting leaders' dream starting to crumble and they got more humble and more willing to listen ever before.
Students of Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University visited Mongolia in late February considering Ulaanbaatar will be "Hot City" in the next 20 years. Ulaanbaatar is not chosen alone, Dubai (UAE), Saint Petersburg (Russian Federation) and Johannesburg (South Africa) were among them. This time they chose Mongolia to visit. It is privileged to see how "Harvard of the North" sees us. During they visit they had meeting with privileged top decision makers of the key companies in the Mongolian economy; MCS Holding, Eznis, Urban Environmental Foundation, Zorig Foundation scholarship students, senior officers from Oyu Tolgoi LLC (soon to be the biggest contributor to the Mongolian economy), Deloitte and so on.
Indeed participants of "Hot Cities" trip are students from privileged families in their home country, because they all speak 3-4 foreign languages and choose themselves as the leader to be in the next 20 years .
Participants of the Hot Cities of the World Tour met different counterparts and groups of society to understand as deeper as possible about the challenges that Mongolia faces.
During their visit students met with some most successful young business leaders, CEOs and CFOs of the top contributors to the Mongolian economy. Students met with Mr. Lkhagva, the Executive Producer of Mongol TV and Director Sant School, young leaders in the Mongolian companies, which is quite unusual in the North America to reach such level at this young age. In reverse, shortly after visit to the children day care run by the Veloo Foundation http://www.veloofoundation.weebly.com/, (students are working to raise fund for this project) they climbed to the waste dump site of Ulaanbaatar City (capital of Mongolia) on within the nearby hills and witnessed the real situation over there waste dump land which is most unwanted place in Ulaanbaatar even for Mongolians in winter! They brought lunch for the parents of those kids at daycare who collect food and salvageable trash and had conversation with them about the systematic causes of poverty and mobility barriers in the booming economy of Mongolia.
Interestingly, I was surprised why the Mongolian Government representatives didn't take this opportunity to meet with professors and students of McGill University, "Harvard of the North". It is very clear example for the political leaders of Mongolia how to nurture future knowledge.
Myanmar Speaker on visit to Mongolia, April 12-15
April 14 (news.mn) Speaker of Myanmar`s Lower House of Parliament, Thura Shwe Mann, is making an official visit to Mongolia between April 12th and 15th on the invitation of the Speaker of Mongolian Parliament Z.Enkhbold. Speaker Thura Shwe Mann landed in Mongolia on Saturday and paid a visit to the countryside over the weekend.
The counterparts of the two countries will have official talks today, Monday. After the talks the Speaker of Myanmar`s Lower House of Parliament will be received by the Prime Minister of Mongolia, N.Altankhuyag.
This is the first high ranking visit with Myanmar after the official visit conducted by the President of Mongolia, Ts.Elbegdorj, in Myanmar in 2013.
At the official visit by Myanmar`s Speaker in Mongolia, a wide range of issues to strengthen bilateral relations between Mongolia and Myanmar will be discussed. These will include ways to establish cooperation between the legislatures of the two countries and how to share Mongolia`s socio-economic transition experiences with the newly democratic state Myanmar.
The official visit will end on Tuesday 15th April.
Burmese Speaker Begins Visit Here – Montsame, April 13
Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister receives Mongolia's Non-Resident Ambassador
Riyadh, Jumada II 14, 1435, Apr 14, 2014 (Saudi Press Agency) -- Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs received here today the Ambassador of the Republic of Mongolia to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Dr. Inkhabat Sudnom (Mogi: Enkhbat Sodnom), who handed him a copy of his diplomatic credentials as a non-resident Ambassador of his country to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in preparation for their submission to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
The meeting was attended by Director of Asian Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Mustafa Kauthar and Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Protocol Affairs Azam bin Abdulkarim Al-Qain.
Mongolia rejects US proposal to station military bases
April 15 (business-mongolia.com) US Defence Secretary Chief Chuck Hagel visited Mongolia as part of his 10-day Asia tour that also includes Japan and China. During his visit in Mongolia he proposed to station a military base in Mongolia. This is one of the White House's broad goal to strengthen regional strength among Russia and China. Mongolia has a law that clearly states it prohibits stationing foreign troops in the country. Therefore, the proposal was merely symbolic analysts say. (Mogi: if it was just symbolic, why make it?)
Mongolian Defence Minister D.Bat-Erdene signed a Joint Vision statement to expand military cooperation through training and technical assistance.
India Offers Educational Assistance to Bulgan Aimag
Ulaanbaatar, April 15 (MONTSAME) The governor of Bulgan province D.Erdenebat Friday received Mr Shailesh Lakhtakia, the Second Secretary and Head of Chancery at the Indian Embassy in Mongolia in the province.
At the meeting, Mr Shailesh proposed to involve local people in short- and long-termed programs with a full scholarship of the Indian government.
In turn, the governor Mr Erdenebat received this proposal with much gratitude and said that local administration will give this opportunity to people who have a desire to get well-educated and to develop the province.
Applicants will major in spheres of business management, information technology, statistics and foreign language and a criterion for this program is to have English language skill.
India Seeks Cooperation in Health, Copper, Education, IT with Erdenet City
Ulaanbaatar, April 15 (MONTSAME) On Monday, the Second Secretary and Head of Chancery at the Indian Embassy in Mongolia Mr Shailesh Lakhtakia visited Orkhon province to seek ways of cooperation with Erdenet, the second largest city of Mongolia (Mogi: thought it was 3rd after Darkhan).
At the meeting, the administration of the province talked about possibilities to collaborate in health, copper production, education and information technology spheres.
Responding to this, Mr Shailesh spoke about researches of the Indian government on cooperation directions with the countries that established diplomatic relations and also said about the visit of members of the Indian Department of Commerce to Mongolia to be paid in this June then promised to convey this cooperation proposal to related officials.
Russian Visas Switching to E-Visa Application Forms from June 1
April 15 (infomongolia.com) Today on April 15, 2014, the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation announced that the electronic version of the Russian visa application form and print the visa application form are required for applying for a visa to the Russian Federation, which is effective from June 01, 2014.
The new e-visa application form is able to be completed in several foreign language including Russian and English via http://visa.kdmid.ru and the current paper application form is effective until the date.
After completing the e-visa form, an applicant must print it out and attach a photo (3.5 x 4.5 cm) and sign, and submit to the Consular Section of Embassy of the Russian Federation in Ulaanbaatar with other required documents for the visa application process.
Mongolian nationals applying for a Russian Tourist or Transit Visa are paying 115 USD, if to proceed within 3 days, and 65 USD if to proceed within 4 days, and earlier to apply, the visa payment cost is reduced, says the Consular Section of Russian Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Consular Section of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
6A, Peace Ave.,
Tel: (976-11) 326 037
Fax: (976-11) 324 425
Head of the Consular Section Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovich GORYACHEV
Working hours: Application submission time for Mongolian citizens is from 09:00 am till 12:00 pm, for non-Mongolian citizens from 02:00 pm till 03:00 pm. No appointment required. Visas pick up time for all citizens is 12:20-12:55 pm.
"Mongolian Young Leaderships" Meeting Runs in New-York City
Ulaanbaatar, April 15 (MONTSAME) The USA-based Mongolian students have organized a regular meeting of "Mongolian Young Leaderships" program in New-York city.
This seventh meeting was supported by the Permanent Representation of Mongolia to the UN and ran under themed "State financial right management of Mongolia" with a success.
At the action, the participants shared views relating to prospect of state financial management.
After this, the Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the UN O.Och received student delegates and thanked them on expressing their voice for the country then promised to give them a constant support.
Furthermore, Mr Och spoke about history of ties between Mongolia and the UN, participation of our country, achievements and future goals and gave answers to students' concerns.
In frames of the program, the students attended in lectures given by Mongolians working in the UN branch organization and famous doctors and professors of the Columbia University and also visited big companies headquartered in the New-York city.
Mongolia Approves 2014 Hunting Quotas: 28 Wild Mountain Sheep, 41 Ibex, 20 Red Deers, 20 Wolves, 10 Roe Deers, 200 Gazelles
April 13 (infomongolia.com) At the Cabinet meeting held on April 12, 2014, the Government of Mongolia approved the quotas for hunting and trapping wild animals under specific purposes in 2014.
For instances, in 2014 it is allowed to hunt a total of 28 Ugalz (male wild sheep - Argali), 41 mountain goats (Ibex - Yangir), 20 red deer, 20 wolves, 10 roe deer, and 200 Mongolian gazelles (Zeer). Also, for study purposes to trap up to 20 saker falcons and 310 Siberian Salmon or Taimen (Tul) are permitted to be caught but to be released after.
According to hunting management plan realized in 2013, Government allowed foreign nationals to hunt some species for sports and game purposes, where in 28 Sums (administrative unit of Aimag) were hunted 15 ugalz, 32 mountain goats, 10 red deer, 4 wolves, 4 roe deer and 4 wild boars and 520,000,000 MNT were compounded in the Sum and State budgets.
As a result of policy reforms to transfer hunting management to local authorities, it positively affects to wildlife conservation and as today, there local environment protection 3 unions, 6 cooperatives, 4 NGOs and 2 cooperatives composed of herdsmen are exist.
A thirteen year-old eagle huntress from Mongolia
April 14 (BBC World Service) A photographer who snapped what could be the world's only girl hunting with a golden eagle says watching her work was an amazing sight.
Most children, Asher Svidensky says, are a little intimidated by golden eagles. Kazakh boys in western Mongolia start learning how to use the huge birds to hunt for foxes and hares at the age of 13, when the eagles sit heavily on their undeveloped arms. Svidensky, a photographer and travel writer, shot five boys learning the skill - and he also photographed Ashol-Pan.
"To see her with the eagle was amazing," he recalls. She was a lot more comfortable with it, a lot more powerful with it and a lot more at ease with it."
The Kazakhs of the Altai mountain range in western Mongolia are the only people that hunt with golden eagles, and today there are around 400 practising falconers. Ashol-Pan, the daughter of a particularly celebrated hunter, may well be the country's only apprentice huntress.
They hunt in winter, when the temperatures can drop to -40C (-40F). A hunt begins with days of trekking on horseback through snow to a mountain or ridge giving an excellent view of prey for miles around. Hunters generally work in teams. After a fox is spotted, riders charge towards it to flush it into the open, and an eagle is released. If the eagle fails to make a kill, another is released.
Father ordered to return his son to the UK after losing case to Mongolian wife
April 14 (Marilyn Stowe Family Law & Divorce Blog) A father who kept his son in Singapore with his parents has been ordered to return to him to the UK.
The couple met and married in Singapore in 2011. The mother was originally from Mongolia. The father, referred to as 'K', who worked for a bank, bought a home in London, and the mother, B joined him there. and their son, M, was born the following year.
At the Court of Appeal, Mrs Justice Russell explained:
"It is clear, and not a matter of dispute, that the marriage had difficulties. The reasons for the difficulties are disputed but in February 2013 the police were called and there were concerns that B had been the victim of domestic abuse and K was taken into custody. Further concerns were raised that B was then minimising the incident. These concerns led to an assessment by Westminster social services. B was by then studying as well as looking after M full time and needed more assistance than she was getting from her husband; they were said to be arguing about whether to have a nanny or have the paternal grandparents involved."
In summer last year, B began studying a course and it was agreed that the father's parents would take the boy to Singapore to live with them for a few months.
In January this year, the couple flew out to Singapore with a return flight apparently booked for all three of them a few weeks later.
Mrs Justice Russell noted:
"Without telling his wife K resigned from his job in London and arranged to take up a position with his employer in Singapore.
Immediately on his arrival in Singapore in January, and unbeknownst to B, K commenced ex parte custody and divorce proceedings. B was served with the divorce and custody papers as she took lunch with her husband at the hotel where they were staying. He had also applied, without giving her notice, for a court order prohibiting her from removing M from the jurisdiction of Singapore. An attempt to serve this order, which he obtained in the ex parte hearing, took place when K and his Singaporean lawyer threw it at B at the airport as she was leaving the country."
When she arrived back in the UK, "the mother discovered she had been locked out of the family home and that her ATM card to the party's joint account no longer functioned."
She launched proceedings for the return of her son, claiming that she had only ever agreed to a temporary visit. The father, meanwhile, insisted that they had agreed that M would stay with his parents indefinitely.
The case went before Mrs Justice Russell to determine the issue of M's 'habitual residence': was it still the UK, where he had been born, or was had become Singapore during his stay in the country, as the father argued?
Mrs Justice Russell was unconvinced by the father's claim that length of stay was just as important the intent of the parents in determining habitual residence.
"…it must be the case that M has been dependant on the care of his paternal grandparents in Singapore over the past eight months and therefore must be, as an infant, necessarily sharing their social and family environment it does not mean that the purpose and intention of the parents (as those with parental responsibility) becomes immaterial."
The judge cited the mother's statements regarding her home country:
"B said that returning to Mongolia was not an option and that as a dependant of her husband she felt that there was no guarantee that she would be able to return to Singapore. This is a telling piece of evidence as it would not support the Respondent's case that there was a long standing agreement to return to Singapore."
"I do not accept the evidence of K that there was any agreement that M remain in Singapore or that it was intended that they would bring M up in Singapore. I am sure it is his plan that he and his family do so but there is nothing in his conduct or his evidence that he intended to include M's mother in this plan.
M was habitually resident here. The purpose of his journey to Singapore, as agreed by his parents at the time was for a short period from August to November 2013, while B completed her English studies. This was extended to January as K said he could not travel until January 2014. Since January M has been retained there without his mother's consent…
I find that M did not acquire a habitual residence in Singapore. His stay was temporary and for a fixed purpose. He was not living with either parent. His mother expected and planned to resume his care not later than January 2014. The role of the paternal grandparents as carers was also a temporary arrangement…"
Love transcends language barrier
April 16 (The Nelson Mail) Love bloomed in a Mongolian desert for a Golden Bay woman. Now she and her husband are creating a new life in New Zealand. Charlotte Squire reports.
A Mongolian and Kiwi couple living in Golden Bay have literally created their own love language.
Golden Bay born Zoe Leetch met her future husband Enkhnasan Chuluunbaatar in 2008 on a Mongolian goldmine on the northern edge of the Gobi Desert (Mogi: anyone. The pair, who then worked together on the mine, taught each other English and Mongolian, and eventually created their own unique language blend of the two languages.
These days they live in Golden Bay with their young son Tushinbayar Enkhnasan. Enkhnasan, who is commonly known as Nasa, is now a busy sheep shearer, who came second in the intermediate section of the Golden Bay A&P Show sheep shearing champs.
It took some time for Nasa, who grew up in a family of nomadic herders, to become a Kiwi sheep shearer.
Leetch, who had always had a curiosity about Mongolia thanks to movies such as The Weeping Camel, was working as an artist in Wellington when she was offered an administrative job on the goldmine by a friend of her father's at short notice. She had a weekend to mull it over, and decided she couldn't pass up the opportunity.
"I went over to work at the goldmine, to do admin at the gold site, which included keeping tracks of fuel records. Nasa's job, part of it, was refuelling machines," she said.
Leetch said she was a "a bit of a novelty there" as they'd never had a young Kiwi woman working at the goldmine before.
Nasa had seen foreign women before, but never talked to them. So he thought I would be different, not just a human like him, said Leetch.
On the first night she was there, three people woke up her future husband to tell him a woman with ears that stuck out had come to work at the mine. He eventually went to check out Zoe's ears.
The two ended up working together in the truck and the rest is (quite romantic) history.
Leetch was one of 30 people living at the mine in yurts together, three of whom were Kiwis.
She worked on the mine for four seasons, for seven months of the year. At the end of each season Leetch would go back to Nasa's home, a yurt, to spend time with his nomadic herder family, then she would head back to New Zealand. She says she spent longer and longer with his family.
They were married in 2011 in a Mongolia summer wedding that was attended by Nasa's family and Zoe's twin brother Pax.
Nasa's family were initially surprised that he had married a Kiwi woman, but Nasa said they came to know her and trust her. He said they felt that if their only son was happy, that was good.
If Nasa was in Mongolia he would be taking over the herd and looking after the family. It's a big thing for his father that Nasa is here, said Leetch.
Right from the start Leetch said she couldn't live in Mongolia long term, though short term it was OK.
"Luckily Nasa was happy to try here," Leetch said.
When the couple came to New Zealand they decided that as Nasa knew animals so well, shearing was something he could do.
In Mongolia herders shear with big scissor like blades, and all the farmers shear their own sheep. So Nasa had shorn his family's sheep, but not with the scale and technique of New Zealand, she said.
When he first came to New Zealand for a three month holiday Nasa learnt to shear from Leetch's father. He also checked out a Kiwi shearing shed and saw men wearing singlets and listening to loud music as they worked, "he thought it was was pretty neat", said Leetch.
At first it was hard to shear using the machine, with its vibrating hand piece and sharp blades, but Nasa said he felt good to see the sheep shorn.
After completing a beginners' shearing course in Christchurch, luckily for the couple, a position opened up in Golden Bay for Nasa to shear on a team, despite the fact that he knew very little English. "The other shearers that Nasa was working with would teach him things every day, and the farmers were really good. Everyone was amazing. They were just fantastic with this foreign guy coming in to learn," said Leetch.
Nasa's a pretty small guy, and to him some sheep in New Zealand are huge, she said.
"Sometimes it's like trying to shear a horse, they lift me up off the ground," said Nasa.
The following summer Zoe said one of the shearers damaged his back, meaning Nasa had to "step up".
He did another, more advanced shearing course in Christchurch.
Nasa says he's slowly getting better and better at shearing sheep. His numbers are improving. He's understanding the shearing better, rather than just doing what he's told. He says he really enjoys it.
Sometimes Nasa misses his Mongolian family, but he says it gets easier. On those days he goes fishing on the Takaka River mouth.
Zoe, Nasa and Tushinbayar went back to Mongolia last year for a visit and may one day return to live there for a short time.
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