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Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original
TRQ closed -0.26% to US$3.87
AMO closed -3.5c to 5c, after jumping 4c to 8.5c on Friday, with no trade on Monday
Altan Rio Closes Private Placement With European Bank For Reconstruction and Development
VANCOUVER, May 20, 2014 /CNW/ - Altan Rio Minerals Limited (the "Company" or "Altan Rio," TSX.V: AMO) announces that it has closed its previously announced private placement (the "Private Placement") with European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ("EBRD"). Pursuant to the Private Placement, the Company has issued to EBRD 16,666,000 common shares at $0.06 per share, for gross proceeds of $999,960. Following closing of the Private Placement EBRD holds 16,666,000 common shares of the Company, representing approximately 18.7% of the issued and outstanding common shares of the Company.
EBRD has 61 shareholders (59 Governments and 2 International Institutions) and invests in 29 countries from central Europe to central Asia. EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Mongolia. Mongolia became an EBRD country of operations in October 2006 and since the beginning of its operations in Mongolia, the EBRD has committed through debt and equity investments more than US$ 684 million to the Mongolian private sector through 52 projects in sectors ranging from banking to manufacturing and from mining to agribusiness.
Mr Evan Jones, President & CEO of Altan Rio commented:
"We are delighted to have attracted a partner of the calibre of EBRD."
"As shareholders will be aware, the ability for junior explorers such as Altan Rio to raise capital to fund ongoing activities is somewhat limited in the current market environment. As such, by entering into this agreement, Altan Rio has substantially reduced financing uncertainty."
The Private Placement is the first tranche of a potential investment in the Company by EBRD of a minimum of$5,000,000 and a maximum of $10,000,000 under a subscription agreement and framework agreement between the parties (the "Financing Agreements"). Subsequent tranches under the Financing Agreements remain subject to a number of conditions precedent. For additional information regarding the Private Placement and the Financing Agreements see the Company's press releases dated January 8 and February 20, 2014.
The common shares issued under the Private Placement are subject to a four month hold period under applicable securities laws and exchange policies, expiring September 17, 2014.
YAK closed -0.42% to C$2.35, MNGGF -1.59% to 2.16
Mongolia Growth Group Lays Groundwork for Strengthened Cash Flow
Toronto, Ontario, May 20 (FSCwire) - Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. (YAK:TSXV, MNGGF:USA) ("MGG") or ("the Company") www.mongoliagrowthgroup.com, a real estate investment and development company participating in the dynamic growth of the Mongolian economy via ownership of institutional-quality commercial property assets in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, announces a re-alignment of its operating cost structure in North America and Mongolia with the goal of further improving cash flow.
Over the past two months, newly appointed CEO Paul Byrne has undertaken a review of both recurring and forecasted costs with a goal of better matching those expenses with current revenue run-rates. Based on first quarter, 2014 levels of both recurring and forecasted costs, the Company has identified annual expenses of approximately CDN $500,000 that will be reduced or deferred until the Company shows positive cash flow. The majority of these savings are related to expenditures at the Company's corporate operations, whereby now the emphasis is on building much more capability in Mongolia, where there are greater operating synergies and resulting cost efficiencies. It is anticipated that the cost saving initiatives announced today, will be undertaken over the second half of this year, with savings becoming visible early in 2015. These savings are in addition to the substantial savings that have been gained through the disposal of Mandal Daatgal, the Company's former insurance subsidiary.
"The Company has the right business model and operating platform and it is now time that we focus on strengthening cash flow from our high quality asset base," said Paul Byrne, CEO of MGG. "To achieve this, we need to be more effective with aligning our operating expenditures with our revenues, while still focusing on growth initiatives like our transformation into an asset management, real estate development and funds management business. Going forward, we will be increasing spending on revenue producing initiatives, while re-evaluating all non-revenue producing expenditures. Ultimately, as a business, we need to show stronger cash flow and reward shareholders with a dividend."
For more information about Mongolia Growth Group, please visit the Company's website at www.MongoliaGrowthGroup.com
Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. is a publicly traded and leading property investment and development company in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. MGG owns an extensive property portfolio, in diversified segments of the property market, with an emphasis on institutional-grade commercial assets.
MGG undertakes its own property acquisitions, develops brownfield land assets and repositions outdated properties, relying on in-house services for all facets of both the investment portfolio and development side of the business. In addition, MGG acts as a full-service third party provider for institutional clients and tailors transactions covering acquisition-to-suit, build-to-suit, as well as refurbish-to-suit, for property owners and major tenants.
MSE News for May 20: Top 20 -0.64%, ₮10.4 Million
Ulaanbaatar, May 20 /MONTSAME/ At the Stock Exchange trades held Tuesday, a total of 9,363 shares of 22 JSCs were traded costing MNT 10 million 428 thousand and 512.00.
"Hai Bi Oil" /3,611 units/, "Moninjbar" /1,850 units/, "Remikon" /990 units/, "Genco tour bureau" /656 units/ and "Hermes center" /600 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Material impex" (MNT two million and 708 thousand), "Tavan Tolgoi" (MNT one million 672 thousand and 845), "Shivee ovoo" (MNT one million 234 thousand and 750), "Sharyn gol" (MNT one million and 230 thousand) and "Hai Bi Oil" (MNT one million 191 thousand and 360).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 572 billion 083 million 456 thousand and 375. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,407.06, decreasing by MNT 98.90 or 0.64% against the previous day.
Mogi: record low renewed
BoM MNT Rates: Tuesday, May 20 Close
May MNT Chart:
BoM FX auction: US$20 million sold at ₮1,820.15, CNY46.5 million at ₮292, $63 million MNT swap offers accepted
May 20 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on May 20th, 2014 the BOM has received from local commercial banks bid offer of USD and CNY. The BOM has sold 20.0 million USD as closing rate of MNT 1820.15 and 46.5 million CNY as closing rate of MNT 292.00.
On May 20th, 2014, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement bid offer in equivalent to 63.0 million USD from local commercial banks and accepted the offer.
Mongolia Jan.-March FDI Drops 36% y/y to $542.6m
By Michael Kohn
May 20 (Bloomberg) -- March foreign direct investment was $152.1m vs $286.7m yr ago, according to preliminary data in statement from Mongolia's central bank.
* March current account deficit $147.1m vs. $249.2m yr ago: central bank
* FDI dropped 52% in 2013 vs. yr earlier, according to earlier statement
(Bloomberg First Word)
8% Mortgage Program Update: ₮520.5 Billion Refinanced, ₮1.08 Trillion Newly Issued
May 20 (Cover Mongolia) As of May 16, ₮520.5 billion (₮520.1 billion as of May 5) existing mortgages of 18,210 citizens (18,212 as of May 5) were refinanced at 8% out of ₮847.4 billion (₮847.2 billion as of May 5) worth requests.
Also, ₮1,078.2 billion (₮1,049.8 billion as of May 5) new mortgages of 19,228 citizens (18,693 citizens as of May 5) were issued at new rates out of ₮1.1 trillion (₮1 trillion as of May 5) worth requests.
Link to release (in Mongolian)
Mongolia Foreign Trade Review, April 2014
May 20 (Bank of Mongolia) --
Total trade turnover: $2,958.6 millions
As of April 2014 the total cumulative trade turnover increased by 0.2% (USD 5.3 millions) from that of the previous year and reached USD 2,958.6 millions. The decrease in the trade turnover was due to the decrease in imports by USD 214.6 millions.
The structure of the trade flows with the neighboring trade partners is as following: (i) trade with PRC: 58% or USD 1,718.1 millions and (ii) trade with Russia: 16% or USD 473.2 millions. The trade volume between Mongolia and China increased by 17.3% and the trade volume between Mongolia and Russia increased by 2.8%.
Trade balance: -$93.7 million
As of April 2014, the cumulative trade balance decreased by 82.3% (USD 434.6 millions) from that of the previous year and reached USD –93.7 millions. During the reporting period the total exports increased by 18.1% from that of the previous year, imports decreased by 12.3% from that of the previous year, thus the trade balance improved by USD 434.6 millions.
The value of the three-month moving average of the difference of annual growth rates of exports and imports has been decreasing recent years (Picture 1 shows that the annual growth rates of exports and imports have been declining since October 2011). But since August 2013 , it has been increasing slightly.
Trade balance of paid trade flows: -$11.3 million
The state of the trade balance of paid trade flows is one of the main variables that determines the pressure on the domestic foreign exchange market.
As of April 2014, the trade balance of paid trade flows reached USD –11.3 millions. During the reporting period, paid imports decreased by 9.7%, and paid exports increased by 16.8% that of previous year.
Terms of trade: 1.289
As of April 2014, terms of trade index (2000 base year) decreased by 11.6% from that of the previous year and reached 1.289.
This decrease in the terms of trade is mainly attributed to the fall in export prices of exporting commodities such as coking coal, iron ore and cashmere.
Composition: 89% + 11%
The share of mineral exports in total exports was 89% of the total export and decreased by 1.8 points from that of the previous year.
Coal, copper concentrate, iron ore and concentrate and crude oil have a weight of nearly 79% of total export and 89% of mining export.
In addition, these 4 products' share in the mining exports increased by 0.8 points from that of the previous year, share in the total exports decreased by 0.9 points.
Mongolian export increased by 18.1% from that of the previous year, which was mainly affected by 14.4% increase in mineral exports. Exports of copper concentrate, crude oil and non monetary gold increased by 92%, 54% and 64%, respectively, which accounted for 33% in growth of mining export. On the other hand, coking coal, iron ore and zinc ore export decreased by nearly 20%, 44%, 43% respectively, which accounted for 17% decrease in the growth of mining export.
As of April 2014, Mongolian export increased by 219.9 million USD from that of the previous year. It is affected by the increase of export commodities' quantities (USD 286.2 millions) and decrease in export commodities' prices (USD 66.3 millions).
Because of the increase in crude oil, copper concentrate and non monetary gold quantities, mining export increased by 290 millions USD. On the other hand, because of decrease in prices of coal and iron ore and decrease in quantities of iron ore and zinc ore, mining export declined by 208 million USD.
For cashmere, cashmere products and other exports, prices and quantities both increased, which resulted in increase of 30 and 15 million USD respectively.
World market prices for primary commodities
As of April 30 2014, gold price reached 1,291.6 USD, decreased by 12.5% from that of the previous year and increased by 0.6% from that of the last month.
As of April 30 2014, copper and zinc prices reached 6,659.0 and 2,040.3 USD, increased by 0.1%, 3.6% from that of the previous month respectively. Copper price decreased by 5.2%, zinc price increased by 11.2% from that of the previous year respectively.
Composition: 19% + 23%
As of April 2014, 42% of total imports were oil products and industrial inputs' imports, 18% were consumer goods and food imports, rest 40% were other products' import.
Share of oil products and industrial inputs' imports in total imports decreased by 10 points from that of the previous year. This decrease in share is mainly affected by import of oil and industrial inputs. On the other hand, the share of consumer goods and food imports in total imports increased from that of the previous year.
Mongolian imports decreased by 12.3% from that of the previous year. Main contributors of this decrease were industrial inputs' decrease, which equal to 12% of the total decrease, and oil import which equal to 3% of the total decrease.
Oil and industrial inputs' imports decreased by 14% (55 millions USD) and 42% (215 millions USD) respectively. Thus total import decreased from that of the previous year.
Due to changes in price of importing goods, import fell by 294.1 millions USD and because of changes in quantity of importing goods, import increased my 79.5 millions USD. Thus total imports decreased by 214.6 millions USD from that of the previous year.
Because of decrease in border price, oil import decreased by 47.3 million USD, thus total oil import decreased by 55.5 millions USD from that of the previous year. The oil price on the border decreased from beginning of 2012 to august 2012. Since then, the oil price increased slightly, but from October 2012 it is decreasing slowly. (Figure 6).
Mainly led by the decrease in prices, industrial inputs' import declined by 214.5 millions USD. Decrease in the import of consumer goods is affected by the decline of consumer goods price.
Import of the primary consumer products*
As of April 2014, growth of primary consumer products' import, which calculated by 3 month moving average method, decreased by 2% / Figure 7/.
Although annual growth of electronics import had been decreasing from mid of 2012, it has been relatively stable since August 2013.
But it started to increase previous month. On the other hand, passenger cars import has been declining since August 2014.
*In this calculation, among the all consumer products' import, main 48 goods is chosen and used.
Mogi: pretty spot on for an old chap
Former PM D.Byambasuren: Government can't achieve what it couldn't for two years in just 100 days
May 20 (UB Post) The following is an interview with former Prime Minister D.Byambasuren about current economic issues.
Inflation was supposed to be kept at a single digit rate but it wasn't. Will inflation decrease in the future?
The Mongolian economy absorbs inflation increase in June. Before the 2012 election, it was decreasing but for the last two years, the economy wasn't able to absorb it. This is connected to adverse government policies. We're unable to detect the main cause of inflation. Inflation continues to rise and the current situation isn't good. Since government policies are stimulating major issues, instead of grasping them, inflation will not decrease.
Inflation increase is connected to deficit in balance of payment and foreign trade as well as decrease in currency reserves. Parliament approved the state budget taking into account that one USD will cost 1,380 MNT when its rate was 1,700 USD. It's wrong for them to approve official rate for USD at 1,400 MNT when the recent budget reports estimates show that it was at 1,800 MNT. This sort of pathetic conduct prevents inflation from dropping. Reducing inflation is not a child's play.
The "100 day plan to stimulate the economy" was approved. How realistic do you think this idea is?
How can they achieve something that they weren't able to do for two years in just 100 days? It's just a cheap deceit created by the government who are running out of options to temporarily maintain current situations.
It seem that if we can find the correct baseline now, we can get a huge advantage for stimulating the economy?
When we can't straighten the policies for stabilization, it's impossible. The government isn't grasping the main problem of the economy. They need to become aware of the fact that they're going in the wrong direction. There isn't any guarantee that situations will become better.
One part of economic recovery is the budget report. What's your opinion on this?
The main aspect the government is interested in is to discover something that can make up 70 percent of the GDP by itself. This is absurd. Budget reports used to be made rather late but now, they are about to make it when not even half of the year has passed. They'll probably discuss this again in autumn. They're taking this issue very lightly.
In the first half of the year, the GDP growth decreased to 7.4 percent. More decrease is expected in the future. What is your thought on the matter?
The capacity of the Mongolian economy itself can only sustain five to seven percent growth. Other factors affect in artificial growth. It's unnecessary to run after extremely high growth. It's better to develop programs to stabilize it while we have it.
Many buildings with zero budgets were included in the state budget report. The deadline for their commissioning is approaching. What's your assessment for this?
It's true that the little amount of money Mongolia has is being used for new buildings. This is worsening the economy. Internal balance of the economy is being lost. We're unable to put it back into balance through policies. Evidently, the aftermath of incorrect policies is giving negative effects to the economy.
What is causing USD rates to near 2,000 MNT in your opinion?
Propaganda about Mongolian economic crisis from the decreasing foreign investments has continued for over a year. The majority of foreign investments are owned by Oyu Tolgoi. Investments for open pit and underground mines will progress in precise stages. You're daydreaming if you think large amounts of investments will come flooding in billions of MNT each year.
USD exchange rate reaching 2,000 MNT is a conspiracy of those interested in using the current situations to their own profit and stay in power at the government. From export level and profit, two trends can be observed. Although export levels are increasing, foreign trade is losing its balance even more rapidly (Mogi: trade deficit is narrowing, perhaps he meant the current account deficit?). Behind the increasing quantity, many challenges are emerging. Prices of products exported from Mongolia is falling. For instance, in 2010, a ton of coal used to be sold for 101 USD. Now, it only costs 39 USD. This shows that Mongolia is getting two to three times less profit even with the increase in quantity. Revenues from goods which were supposed to be exported in 2011 and at the beginning of 2012 was taken out in advance and wasted. Although export levels and evaluations are being reviewed, the 350 million USD from CHALCO, 100 million USD from Erdenet and 250 million USD from Oyu Tolgoi was wasted away so we will not get any profit. Exports may seem to be rising but there'll be no currency inflow. More economic crisis and expense are inevitable for Mongolia.
Another factor affecting the economic crisis is said to be inconsistent government decision related to the monetary policy. What's your opinion on this?
It's true that we're weak on money supply. The index for economic growth is completely different from the reality. The amount of coal sold increased but the price has halved. Furthermore, revenues are taken in advance and wasted. Even though we're exporting coal, we need to rationally consider that money isn't coming in. Mongolians have talked about exporting goods and saving money abroad. This is related to the underground economy. With customs registration, we can calculate how much each company is exporting. Mongolia doesn't have a bank monitoring system to indicate how much revenue is coming in.
Economists reported that information from customs registration and statistical data don't match. What's your take on the matter?
Goods coming in and out of the customs can be verified through data. For example, Oyu Tolgoi started exporting copper concentrate, from which some 20 tons of gold and some 100 tons of silver are extracted each year. Mongolia doesn't have laboratories to analyze this. The customs sector will become powerless someday. On the other hand, we can calculate how much iron ore was exported. In any case, issues to equip customs with high capacity technologies and personnel issues must be urgently resolved. The current capacity must also monitor everything very well. Notably, it's stated in article 9.13 of the Oyu Tolgoi contract that revenue from exported goods will not come to Mongolia. The two presidents should take responsibility. During contract verification, specialists informed about this article plenty of times. I don't understand these people who are causing so much panic when they've signed the contract in this format.
Lately, there's been a talk of developing national industries and establishing Mongolian brands. The Mongolian Economic Forum was also held under the motto "Let's create in Mongolia." Will this objective of the forum be able to become the bridge to escaping the economic crisis?
We're interpreting the economic forum as nothing but an advertisement bogus. Since the autumn session begun last year, the Investment Promotion Law was adopted. This doesn't support small and medium factories. The government gave a law to ensure stability to major investors with several billions and put up a big white banner to support small and medium factories; yet, they're running policies for stock domination and strengthen their position. While major investors have contracts for 30 years of stability, small producers constantly fear tax increase. Soon small and medium producers will be driven into a corner to give up their entity to larger producers. I see this as an indication of adverse government policy.
For the economy to recover, does the proper consumption of the people give any significant effects?
That's not something an economist would say. It's too primitive. To narrow economy is the same as saying that Mongolian poverty is a good thing. When there's economic crisis, all countries go into economizing mode. This isn't appraisable. During crises, savings need to be accumulated. The government should reduce budget expenditures and the people should reduce inefficient spending. Presently, Mongolia doesn't have such programs. In 2008 and 2009, Mongolia became the laughing stock of the world. A resolution with five provisions to overcome the crisis was submitted to Parliament including provisions about getting a 500 million USD loan and building a 21 km long power line to Govi-Altai Province.
For Mongolia, government policies are the main factors for economic crisis. The current economic crisis is the result of distributing cash handouts, being unable to implement the policy to stabilize internal economy and giving excessive attention to mining and construction sectors in 2011 and 2012. Without noticing this and talking about shrinking Mongolian internal economy is too ignorant.
Mogi: Erdenes Mongol was the original intended name but apparently the name was taken at the time and therefore settled for "Erdenes MGL". Wonder what happened to the original Erdenes Mongol.
Erdenes MGL LLC Changes Name to Erdenes Mongol LLC
May 20 (infomongolia.com) According to official announcement released on May 20, 2014, "Erdenes MGL" LLC has been changing its name into "Erdenes Mongol" LLC, which is effective from the date.
Today, the Company owns 100% of "Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi" JSC (Mogi: Waaaaaait a minute, what happened to my 1072 shares? Guess it isn't "officially" mine yet), 100% of "Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi" LLC, "Baganuur" JSC's 75% of state-owned shares, "Shivee Ovoo" JSC's 90% of state-owned shares, "Oyu Tolgoi" LLC's 34% of state portion (Mogi: owns it via its wholly-owned Erdenes OTc, "Erdenet Factory" LLC's 51% of Mongolian part, and 100% of auto road constructed between Tavan Tolgoi and Gashuun Sukhait as well as Gashuun Sukhait border port and its affiliated infrastructure.
Last weekend, Ministry of Mining of Mongolia hosted the Open Day at Chinggis Square, where newly changed "Erdenes Mongol" LLC has participated with its sub-companies to promote and introduce its activities.
The Company's operation has been enlarging and strives to become a National scale Corporation and in the scope of activities, the Company converted its name into "Erdenes Mongol" LLC and introducing its new logo.
WEF Executive Cites Mongolia as Good Example of Fighting Corruption
Internet, social media key tools in fighting corruption, says WEF exec
MANILA, Philippines, (Inquirer.net) In the age of internet and social media, information technology can also be used in fighting corruption, a senior director of the World Economic Forum (WEF) said.
"Corruption can really be a very difficult thing to quantify, and also difficult to get hard data around it precisely because of what it is which is activity that happens in a grey zone or in a black market that is outside of a normal process," Senior Director Elaine Dezenski, Head of Partnering Against Corruption Initiative of WEF, said in an exclusive interview with INQUIRER.net on Tuesday.
"On the issue of transparency, this is where technology really plays a role through its tools for social media that give a more transparent and inclusive voice to the public," she said.
Dezenski pointed to the corruption reporting website www.IPaidABribe.com in India as a prime example of how the public can hit back against corruption even on the lowest levels of government.
The website has received more than 26,000 reports of bribes across 671 cities throughout India as of May 20, 2014.
The government agency with the highest reported bribes paid is with the police at 5,900 reports.
The website encourages the public to report bribe and even specific details such as "nature, number, pattern, types, location, frequency and values of actual corrupt acts."
"Your reports will, perhaps for the first time, provide a snapshot of bribes occurring across your city. We will use them to argue for improving governance systems and procedures, tightening law enforcement and regulation and thereby reduce the scope for corruption in obtaining services from the government," it said in their website.
The website also allows the public to report the government officials who refused receiving bribes so they can be "whitelisted."
"It's very interesting to see social media being used as a way to track not only bad behavior of public officials but also good behavior. Blacklisting certain officials but also whitelisting people who are doing the right thing," Dezenski said.
"I think in terms of providing a voice [to the public] we are already seeing the effects of that on political processes on government institutions and it's quite exciting to see that," she said.
Dezenski noted a good example of the fight against corruption in Mongolia where the president encouraged businesses to join government's efforts to counter corruption.
"It's interesting to look at Mongolia where the president has been very forceful in his desire to take corruption out of the process. He invited the WEF to help him set up a local network of companies which signed on to the principles for countering corruption," Dezenski said.
"We have about 168 companies in Mongolia who signed onto the same principles that many global companies follow and the idea is to begin that reform process within the private sector but with the support of the public sector because you really need to have both in place. It goes a lot further if the private sector sees that the government is committed and vice versa," she said.
DBM Names Five Projects Financed by Chinggis Bonds
Ulaanbaatar, May 20 (MONTSAME) The Development Bank of Mongolia has announced the best five projects among those financed from the Chinggis Bonds capital.
Those are the Power plant no.3 capacity enhancement project, the Baganuur LLC capacity enhancement project, the Mongolian Airlines Boeing 767 300ER jet airliner financing project, Tumensuikh LLC Winter Greenhouse project and Transport Ministry's Ulaanbaatar-Mandalgovi road building project.
Bishrelt Group's Undarmaa Batbayar Awarded Entrepreneurship Award at EBRD's Women in Business Awards
EBRD ANNUAL MEETING 2014: WOMEN IN THE ECONOMY
May 16 (EBRD) Over the years, the Women in Business panel has become one of the liveliest and best-attended events at the EBRD Business Forum. With gender and diversity issues now a priority in the corporate suite, not to mention across societies around the globe, this is no surprise.
The panel discussion was followed by the 'Women in Business Awards' ceremony, which recognised three women from the Bank's countries of operations who have made an outstanding contribution in one of three categories: entrepreneurship, industry and banking/finance.
The Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship award went to Undarmaa Batbayar, President of Bishrelt Group, Mongolia. She is considered to be one of the most prominent female figures of the socio-political and business world in Mongolia. In addition to serving as President of Bishrelt Group (a leading trading company that she founded in 1994), Ms Batbayar currently serves as Deputy Minister of Mongolia's Ministry of Culture and Education (Mogi: was for a few months towards the end of previous government), is a member of the Lower Council of the Mongolian People's Party and a Chairman of the Social Policy Committee at the Citizens Representative Council of Ulaanbaatar city, as well as Chief of the Family Development Center. She holds numerous prestigious national awards, including Best Worker Honours and the Order of the Polar Star by the government of Mongolia.
Khan Bank Contributes to Attracting Foreign Direct Investment and Improving Foreign Trade and Commodities
May 19 (Khan Bank) Khan Bank always attends and collaborates with internationally and locally renowned conferences and forums that intend to contribute to the Mongolian social economy and improving sectors. Therefore, the Bank sponsored and collaborated with the Mongolia Investment Summit 2014 and the third Annual Mongolia Trade and Commodity Finance Conference which made a huge contribution to improving the Mongolian economy and foreign direct investment as well as foreign trade.
Mongolia Investment Summit-2014 was held in London, the world's leading financial center from 29th to 30th April and this year the summit was focused on Mongolia's current macro economic outlook and new positive changes in the legal environment following the new investment law was introduced to foreign investors.
Norihiko Kato, CEO of Khan Bank delivered a presentation entitled "Examining how Mongolian banks and financial institutions are dealing with the challenges and opportunities of a fast growing economy" and joined a panel discussion about the Mongolian banking sector as a panelist.
Furthermore, Khan Bank sponsored the third Annual Mongolia Trade and Commodity Finance Conference which was held 13th May in Ulaanbaatar as a Golden Sponsor. The conference welcomed over 175 delegates from 13 different countries.
With its focus on Mongolia's mining, minerals and vast commodity-led growth, this was the key trade gathering for the country's senior business leaders, providing timely insight into the challenges facing the local banking and private sectors, as well as offering perspectives from the industry's key supporting actors.
Norihiko Kato, CEO of Khan Bank and other finance and trade finance specialists attended the conference as panelists discussing issues such as "Utilizing international partnerships to extend access to trade finance" and "Providing perspectives from the domestic banking sector".
Khan Bank maintains account relationships with 60 international banks and the bank actively utilizes this facility to support its trade finance transactions while maintaining its strong liquidity with funding from international financial markets while collaborating with the European Reconstruction and Development Bank.
For its dynamic service of Trade Finance in Mongolia, for the fourth consecutive year; the EBRD awarded Khan Bank " The Most Active Issuing Bank in Mongolia".
As one of the Mongolia's leading bank, Khan Bank actively attends and sponsors internationally and locally well known forums and conferences to define sustainable development of the Mongolian economy and discuss challenges the sectors faces and seek the ways to overcome and raise its voice to contribute to the development of the sector.
Khan Bank officially registers with U.S. Internal Revenue Service for FATCA Compliance
May 20 (Khan Bank) In 2010, the United States approved Foreign Asset Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) that requires United States persons including individuals who live outside of their country to pay tax.
By complying with FATCA, Foreign Financial Institutions have following benefits such as sound reputation in the global arena, unhindered foreign settlement, strengthened cooperation with correspondent banks and more opportunity to provide variety of financial services to their customers.
Within the framework of its mission to seek international expansion, Khan Bank registered to U.S. Internal Revenue Service for complying with FATCA on 24 April 2014, and received its Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN) as 24NV13.99999.SL.496.
Please click here to view detailed information.
Railbuses: Just 20 Minutes from One End of UB to Other
Ulaanbaatar, May 19 (MONTSAME) A ceremony took place last Friday in the Central Railway Station of Ulaanbaatar city to receive the first two "Railbus" RA series of high-speed trains. These trains came into the public transport service of the city in order to reduce a massive traffic jam in the city and to make the public transport more sufficient, rapid and comfortable.
The railbuses, made in the Russia's "Metrovagonmash" factory will go for the service from the 6th of June. Having 136 seats, the railbus has a capacity of transporting 350-400 passengers in one race, speeding up to 100 km/hour. Thus, it will take just over 20 minutes to go from the Tolgoit to Amgalan railway stations.
Construction works have started to build 3.7 km railways for the buses, and it is expected to be put into use next year. For this year, the railbuses will run on the rails used by domestic and international trains. Due to duplication of timetables of other trains, the railbuses will transport passengers just three times a day.
Next year, the race frequency will increase to six times a day. Money of 300 million togrog will be allotted from the city's budget for erecting six extra stations. The tariff for the buses has not been fixed yet, and it will be released soon after consulting with the "Ulaanbaatar Railways" joint venture.
Present at the ceremony were A.Gansukh, the Minister of Road and Transportation, E.Bat-Uul, the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar city and other officials.
"Having high-speed trains is important step for the public transport service of our city. It definitely will enhance the public transport service and will give us possibilities to prepare new urban planning. In other words, the improvement of the public transport will eliminate the difference between the city center and suburbs. It will bring many advantages such as reducing traffic jam on autoroads," Mr Bat-Uul said.
Mogi: how about keeping tourists, expats safe from violence, let alone abuse, in streets and clubs? Heard some disturbing stories of late
Disaster Training to Be Held for Major Hotels in Ulaanbaatar on Keeping Guests Safe
Ulaanbaatar, May 19 (MONTSAME) A demonstration-training on ensuring safety for tourists to prevent accidents caused by disasters will be held Monday in the "Corporate-3" hotel, Ulaanbaatar.
Co-organized by the Tourism Department of City, the City's Emergency Department and the Health Department, this training will involve directors, managers, engineers and technical experts of the biggest hotels in the city, and its key objective is to give understanding and knowledge about helping guests and tourists in case of natural disasters or accidents.
It is vital now for hotels and other service organizations to gain knowledge on the above issue in conjunction with constructing buildings with many floors, the organizers said.
Is Ulaanbataar Running Out of Water?
'Scarcity problems will emerge in 2015, and intensify from 2020 onwards.'
By Jacopo Dettoni
May 20 (The Diplomat) Once known for its abundant and immaculate waters, the Tuul River flowing through Mongolia's capital Ulaanbataar is rapidly shrinking. The Tuul has historically swung from high-flow cycles to low-flow cycles, but it had never dropped to the levels touched between 1996 and 2012, when its average water flow fell to around 10 cubic meters per second, against a historical average of 25 cubic meters a second, according to figures from Mongolia's Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology. Back in 2009, the river's runoff appeared so compromised that a local environment news agency claimed it had become "a small creek." The Tuul river feeds the aquifer that provides Ulaanbataar with most of its water. As its streamflow shrinks, the recharge capacity of the aquifer is also being compromised, at a time when the city's water needs are booming. The threat of water scarcity looms large on Ulaanbataar's horizon.
"The city is indeed going to face water shortages in the near future," Batsukh Baljinnyam, head of the technical and policy department of state water utility Usug (Mogi: USUG is the Mongolian abbreviation for water management agency), which is in charge of water and sewage services in Ulaanbataar, told The Diplomat.
"Scarcity problems will emerge in 2015, and intensify from 2020 onwards. We need to find new water sources."
With 1.3 million citizens, Ulaanbataar is home to around 40 percent of Mongolia's total population and represents its natural economic hub, producing more than a half of its national GDP. Water use has grown hand in hand with the demographic and economic boom the city has experienced over the last 20 years. Today, Usug distributes some 160,000 cubic meters a day of water for domestic use. The company estimates that another 130,000 cubic meters a day are drained from the aquifer by private wells run by industries and individuals. At around 300,000 cubic meters a day, the city uses twice as much water as it did 20 years ago, and that thirst looks set to continue to grow.
As many as 746,766 citizens living in the poorer ger districts lack direct access to water and sanitation. Their domestic water use barely reaches 10 liters per day, way below the 50 to 100 liters per day the World Health Organization (WHO) identifies as the threshold to ensure that most basic needs are met. As the government develops its plans to improve water infrastructure in the ger districts and move some of the dwellers to modern housing, water domestic usage will rise: owners of modern apartments in Ulaanbaatar currently use more than 200 liters per day, according to 2010 Usug figures. At the same time, additional water will be needed to cater to the city's growing industrial and economic activities. Total water usage is set to double by 2030 and triple by 2040, according to estimates by the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
Decreasing recharge levels due to the Tuul River's shrinking water flow, which researchers largely trace back to climate change phenomena, as noted by Davaa Gombo, head of the hydrology unit at Mongolia's Institute for Meteorology and Environment monitoring (IMH), and increasing withdrawals pose a serious threat to the equilibrium of Ulaanbataar's aquifer.
"The increased drawdown of the groundwater at Ulaanbaatar due to an increase in groundwater abstraction indicates the critical situation of the groundwater recharge around Ulaanbataar area," reads a 2012 assessment of the Tuul river basin's water resources by Environment and Green development ministry.
"Therefore, it is needed to explore new groundwater sources around Ulaanbaatar city, to take measures for recharging of groundwater in alluvial deposition of the Tuul River, to establish groundwater monitoring network, to conduct studies and to establish monitoring network for longitudinal losses of the Tuul River runoff."
The search for new water resources has already begun. As groundwater cannot be exploited further, Usug engineers are focusing on projects that aim to develop surface waters, such as a water reservoir in the upper part of the Tuul water basin. With total costs estimated in the order of $300 million, the project is likely to be developed under a public-private partnership (PPP) scheme, Usug's Batsukh confirmed. A definitive feasibility study for the project, first conceptualized in 1981 by Russian engineers, has yet to be completed and many details such as the exact location and land issues remain to be addressed, Sosorbaram Ts., head of state-owned water authority Mongol Us, said in an interview with local newspaper UB Post.
"There is a lot water potential in Ulaanbaatar well beyond the project of a water reservoir," IMH's Gombo told The Diplomat.
Water reuse technologies feature among the possible options for easing the pressure on Ulaanbaatar's aquifer. Local private concessionaire Morit Impex is trying to develop a $200 million wastewater treatment plant project able to treat 200,000 cubic meters per day of sewage coming from the city. The new facility will make it possible to recycle some 67,500 cubic meters of treated water to meet the needs of the city's three active coal power plants, which currently use groundwater.
Besides, there is large room to make water distribution and usage more efficient. The city's decade-old water network leaks up to 30 percent of the water it distributes. On the other hands, citizens living in modern apartments pay water tariffs as low as 320 tugriks ($0.18) per liter, making Ulaanbaatar apartment water one of the world's cheapest. A marginal 10 percent increase in the city's water tariffs would result in a 12 percent reduction in residential consumption, whereas doubling the price would lead to a 21 percent cut, according to a PHD thesis by Altai Zulgerel, a researcher at Australia's James Cook University.
However, Mongolia's water challenge is not limited to Ulaanbaatar.
"From average per capita point of view, Mongolia looks like a country with abundant water resources, yet resources are unevenly distributed, with most of them in located in the northern part of the country, whereas the southern aimags (provinces) have almost none," Sarantuyaa Zandaryaa, UNESCO's programme specialist for urban water management and water quality, told The Diplomat.
With thousands of rivers and lakes, mostly located in northeastern and northwestern aimags, including Khövsgöl Nuur, Asia's second-most voluminous freshwater lake, Mongolia boasts some 12,635 m3 of renewable freshwater per capita, six times as much as China and four times as much as Kazakhstan, two of its largest neighbors, according to figures from the World Bank. Moreover, the country currently uses just over 1 percent of its renewable water resources, also according to World Bank figures.
However, physical scarcity affects both central and southern aimags, whereas water-rich aimags suffer from so-called water scarcity, with no financial or infrastructure means to develop their water resources for human and economic development, Unesco's Sarantuyaa noted.
This poses a great challenge to the development of Mongolia's agriculture and mining sectors. The latter has been the driver in the country's economic resurgence and authorities are trying to lay the ground for the full development of the country's mineral wealth. Yet most deposits are located in the southern Gobi desert aimags, where water resources are extremely scarce, leading to fragile equilibriums between competing users: mining companies on the one hand, local inhabitants on the other. Water-related issues feature among the reasons why a multi-billion expansion of Oyu Tolgoi, the country's flagship mining development jointly owned by the state and mining powerhouse Rio Tinto, has been put on hold until a new agreement between the government and the company is struck.
A number of water transfer projects aiming to transfer part of the waters of northern Orkhon and Selenge rivers to cater to the needs of the growing mining industry in the south are currently under assessment. They entail water pipelines stretching for hundreds of kilometers through the steppe, a plan that would involve huge financial and physical capital.
"With an adequate pipeline in place, half of the water flow of one of the many mid-sized rivers in northern aimags would be enough to cater to the needs of the mining industry in the south, but first we need to define environmental flow constraints," IMH's Davaa said.
The Brisbane Declaration defines environmental river flow as follows: "Environmental flow management provides the water flows needed to sustain freshwater and estuarine ecosystems in coexistence with agriculture, industry, and cities." A number of countries have adopted this as a reference to the sustainability of water use in certain basins. Mongolia has not yet followed suit, but the sooner it draws a line to define sustainable use thresholds for its river waters, the quicker authorities, citizens and private businesses will find the best way to address the country's water challenges in Ulaanbaatar, Oyu Tolgoi and elsewhere.
Xi Jinping Pledges Support for Mongolia Joining APEC as Member
May 20 (infomongolia.com) On Monday, May 19, the President of Mongolia, Mr. Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ left the country to attend the Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) taking place in Shanghai, the People's Republic of China on May 20-21, 2014.
On the first day of his arrival in Shanghai, President Ts.Elbegdorj met with his counterpart of the People's Republic of China, Mr. Xi Jinping, where parties held bilateral talks and after President of China invited Mr. Ts.Elbegdorj to have a morning tea.
At the beginning of meeting, the two Presidents touched upon issues concerning bilateral political and economic cooperation and partnership broadening at regional spheres.
Also, parties exchanged views on developing bilateral relations in the scope of marking the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties as well as the 20th anniversary of the announcement of "Mongolia-China Friendly Exchanges" Agreement.
During the bilateral talks, Presidents of China and Mongolia discussed on cooperation in infrastructure, ongoing process of coal gasification project, transit transportation and opportunity of usage seaport. Parties also were satisfied with strengthening partnership in mineral resources and energy as considered as priority sectors of bilateral trade and economic cooperation.
Moreover, President Xi Jinping pledged to support Mongolia on joining APEC as a member state.
However, the meeting of the two leaders was scheduled to have about 40 minutes, but extended up to two hours exchanging opinions concerning many vital issues that held in a friendly atmosphere.
Following the meeting, President Ts.Elbegdorj extended his invitation to the President Xi Jinping to visit Mongolia noting, "Your visit to our country would bring bilateral relationship in a new stage".
Today on May 20, President Ts.Elbegdorj will have a separate meeting with the President of the Russian Federeation, Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and on Wednesday, May 21 is scheduled to attend the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.
President Elbegdorj Meets with President Xi Jinping – Montsame, May 20
President met Chinese leader Xi Jinping – news.mn, May 20
Mongolian president invites Russia's Putin to Mongolia and proposes to abolish visas
"Mongolia is located between China and Russia and is the shortest way for transit by rail and other transport means," the Mongolian leader adds
SHANGHAI, May 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday met with his Mongolian counterpart Tsakhiagiin Elbergdorj to discuss issues of cooperation between the two countries, including in the area of transport.
"We have good large-scale joint ventures we have inherited from the past, moreover, we have good prospects for the future," Putin said, opening the meeting, adding that Russia ranked second among Mongolia's trade partners.
The Mongolian president, who spoke with Putin in Russian, agreed that the two countries had potential for further cooperation, including in the area of railway transport.
"Mongolia is located between China and Russia and is the shortest way for transit by rail and other transport means," he said. "We should look at how to use these possibilities."
Elbergdorj said that a three-party agreement on cooperation in the area of through transportation was being prepared, as was a similar bilateral agreement. Apart from that, Mongolia, he noted, was working on amendments to the 1949 agreement on the establishment of Ulan Bator Railways.
The Mongolian leader also proposed to abolish visa formalities between the two countries. "It's high time to look at easy-term or visa-free trips for Mongolian citizens to neighbouring countries," he said.
"Let me invite you to Ulan Bator in August, maybe, in its second half," he said at a meeting with the Russian leader.
Russian servicemen to take part in international military drills in Mongolia
More than 65 units of military hardware belonging to troops of the Russian Eastern military district will take part in a active stage of Selenga-2014 international maneuvers
ULAN-UDE, May 20. /ITAR-TASS/. More than 65 units of military hardware belonging to troops of the Russian Eastern military district will take part in an active stage of a drill for liquidation of assumed "illegal armed formations" in the framework of international maneuvers "Selenga-2014", the press service of the Eastern Military District told ITAR-TASS, quoting an agreement reached by Russia and Mongolia in the second round of consultations on the joint maneuvers.
The Russian side is planning to deliver to Mongolia 152mm self-propelled artillery installations Akatsiya, multiple-rocket launch systems Grad, air defense self-propelled installations Shilka, helicopters Mi-24 belonging to an Air Force base of the Eastern military district stationed in the Baikal region, the press service said.
The Russian commanders are planning to reinforce a ground force component of the Russian troops sent to the exercises, employing more than 20 personnel armored carriers, seven T-72 tanks and several 120mm mortar launchers "Vasilyok.
All the hardware will be delivered from Russia to Mongolia by a military train. The hardware will be unloaded at Bayan-Tumen railway station in Mongolia from where it will move to the area where a field camp of the joint group of troops will be stationed.
The Russo-Mongolian exercises "Selenga- 2014" will be held on a test range in Choybalsan, Mongolia, in the third decade of August. Around 500 Russian servicemen of a motor-rifle regiment, permanently stationed in Buryatia (Baikal region, Russia) will take part in the joint maneuvers with an overall number of around a thousand participants.
Defense Minister Heads to South Korea for Northeast Asian Security Talks
Ulaanbaatar, May 20 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Defense D.Bat-Erdene and accompanying him delegates headed to the South Korea to make an official visit at an invitation of his counterpart of S.Korea Mr Kim Kwan-jin, on May 19.
On Tuesday, the Minister D.Bat-Erdene will hold official talks with S.Korean part to discuss security issues on the Korean Peninsula.
The sides will also exchange views on security conditions in Northeast Asia, and discuss ways to enhance military exchanges and cooperation between Mongolia and S.Korea.
During the visit, our delegates are planning to visit the truce village of Panmunjom and the War Memorial of Korea.
N. Korea's senior nuclear negotiator spotted in Beijing, heading next to Mongolia
May 20 (Kyodo) A senior North Korean nuclear negotiator unexpectedly arrived Tuesday in Beijing, with diplomatic sources saying he is apparently on his way to Mongolia.
Ri Yong Ho, North Korea's chief negotiator for the long-stalled six-party talks aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, refrained from speaking to reporters at Beijing's international airport upon his arrival.
Ri, who arrived in the Chinese capital from Pyongyang, is expected to leave for Mongolia in the next couple of days, according to diplomatic and other sources. But the purpose of his visit is unknown.
Mongolia has close relations with North Korea.
North Korea, which has called for resumption of the aid-for-disarmament talks without preconditions, threatened in March to conduct a new-form nuclear test.
The six-party talks, chaired by China and involving Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States, have been deadlocked since 2008.
Last October, Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj visited North Korea, becoming the first foreign head of state to do so since Kim Jong Un took power after the death of his father and longtime ruler Kim Jong Il in December 2011.
Mogi: hmmm, look below and then look above and the one above that again. Coincidence much?
IAEA Representative in Mongolia to Develop 2015-2020 Technical Cooperation Program
May 20 (infomongolia.com) Upon the invitation of the Head of the Nuclear Energy Agency N.Tegshbayar, Director of the Division for Asia and Pacific at the Department of Technical Cooperation, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mr. Oscar Acuna is visiting Mongolia these days.
In the frameworks of his visit, Director O.Acuna will be got acquainted with projects implemented in the scope of IAEA Technical Cooperation of 2012-2013 Program, also new projects to implement with affiliated organs in 2014-2015 as well as project forecasts for 2016-2017 Program, and meet relevant authorities from Ministries and academic institutions.
The visit program includes meeting with officials from the Ministry of Industry and Agriculture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, Country Representative of the United Nations to exchange views on current implementing projects and issues to consider. He also plans to visit Nuclear Research Center of the National University of Mongolia, Institute of Physics and Technology of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, National Cancer Center of Mongolia, Veterinary Research Institute of the Mongolian State University of Agriculture, and Central Laboratory of Veterinary Sanitation.
As a result, the visit aims to develop the project of the implementation of the technical cooperation program for 2015-2020 between the Government of Mongolia and the IAEA.
Minister Oyungerel Receives Honorary Consul of Mongolia in Scotland Mr. David Scott
Ulaanbaatar, May 20 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism Ts.Oyungerel Monday received Mr David Scott, an Honorary Consul of Mongolia in Scotland and delegates of British "Trinity Mirror" newspaper and magazine publisher company.
At the meeting, the sides agreed to involve top ten students majoring as journalist in one year-exchange program in Scotland.
Scots charity fundraiser travels 6000 miles to kickstart new football season in Mongolia
DAVID Scott handed over dozens of football strips to local kids after being invited to be guest of honour at launch of new Premier League campaign in Asian nation.
May 19 (Daily Record) A SCOTS charity fundraiser travelled almost 6000 miles to kick off the Mongolian Premier League's new football season.
David Scott, 40, who has been Mongolia's honorary consul in Scotland since 2011, was invited to be guest of honour at the launch.
And he used the trip to Sharyn Gol, a mining town in the north of Mongolia, to hand over dozens of football strips donated by Scottish fans for local kids.
David, from Newton Mearns, near Glasgow, was made honorary consul after he organised adventure races there.
He raised tens of thousand of pounds for orphans and medical care in the Gobi Desert.
He said: "I felt incredibly honoured when the Mongolian Premier League asked me to officially open their season.
"Football is growing in popularity in Mongolia and the league officials, as well as the local dignitaries, were delighted with the strips."
The strips handed over included ones from Celtic, Rangers, Airdrie, Motherwell and the Scottish national side.
They were donated through the Adventure Kicks organisation, who are trying to encourage football teams to visit Mongolia.
Mongolian Premier League managing director Enkhjin Batsumber thanked Scots fans for their generosity yesterday.
He said: "These strips are amazing and the children could not believe it when David started handing them out.
"Today's tournament marks the official start of the new Premier League season.
"Our league has a long way to go to reach the standards of Scotland but days like this prove a huge inspiration and encouragement to players in this country.
"We'd love a Scottish side to play in Mongolia but our biggest dream would be for one of our players to join a Scottish club and become a big star.
"That would help us to grow the popularity and improve the standard of the sport in our country."
Vice Environment Minister B.Tulga in China for Joint Committee Meeting on Trans-Border Water
Ulaanbaatar, May 20 (MONTSAME) Last week, the Vice Minister of Environment and Green Development B.Tulga made a working visit in Beijing, China.
In frames of this four-day visit, the vice Minister B.Tulga attended in the sixth meeting of the Joint Committee of Mongolia and China on trans-boundary water and held meetings with officials of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the State Forest Management of this country.
At the meeting with Mr Lee Dung Shin, a deputy director of the State Forest Management, the sides talked about bilateral cooperation matters in forest sector.
Furthermore, the parties agreed to organize the third meeting of forest sector in 2015 in frames of cooperation memorandum that was established between the Ministry and the State Forest Management in 2008.
Expressing a readiness to cooperate with our country in Gobi bear protection and growth fields, Chinese part invited our working group for Gobi bear protection to share its experience on Panda bear.
After this, the Vice Minister B.Tulga met with Mr Lee Ganji, his counterpart of China and they exchanged opinions on the matters relating to activating realization of a memorandum established in 2012 between the Ministries and putting forward bilateral cooperation and several regional cooperation issues were touched upon as well.
Priceless Buddhist statues stolen from Erdene Zuu Monastery in Kharakhorum
May 20 (news.mn) Valuable statues of the Buddhist goddess were stolen from the Kharkhorum museum on Sunday night between May 19th and 20th. Kharkhorum museum is located at one of the most ancient monasteries found in Mongolia, Erdene Zuu in Uvurkhangai aimag. The Uvurkhangai Police Department reported that seven handmade Buddhist goddess statues including a 22.8 kg body and base with a gold setting of Duinkhor goddess, a 1.595 kg brass and gilded with gold Jugdernamjil and a 1.230 kg brassware and gilded with gold Maidar goddess were stolen. These Buddhist goddess belong to the unique cultural heritage of Mongolia. Police are investigating the theft of these culturally unique and priceless heritages that are from the 18th century.
According to the Police report there were four Maidar goddesses, one Duinkhor goddess and one Judgernamjil goddess, and a Manzushir goddess among the seven stolen Buddhist goddess. Police have announced a reward for information that will help them to find the thief and warned about the illegal trade of unique cultural heritages.
The Head of the Press Center of the General Police Agency, Major B.Baatarkhuu spoke about the incident at Kharkhorum museum that was broken into. It has not been estimated how much the stolen items are worth. The Uvurkhangai Police Department has initiated an investigation over the incident and shielded the monastery museum. The suspect is being searched for.
Kharkhorum museum at Erdene Zuu monastery was built in accordance with the Government decision 271 in 2009. The museum that was built with the support of the Mongolia-Japan friendship and financed by the two governments opened in September, 2010.
The museum founded in the ancient city Kharkhorum of the Mongol Empire that occupied half of the world was designed to feature the history of the ancient city, promote the ancient city`s history and culture and its cultural heritage.
Stolen Skull of Long-Clawed, Ostrichlike Dinosaur Recovered, Returned to Mongolia
By Wynne Parry
May 20 (LiveScience) For decades, the dinosaur Deinocheirus has been known for its impressive reach, with arms and fingers that together measured more than 6 feet (2 meters) long, and claws with foot-long (32 centimeters) curves.
In recent years, paleontologists have discovered more remains of this dinosaur, whose name means "terrible hands." But they arrived too late to get a skull or foot bones — poachers had already taken those parts.
After turning up in a private European collection, a skull and both feet from one animal have been returned to their country of origin, Mongolia, where officials welcomed them with a repatriation ceremony earlier this month.
The rediscovery of the stolen skull and foot bones has given paleontologists new insight into this ancient beast, which they believe to be a massively overgrown ornithomimosaur, an ostrichlike dinosaur. For instance, the skull — which measures about 3.3 feet (1 m) long — holds a broad bill, similar to that on a hadrosaur (duck-billed dinosaur), which suggests the animal had a vegetarian diet, said Philip Currie, a paleontologist at the University of Alberta who has studiedDeinocheirus and was involved in the repatriation.
he dinosaur may have used its long arms and claws to reach tall plants or into water, Currie said.
The feet, too, are much broader than those of a typical ornithomimosaur, because they had to support much more weight, possibly in a wetland environment, he told Live Science. With their long, ostrichlike legs, typical ornithomimosaurs are thought to be among the fastest of the dinosaurs. That was not the case for Deinocheirus, Currie said.
"When they get that big, everything goes out of whack. There is no way it could escape the Tarbosaurus," he said of predatory cousins of T. rex that lived alongside Deinocheirus. "Its large size may be a reason it could defend itself."
Missing from Mongolia
The newly returned skull and feet have been accepted as specimen No. 2 in the yet-to-open Central Museum of Mongolian Dinosaurs. Specimen No. 1 is the Tarbosaurus bataar at the center of a U.S. court battle and smuggling case before its return to Mongolia last year. Mongolian law makes all fossils found within its borders state property, so they cannot be exported legally. The Deinocheirus fossils are now being studied at the Mongolian Academy of Science, said Oyungerel Tsedevdamba, Mongolia's minister of culture, sports and tourism.
In 1965, during an expedition in the Gobi Desert, Polish paleontologist Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska found the first Deinocheirus fossils: its enormous arms and claws. More than 40 years later, paleontologists with the Korea-Mongolia International Dinosaur Project, including Currie, found two more partial specimens.
But poachers had arrived first, removing the head, feet and hands. This was not an unusual discovery for Currie, who said he has seen the same pattern with Tarbosaurus specimens. [Album: A Tarbosaurus Travels from Auction to Courtroom]
"What they are after is teeth and claws," Currie said of poachers. "It's a quick way to get in and out of the desert" without attracting a lot of attention, he added.
The journey back
Some of the missing Deinocheirus parts turned up when a French fossil dealer, François Escuillié, encountered the skull and foot bones in a private European collection and contacted Pascal Godefroit, a paleontologist with the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. When Godefroit saw the fossils, he knew they belonged to a huge ornithomimosaur, and he contacted Currie, whom Godefroit knew had participated in excavations that found Deinocheirus specimens without skulls or feet.
"We compared the specimens and could immediately see that the skull and feet belonged to the same individual, without any doubt," Godefroit told Live Science in an email. "We discussed [it] with the owner, who immediately agreed to send the fossils back to Mongolia, without any compensation." Godefroit said he could not provide any details about the collection or its owner.
On May 1, Mongolia formally welcomed the fossils back with a repatriation ceremony in Ulaanbaatar. So far, the return has resonated mostly with paleontologists, but Oyungerel said she expects that the Mongolian general public will catch on when the Deinocheirus fossils join those of the famous Tarbosaurus in the new museum. "Until then, we will patiently wait for the scientific research results, and for the full depiction of this creature, to see exactly what kind of animal it happened to be," she told Live Science.
Preliminary work on the two recently discovered Deinocheirus specimens was presented at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting in November, prior to the return of the skull and feet. A journal article detailing the discoveries from the two specimens plus the recovered parts has yet to be published.
Orbis Flying Eye Hospital Landing in Mongolia in June
Ulaanbaatar, May 19 (MONTSAME) The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital will arrive in Mongolia in June of this year at an invitation of the Mongolia's Ministry of Health in line of the "Virtu Foundation" NGO.
This is the sixth time for the hospital to arrive in Mongolia. This time, the hospital will work here for two weeks for give medical treatment to patients with eye problems and run training for medical doctors.
The Orbis Flying Eye is a hospital at the Orbis international non-profit non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to saving sight worldwide. Orbis programs focus on the prevention of blindness and the treatment of blinding eye diseases in developing countries.
Since 1982, Orbis capacity-building programs have enhanced the skills of 325,000 eye care personnel and provided medical and optical treatment to more than 23.3 million people in 92 countries.
The flying hospital and its teaching facility is located on board a DC-10 jet aircraft. Orbis volunteer pilots fly the plane and its international medical team to developing countries around the world to teach urgently needed sight-saving skills. Local patients receive free treatment during this training.
The NGO's headquarter is located in New York, with offices in Toronto, London, Dublin, Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, Taipei and Cape Town.
In addition to the Flying Eye Hospital, Orbis operates hospital-based programs in several countries and works with local medical research and health-care organizations on blindness prevention and eye disease treatment. An Orbis telemedicine program called "Cyber-Sight" uses the Internet to connect ophthalmologists for one-on-one collaboration and mentoring.
P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.