Thursday, July 10, 2014

[BDSec announces rights issue, MNT on 5th straight record low, transit deal approved with Latvia, UB edges closer to munis, and Happy Naadam!]

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original


Cover Mongolia

Cover Mongolia on Naadam Break

July 10 (Cover Mongolia) Cover Mongolia announces a break during the Naadam week of July 11-20. Happy Naadaming!


Overseas Market

Guildford: Fully Underwritten Non-Renounceable Entitlement Offer and Placement to Raise Up to A$7.5 Million

·         Fully underwritten, nonrenounceable Entitlement Offer of 1 new share for every 18.284 shares held to raise approximately $2,500,000.

·         1 free attaching option exercisable at $0.06 within 3 months of grant for each share subscribed for and issued under the Entitlement Offer. If all options are exercised it will raise an additional $2,500,000.

·         Underwriter has committed to a placement of 41,666,667 shares and 41,666,667 options (exercisable at $0.06 per option within 3 months of grant) raising $2,500,000 (assuming no options are exercised). If all options are exercised it will raise an additional $2,500,000. 

July 10, Guildford Coal Ltd. (ASX:GUF) --

Link to release

Link to Offer Prospectus

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Local Market

MSE News for July 9: Top 20 +1.65% to 16,854.67, Turnover 46.5 Million

Ulaanbaatar, July 9 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades held Wednesday, a total of 59 thousand and 413 shares of 30 JSCs were traded costing MNT 46 million 504 thousand and 727.00.

"Remikon" /31 thousand and 982 units/, "Nako tulsh" /10 thousand and 100 units/, "Hai Bi Oil" /4,492 units/, "Tavantolgoi" /3,008 units/ and "Makh impex" /1,564 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Tavantolgoi" (MNT 15 million 033 thousand and 475), "Sharyn gol" (MNT five million 693 thousand and 370), "Remikon" (MNT four million 798 thousand and 428), "Makh impex" (MNT four million 746 thousand and 050) and "Nako tulsh" (MNT two million 727 thousand and 500).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 721 billion 092 million 941 thousand and 746. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 16,854.67, increasing by MNT 274.07 or 1.65% against the previous day.

Link to article


Mogi: a bit disappointing of BDSec really, to be so short of detail on a major disclosure. If our biggest, if not best, broker is such, then we didn't have much chance now do we?


July 9 (BDSec) In accordance with the resolution no. 267, The Financial regulatory commission of Mongolia approved an issuance of 6 million rights offering of BDSec JSC on July 7th, 2014. 

Prices for pre-emption rights and public offering are set at MNT 1,931 and 2,146 respectively.

Link to release

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BoM MNT Rates: Wednesday, July 9 Close





































July MNT vs USD, CNY Chart:


Link to rates


BoM issues 228.5 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding +3.3% to 531.5 billion

July 9 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 228.5 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


GoM Treasury Auction: 70 Billion 12-Weeks Bills Sold at Average 11.17% Yield

July 9 (Bank of Mongolia) Auction for 12 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 70.0 billion MNT. Face value of 43.0 billion /out of 43.0 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 11.170%.

Link to release


GoM Securities Auction Report, May 2014

(Ministry of Finance) --

Amount of Mongolian Government Bond Issuance

According to Article 9.1 of the Budget Law of 2014, the outstanding amount of Mongolian Government Bonds (MGBs) to be issued this year will not exceed 1,400.0 billion Tugriks. In accordance with this provision the Ministry of Finance will prepare and make publicly available quarterly issuance schedules. The Government of Mongolia will be issuing a total of 440.0 billion Tugriks worth of MGBs in Q2, of which 310.0 billion Tugriks of MGBs will be repaid within FY2014, and 130.0 billion Tugriks of MGBs will be outstanding at the end of the year.

Main Policy Objectives


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Revised draft bill on press freedom submitted to parliament

July 9 (UB Post) Members of Parliament M.Batchimeg and S.Demberel, members of a working group responsible for the revised draft of the Law on Press Freedom of Mongolia, submitted the draft bill to Speaker of the Parliament Z.Enkhbold on Tuesday.

The Mongolian Parliament first approved the Law on Press Freedom in 1998, to ensure citizens' rights to ask, acquire and spread information, as well as express their opinions. The law formed a fundamental legal framework where the state supports independent newsrooms without the influence or ownership of the state, minimized state monitoring of media and regulated free press issues.

However, a more elaborate law has been needed in the recent years, as the number of media outlets has radically risen, currently reaching 555. Also, the independence of newsrooms and a free environment for journalists has been shrinking, so legislators have revised the law to meet modern demands.

Weakened press freedom means that the rights of citizens to receive truthful information have been violated, resulting in diminished social ethics and increased public confusion. In the current legal environment, the problems, complaints and disputes of journalists are rarely addressed, which contributes even more to decline.

The content of today's Law on Press Freedom is quite limited and regulates communication and relations between the state and media, while the revised edition will hopefully cover all issues facing the sector.

Link to article


Local website shut down for posting news revealing illegal activity at PM's tourist camp

July 9 (UB Post) Globe International NGO, an organization monitoring the preservation of democracy in Mongolia, published a statement opposing the Communications Regulatory Commission's (CRC) shutting down of, a local news website, without any justification.

An Amjilt journalist posted an article and photo with the headline "Prime Minister's Khaan Jims tourist camp is dumping its sewage in the Tuul River" on July 3, and CRC contacted administrators on July 4, following a complaint from Khaan Jims. CRC warned Amjilt that it would shut down the website in one hour unless they retracted the article and posted a correction, stating it was "complete libel."

The website's administrators asked on what basis the CRC was imposing such demands, but received neither an explanation or an official statement about shutting down the website, reported Amjilt administrators. After three hours, the website was shut down by the CRC.

The CRC put on the "Violated Domain List", a list of websites shut down for violating the Law on Copyright and Related Rights (LMCRR), as well as international treaties and conventions Mongolia has joined.

The CRC has the authority to temporarily shut down websites which haven't met demands based on official decisions or assessments made by law enforcement organizations within a given time. However, no decision to shut down was been made by any organization, and there are no legal grounds to claim that any article based on solid investigation and photographic evidence is in violation of LMCCR's Clause No.25.

Globe International has strongly opposed the CRC's decision, as it believes that the shut down clearly shows the interference of state organizations and high-ranking officials in media, violates the basic rights of freedom of expression in a democracy, prevents the public from receiving truthful information and breaches freedom of the press.

In an article published on May 9, 2013,, reported that the Prime Minister owns 33 percent of Khaan Jims and originally privatized the land to plant sea buckthorn.

Opposing the shut down, Mongolian Website Association (MWA) and held a press conference on Tuesday, and MWA Director J.Jargalsaikhan reported they will shortly organize a demonstration to restore the website and oppose the unlawful decision. The MWA said it is planning to post articles about the illegal actions of Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag every day on all of its member websites.

To clarify if the camp was dumping its raw sewage, interviewed Khaan Jims manager L.Saintugs. He assured their reporter that the camp's treatment plant transfers 99.1 percent clean water to the Tuul River, unlike what was reported on websites. posted an interview with T.Tuvshinjargal, director of Mon-Tungil LLC, which built the water treatment plant at Khaan Jims tourist camp, to hear their story. In their interview he stated that the treatment plant was installed five years ago and employs the latest technology used in South Korea, so that the plant purifies over 90 percent of its wastewater before it is released in the Tuul River.

Link to article


Business Conditions Dull, but Corruption Dips in Mongolia

July 9 (The Asia Foundation) The Asia Foundation and the Sant Maral Foundation on July 7 released the latest Study on Private Perceptions on Corruption (STOPP), revealing a troubling decline in satisfaction with the business environment and how some debilitating conditions for business could be improved. Implemented since December 2012, the fourth issue of the STOPP survey interviewed 330 senior-level managers of Mongolian businesses in Ulaanbaatar in April 2014.

How do you reduce corruption? This is a question Mongolians are scrambling with as the country is set to pile up a staggering amount of wealth in coming years. Stronger legislation is always helpful in reducing corruption, but most important is to see that the political will to enforce this legislation exists and endures. This takes creation of multi-sectoral checks on growing conflict of interests and a demand for a corruption-free society, and such an alliance would need the private sector's cooperation.

The private sector is often assumed as the perpetrator of corruption. We cannot assume markets to be equitable on their own. It is also true that they are often vulnerable to corruption. But by creating jobs and wealth, markets serve an important socio-political function just like civil society groups and politicians. In addition, it has a stronger incentive to reduce corruption because of the escalating transaction costs of doing business.

According to the survey, the private sector overall remains skeptical about the general business environment in Mongolia. The satisfaction level shows an unmistakable declining trend, with those satisfied making up only 12 percent of the responding firms. It is already very low, but what gives a sense of a declining situation is that this number has been halved from 25 percent since December 2012.

When we know firms are unhappy about business conditions, the next question is what the problems are, and the time and resources firms are "wasting" when overcoming problems. The number of firms that are "not wasting" any time overcoming "obstacles" is just about 9 percent in 2014. The first survey in 2012 showed the same result, whereas it has declined nearly by a half from 19 percent since May 2013. This means that these obstacles trouble more firms now than they did in May 2013. At the same time, the number of firms that had spent "no resources" has almost doubled since 2012 from 10 percent. Despite the low baseline, the increase is substantial.

The obstacles are real in the sense that they are absorbing valuable resources and time that could be spent more productively. Respondents cited high taxes (52.4 percent) followed by obtaining and renewing licenses as the biggest obstacles. Interestingly, both have declined since 2012 by about eight percentage points. So, here is a situation where business conditions are deteriorating but the impact of major obstacles, if you may, is declining. There are marginal increases (by less than 5 percent) in "access to credit" and "conditions for labor market" (the other two biggest obstacles), but the substantial increment is in "strong competition from other companies" showing an increase of more than double or by 15 percentage points since 2012. This is a noteworthy increase, but it doesn't tell us in what ways this is an obstacle or whether this leads to corruption.

Similarly, the Tax Office and the Specialized Inspection Agency are believed to be the two leading agencies creating obstacles, but what must also be noted is over time the number of firms saying so has also declined (respectively by 3 and 7 percentage points). It is also critical to be clear about whether the agencies are indeed creating obstacles, or if they are just unpopular for something they cannot control or have to do as part of their jobs (for example, high taxes and regular inspections).

Overall, it is possible that while bureaucratic red tape is still high, the real costs of doing business have declined (less resources being wasted), which possibly hints at a decline in overall corruption levels. The number of respondents who have not experienced or heard of corrupt transactions in the last 12 months has also declined by 8 percentage points from 48.5 since 2012. When compared with data of October 2013, it has declined by almost 16 points.

Although the drop since October 2013 is troubling, it must be comforting to know that there are now fewer businesses that consider unofficial charges (often viewed as corruption) as a major obstacle. The number of those considering this an obstacle has declined by nearly a half since 2012 (from 18 to 10 percent). It may mean either the size, frequency, or both of bribes have declined.

What made the above progress possible? The levels of "awareness of anti-corruption measures" and "government efforts against corruption" among the surveyed firms are not particularly inspiring. Those believing they have extensive knowledge and that the anti-corruption laws are very effective make up 4 percent or less, both either stable or has declined since December 2012. Only 7-9 percent have ever reported incidences of corruption (since 2012) and 14 percent said they had some kind of anti-corruption measures in place. However the good news is the number of surveyed firms that now have a written policy to deal with corruption has increased since 2012 from 10 to 17 percent. Still a low number, but an inspiring growth over time.

Obstacles to firms seem real, yet many that were previously thought pervasive have shown declining trends. From those that have shown increasing trends, it is very difficult to say whether they actually lead to corruption. Although agencies that played a part in improvements must be applauded, the problem of corruption remains grave. The government's main concern now should be reassuring the business community of its commitment to partnering in fighting corruption as fears for a protracted slowdown grow.

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Cabinet Approves Transit Transportation Agreement with Latvia for Export to Europe

Ulaanbaatar, July 9 (MONTSAME) A meeting of the Cabinet approved Wednesday an intergovernmental agreement on international auto-transportation relations between Mongolia and Latvia.

The agreement was signed in Ulaanbaatar on June 12.

Under the agreement, Mongolian transporters have become able to make direct freights to the European countries through a new transition point in Latvia. Before, Mongolia had to make this transportation through Russia, Belarus and Poland due to absence of related agreement with the latter.

Issues regarding Asia-Europe trades, transports, customs, taxation and insurance will be solved easier thanks to this agreement.

Since 1993, Mongolia has established similar agreements with Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, North Korea, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus.

Link to article


Finance Minister Submits Draft Amendment to Law on Credit Guarantee Fund

Ulaanbaatar, July 9 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Finance Ch.Ulaan MP Tuesday submitted to the Speaker Z.Enkhbold a draft amendment to the law on fund for credit guarantee.

It is time to amend the current law on fund for credit guarantee because there are requirements to augment sources for the fund of credit guarantee, to broaden its actions, to support small- and middle-sized businessmen in localities, Mr Ulaan said.

He added that the amendment aims to promote local businessmen initiatives for development, to deliver the credit guarantee fund's services to localities, and to create a legal opportunity for them to get the services.

Link to article


Special Rule Approved for Issuing Permits to Explore and Exploit Common Minerals

Ulaanbaatar, July 9 (MONTSAME) The regular cabinet meeting on Wednesday approved a special rule for exploration and exploitation of widely-spread mineral resources in biggest auto roads, railways and great construction projects.

The permission to explore and exploit these minerals will be given by the government. A license owner must spend own money for exploiting the minerals, which must be used for selected project and programmes only. 

In view of this, the cabinet obliged the Minister of Road and Transportation, the Minister of Mining, the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar, and governors of aimags to control a realization of the rule. 

Link to article


15 brand new train cars set off for Moscow

July 9 (UB Post) Ulaanbaatar Railway (UBTZ), a Mongolia-Russia joint venture company, purchased 15 new passenger train cars on May 9, and the cars started their first journey to Moscow on Friday with about 200 passengers.

A one-way business class ticket for the Ulaanbaatar-Moscow train is 260,000 MNT, while first class tickets cost 405,000 MNT.

The governments of Mongolia and Russia made a decision to increase the budget of UBTZ by 250 million USD and started technical reforms to increase transportation payload capacity. Both governments provided 125 million USD each. The new train cars were purchased with the Mongolian government's investment.

The train cars have designated wheelchair accessible entrances and toilets to meet the needs of all passengers.

Link to article


Steroids seized at border in possible Naadam connection

July 9 (UB Post) On July 3, Mongolian citizen "D" was detained at Buyant-Ukhaa border checkpoint under suspicion of carrying ten types of illegal steroids for use during Naadam Festival.

The stash of 314 drugs seized have been found to be substances that are harmful to the liver, other internal organs and the general health of the user. Steroids are illegally sold at prices varying from 30,000 MNT to 600,000 MNT.

A detailed investigation of the case is currently underway, as "D" has been suspected of smuggling steroids to Mongolia more than once before.

There is a rising number of steroid smugglers and dealers in Mongolia with regular clients, according to reports recently received by law enforcement organizations.

Every year, issues surrounding the steroid use of wrestlers competing in the Naadam wrestling tournament and horses in national races at Khui Doloon Khudag draw the public's attention after the holiday ends. Some wrestlers have been proven to have used steroid in doping tests in recent years, yet no serious penalties were imposed upon them.

Link to article


ADB presents project to improve TVET system to Chairman of Budget Standing Committee

July 9 (UB Post) A project to improve the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system in Mongolia was presented to MP Ts.Davaasuren, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Budget, by Asako Maruyama, Education Specialist of Asian Development Bank, on July 7.

The proposed project seeks to create a better transition from secondary school to the workplace to meet the increasing need for a skilled workforce. The initiative seeks to do this by improving teaching, curriculum and facility quality in TVET programs in trades that have a large absorption capacity, such as agriculture, construction and the processing industry.

MP Ts.Davaasuren stated that he sees the project as hugely important in that it will contribute to improving the agricultural sector and future economy.

Public Affairs and Communications Department of the Parliamentary Office acknowledged that these changes to the TVET system would positively support the development of human resources in priority sectors.

The project was created by Asian Development Bank and developed in collaboration with Ministry of Labor and Ministry of Education and Science, and will cost 30 million USD in loans to carry out. A project to improve the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system in Mongolia was presented to MP Ts.Davaasuren, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Budget, by Asako Maruyama, Education Specialist of Asian Development Bank, on July 7.

The proposed project seeks to create a better transition from secondary school to the workplace to meet the increasing need for a skilled workforce. The initiative seeks to do this by improving teaching, curriculum and facility quality in TVET programs in trades that have a large absorption capacity, such as agriculture, construction and the processing industry.

MP Ts.Davaasuren stated that he sees the project as hugely important in that it will contribute to improving the agricultural sector and future economy.

Public Affairs and Communications Department of the Parliamentary Office acknowledged that these changes to the TVET system would positively support the development of human resources in priority sectors.

The project was created by Asian Development Bank and developed in collaboration with Ministry of Labor and Ministry of Education and Science, and will cost 30 million USD in loans to carry out.

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Ulaanbaatar Edges One Step Closer to Maiden Municipal Bond Issuance

July 9 (Mongolian Economy) The City Government of Ulaanbaatar has never issued a bond before, despite implementing three bond issue procedures in 2002 and 2003. Yesterday, the Economic Development Department of the City Government renewed a bond issue procedure during the City Council Meeting. According to this law, no more than 15 percent of the city's budget can be issued into a bond. They created a preliminary projection of MNT 300 billion

With the hopeful implementation of this bond, the City Government anticipates to boost the economic growth of Ulaanbaatar. The money from this bond would be given to projects that have the ability to pay back within a short timeframe as well as provide high benefits for the government. Such projects include the Emeelt Complex, Nalaikh and Bagnurr industrial parks, city planning infrastructure, and old apartment renovations.  

Given the current economic situation of Mongolia, the City Government predicts that they will be able to issue the bond early next year. They are presently conducting analysis on the spending of the Chinggis Bond to learn about its successes and failures to better create an effective bond issue procedure. 

The procedures are set in place by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economic Development, Mongol Bank and the Financial Regulatory Commission. These organizations partnered with the World Bank project team to help establish procedures that will meet international standards since the Chinggis Bond and the Samurai Bond face many criticisms.  

The World Bank says that within the money supply program, loans have increased intensively this year and reached the debt limit of Mongolia. This is turn creates a pressing problem for Ulaanbaatar because by reaching the debt limit, the City Government will not be able to issue any bonds in the future.  

According to international standards, the continuation of loan conditions and the duty of local loans and payments can be independent from the government. This is because at the end of the day, the local government can take loans and pay them back with their own income sources.  

In order for the City Government to meet its financial needs, it is important to build up financing in its capital markets in addition to establish its own credit rating settlement. The World Bank says that Mongolia will need to improve its legal environment setting, create a transparent and responsible system of debt management, define its loan capacity and grade the needs of absolute loans. 

Link to article


Former UB mayor, council chairman charged with illegal privatization to former President

July 9 (UB Post) Prosecutors transferred a case to the court for a final decision, implicating a former Ulaanbaatar City Mayor and three others in the abuse of authority and massive financial losses for the state through the illegal privatization of state properties.

Ts.Batbayar, who was also Chief of the Property Privatization Commission while he was mayor; former Chief of the Ulaanbaatar City Council T.Bilegt; Chief of the Property Privatization Division at the Ulaanbaatar Property Relations Agency G.Manaljav; and Ts.Batbayar's younger sibling, Ts.Chantsal, have become suspects in the case.

The Independent Authority Against Corruption and Ulaanbaatar City Prosecutors Office found in their investigation that Ts.Batbayar abused his authority. After its closing, he transferred the 605 million MNT ownership of Urgoo, an Ulaanbaatar-owned hotel, to Khar Dun LLC, owned by former President of Mongolia N.Enkhbayar's son E.Batshugar. Afterwards, Khar Dun became a subsidiary of N.Enkhbayar's Eskon LLC.

Ts.Batbayar is also accused of privatizing the Ulaanbaatar-owned Recovery Treatment Clinical Hospital, valued at 779 million MNT, at the far lower price of 256 million MNT to his younger sibling Ts.Chantsal, with the help of G.Manaljav.

Another suspect in the case, T.Bilegt, is also accused of abusing his position and privatizing 2.1 billion MNT in Ulaanbaatar Times, a city-owned newspaper, to N.Enkhbayar's younger sibling N.Enkhtuya's Media Holdings LLC, which also become a subsidiary of Eskon LLC.

Link to article


Supermarket working hours during Naadam

July 9 (UB Post) Department stores, markets, chain stores, and trade centers in UB will operate on a special schedule during Naadam.

State Department Store will be open from 10:00 a.m to 8:00 p.m. on July 11 and 12. On July 13 its hypermarkets and supermarkets will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. It will operate with its normal hours after these dates, opening from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Sky Department Store will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on July 11, 12, and 13.

Hypermarket in Khan-Uul will be open from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on these days.

Maxmall Department Store will be open with its regular business hours during the Naadam holiday except on July 15, when it will be open from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Grand Plaza will be closed on July 11, 12, and 13. It will be open on July 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Naran chain stores (Naran Mall, Naran Point) will be closed on July 11 and 12. After these dates, it will be open and operating under its normal business hours.

Orgil chain stores will open with normal business hours during Naadam, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Mercury Market will be closed from July 11 to 16.

Sarnaikh Supermarket will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on July 10. On July 11, 12, and 13 it will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. On July 14 and 15 it will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. After Naadam, the supermarket will operate as usual.

Good Price supermarkets will be open as usual during Naadam, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Narantuul, Narantuul 2, Bars Market, Sunday Plaza, Kharkhorin, Dunjingarav Trade Center and Khuchit Shonkhor markets will be closed during Naadam.

Minii and Bosa chain stores will be open during Naadam.

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Mongolia and Kyrgyz Republic Hold Official Talks Chaired by Two Prime Ministers

July 9 ( Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic, Djoomart Kailovich Otorbaev is paying an official visit to Mongolia these days and on the first day of his visit, Premier Dj.Otorbaev held an official meeting with the Prime Minister of Mongolia

N.Altankhuyag in the Government House on July 08, 2014.

Following the bilateral talks, the two Government leaders made briefings during the press conference and Premier N.Altankhuyag noted in his statement that the visit of Kyrgyz Prime Minister to Mongolia opens a new page in the mutual partnership history and during the talks Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan agreed to support each other cooperating in the development of parliamentary democracy. Also, parties negotiated to collaborate on the studies of Mongolia's experience in the civil registration and electoral systems, besides how to bring close civil servants' service to public. Moreover, sides reached consensus to forward bilateral economic partnership, for instances, opportunities between entities to export Mongolian wool and cashmere products and to import sugar and various fruit products from the Kyrgyz Republic.

In his statement, Prime Minister Dj.Otorbaev said, "Mongolia's experience gained in developing democracy is helpful in the development of parliamentary democracy of the Kyrgyz Republic and great potential of opportunities to partner are open in economic sector between the two countries, particularly in the spheres of mining, animal husbandry and tourism".

On the same day, Kyrgyz delegation led by Prime Minister Dj.Otorbaev was received by Speaker of the State Great Khural (Parliament) Z.Enkhbold, where parties discussed on further inter-parliamentary partnership issues and Premier Dj.Otorbaev conveyed greetings of Speaker of the Jogorku Kengesh (Parliament) Asylbek Sharipovich Jeenbekov to his counterpart of Mongolian Parliament.

Link to article


President Elbegdorj Receives Kyrgyz Prime Minister

July 9 ( The President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj received the Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic, Djoomart Otorbaev at the State Affairs Ger Palace on July 08, 2014.

At the beginning of reception, Premier Dj.Otorbaev conveyed sincere greetings of President of the Kyrgyz Republic Almazbek Atambayev to the state head Ts.Elbegdorj and noted that the President Ts.Elbegdorj's state visit to Bishkek conducted in 2012 is highly valued. Also, Mr. Djoomart Otorbaev conferred an invitation from the President of Kyrgyzstan to President Ts.Elbegdorj to visit the country to attend the World Nomad Games 2014, where participants from Turkey and Central Asian countries will compete in wrestling, horse races and traditional nomadic games that will take place in September 2014.

Prime Minister Djoomart Otorbaev expressed Kyrgyzstan's interest to learn Mongolia's model, experiences and principles of democratic transition, market economy, human rights and democratic fair elections. He emphasized that Mongolia and Kyrgyz peoples have many similarities in customs, lifestyle, culture and history and that is why Mongolia's model of democracy meet Kyrgyzstan's need. Prime Minister said that there are wide opportunities for two countries to develop cooperation in mining, animal husbandry and tourism sectors. He underlined possibilities for Mongolian entrepreneurs to come to Kyrgyzstan cooperating in agriculture and farming, because of the country's pleasant climate.

President Ts.Elbegdorj underlined the importance of fair registration of voters and using electronic voting machines during the elections. President said that it is important to exchange representatives, particularly Parliament members between the two countries to sharing mutual experiences.

President briefed about "From a Big Government to a Smart Government" program that has been implementing and in the scope of this initiative, Budget Transparency Law was ratified recently by the Parliament of Mongolia. Moreover, President noted that the Honorary Consulate of Mongolia will be soon opened in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. 

Link to article


State Head receives Kyrgyzstan PremierMontsame, July 9


President receives Ambassador of Canada on end of term

Ulaanbaatar, July 9 (MONTSAME) The leader of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj Tuesday received Tuesday Mr Gregory Goldhawk, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Canada to Mongolia.

The Ambassador, who has completed his diplomatic mission here and is to return home soon, "made great contribution to deepening of the bilateral relations", stressed the President and thanked him for these deeds and also for efforts to involve Mongolia in a list of countries to receive the official developmental assistance.

Some high-level visits were paid between the two countries last year, for example, the Governor-General David Johnston visited Mongolia, and the Speaker Z.Enkhbold visited Canada, he went on.  Mongolia is focusing on ensuring its economic development and on attracting foreign investments, the President emphasized and said the two countries have all chances to collaborate in investing Mongolia's rural development, infrastructure and education. Mongolian parliament recently adopted the new laws on minerals and on oil, he noted.

In response, Mr Goldhawk said Mongolia is one of the countries who prioritize the democracy and human rights, and that he had observed intensive development of our economic growth.

Underlining an importance of the bilateral economic ties, especially a partnership of private sectors of our counties, the President wished the Ambassador all the best.  

Link to article


Speaker receives member of French National Assembly, chair of France-Mongolia friendship group

Ulaanbaatar, July 9 (MONTSAME) The Chairman of the State Great Khural (parliament) Z.Enkhbold is happy with active political dialogue between Mongolia and France, particularly with boosting of the inter-parliamentary ties and cooperation.

He spoke about this and other matters at a meeting with Mr Jerome Chartier, a member of the National Assembly of France (lower house of parliament) on Tuesday. The Speaker conveyed greetings to Mr Claude Bartolone, the President of the NA of France, and thanked Mr Chartier--a head of the France-Mongolia friendship group at the NA--for 13-year great efforts to widen the relations and cooperation in all sectors and to propagandize Mongolia to French politicians and businessmen.

He said that "Tractebel", an associated company of the "GDF Suez" French multinational electric utility company, is working out a feasibility study of the "Eg River" hydro power station's project after having been selected as the consulting company, and added that this station will replace imported electricity.

In response, Mr Chartier expressed a satisfaction with meeting with the Speaker again. "Members of the France-Mongolia friendship group are visiting Mongolia for the first time. It is very important for us," he said and introduced to the Speaker functions and goals of the friendship group.

He also said France plans to mount an exhibition about Mongolia in 2016 in Paris to show developmental tendencies of Mongolian ancient and contemporary arts. The 50th anniversary of the Mongolia-France diplomatic relations will be celebrated next year, Mr Chartier noted and said he would like the President of Mongolia to visit France during this jubilee, "France is ready to do all to run this visit".

After this, the leader of Mongolia awarded Mr Chartier the "Polar Star" state Order for his significant contribution to the bilateral social-economic relations.

Present at the meeting were also N.Battsereg, a head of the "Justice" coalition's faction at parliament and chairman of the Mongolia-France inter-parliamentary group; S.Byambatsogt, a head of the Mongolian People's Party's (MPP) faction; Ts.Oyungerel MP, the Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism; D.Ganbat, a head of the Standing committee on justice; B.Boldbaatar, the secretary of the Parliamentary Office.

Mongolia and France established the diplomatic relations on April 27 of 1965. France opened its Embassy in Mongolia in 1966, whereas Mongolia opened the Embassy in 1969.

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The Origin of the Three Manly Games

July 9 (UB Post) Naadam, which takes place from July 11th to 13th each year, literally translates to "games". The festival is also known as eriingurvannaadam, or "the three manly games".

Naadam is the most widely watched festival among Mongols, and is believed to have existed for centuries in one form or another. The origins of Naadam go back to primordial times, when the horse was first domesticated and the first hunters learned how to ride them. Though the historical evidence is not available, the festival's roots can be traced to the cultures of Central Asian nomadic tribes such as the Huns, Scyphians and Turks. As early as 3000 B.C., the holiday has been a regular national event, where all nomadic tribes come together to show the best of their physical strength, riding and shooting skills; qualities vital to the survival of nomadic herders and hunters.

This annual festival tradition survived throughout centuries of the turbulent history of Central Asian nomads. After the 1921 National Revolution's victory. On June 11, the revolutionaries mounted a successful attack on Urgoo, the capital city, and defeated the Chinese military garrison.

Nowadays, it is simply the Naadam celebration of Mongolian sport. The games held throughout the country during midsummer are Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery.

The biggest festival, the Naadam of the Country, is held in the Mongolian capital, at Ulaanbaatar's National Sports Stadium. Naadam begins with an elaborate opening ceremony featuring dancers, athletes, horseback riders, and musicians. After the ceremony, the competition begins.

Chinggis Khan's Nine Base White Banners, representing the nine tribes of the Mongols, are still ceremonially transported from the Government Palace to the Central Stadium to open the Naadam festivities. At these opening and closing ceremonies there are impressive parades of mounted cavalry, athletes and monks.

Another popular Naadam activity is the playing of games using shagai, sheep anklebones that serve as game pieces and tokens of both divination and friendship. In the larger Naadam festivals, these tournaments can take place in a separate venue.

In 2010, Naadam was inscribed on the Representative List of UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


For many, the wrestling tournament is the focal point of Naadam. Either 512 or 1,024 wrestlers meet in a single-elimination tournament that lasts nine or ten rounds. Bokh (Mongolian traditional wrestling) is an untimed competition in which wrestlers lose if they touch the ground with any part of their body other than their feet or hand. When picking pairs, the wrestler with the greatest fame has the privilege of choosing his own opponent. Each wrestler has an "encourager" called a zasuul. The zasuul sings a song of praise for the winning wrestler after rounds three, five, and seven.

Originally, bokh was a military sport intended to provide mainly strength, stamina and skills training to troops. Chinggis Khan (1206–1227), all the later emperors of the Mongol Empire (1206–1368) and the emperors of later Khanates were keen to support the sport, so wrestling events were included in local festivals, or Naadam. Wrestling became a key factor when deciding candidate rankings in imperial martial exams. Plus, outstanding wrestlers were entitled to high distinctions.

The rules of wrestling are rather simple: anybody who touches the ground first is defeated. The skills are demanding ones, as neither wrestler's weight nor height is accounted for. Each Mongolian wrestler has a title of his own: Lion, Elephant, Falcon, – a sophisticated hierarchy of ranks bestowed based on the wrestler's past performances. Categories such as Steady, Mighty and Strong are usually added to wrestler rank, to reflect their specific wrestling style or quality. The champion of the tournament is awarded the title of "The Titan". Winners of the 7th or 8th stage (depending on whether the competition features 512 or 1,024 wrestlers) earn the title of zaan (elephant). The winner of the 9th or 10th stage, is called arslan (lion). In the final competition, all the zasuuls drop in the wake of each wrestler as they take steps toward each other. Two-time arslans are called titans or giants (avraga).

On September 17, 2011 the Mongolian National Wrestling Match was held with the participation of 6,002 wrestlers. It became the largest wrestling competition in the world and was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records.


The wrestler's zasuul is an on-field guide and coach. In early round competitions, when there are many wrestlers, most wrestlers don't have their own zasuul. Successful wrestlers and those who get to the higher rounds, get their own zasuuls. A zasuul's role is to hold the hat of his wrestler while he wrestles, and give him encouragement and motivation on the field. For instance, if the match is going slowly, a zasuul might slap the buttocks of his wrestler to encourage him to engage his opponent more quickly. Zasuuls are not technically coaches in the literal sense. They are usually an elder and friend of the wrestler, who is there on the field to serve as a guide and help set up a fair competition. Also, unlike other grappling sports, a zasuul does not have to be a former wrestler. When the match starts, the wrestlers are divided somewhat evenly into left and right sides, and sometimes in the higher rounds, a zasuul will sing the praise of his wrestler as an open challenge to competitors across the aisle. The other side's zasuul will respond with praise of his own wrestler. The poetic praise of a wrestler by his zasuul comes from the wrestler with the highest rank on that side.

The traditional outfit wrestlers developed over the ages reflects simplicity and mobility. The standard gear of a wrestler includes:


A tight, collarless, heavy-duty, short-sleeved, red or blue  jacket. Traditionally made of wool, modern wrestlers have changed to looser materials such as cotton and silk. The front is open, but tied at the back with a simple string knot, thus exposing the wrestler's chest. According to legend, on one occasion a wrestler defeated all other combatants and ripped open the zodog of the final challengers to reveal her breasts, showing everyone she was a woman. From that day on, the zodog had to reveal the wrestler's chest.


Small, tight-fitting briefs made of red or blue cotton cloth. These make the wrestler more mobile. Also, they prevent one's rival from easily taking advantage of long pants and material to trip on.


Leather boots, either in the traditional style (with slightly upturned toes), or commercial, Western style. Traditional gutal are often reinforced with leather strings around the sides for the purpose of wrestling.

Inner Mongolian wrestlers may also wear a jangga, a necklace decorated with strands of colorful silk ribbons. It is awarded to those who have gained considerable renown through contests.


It is impossible to imagine Mongols without a horse. Thousands of years ago, horses were the most reliable means of transportation. Therefore any festivity is not complete without horse racing. Reflecting this reverence for horses, awards and prestige goes not to the horse's rider or owner, but to the horse. A peculiarity of Naadam horse racing that most often surprises foreigners, is that jockeys are usually children aged four to 13. It is believed that lightweight jockeys allow horses to perform most effectively.

Unlike Western horse racing, which consists of short sprints generally not much longer than two kilometers, Mongolian horse racing featured in Naadam is an endurance event, with races 15 to 30 kilometers long. The length of each race is determined by age class. There are six races for horses of different ages.

Before the races begin, the audience sings traditional songs and the jockeys sing a song called "Gingo". The start of the race is a spectacular event, as hundreds of horses shoot out through clouds of dust, accompanied by the wild shouts of jockeys and cheering spectators.

Mongolian horses are well known for their stamina and strength. They stay outside year round, on open pastures, grazing on whatever grass is available. Despite their size, they can run for hours without tiring. One stallion from Uvs province, named EldenZeerd, once covered 250 kilometers in 14 hours. To prepare a horse for racing requires patience, and knowledge of horses. Uyachi (horse trainers) are natural veterinarians, individuals who command deep respect from all connoisseurs of horses.

Prizes are awarded to horses and jockeys at the completion of the race. The top five horses in each class earn the title of airgiyntav, and the top three are given gold, silver, and bronze medals. Also, the winning jockey is praised with the title of tumnyekh, or leader of ten thousand. The horse that finishes last in the Daaga race (two year-old horse race) is called "bayankhodood" (full stomach). A song is sung to the bayankhodood, wishing him luck to be next year's winner.


Mongolians are said to be born with a bow in their hands, and they are trained and nourished to be good archers in childhood. They invented one of the most effective bows in military history, the Mongolian recurved composite bow, made with horn, bark and wood. Now the bow is proudly used in festivities.

Like Naadam's races, Mongolian archery competitions are quite different from those held in the western world: the archers have not only one target, but take aim for hundreds of beadrs or surs (leather cylinders) mounted on a huge wall. Teams of five to ten men and women (women began participating some decades ago) have to hit 33 surs from a distance of 75 meters for men, and 65 meters  for women. Today's targets are four meters across and 50 cm high. The winner is the first team to hit all targets. Uuhai is a song sung when the archer is aiming, with singers changing intonation if the target is hit. This practice comes from times when the targets were 200 meters away. The song was a good way for spectators and participants to know if the target was hit. Winners of the game are granted the title of mergen (national marksman or markswoman).

Five lines engraved on an ancient Mongolian target immortalize the phenomenal record of Yesuhei-baatar, saying that his arrow hit its target from a distance of 536 meters. In the past, Mongolians used three types of bows; big hand (165-170 cm), average hand (160 cm), and small hand (150 cm). Today, Mongolians mostly use the average hand bow, which requires a force of 22 to 38 kg to draw. Arrows are made of pine wood with feather fins, allowing it to reach distances of 900 meters.

Naadam archery attracts individual archers as well as teams. Male archers shoot forty arrows at each target. Judges in traditional dress stand by the targets, raising their hands in the air to indicate the quality of the shot, along with uuhai, but they surprisingly never get injured.

The meals served during the festival are also a good reason to head there. You'll be able to taste khuushuur (a delicious fried meat dumpling) Mongolian-style meat, bread and dried curds, among other traditional food, all accompanied with tea and bowls of airag, a Mongolian alcoholic drink made from fermented mare's milk.

Enjoy the variety and tradition of Naadam!

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Dinosaur Museum Unveils "T.Bataar and the Amazing Dinosaurs" Exhibition

July 9 ( The "T.Bataar and the Amazing Dinosaurs" exhibition opened last night, July 8th, at the new Dinosaur Museum, located in the building of the old Lenin Museum.

In this exhibition, Tarbosaurusbataar and other priceless fossils will be on show. Visitors will be able to see rare and famous Mongolian fossils such as Saichania (an armored dinosaur), Gallimimus (a bird like dinosaur), Oviraptor (meaning an "Egg Thief") and Protoceratops (meaning "First Horned Face").

The Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism Ts.Oyungerel cut the ribbon opening the exhibition and enjoyed seeing the famous T.Bataar fossil in its new home.

The museum will also be offering educational programs for children, students and families to learn about the dinosaurs in the exhibition and about paleontology.

The museum is located next to Tengis Cinema on Freedom Square, Ulaanbaatar.

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A Dark Life in Tsagaan Khad – Part II

July 9 (Mongolian Economy) In Tsagaan Khad of Khanbogd, Umnugobi are small buildings with their walls built from two-rows of thin metal. Mongolians call this kind of structure a sandwich-building. There are many awkward-looking, thin corridors between these small buildings.

Most are shops or grocery stores. One's door reads "Chinese Yuan exchange, meat sale and information bureau" – written in both Mongolian and Chinese. On the counters of these grocery stores are packs of Chinese fruits and other goods.

Cars drive through dirt roads littered with trash between buildings, and Chinese people hang around the streets. It was common to see Chinese saleswomen working behind counters. This is the norm for Tsagaan Khad.

There are more than 200 families who reside nearby the mines owned by Energy Resource and Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi. The gers people live in are covered with thick layers of dust. Many signs stand outside of these gers advertising that they sell work gear.

The area has grown rapidly as more people move to Tsagaan Khad. Khanbogd's governor has renamed the area Khairkhan district. Unfortunately, the district has become very disorganized, with gers haphazardly set down by families moving in.

When asked about the disorganized look of the town, residents said that nobody from Khan Bogd came to help them plan. They were only informed about the waste collection and loading services provided each week, although none of those services had arrived yet. A landfill was established, but it there is still plenty of trash found throughout town.

Tsagan Khad is about 25 kilometres from China's Gants Mod customs border. The close proximity allows Chinese merchants to buy bones from locals. An unpleasant smell emanates from several homes where old bones are found.

The Lost People

The soil at Tsagaan Khad has been damaged by the heavy coal trucks driving over dirt roads and the livestock pasture has been destroyed.

The dirt roads used by cars and trucks contribute to the degradation of the environment.

According to a study last year by the National Human Rights Commission in Mongolia, 35,250 hectares land on both sides of the 230 kilometre road that links the Tavan Tolgoi mine and Tsagaan Khad have been damaged or destroyed. Another study carried out by the Special Inspection Centre, the National Agency for Meteorology and Environmental Monitoring, and the Central Laboratory of Environmental Monitoring found that the air quality in Tsagaan Khad was 45 times worse than recommendations and that particulate matter was 35 times higher than suggested.

These studies were confirmed by locals who said that their clothes would become filthy within a day and that respiratory disease was spreading among locals due to the high concentration of dust in the air.

Residents said that once a year they go to the provincial capital seeking medical care. Not everyone can afford the trip however, and many said they wished a doctor was available in town.

According to a study by the Ministry of Environment and Green Development in 2012, coal trucks driving through town has had a toll of MNT 5.4 billion in damages on land throughout the province, MNT 20 billion in damages to the soil, MNT 11.1 billion to the flora, MNT 18.7 billion to the fauna, and MNT 2.5 billion to the air – for a grand total of MNT 58.1 billion.

Sh. Delgerbat has been running a small business selling spare parts and building materials in Tsagaan Khad since 1992, when the Gashuun Sukhait customs depot was first established.

"The soil here was good before the beginning of the coal transportation, but now large trucks are coming and going day and night," he said. "Our business is suffering from the exchange rate because our goods are imported from Gashuun Sukhait customs or the Chinese city of Erlian,"

His goods are more expensive than what's available in Ulaanbaatar. He said the town's population can grow to 1,000 people when the mines are operating, but the permanent population is only about 200.

Resource Scarcity

Tsagaan Khad is not connected to the national electricity grid, which is the biggest issue for both temporary and permanent residents of Tsagaan Khad. Some families use a power generator while others use solar panels and small wind turbines imported from China. There are a lot of families who forgo electricity all together. Some people have even opened small businesses to allow people to charge their phones for MNT 1,500 for a full charge.

Some families in Tsagaan Khad sell electricity to their neighbours for MNT 5,000 a day, but not everyone can afford electricity at MNT 150,000 a month.

Over 10,000 people come to Tsagaan Khad each year, but development is still stalled there. There is a huge difference between Mongolia's Gashuun Sukhait customs port and Tsagaan Khad compared with China's Gants Mod – where there is almost no air pollution.

Water is also a crucial issue in Tsagaan Khad. The price of water is MNT 30 to MNT 45 per litre compared with MNT 1 a litre in Ulaanbaatar. Most springs nearby lack water and only a few hand-dug wells located 15 to 20 kilometres away are used. Water trucks carry up to five tonnes of water travel between the wells and Tsagaan Khad.

Water is very scarce in Umnugobi, and many believe the mining activity is exacerbating the issue. The groundwater in Tsagaan Khad is brackish – too dirty for drinking straight away. But locals say that they have no other choice but to drink it. Water consumption in the Gobi ranges between 50 and 60 litres a day for one family.

There is a family in Tsagaan Khad who is able to transports six to seven tonnes of water each day. They sell water at MNT 30 a litre compared with others that sell water for up to MNT 45 a litre.
"We transport water from our well, located not far from here. When water demand increases, it requires us to make two to three deliveries a day," said the truck's owner D. Nergui.

Although Nergui charges less than his competitors, he can still earn up to MNT 100,000 a day, and even more on weekends.

Tsagaan Khad is an example of how life can really be thrown off the rails by mining activities. With time maybe some of the struggles in living there can be wiped away, but equally as important will be preventing other communities from facing a similar fate.

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SCSU wrestler takes 1st in annual John Peterson Int'l Tournament in Mongolia

July 8 (St. Cloud Times) St. Cloud State wrestler Austin Goergen took first in his weight division at the John Peterson International Tournament held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The tournament, in its sixth year being held in Mongolia, is sponsored by Athletes in Action. The tournament features athletes and club teams from Mongolia, Russia and East Asia.

After the tournament is completed, the athletes travel to a multi-nation training camp for a week. The camp has many of the top Mongolian wrestlers.

Goergen, who will be a sophomore for the Huskies in 2014-15, is from Caledonia. He earned All-America honors with a sixth-place finish in the 285-pound bracket at the NCAA Division II tournament.

Goergen is the second St. Cloud State wrestler to travel to Mongolia for the tournament. In 2012, St. Cloud State's Shamus O'Grady attended the tournament and camp.

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