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Friday, September 12, 2014
Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original
Mogi: TRQ closed +7.65% on Thursday, +15.85% this week so far. OT has signed off on the council's verdict, but is awaiting the official verdict document before making an announcement, which I believe will arrive before early next week. A series of meeting will happen looks like in London, UB towards the 9/30 deadline. Starting with Saikhanbileg's visit to London next week, even heard Sam Walsh himself will come to UB.
By Dan McCrum
September 11 (FT Alphaville) We hear, from sources close to the Mongolian Prime Minister's office, that a tax dispute with Rio Tinto has been solved. A $130m tax bill has been negotiated down to $30m.
The dispute had been one of the few remaining stumbling blocks in the way of agreement on a deal to begin development on the next phase of Oyu Tolgoi. This is an enormous copper-mining project that promises to transform the Mongolian economy.
Don't count your chickens too soon, however. Usually knowledgeable people point out that Rio is yet to get the settlement in writing. The way in which the penalty is classified also matters — the company won't agree to something that puts the investment agreement at risk by changing the underlying tax terms.
Still, it is the latest sign of movement to emerge from Ulaanbaatar in recent days.
One was a tweet from the Vice Minister of mining on Wednesday, that all disputes on Oyu Tolgoi have been solved and the parties have agreed on the underground phase of expansion.
This is how a local translated the text, and two follow-up tweets, for us:
1) Dispute of OT tax is solved and underground pit will start as planned. Next year, 1b $ + 3000 job opportunities.
2) its been talked for while, now officially?
3) yes, soon should be announce publicly by OT company
It certainly helps to explain the move in the Turquoise Hill share price.
Turquoise, you will recall, owns the rights to the mine, and Rio owns just over half of Turquoise.
Now, the Vice Minister is young, and we hear the best way to think about this is as the Mongolian administration floating a trial balloon to see how a deal plays politically. The politics has moved significantly over the last six months and the key players seem to be broadly pro-deal, because the economy is not looking great and the country is running out of money.
That last point is literal, by the way. We have heard slightly different numbers from people who are usually knowledgeable about the central bank, so treat these as rough figures that we're confident are in the right ballpark. In June the central bank had $1.3bn on hand, however it is spending c$200m per month defending the currency. Another $600m of that belongs to the Development Bank, and c$200m is what is left from a $1.5bn bond raised in late 2012 for investment in things like infrastructure.
All that leaves about $300m in liquid currency available. The country recently agreed a swap line with the Chinese central bank, but an injection of hard currency — from work on a multi-billion dollar capital investment project — would be helpful.
As it happens, the current deadline attached to financing by banks and multinational institutions for the project is September 30. Deadlines have passed before, and those normally knowledgeable people tell us that the EBRD will extend.
One possible wrinkle, though, is that the US Congress is threatening not to renew the charter of the Export-Import bank, which would leave a c$400m hole in the $4bn financing package if the funding expires.
So, minds are concentrated, and there seem to be several Mongolian politicians due in London next week for negotiations. What has to happen next is for Rio to agree to the tax deal, then hand over a long awaited feasibility study, and Mongolian politicians to stay onside.
Our knowledgeable friends, while optimistic, are also realistic. They have ridden yaks to this rodeo before.
Mogi: must be after Minister Saikhanbileg heads to London next week
Rio Tinto Chairman set to arrive in Mongolia this September to resolve Oyu Tolgoi issues
September 11 (news.mn) Chairman and Chairman of the Nominations Committee of Rio Tinto Group, Jan du Plessis, plans to come to Mongolia later this September.
He hopes to resolve negotiations on issues related to the massive Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia during his visit.
In particular, the underground expansion of Oyu Tolgoi and the tax dispute between the Mongolian government and Rio Tinto are expected to be raised. Several issues, including the feasibility study of the second phase development of the Oyu Tolgoi project will be discussed during a meeting between the Government of Mongolia and Rio Tinto during Jan du Plessis' stay in Ulaanbaatar.
AKM closed flat Thursday at A$0.054
Aspire Mining to start exploration drilling at Nuurstei Coal Project
September 11 (Proactive Investors) Aspire Mining (ASX:AKM) has commenced exploration drilling at their Nuurstei Coal Project in northern Mongolia that could lead to a Pre-Feasibility Study for a mining operation.
The Nuurstei Project is currently 60% owned by the Ekhgoviin Chuluu Joint Venture, of which Aspire and the Noble Group each hold a 50% interest. ECJV has a right to increase its interest in the Nuurstei Project to 90%.
Drill holes will build on the 2011 drilling program conducted by Xanadu Mines (ASX:XAM).
The programme will consist of geographically reclogging of 2011 drill holes, reverse circulation and diamond drill holes completed at an average 100 metre depth.
These holes are focused mostly in the southern part of the main tenement and the programme has been designed to confirm resource continuity.
Drilling is expected to be completed by the end of October 2014, with laboratory analysis expected to be received in the December quarter.
The Nuurstei Project is located about 10 kilometres to the southwest of Moron, the capital of the Khuvsgul province in northern Mongolia.
A paved road is currently being constructed between Moron and the town of Erdenet, where existing rail infrastructure terminates. Sealing of this road commenced in 2012 and is due to be completed at the end of 2015.
Coal produced at the Nuurstei Project could be transported along this road to Erdenet where product could then be loaded onto trains and delivered to customers.
Land purchased at Erdenet by Aspire in 2012 could be used as a coal stockpile and train load-out area.
Nuurstei project is located close to infrastructure ~10km from Khuvsgul province capital of Moron.
A Pre-feasibility study is to be considered, dependant on results from the Nuurstei exploration programme.
Aspire is also continuing to progress its advanced Ovoot Coking Coal Project.
Aspire Mining Investor Presentation, September 2014
September 11 --
Viking Mines: Berkh Uul environmental baseline studies begin
September 11 (Proactive Investors) Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) has advised that Auminco Mines has engaged a Mongolian consultancy group to commence environmental baseline studies for its Berkh Uul coal project in northern Mongolia.
This is a significant and required component of the application process for a mining licence for Berkh Uul.
Berkh Uul is strategically located about 40 kilometres to the existing Trans-Mongolian Railway and has existing JORC Resources of 38.3 million tonnes of bituminous coal.
Auminco, an unlisted public coal development company is currently the subject of a takeover offer by Viking, for which acceptances are now above 97% and is unconditional.
Environmental Base Line Study
Sustainable Environmental Consulting (SEC), a well- established Mongolian based consultancy group specialising in environmental impact assessments, has been engaged to undertake the study.
The baseline survey will involve collection of information on regional and local environmental aspects including air quality, water studies, flora and fauna biodiversity, landscape, noise and dust, plus social aspects including land utilization, socio-economic conditions, cultural heritage and a survey of local inhabitants.
The SEC baseline study will be conducted in accordance with Mongolian Laws on Environmental Protection, Conducting Environmental and Social Impact Assessments and Regulations on Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, as required by the Mongolian Ministry of Environment and Green Development.
SEC will commence the study this week, with the final report due in two months.
In addition to providing information for input into the approvals process for a mining licence for Berkh Uul, results from the study will also provide baseline environmental and social data for input into the planned Berkh Uul feasibility study.
Berkh Uul Project
The Berkh Uul bituminous coal project is located in the Orkhon-Selenge coal district in Selenge Province, Northern Mongolia, approximately 40 kilometres from the Russian border and 200 kilometres east of Darkhan City.
Notably, it is located just 40 kilometres to the existing Trans-Mongolian Railway, which provides a transport link to Darkhan to the south and Russia to the north.
Notably, the project has already signed four non-binding memoranda of understanding with Darkhan Thermal Power Plant, Erdenet Power Plant, Darkhan Metallurgical Plant, and the Khutul Cement and Lime Plant relating to future potential coal supply.
Berkh Uul occurs in the Upper Jurassic - Lower Cretaceous age Sharin Gol Formation within the Orkhon-Selenge Coal Basin, which also hosts a number of large hard coal deposits including the Mongoin Gol, Shariin Gol and Ulaan Ovoot deposits.
It consists of shallow, consistent coal seams of high quality bituminous coal amenable to open pit mining.
Berkh Uul coal is of sales quality without washing. There is potential to further value add to the resource by washing and producing a high quality, high energy thermal coal suitable for export markets.
Mining studies are planned for 2014 to accompany a Mining Licence Application to be lodged during 2014.
NUR: Interim Report 2014
September 10, National United Resources Ltd. (HKEx:254) --
MANAGEMENT DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS
Business Review and Prospects
For the six months ended 30 June 2014, the Group has been operating the following major business segments:
Coking coal trading business
The Group has successfully anchored into coking coal trading business since the second half of 2013. Trust from suppliers and transporters in Mongolia was the core key in making this business feasible and profitable. As a listed company in Hong Kong for decades can surely bring the Group credits in building up this business in Mongolia. The Group believed that this natural resources trading business was with enormous development potentials. In this reporting period, the Group had achieved the following progress in this business segment:
· In March, 2014, the Company and 中 航 國 際 煤 炭 物 流 有 限 公 司 (AVIC International Coal Logistics Company Limited*) entered into a strategic cooperation framework agreement, in which both parties have confirmed an intention to cooperate in respect of sale, logistic and storage management of specialty coal from Mongolia for 3 years and up to 15 million tons in aggregate;
· In April 2014, a subsidiary of the Company entered into coal purchase agreements with Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC, a Mongolian state-owned joint stock company, for securing supplies of 1,750,000 tons of coal in Mongolia; and
· In May 2014, a subsidiary of the Company entered into a coal purchase agreement with IKH Gobi Energy LLC for the purchase of 1,000,000 tons of specialty coal (anthracite) in Mongolia.
Besides securing coal supplies in Mongolia, the Group has also successfully proceeded its development in natural resources related logistic businesses, like:
· In April 2014, a subsidiary of the Company, entered into the joint venture Agreement with the 包頭市浩瑞置業有限責任公司(Baotou Haorui Properties Company Limited*) in relation to the formation of a joint venture company in the PRC to be engaged in the investment and development of a bonded logistics park located in the border crossing point of Ganqimaodu, Bayannur City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the PRC; and
· In June 2014, a subsidiary of the Company contracted for acquiring a group of companies principally engaged in international logistic and trading businesses between the Tavan Tolgoi coal mine in the South Gobi Province of Mongolia and the port of Ganqimaodu in the PRC, with self-owned trucks and garages. As at the date of this report, the acquisition has not been completed.
With the above progress, the Group is in a good trend in establishing a full supply chain of coal from Mongolia to the PRC.
Mogi: fascinating account of a time I didn't witness myself
Wikileaks: MONGOLIAN MINING DEBATE SUGGESTS PRESIDENTIAL POWER ON THE WANE - US Embassy, March 2009
March 30, 2009 (Memo by U.S. Embassy in Mongolia to the State Department) --
1. (C) SUMMARY. Late into the night on March 2, the Mongolian National Security Council reportedly voted 2 to 1 to approve the long-delayed investment agreement for the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project in Mongolia's South Gobi desert region. According to several sources, Prime Minister S. Bayar and Speaker of Parliament Demberel overrode the objections of President N. Enkhbayar. The vote was immediately followed by approval by the Cabinet, which sent the agreement to Parliament on March 4. Parliament, which has been prepped on the agreement, will hopefully approve its terms after what all observers expect to be a spirited debate. This Council vote may mark the beginning of the end of a nearly six-year political journey to gain passage of an investment agreement for the Oyu Tolgoi project. Recounting the history of that journey provides an excellent primer into the evolving relations among the various branches of Mongolia's government. The challenge for Mongolia's political system has been coming to terms with the implications of the new democracy and the constitutional basis for Parliament's dominance over Mongolia's political realms represented in this battle. In addition, President Enkhbayar's inability to enforce his will on the NSC as he did no less than a year ago during a similar debate on Oyu Tolgoi highlights the growing domestic political weakness of his office. END SUMMARY.
2004: The Waning of Socialist Barons
2. (C) An Oyu Tolgoi (OT) agreement has been a long time coming. Initial attempts to stabilize formally the legal and regulatory framework for this USD 7 billion project began in 2004, but ran afoul of Mongolian election year politics. At that time, Canadian exploration company Ivanhoe Mines held the mining license rights and had been lobbying the senior Mongolian leadership of the ruling Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP), led by then-PM and current President Enkhbayar. Ivanhoe's chief legal counsel, John Fognani, explained that the leadership had been extremely encouraging, going so far as to "promise" that they would conclude the deal on its own initiative. Top MPRP leaders asserted that the PM had the power to force an agreement on Mongolia -- regardless of any legal or regulatory requirement to consult with Parliament or the public. Fognani explained that the business community believed a narrow band of post-socialist barons led by Enkhbayar could do what they wanted; and so, businesses had only to deal with them. However, Mongolia had become a functioning democracy by the mid-1990s, and the impact of the vote and a constitution that vested power in Parliament had begun to limit what the socialist era barons could force down the throats of the public or Parliament.
3. (C) A few months before the June 2004 parliamentary elections, the MPRP seniors asked Ivanhoe to delay pushing for an Oyu Tolgoi agreement, asserting that they did not want the Democratic Party (DP) opposition to tar the MPRP as stooges of foreign interests. This admission shocked Ivanhoe and surprised others, because it indicated that Mongolia's democratic system had limited the ability of the political elites to do what they wanted without recourse to Parliament and public opinion.
4. (C) The MPRP barons' political instincts were spot on in 2004. Sensing that the public was quite irritated with perceived MPRP high-handedness, leaders such as Enkhbayar realized that they lacked the power to impose deals on Mongolia and attempted to backtrack from projects in which they appeared to be disposing of Mongolian resources without consulting the public or Parliament. But such backtracking came too late: the MPRP suffered a huge defeat, going from absolute domination of Parliament with 72 of 76 seats to the slimmest of pluralities with 37 seats. The DP won 35 seats and independents claimed four. The DP, along with the independents, used this apparent mandate to block the MPRP at every turn. Consequently, an unsettled political situation ensued until 2008, all but halting progress on major legislation and projects, including on mining projects. A divided Parliament produced divided government. A series of weak coalitions assumed the reins of power; but lacking a solid parliamentary base, none of these governments was willing to risk the wrath of MPs or the public.
2004-2008: Mining plus democracy equals political chaos
5. (C) One of the 2004-2008 Parliament's few accomplishments was the 2006 amendment of Mongolia's Minerals Law. The amendment shifted decision making for large-scale mining projects from the government to Parliament. The GOM could negotiate deals but only Parliament could approve agreements on mining development of major social and financial scope. In 2007, the MPRP coalition government led by the former PM, M. Enkhbold, (a former Ulaanbaatar city mayor and currently the lower-ranking of two Deputy Prime Ministers) attempted to use the provisions of the 2006 Minerals law to reach agreement with Ivanhoe and Rio Tinto, which had joined the OT project in fall 2006. Several months of negotiation produced a deal in spring 2007. The deal seemed to have nearly unanimous support among MPs, the business community, and the public, but this support vanished by May.
6. (C) Privately, Enkhbold admitted to post and others that he wanted to move on the 2007 agreement (which most professional observers thought an acceptable, if not a perfect, deal) but feared attacks from the DP, dissident elements within the MPRP, civil society, and, surprisingly, from the President of Mongolia, N. Enkhbayar, whose criticism was particularly troubling.
7. (C) Most observers and stakeholders had expected Parliament to approve the agreement in fall 2007. As far as anyone knew, President Enkhbayar supported the deal, and everyone assumed that the President and PM would unite to pass it in Parliament. It surprised observers when the President and his agents started quietly disparaging the deal, letting it be known that the president could not support the deal unless Mongolia received 51 percent equity at OT. (Note: The 2006 amended minerals law allowed for the GOM to buy up to 34 percent on privately explored deposits and up to 50 percent on publicly-funded minerals exploration. Enkhbayar's proteges in the GOM led the negotiations in spring of 2007, and they crafted a deal that would yield 34 percent of the mine to Mongolia as well as 55 percent of net revenues from the mine, including royalties and other fees. End Note.)
8. (C) Leading negotiators, among them Enkhbayar's formerly-ardent supporter Khurelbaatar (who was then State Secretary of Finance, before becoming the Minister of Finance then Minister of Fuel and Energy and now an MP) found themselves abandoned by their president, who disavowed any connection to the deal. They claimed to post and others that the president was fully aware of the terms and had supported these arrangements throughout the process, and that they were appalled by Enkhbayar's unexpected and shocking accusations that the government and its negotiators had sold Mongolia out by not getting 51 percent. Summer 2007 saw an explosion of violent comment against the agreement from the DP and the increasingly vocal president. These barrages culminated in September 2007 with media attacks by the president, who explicitly demanded 51 percent or else he would veto the deal.
9. (C) PM Enkhbold, in an uneasy relationship with the President and his political supporters in Parliament, was in no mood for a political adventure to save a mining deal that could be used against his government and his party in the run up to the spring 2008 elections. The DP had no intention of supporting a deal that would give the MPRP a development success, and without bipartisan support the agreement was vulnerable to a presidential veto. Consequently, Enkhbold abandoned the 2007 proposal, sending it to Parliament without Cabinet review or preparation. There it languished from fall 2007 to winter 2008, when the new Bayar-led GOM let it die un-voted upon.
10. (C) Comment: Reviewing the history of the OT deal from 2003-2008, many observers concluded that it showed that the Mongolian political system vested too much control in the hands of a narrow range of political elites, especially the office of the president. However, these observers were mistaking Enkhbayar's formidable political skills as proof of his office's inherent powers. This might have been true about the office in 2000, but by 2004 the Mongolian presidency had been stripped of many powers observers assumed it had. While PM and an MP, Enkhbayar led Parliamentary efforts to remove the president's power to propose legislation and interfere in the day-to-day activities of Parliament, including the power to approve which party was to form the government. Further, the office required its incumbent to resign from his respective party and all leadership roles therein, effectively removing a base of support within the party from the incumbent. Parliament left the office with a key voting seat on the National Security Council, veto power over legislation (with a two-thirds override possible), and a bully pulpit to issue policy pronouncements but little else. A divided Parliament and weak leadership within the MPRP allowed President Enkhbayar to gain more influence (as opposed to real power) than his position granted to him. It would take the resolution of the DP-MPRP split in Parliament and the coming onto the scene of a skilled MPRP party leader to reveal just how weak the office of president had become. End Comment.
2009: Out of chaos comes political maturity
11. (C) When Bayar became PM in fall 2007, he told post that he wanted an OT deal. He claimed he could only achieve this through an election in which the public signaled which party it wanted to lead the state. The June 2008 elections gave the MPRP a clear if not overwhelming majority that allowed Bayar to craft a coalition government (or "unity government," to use Bayar's term). The global economic crisis had descended on Mongolia, and Bayar argued that solutions to tricky issues like the OT agreement would require a coalition of the DP and MPRP to resolve outstanding disputes. In practical terms, this coalition has yielded fluid combinations of MPs who grant individual support on a shifting array of issues, but from whom Bayar seems able to craft voting blocs that neutralize the dissidents within and outside of the MPRP.
12. (C) Also key to movement on major issues, and especially the OT agreement, was Enkhbayar's very public retraction of his 51 percent position in late 2008. Enkhbayar stated in the press and TV that Mongolia needed the deal for its economic health and that it would be imprudent to stop progress on OT to get 51 percent. The government should work within the law, which allowed up to 50 percent on some strategic projects, and could always revisit the issue with the companies later, once a deal was struck. (Comment: The economic problems cited by Enkhbayar as justification for moderating his previous hard-line stance were clearly emerging by early 2008. In fact, the more likely explanation for Enkhbayar's change of position in 2008 is that the new political reality of a stable coalition in Parliament and a skilled MPRP leader, Bayar, allowed the inherent powers of parliament and the PM to displace the weakening domestic political power of the presidency. End Comment.)
13. (C) This coalition structure allowed Bayar to conclude an acceptable agreement in 2009. First, the coalition in Parliament agreed to create a working group that would set up the terms of reference that would guide the government of Mongolia in its negotiations with private firms that sought to develop the OT project. The working group established a clear set of guidelines for the GOM, which Parliament approved. The GOM was to obtain 50 percent of the property within a certain span of years; a clear revenue stream; environmental, health, labor, and safety protections; value-added production in Mongolia; and would obtain professional advice on this and other strategic projects. The deal was to be negotiated by February 1, 2009, reviewed by the Cabinet and the NSC, and then sent to Parliament for an up-or-down vote no later than the end of February. The dates have slipped and Parliament will not take up the matter until it reconvenes in early April, but the process set out in the Parliamentary decree appears on course.
14. (C) Once Parliament had given its chop to the negotiating guidelines, Bayar then set up a clear process within the GOM for negotiating an IA for Oyu Tolgoi. A working group (WG) led by Bayar protege D. Zorigt, Minister of Minerals and Energy, combined elements of his ministry with the ministries of Finance and Environment to handle the day-to-day negotiations with the private firms. The WG would report daily to the PM, the Speaker of Parliament, and the President about progress. In addition, the WG would solicit ideas from MPs on how the deal should be arranged. This was not to allow the MPs any day-to-day role in the process, but rather to give them an opportunity to get their views on record. Post was told by members of the WG that 26 MPs submitted written submissions, of which 17 where accepted and became part of the final agreement.
15. (C) Minister Zorigt's personal advisor S. Otgonbat and Oyu Tolgoi negotiating team staffer R. Bat-Erdene revealed that the GOM consulted with Parliament and the President's office to an unprecedented degree. Nothing happened during the negotiations, not a single sub-provision put to paper, that the PM, the Speaker, and the President -- all members of the NSC -- did not know of and agree to. In addition, the WG and Minister Zorigt spent hours in Parliament discussing the deal one-on-one with numerous MPs, answering questions and hearing concerns. Mr. Bat-Erdene explained that this open lobbying by the GOM was a very special, new "trick" devised by Bayar to get the MPs on board before the IA was formally introduced to Parliament. He stated that the approach seems to have gained the assent of coalition members to the basic concepts enshrined in the agreement, if not their complete approval.
16. (C) Once agreed to, the deal had its first Cabinet reading before submission to the National Security Council, all of whose members had been informed and approved of its terms. It seemed a simple matter to present it to the Council, which already having signed off on provisions during the negotiation, was expected to quickly approve. By February 15, a deal was on its way to the Council for the assumed pro forma approval. But the NSC did not pass the agreement; rather, a letter was sent in the name of all three members, a letter with eight demands for changes to the deal. Among these were a demand for 51 percent of the project and a demand for the term of the deal to be twenty rather than thirty years. The deal in place vested Mongolia with 34 percent of the equity in the mine upon Parliamentary approval (a 34 percent that Mongolia would have to pay for over time) and the right within one year of Parliamentary approval to buy an additional 16 percent. Nearly all observers attributed this change of heart to President Enkhbayar, who to the surprise of all had apparently decided to return to his hard-line position. The problem with his abrupt turnaround was that the NSC knew the terms of, and had already agreed in principle to, the deal. Further, Enkhbayar's objections were clearly deal breakers that would bring the project to a halt if the NSC insisted on such significant late-in-the-game changes.
17. (C) Our sources at Ivanhoe and among the government negotiators argued that that Mongolia desperately needed this deal to improve a collapsing economy that has little else going for it. Success on OT would attract investment in other areas, but what they viewed as Enkhbayar's election year ploy risked alienating companies both foreign and domestic. Mr. Bat-Erdene, who claims to have been present at most NSC meetings, said that a "livid" PM accused the President of risking Mongolia's well being for short-term political gain.
18. (C) On March 2, the issue came to a head at a final NSC meeting. The meeting was closed to all but the NSC Secretariat, the three voting members, and the chairman of Parliament's Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, DP member Z. Enkhbold. The Speaker and the PM insisted that Enkhbayar reverse his position, to seal a deal good for Mongolia. These arguments were punctuated with angry accusations and threats, but Enkhbayar refused to move, at which point a vote was taken that put the president on the losing side.
19. (C) This outcome was probably ordained by the political reforms of the last several years, which shifted power from socialist barons and chief executives and vested it in the courts, the government, and the legislature. These reforms stripped the president of his ability to dispense patronage among his party, to impose his legislative agenda or policy preferences on Parliament, to control program execution, and to overturn a government that does not tow his line. Enkhbayar and future presidents now lack institutional levers in the GOM, the MPRP, and Parliament to prevent their positions from being checkmarked.
20. (C) Comment. In the past, party barons did not consult with Parliament on deals and laws. Rather, they dumped bills and projects on the legislature for pro forma approval. Of late, the empowered Parliament has taken such treatment poorly and has pushed back on the government and others, strongly asserting its right to deliberate and decide. (Note: In a recent meeting with the Ambassador, Bayar expressed his desire to codify these realities into law and into the constitution, making the position of president purely ceremonial and selected by Parliament, thus removing the position's last electoral vestiges of power. End note.)
21. (C) Bayar certainly understands this transformation, but how deeply his proteges and party both comprehend and accept the changes remain to be seen. Rising stars such as Bat-Erdene, Minister Zorigt, and advisor Otgonbat -- MPRP or DP leaders in waiting -- take pride in bringing this deal to Parliament. They recognize that their transparent, consultative model made this accomplishment possible, and hopefully will aid passage of the agreement. For now, it is already clear that the combination of key mining policies and Mongolia's democratic system have positively changed the outlook for Mongolia's political landscape. End Comment.
MSE News for September 10: Top 20 -0.21% to 15,914.41, Turnover ₮8.2 Million
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 10 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Wednesday, a total of 40 thousand and 583 shares of 17 JSCs were traded costing MNT eight million 240 thousand and 939.00.
"Merex" /31 thousand and 930 units/, "Genco tour bureau" /5,000 units/, "Khokh gan" /2,500/, "Mongolia Telecom" /788 units/ and "E-trans logistics" /130 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Merex" (MNT three million 088 thousand and 110), "UB-BUK" (MNT two million and 174 thousand), "Mongolia Telecom" (MNT one million 142 thousand and 618), "Genco tour bureau" (MNT 420 thousand) and "Talkh chikher" (MNT 385 thousand and 700).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 623 billion 985 million 461 thousand and 942. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,914.41, decreasing 33.93 units or 0.21% against the previous day.
MSE News for September 11: Top 20 -1.61% to 15,657.49, Turnover ₮7.9 Million
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 11 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Thursday, a total of 23 thousand and 151 shares of 19 JSCs were traded costing MNT seven million 860 thousand and 321.50.
"Genco tour bureau" /10 thousand and 264 units/, "Merex" /8,660 units/, "Hermes center" /967/, "Silikat" /950 units/ and "Tavantolgoi" /832 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Tavantolgoi" (MNT four million 326 thousand and 400), "Gobi" (MNT 888 thousand), "Genco tour bureau" (MNT 841 thousand and 985), "Merex" (MNT 779 thousand and 400) and "Silikat" (MNT 213 thousand and 750).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 606 billion 691 million 145 thousand and 346. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,657.49, decreasing 256.92 units or 1.61% against the previous day.
MSE Investigating Suspicious Trading for Possible Price Manipulation
September 10 (MSE) Some transactions, which are trading in a small quantity, and causing price fluctuations were considered as suspicious transactions and started relevant inspections.
If inspection report determines that price manipulations were made on these transactions, these transactions will be reported to FRC for re-inspection.
MSE Market Capitalization Increases 17.78% from Last Year
September 11 (MSE) On September 10, 2014, Mongolian Stock Exchange's total market capitalization of listed companies reached at MNT 1.6 trillion, indicating an increase of 17.78% or MNT 245 billion, and the "Top 20" index rose by 13.30% compared to the same period of last year.
APS Stock Recommendation: Mogoin Gol JSC - HOLD
September 11 (Asia Pacific Securities) --
Mogoin Gol ("MSE: BDL") has been established in 1971 as a state owned coking coal mining company that is based on Ovoot Basin in Mongolia. The mining is located at Tsetserleg sum Khuvsgul aimag province, 880km away from Ulaanbaatar city. The company employs 43 workers and 19 of them are working at coal mining factory facility. They have turned into Joint Stock Company and got listed at Mongolian Stock Exchange on November 22, 1994, during the state privatization period.
They have one mining license ("834A") that occupies 89 hectares including current mining operation, as well as 85 hectares of an exploration license ("1384X"). Provisionally, experts believe 10.3 million tones of deposit estimated at mining license area and there could be +/- 1 million tones correction. The closest border is a Russian border and it is 150 km away, which may bring advantages to the mine.
According to the information of Mongolian Securities Clearing House and Central Depository ("SCHCD"), 82.33% ownership of the company kept with 3 block shareholders, and 975 small shareholders hold remaining 17.67% or 146,620 shares.
· State Property Committee – 51.0% or 423,107 shares
· Russian company Trans Neft LLC – 15.0% (124,443 shares)
· Batbold Jigjidsuren – 17.4% (144,354 shares)
At the end of 2013, BDL's revenue reached MNT 1.14 billion, which has remained comparatively stable or a 0.85% decrease from the previous year. At the same year, the net profit has decreased by 0.68% to MNT 33.64 million.
The coal price decreased rapidly since 2011 and it certainly affected the income of the company negatively. For instance Queensland coking coal index has fallen by 17.28% between 2012-2013 and both coking and thermal coal have been plagued by oversupply, which has swamped the modest increases in demand in top importers such as China and India.
The government of Mongolia has decided to construct 100 megawatt coal fired power plant in 2010 using Mogoin Gol's coal. This plant will provide energy supply that can meet most of the western region of the country and Chinese company New Asia Group is chosen as a contractor for the construction. This project will be financed by concession agreement and the construction has started last April of this year. The project is planned to finish on late 2016.
This project has major social-economical benefit to the western region of Mongolia and can create long term partnership with Mogoin Gol JSC, but due to the conflict of interest, the project postponed till this year, and even more the location of the plant has changed to Telmen sum of Zavkhan province, which is far from the mine and inefficient.
Share Price Performance
"Mogoin Gol" JSC is a component of the Mongolian Stock Exchange's ("MSE") benchmark Top-20 index. According to the available data from the MSE, the minimum price of the stock was MNT 1,500.00 and the maximum was MNT 66,463.00, which is recorded on 27 February 2011. The 52 week range standard deviation of the stock is 2024.76.
Asia Pacific Securities Recommendation
Asia Pacific Securities currently rates "BDL" as "HOLD". The government of Mongolia planning to reduce the ownership of the state owned Joint Stock Companies from 2014 to 2016, but Mogoin Gol is not in the list. Majority of the ownership held by the state and it brings conflict of interests.
Good news is Vancouver based Global Met Coal (GMZ) Corporation has expressed their interest to acquire up to 35% interest in Mogoin Gol JSC in 2012. GMZ is an exploration and development company that targets to acquire the advanced stage properties, and strategically located metallurgical coal projects. However, the state hasn't responded to this request yet.
Of course strategically important deposit should be under control, but as seeing current situation, the delay of power plant project and conflict of interest puts the company's future in questionable situations.
Furthermore, the coal price has been very volatile and it increases the risk as well. Russia could be potential client, but they don't require such high coal import, because they can supply their coal need by themselves. Therefore, the ordinance advantage is not completely valid.
Thankfully, the Chinese Industrial Production Index increasing from second quarter of this year and according to Reuters, Mongolia increased its shipments to China by 16.2 percent to 7.53 million tones. GMZ reported that they could have produce 200,000 tons of coal in 2012 and sell them at average price of $190/t.
We value "BDL"'s per share at MNT 13,454.72, bit higher than current price and the valuation is based on WACC of 12.11%, 7.4% of terminal growth rate, and regression analysis correlation of 0.53. Our calculation might bring positive perspective, but in long run if the company won't reduce the state ownership they will lose their market share to other competitors. The stock beta is -0.46%, which is negatively correlated with the MSE Top 20 index.
Mongolia Selects Bloomberg as Official Auction Platform for Government Bonds
London, UK, September 9 (Ministry of Finance) – Ministry of Finance of Mongolia has chosen Bloomberg for the electronic auction and allocation of Mongolian Government Bonds. Ministry of Finance of Mongolia and Bloomberg today signed a Memorandum of Understanding commencing the partnership.
The Government of Mongolia has made significant progress in developing its Government Bond Market since its launch. The Ministry of Finance is implementing comprehensive measures to increase market efficiency, transparency, ease of accessibility and open the market to a broader investor base.
The decision to conduct auction and allocation of Mongolian Government Bonds on the Bloomberg Auction System reflects the ongoing desire and objective of the Ministry of Finance to ensure that the Mongolian market is as efficient, transparent and competitive as possible. The Bloomberg Bond Auction System for Mongolian Government Bond is expected to launch in Q4 2014.
"We believe that the selection of Bloomberg's Bond Auction System reflects the continuing commitment of the Government to develop the domestic bond market, and ultimately the financial market. Mongolia is on a rapid growth trajectory in the long-term and developing the domestic financial market is the cornerstone of such success," said H.E. Minister Ulaan.
"We are delighted to add the Mongolian Government to a growing list of worldwide issuers that are using our bond auction platform," said David Tamburelli, Bloomberg's Head of Emerging Markets Product. "Bloomberg's bond auction system allows primary issuers to mitigate operational risks while providing market participants with an efficient, secure bidding environment."
Early morning rates: Khan (Non-Cash Buy ₮1,830 Sell ₮1,846), TDB (Non-Cash Buy ₮1,845 Sell ₮1,849), Golomt (Non-Cash Buy ₮1,831 Sell ₮1,847), XacBank (Non-Cash Buy ₮1,835 Sell ₮1,849), State Bank (Non-Cash Buy ₮1,829 Sell ₮1,847) FX rates
BoM MNT Rates: Thursday, September 11 Close
September MNT vs USD, CNY Chart:
BoM FX auction: US$15.5m sold at ₮1,844.51, CNY108.6m at ₮300.72, accepts swap $3.5m MNT bid, $60m USD ask offers
September 11 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on September 11th, 2014 the BOM has received bid offer of USD and CNY from local commercial banks. The BOM has sold 15.5 million USD as closing rate of MNT 1844.51 and 108.6 million CNY as closing rate of 300.72.
On September 11th, 2014, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement bid offer in equivalent to 3.5 million USD and USD SWAP agreement ask offer of 60 million USD from local commercial banks and accepted all offer.
Mongolia Jan.-Aug. Trade Deficit Falls 98.6% Y/y to $23m
By Michael Kohn
Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- External trade deficit was $23m in the first eight months of 2014 compared to $1.6b for the same period in 2013, a 98.5% reduction, the National Statistical Office says today in a statement.
* Exports in Jan.-Aug. rose 32.6% y/y to $3.576b
* Imports in Jan.-Aug. decreased 15.4% y/y to $3.599b
* August CPI rose 0.4% m/m; 13.7% y/y
* Outstanding loans at the end of Aug. reached 12.3t tugrik, an increase of 0.9% compared to the previous month and 26.1% compared to the same period yr earlier
* In August, non-performing loans in the banking sector reached 620b tugrik, 33.4% increase from yr earlier
* This is a NPL ratio of 5%, according to Bloomberg calculations
* Industrial production index in Jan.-Aug. 2014 fell 11.8% compared to the same period yr earlier
NSO: Monthly Statistical Bulletin, August 2014
September 11 (NSO) --
Social and economic situation of Mongolia
(As of the first 8 months of 2014)
I. Social indicators
The number of unemployed reached 32.9 thousand at the end of August 2014, reflecting a decrease of 4.4 thous.persons or 11.7 percent compared with the same period of the previous year.
In the first 8 months of 2014, the revenue of the Social Insurance Fund amounted to 854.9 bln.tog, reflecting increase of 36.2 bln.tog or 4.4 percent and the expenditure of the fund reached 841.9 bln.tog, up 147.0 bln.tog or 21.2 percent over the same period of the previous year.
II. Macroeconomic indicators
According to the report of the Bank of Mongolia, money supply (broad money or M2) at the end of August 2014 reached to 10.1 trill.tog, up 55.0 bln.tog or 0.5 percent from the previous month, up 1.7 trill. tog or 20.5 percent compared with the same period of the previous year.
At the end of August 2014, currency issued in circulation reached 880.1 bln.tog, up 20.5 bln.tog or 2.4 percent from the previous month and up 12.3 trill.tog or 1.4 percent over the same period of the previous year.
Loans outstanding at the end of August 2014 amounted to 12.3 trill.tog, up 113.0 bln.tog or 0.9 percent from the previous month and 2.6 trill.tog or 26.1 percent from the same period of the previous year.
Principals in arrears at the end of August 2014 reached 527.1 bln.tog, down by 23.0 bln.tog or 4.2 percent from the previous month, up 340.7 bln.tog or 2.8 times compared with the same period of the previous year.
At the end of August 2014, the non-performing loans over the bank system reached 620.0 bln.tog, up 20.3 bln.tog or 3.4 percent from the previous month and 155.2 bln.tog or 33.4 percent from the same period of the previous year.
In the first 8 months of 2014, 37.1 mln.shares were traded valued at 135.6 bln.tog in the stock market. The securities trading was increased by 19.4 bln.tog or 16.7 percent and shares increased by 11.4 mln or 44.4 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
In the first 8 months of 2014, total equilibrated revenue and grants of the General Government Budget amounted to 3798.0 bln.tog and total expenditure and net lending of the budget reached 3951.0 bln.tog, representing a deficit of 153.0 bln. tog in the equilibrated balance of the General Government Budget.
Compared with the same period of the previous year, tax revenue increased 203.0 bln.tog or 6.7 percent. This increase was mainly due to increases of 120.8 bln.tog or 30.7 percent in other taxes, 71.5 bln.tog or 13.5 percent in social security contributions, 31.6 bln.tog or 2.7 times in taxes on goods and services although there was decreases of 38.1 bln. tog or 5.7 percent in income taxes which of 53.6 bln.tog or 13.3 percent in revenue from corporate income tax.
In the first 8 months of 2014, total expenditure and net lending of the General Government Budget reached 3951.0 bln.tog and increased 369.6 bln. tog or 10.3 percent compared with the same period of the previous year. This increase was mainly due to increases of 151.4 bln.tog or 10.5 percent in expenditure on goods and service, of 155.2 bln.tog or 12.4 percent in subsidies and transfers expenditure, 116.2 bln.tog or 90.4 percent in interest payments although there was decreases of 43.9 bln.tog or 92.8 percent in lending (net), 9.3 bln.tog or 1.3 percent in capital expenditure.
In the first 8 months of 2014, Mongolia traded with 126 countries from all over the world and total external trade turnover reached 7175.6 mln.US dollars, of which 3576.3 mln.US dollars was made up by exports and 3599.3 mln.US dollars by imports.
Total external trade turnover increased 221.1 mln.US dollars or 3.2 percent of the total, imports were down by 657.4 mln.US dollars or 15.4 percent and exports were up 878.5 mln.US dollars or 32.6 percent compared with the same period of the previous year.
External trade balance showed a deficit of 1.6 bln.US dollars in the first 8 months of 2013, while it was in a deficit of 23.0 mln.US dollars in the first 8 months of 2014, were down by 1.5 bln.US dollars from the same period of the previous year.
The national consumer price index in August 2014 rose 0.4 percent from the previous month, 7.7 percent compared with the beginning of the year, and 13.7 percent over the same period of the previous year. The 0.4 percent rise in the national index was mainly due to increases of 16.8 percent in education, 1.6 percent in clothing, footwear and cloth, 1.5 percent in housing, water, electricity and fuels.
On the 1st of September 2014, 16.6 thous. tons of potatoes, 12.6 thous.tons of vegetables were harvested and 495.5 thous.tons of gross hay harvest, 5.6 thous.tons of handmade fodder were produced. Compared to same period of the previous year, hay harvest rose by 272.6 thous.t or 2.2 times, handmade fodder rose by 2.9 thous.t or 2.1 times, potatoes down by 850.0 t or 4.9 percent, vegetables down by 1994.5 t or 13.7 percent.
The industrial production index (2010=100 seasonally adjusted and experimental estimation) in the first 8 months of 2014 increased 16.4 percent from the end of the last year, 2.0 percent over the previous month, and decreased 11.8 percent compared with the same period of the previous year.
The mining of products such as gold, molybdenum concentrate with 47%, iron ore, copper concentrate with 35 %, fluor spar concentrate increased 1.5-66.6 percent in the mining and quarrying sectors while the production of products such as metal steel, juice, buuz and dumpling, soft drinks, milk, knitted goods, pure water, kind of sausage, macaroni, ice cream, vacuum windows and doors, sawn wood, notebook rose 1.9 percent to 2.4 times in the manufacturing sector compared with the same period of the previous year.
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BoM issues ₮157.1 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding +15.5% to ₮467.8 billion
September 10 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 157.1 billion at a weighted interest rate of 12.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
GoM 3-Year ₮20 Billion Bond Auction Fails to Attract Sufficient Bids
September 10 (BoM/MoF) Auction for 3-year-Government Bond was announced at face value of 20 billion MNT and each unit was worth 1 million MNT. Although 20 million MNT in competitive bid was received, the Government Bond was not sold.
GoM Treasury Auction: ₮17.03B 52-Week Bills Sold at Average 16.168% from Announced ₮30B
September 10 (Bank of Mongolia) Auction for 52 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 30.0 billion MNT. Face value of 17.03 billion MNT /out of 17.03 billion MNT bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 16.168%.
Please find expanded information from Table.
Announced amount /by MNT/
Received bid amount /by MNT
Sold amount /by MNT/
Weighted average yield
Maximum yield of fulfilled bids
Minimum yield of fulfilled bids
Cabinet reshuffle on the way for the Government for Reform
September 11 (UB Post) The head of the 'New Government for Changes', N.Altankhuyag, informed the public that he is going to reshuffle his Cabinet. This announcement pleased a lot of people.
The reshuffling will cover several ministerial positions and will lead to strong competition among the factions in the Democratic Party. They might already be planning to claim their desired positions.
A few hours before the Prime Minister made his statement, he met with leaders of the Mongolian People's Party (MPP). The MPP concluded, "The 100-day economic program, EZEN-100, was not efficient, couldn't fulfill 60 percent of 70 planned projects, and the economic situation has not improved. Honestly, it got worse." They added, "The Democratic Party has to make Parliament responsible. Let's see whether the Democratic Party is a responsible party or not."
It is true that foreign investment has decreased, the USD exchange rate has gone up, and the prices of everyday products have increased. Of course, the government is working on fixing it. Just as you can't build a house without a foundation, previous governments' projects and decisions have greatly influenced this poor economic situation.
The first investment in Oyu Tolgoi has been spent and the underground mining operation has been delayed. These factors have affected the decrease in foreign investment.
The previous government distributed income from Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi to the public as a part of "Ekh Ornii Khishig" (National Monthly Allowance) during the election.
In relation to the long named law, "Law on Prohibiting Mineral Exploration and Extraction Near Water Sources, Protected Areas and Forests", hundreds and hundreds of exploration licenses were cancelled, which also may have influenced foreign investment. It is also true that foreign currency earned is paying those debts.
Due to these factors, a decrease was shown in the results of the EZEN-100.
But, the 'New Government for Changes' is strengthening the law and legal environment, and economic conditions are improving. On the other hand, the government is at fault because it could not improve and foster the situation over the past two years.
Even though the economy has declined in some sectors, there were some successes in construction, roads and upgrade projects.
The Prime Minister emphasized what the government accomplished when he spoke to the public and wanted to remind people who are following only one view: that the government has not done anything.
The previous five governments built 2,300 km of road in 12 years and 800,000 square meters of apartments in a year, but the N.Altankhuyag-led Cabinet constructed 2,500 km of road in two years and made 1.2 million square meters of apartments available in a year. Chinggis Bond funding supported construction material factories and consequently, Mongolia is able to meet its domestic demand for cement and armature. We have to remember that everything has two sides.
Who will be caught in the Cabinet reshuffle?
The political and economic conditions in Mongolia show that there is no other way to do a Cabinet reshuffle. There are 16 ministries and 19 ministers in the government. That is why N.Altankhuyag feels that structural change is needed.
But, of course, he did not announce the members who would be leaving. Press organizations are putting forward predictions of the ministers who will be named. It is obvious that the relevant ministers have to take responsibility for the poor performance of the economy. Almost since the ministers were appointed, namely Minister of Economic Development N.Batbayar, Minister of Mining D.Gankhuyag, Minister of Justice Kh.Temuujin, Minister of Roads and Transportation L.Gansukh, and Minister of Health N.Udval, they have been heavily criticized.
The Cabinet reshuffling will take place during the fall session of the Parliament.
Mogi: ERC contested that AFCCP does not have the direct power to overrule its decision. Besides, there is a parliament resolution saying that electricity prices should be liberalized by 2013, which to this day is not being followed.
Fair competition agency overrules decision to raise electricity rates
By B. Mendbayar
September 11 (UB Post) The Authority for Fair Competition and Consumer Protection Mongolia (AFCCP) and Financial Regulatory Commission (Mogi: why is the FRC involved here?) have stopped the Energy Regulatory Commission's (ERC) move to raise residential and commercial electricity fees following the discovery of industry violations and lack of AFCCP approval for the price increase.
The Energy Regulatory Commission approved a resolution to increase residential and commercial electricity fees by 5 MNT per kilowatt on July 21. The commission directed electricity suppliers to put the new tariff into effect and include it in contracts established with consumers starting on August 10.
The AFCCP reviewed the electricity tariff change and considered granting its approval in accordance with the Fair Competition Law, but the Energy Regulatory Commission increased electricity fees without acquiring final approval from the AFCCP, thus violating the Fair Competition Law. Though legal monopoly entities are obligated to send the AFCCP appeals and require approval to make changes to their products' tariffs, six legal monopoly entities violated this obligation and increased rates.
The AFCCP notified the six companies, Ulaanbaatar Electricity Distribution Network JSC, Erdenet and Bulgan Electricity Distribution Network JSC, Baganuur and East-Southern Region Electricity Distribution Network JSC, Dornod Region Electricity System JSC, state-owned Khuvsgul Electricity, and Darkhan-Selenge Electricity Distribution Network JSC, to correct their violations and report back.
Imposed fines total 185.4 million MNT, which is 0.5 percent of the industry's trade revenue in 2013.
The AFCCP sent the Financial Regulatory Commission an official document to annul the resolution to increase electricity rates and imposed a fine of 960,000 MNT on Chairman of Energy Regulatory Commission S.Otgonbayar and regulators of the commission D.Bassaikhan and R.Myagmar, each for approving the illegal resolution.
Residents will continue to pay former rates. Chief of the Competition Enforcement Division of the AFCCP L.Ganulzii commented, "We sent notification of the fines last Friday. Increasing the payment rate is not wrong, but the process should conform to the relevant law."
OFID extends loan to help strengthen SME sector in Mongolia
Vienna, Austria, September 10, 2014 -- The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and XacBank of Mongolia have signed a US$20m loan agreement that will be used for on-lending to small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) and corporates in Mongolia. The agreement was signed by OFID Director-General Mr Suleiman J Al-Herbish and CEO of XacBank Mr Bold Magvan.
Mongolia is experiencing significant economic growth, and substantial progress has been made in reducing poverty in the country. The Mongolian economy is expected to expand further, with GDP growth estimated at a double digit rate over the next three years. It is anticipated that the country will need between US$31 billion to US$42 billion in funding for infrastructure development to maintain this steady growth, and thus the banking sector will require more funding to meet this demand.
XacBank has been expanding its lending to the SME sector, which now represents over 50% of the bank's loan portfolio. OFID's financing will thus help enhance the bank's capacity in supporting both local corporates and SMEs.
Commenting on newly-formed partnership, Mr Al-Herbish said: "We are pleased to have forged a partnership with XacBank to complement their activities in promoting the development of the SME sector in Mongolia. As an institution with the overarching objective of alleviating poverty, OFID provides funding to further the development of trade and competitiveness across the developing world through its relationship with financial institutions such as XacBank."
Mr Magvan also spoke of the collaboration: "We are honored to have become one of OFID's partners in Mongolia. The fruits of this partnership will be used to extend competitive trade financing solutions to our SME and corporate clients. I have no doubt that this will be one of many successful collaborations between OFID and XacBank in years to come".
This is the second transaction approved under OFID's trade finance facility to Mongolia, the first being a US$20 million loan to Khan Bank for on-lending to SMEs.
ETT, MAK, Genie Oil Sign Survey Contracts with Petroleum Authority
By N. Khaliun
Ulaanbaatar, September 11 (MONTSAME) During the international investors forum themed "Oil and oil shale Mongolia-2014", several bilateral cooperation documents were signed.
They are a contract for the exploration and development of coal bed methane (CBM) resources between the Petroleum Authority of Mongolia, Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi" JSC state owned mining company and Mongolyn Alt (MAK) Corporation; a contract for the exploration and development of oil shale resources between the Petroleum Authority of Mongolia and Jenny Oil Company (Mogi: lol); a memorandum of cooperation between the Petroleum Authority of Mongolia and NGO "Mongolian Oil Exploration".
'Oil & Oil Shale Mongolia 2014' int'l investor conference concludes
By Ch. Khaliun
September 11 (UB Post) The international investors forum "Oil and Oil Shale Mongolia 2014" was held in UB for the first time, from September 10 to 11.
The forum addressed government policy in the oil sector, the Law on Petroleum, the investment environment, the oil sector's current situation and prospects, the environment and local relations, leading technology, perspectives on non-traditional fuel research, infrastructure and the workforce.
PM N.Altankhuyag attended the forum and gave an opening speech saying, "The 'Government for New Changes' has made many reforms related to the inclusion of non-traditional sources of fuel, improved the legal environment, drawn investment and enhanced competitiveness. We approved the policy on the minerals sector and revised a draft of the oil law in Parliament on the 1st of July. It gives us an opportunity to create a legal environment for drawing investment in the non-traditional fuel sector, like oil shale or coal bed methane gas. We simultaneously approved the draft on customs tax and value-added tax exemption for contractors in the construction phase to support exploration, mining and processing in the traditional and non-traditional fuel sectors. The oil law became more clear, flexible and able to compete at an international level, which allows us to increase investment, enrich oil resources and increase economic benefits."
Representatives from major corporations like Rosneft, Petrochina, British Gas, Sinopec and State Oil, and over 300 delegates from other companies and organizations operating in the oil sector attended the forum.
The Office of Media and Public Relations of the Government reports that only three of thirty oil exploration fields have been explored in Mongolia. Their resources are estimated to be more than 332.6 thousand tons, but 43.3 thousand tons was calculated as a recoverable reserve. The coal bed methane gas reserves are predicted to be around 3.2 trillion cubic meters, but reserves of oil shale are said to be 788 billion tons.
Mongolia has huge potential in nontraditional energy: PM
ULAN BATOR, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Mongolian Prime Minister Norovyn Altankhuyag has said that his country owns huge potential in nontraditional energy resources, such as oil shale and methane.
"Mongolia has huge potential in nontraditional oil. Recently, a new reserve of coal bed methane gas was discovered ... and the chemical compound of the methane is the same as Russian natural gas," Altankhuyag told an international investment conference on Wednesday.
Altankhuyag said Mongolia has a favorable legal environment for the energy sector and the government supports contractors in research, extraction and processing phases through exemption of value-added tax and customs tax.
Prime Minister Addresses 27th Meeting of Asian Trade Promotion Forum in Ulaanbaatar
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 11 (MONTSAME) The Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag delivered a speech at the opening of the 27th meeting of the Asian Trade Promotion Forum (ATPF) which kicked off Thursday in Ulaanbaatar.
Themed as "Role of trade supporting organizations in easing trade and promoting foreign direct investment and 'green business'", the forum has been participated by some 50 delegates from 19 countries and representatives of international trade centers.
In his speech, the Premier said Mongolia has all chances to export not only mining products but also agricultural and cashmere goods, meat and fruits, and that the government is adhering to a policy on formulating and implementing a national programme on supporting the export productions, especially the export of mineral products, with a participation of the private sector, and on increasing the export of value-added products.
He also pointed out that the Mongolian parliament adopted a package laws on tax, laws on special license, on investments and investment fund in order to improve the business environment and to create nice conditions for trade and business.
The ATPF is a gathering of Trade Promotion Organizations (TPOs) in the Asian Region. It was established in 1987, currently has 24 members. The ATPF's objective is to enhance trade in the region through information exchange, implementation of cooperative projects and strengthening networks among ATPF members. CEO meetings and Working Level Meetings are held once a year. Capacity Building Initiative Program, Joint Exhibition, and various cooperative projects are also actively carried out by members.
M.Otgonbayar: Organ transplant capability in Mongolia can now compete in foreign markets
September 11 (UB Post) Organ transplantation and joint replacement surgeries have developed well in Mongolia. This is proof that Mongolian medical science is developing.
The following is an interview with the Head of the Rheumatism, Joint Studies and Joint Rehabilitation Center of the State Central Clinical Hospital (SCCH) Dr. M.Otgonbayar about his profession and joint replacement surgeries in Mongolia.
You studied orthopedics (musculoskeletal system treatment) surgery in South Korea. When did start doing knee-joint replacement surgeries in Mongolia?
I was a general surgeon until I changed my profession in 2007. At the time, many people suffering from joint diseases and injuries used to get treatment abroad. Our hospital contacted South Korean surgeons to advance and train Mongolian doctors in high level joint and bone replacement surgery and I was selected to go to South Korea.
I studied for a master's degree in orthopedics from 2009 to 2011 in South Korea. While studying, I returned to Mongolia along with South Korean surgeons and started performing joint replacement surgeries. Mongolian surgeons and nurses were trained to operate these new surgeries and technologies at the same time. From 2010, Mongolian surgeons began performing knee-joint replacement surgeries by themselves, without foreign surgeons. I graduated in March 2011 and have been doing joint replacement surgeries since returning to Mongolia.
Currently, how many surgeons specializing in joint replacement surgery are working at the SCCH? Where do they get trained?
Surgeons study orthopedics at the National Trauma and Orthopedic Research Center. This center has been performing this type of surgery even before the SCCH. All professional surgeons of this field at our hospital have majored in South Korea. Even nurses have been trained there for a certain period.
Since joint replacement surgery is rapidly developing in Mongolia, has this impacted the cash flow that went towards surgeries abroad?
Yes, it has. Number of patients traveling abroad for this surgery type has drastically reduced in the last three years. The few that are going mostly have family members in that country. The majority of patients getting joint replacement are elderly people so it's difficult to travel to faraway places and resolve payment issues.
In South Korea, how much does it cost to get a joint replaced?
To get a joint replaced, over 10,000 USD is necessary for the surgery and if you add treatment and other costs on top of this, it'll total around 20,000 USD. While studying in South Korea, I used to assist Mongolian patients getting surgeries. In addition to many complexities and expenses, the elderly patients could adjust to the food, air and environment.
People who had this surgery in Mongolia receive 50 to 60 percent discounts for the surgery from the Mongolian Social Welfare Fund. Is it true that this surgery will be included to health insurance in the future?
The world standard states that 70 to 80 percent of surgery expenses should be covered with health insurance and the remaining small portion by the individual. Mongolia is aspiring for this transition. Demands for joint replacement surgery increased as social welfare started to provide a specific portion of the surgery fee. This was the perfect approach and strategy as it enabled joint replacement surgery in Mongolia to develop rapidly. Now, Mongolia has reached levels that enable us to compete with foreign countries.
Since the SCCH commissioned knee-joint replacement surgery, how many patients have you had? On average, how many operations do you have a week? How many operations did you perform since 2008?
Our team has done over 1,000 replacement surgeries. On average, we have five to six operations a week and 20 to 25 operations a month. There are many occasions when both joints have to be replaced. As we have inadequate beds and tons of workload, replacement surgeries aren't conducted every day and are often delayed.
After surgery, difficulties of patients are reduced considerably and they mainly focus on relieving the pain. Many new technologies are being introduced for replenishing patients' blood. Can you elaborate on this?
Since 2011, we started operating with a special surgery team. HELMET system is a very advanced technology used widely in developed countries for cancer prevention. Auto-transfusion technology, which fuses the patient's lost blood back to the body during an operation, was introduced in Mongolia in 2012. Significant amount of blood is lost when knee-joints are getting replaced. This technology enables transfusion of patient's blood back to their body. It's very dangerous to transfuse somebody else's blood and chances of encountering problems are high. IB pump, a system for patients for monitoring their pain, was introduced to the world. Another way for relieving pain is to input a tube between spinal gaps of people who got both joints replaced. Many people fear after-surgery pains so we try to reduce the pain as much as possible with globally recognized methods.
Since 2008, has there been a very worrisome or problematic operation like a unique occurrence?
According to global statistics, [chances of] after-operation problems for joint replacement are around one to three percent. In Mongolia, it's around one to two percent. If there's a problem after a surgery, we resolve it immediately as we keep regular checks on patients. Problems occur mostly due to early or late cancer surgery.
Before reaching a level that requires surgery, is there a way to prevent joint illnesses and stop the deseases? For example, pills or vaccination?
Joint replacement surgery is connected to old age. Nutrition and flexibility of cartilaginous tissue are reduced as people get older. If you keep giving pressure with heavy weights, cartilaginous joint will wear away and an irreversible change will occur on the bone structure, making it impossible to fix without surgery.
Majority of Mongolians have excess fat. There are vaccinations for strengthening knee-joints and cartilaginous joint. The vaccination should be given at an early stage before the bone is worn away or it will be ineffective. Compared to Mongolians, Japanese and Koreans undergo this surgery at a very old age. This is due to many factors, including less excess body fat. Around 60 percent of Mongolians getting joints replaced are aged from 60 to 70.
What are the indication for the early stages of joint deterioration? Elders say that the pain is bearable for the first few weeks but worsens afterwards. What's the reason for this?
You can define which stage the joint disease is at with an x-ray. It's effective to get a vaccination at an early stage but it doesn't mean the disease will disappear. It only prolongs the time for getting an operation. Mongolian endoscopic joint surgery must be improved. If joint injuries aren't treated immediately, a replacement surgery will have to be done. A simple sewing through an endoscopic surgery is enough for a small cut in a cartilaginous joint.
At the moment, vaccinations are provided without regards to the disease stage. When a replacement surgery is inevitable, vaccination will not make any change. The pain will reduce only for a short period. Vaccinations can't recover irreversible change in a cartilaginous joint.
Is it true that Russians come to Mongolia for joint replacement surgeries?
Lately, the number of Russians coming to Mongolia for surgery is accelerating. Joint replacement surgery is performed in Russia but the cost is high and this type of surgery hasn't developed in some regions. More and more clients will come each year if we can provide good service to them. It's possible to enhance treatment tourism through this method. Our hospital doesn't have special tariffs for foreigners getting knee-joint replacement. They pay the same price as locals.
Where does the SCCH get its supply of artificial joints? Is the supply adequate?
The hospital signs agreements with companies with special licenses and orders equipment and artificial joints from the company. Only the surgeon in charge of an operation is able to order joints of specific size and model. The surgical team must work closely with the supplying company. Only then, the surgery can be successful. The same company is responsible for providing special tools, equipment and single-use tools and materials used during operations for bone grafting. The SCCH mainly use German artificial joints made by advanced technologies.
Is this a client forward system?
Yes, it's the most correct system. It's an international practice. South Korea and America have the same system. In Russia, this process is conducted through tenders. The system becomes faulty when tenders are involved. What model and size of required joint becomes clear during the operation so pre-ordering large quantities through tenders is inefficient as it's wasteful.
Previously you mentioned that Mongolia needs to compete internationally. What are some other prospects for this field in Mongolia?
We strive to improve surgery quality even more. Patients in Mongolia with bone tumor between ligaments have no choice but to cut off that ligament. Now, we're trying to avoid crippling our patients and started performing surgeries for cutting off their ligament and replacing it with artificial joints and ligament.
You can get more information about our activities and operations from www.joint.mn.
Select Breed Livestock Fair Taking Place September 12-14
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 11 (MONTSAME) A fair called "Livestock of selected breeds-2014" will take place this September 12-14 in the "Mongol Naadam" complex at the Khui Doloon Khudag horse race area.
The measure is organized in frames of the "Green days of autumn-2014" exhibition with aims to select animals of top breeds, to hold auctions of animals and to propagandize them.
Within the measure, fairs of pets and Mongolian shepherd dogs will be mounted. Moreover, exhibitions of Mongolian national costumes, tools of animal husbandry, books, fodder, medicine and dairy products will be organized.
Makh Impex Receives Orders to Export Horse Meat to Russia
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, September 11 (MONTSAME) "We are preparing a process for exporting to Russia a horse meat, about which was discussed a month ago," the "Makh Impex" company's director B.Badmaa was quoted as saying by the MNB on Thursday.
Tracks to transport the meat have already come from Russia, "we will export 400 tonnes of horse meat by 20 tonnes in every shipment".
As known, the President of Russia expressed an interest in meat import from Mongolia "provided the health requirements are satisfied", said the MNB.
Khan Bank Launches E-banking Campaign Across the Country
September 10 (Khan Bank) Through its extensive branch network, Khan Bank has launched its E-banking campaign starting on 10th September until 30th November 2014. The aim of organizing this three month campaign is to promote Khan Bank's E-banking products and services as well as the advantages of receiving comprehensive banking services, and to enable customers to utilize it in their daily life, without having to visiting the branches of the bank.
Khan Bank makes constant investments in its E-banking products and services, and has introduced numerious services such as Mobile Banking and Telephone Banking to transfer money, SMS Alert to report every deposit and withdrawal transaction, Internet banking to make transactions within Khan Bank and intra banks, and Khan Bank's Smart Phone Banking etc.
In order to save valuable time spent visiting the branches you are only required to come to any Khan Bank branch once and register for the E-banking products and services.
The campaign will continue until 30th November and our relationship manager will give advice and information about E-banking and demonstrate how to use them accordingly. Moreover, lucky winners will be selected from active E-banking users as part of the campaign, so don't miss this chance to be one of them!
Ulaanbaatar Mayor sued for insulting Twitter users in interview
September 11 (news.mn) A Twitter user has sued the Governor of the Capital and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar E.Bat-Uul for his offensive remarks about Twitter users in his latest newspaper interview. The Ulaanbaatar City Mayor's criticisms of Twitter users are being called offensive and abusive and have been described as "absolutely astonishing and inappropriate," on social media.
The individual suing E.Bat-Uul is active Twitter user T.Munkh-Orgil. He says that the Ulaanbaatar City Mayor has defamed Twitter users just like Twitter user and aviation engineer Ts.Bat was accused of defaming the Minister for Roads and Transport, A.Gansukh.
Ts.Bat, who was sentenced to three months in jail, was released on bail on Tuesday. This is the first case in Mongolia involving the arrest of a social media user for defamation.
Governor of the Capital City and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar E.Bat-Uul has not responded publicly to the lawsuit.
Putin urges Russia, China and Mongolia to establish trilateral contacts
The natural geographic proximity of Mongolia, Russia and China makes it possible to implement long-term projects in infrastructure, power sector and mining industry, the Russian President says
DUSHANBE, September 11 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia, China and Mongolia should establish trilateral contacts to implement joint projects.
"The natural geographic proximity of Mongolia, Russia and China makes it possible for us to implement good long-term projects in infrastructure, the power sector and the mining industry. We have what to discuss with each other. Naturally, we deem it important, expedient and useful to start a permanent dialogue," Putin said at the start of his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Mongolian President Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorzh on the sidelines of the SCO summit. Putin praised the roles which China and Mongolia had played in World War II.
Russia and China "received the main blow from German fascism and militaristic Japan," Putin said, adding that Mongolia had actively helped the Soviet Union during the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945). "Russia remembers it," Putin stressed. "Even though the events of those days took place 70 years ago, they are very close to us today," Putin said.
President Putin invited the heads of Mongolia and China to visit Moscow to attend the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.
Talks with President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping and President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj
September 11 (Kremlin) A tripartite meeting was held in Dushanbe between Vladimir Putin, President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping and President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj.
PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Mr President, we are grateful for your initiative to meet in this format, and I am sure the President of the People's Republic of China will confirm this.
We have recently visited Mongolia with great success. My visit was timed to the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol (Mogi: 75th anniversary). I would like to note in this connection that Russia and China bore the brunt of the attack from both Nazi Germany and militarist Japan. The events of those years are close to our hearts, despite the fact that they occurred 70 years ago. Mongolia actively helped the Soviet Union during the Great Patriotic War and we will always remember that.
Next year we will be marking 70 years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. I already had the pleasure of inviting the Presidents of the People's Republic of China and Mongolia to visit Moscow during these gala events. I would like to confirm my invitation.
Naturally, the geographic proximity of Mongolia, Russia and China help us implement beneficial long-term projects in infrastructure, energy and mining. We have things to discuss and we find it important, feasible and useful to establish a regular dialogue.
I would also like to thank Tajikistan for giving us the opportunity to meet in this format today.
MOSCOW, September 10 (RIA Novosti) – The Shanghai Group is expected to consider Mongolia as the next member of the organization, which is set to become a transport hub, the director of the Russia department of the SCO International Relations Institute said Wednesday.
"We hope that the SCO will consider the issue of accepting new member states, including Mongolia. New members will receive aid to develop security," Feng Noyzun said at the International Information Agency Rossiya Segodnya press conference.
"We will seek more innovative ways of collaboration. China, Russia and Kazakhstan have reached a lot of mutual understanding in Central Asia, the oil and gas pipelines are just the start of the partnership," he said.
"For Mongolia, we need to see how it can become a transport hub in SCO, and how it could offer a new model of cooperation," the Chinese expert added.
Chen Yu Zhu, who also heads the international relations institute, said expanding the SCO is important as it will lead to stronger influence of the organization on the international arena.
"The SCO today faces a difficult situation. India, Pakistan, Afghanistan hope that if they join the SCO they will enhance their security, and it will be a good stimulus for their economy. The SCO will increase the market for India, the telecoms leader in the region," he said.
Andrei Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council, said: "Mongolia's membership is a prospect. Mongolia has its own keys to North Korea. So the SCO is not a war or economic bloc, but a more flexible, more functional organization. And that is why the Mongolian case is needed."
The Chinese experts participated in the video link-up between Moscow and Beijing organized by the International Information Agency Rossiya Segodnya press center ahead of the SCO summit to be held in Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe on September 11-12.
SCO is a Eurasian political, economic and military organization founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are currently observer members.
DPRK, Mongolia sign memo on science cooperation
September 11 (Xinhua) The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Mongolia on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding here on cooperation in science and technology, the official KCNA news agency reported.
The memorandum was signed between the DPRK's State Science and Technology Commission and Mongolia's Ministry of Education and Science, according to the KCNA.
Also, a delegation led by Kang Sok Ju, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party, left Saturday to visit Mongolia and four European countries -- Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy, the KCNA said.
Deputy Premier Addresses WEF Summer Davos Meeting in Tianjin
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 11 (MONTSAME) The Deputy Prime Minister D.Terbishdagva addressed the "Summer Davos Meeting" of the World Economic Forum (WEF) which started Wednesday in Tianjin of China.
He underlined that Mongolia has been selected as one of those with the fastest economic growth according to the World Bank (WB) survey. Due to its intensive development, the exploration sector is currently making up 20% of the total GDP of Mongolia, increasing twice against a size of a decade before. Mongolian economic growth was 6.4% in 2010, went up to 12.5% in 2013. A double-digit growth is expected to continue until 2017, Mr Terbishdagva said. Indicators of the national macro economy such as population's education, a decrease of poverty rate and of budgetary expenditure and profits are also expected to be positive next years, he went on.
Although the current economy of Mongolia is still based on the agricultural sphere, the industrial and mining sectors are boosting in the last years in Mongolia, "and we are focusing on specializing its economy because it will make the national economy more stable".
Despite improvement of the internationally-measured indexes of friendly business environment and corruption perception, Mongolia has set a big goal to make the business environment friendlier, he emphasized.
The WEF in Tianjin will continue until Friday.
Health Minister Invites Russian Counterpart to Renew Cooperation
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 11 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Health N.Udval Thursday received Mr I.K.Azizov, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Mongolia.
She briefed about achievements in the bilateral ties and cooperation in the health sector and on related works, projects and programmes and considered as necessity to talk about ways of expanding the cooperation and bringing it to a newer level.
She noted that the cooperation protocol between the two countries' Ministries of Health expired in end of 2010 and conveyed her invitation to Russian Health Minister V.Skvortsova in order to update this document. "Despite it, a traditional collaboration has been continuing in training doctors and experts in Russia," Ms Udval said.
Then she proposed cooperating in four directions such as involving doctors and pharmacists in postgraduate training; cooperating in prevention of infectious diseases of livestock near borders; improving a monitoring over trade turnover of medicine and medical products; developing the cooperation in introducing progressive technologies of medical treatment and diagnosis.
In response, Mr Azizov promised to deliver the invitation to the Russian Health Minister and to convey these proposals to related officials. He said that Russian Republics of Buryatia, Tuva and Irkutsk oblast want to cooperate with Mongolia in the health sphere.
Mogi: most likely jailed for drug smuggling
Embassy Officials Visit Mongolian Prisoners in Thailand
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 11 (MONTSAME) Diplomats of the Mongolian Embassy in the Kingdom of Thailand visited September 9-10 seven Mongolians who have been jailed in Thai prisons.
The talked to them, received their requests and gave books, newspapers, necessary things and foods sent by their families. The prisoners said all of them are well, and that they communicate through mails with their families.
1,755 foreigners deported in 2013, 863 so far in 2014
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 11 (MONTSAME) The General Authority of Citizenship and Migration (GACM) reports that 1,755 foreign citizens were deported from Mongolia in 2013.
Most of the deported had problems such as visas and residence permissions' expiration, non-sanctioned activities, employment without permissions from authorities. Some 1.8 billion Togrog of fines were imposed upon those enterprises and organizations that breached laws and regulations.
As of this September 10, already 863 foreigners were deported from Mongolia, they have been banned from entering the Mongolian territories for 1-10 years. The guilty organizations and companies have paid fines of 662.6 million Togrog.
Tourist Information Center Opened at Ulaanbaatar Railway
September 11 (infomongolia.com) In the scope of marking the 60th anniversary of the development of tourism sector in Mongolia and the 375th anniversary of Ulaanbaatar, the Capital City Tourism Department in collaboration with Ulaanbaatar Railway JSC (UBTZ) have opened the Tourist Information Center (TIC) at UB Railway Station.
The Center is aimed to assist not only foreign travelers visiting Mongolia, but also to provide local passengers traveling abroad and other destinations of Mongolia with comprehensive information and guidance.
The UB Railway is one of the largest transport hubs, where 40 thousand passengers are being served daily and over one million travelers per month.
According to officials, the TIC was launched in late June 2014 and after experimental period of over two months was finally accredited with its full operation and demand for this Center will be increased since the nationals of Russia and Mongolia will be traveling reciprocal territories under visa-free terms.
Tourist Information Center is an affiliated bureau of the Information and Promotion Center, which was opened last year in Ulaanbaatar to help foreign and domestic tourists with information on travels, tour operators as well as tourist places and camps in Mongolia.
Tourist Information Center Starts Operating – Montsame, September 11
Tourist information center opens at train station – news.mn, September 11
19-year-old Mongolian freestyle wrestler seizes world title
September 11 (UB Post) Mongolia's International Sports Master S.Tserenchimed won a gold medal in the women's 60 kg category of the World Wrestling Championship on September 10, held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
In the final round, she defeated Olympic medalist and former world champion, Azerbaijani wrestler Yuliya Ratkevich.
In the first round, S.Tserenchimed defeated five time European Champion, Russian wrestler Natalia Golts. After that she defeated Japanese wrestler Katsuki Sakagami. In the semi-final, she won against Finland wrestler to qualify for the silver.
S.Tserenchimed is the second Mongolian woman to become a world champion.
Another Mongolian wrestler, State Honored Athlete G.Mandakhnaran won a bronze medal in the men's 65 kg division of the freestyle contest, which is his second medal from the World Championships.
In the first two rounds, he defeated Ukrainian and Armenian opponents. He lost to Russian wrestler Soslan Ramonov. In the repechage round, he beat his rivals from Puerto Rico and Belarus.
Mongolian wrestler E.Nyam-Ochir won a bronze medal in the men's 74 kg division after beating his opponents in the repechage.
Through the team results, in the men's freestyle tournament, the Mongolian national team ranked sixth, with 29 points.
The World Wrestling Championship will take place in Tashkent until September 14.
MetaStory: Seeking new outlets for Mongolian creatives
By MICHELLE BOROK
September 11 (UB Post) MetaStory NGO was conceived in September 2013 by young, creative Mongolians looking to strengthen their community with opportunities to share artistic skills, inspiration and resources with their peers. The fledgling NGO pulled off its first training session last month, a free five-day filmmaking workshop resulting in four short films written, directed, performed, shot and edited by teams of five.
In MetaStory's own words: "Everyone has a story. In fact, everyone has many stories. As a country with the majority of its population 10 to 24 years of age, Mongolia is a youth-led nation. With a mere 2.8 million, we don't have a strong manufacturing workforce, nor a comforting population number to develop our domestic market. But our youth has imagination with the potential to captivate the world through the means of creative industries. That's what we want to support. We want to gather young, talented and aspiring creative people in Mongolia."
The short films created in the MetaStory workshop are now part of a creative and professional challenge for the NGO's founders. MetaStory will continue to follow through on its vision of sharing Mongolian creative endeavors and is venturing into the world of international film festival submissions, sending one of the strongest films created in its August workshop off for consideration for two European short film festivals.
The UB Post spoke with MetaStory to find out more about the NGO's origin and mission.
How did MetaStory come to be?
We don't want to talk much about our early days, in the hopes that someday our story will be adapted for a feature film, like "Social Network". But different ideas about bringing Mongolia's creative and cultural presence to the world—especially the Internet—had been incubating in our minds for some time. So, over the past year, the logo of MetaStory formed in the night skies, like the birth of a celestial body. In other words, Natso, Anand and three other people started this NGO. Then three people left due to creative differences and soon Zolnamar joined our team.
Our vision is to inspire "creative industries" to reach international audiences by becoming fluent in English and tech-savvy. But there is a commercial side to this, too. "Creative industries" is an umbrella term for film, music, publishing, games and other various activities. Thanks to new technology, reaching the international stage is not a pipe dream anymore. An international presence can help Mongolia's economy and bring in more investment.
Our first activity was organizing a short filmmaking workshop. Funded by a U.S. Embassy grant and conducted in collaboration with the Los Angeles Film School, we selected 20 youth fluent in English and passionate about filmmaking and had U.S. writer, producer, and acting coach Lee Michael Cohn and professional Mongolian instructors teach them important aspects of filmmaking. The most fun part was letting them make their own film over the five-day period. Our participants were arranged into four teams and we have four short films they did as a learning experience. We're also sending the best film out of the four to the Oberhausen and Hamburg international short film festivals for experience.
What are your own creative backgrounds?
Natso has been trying to write short stories for awhile now. He says he found his true calling in storytelling (hence the name MetaStory). He has blogged, written short stories, book reviews, scripts and passive aggressive e-mails (don't we all?), but has yet to be published, with an emphasis on "yet".
Zolnamar has been heading a tech start-up and teaching kids about programming. She is a true polyglot in programming languages. Her latest iOS app game, "Bubbleologist" was recently released on Apple's App Store, so now is a good time to check it out.
Anand has been practicing salsa, kizomba and other forms of dance floor seduction for three years now. (Ahem, he's taken though, ladies.) He also has an Advanced Communicator Bronze title from Toastmasters International. He's also a big film junkie, much like all of us.
Only recently have Mongolian stories on film, presented by Mongolians, been shared with the world. Have the stories told by foreign filmmakers influenced Mongolian screenwriters and directors at all?
Although no strangers to Hollywood's penchant for blockbusters (read: explosions and CGI), the filmmakers in Mongolia probably didn't grow up watching John Wayne's "Conqueror", we are aware of the image of barbarians and steppes that the word Mongolia conjures. One of our visions is to let Mongolia's filmmakers capitalize on that, perhaps like "Borat". Maybe not quite like "Borat".
What's the current state of education in media arts in Mongolia's universities and technical schools?
During our first short filmmaking workshop, organized August 18 to 22, we realized that instruction in media arts is very theory-oriented, and most students don't get much practice with technology. We want to promote the best practices of schools integrating technology, as this is radically changing the field of creative industries. Also, we're planning to organize contests and events, lots and lots of them.
Are you thinking about the convergence of traditional Mongolian storytelling and modern technology?
That's exactly what we're thinking about. We want to guide Mongolian artists in taking on digital platforms to channel their work and reach international audiences.
Which stories have the least representation in Mongolia?
When films and shows cover Mongolia, they are usually shadowed by the culture of our neighbors. We want to show that we're a small bunch of nomadic people who don't speak Chinese or treat the cold with vodka.
What are the major challenges for Mongolian creatives?
English fluency and tech-savviness have to be the biggest ones. Also, networking with and learning more from international practitioners. Finally, there has been a lot of complaints on social media recently about how the established artists in Mongolia are "hogging the stage" while exploiting the newcomers. While we're not taking any sides, we definitely think this won't yield any progress for the development of creative industries in Mongolia.
Are you finding a lot of local support for the NGO?
Support is something we could definitely use here. As we're a small group running on passion, we are in shortage of human resource and premises. So far, we are looking for partners and volunteers who are passionate about creativity and are willing to exchange experience; partners and donors who can support us with venues, namely restaurants to host our bi-monthly events and venues to host our upcoming workshops; partnership from the government and other local NGOs to form advocacy coalitions; and support from international NGOs and donors to build up our capacity. We would encourage interested parties to write us at email@example.com or head on over to metastory.org or facebook.com/metastory to follow our developments.
Mongolian Ambassador Attends Event for Protecting Wild Camels
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 11 (MONTSAME) The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the United Kingdom Mr N.Tulga participated in a charity event organized last weekend in Kent county by the Wild Camel Protection Foundation (WCPF).
It attracted diplomats of the Mongolian Embassy in the UK and Mongolians in the country. They organized a small festival of Mongolian national sports, concert and a fair of Mongolian cuisine for guests. Revenues earned from the event will be donated to the foundation in order to buy fodder for some 400 heads of wild camels in Mongolia.
The WCPF, a UK registered charity, with Dr Jane Goodall DBE as its Honorary Life Patron, was established in 1997. It is also registered in the USA as a non-profit organization. The sole aim of the WCPF is to protect the critically endangered wild camel (Camelus ferus) and its habitat in the fragile and unique desert ecosystems in the Gobi desert in north-west China and in south-west Mongolia. It is the only charitable environmental Foundation in the world which has this exclusive objective. The WCPF has raised funds from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and from international organisations, private foundations, individuals, companies and dedicated WCPF members. The WCPF is continuously fund-raising and organising activities to raise much needed funds to continue its vital work.
In 2003, the WCPF opened a breeding center for wild camel in Mongolian Gobi protected area with support of the Ministry of Environment. This foundation works to raise money for breeding the animal because GBP 2,500 is required every month for operating the breeding center normally, GBP 10 thousand every September--for preparing hay and fodder, and GBP 25 thousand--for the educational programme.
P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.