Wednesday, November 26, 2014

[MMC commences ex-rights, SB invites all to gov't, 2014 budget to be amended, and UN takes up Kapla case]

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original


Overseas Market

Mogi: Subscription price is HK$0.28 per new share. MMC closed at HK$0.60 yesterday, trading at HK$0.435 in early Wednesday trading

MMC: Commencement of Dealings in the Shares on an Ex-Rights Basis

November 25 -- Reference is made to the announcement of Mongolian Mining Corporation (the "Company") dated 31 October 2014 and the circular of the Company dated 7 November 2014 (the "Circular") in relation to the proposed rights issue of the Company on the basis of three Rights Shares for every two Shares held on the Record Date (the "Rights Issue"). Unless provided otherwise, capitalized terms used in this announcement shall have the same meanings as those defined in the Circular.

Pursuant to the expected timetable of the Rights Issue in the Circular, the last day of dealings in the Shares on a cum-rights basis was Tuesday, 25 November 2014. The closing price per Share as quoted on the Stock Exchange on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 was HK$0.60.

Dealings in the Shares on an ex-rights basis shall commence on Wednesday, 26 November 2014.

Link to release


WOF trading at A$0.045 mid-Wednesday

Wolf Petroleum: Underwritten Rights Issue – Shortfall Notice

November 26 -- Wolf Petroleum Limited (Wolf, ASX:WOF) advises that its fully underwritten non-renounceable rights issue of 1 new share for every 8.7 shares held, at an issue price of $0.05 per share together with 1 free attaching listed option for every 1 share subscribed for and issued (exercise price of $0.05 and expiry of 31/07/2018) (Rights Issue), closed on 19 November 2014.

In accordance with Appendix 7A of the ASX Listing Rules, Wolf advises that it received valid acceptances for 5,925,686 new shares with a shortfall of 24,402,748 shares.

The Rights Issue is fully underwritten by CPS Capital Group Pty Ltd who is presently attending to placing the shortfall. Upon completion of the Rights Issue, the total funds raised will be approximately $1,516,422 before costs.

Link to release

Appendix 3B (New Issue Announcement)



November 25 -- Xanadu Mines Ltd (ASX: XAM – "Xanadu") is pleased to announce the terms of the rights issue that will be undertaken immediately following approval of the A$13.6 million Placement at the Company's AGM to be held on 28 November 2014 ("Rights Issue"). The Company proposes a non-renounceable rights issue to eligible shareholders, on the basis of 2 new fully paid ordinary shares for every 7 shares held, at an issue price of 12.26 cents per share (being equivalent to the Placement price) ("New Shares"), to raise up to A$8.5 million. The maximum number of New Shares to be issued under the Rights Issue is 69,581,954 based on Xanadu's undiluted share capital. The Rights Issue will be available to eligible shareholders as at 7.00pm (AEDST) on 4 December 2014 ("Record Date"). Following quotation, the New Shares will rank equally in all respects from the date of allotment with existing quoted shares on issue.

The funds raised under the Rights Issue (after payment of costs) will be used to partly repay the deferred consideration for the Kharmagtai project and advance exploration activities at the Kharmagtai and Oyut Ulaan copper-gold projects.

The proposed timetable for the Rights Issue is set out below:

Link to release


Petro Matad Announces Resignation of Chairman

November 24 -- Petro Matad Ltd (AIM:MATD) announces that Dr George Watkins CBE has resigned as Chairman and non-executive director of Petro Matad, and as a non-executive director of the Company's subsidiary Central Asian Petroleum Corporation Limited (CapCorp), both to be effective immediately. 

A further announcement will be made in due course.

Link to release


GOLD: Centerra's Boroo mine certified under Cyanide Code

MONGOLIA, November 24 (Canadian Mining Journal) – The International Cyanide Management Institute (ICMI) of Washington, DC, has certified the Boroo gold mine belonging to Toronto-based Centerra Gold as compliant under terms of the Cyanide Code. The mine, 110 km northwest of Ulaanbaatar, is expected to produce 50,000 oz of gold this year.

An independent auditor evaluated the handling of cyanide at the Boroo mine against ICMI's verification protocol and found the operation in full compliance with the Cyanide Code principles and standards of practice. ICMI has accepted the auditor's report. The mine will be re-audited in three years.

Read the audit report and the auditor's credential form by clicking here.

To learn more about the Cyanide Code, go to

Link to article


Modun: Receipt of Exclusivity Fee on Nuurst Coal Deposit Sale

·         Update to Conditional Agreement to sell the Nuurst Coal Deposit for US$8,000,000

·         Deposit received from Purchaser triggering 90 day exclusive due diligence period

November 26, Modun Resources Ltd. (ASX:MOU) Further to the Company's announcement to ASX on 24 November 2014, the Company confirms that it has today received the US$100,000 exclusivity fee from the Mongolian based purchaser, triggering the 90 day exclusivity period during which the purchaser has the right to conduct due diligence on the Company's Nuurst Project and enter into a binding agreement consistent with the key commercial terms outlined in the Company's 24 November announcement.

Link to release


Draig Resources: Chairman's Address at AGM

November 26, Draig Resources Ltd. (ASX:DRG) --

Link to preso


TRQ closed +2.59% to US$3.57 Tuesday

Will Mongolia's new leader work with investors?

November 25 (CNBC) Travis Hamilton, Chairman at Khan Investment Management, says Mongolia's new prime minister has a clear mandate to drive foreign investment back into the economy.

Link to video

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Local Market

MSE News for November 24: Top 20 +0.1% to 14,849.89, Turnover 946.7 Million, SDS 943.7 Million

Ulaanbaatar, November 24 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Monday, a total of one million 853 thousand and 178 units of 19 JSCs were traded costing MNT 946 million 719 thousand and 913.80.

"State Department Store" /One million and 840 thousand units/, "Hai Bi Oil" /10 thousand units/, "Remikon" /1,000 units/, "Genco tour bureau" /645 units/ and "Arig gal" /362 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "State Department Store" (MNT 943 million and 720 thousand), "Hai Bi Oil" (MNT five million and 100 thousand), "Talkh chikher" (MNT one million and 702 thousand), "APU" (MNT one million and 022 thousand) and "Atar-orgoo" (MNT one million and 020 thousand).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 505 billion 396 million 870 thousand and 076. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,849.89, increasing 14.63 units or 0.10% against the previous day.

Link to article


MSE News for November 25: Top 20 +0.41% to 14,911.26, Turnover 29.3 Million, 28-Week T-Bills 2.3 Billion

Ulaanbaatar, November 25 /MONTSAME/ At the Stock Exchange trades on Tuesday, a total of 37 thousand and 531 units of 22 JSCs were traded costing MNT two billion 324 million 501 thousand and 560.00.

"Hermes center" /8,450 units/, "Material impex" /1,400 units/, "Hai Bi Oil" /1,000 units/, "Merex" /500 units/ and "Boonii khudaldaa" /300 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Material impex" (MNT 23 million and 940 thousand), "Hermes center" (MNT one million 268 thousand and 620), "Atar-orgoo" (MNT 816 thousand), "Sharyn gol" (MNT 586 thousand and 360) and "Hai Bi Oil" (MNT 550 thousand).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 463 billion 624 million 216 thousand and 836. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,911.26, increasing 61.37 units or 0.41% against the previous day.

Link to article

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Early morning non-cash USD rates: Khan (Buy 1,886 Sell 1,894), TDB (Buy 1,884 Sell 1,894), Golomt (Buy 1,888 Sell 1,894), XacBank (Buy 1,885 Sell 1,895), State Bank (Buy 1,884 Sell 1,894)

BoM MNT Rates: Tuesday, November 25 Close


















































November MNT vs USD, CNY Chart:


Link to rates


BoM FX auction: US$16m sold at 1,891.10, CNY49m at 308.10, accepts $80m USD, $5.5m MNT swap offers

November 25 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on November 25th, 2014 the BOM has received bid offer of 43.5 million USD and 86.5 million CNY from local commercial banks. The BOM has sold 16.0 million USD as closing rate of MNT 1891.10 and 49.0 million CNY as closing rate of MNT 308.10.

On November 25th, 2014, The BOM has received USD SWAP agreement ask offer of 80.0 million USD and MNT Swap agreement bid offer in equivalent to 5.5 million USD from local commercial banks and accepted all offer.

See also:

·         FX Auction Statistics

Link to release


BoM issues 119 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding +45.3% to 333.5 billion

November 24 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 119 billion at a weighted interest rate of 12.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


Total Mortgages +3.2% MoM, +54.4% YoY; of Which 70.5% Subsidized – October 2014

November 25 (Bank of Mongolia) --

Appendix 1. Consolidated mortgage loan report of commercial banks.



Outstanding mortgage loan (MNT million)

From which:

Weighted average term of loan issued in the reporting month

Weighted average interest rate of loan issued in the reporting month

Total number of borrowers

By "Housing Mortgage Program"










































































































































































Link to report

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Politics & Legal

Newly Elected PM Invites All Seated Parties to Government

November 24 ( On November 21, 2014, Parliamentarian Chimed SAIKHANBILEG was elected as the 28th Prime Minister of Mongolia at the plenary session of the State Great Khural (Parliament), who succeeds MP N.Altankhuyag.

According to the affiliated law, Speaker of the Parliament Z.Enkhbold obliged the newly elected Premier to form his Cabinet and submit names within two weeks from the day of accreditation.

So today on November 24, 2014, Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg sent a request letter to establish a Coalition Government to each political force having seats in the Parliament.

The letter cites in order to recover the deteriorated economy shortly, Premier Ch.Saikhanbileg pledges to take immediate steps, furthermore, to renew all-level electoral rules by amending the Constitution of Mongolia that aims to strengthen equal-right parliamentary governance.

Moreover, he urges to successfully implement big-scale projects such as Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi as well as other projects in mining, energy and infrastructure sectors by creating friendly investment environment that would attract interests of local and foreign firms.

On the same day, the opposition political force (Mongolian People's Party) responded to the Letter stating that the issue of establishing a Coalition Government with ruling Democratic Party shall be considered at the MPP Board of Members-level meeting and then to submit to the Baga Khural (Lower Chamber) of MPP. Consequently, the MPP decided to form a working group with six members including U.Enkhtuvshin, N.Nomtoibayar, Yo.Otgonbayar, Ya.Sodbaatar and J.Enkhbayar, chaired by S.Batbold. If the MPP resolves to join the Coalition Government, these members would represent the MPP's position and jointly make decisions with DP and other parties.

Link to article


Former MPP leaders discuss party's role in tackling economic woes

Ulaanbaatar, November 25 (MONTSAME) A meeting of ex-authorities of the Mongolian People's Party /MPP/ was held Tuesday in Ulaanbaatar.

The meeting brought together Mr N.Bagabandi, a former president of Mongolia; D.Lundeejantsan and Ts.Nyamdorj, former chairmen of the State Great Khural (Parliament);  D.Gungaadorj and Ts.Sodnom, ex-Prime Ministers;  M.Enkhbold and Ts.Enkhtuvshin, former heads of the MPP,  U.Khurelsukh and G.Zandanshatar, former secretary-generals of the party.

They discussed a current socio-economic situation of Mongolia and a role of the MPP in tackling the present time's economic difficulties in times of political and economic conditions in the country.

Link to article


Mongolia's New Prime Minister Gets 'Honeymoon' to Fix Economy

By Michael Kohn

November 25 (Bloomberg) Mongolia's new Prime Minister Saikhanbileg Chimed has a period of goodwill probably until spring to get the economy back on track and resolve a dispute with Rio Tinto Group, the country's biggest foreign investor.

The "honeymoon" for Saikhanbileg, 45, who was cabinet secretary in the previous government, could end by summer when a new election cycle will heat up, said Peter Morrow, a partner at NovaTerra LLC, an Ulaanbaatar-based advisory firm.

Saikhanbileg -- a weight lifter who bench-presses 175 kilograms -- takes over from former boss Altankhuyag Norov, ousted in a no-confidence vote on Nov. 5. The top three priorities are the economy, the economy and the economy, Saikhanbileg said in his address to Parliament on Nov. 21.

The job comes with a raft of problems. The economy is growing in single digits just three years after it posted a world-beating 17.5 percent expansion on the back of coal and copper mining deals. Foreign investment dropped 82 percent in the first nine months of 2014 compared to 2012, after new laws were labeled unfriendly by investors.

The $6.6 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper mine, Mongolia's biggest mining project, stalled last year as Rio and the government tangled over issues ranging from taxes to cost overruns. On hold is a $4.2 billion financing package to develop the second phase of the mine.

'Political Season'

"By next summer you are back in the political season again, so there is a window," said Morrow. "I think they are going to make every effort to get it (Oyu Tolgoi) done."

The long-delayed plan to find a partner to work with state-owned coal miner Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC may also get sorted out in the same six months, said Morrow.

The government announced three years ago that a consortium of bidders, including St. Louis-based Peabody Energy Corp. and Shenhua Energy Co. (1088), would jointly operate the mine held by Erdenes TT. The deal was later rescinded by the National Security Council.

"You won't see any radical changes but he will try to look at the current issues with a fresh approach," said Munkhdul Badral, head of market intelligence firm Cover Mongolia.

Saikhanbileg needs to assemble a cabinet of professionals and avoid the route taken by his predecessor, said Morrow.

"Altankhuyag kept the government together by giving something to the factions, but when you hold the government together like this you give up something in the way of performance," said Morrow.

Power Lifter

"That is what you have to watch, will they give the ministries to people for political reasons or to someone who knows what they are doing."

Saikhanbileg won 42 of 44 votes cast in the Nov. 21 Parliament vote. The opposition Mongolian People's Party abstained from the vote in protest of a candidate who served as cabinet secretary in the previous failed government.

Saikhanbileg yesterday invited the opposition and all other parties with seats in parliament to enter a "Grand Coalition" government. The Mongolian People's Party is still discussing whether or not to join such a coalition, Party Secretary Bulgantuya Khurelbaatar said by phone today.

Fluent in Russian and English, Saikhanbileg became Minister for Science and Education at age 29 and later attended George Washington's School of Law. He is the head of Mongolia's Power-Lifting Association and a fan of the Denver Broncos.

"He is friendly to foreign investment, educated in Colorado, has good contacts in the U.S.," said Morrow. "Does he have the political skills of Altankhuyag? Who knows. But Altankhuyag held a government together that didn't produce anything."

Link to article


Mongolia Shuffles PMs to Address Self-Inflicted Economic Crisis

November 24 (World Politics Review) Last week, Mongolia's parliament appointed Chimed Saikhanbileg prime minister, two weeks after Norov Altankhuyag lost a no-confidence vote. In an email interview, Julian Dierkes, associate professor at the University of British Columbia, discussed Mongolian politics.

WPR: What factors explain the recent no-confidence vote against former Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag?

Julian Dierkes: Surprisingly, Norov Altankhuyag was the longest-serving prime minister from the Democratic Party (DP). However, during the two and a half years that he was in office, Mongolia came to face an economic crisis that was largely government-made through strict foreign investment regulation and poor fiscal decisions. Altankhuyag did not show any indications that he had a particular policy goal in mind for his government. Yet he was evidently skillful at keeping his coalition with the Justice Coalition and the Civil Will Green Party intact.

While there had been simmering accusations of corruption, what sunk Altankhuyag was the long-term electoral alliance he announced with the Justice Coalition on Oct. 18. He was joined on stage for the announcement by former President Nambaryn Enkhbayar of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, a nemesis to the DP and only pardoned last year from his jail sentence for corruption. The announcement sent the DP into a self-destructive spiral that led to eight DP members voting against Altankhuyag when a no-confidence vote was forced on Nov. 5 by the Mongolian People's Party (MPP).

Note that during this time, the state budget for 2015 was quietly passed, so the presence of a caretaker government seems not to have slowed things down much.

WPR: What led the opposition MPP to boycott the vote for the new PM?

Dierkes: The absence of MPP MPs from the vote was not necessarily a form of protest. To the contrary, it might have been intended to make the election of a new prime minister easier. The ouster of Altankhuyag broke open some cleavages in the DP and led to a curious back-and-forth between the DP parliamentary caucus and the party's National Consultative Council, which endorsed rival candidates. The election of the prime minister requires a 50 percent plus one vote majority among the members present for the vote at the State Great Khural, Mongolia's parliament. With the absence of the MPP, only 44 of the 76 MPs were present for the vote. That meant that only 23 votes, rather than 39, would have constituted a majority, a number that Chimed Saikhanbileg was sure to muster even if the DP had split.

The absence of the MPP and its announcement that it would not go into a coalition with the DP under Saikhanbileg may also be part of the bargaining process that the parties are engaged in over the formation of the next government. Saikhanbileg's Cabinet nominations will be voted on in the next 14 days, and coalition discussions are ongoing. The MPP might thus have been angling for a strengthened bargaining position in such discussions.

WPR: What are Mongolia's principle domestic political priorities, and how is the recent turbulence likely to affect addressing them?

Dierkes: The main goal for any current government would have to be to get the economy back on the record-breaking growth track that prevailed only two years ago, as well as to fund some of the populist measures adopted in the meantime and repay outstanding loans. 

The main piece of the puzzle to get growth on track again are the discussions with Rio Tinto, the majority-owner—via Canadian Turquoise Hill Resources—of the giant Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project. The strip-mining portion of the project is underway, while the underground portion remains on hold pending an agreement on the $5 billion required for the development of the next phase.

Since Saikhanbileg served as Cabinet secretary in the Altankhuyag cabinet, it is not clear that his government will be able to further discussions with Rio Tinto. If Saikhanbileg follows the current political winds, however, and appoints a technocratic Cabinet, this might actually lead to a more focused attempt to engage Rio Tinto, but also a rethink of government ownership of the Tavan Tolgoi coal project.

Link to article


Open letter to Mongolian political leadership

By Julian Dierkes

September 23 (UB Post) I am traveling to Ulaanbaatar from Yangon, Myanmar, just as your ranks are being reconfigured into a new government. It is encouraging to see another peaceful change of leadership that responds to the will of parliament, and thus, signals the solidity of democratic institutions. While Mongolia may well be an example for Myanmar to consider as it embarks on its democratization, it is other similarities between the two countries that made me curious about Myanmar.

Some of the features that the two countries have in common: rich mineral endowments, a state-socialist past, and a similar geopolitical position wedged between two regional and global powers. But there are also very significant differences. Myanmar is a much more populous multi-ethnic and multi-religious society that is divided by conflict, often armed. While Mongolia's erstwhile dictators have transformed themselves into a democratic political party, Myanmar's military retains nominal and real power.

Learning just a little bit about the challenges that Myanmar faces leads me to implore you as leaders to do right by your fellow Mongolians, and to do your best to capitalize on opportunities (and the absence of many challenges) that have been given to you. Put quite simply, and in comparison to Myanmar, achieving a prosperous, healthy, democratic and stable Mongolia should be so easy!

Consider an issue like relations between communities and mining projects as an example, because the minerals sector is so central to Mongolian and Burmese development.

Myanmar is in the middle of a very enthusiastic journey toward membership in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a status that Mongolia has enjoyed since 2006. For Myanmar, this means not only collecting data about company payments to the state from large oil companies that will represent the bulk of the financial volume of EITI reporting, but attempting to include nearly 2,000 small and medium-sized mining companies from across the country, many if not most of whom are tightly interwoven with the military and regional militias and government.

In Mongolia, EITI reports have been reconciled consistently and have come to include a sample of 400 of the total 1,800 license-holders.

Another aspect: When conflicts over mining projects between local populations and miners arise in Myanmar, they are overshadowed by ethnic divisions and violence. No such violence has existed in Mongolia, which also has not seen a civil war nor a military that has been involved in civilian or economic affairs since the democratic transition.

Despite all the challenges Myanmar is facing, Burmese people seem hopeful that they will be able to achieve a measure of sustainable and equitable prosperity. A recent report by the Asian Development Bank ("Myanmar – Unlocking the Potential") explicitly modeled different growth trajectories for Myanmar and noted that growth rates of seven to eight percent per year would bring Myanmar to the per capita GDP level of today's Mongolia by 2030!

As would be clear to any observer, Mongolia enjoys so many advantages over a country like Myanmar that any degree to which Mongolia fails to achieve its objectives of economic, political, and social development, should be seen as an embarrassment by you, its political leadership.

As you are forming a new government, and because I have come to care very much about the fate of Mongolia, I implore you to prioritize the development of the nation over individual, family, business or political party interests. Corruption is a crime against your fellow citizens and must be rooted out from the top through impartial prosecution and by setting examples of transparent and evidence-based policy-making.

The state bureaucracy has to be reconfigured to allow it to develop the expertise to administer Mongolian political decisions effectively. The past two years of wholesale replacements of officials have been disastrous. This disaster is most evident in policies that have been enacted seemingly without attention to consequences that such decisions might have. This is most obvious in the macro-economic and investment sector, where foreign direct investment has been virtually eliminated by government policies, and where a significant foreign debt has been taken on with only limited plans for how to use the borrowed capital productively. Policy analytical capacity has to be built up in the public service to be able to advise politicians in their difficult decisions. This expertise and the public service has to be independent and free of corruption.

Most concretely, the development of and production at Oyu Tolgoi has to be brought back on track. This project is not only a very large microcosm of Mongolian development, but it is also of huge significance in providing revenue streams for funding further capacity development in regulation, education and vocational training, and infrastructure. It is also a symbol of Mongolia's development that is watched much more closely from abroad than any other project. Persuading Rio Tinto to re-engage in development and production at Oyu Tolgoi must be one of your first tasks.

You are making a new start with a different government. Some of the individuals involved have talked about a professional or even technocratic government, cabinet members that wear only a single deel, and so on. I sincerely hope that this is not just talk and that you use the coming months to enact really beneficial policies for the country, independent of factional politics and an election that will begin to loom large.

Your decisions make the difference between a Mongolia in 2030 that will have achieved some of its potential, and a Mongolia that remains mired in complex webs of corruption and inequality.

I do wish you and all Mongolians the best of luck in this journey!

Link to letter


Saikhanbileg's First Cabinet Meeting Decides to Revise 2014 Budget

November 24 ( On November 21, 2014, the newly elected Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg called a Cabinet meeting on the first day of accreditation, where over 20 issues were revised.

Cabinet meeting resolutions in brief:

-       It was discussed to make some amendments in the law of 2014 state budget under the reason of structural changes in the Government.

-       Concepts of newly revised law on Arbitration, law on Prosecution and Socializing, and the law on Decision Execution were approved.

-       The visit of the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj to the Republic of Austria conducted on October 13-15, 2014 and the visit to Hungary on October 17-19, 2014 were revised and agreed to submit to the National Security Council of Mongolia.

-       The summary of participation of Mongolian delegates headed by President Ts.Elbegdorj in the 10th ASEM Summit concluded in Milan, Italy on October 17, 2014 was revised and considered important as to strengthen Mongolia's position in the region as well as to host the next ASEM Summit in Ulaanbaatar in 2016.

-       The Prime Minister, who concurrently serves as an Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs and Economic Cooperation of Mongolia, Ch.Saikhanbileg is obliged to submit the official visit of Speaker of the State Great Khural (Parliament) Z.Enkhbold to the People's Republic of China held on October 27-28, 2014 to the National Security Council of Mongolia.

-       The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Ministry of Education and Science as well as Governors of Capital City and Aimags are entrusted to organize the V Children Sports Festival in both winter and summer categories in 2015. The festival for children with disabilities will be organized in 8 events starting from June, where Summer Festival in 15 categories will be commencing in September and the Children Winter Festival will be held in 5 categories from December 2015.

Link to article


Mogi: looks like she sued her way back to work. Mongolian labor laws have a very harsh rules for firing people.

Cabinet Reinstates Deputy Cabinet Secretary Following Court Decision

Ulaanbaatar, November 23 (MONTSAME) On Friday, the cabinet decided to submit to the National Security Council (NSC) a presentation on a laboratory equipped with facilities for detecting specific kinds of crimes.

-       The cabinet backed in principle a draft general law on administration initiated by the President Ts.Elbegdorj and decided to convey it to the initiator.

-       The cabinet backed a concept of the law on organic foods and ordered Ministers to adopt the law after reflecting their proposals. A legal environment has not been formed yet in Mongolia for the industry of processing organic agricultural products, for registering, examining and approving these products. The country needs to have a legal regulation for creating common demands for national producers and sales and for encouraging them.

-       The cabinet considered as necessity to adopt a draft new wording of the law on labour after discussing and backing it.

-       In accordance with a decision of the court, Sh.Solongo was re-appointed the first deputy head of the Cabinet Secretariat for Government.

Link to article


Mongolia to Update Arbitration Law in Accordance with 2016 UNCITRAL

Ulaanbaatar, November 23 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting on Friday approved a concept of a draft new wording of the law on arbitration and also concepts of bills on punishment and socializing criminals and on proceedings of implementing court decisions.

Adopted in 2003, the law on arbitration has been harmonized with a model law of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), so the current law is required to be amended in accordance with a 2006' alteration of the UNCITRAL. The alteration expects to raise the public trust in arbitration, to popularize the arbitration for tackling debates and to reduce both time and expenses of the arbitration actions.

In frames of governmental goals, the Ministry of Justice has been running reforms in order to make the punishment policy more appropriate, effective and optional. By the newly adopted law on crime, the punishment types and forms have been re-determined, and the prison punishment has been transmitted into open and closed systems. The prison punishment for teenagers is transferred into educational and discipline organizations. The bill on punishment and socializing criminals is correlated with these amendments.

The law on proceedings of implementing court decisions is required to be worked out in order to improve final-stage works of adjudication.

Link to article


Former PM Altankhuyag leaves for South Korea after serious accident

November 24 ( Ousted PM N.Altankhuyag was in a serious motorcycle accident near Tsonjinboldog, outside of the city, over the weekend. The former PM was advised to seek medical treatment in South Korea, as hospitals in Mongolia were not equipped to treat the full extent of his injuries, so he left for South Korea on Sunday.

Local reports say that the former PM suffered severe brain and spinal cord injuries and a collarbone fracture.

N.Altankhuyag and his reform government were ousted in a parliamentary vote of no confidence on November 5th.

Link to article


Mongolia Under UN Human Rights Investigation For Executive Detention

By Jon Springer

November 24 (Forbes) The most notable current example of the use of Mongolia's exit visa ban is American Justin Kapla's situation, as well as the situation of his former Philippine colleagues Hilarion Cajucom, Jr. and Cristobal David. Mr. Kapla's case was accepted by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on November 17, 2014. The government of Mongolia now has 6 months to respond.

Munkhdul "Mogi" Bontoi, founder and CEO of Cover Mongolia said:

Follow Jon Springer on Twitter @FrontierWriter or connect via LinkedIn.

Link to article


U.S. Businessman Trapped in Mongolia Files UN Human Rights Claim

By Michael Kohn

November 25 (Bloomberg) The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has registered a claim against Mongolia by Justin Kapla, a U.S. businessman prevented from leaving the country for two years due to allegations of tax evasion.

The claim by Kapla alleges Mongolia is violating the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, according to a Nov. 17 letter from the UN body seen by Bloomberg News. The UN verified the letter as authentic in an e-mail on Nov. 21.

Mongolia will be informed of the claim and has six months to respond, the letter says. The claim will be investigated to assess if a violation of human rights has taken place, according to procedures on the UN website.

Kapla of Elk River, Minnesota, hasn't been charged with a crime and is one of several people prevented from leaving Mongolia due to legal disputes. Most stem from a mining boom that lured in foreign investors, including mining giant Rio Tinto Group.

Kapla was informed of the travel ban in November 2012 following allegations of tax evasion while he was president and executive director of coal miner SouthGobi Sands LLC. Appeals this year by Minnesota senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken to allow him home on humanitarian grounds failed.

Sent Back

In August the Court of Justice in Ulaanbaatar sent the tax case against SouthGobi back to the Prosecutor General for further investigation due to insufficient evidence, according to a statement released by SouthGobi Resources Ltd.

"The allegations are baseless," said John N. Viverito, a partner at Gibson Dunn, the firm representing Kapla. "After two years of reviews, investigation, expert reports, and a lengthy trial they have failed to find any wrongdoing."

Mongolia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs couldn't comment because it is awaiting information from the UN office in Geneva, according to a text message from a ministry official who asked not to be named in line with government practices.

Mongolia's government is now in a state of flux after the appointment on Friday of Saikhanbileg Chimed as the country's new prime minister, following the ouster of Altankhuyag Norov earlier this month. Saikhanbileg is now trying to build a coalition government.

Others Detained

Kapla, who is married to a Mongolian national and has two children, can travel freely in the capital of Ulaanbaatar, though needs court permission to leave the city. He still has his passport, but has been informed by the authorities he will not be allowed to leave the country.

Kapla's claim alleges Mongolia violated article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which allows freedom of movement within a nation and between nations. Mongolia ratified the covenant in 1974.

Two Philippine nationals, Hilarion Cajucom Jr and Cristobal David, both former employees of SouthGobi Sands, are also on travel bans in the tax evasion case. Sarah Armstrong, an Australian attorney formerly employed by SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (1878), the parent company to SouthGobi Sands LLC, was subjected to a travel ban in late 2012.

Kapla's claim comes amid waning foreign investment in Mongolia fueled by a nearly two-year dispute with Rio over the development of the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine. The government jointly owns the mine with Rio subsidiary Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TRQ).

Link to article


Mogi: tobacco lady now goes after alcohol

Author of Tobacco Control Law Submits Bill on Alcohol Control

Ulaanbaatar, November 25 (MONTSAME) A member of parliament L.Erdenechimeg Tuesday submitted to the Speaker Z.Enkhbold a draft law on the control over alcoholic beverages.

According to statistics, one thirds of crimes, half of serious crimes, and 57.7% of crimes in the capital city were committed by the drunken people, so the alcoholism is a big cause of crimes, and the bill aims to take measures for reducing the consumption and industry of alcoholic beverages, Erdenechimeg said.  

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Bill Submitted on Revising Law on Human Rights Commission

Ulaanbaatar, November 25 (MONTSAME) A head of the parliamentary Standing committee on state structure A.Bakei and S.Demberel MP Tuesday submitted to the Speaker Z.Enkhbold a draft amendment to the law on National Commission for Human Rights of Mongolia (NCHRM).

After the law on the NCHRM was adopted in 2000, the Commission was established in 2001 obliged to monitor, analyze and evaluate an implementation of international agreements and contracts and laws of Mongolia in terms of human rights matters. The law has not been altered since its adoption, and it has been criticized by the international side for not reflecting some essential norms of the Paris Principles. Although basic freedom and rights of the Mongolians are ensured by the Constitution and appraised at a level of the international norms, Mongolia has not formed yet a socio-economic proper conditions and legal environment that would allow to fully realize the human rights. Moreover, it has been revealed that the country is facing several difficulties at a level of realizing norms of the laws and regulations on human rights.

By these reasons the law should be amended, "law enforcers must be forced to minimize the violations in ensuring and implementing the related laws, the state mechanism must be refined of protecting and backing human rights during ensuring the interests of victims, and an independent potential of the NCHRM must be fortified," the MPs said.

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Hubbis: Building the investment case in Mongolia – Part 1

November 2014 -- In the first part of this two-part documentary, expert commentators on Mongolia discuss the key characteristics, opportunities, challenges and outlook in relation to investing in the country.

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS (click on any question to jump directly to that answer)

1.    Mongolia-at-a-glance (4:19)

2.    Learning from the past (7:47)

3.    A positive big-picture outlook (5:31)

4.    Getting Mongolia's infrastructure right (5:53)

5.    Wealth growth in Mongolia (6:34)

Link to video


Housing construction to increase into foreseeable future

November 24 (Mongolian Economy) Everywhere across the city in recent years, Central Bank backed housing construction projects have been sprouting up, as the government continues a supply side supportive policy.  

Since last year, MNT 582.8 billion in mortgage loans have been issued, plus MNT 872.1 billion in refinanced mortgage loans at a reduced interest rate of eight percent per year, and an additional MNT 296.1 billion to increase construction essential materials manufacturing for dedicated projects by Mongol Bank. Meanwhile the government has spent MNT 429.5 billion increasing the housing supply and another MNT 70 billion on land exemptions.

Total construction work of 16,500 apartment units and houses were completed across Ulaanbaatar last year, as 14,685 residents received a mortgage and real-estate prices rose by 26 percent. This year, 21,540 houses and apartments are scheduled for completion. Local real-estate market experts say that although the prices have fallen since the beginning of the eight percent mortgage loans, they will likely follow the macroeconomic general outlook.

Last year, the construction sector accounted for a great deal of GDP growth, despite a relatively small share of total GDP. Strong sector growth has continued over the past three years, as a total of 40,000 houses and apartments have been built. Local investment pouring into the sector doubled and increased by 2.3 times in just the past year.  Moreover, bank loans issued to the construction sector rose by 60 percent. Unfortunately, foreign investment has fallen, as the investment legal environment has had a huge impact on this matter, says a study by industry company UMC ALPHA.

Of the housing still under construction, 9,507 units, 25.4 percent of the total, are to be completed by the end of this year; the remaining of 27,800, or 74.6 percent, are to soon follow in 2015. The problem with such a boom in available apartments, however, is that there is a lack of infrastructure, particularly electricity and heating, that can meet such a supply of current residence construction projects, according to reports released by real-estate companies. If, for example, there is a problem with the connection to the power stations, all the houses and apartments that depend on this utility will see a shortage of heating and electricity for at least 48 hours.

UMC ALPHA experts say that to tackle the issue, we need to clarify the real demand of residential homes, produce appropriate residential models that fit the purchasing power of citizens, and develop domestic construction materials production—the main factor affecting the price of property.

Director of UMC ALPHA, N.Monsor, insists for the need of coordinating infrastructure engineering with city planning, and developing a better legal environment where construction and investment are favored.  

Price and time correlation

The price for per square meter of residences differs depending on their completion time. For a fully finished apartment today, the average price per square meter is MNT 2.4 million, according to Master Properties, a real-estate company. A decade ago the average residence that number was MNT 460,000.

Here is the average price outlook for residential apartments (MNT million)

2014- 4th quarter    2.1
2015-1st quarter     2.4
2015-2nd quarter    2.5
2015-3rd quarter     1.9
2015-4th quarter     2.5
2016-1st quarter     3.5
2016-2nd quarter     2.5
2016-3rd quarter     3.7

Source –Master Properties

Looking at the chart above, the highest price reach occurs in the third quarter of 2016, while the lowest is expected to be in the third quarter of 2015. This can be attributed to the fact that 10 out of 12 residential projects planned to be complete after the fourth quarter next year are considered top level luxury residences.

Residences that are completed before the end of this year are predicted to cost more than those that are to be completed within the next two years. The difference in cost is attributed to a difference in grade—standard versus luxury grade apartments. For instance, standard grade apartment projects do not require purchase orders one or two years ahead of time, as they take a shorter time to build and tend to be cheaper, resulting in higher demand from customers.

But for luxury and above-standard level apartments, there is less a correlation between the price and the time when a customer considers buying. Customers who can afford this kind of residence make their choice by looking at non-price factors such as construction quality, the surrounding environment, and infrastructure.

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China firm becomes first to export poultry to Mongolia

JINAN, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- A large food company in east China's Shandong Province has obtained official permission from Mongolia to export poultry products to the country, said local authorities on Tuesday.

Fengxiang Co., Ltd in Yanggu County is the first Chinese food company to export poultry products to Mongolia, said the Shandong Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.

Mongolia was satisfied with the quality and safety controls for the poultry products after inspecting export-oriented poultry companies in Shandong in October, said the bureau.

Fengxiang in Shandong is one of China's leading chicken processing companies, supplying KFC and McDonald's. It has a processing capacity of 200 million chickens and 60,000 tonnes of cooked poultry products.

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UB lowers vehicle towing fees to 55,000 from 80,000

November 25 ( Metropolitan Traffic Police has announced a change to the rules for the towing of vehicles parked in prohibited locations in the city.

Starting today, drivers will now be required to pay 55,000 MNT for vehicles towed from locations marked as no parking zones including the first lane of most city roads.

In the case of towed vehicles being transported more than 30 km by towing services, vehicle owners will be charged an additional 1,700 MMT per km for the service.

Towing of cars previously cost drivers in violation of parking regulations 80,000 MNT.

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Task Team Established to Organize 2016 ASEM Summit in Ulaanbaatar

November 25 ( The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Economic Development and National Security Council of Mongolia have created task forces, along with other agencies, for the planning of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in Ulaanbaatar, as Mongolia will host the 11th summit in 2016.

Task forces preparing for the summit held a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Economic Development, exchanging opinions on provisional inquiries and future plans.

ASEM is a mechanism for dialogue between 53 countries, including 28 state counties of Asia and Europe, two European two countries, 21 Asian countries, the Secretariat of the EU and ASEAN. ASEM nations account for around 63 percent of global trade.

The 11th ASEM Summit in 2016 comes at the same time of the 20th anniversary of ASEM.

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Social, Environmental & Other

BBC Radio: The Meaning of Mongol (28 Minutes)

(BBC Radio 4) --

Imagine your nationality was used by people all around the world to describe someone with a learning disability or a stupid person. That's what happened to Uuganaa Ramsay. A Mongol, born and brought up on the Mongolian steppe, living in a yurt and herding goats, she came to live in the UK and when her son Billy was diagnosed, she realised that the word mongol meant someone with Down's Syndrome. Insult was added to injury when she discovered derivatives of mongol such as mong, are used as a term of abuse meaning an idiot.

Uuganaa wants to know how this happened. Searching for answers she explores the life of John Langdon Down, who initially diagnosed Down's Syndrome as mongolian idiocy, and discovers how the term travelled the world. Did anyone do anything about it, she wonders, and why and when was the term finally changed.

Just as mongol fizzled out of common parlance, new forms of the word, meaning both Down's Syndrome and idiot, became more popular, and are still more acceptable today than derogatory words referring to race or sexuality, revealing worrying social attitudes towards disability.

Having lost her child, and her clear sense of identity, Uuganaa returns to Mongolia to see what Mongols think of these different meanings of the word, and ultimately reconnects with the true meaning of Mongol she grew up with.

Link to audio report


Why are the words 'mongol', 'mongoloid' and 'mongy' still bandied about as insults?The Independent, November 23


Livestock winter preparation almost complete

Ulaanbaatar, November 24 (MONTSAME) Acting Minister of Industry and Agriculture Sh.Tuvdendorj informed the cabinet on its meeting of November 21 that the preparation for 2014-2015 winter has been satisfied in a level to provide a wintering for 50 million livestock of 142.5 thousand families or 80 million heads of livestock as converted into sheep population.

According to pastures capacity study, the grazing fields are sufficient in 76 percent of the total territory, and the herders in the rest of the territory are planning to graze their livestock in other aimags.

Based on the assumptions of the grazing capacity, drinking water access, hay production, organization of encampments, preparation of herding families, and inspection of livestock fattening, the livestock sector's preparation for the winter is going with 90 percent, he said. 

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Mongolia seeks to ratify additional protocol on child rights convention

Ulaanbaatar, November 24 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting on Friday instructed the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Population Development and Social Welfare to adopt the concept of the draft law on ratifying the additional protocol of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (the CRC), reflecting  suggestions made by the cabinet members.

If the protocol is ratified, Mongolia will forward an ensuring and protecting of children's rights, will submit complaints to related international organizations, will receive an international assistance. It will also aid for establishing a national mechanism that improves/monitors implementation of the CRC and for receiving and solving children's complaints.

In violent cases to children rights breach, the Ministry of Population Development and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Economic Cooperation will be able to submit complaints to the associated international organizations.

The cabinet also approved the draft of the Fifth National Report on the Implementation of the CRC.

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Mongolia Finishes 9th at 2014 Asian Beach Games with 10 Medals

November 25 ( The 2014 Asian Beach Games successfully finished in Phuket Island, Thailand with a closing ceremony held on November 23, where 2,335 athletes from 43 countries have competed in 26 sports categories (169 events), and Mongolian Team has participated in 8 sports events with 50 athletes.

Mongolia finished the 2014 Asian Beach Games with 10 medals (6 Gold and 4 Bronze) and stood at the 9th place in the medal table, where the host nation Thailand tops the overall ranking with a total of 126 medals (56+37+33) followed by China (16+11+21) and South Korea (9+14+14).

Mongolia competed in Muay Thai, Beach Modern Pentathlon, Petanque, Beach Wrestling, Beach Basketball, Ju-Jitsu, Kurash and Sambo, and the medals were achieved in mostly wrestling styles such as JuJitsu, Kurash and Sambo.

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Mongolia takes 9th place in Asian Beach GamesMontsame, November 25

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