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Friday, November 7, 2014
Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original
TRQ closed -5.4% to US$2.98 Thursday, lowest since 2009
Rio Tinto jobs go in Mongolian mining shake-up for Turquoise Hill Resources
by Peter Ker
November 7 (Fairfax Media) Rio Tinto's relationship with the Mongolian government faces an even bigger test than first thought, with the two of the company's most senior executives in the developing country following the Mongolian Prime Minister's lead by standing down.
Less than 48 hours after Mongolian Prime Minister Norovan Altankhuyag was squeezed out of the top job by a no-confidence vote in parliament, the Rio subsidiary that controls the miner's interests in Mongolia announced that its chief executive and chairman were standing down.
The subsidiary, Toronto-listed Turquoise Hill Resources, announced on Friday that long-serving Rio executive Jeff Tygesen would replace Kay Priestley as chief executive of the subsidiary, which is 50.79 per cent owned by Rio.
Ms Priestley has served just over two years in the role, which has been dominated by conflict with the Mongolian Government over a number of issues, including the cost of building the second stage of the Oyu Tolgoi project and the share of the project that will come back to Mongolian taxpayers.
Ms Priestley's chairman, Dr David Klingner, has also stood down, prompting a complete refresh of the company's executive ranks.
The surprise round of leadership changes within the government and the company could jeopardise the chances of a deal being struck between the parties prior to Christmas.
A debt funding deadline has already been extended twice this year, and there were hopes that a lasting resolution could be solved before the start of 2015.
Turquoise Hill sought to downplay any connection between the departures of both the government and company leaders, saying the changes had been planned for a long time.
"The appointments are the result of an extensive succession planning program that has been underway for several months," the company said in a statement.
Ms Priestley will remain on the board until December 31, when she will be replaced by Dr Craig Stegman, who was working on Rio's Northparkes copper and gold mine in New South Wales until it was sold one year ago.
Oyu Tolgoi is a copper, gold and silver mine which is expected to be the dominant force in the Mongolian company for several decades.
The smaller first stage of the mine is already exporting copper concentrate to Chinese buyers, but the long-awaited second stage of the project is considered to hold the bulk of the project's value.
MMC Circular on Proposed 3 for 2 Rights Issue at HK$0.28
November 7, Mongolian Mining Corporation Ltd. (HKEx:975) --
Joint Underwriters of the Rights Issue (in alphabetical order): BNP Paribas, J.P. Morgan
Independent Financial Adviser: Somerley Capital Limited
NOTICE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING, 24 November, Queensway and Victoria Rooms, Level 3, JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong
Tian Poh Resources Admitted to ASX, Shares Commence Trading 11 November
November 6 -- Tian Poh Resources Limited (ASX:TPO, Company) was admitted to the Official List of ASX Limited (ASX) on Thursday, 6 November 2014.
Official quotation of the Company's securities will commence at 2:15 pm Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDST) (11:15 am Western Standard Time) (WST) on Tuesday, 11 November 2014. The Company has raised $2,396,400 under the offer by the issue of 11,982,000 ordinary shares at an issue price of $0.20 per share.
Quoted Securities: 29,824,682 fully paid ordinary shares
ASX Code: TPO
Time: 2:15 pm EDST (11:15 am WST)
Date: Tuesday, 11 November 2014
ASX Trade Abbreviation: TPO
ASX Restricted Securities: 106,092,803 fully paid ordinary shares classified by ASX as restricted securities and to be held in escrow for a period of 24 months from the commencement of official quotation 20 convertible notes classified by ASX as restricted securities and to be held in escrow for a period of 24 months from the commencement of official quotation.
6,697,248 fully paid ordinary shares classified by ASX as restricted securities and to be held in escrow for a period of 12 months from 18 July 2014.
Tian Poh Resources Top 20 Shareholders
Top 20 Holdings as at 31-10-2014
Security classes selected for this report:
Fully Paid Ordinary Shares
Fully Paid Ordinary Shares ASX Escrowed 24 Months
Fully Paid Ordinary Shares ASX Escrowed to 18-Jul-2015
POH KAY PING
YEO HUI HONG
KHAN MONGOLIA FUND LIMITED
GOH KIM SAN
BEN CHNG BENG BENG
LIM SOON FANG
ASIA DORSET FUND
SEOW SENG WEI
OW CHUN MING & VICTOR OW
LOH TECK ENG
BENJAMIN JIAQUAN LEONG
MARK LEE KEAN PHI
WONG MUN HWA
LANCE CHOON PENG TAY
LOW KAH WEE
Totals for Top 20
Macmahon: Chairman's Address at AGM
November 7, Machahon Holdings Ltd. (ASX:MAH) --
Adding to the difficult macro conditions, our Mongolian contract has also been particularly challenging. As communicated to the market our operations on site have been suspended by our client, Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi (ETT). The suspension relates to a number of factors, but most importantly for us, is primarily due to their non-payment for services provided by our Mongolian subsidiary, TTJVCo.
The Tavan Tolgoi project was budgeted to deliver approximately $100M in revenue during the 2015 Financial Year. At this point in time, we are unsure if production will re-commence. We will be pursuing all avenues to recover our investment as per our contractual rights. Some of these avenues, specifically in the case of arbitration, will take time to resolve and are likely to extend past the end of this financial year.
Whilst the current situation is extremely frustrating, particularly given the commitment we have made to Mongolia and this project in extreme climatic conditions, we need to bear in mind the following:
· we have performed well at this project. We have never caused the customer to miss a coal shipment and in fact, have had to curtail production frequently because of full stockpiles;
· our safety performance is exemplary. We have not had a recordable injury there for nearly 2 and a half years;
· whilst our client is currently short of cash, there is a major asset here – there is 7 billion tonnes of high quality coal close to the Chinese border; and
· our contractual entitlements are very clear.
Rather than go to International Arbitration, we are trying to negotiate a commercial settlement. We are cautiously optimistic of reaching an amicable solution. However, should we get to the stage where we feel that negotiations have reached an impasse, we will not hesitate in commencing International Arbitration. And, as I mentioned earlier, we believe we have a strong case.
We understand our shareholders' frustration over the time it is taking to resolve this issue.
However, we hope you understand that Mongolia is a particularly challenging place to do business.
Resolution of this issue will take time; however it remains a key focus for the Board and the management team.
Viking Mines: Strategic Review of Ghanaian Assets Following Completion of Auminco Takeover
November 5 -- Viking Mines Limited (ASX:VKA, Viking or Company) advises that it has appointed Corporate Advisers, Emerald Partners, to undertake a strategic review of our Ghanaian assets following the completion of our acquisition of Auminco Mines. The Company has received a number of expressions of interest in relation to these assets and in particular the Akoase project which has been the subject of an exclusivity agreement. Notwithstanding continuing discussions with this party the exclusivity period has now expired.
A further update following the strategic review will be made to the market shortly.
MSE News for November 6: Top 20 -0.14% to 15,477.02, Turnover ₮10.9 Million
Ulaanbaatar, November 6 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Thursday, a total of 3,228 shares of 13 JSCs were traded costing MNT 10 million 887 thousand and 330.00.
"Merex" /1,000 units/, "E-Trans Logistics" /950 units/, "State Department Store" /515 units/, "Darkhan Nekhii" /261 units/ and "Sor" /140 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Darkhan Nekhii" (MNT four million 799 thousand and 720), "UB-BUK" (MNT three million 84 thousand and 480), "Gobi" (MNT 898 thousand and 480), "Atar Orgoo" (MNT 680 thousand) and "APU" (MNT 463 thousand and 600).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 548 billion 938 million 700 thousand and 850. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,477.02, decreasing 22.15 units or 0.14% against the previous day.
MSE Opens Bidding for ₮95.5B 52-Week 16.25% Coupon Treasury Bills
November 5 (MSE) Information on government securities that have been offered to the public
1. The issuer's name: Mongolian Ministry of Finance
2. The purpose of the issuance of bond: Financing Mongolia's budget deficit
3. Offering scope of securities: Offering to the public
4. Type of securities: Government securities
5. Face value: 100,000 MNT
6. Securities performance:
Government Securities name
Value /billion MNT/
Interest rate (percent)
Starting date of the order
Closing date of trading
* Coupon of Government Securities will be determined within 365 days.
7. Rate of interest: interest rate of the Government Securities, which will be issued weekly will be based on auction results of Central Bank basis State Government Securities' weighted average interest rate. If the Central Bank's weekly trading cancelled, the interest rate will be set based on the previous trading of Government Securities weighted average interest rate.
8. Order deadline: The Mongolian Stock Exchange will take orders 6 days and the trading will close on the 6th day at 14.00 PM and information on total orders will be delivered to the securities issuer.
9. Trading period: Total registered orders distribution of MSE trading system will be determined based on the Ministry of Finance votes.
Moody's: Growing debt and weak external liquidity constrain Mongolia's credit profile
Singapore, November 06, 2014 -- Moody's Investors Service says that Mongolia's strong growth potential, based on its abundant natural resources, support its B2 senior unsecured government bond and long term issuer ratings.
However, a fragile external liquidity position, growing debt burden, and persistent inflationary pressures constrain the country's credit profile.
The rating outlook is negative, reflecting the risk that Mongolia's rundown in international reserves has increased its vulnerability to external shocks and reduced its buffer to fiscal risks.
Moody's conclusions were contained in its just-released credit analysis "Mongolia", which looks at the country's credit profile in terms of Economic Strength (assessed as "low (+)"); Institutional Strength ("very low"); Fiscal Strength ("moderate (-)"); and Susceptibility to Event Risk ("high").
These represent the four main analytic factors in Moody's Sovereign Bond Rating Methodology. The analysis constitutes an annual update to investors and is not a rating action. Mongolia is rated B2 with a negative outlook.
Although a relatively small economy, Mongolia in 2013 was amongst the fastest growing of all sovereigns rated by Moody's.
However, growth has slowed steadily over the last two years, as foreign investment has ebbed due to setbacks in key mining projects. With a collapse in mining exports, the external payments position encountered severe strain through 2013, depicted by a sharp fall in foreign direct investment and plunging international reserves.
Expansionary measures pursued by the Bank of Mongolia helped mitigate the growth down-turn, but also spurred an increase in credit growth, even while pressures on the balance of payments and a sharp currency depreciation continued to keep prices high. International reserves have, however, stabilized in recent months on account of Mongolia's local currency swap line with the People's Bank of China, a decline in imports, and a pick-up in exports.
Moody's report further notes that recent government efforts to reduce uncertainty in the investment regime and support growth have yet to take hold. The yet-unresolved dispute between Rio Tinto (Rio Tinto plc, A3 Stable and Rio Tinto Limited, A3 Stable) and the government over the second phase of the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine project has also cast a shadow over the investment regime.
Other credit constraints include fiscal imbalances and a rising debt burden. Although expansionary fiscal and monetary policies over the last two years are being gradually unwound, economic imbalances have persisted.
Factors that could lead to an upgrade of Mongolia's rating include: (1) a replenishment of international reserves, (2) a strengthening of government finances, (3) greater price stability, and (4) mineral resource development that bolsters the external payments position, strengthens economic prospects, and facilitates fiscal consolidation.
Triggers for a downward movement in the rating include: (1) a decline in international reserves that significantly weakens further the external payments position, (2) a further rise in inflationary pressures, and (3) a continued rise in government debt that results in heightened funding pressures.
Subscribers can access the full report at http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_176348
S&P: The Removal Of Mongolia's Prime Minister Has No Material Impact On Sovereign Rating
HONG KONG (Standard & Poor's) Nov. 7, 2014--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that the Mongolian parliament's removal of Norov Altankhuyag as prime minister on Nov. 5, 2014, has had no material impact on the sovereign credit ratings (B+/Stable/B).
We believe the dismissal of Mr. Altankhuyag partly reflects the legislature's greater focus on effective policymaking and better governance, and increases the likelihood that these areas will improve in the coming year. Charges of poor management amidst deteriorating economic conditions and delays in key projects led to the vote against the prime minister.
A key factor underpinning our stable outlook on the sovereign ratings is Mongolia's strengthening economic relationship with neighboring countries. We believe these ties are unlikely to change because of Mr. Altankhuyag's departure. Following the recent visit of the presidents of China and Russia to Mongolia, we expect Mongolia to roll out a number of projects that facilitate foreign investment, industrial development, and exports.
We do not see a high likelihood that political uncertainty ahead of the appointment of a new prime minister could significantly increase external risk. Mongolia's international reserves rose 17% in the third quarter this year, while exports increased by 30% year-over-year in the first three quarters of 2014. Moreover, the central bank can tap its Chinese renminbi (RMB) 15 billion (about US$2.4 billion) currency swap arrangement with the People's Bank of China if external liquidity is tight.
However, key policy decisions may be delayed if it takes a long time for the major political parties to agree on a new prime minister. For example, approval of the 2015 budget and the launch of policies and projects necessary to turn around the economy could be pushed back. In such a scenario, the sovereign rating on Mongolia could come under downward pressure.
Under Standard & Poor's policies, only a Rating Committee can determine a Credit Rating Action (including a Credit Rating change, affirmation or withdrawal, Rating Outlook change, or CreditWatch action). This commentary and its subject matter have not been the subject of Rating Committee action and should not be interpreted as a change to, or affirmation of, a Credit Rating or Rating Outlook.
BoM MNT Rates: Thursday, November 6 Close
October MNT vs USD, CNY Chart:
BoM FX auction: US$17.5m sold at ₮1,873.18, CNY59m at ₮306.62, accepts US$70m USD, $5.1m MNT swap offers
November 6 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on November 06th, 2014 the BOM has received bid offer of 32.7 million USD as closing rate of MNT 1869.50-1877.12 and 113 million CNY as closing rate of 305.71-307.02 from local commercial banks. The BOM has sold 17.5 million USD as closing rate of MNT 1873.18 and 59.0 million CNY as closing rate of MNT 306.62.
On November 06th, 2014, The BOM has received USD SWAP agreement ask offer of 70.0 million USD and MNT Swap agreement bid offer in equivalent to 5.1 million USD from local commercial banks and accepted all offer.
8% Mortgage Program Update: ₮524.3 Billion Refinanced, ₮1.44 Trillion Newly Issued
November 6 (Cover Mongolia) As of November 2, ₮524.3 billion (₮524.1 billion as of October 27) existing mortgages of 18,617 citizens (18,614 as of October 27) were refinanced at 8% out of ₮817.7 billion (₮817.7 billion as of October 27) worth requests.
Also, ₮1,439.9 billion (₮1,432.1 billion as of October 27) new mortgages of 25,312 citizens (25,209 citizens as of October 27) were issued at new rates out of ₮1.4 trillion (₮1.4 trillion as of October 27) worth requests.
Link to release (in Mongolian)
Mongolia in Stasis After Premier Loses Confidence Vote (1)
By Michael Kohn
November 6 (Bloomberg) Resource-rich Mongolia will have as long as a month in political limbo following the ouster of the former Prime Minister Altankhuyag Norov yesterday after a collapse in foreign investment.
Video: Mongolia Faces Political Uncertainty After PM Ousted – Bloomberg TV, November 6
Video: Mongolian Premier Ousted in No-Confidence Vote – Bloomberg TV, November 6
Mongolia parliament votes out PM Norov Altankhuyag – BBC News, November 6
Mongolia's parliament dismisses prime minister who was criticized for alleged corruption – GANBAT NAMJILSANGARAV for AP, November 5
What/Who Comes After Altankhuyag
By Julian Dierkes
November 5 (Mongolia Focus) In the morning of Nov 5, 2014, 11 of the 17 members of the standing committee of the State Great Khural voted in support of a vote of no confidence in PM Altankhuyag. This passed the motion to the full parliament where 36 of 76 members voted in support with 30 voting against. The 36 supporters of the no-confidence motion included a number of DP MPs: R Amarjargal, D Battsogt, Kh Battulga, J Batzandan, R Burmaa, L Erdenechimeg, B Narankhuu, M Zorigt. 7 DP members were absent: D Arvin, M Batchimeg, G Bayarsaikhan, S Erdene, D Ganbat, D Ganhuyag, S Odontuya (all save Batchimeg from the Shonkhor (Falcon or Hawk) faction). From the MPRP Ts Oyunbaatar, Ch Ulaan were absent while L Tsog and G Uyanga voted against Altankhuyag. The total number of votes (66) satisfied the requirement of two thirds of MPs present for this vote.
N Altankhuyag was the longest-serving PM from the DP with 819 days in government. Since 1992 only two PMs have served full terms: Jasrai from 1992-1996 and Enkhbayar from 2000-2004.
What Happens Next
First, a care-taker government under deputy PM D Terbishdagva has taken over.
As the DP-Justice Coalition coalition still holds a majority, the first discussions will surely be DP-internal to see if the party might rally around a candidate for PM to propose to its coalition partner. The sense that some of the DP MPs revolt was sparked by the agreement Altankhuyag signed with the MPRP suggests that a candidate for PM will have to resolve or at least address that tension in some way. The party council is reported to have been called for this Friday.
In all likelihood, discussions about candidates and possible alternative coalitions are already in full swing.
If the DP cannot agree on a candidate or discussions with the Justice Coalition around support for a DP candidate fail, the next most likely option would seem to be discussions about a grand coalition between the DP and MPP, with or without other parties (more likely without). This would suggest a DP PM and MPP Speaker of the Great State Khural as one possible scenario.
A remote possibility also exists that a coalition under MPP leadership could form with support of defecting DP members and/or the other parties.
The final possibility is that parliament is dissolved and new elections are called.
Without going into too many legal issues, the basic situation seems to be as follows.
Parliament is obligated to elect a Prime Minister within 30 days (from Nov 5). If a Prime Minister cannot be elected in this period, this triggers presidential involvement for another 45 day period.
At any moment if the president deems parliament incapable of proceeding, the president can suggest a vote to dissolve parliament to parliament. Seven days after that determination, the president can dissolve parliament by decree.
Parliament can also decide to dissolve itself with a two thirds majority.
Note that the President on his own initiative cannot put a candidate forward for a parliamentary vote.
Thanks and Comments
Thanks to G Damdinnyam & J Mendee (both UBC grad students) for helping me understand the context.
If there are any factual errors in the above, I certainly welcome corrections. Please also share your views of likely scenarios using the comment function.
Who Is Mongolia's Next Prime Minister?
By S. Batzaya
November 6 (Mongolian Economy) There are many blaming the ruling Democratic Party for the fall of the current Government. Although the opposition Mongolian People's Party had repeatedly made demands for the dismissal of the Prime Minister, the ruling party retained enough power to hold onto its own authority. That is until yesterday, when Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag—the longest tenured DP Prime Minister in history—was dismissed as head of government, in a vote in Parliament that passed 36 out of 66.
The Democratic Party has 31 seats in parliament. In addition to their ruling status, they had maintained a majority alliance with a partner in the Justice Coalition, an additional ten members. Despite a powerful block, there were many splintering factions within the Democratic Party. After back to back years of economic failures that most blame on the government, internal party squabbles finally reached their breaking point this week. Eleventh hour discussions over the past few days and nights fell short of reaching a party consensus. The fracturing of the factions was clear in yesterday's vote, when seven members of the DP did not show up for the proceedings, while eight more who were present voted against the party line in favor of the Prime Minister's forced resignation.
MP S.Bayartsogt says: "Back in 1996, When the DP was the ruling party, they took their government down a few times during their term. Now the DP must be responsible for the consequences of the situation. I hope that this is not the beginning of a deep political crisis."
Independent parliament member Ts. Davaasuren says: "Sustainability is the priority, and needs to be supported more than anything else. Being stable does not mean no control and no responsibility. Ongoing preservation of sustainability should be the majority of the DP's focus"
All sides are agreed—the new government must be responsible and ensure stability, for the PM's resignation alone won't save Mongolia from its current economic difficulties. Yet for now, DP members remain more concerned with slicing the cake evenly amongst themselves until their term ends. Meanwhile, time is running out on the status quo.
MP S.Oyun says: "I see that N.Altankhuyag is trying hard. But it is not politically sound for the majority party to support a measure brought up by the opposition group to be used against their own. This is not healthy progress—for the minority of parliament to decide the resignation issue."
Deputy Minister and Acting Prime Minister D.Terbishdagva says: "the DP should consider whether the government resignation is in step with national interests or whether it will deepen the economic and social crises that have already spread now."
For better or for worse, the Democratic Party took down their government with their own hands. Who's next for PM? Some publications suggest that parliament speaker Z.Enkhbold might be up for the job, but he has so far stayed mute on the issue (Mogi: actually, he has publicly stated a day or two before the vote, that it is not right for the speaker of parliament, who appoints the cabinet, to take the cabinet). If actions speak louder than words, however, the fact that during yesterday's vote his Shonkhor faction friends weren't present might suggest an action signaling ambitions.
It is now up to parliament to choose the Prime Minister and Cabinet members, as directed by the Government Law of Mongolia. There is expected to be a new wave of cronyism as ministry appointments at the top are reshuffled. Weakened and needing allies, the Democratic Party must decide whether to cooperate with the Justice Coalition or the Mongolian People's Party to achieve their aims. Expect negotiations, hard compromises, and the unexpected. Policymakers have 30 days to make the appointments—let's hope they can all make up their mind quickly, so that they can return to their real job of helping the country move forward.
MIBG Update on Political and Economic Outlook for Mongolia
November 6 (MIBG) ---
We have received an overwhelming response from both institutional and retail clients following yesterday's no confidence vote in Parliament. Most of you have been asking us to discuss our views and outlook on Mongolia's political landscape and macro environment. We have decided to provide an update via our newsletter in order to reach the largest audience possible and will try to reply to each individual email by the end of the week.
The announcement of Altankhuyag's resignation came as a surprise to many. This was not the first time that his leadership had been threatened, and by all accounts an assessment of those voting suggested that he would again survive. We now know that the opposite is true.
Altankhuyag ascended to office in June 2012, immediately after the economically damning Strategic Entities Foreign Investment Law (SEFIL) was passed in May. Since then, Mongolia has been on a steady decline; foreign reserves have been dwindling, foreign direct investment has all but disappeared, and worsening commodities prices have forced many producers to slow or halt operations. This track was set before Altankhuyag took office, was made worse by decisions while he was in office, and legitimate attempts by his cabinet to correct investor sentiment were unsuccessful.
While at the outset of this period, Mongolia's problems were uniquely Mongolian, they were soon shared by many of the world's resource driven economies. With global commodities prices falling and a general sell-off of frontier and emerging market exposure by international investors Mongolia's situation had become the new normal among peers. The result, quite simply, was that the market came down to meet Mongolia instead of Mongolia rising to meet the market (Mogi: I think it's Mongolia who fell off the cliff, where the market used to be, crashed, and kept digging further down). This removed any hope for rejuvenated investment, until the world was prepared to embrace the perceived risk associated with frontier markets and resource exploration again.
The challenge that this brought to Mongolia cannot be understated. In spite of a blockbuster year for legislative change the nation is still in search of foreign investment to simply maintain the status quo. Needless to say, this sell off is not new news. It has been ongoing for nearly three years and has involved both private and publically listed entities, listed domestically and abroad.
Junior mining companies like Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX:ERD) have suffered the brunt of the down cycle, experiencing a sell-off from C$1.02 at the outset of campaigning in June 2011 down to C$0.13 at yesterday's close. The only material changes that Erdene, and many like them have reported during this period have been the expansion of their portfolios and positive developments at their respective projects. Not your typical catalyst for an 87% drop in share value. While some may argue that the value of the commodities in the ground have decreased, the 87% sell off in Erdene is incongruent to the 24% sell off in the price of Gold over the same period, which is the commodity that they are exploring and developing at their flag ship project Altan Nar.
Mongolia, like any frontier market is not a destination for quick returns. In order to realize value, investors need to be able and willing to invest for a period of two years, three years, and possibly longer, depending on the type of projects and companies that they chose to invest into.
Clearly, the willingness to invest for long periods of time in a frontier market is no guarantee that returns will come. Investors also need a keen sense of timing, a deep understanding of the businesses that they are investing in and an even deeper understanding of domestic politics, policy and legislation. Equally important is a view and commitment to where the politics will be at the end of your investment horizon, which brings us to our next point:
Some commentators are suggesting that the uncertainty following Altankhuyag's resignation will only last a couple of weeks. However, what these commentators fail to realize is that investors are equally concerned about how the next person will act. How can investors trust someone that they do not know or understand? They can't. That trust will take time to build and can only be garnered through consistent positive action and a cohesive voice from Government.
Is cohesion and positive action possible? Of course, but will be difficult to achieve in the run up to campaign season. If the 2016 parliamentary election is a reflection of 2012, which we expect it will be, campaigning will be in full swing by June of next year. One could easily argue that election posturing has already begun.
With campaigning feasibly beginning in less than 8 months and a new Prime Minister needing to be appointed, the likelihood of a cohesive Government is low. Make no mistake, the Democratic Party (DP), the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) and the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) will all be campaigning to win in 2016. This means exploiting the past three years to their benefit, and to the demise of their opponents.
Given Altankhuyag's resignation, we expect that much of the blame for the past few years will be placed on his shoulders. In the short term this is inconsequential. However, this will only prolong the real conversations that need to take place, both within the individual parties and within Government as a whole. If this proves true, the next time that these issues will be addressed will likely be during campaigning, when the Government and the economy will both be more fragile.
We won't be so bold as to project an outcome for the 2016 elections just yet. However, after the dust settles and a ruling party is named, we believe that the economic outlook for Mongolia will be significantly better into 2017 and 2018 than it is today. Each party and Member of Parliament is motivated to strengthen the economy. With the legislative groundwork already laid all that remains is providing investors with confidence in the administration. Again, this can only be achieved through consistent positive action and a cohesive Government.
With a difficult election cycle ahead, worsening economic conditions expected and uncertainty surrounding the Government, investors would be forgiven for asking the obvious: why not wait until after the election to consider investing? Simply put, we believe that it will be too late to capture the upside.
Looking again at Mongolian junior mining companies, the segment that we find most attractive given the current market conditions, they have clearly reached a bottom over the past six to eight months.
What does this mean? It means that the remaining investors that have held onto their shares are committed to the long-term potential of their respective investments. It means that the sellers have already been bought out of the market. It also means that there will be very little liquidity in the market for investors who want to gain exposure. This is true now, and it will be true in the months following the election.
Given the above, gaining exposure to Mongolia's best-positioned junior mining companies will be both time-consuming and difficult for the average investor buying on market. The solution is to participate in private placement capital raisings, which are available to qualified investors, as deemed by the respective exchanges. As junior mining companies are not cash generating, they require cash injections in order to further the development of their projects. This offers a unique opportunity for new investors to acquire blocks of equity in attractive companies, which would otherwise not be available.
Needless to say, there is an array of other opportunities in Mongolia for investors to consider. However, as MIBG is a dedicated mining and exploration investment bank, our natural inclination is to stick to what we know. That said, we believe junior mining companies offer the best value in Mongolia at the moment on a two to three year horizon.
Over the past two decades Mongolia's economic cycle has been cyclical, with slowdowns over the winter and peaks in activity during the summer. This year will be no different as exploration campaigns and agriculture activities dwindle over the colder months. The economic situation will worsen. However, this means that the nation will likely experience single digit Real GDP growth instead of double digit, far from the worst performing country in the world.
Altankhuyag's loss in Parliament yesterday was likely the first in a number of shake ups to come, exposing divergence between factions of the DP as pre-election posturing begins. This does not provide a better or worse situation for the country or the economy, it simply prolongs the deeper conversations that need to take place in order to deliver a cohesive and consistent Government.
Already, the 2016 election looks as though it will be a difficult battle. However, irrespective of the winner the economy will be in a better situation post-election than it is today. The result of which will be a return of confidence, followed by capital, and upside in Mongolian related equities. If investors seeking exposure to that upside potential wait until after the election it will already be too late. (Mogi: ;))
Like all of MIBG's research, this article reflects our in-house views and is based on our interpretation of the market and the companies discussed. This article is our opinion and is not a solicitation to buy or sell securities of any kind. Please read our disclosure below for more information and always seek qualified investment advice before making an investment decision.
Budget debate leaves Parliament desperate to find ₮40 billion
November 6 (UB Post) The renewed 2015 state budget draft is facing many issues, despite only having ten days until the time limit for passing next year's budget. The State Budget Standing Committee ended their second meeting on Tuesday.
Revenue of 7.2 trillion MNT and expenditures of 7.6 trillion MNT were estimated for next year's balanced budget report. A deficit of some 490 billion MNT was approved, as equivalent to two percent of the GDP. The economic climate has changed drastically within the past year and the state budget hasn't yet reached its estimated balance.
The government made amendments to the framework of the 2015 state budget report and state budget perspective for 2016-2017, and came up with methods for reducing the gap between revenue and expenditures in the newly submitted draft, which were ultimately rejected.
The parliament demanded that the government find ways to raise 40 billion MNT for tallying budget revenue in next year's budget report.
The Vice Minister of Finance, S.Purev, explained the ministry's position regarding the state budget, which is being discussed without the Minister of Finance, stating that the ministry "tightened its belt" as much as it could. A working group of the Economic Standing Committee proposed increasing funds for mining, energy and the portfolio of the Minister of Finance by specific amounts. Some members opposed, saying that the ministry's belt has actually been loosened. The working group suggested some amendments, since it's impossible to change the budget report in order to conform to the budget draft.
MP and Minister for Mining D.Gankhuyag asked, "The parliament gave the government rights to issue a five billion MNT bond. The other side isn't increasing its debt or renewing the Fiscal Stability Law. Bond debt can't be issued as expenditure because it was announced that changes to the law can't be made. Wouldn't this create conflict? Next year, how many jobs will become available?"
Vice Minister of Finance S.Purev answered that jobs will grow by 2,200, as several schools and kindergartens will become operational in 2015.
MP S.Byambatsogt inquired, "Remaining bond interest payments will be paid starting in 2017; 703 billion MNT must be paid in interest next year. What kind of savings will be established for this? Is it consistent with the law to discuss a state budget that isn't consistent with its budget report or perspectives?"
General Auditor of the Mongolian National Audit Office (MNAO) A. Zangad replied that the MNAO reviewed the budget draft, reported conclusions and provided recommendations. The conclusion, sent to the parliament, mentioned violations against the law on fiscal stability and the 2015 state budget report. He then informed that the government didn't fix their error when they resubmitted the state budget draft. According A. Zangad, it's possible to correct this error during meetings.
Vice Minister S.Purev added, "Bond debt was issued as expenditure in next year's budget. This made GDP loss seem as if it had reached seven percent so the parliament rejected. This was included in related laws, but to do this, it's necessary to make changes to the Fiscal Stability Law. Five hundred billion USD has to be paid for bond debt in 2018. Eight percent of this amount, equivalent to 56.4 million USD, will come from the state budget and the remainder will be provided with funds from projects that were funded by the Development Bank on repayment terms."
On the other hand, MP S.Demberel commented that opportunities for earning revenue were well mobilized and it would be difficult to raise an extra 40 billion MNT. He warned about the potential risk of revenue shortfall if this situation continues, and claimed the economy would improve if the state budget isn't approved with deficits.
"The Minister of Finance aims to approve balanced budgets. This way, savings will be created. We cut back on enduring costs when developing the draft. On top of savings, recurrent cost was increased by some 900 billion MNT. Sixty percent of this amount will be allotted to salaries," said S.Purev.
MP L.Enkh-Amgalan strictly questioned, "The state budget is designed to overcome an economic crisis with little loss. Has this objective been fulfilled, or was it pushed onto the parliament to resolve? Can't the 30 percent of recurrent cost used for the government's Special Fund be reduced? There were 20 organizations that increased their expenditure, determined in the 2014 state budget, by 76 billion MNT. What's the reason for this? Isn't this a corrupted budget? [In the draft] it says 210 billion MNT will be raised from monitoring and penalties. When it's been said that monitoring will be reduced to lessen burden on businesses, do you think this is possible?"
S.Purev said the previous draft wasn't accurate and had to be reapproved. He explained that budget expenditure was increased because some projects weren't included. According to MP A.Zangad an audit is being conducted, especially on operations of the government's Special Fund, and in total, six funds were reviewed this year. She claimed a similar number of audits will be conducted next year.
MP Ts.Nyamdorj suggested some ways to cut down on budget costs: eliminate the ineffective Local Development Fund, which isn't monitored; reduce the number of members of the extremely large Judicial General Council of Mongolia; and liquidate Erdenes Mongol LLC, state-owned Mon Atom LLC and Takhar Authority. Later, a vote was organized. The majority of members supported suggestions to match budget revenue to next year's budget report by increasing it by 40 billion MNT, recalculate actual economic growth and expenditure estimates, and lastly, boost the portfolio of the Minister of Finance by 980 million MNT.
DISCUSSION HELD ON DRAFT GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE LAW AND LAW ON ACCOUNTABILITY OF ELECTED AND APPOINTED OFFICIALS
November 5 (President's Office) On November 4, 2014, an open discussion on General Administrative law and Law on Accountability of Elected and Appointed Officials was held at the Citizen's Chamber under the President of Mongolia. Judges and lawyers of Administrative Court, representatives of civil society organizations, public servants and citizens were present at the discussion.
Opening the discussion, Legal Policy Advisor to the President Ch.Unurbayar noted: "The above mentioned laws were initiated by President of Mongolia in the scope of the Smart Government policy. General Administrative law will help create common standard which enables administrative decisions and activities within legally defined frame. The law will help establish mechanism that protects citizens from the illegal actions and misuse of authority of the Administrative Courts. The law will create information set where all the decisions and action reports of the administrative organizations will be available. Also, according to this law, a legal environment will be established that allows specialized federations to execute some actions of the administrative organizations based on the administrative agreement.
General Administrative law is like a Constitution for the Administrative Courts. By approving this law, Mongolia would make key steps in strengthening the Administrative Courts and legal reform. There are over 16 thousand administrative servants in Mongolia and the law will help advance their actions to a new stage of development.
Hunnu Air halts HK flights amid reported failure to pay aircraft lease
November 6 (news.mn) The Hong Kong –Ulaanbaatar flight by Mongolian domestic airline Hunnu Air was delayed on November 3rd. Local reports say that the domestic airline has been unable to pay the aircraft lease rentals for months, due to a severe financial crisis being faced by the company.
Hunnu Air made a statement, saying, "The company apologizes to our passengers for delaying the Hong Kong-Ulaanbaatar flight on November 4th, 2014. The company will arrange hotel stays and flights to take the delayed passengers on a MIAT flight on November 4th."
The company commented about the delay, saying it was caused by a misunderstanding and disagreement between the renter and rental company.
It refused to give details, as the company is under negotiations with the rental company in Hong Kong.
The company announced it has halted its Hong Kong flights amid the economic crisis, on Wednesday.
Mongolian Entrepreneurs' Forum Approaches, Chinggis Khaan Hotel, November 10-11
Ulaanbaatar, November 6 (MONTSAME) This measure will run on November 10-11 at Chinggis Khaan Hotel in Ulaanbaatar.
It will be co-organized by the School of Business of National University of Mongolia, the Ministry of Labor, "Start up Mongolia" NGO, supported by the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, United Association of Mongolian Employers NGO, and JCI-Mongolia.
The forum is expected to be a platform for promoting knowledge about entrepreneurship, to take entrepreneurship education (courses and research) to a new level, to improve a legal environment for new businesses, to build a national strategy on developing entrepreneurship, to link organizations in the field, and to seek ways to solve challenges Mongolian entrepreneurs face.
Ulaanbaatar Workshop Aims to Attract Russian Tourists to Mongolia
November 6 (infomongolia.com) During the Russian Presidential working visit to Mongolia held on September 03, 2014, the Governments of Mongolia and the Russian Federation have signed on 15 documents including Intergovernmental Agreements, Memorandums of Understanding and Protocols.
One of the documents inked was an Intergovernmental Agreement on reciprocal visa-free travel between citizens of the two countries and the Agreement effectiveness enters into force from November 14, 2014.
Under the Agreement, nationals of the two countries will be eligible to travel up to 30 days, but not to exceed 90 days in any 180 day-period and for a stay of more than 30 days, a traveler must apply for an appropriate visa.
Due to approaching date, the Capital City Administration in association with affiliated organs are organizing a workshop themed "Russian Tourists and Ulaanbaatar" at the Khangarid Palace, Ulaanbaatar on November 07, 2014.
The meeting will bring representatives from local tour operators, hotels, restaurants, commercial centers, hospitalities, therapy and recreation centers, as well as cultural and art places interested to welcome Russian travelers, and will focus and given advices by experts on Russian tourists' behavior and interests, what they prefer to go sightseeing, shopping and other services to like, because as soon as visa-free term enters into force, it expects more travelers from Russia are to visit Mongolia.
Moreover, as part of preparations, a website for Russian tourists will be launched soon and at the tomorrow's meeting this issue will be discussed comprehensively, besides travel brochures, Russian-Mongolian conversation handbook and guides are being prepared. Also, in order to attract Russian travelers, a TV series about UB and country destinations will be broadcasted on main TV channels of Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude and Chita cities of the Russian Federation.
Dutch Firm to Train Mongolian Agriculture Students for Industrial Practice
November 6 (infomongolia.com) On November 05, 2014, Mongolian State University of Agriculture (MSUA), the University's Department of Agricultural Industry and Economy, and Dumons Farm LLC have established a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate.
Under the MoU, selected 10-15 students of the MSUA will be conducting an industrial practice in the Netherlands for the period of 6 weeks, where agrarian sector in the country is highly mechanized and the food-processing industry accounts for 21 percent of the Netherlands' total export value, the second worldwide in value of agricultural exports.
Last year, former Dutch State Secretary at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Mr. Hinderk Bleker visited Mongolia in July 2013 and during the visit, he pledged to support Mongolia's livestock farming.
In this regard, the above three parties have negotiated to implement a project introducing Holland style livestock farming in some Sums of Tuv Aimag including Sumber Sum. Under this project, Mongolian authorities strive to create a proficient staff in the animal husbandry sector and thus, the trilateral MoU is set to carry out the project.
Recruiting: Hard Commodity Trader to Be Based in Mongolia
* Global company with local presence
* Lead the realization of commercial returns
* Local Mongolian position
13 October (Capstone Recruitment) --
Our client is a diversified resources business with active investments, project and operations across the world. Due to increased activity and growth, we are now working with their Central Asia business unit to identify a strong performing and forward thinking Hard Commodity Trader.
The Hard Commodity Trader will demonstrate the following:
· Proven experience as a Commodity Trader on local or international level
· Strong understanding of trading environments including supply chain, logistics, financial etc
· Ability to exploit opportunity and control trading risk
· Looking for and identifying the gaps and responding rapidly to market opportunities
· Communicating effectively with management and the wider business
· A combination of qualities including composure under pressure, good communication skills
This role is a full time position located in Ulaanbaatar with a requirement to travel to site on a semi-regular basis to oversee operations and site staff. This position is suitable for local or returning Mongolian Nationals.
If you believe this opportunity is right for you, please send your CV in English to Ben Watt by using the "Apply Now" button below.
EU Ambassadors to Mongolia Gather in Ulaanbaatar for Annual Meeting
November 6 (infomongolia.com) From November 05-07, 2014, the new European Union Ambassador to Mongolia, Mr. Hans Dietmar Schweisgut, is leading a group of over 20 Ambassadors and Senior Diplomats from EU Member States based in Beijing and accredited to Mongolia, to join the four EU Member States Ambassadors resident in Ulaanbaatar, for their annual meeting with Mongolian officials in UB.
At the start of the visit on November 05, the new EU Ambassador presented his credentials to President Ts.Elbegdorj in a ceremony at Government House. During the credential handing ceremony, EU Ambassador H.D.Schweisgut said, "Having previously served as Austrian Ambassador to Mongolia, I am honoured to be back here again as EU Ambassador, especially during the 25th anniversary year of EUMongolia diplomatic relations.
Over the past 25 years our relations have grown and deepened, culminating in the signing last year of a comprehensive EUMongolia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), which sets a legal framework to enhance political dialogue and promote further economic and sectorial cooperation. I hope to continue to build on this partnership during my tenure and lay firm groundwork for the next 25 years of our relations".
During their visit, the EU Ambassadors will meet with President Ts.Elbegdorj, Speaker of the Parliament Z.Enkhbold, Chief Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission J.Byambadorj, Mayor of UB E.Bat-Uul and other high-level Mongolian officials.
The discussions will centre on further strengthening EU-Mongolia relations and cooperation in many areas such as trade and economy, but also political and people-to-people issues. The EU Ambassadors will also meet with the European business community in Mongolia as well as international organizations.
Last year, a group of over 20 Ambassadors and Senior Diplomats from EU Member States was led by then EU Ambassador to Mongolia, Mr. Markus Ederer.
Mongolia's Initiative on Think-Tank for LLDCs Reflected in Vienna Action Plan
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, November 6 /MONTSAME/ Mongolia's initiative on establishing an international Think-Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) in Ulaanbaatar was supported at the Second UN Conference for LLDCs and has been reflected in the Vienna Action plan for 2014-2024.
The conference, which completed on November 5, developed the Vienna Action Plan after careful observations over the Almaty Plan for the last decade. General issues outlined in the Plan are the matters of infrastructure, facilitating trades, economic diversification, value-added production industry, agricultural development and a development of regional integration. The Plan aims to improve sustainability and sufficiency in the development of LLDCs.
Reflecting the initiative on the Think-Tank in the Plan is of great importance in terms of supporting its establishment in our city, studying unique needs of LLDCs, protecting their interests on international arena.
A head of the Department for International Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Economic Cooperation of Mongolia G.Ganbold attended a sub-conference themed "Linking LLDCs to the regional infrastructural network" to present our Government's measures for the transportation, energy and information technology. Our delegates also held meetings with some representatives of other LLDCs and touched upon matters of cooperation in establishing the International Think Tank.
FOREIGN AMBASSADORS OF CONGO, EGYPT, EU, HUNGARY, CYPRUS PRESENT CREDENTIALS TO PRESIDENT ELBEGDORJ
November 5 (President's Office) Today Ambassadors from the Republic of the Congo, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the European Union, Hungary, and the Republic of Cyprus handed their credentials to the President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj.
After the ceremony President received the newly accredited Ambassadors.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Congo to Mongolia Daniel Owassa conveyed the Congolese President's greetings to President Elbegdorj and noted: "Mongolia and the Republic of Congo enjoy traditional bilateral relations. Although, relations between our two countries slowed in the last few years, as an Ambassador I will work to enhancing traditional relations". President Elbegdorj wished Mr. Daniel Owassa success in his further work and expressed his belief that the Ambassador will pay close attention to enhancing bilateral relationship.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Mongolia Magdy Mahmoud noted: "The people of Egypt know that Mongolia is a shining example of a successful democratic transition. This year Mongolia and Egypt mark the 51st Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and we will further move forward to expand the relations." President Elbegdorj underlined that in 2015 Mongolia will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of democratic parliamentary elections and conveyed his sincere greetings to the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
At the meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the European Union to Mongolia Hans Dietmar Schweisgut, President Elbegdorj noted: "This year Mongolia and the European Union are celebrating the 25th Anniversary of cooperation. Within the 25 years of cooperation, Mongolia and the European Union have successfully developed the bilateral relations within the third-neighbor policy. The EU has become Mongolia's third biggest trading partner. In April 2013, the EU-Mongolia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement was signed and it was a great pivot to enhancing mutual cooperation. I would like to convey my warm greetings to Mr. Jean-Claude Junker on the occasion of his election as the President of the European Commission".
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Hungary to Mongolia Andrea Cecilia Szilas emphasized that in 2015 Mongolia and Hungary will mark the 65th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship and noted that Hungary is planning to reopen its Embassy in Ulaanbaatar. Ambassador mentioned about the successful visit of President Elbegdorj to Hungary and said that she will be committed to implementing projects and works considered during the President's visit.
During the meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Cyprus to Mongolia Agis Loizou, President Elbegdorj noted that there are ample opportunities of cooperation in trade and investment sectors, for instance, two countries have great potential to expand partnership in the education field.
Mongolia and Czech social welfare ministries sign cooperation agreement
November 6 (news.mn) Mongolia and the Czech Republic signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the Ministry of Population Development and Social Welfare of Mongolia and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Prague, on Wednesday.
The MoU was signed by State Secretary for the Ministry of Population Development and Social Protection B.Otgonjargal and First Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Petr Šimerka.
State Secretary B.Otgonjargal noted during the MoU signing ceremony, "This MoU will play an essential role in extending bilateral cooperation in social welfare between the two countries, and play an active role in building an intergovernmental agreement on bilateral cooperation in welfare,"
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Czech Republic D.Zumberellham and other government officials were represented at the meeting.
The parties also exchanged opinions on the implementation of projects in accordance with the MoU, and on how to intensify bilateral cooperation between the Mongolian Ministry of Population Development and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Prague.
Mongolia and Czech Republic to Cooperate in Social Welfare – Montsame, November 6
China's LookWe Magazine Publishes Special Edition 65th Anniversary of Sino-Mongolian Ties
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, November 6 (MONTSAME) Such an edition of the Chinese magazine has been published at support from its agency and Mongolia's Embassy in Beijing dedicated to the 65thanniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the People's Republic of China.
The two countries have been realizing various works in culture, tourism, economy and investment spheres in a scope of the "Year of Mongolia-China Friendly Exchanges". As one of these actions, the special edition contains articles about Mongolia's history, tourism, economy, investments and a development of relations with China.
Health Minister Seeks UNICEF Support for Children's Health Bill
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, November 6 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Health N.Udval received Thursday the regional director of UNICEF for East Asia and the Pacific Mr Daniel Toole and the Resident Representative of the regional office Roberto Benes.
This meeting was arranged in frames of the visit of Mr Toole to Mongolia. The Minister spoke mainly of three matters and proposed cooperation. She said the Government announced 2014 as a Year of Mothers and Children health promotion, "maternal and infant health is a vital issue of Mongolia's health sphere, it should be regulated by a specific law. So we are developing a draft law on Health of Mothers and Children, and a great support is needed from high level decision-makers are necessary for adoption of this law".
Ms Udval noted that an excessive air pollution of Ulaanbaatar reached a harmful level for children's development and yet the adequate solution to this problem has not been found. Thus, it urges the Ministry to act, said the Minister and proposed cooperating in this. Another proposal was for collaboration in reducing the risks of children's death from injuries.
The Regional Director said he sees that a situation is always better when people who care for children heath are women. Mongolia is one of the fewest countries that reduced child mortality rate five times. "I always share your practices with regional countries, and I instruct them to do a good work, but I praise Mongolia on the good works telling you 'let's do better", said the regional director and expressed a readiness to cooperate.
Mongolian Researcher to Conduct Joint Antarctic Expedition with Bulgarian Team
November 4 (infomongolia.com) An officer and researcher of Mongolian National Agency for Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment Monitoring, Mr. Khalzan PUREVDAGVA will be leaving the country on November 13, 2014 to conduct a joint expedition to Antarctica with a team of Bulgarian Antarctica Institute.
In the scope of his travel to Antarctica, Kh.Purevdagva will conduct a research expedition across the Livingston Island, which is located in the South Shetland Islands at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula for the period of two months and during his studies, he will stay at the St. Kliment Ohridski Station, where Bulgarian camp is stationed.
His trip to Antarctica is sponsored by the Ministry of Environment and Green Development, and the Minister Mrs. S.Oyun received Kh.Purevdagva in her office and handed over the flag to hoist and the travel expenses of 14 million MNT (Tugrug) on November 03, 2014.
As of 2014, there are 50 states party to the Antarctic Treaty, whereas only 29 of the 50 parties to the agreements have the right to participate in decision-making at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings, though the other 21 are still allowed to attend carrying out substantial scientific activity in the Antarctic region.
As of Mongolia, however the country does not have its own station, but authorized to set up on Livingston Island in 2013 during the research made by Professor L.Dugerjav and today, Mongolia has fully provided its preparation to be acceded into the Antarctic Treaty and soon will be ratified by the State Great Khural (Parliament) of Mongolia.
In the frameworks of participating in the international studies and joining the Treaty, Mongolia will be enacted to have its own territory and set up a Station in Antarctica to conduct studies and explorations.
Historical timelines of Mongolian explorers conducted studies in Antarctica:
- J.Tserendeleg, conducted joint studies on the upper layers of the atmosphere research with the Soviet 18th Expedition Team at "Molodyozhnaya" Station in East Antarctica at 67°40′S 45°50′E in 1972-1974.
- D.Chuluunbat, was included in the 28th Expedition Team at "Molodyozhnaya" Station to conduct researches on the upper layers of the atmosphere research in 1982-1984.
- A.Batbold, conducted joint studies on climate research with Bulgarian 16th Expedition Team at St. Kliment Ohridski Station in 2007.
- L.Dugerjav, conducted joint studies on Geology and Permafrost Research with Bulgarian 18th, 19th and 21st Expedition Teams at St. Kliment Ohridski Station in 2009, 2010, and 2012 respectively.
- D.Ganbaatar, conducted joint studies on opportunities to establish a Mongolian Station with Bulgarian 22nd Team at St. Kliment Ohridski Station in 2013.
- Lkhamsuren DUGERJAV, became the first Mongolian to hoist the Flag of Mongolia at the Zero point of Antarctica visiting the Amundsen–Scott Station (USA) in December 2012.
As of 2014, 50 states party to the Antarctic Treaty (21 states are Non-Consultative): Country Date of Entry into Force
Mongolian Engineer to Participate in Antarctic Researches – Montsame, November 4
"The Lama Question: Violence, Sovereignty, and Exception in Early Socialist Mongolia"
Author: Kaplonski, Christopher
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Before becoming the second socialist country in the world (after the Soviet Union) in 1921, Mongolia had been a Buddhist feudal theocracy. Combatting the influence of the dominant Buddhist establishment to win the hearts and minds of the Mongolian people was one of the most important challenges faced by the new socialist government. It would take almost a decade and a half to resolve the "lama question," and it would be answered with brutality, destruction, and mass killings. Chris Kaplonski examines this critical, violent time in the development of Mongolia as a nation-state and its ongoing struggle for independence and recognition in the twentieth century.
Unlike most studies that explore violence as the primary means by which states deal with their opponents, The Lama Question argues that the decision to resort to violence in Mongolia was not a quick one; neither was it a long-term strategy nor an out-of control escalation of orders but the outcome of a complex series of events and attempts by the government to be viewed as legitimate by the population. Kaplonski draws on a decade of research and archival resources to investigate the problematic relationships between religion and politics and geopolitics and biopolitics in early socialist Mongolia, as well as the multitude of state actions that preceded state brutality. By examining the incidents and transformations that resulted in violence and by viewing violence as a process rather than an event, his work not only challenges existing theories of political violence, but also offers another approach to the anthropology of the state. In particular, it presents an alternative model to philosopher Georgio Agamben's theory of sovereignty and the state of exception. The Lama Question will be of interest to scholars and students of violence, the state, biopolitics, Buddhism, and socialism, as well as to those interested in the history of Mongolia and Asia in general.
Chris Kaplonski is senior research associate and affiliated lecturer in the Mongolia & Inner Asia Studies Unit/Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge.
Pot-Bellied Dinosaur roamed Mongolia 90m years ago!
The focus of the study was the skull of Erlikosaurus Andrewsi, a 3-4 meter large herbivorous dinosaur called a Therizinosaurs, which lived more than 90 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period in what is now Mongolia.
"The fossil skull of Erlikosaurus Andrewsi is one-of-a-kind and the most complete and best preserved example known for this group of dinosaurs. As such it is of high scientific value," said co-author Professor Emily Rayfield said.
"With modern computer technology, such as CT scanning and digital visualization, we now have powerful tools at our disposal, with which we can get a step closer to restore fossil animals to their life-like condition," Dr Stephan Lautenschlager from the University of Bristol, said.
Using a digital model of the fossil, the team virtually disassembled the skull of Erlikosaurus into its individual elements.
Then they digitally filled in any breaks and cracks in the bones, duplicated missing elements and removed deformation by applying retro-deformation techniques, digitally reversing the steps of deformation.
In a final step, the reconstructed elements were re-assembled. This approach not only allowed the restoration of the complete skull of Erlikosaurus, but also the study of its individual elements.
However, using digital models has further advantages.
"Digital models allow the study of the external and internal features of a fossil. Furthermore, they can be shared quickly amongst researchers - without any risk to the actual fossil and without having to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to see the original," co-author Dr Lawrence Witmer said.
"Therizinosaurs, with their pot bellies and comically enlarged claws, are arguably the most bizarre theropod dinosaurs. We know a lot about their oddball skeletons from the neck down, but this is the first time we've been able to digitally dissect an entire skull," co-author, Dr Lindsay Zanno added.
Modern technology restores ancient dinosaur fossil – Bristol University, November 3
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