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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

[OT has 'all' approvals; GUF granted mining permit; MNT recovers; WEF highlights TDB; no vice ministers; and SGK takes up veto again]

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original

 

Overseas Market

Mogi: this has been confirmed as official Erdenes OT announcement

EOT: Government of Mongolia delivers all critical approvals for Oyu Tolgoi Underground construction to commence

14 September 2015, Ulaanbaatar -- Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi LLC wish to announce that all critical Government of Mongolia approvals required from its agencies and institutions in respect of Oyu Tolgoi (OT) project have now been delivered, including the following:

·         Acceptance of the OT Feasibility Study by the Mongolian Minerals Council that aligns with the underground mine development plan

·         Confirmation provided to World Bank's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, stating that the Government has no objections to issuing a guarantee pursuant to the requirements of the international lending institutions

The above steps have been approved by the Government in accordance with the OT Underground Mine Development and Financing Plan (Underground Development Plan) that was approved on 18 May 2015. These actions allow the OT LLC joint venture partners to progress their discussions with the international banks and multi-lateral lending institutions to rapidly advance the Underground Project Agreements in order for the underground stage of the world-class Oyu Tolgoi Project, which comprises over 80% of the Project's total resources, continues on its positive path towards production.

Davaadorj Ganbold, chief executive of Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi LLC said: "The decisive actions and expeditious approvals secured by Government of Mongolia in relation to its commitments under the Underground Development Plan again confirms the Government's resolve to rapidly bring this world-class resource into production and on a broader level further demonstrates that Mongolia is open for business."

Link to Erdenes OT website

 

Announcement made after Monday close, TRQ closed -1% to US$2.97

Turquoise Hill Notes Signing of MIGA Host Country Approval by Government of Mongolia

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - September 14, 2015) - Turquoise Hill Resources today noted the signing by the Government of Mongolia of the request of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) for host country approval (HCA) with respect to guarantees to be issued by MIGA in connection with the Oyu Tolgoi project financing. The signing of the HCA is a significant milestone in the project financing timeline.

Turquoise Hill continues to progress the additional steps required to reach signing of project financing, which is expected by the end of 2015.

Link to release

 

Mongolia Accepts Updated Oyu Tolgoi Feasibility Study

By Michael Kohn

September 9 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolian Minerals Council has accepted the updated Oyu Tolgoi underground feasibility study, says council member Enkhbayar Nemekhbayar at conference in Ulaanbaatar.

* Enkhbayar is director-general of the department of strategic policy and planning at the mining ministry.

* OT's cost calculations for underground expansion are "very safe," he says. "To prevent possible cost overruns they have put safeguards in the calculations from the start."

* Underground construction still requires permits from government agencies: Enkhbayar

* NOTE: Mongolia Minerals Council includes more than 30 members from government, industry and academia

* READ: Oyu Tolgoi Submits Updated Feasibility Study for Expansion

* READ: First Steel, Now Copper: Rio Stays Optimistic on Chinese Growth

* NOTE: $4 billion project financing package to fund underground expansion expected by the end of year

(BFW)

 

GUF trading -7.14% midday at A$0.026

Guildford Coal: Mining Licence Granted Adjacent to BNU Mine in Mongolia

September 15 -- Guildford Coal Limited (Guildford or the Company) (ASX: GUF) is pleased to announce that on the September 8, 2015, its Mongolian subsidiary Terra Energy LLC (Terra Energy) has been granted the new mining licence Khar Servegen MV- 019149 by the Minerals Resource Authority of Mongolia (MRAM). The Mining Licence is valid for 30 years until September 8, 2045 with the company able to extend up to 2 additional terms of 20 years each.

The newly granted licence plays an important strategic role in Guildford's expansion plans for coking coal operations in the South Gobi Region. The mining licence covers part of the previous highly prospective 12600X exploration licence with recently announced JORC 2012 inferred resource of 15Mt and additional Exploration Target of 26Mt to 45Mt. The exploration licence MV-019149 covers 6664 hectares of the Noyon Coal basin with 43270 hectares remaining as exploration licence 12600X.

The mining licence aligns with the Company's previously announced mining expansion plans. The plan to achieve 2Mt in 2016 and 3Mt in 2017 and targeting a sustainable 5Mt by 2020 will be achieved through expansion of existing operations and the development of satellite pits in existing licences including MV-019149.

Link to full release

 

Central Asia Metals Continues to Hold Two Mongolia Exploration Project for Sale – Interim Results

September 14 -- Central Asia Metals plc (AIM: CAML), a copper producing company focused on base metals in Central Asia is pleased to announce its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2015 ("H1 2015" or the "Period"). 

The Company is also pleased to declare an interim dividend of 4.5 pence per ordinary share (H1 2014: 5 pence) which equates to 25% of the gross revenue for the period. CAML raised $60 million at its IPO in September 2010 and this latest dividend will bring the total cash returned to shareholders, in dividends and share buy backs, to approximately $61 million, representing over 100% of the funds raised. 

Operations outside of Kazakhstan  

 

Mongolia 

The Group continues to hold for sale the assets it owns in Mongolia. 

1.  General information

Central Asia Metals plc ("CAML" or the "Company") and its subsidiaries (the "Group") are a mining organisation with operations primarily in Kazakhstan and a parent holding company based in the United Kingdom. 

The Group's principal business activity is the production of copper cathode at its Kounrad operations in Kazakhstan. The Group also owns two exploration projects in Mongolia which are held for sale and owns a 75% shareholding in the Copper Bay tailings project in Chile.

Link to results

 

DRG trading -27.27% mid-day at A$0.016

Draig Resources 2015 Annual Report

September 14, Draig Resources Ltd. (ASX:DRG) --

LETTER TO SHAREHOLDERS

Dear Fellow Shareholders,

Over the past twelve months the Board's main focus has been the evaluation of potential investment opportunities which could lead to an increase in the value of shareholders' equity. While numerous opportunities have been considered, few have passed the Board's criteria. Of those that have, none have yet reached the investment completion stage, for various reasons.

The Company's current core activity continues to be coal exploration in Mongolia. During the last twelve months the two exploration licences, which are held under a joint venture arrangement, continued to be maintained and were kept in good standing.

The Company had a cash balance of $1.8M as of 30 June 2015. This is an important asset for the Company, particularly in the current depressed capital markets environment for small resource companies. As such, it is an important strategic asset in determining the Company's future.

On behalf of the Board, I once again thank you for maintaining your investment in the Company during these challenging times.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Doherty

Chairman

Link to full report

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Local Market

MSE Trading Report: Top 20 +1.37%, ALL +0.78%, Turnover 46.3 Million Stocks

September 14 (MSE) --

Link to report

 

Digital Catalyst JSC Changes Name to Lux Zanadu Group JSC

September 11 (MSE) According to the Article No.: 6.1.1 of Legal Code of Financial Regulatory Commission, the Article No.: 20.1 of "Securities Listing Regulation" of FRC, the legal name of "Digital Catalist" JSC changed to the "Lux Zanadu Group" JSC on FRC's listing. 

MSE's listing amendments will be taken according to the "Listing Regulation of MSE". 

Link to release

 

Mogi: but not on the website, (hopefully) yet

MSE Stocks Now Quoted on Bloomberg Terminal

September 14 (MSE) Mongolian Stock Exchange /MSE/ is working on to introduce Mongolian capital market to foreign investors, furthermore, attract the international investors to Mongolian capital market and activate the capital market via placing information of MSE listed companies on Bloomberg Terminal. 

Scope of this co-operation, the financial information and profile of MSE listed companies started placing on Bloomberg Terminal. As the information is placed on Bloomberg, it will open the opportunity to spread quickly information on the Mongolian stock market in much more open and transparent, and pleasant step to attracting foreign investors.

Link to release

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Economy

BoM MNT Rates: Monday, September 14 Close

 

 

9/14

9/11

9/10

9/9

9/8

9/7

9/4

9/3

9/2

9/1

8/31

8/28

8/27

8/26

8/25

http://www.mongolbank.mn/images/iconexchange/usd.png

USD

1,993.94

1,997.26

1,995.73

1,994.89

1,993.35

1,989.47

1,993.28

1,993.93

1,991.91

1,992.17

1,991.49

1,991.88

1,992.18

1,992.65

1,990.56

http://www.mongolbank.mn/images/iconexchange/eur.png

EUR

2,266.41

2,254.01

2,237.81

2,225.50

2,232.65

2,216.27

2,218.82

2,237.39

2,247.37

2,248.06

2,235.75

2,243.75

2,256.74

2,290.55

2,302.28

http://www.mongolbank.mn/images/iconexchange/cny.png

CNY

313.09

313.33

312.72

312.91

313.24

312.47

313.61

313.71

313.20

312.72

312.18

311.57

311.03

310.70

310.32

http://www.mongolbank.mn/images/iconexchange/gbp.png

GBP

3,080.94

3,084.57

3,063.45

3,067.64

3,061.89

3,021.71

3,036.36

3,045.53

3,046.23

3,067.94

3,071.67

3,069.89

3,085.79

3,126.97

3,139.31

http://www.mongolbank.mn/images/iconexchange/rub.png

RUB

29.45

29.53

29.00

29.51

28.96

28.99

29.58

29.86

29.72

30.65

30.11

30.33

29.31

29.08

28.05

Bank rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy ₮1,975 Sell ₮1,985), Khan (Buy ₮1,978 Sell ₮1,988), Golomt (Buy ₮1,976 Sell ₮1,985), XacBank (Buy ₮1,978 Sell ₮1,990), State Bank (Buy ₮1,975 Sell ₮1,990)

MNT vs USD (blue), CNY (red) in last 1 year:

Link to rates

 

BoM issues 68.5 billion 1-week bills at 13%, total outstanding-9.6% to ₮272.8 billion

September 14 (BoM) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 68.5 billion at a weighted interest rate of 13.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release

 

8% Mortgage Program Update: ₮571.5 Billion Refinanced, ₮2.1 Trillion Newly Issued

September 14 (Cover Mongolia) As of September 10, ₮571.5 billion (₮566.7 billion as of July 17) existing mortgages of 19,223 citizens (19,132 as of July 17) were refinanced at 8% out of ₮835.2 billion (₮839.4 billion as of July 17) worth requests.

Also, ₮2,099.3 billion (₮2,038.0 billion as of July 17) new mortgages of 39,096 citizens (38,120 citizens as of July 17) were issued at new rates out of ₮2.03 trillion (₮2.1 trillion as of July 17) worth requests.

Link to release (in Mongolian)

 

Mongolia's Foreign Trade Review, August 2015

September 14 (Bank of Mongolia) --

Total trade turnover: $5,798.4 millions  

As of Aug 2015 the total cumulative trade turnover decreased by 19.2% (USD 1,377.2 millions) from that of the previous year and reached USD 5,978.4 millions. The decrease in the trade turnover was mainly due to the decrease in imports by USD 1,052.5 millions.

The structure of the trade flows with the neighboring trade partners is as following: (i) trade with PRC: 63.4% or USD 3,673.4 millions and (ii) trade with Russia: 12.7% or USD 733.5 millions. The trade volume between Mongolia and China decreased by 16.3% and the trade volume between Mongolia while Russia decreased by 32.2%.

Trade balance: $704.8 million

As of Aug 2015, the cumulative trade balance improved by USD 727.7 millions from that of the previous year and reached USD 704.8 millions. During the reporting period even though the total exports decreased by 9.1% from that of the previous year, imports decreased by 29.2% from that of the previous year, thus the trade balance improved by USD 727.7 millions.

The three-month moving average value of the difference between annual growth rates of exports and imports started to decline since the beginning of 2015. The high export growth rate during 2014 was due to the exports of copper concentrate and it started to stabilize.

Trade balance of paid trade flows: $905.2 million  

The state of the trade balance of paid trade flows is one of the main variables that determines the pressure on the domestic foreign exchange market.

As of Aug 2015, the trade balance of paid trade flows reached USD 905.2 millions. During the reporting period, paid imports decreased by 30.3%, and paid exports decreased by 8.2% from that of previ-ous year.

Terms of trade: 1.313 (test estimation)

As of Aug 2015, terms of trade index (2012 base year) decreased by 19.5% from that of the previous year and reached 1.313

This increase in the terms of trade is mainly attributed to the de-crease in export price of copper concentrate, iron ore and crude oil.

EXPORT

Composition: 86% + 14%

The share of mineral exports in total exports maintained at the close level as the previous year.

Exports of coal, copper concentrate, iron ore and concentrate and crude oil have a weight of nearly 73% of total exports and 85% of mining exports.

In addition, these 4 products' share in the mining exports de-creased by 4.0 points from that of the previous year, share in the total exports decreased by 4.0 points.

Growth: -9.1%

Mongolian export decreased by 9.1% from that of the previous year, which was mainly affected by decrease in commodity prices.

Exports of copper concentrate increased by 8%, which accounted for 4% in growth of mining export. On the other hand, coking coal, iron ore and crude oil export decreased by nearly 32%, 48% and 41% respectively, which accounted for 16% decrease in the growth of mining export.

Changes

As of Aug 2015, Mongolian export decreased by 324.7 million USD from that of the previous year. It is affected by the increase of export commodities' quantities (USD 188.2 millions) and decrease in export commodities' prices (USD 512.9 millions) .

Because of the increase in quantity of crude oil, nonmonetary gold and copper concentrate export, mining export increased by 299 millions USD. On the other hand, because of decrease in prices of mineral exports, mining export declined by 513 million USD.

Cashmere, cashmere products' export decreased by 36 million USD, while other exports increased by 38 million USD.

World market prices for primary commodities

As of Aug 31 2015, gold price reached 1,132.3 USD, decreased by 12.0% from that of the previous year and decreased by 3.3% from that of the last month.

As of Aug 31 2015, copper and iron ore prices reached 5,147.0 USD and 56.0 USD. Copper price decreased by 1.4% from that of previous month and by 26.6% from that of previous year. Iron ore price increased by 1.8% from that of previous month and de-creased by 36.3% from that of previous year.

IMPORT

Composition: 29% + 38% + 19%

As of Aug 2015, 29% of total imports were consumer goods, 38% were capital goods and 19% were fuels.

Share of the capital goods in total imports decreased by 4% from that of the previous year, while the share of consumer goods im-port increased by 3%.

Growth: -29.2%

Mongolian imports decreased by 29.2% from that of the previous year. Main contributors of this decrease were capital goods de-crease, which equals to 15% of the total decrease and fuel imports which equals to 8% of the total decrease.

Capital goods and petroleum products imports decreased by 36% (546 millions USD) and 36% (270 millions USD) respectively. Thus total import decreased from that of the previous year.

Breakdown

Main contributors of decrease in consumer goods import were both in durables and non-durables. Passenger cars import de-creased by 31% (81 millions USD) and foods import decreased by 17% (58 millions USD).

Capital goods import decreased by 36% (546 millions USD) which was mainly contributed by 39% decrease in machinery, equipment and supplies (311 million USD). In addition, import of construction materials decreased by 36% (197 million USD) from that of previous year.

Intermediate goods and industrial materials import decreased by 12% (49 millions USD).

Fuels import decreased by 36% (270 millions USD). The border price of oil has been decreasing since the end of 2013 (Figure 8). In parallel with global oil market price, it declined sharply during last few months.

Import of the consumer goods

The growth of consumer goods import, calculated by 3 month moving average method, is constantly declining. /Figure 7/.

Even though, the import growth of non-durable consumer goods was relatively stable, it started to decline by bigger phase in last 6 months.

Link to report

 

International Budget Partnership rates Mongolia's budget transparency as poor

September 13 (UB Post) The International Budget Partnership (IBP) analyzes the budget transparency of developing countries, and Mongolia has scored 51 points out of 100 in its most recent report, according to the Open Society Forum (OSF).

Mongolia scored 51 points for its budget transparency, 19 points for public involvement in budget processes, and 70 to 92 points for budget monitoring, which is considered poor results.

The IBP's main goal is to analyze, monitor, and influence government budget processes, institutions, and outcomes, as well as making budget systems more responsive to the needs of poor and low-income people in society and, accordingly, to make these systems more transparent and accountable to the public.

Based on eight documents released from the International Monetary Fund, Economic Cooperation and Development Organization, and the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions the IBP conducts their research on budget transparency.

The IBP delivered advisement for Mongolia. The IBP suggests working on information for the public with a mid-year review on budget transparency and an executive budget proposal; specify projections for the macro economy for upcoming years; and drawing up decisive budget plans.

The OSF believes that improving public participation in the budget process by organizing focus group discussions and involving the public in audit inspections is vital to sustainable development.

Link to article

Link to IBP Mongolia page

 

Social insurance revenue +4% in 2015, expenditure +21.1%, deficit 130.5 billion

Ulaanbaatar, September 14 (MONTSAME) In the first eight months of this year, the revenue of Social Insurance Fund (SIF) amounted to MNT 889.5 billion, increasing 34.5 billion Togrog or 4.0%, while the expenditure of the fund reached MNT 1,020.0 billion, going up by 178.0 billion or 21.1% against the previous year.

In August of 2015, the SIF's revenue amounted to MNT 122.5 billion, increasing MNT 41.7 billion or 51.6%, while the fund's expenditure reached 124.3 billion, increasing 6.8 billion or 5.8% against the previous month.

In the first eight months of this year, MNT 98.2 billion was given to 192.6 thousand people as  pensions and welfare benefits from the Social Welfare Fund (SWF). A number of people who received pensions and welfare benefits decreased 4.2 thousand people or 2.1%, and an amount of pensions and allowances increased MNT 5.0 billion or 5.4% against the previous year.

In August of 2015, amount of social welfare allowances and pensions reached MNT 12.4 billion, increasing 0.4 billion or 3.5% against the previous month, the social welfare benefits and concessions amounted to MNT 4.4 billion, increasing 0.3 billion or 7.1% against the previous month.

In these first eight months, 163.4 billion Togrog was granted from the Human Development Fund (HDF) to 1,017.7 thousand children aged below 18 as a cash benefit.

Link to article

 

Average salary in Mongolia at 853.9 thousand, 924.6 thousand in UB

September 14 (gogo.mn) According to the National Statistics Office data as of August 2015, the average salary in Mongolia nationwide differs greatly by regions. While national average reaches MNT 853,900, this number goes up to MNT 924,600 in Ulaanbaatar city.

Average salary of company with 200 and up to employees is at MNT 1,133,500 while company consisting of 1-9 employees is at MNT 575,100.

Another issue that catches the eye is the salary of the mining and exploration sector. This sector boasts with average salary ranging at MNT 2 million. Salary of International organizations and representative offices are ranked at second with MNT 1,556,100.

Average salary of education sector is at MNT 858,500 while average salary of health sector reaches MNT 799,300.

Link to article

 

Number of unemployed -2% in August, +7.5% from 2014 to 30.4 thousand

September 14 (gogo.mn) According to the National Statistics Office data as of August 2015, the number of unemployed reached 30.4 thousand, has shown a decrease of 0.6 thousand persons or 2.0 percent from previous month, by 2.5 thousand persons or 7.5 percent over the same period of the previous year. 16.8 thousand and persons or 55.1 percent of the total unemployment were female.

Number of the newly registered unemployed residents reached 76296.

Meanwhile, 14620 persons have found employment and 68222 residents were marked off the list due to inactive state.

The education level of registered unemployed residents;

  • Secondary education - 46.5 percent
  • Bachelor degree - 29.2 percent
  • Technical and vocational training - 7.3 percent

Link to article

Related:

Unemployment rate declinesMontsame, September 14

 

Birth rate falls 0.7% in 2015 to 54.2K, infant mortality up 1.7% to 819

Ulaanbaatar, September 14 (MONTSAME) In the first eight months of this year, 53 thousand and 872 mothers delivered 54,197 children (live births), showing a decrease by 368 mothers and by 389 children or 0.7%, respectively, compared to same period of the previous year.

This August, 6,789 mothers delivered 6,839 children (live births), decreasing 272 mothers or 3.9% and by 267 children or 3.8% against previous month.

Infant mortality reached 819 in first eight months of this year, showing an increase by 14 infants or 1.7%. The mortality under-five reached 975, decreasing by nine children or 0.9% against the previous year.

The infant mortality reached 92 in August of 2015, reflecting a decrease by five children or 5.2%, while the mortality under-five reached 110, decreasing 17 children or 13.4% against the previous month.

Link to article

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Politics & Legal

Justice Union yet to nominate its three deputy ministers

September 14 (news.mn) Last week the main immediate problem facing the Mongolian Government was solved; the six ministerial positions were filled. The matter, however, has not been entirely solved since seven deputy ministers must still be appointed. The Executive Council of the Democratic Party (DP) has revealed their three candidates; they are the Chairmen of the Provincial Branches of the DP in the Darkhan-Uul, Dornod, and Khuvsgul Provinces.

The three candidates of the remaining four will be chosen by the "Justice Union". But they still haven't discussed about these appointments. There is a rumor that the "Civil Will Green Party" will choose last one Deputy Minister.

Link to article

 

Parliament working group on labor bill in Japan on learning tour

Ulaanbaatar, September 14 (MONTSAME) Members of the working group, which has been ordered to prepare a draft new version of the law on labor for discussions at the parliamentary Standing committee and the session, are visiting Japan September 13-20 to learn a related experience.

They are witnessing a work of Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Welfare and of Japan International Labor Foundation (JILAF) and are going in to details of how Japan realizes its law on labor.

The visitors are D.Battsogt, a head of the Standing committee on social policy, education, culture and science, S.Demberel and Ya.Sodbaatar MPs; also J.Batkhuyag, a Vice Minister of Labor, and others.

The delegation also intends to run a meeting with Yasuhisa Shiozaki, Japan's Minister of Health, Labor, and Welfare.

In 2010, the International Labor Organization (ILO) launched rendering Mongolia a technical assistance in working out the draft new wording of the labor law. 

Link to article

 

Bill introduced to support renewable energy development with tax incentives

Ulaanbaatar, September 14 (MONTSAME) A member of parliament S.Oyun Monday submitted to parliament draft amendments to the laws on customs tariff and tax and on VAT.

As she said, it has become urgent to free facilities and equipment for renewable energy industry from the above taxes. This will reduce prices of the facilities and will boost market needs in renewable energy, which will eventually lead to an increase in consumption of such kind of energy in houses and small- and middle-sized factories, she explained.  

Link to article

 

Bill submitted on ratifying prisoner-exchange agreement with India

Ulaanbaatar, September 14 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Justice D.Dorligjav Monday submitted to the Speaker a draft law on ratifying a Mongolia-India intergovernmental contract on convict transferring.

As of present, Mongolia has convict-transfer contracts with eight countries.

The information is given that five Mongolians have been accused of crimes in the last five years in India but neither Mongolian nor Indian are jailed in each other's country.

With 19 clauses, the draft regulates matters regarding involved in the contract, conditions of transferring convicts, related documents, transferring, giving a mercy or amnesty to convicts and other issues.

Link to article

 

Speaker receives new UN Resident Coordinator in Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar, September 14 (MONTSAME) The Chairman of the State Great Khural (parliament) Z.Enkhbold Monday received Ms Beate Trankmann, newly appointed UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative.

The Speaker congratulated Ms Trankmann on being appointed as such and hoped that her experience and leadership "will significantly contribute to boosting of the Mongolia-UN relations". Noting a significance of the UNDP's assistance to Mongolia, the Speaker underlined that the UNDP has helped strengthen good-governance, reduce a poverty rate, ensure a sustainable development of environment in the 40-year multi-pillar cooperation. Mr Enkhbld also said the Mongolian parliament will support the assistance frameworks of the UN in 2012-2016 and the implementation of action plan of the UNDP.

In response, Ms Trankmann thanked the Speaker for the audience and emphasized her readiness to develop the Mongolia-UN relations and collaboration. She clarified a formulation of a long-term policy document on Mongolia's development, and emphasized an importance of reflecting in this a concept of green development.

The Speaker confirmed that this policy document is to be worked out and underlined its importance in a long-term sustainable development of Mongolia. The Mongolian parliament supports the green development policy, "moreover, the 2015 autumn parliament session adopted a draft amendment to the law on renewable energy", he said.

Present at this meeting were B.Boldbaatar, the secretary-general of the Parliamentary Office, and other officials.

Link to article

 

Hogan Lovells: Law of Mongolia on Pledges Over Movable and Intangible Property

September 14 (Hogan Lovells) --

1.     INTRODUCTION

Obtaining finance has been a concern not only for small and medium enterprises, but also for large Mongolian conglomerates. In most conventional loan arrangements, lenders, whether domestic or international, require security from borrowers to secure repayment. In theory all types of property in Mongolia can be used as security, including tangible and intangible property. However, in practice, there are only limited cases where security can be perfected.

Historically in Mongolia there has been no way to perfect a pledge taken over movable property. As such, in Mongolia security over movable assets is governed by contractual terms only. For this very reason, banks and financial institutions in Mongolia prefer to take land, buildings and minerals licences as collateral due to the comparatively well-developed registration system.

According to the IFC, whilst in the developing world 78 percent of the capital stock of a business enterprise is typically in movable assets such as machinery, equipment, or receivables, and only 22 percent is manifested by immovable property, financial institutions are reluctant to accept movable property as collateral.[1] Likewise, the lack of a registration system in respect of security over movable assets (save for minerals licences and shares of joint stock companies) has limited the ability of business enterprises in Mongolia to obtain financing secured by movable assets.

Creating a legal environment for pledges over movable and intangible property with clear priority rules and a reliable registration system can be beneficial to the development of the private sector by increasing the amount of credit available at economically beneficial rates. Realising the importance of the benefits to the economy and private sector, the Parliament of Mongolia has passed the relevant legislation to create a legal environment in which movable property can be more effectively used as collateral. The new legal developments are discussed below in detail.

2.    THE MIPP LAW

3.     LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR PLEDGING MOVABLE AND INTANGIBLE PROPERTY

4.    CONCLUSION

The below table highlights the main differences pre-and post-introduction of the MIPP Law.

Table 2: Movable Property Pledges – Before and After 

Securities

Perfection/ Registration
before MIPP Law

Perfection/ Registration
after MIPP Law

Immovable property (including land ownership right)

 
Yes

 
Yes

Mineral licences

Yes

Yes

Shares in joint stock companies

Yes

Yes

Shares in private companies

No

Yes

Trademarks

Yes

Yes

Vehicles

No

Yes

Other assets

No

Yes

It remains unclear exactly how under the MIPP Law the registration process and ancillary matters will be implemented in practice.  The mechanics are subject to further regulations to be issued by the SRA.

Although the MIPP Law provides a legal framework where extra-judicial enforcement is permitted, it remains to be seen whether in practice creditors can enforce their security without having to go through a judicial procedure.

In summary, the MIPP Law is certainly a welcome development.  By creating a mechanism for taking, registering and perfecting security over movable and intangible property, the MIPP Law provides improved legal protection and transparency for creditors, potentially better access to financing for borrowers and may assist in reducing the costs of financing in Mongolia.

Link to full note

 

Overview: Energy Regulatory Framework for Mongolia

September 11 (GTs Advocates) ---

Overview

·         According to the Ministry of Energy, the current installed power capacity in Mongolia is approximately 1100MW, with an available capacity of approximately 900MW. Mongolia has about 8 coal-fired combined heat and power plants, 600 small diesel generators, 13 hydroelectric plants and multiple wind and solar systems. Approximately 85% of the total electricity generated domestically results from coal-fired CHPs, 7% from diesel systems, 5% from wind parks, 2% from hydroelectric and the remaining 1% is supplied by small renewable energy sources.

·         Mongolia imports about 20% of its annual electricity demand mainly from Russia and to a lesser extent, from China. In the recent years, Mongolia's energy demand has been continually increasing by 7-10% per year as the economy grows.

·         In 2002, the power sector was unbundled resulting into 18 independent companies which are still wholly owned by the State. Simultaneously, ERC launched the single-buyer model where the National Electricity Transmission Grid purchases all the energy output of energy producers (five State owned CHPs and one privately owned wind power plant which are all located in the central region) and then sells to distribution companies.

·         The Mongolian Parliament aims to reform the energy sector and transition to a market economy. Recently, the Parliament announced the partial privatization of State owned power plants.

Energy Legislation

Dispute resolution

ERC has the authority to resolve disputes relating to matters within its authority between (i) license holders, and (ii) consumers and license holders. ERC determines whether a dispute is within its jurisdiction. If a disputing party does not accept the decision of ERC, it may appeal to a Mongolian court of competent jurisdiction.

Mongolia ratified the Energy Charter and the Energy Charter Protocol on Energy Efficiency and Related Environmental Aspects in 1999.

Privatization

On 03 July 2015, the Parliament authorized and directed the Government to privatize several State owned energy companies, among others, through prescribed methods. Accordingly, on 17 August 2015, the Government approved a list of State owned entities for privatization.

The Government plans to partially privatize five CHPs (namely, CHP2, CHP3, CHP4, Darkhan CHP and Erdenet CHP) within the last quarter of 2015 and two coal mines (namely, Shivee Ovoo and Baganuur) within 2016 by issuing new shares for sale at the Mongolian Stock Exchange. The State will still keep 70% of the total issued shares of the aforesaid CHPs and 49% of the total issued shares of the two coal mines.

For further information, please contact Ms Byambasuren Narantuya.

Link to full overview

 

Mongolia Looking to Reform 'Hotel Mongolia' Bans, Minister Says

By Michael Kohn

September 8 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's Parliament in talks to reform criminal laws to end Hotel Mongolia phenomena that's created "bad image" of country, Zorigt Dashzeveg, Mongolia's minister for energy, says at Invest Mongolia conference in Ulaanbaatar.

* Discussions under way to reform criminal code, introduce new law on crimes and offenses based on international best practices

* "Instead of arresting and detaining the people there should be other methods of penalty that will be in line with international best practices"

* First hearing on new laws were made recently and law expected to be adopted in autumn session of Parliament

* READ: March 18, 'Hotel Mongolia' Travel Bans Hurt Economy, Prime Minister Says

(BFW)

 

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Business

TDB Chosen by WEF as One of 132 Global Growth Companies

·         132 of the world's fastest-growing companies have been invited to join the Global Growth Companies community at the Forum's Annual Meeting of the New Champions.

·         Companies are nominated on the strength of their potential to become global economic leaders and drawn from a broad spectrum of sectors, including banking, energy and aviation.

·         The Global Growth Companies community currently consists of 400 companies from around the world.

·         For more information about the meeting: http://wef.ch/amnc15

Dalian, People's Republic of China, 8 September 2015 – The World Economic Forum today announced its selection of Global Growth Companies (GGCs) for 2015, consisting of 132 of the world's most dynamic and high-growth companies. As honourees, these companies are given the opportunity to join the larger GGC community at the Forum's ninth Annual Meeting of the New Champions, taking place on 9-11 September in Dalian, People's Republic of China.

The Forum's Community of Global Growth Companies brings together influential and fast-growing companies as innovators and market shapers, and supports their potential for impact in their region, their sector and around the globe.

This year's GGC honourees represent a cross-section of industry sectors and share a track record of exceeding industry standards in revenue growth, promotion of innovative business practices and demonstration of leadership in corporate global citizenship.

Some of the GGC honourees present in Dalian are:

Trade & Development Bank of Mongolia (Mongolia) – Leading provider of banking and financial services

Link to full release

 

MNMA Director: Mongolia could become a good mining investment for China and Russia

September 13 (UB Post) Executive director of the Mongolian National Mining Association D.Enkhbold gave an interview on the current situation of Mongolia's most important GDP booster, mining.

The mining sector is facing a pinch due to drastic copper price plummet and unceasing fall of coal prices. Can you give us an outline on the actual situation of the mining sector?  

The Ministry of Mining and Mineral Resources Authority of Mongolia (MRAM) mainly gives statistical information regarding the actual mining situation. According to their measurements, high figure means good and low figure means bad. I think it'll be easier to grasp the real situation if I tell you about how it is for people working in the sector.

Just recently, a reporter asked me what would happen if copper prices drop and leads to a situation where Erdenet Mining Cooperation and Oyu Tolgoi LLC have to cease operations. There's no way those big projects will stop. Erdenet covered its costs. It's able to scrape along. Though OT has some problems, it would face much bigger loss by stopping operations. It has to continue working.

At the moment, the sole principle product generating money is copper. The coal market suddenly became good three years ago. Drought in Australia, China's main coal supplier, caused coal prices to spike. At that time, Mongolia distributed and spent away the massive amount of money it was able to earn. Thinking that coal prices would stay high forever, Mongolia enforced wrong policies and received wrong influence. 

By "wrong influence" are you talking about the railway construction project, which was halted?

You could say that. Initial approvals for the railway construction project were issued in 2008. Coal prices at the time weren't as high as it was in 2011. Regardless of narrow or broad gauge, the railway from mines was ordered to begin construction. Yet coal prices started drastically increase from the following year. The railway was considered as another business and was put into a stagnant situation. Now we're facing its aftermath. Had the railway been completed, coal mining and transportation costs would've been much cheaper. We had opportunities to continue mining operations of Mongolia's few deposits and not completely cease their operations like now. 

Has coal mining been entirely halted?

Not a single company is mining coal. Companies will probably finish transporting mined reserves by the end of 2015. Coal prices will not rise unless a miracle happens or a natural disaster occurs to a main coal supplier like Australia.

Coal news is released every month in China. China focuses more on energy coal, but provides updates on coking coal. According to that statistics, coking coal price is falling by 1.4 to 1.9 percent a month. It'd be good news if this condition stabilizes. Unfortunately, forecasts saying that coal prices might continue to drop make me worried. 

Gold royalties have been loosened and now people are saying a loan will be provided. Aren't gold mining slightly better?

Similar to coal, Mongolia set up a wrong policy for gold. Gold price increased rapidly from 2006 and politicians thought it would be a good idea to charge 68 percent in gold royalties. Later the "long named law", or the Law on Prohibiting Mineral Exploration and Extraction Near Water Sources, Protected Areas and Forests, was approved. One feature of the Mongolian gold sector is that content from main deposits are low. Most are low content deposits. The "long named law" entirely stopped operations at these deposits. The law wasn't implemented and was suspended in the end. The licensed area became neither the mining company's nor the government's.

A regulation for that "long named law" was issued this year. The government promised to show credit support to companies that have ceased operations for a long time and are running out of capital. In reality, not much work was done. There's an even bigger issue. Companies trying to recover operations in accordance with the new regulation are stuck at the ministry due to coordination differences. Despite the government and Parliament's effort to create favorable conditions for investment, actual results aren't made at procedural level. Too much bureaucracy constantly rises as new laws and regulations are made. Misunderstanding is also a major cause. For example, the coordination difference issue.

How are market conditions for iron ore? 

There was a time when Mongolia used to export 100,000 to 200,000 tons of iron ore a year and then started exporting up to two million tons. Now it's stagnant. Iron ore is disappearing from global markets. Mongolia needs to focus on fixing its flaws, which is heightening taxes when mineral prices are good and reducing tax when mineral prices drop. We've come this far despite mineral price fluctuations. The Mongolian legal environment has a funny tendency to follow changes in mineral prices. It's time to pay attention to this. 

Shortly after new licenses were distributed, the Ministry of Mining announced that investment in exploration would increase. Overall, how is license issuance proceeding?

That's one of the good economic news. Halts during operations can be understood since it's a technical issue. Online procedures for issuing licenses might seem suspicious to many people. It's impossible to finish distributing 120 licenses in one minute and 12 seconds. Our association received an explanation from the MRAM on this. They said that it wouldn't be accounted as illegal unless companies hacked into the system and submitted in their information before registration had begun. In any case, I appreciate that the ministry is able to say it so straightforward.

On the other hand, companies pay charges to get online access rights from the MRAM. Extra fee is charged every month for extending these rights. The total fees would probably amount to several billion MNT. It would be fine if companies can get licenses after paying those fees. However, the new provision in the Minerals Law about provincial polls is causing an issue. When 150 requests are sent to provincial poll, 149 are rejected. They state that requests were rejected, but make an order to take the land for special use the next day. Decisions may appear good at higher level, but this is how it works at lower levels. 

Shouldn't the government take action on this since it is a state policy?

We've addressed this issue to the government. It's been some time since the government said it would give us directions. The legislation specifies that provincial polls will be taken, so it's difficult for the government to intervene. Requests were sent and rejected in accordance with the law. 

Experienced companies capable of generating capital are criticizing that they aren't getting licenses and that only new companies are accepted. Is this true?

Even a publication company received a license. Most importantly, nearly 99 percent of licensed companies are completely unknown companies. License bargains might be occurring. Still, there's nothing wrong. I can't deny the trend that's saying that useful licenses are distributed among a group. Ultimately, Parliament and government has provided a legal environment. Now, it comes to implementation issues.

Even though, Gatsuurt was made into a strategic deposit, companies couldn't decide on the percentage of shares and has been put into halt. There's also OT and Tavan Tolgoi matters. In general, Mongolia needs to take action and complete unfinished projects. These issues are relatively small for big projects, but it's impacting heavily on other projects.

Critics pointed that most investments go towards developed countries rather than developing countries. Is there hope for recovering investments in Mongolia?

Majority of capital and investment in the world are going to countries with a more stable economy during an economic crisis. Mongolia has been put together with African countries. Mongolia used to be considered a more stable investment, but now it's put into the list of hopeless and unstable countries. It's regrettable that Mongolia has been put in the black list of Europe and North America that engage in classic investment. Mongolia might become a good and favorable investment for countries like China and Russia since they engage in non-classic and non-traditional investment. There's still hope. North America doesn't consider Mongolia as completely unstable. As for Europe, it's always been cautious.

China's economy is slowing down. It's facing cash surplus. It's clear that China is contemplating on where to put this money into. In the past two years, China has made massive amount of investment in Africa. Within this scope, it'll most likely do investments in Mongolia. Still, everyone can probably notice that Mongolia is almost forgotten between Russia-China relation. Kazakhstan is becoming a bridge between Russia and China. Mongolian politicians connected the gas pipeline with politics since the moment the project came in for discussion. All the commotion about the project made Russia lose its interest for placing a gas pipeline across Mongolia. Ukraine has shown that it's unnecessary to build a pipeline across a third country for gas exportation. So I don't think a pipeline will be placed in Mongolia anymore. 

Will Mongolia be included in China's new Silk Road construction project?

Mongolia is basically not included in China's new Silk Road project. The project being discussed at the moment is merely a sectoral project. Kazakhstan and some of Asia is included. 

Source: Daily Newspaper

Link to interview

 

2015 American Days Expo to be held Sep 19-20, Misheel Expo

September 14 (gogo.mn) The U.S. Embassy and the American Chamber of Commerce in Mongolia (AmCham) are hosting the 2nd Annual "American Days" Expo taking place the weekend of September 19th and 20th from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM at the Misheel Expo Center.

Last year's exhibition was a huge success featuring over 50 exhibitors and attracted hundreds of visitors. Currently, 70 exhibitors are participating in the 2015 "American Days" Expo who will be distributing their premier American products and services and more companies are registering every day. The Expo is open to the public and admission is free.

A special opening ceremony featuring special guest speakers will take place Saturday, September 19th at 1:00PM. Exhibitors will be offering special Expo deals and giveaways. Visitors have the opportunity to sample, buy, and learn more about American brands that are available in Mongolia under one roof for two days only.

The 2015 "American Days" Expo is being made possible due to the generous sponsorship of DLA Piper, GE, MT Group, Wagner Asia, Bloomberg TV Mongolia, Forbes Mongolia, MongolTV, and Protec. Interested exhibitors can call (+976) 9966-2046 to inquire about booth availability.

Customers will enjoy the chance to sample, buy, and learn about premier American products and services available in Mongolia all under one roof for two days only. This event is open to the public with free admission.

For detailed information please click here or contact at +(976) - 94098207, 99662046.

Link to article

 

Asia Frontier Capital Travel Report: Mongolia

Summary

·         This month Asia Frontier Capital's analyst Scott Osheroff traveled through Mongolia.

·         Scott visited one of the largest tanneries in Mongolia: Darkhan Nekhii which is listed on the Mongolia Stock Exchange "MSE".

·         Gobi Cashmere is the largest cashmere company in Mongolia and also listed on the Mongolia Stock Exchange.

September 12 (Asia Frontier Capital) In line with our process of covering frontier countries from the ground, this month AFC's Regional Investment Analyst, Scott Osheroff, recounts his recent travels through Mongolia.

It is 6am in Ulaanbaatar and just out my apartment window the sound of steel rebar being positioned into the beginnings of a 30-storey skyscraper has become my regular alarm clock. With eyes half open, I peer out the window. The construction site is already a hive of activity as the distant sunrise slowly illuminates the newly opened Shangri-La Hotel (OTCPK:SHALF) (OTCPK:SHALY) across the street.

With the blunt hammering of progress pounding its way into everyday life in Mongolia, you could be forgiven for forgetting about the hurdles facing the local economy. The landlocked nation is dealing with a stimulus-induced construction boom which is showing signs of struggle, as the present global commodities slump hampers the growth potential of resource reliant economies like Mongolia. Looking forward, Mongolia must also work out how to deal with the rollover of the USD 1.5 billion Chinggis sovereign bonds coming due. These are a few of the factors building towards a situation where distressed asset prices in real estate and listed equities could soon become a value investor's paradise for those willing to do the groundwork and research.

I arrived in Ulaanbaatar in early August to begin an extensive due diligence trip on AFC's portfolio investments. Visiting listed companies and their unlisted competition to better evaluate the opportunities available, I met with management teams from the mining, cashmere production, real estate, media and consumer goods industries. There remain some great success stories amongst the overall malaise surrounding Mongolian business.

One of the more interesting companies that I visited was a tannery, Darkhan Nekhii, located in Darkhan City, outside of the capital Ulaanbaatar. One of the largest tanneries in Mongolia and an interesting business for us as investors, the company processes hides predominantly for export which is a sound strategy as Mongolia boasts over 60 million animals - roughly 20 for every person in the country. I spent the day with management who took me on a tour of the factory which appeared to be operating at full capacity, contrary to management downplaying their successes. It was an encouraging visit as Darkhan Nekhii is well positioned to grow its export market share and innovate its value add processes in order to remain ahead of increasing government regulation in the sector.

Darkhan Nekhii Factory

At present it is illegal to export raw hides. The government is trying to keep value add production onshore and is thus in discussions to also potentially ban exports of wet blue - a commodity product. Unlike its smaller competition, Darkhan Nekhii is in the comfortable position of already processing hides beyond wet blue and therefore won't feel as great an impact as their smaller competition, perhaps allowing the company to do a roll-up, buying out smaller competition.

Outside of leather, another highlight from my trip was to Gobi Cashmere, the largest cashmere company in Mongolia and one of the largest integrated cashmere companies in the world. Supplying a global retail franchisee base of 47 stores and boasting well known corporate clients in the USA, Gobi is arguably one of the best run companies on the Mongolian Stock Exchange. It is also the second largest company by market cap, yet continues to trade at a sizable discount factoring in its double digit earnings per share growth rate. Gobi has weathered a deteriorating domestic economy through its overseas distribution and its steady source of foreign currency has buffered it against a decline of the Tugrik exchange rate which has dropped roughly -50% versus the USD since March 2012. Gobi's international expansion is a reflection of management's competency and vision. This year they pushed further into Chinese cities unabated as capacity utilization increased and reinvestment into growing its production lines supported their ability to fulfil continued robust demand for their cashmere.

Beyond company visits, it is important to see developments from the ground to get a more holistic view of the domestic economy. Since I was here seven months ago there have been continued signs of positive changes and the addition of new entertainment and food venues are helping Ulaanbaatar become a more palatable city for tourists and expats. New KFC and Pizza Hut locations outside of the city center have sprung up from the sites of old Soviet buildings and additional locations of well-known Korean coffee companies, such as Caffe Bene, and the American brand The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, have sprouted. This bourgeoning push towards café culture is reminiscent of similar trends in other parts of Asia, such as Vietnam and Cambodia.

The Coffee Bean

In Zaisan, an upper class neighbourhood, there was previously very little to do in the local scene but this is also changing. During my trip I took in a dinner of khuushur (fried meat pancakes) and kebabs in a newly renovated outdoor food court with friends before taking a hike to the top of a monument commemorating Russian and Mongolian partnership in WWII where our perched view over the city was a perfect venue to watch the sunset.

Sunset at Zaisan

The natural beauty of Mongolia can be truly staggering and it was a joy to watch the evening descend over the capital. Looking out to the horizon I contemplated how Mongolia would change in the coming years given that it holds more than USD 1 trillion in resources under the steppe. Mongolian investment represents a call option on global resource prices which is further supported by Chinese switching costs. With the infrastructure being built to support commodity exports of coal, iron ore as well as others, Mongolia has the opportunity to become the low cost supplier of bulk commodities to its resource hungry southern neighbour and could effectively price out Australia and Indonesia. There is no doubt Mongolia will rise again as a premier investment destination, the question is simply when? Patience and prudence when investing in Mongolia is the key to generating outsized returns and being in position when highly discounted Mongolian assets climb in value will help bolster the upside for investors in the AFC Asia Frontier Fund

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Ulaanbaatar

Shangri-La Hotel road to be closed OSCE meeting, Sep 15-19

September 14 (gogo.mn) In scope of 2015 Autumn Meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to be held in Ulaanbaatar on September 15-19, following roads to have closures.

Roads from East intersection of Wedding Palace to West intersection of Children's Palace and roads nearby Shangri-La Hotel to be closed.

Vehicles of guests and delegations of OSCE meeting to be parked at parkings of Children`s Palace, Gurvan Gal, UB-mart and Exhibition, reported by the Road Police Department.

Moreover, residents are advised to detour using other roads.

In addition, Narantuul market, Sunday Plaza and Uguumur technical market to be closed during Sep 15-16.

Link to article

 

UB Mayor discusses joint projects with World Bank Country Director

Ulaanbaatar, September 14 (MONTSAME) The Mayor of Ulaanbaatar city E.Bat-Uul last Friday met Mr James Anderson, the country director of the World Bank (WB) for Mongolia.

They have exchanged views on realizing a project on promoting social responsibilities within ongoing programs being co-implemented by the capital city and the WB. The project's main objective is to provide people in vulnerable group with social services by letting them participate in public decision-making process.

Expressing his satisfaction with cooperation with the WB, the Mayor mentioned the city is focusing attention to making the social services more adequate for people, and added he is ready to support the WB actions in Mongolia in all spheres.

Mr Bat-Uul also thanked the WB Country Director for thankfully accepting his proposal to co-implement a project on improving the social responsibilities together with Ulaanbaatar. Several projects are being realized with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in the social responsibility area for empowering the civil society, he said.

Link to article

 

Announcing the First OpenAQ Workshop, November 17-19, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

September 10 (OpenAQ) Thanks to funding from the Earth Journalism Network, we'll be holding the first-ever OpenAQ Workshop November 17–19, and we selected Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia as our inaugural site! We chose UB because of its intense air pollution issues in the winter and our own experiences there with an amazing and dedicated air pollution community of scientists, tech folks, and the media.

The goal of this workshop, the first of many we hope to hold around the world, is to bring together the local tech, air pollution, and media communities to share our open data platform and explore how it can be applied both locally and globally. During the conference, we'll be introducing the OpenAQ platform, how it can be used on city, country, and global scales, and seeking participation from attendees on building new ways to use the platform to communicate, do research, or otherwise use open air quality data.

For our OpenAQ workshop in UB, we're looking for 15 journalists, app developers, air pollution health experts (atmospheric scientists to epidemiologists to medical doctors), data lovers, and everyone in between to join us.

Interested in applying? Fill out this very short application here for the OpenAQ Workshop in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Nov 17–19. Applications are due October 17! Please note: Unfortunately, we cannot unfortunately provide funding for travel to and from UB.

For more information, please visit: openaq.org and feel free to shoot us an at: email info@openaq.org. Hope to see you in November!

Interested in an OpenAQ Workshop in your area? Let us know at info@openaq.org.

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Diplomacy

Foreign Minister Purevsuren arrives in Norway for IDEA 20th Anniversary

September 14 (infomongolia.com) Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia L.Purevsuren pays a working visit to Norway on September 14 and will attend 20th Anniversary of International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) in Stockholm, Sweden on September 15-16, 2015.

During the visit to Norway, FM L.Purevsuren will meet the Vice President of the Norwegian parliament Marit Nybakk, Minister of Foreign Affairs Borge Brende and State Secretary of the Ministry for Finance Paal Bjornestad.

The goal of the working visit of Minister for Foreign Affairs to Norway is to forward talks held during higher and lower level visits of officials of two countries in the past and widen cooperation with the Kingdom of Norway.

Another importance of the visit is the 20th Anniversary of International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and its ninth irregular session as International IDEA elected Mongolia to chair its Council of Member States in 2016.

The presence of Mongolian Minister for Foreign Affair at International IDEA will open new collaboration opportunities with other countries and strengthen the contribution of Mongolia to development of Democracy.

Link to article

Related:

Purevsuren FM heads to NorwayMontsame, September 14

 

FM Purevsuren concludes official visit to Russia

Ulaanbaatar, September 14 (MONTSAME) Mongolia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr L.Purevsuren paid an official visit to the Russian Federation this September 10-11 by invitation of his Russian counterpart Mr S.V.Lavrov.

The two Ministers held official talks. Furthermore, Mr Purevsuren met with Mr S.Ye.Donskoy, the Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology and a head of the Russian side of the Russia-Mongolia intergovernmental commission for the trade, economy, science and technical cooperation; also with Mr A.N.Tkachev, the Minister of Agriculture. At both meetings the sides concluded a present situation of the relations, shared views on opportunities for widening the ties, and talked about ways of forwarding some issues related to the bilateral cooperation, to regional and international matters.

Link to article

 

Spot a GREAT British Mini in Ulaanbaatar and get a gift at the British Fair

September 14 (gogo.mn) Did you know that there are believed to be as many as 50 Minis in Mongolia? The iconic British car has its own Mongolian enthusiasts' club devoted to keeping their Minis on the road. The original Austin Mini, which began production in 1959, was made in the millions both in England and overseas for over 50 years.  And the new-style Mini, still made near Oxford, continues to be an instantly-recognisable modern classic, even if it has grown a bit in size.

The British Embassy Ulaanbaatar organized MINI parade on Saturday 12th September from 2pm to 6pm.  Started from Chinggis Square at 2pm, the parade showcased beautiful MINIs decorated with GREAT branding stickers. 

Owners of Minis here in Mongolia took part in the parade which kicks off our Britain is GREAT campaign.  If you spot a GREAT-branded Mini please take a picture and upload it to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the #UKMongolia #GreatBritishFair. Hashtags.

Then come along to the GREAT British Fair taking place on Friday 18 September from 11 am at the National Amusement Park.  Show your photo and you can collect a small gift (subject to availability).  It promises to be a great day with freebies, shows and educational activities as well as a chance for local and international businesses to connect.  

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Review: Mongolia PM concludes visit to Summer Davos Meeting in Dalian

September 14 (infomongolia.com) On September 11, Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg held a press conference on conclusion of his working visit to the Summer Davos Meeting in Dalian, the People's Republic of China on September 09-11, 2015.

At the Summer Davos Meeting, Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg has attended several sub-forums as a panelist and met some important figures and the Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, Professor Klaus Schwab was first on the list. They have discussed number of items such as collaboration between Mongolia and the World Economic Forum (WEF) and its regional summit scheduled in Mongolia, also chances to include Mongolian representatives into the WEF. In a meeting with Profession Klaus Schwab on January 2015, Mongolian President Ts.Elbegdorj has suggested to hold regional summit of the WEF in Mongolia in 2017.

Later, PM Ch.Saikhanbileg has met Mr. Yury Petrovich Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, and Mr. Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia.

PM Ch.Saikhanbileg discussed meat export to Russia with Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, and Mr. Yury Trutnev said that Russian government would provide full assistance on this matter.

With Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, PM Ch.Saikhanbileg exchanged views on deepening Mongolian and Georgian relations and agreement on visa-free access to both countries, diplomats in the first place, and intensification of economic cooperation between two countries.

Further, PM Ch.Saikhanbileg has met investors of Chinese and Indian companies.

In 2015, Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia (TDBM) has become one of honorees of 130 global growth companies of the WEF. PM Ch.Saikhanbileg said: "Mongolia's involvement in the WEF was weakening lately but example of Trade & Development Bank of Mongolia shows that we are active and on the right way."

Later, PM Ch.Saikhanbileg has met Mr. Li Keqiang, the Premier of the State Council of People's Republic of China. One of most important meetings at the Summer Davos Meeting.

At the meeting with the Premier of the State Council of China, both sides discussed railways issues, Tavan Tolgoi project and other mega projects run by Mongolia, and agreed to start the talks soon.

Further to discussion, PM Ch.Saikhanbileg asked Premier Le Keqiang to assist gas production project using brown coal (lignite) currently in process of negotiation with Chinese company Sinopec Limited and power plant construction in Shivee Ovoo and its overhead power transmission lines construction to China.  

Also, final talks of issues of hydropower station of "Egiin Gol" and loan terms of 1 billion US dollar, which Chinese Exim Bank (The Export-Import Bank of China) lent Mongolia, took place. PM Ch.Saikhanbileg has proposed to pay the debt to Chinese EximBank through meat export equal to 1 billion US dollar and as a result (Mogi: love it!), parties have reached agreement. Mongolian and Chinese administrations will conduct thorough inspection in Aimags free of foot-and-mouth disease.

Premier Le Keqiang asked PM Ch.Saikhanbileg to use meat factory technology that meets Chinese food standards. Now Mongolia will export meat in addition to its northern neighbor the Russian Federation.

Following the talks, Minister for Food and Agriculture of Mongolia R.Burmaa, who attended the talks with Premier Le Keqiang, has met with other relevant officials of Chinese government to fasten the meat export deal.

PM Ch.Saikhanbileg said to journalists that the Summer Davos Meeting was successful for Mongolia as it helped to resolve many issues regarding full strategic partnership of Mongolia and China.

The Prime Minister of Mongolia has attended "Modern Silk Road" sub-forum to express position of Mongolia.

At press conference, PM Ch.Saikhanbileg said: "The Silk Road is not a just line that connects two ends, it is more complex network, and Mongolia have a chance to succeed in this project because we have own Silk Road, the Steppe Road. It is possible to create own silk road in Mongolia using initiatives like Eurasian Economic Corridor and Modern Silk Road that China offers.

Leaders of Mongolia, China and Russia had talks on this matter on July 2015. They have signed some documents and getting close to its implementation.

Besides the Silk Road, Mongolia can be part of another economic network of gas, energy and railways. We should not just talk about the installation of gas pipelines also; we must pay attention to financial source required for the job. We can make certain progress in infrastructure development in Mongolia with financial support of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Japan, World Bank and Asian Development Bank."  

Another results achieved at the Summer Davos Meeting was foreign investment. In past four years, Mogul Power LLC, a Mongolian company, has been working on construction project of a power plant capable of generating 600 MW near brown coal deposit of Tevshiin Gobi in Saintsagaan Sum of Dundgovi Aimag with a Chinese construction and engineering company Sepco III. At the Summer Davos Meeting, Mogul Power LLC and Sepco III have signed an agreement on cooperation and investment of around 1 billion US dollar. At signing ceremony, Mr. B.Batmunkh, Adviser of Mogul Power LLC, said that the companies would realize the deal soon.

Another Mongolian company Bodi Group has signed an investment deal of 1 billion US dollar on Buuruljuut power plant project with Power China. The project will continue 31 year. Regarding the deals, Minister for Energy of Mongolia D.Zorigt said the signed projects provide reliable and stable energy source that meets growing energy need of Mongolia. Mongolian government is planning to build another power plant near Baganuur coal deposit as an additional power source for Ulaanbaatar city and reduce the air pollution. With this purpose, Mongolian delegation has met several private investors of China at the meeting.

Moreover, PM Ch.Saikhanbileg has participated in the session Asia's Energy Options. He explained what Mongolia offers to energy industry at the session and stressed opportunities of energy industry in Mongolia.

PM Ch.Saikhanbileg said: "Mongolia has many opportunities for energy production. We have coal mines that use traditional technology for processing.

Mongolia is sunny in 207 days out of 300, which creates good condition for solar power plant and 10% of total territory of Mongolia is suitable for wind energy. We can use these natural resources to generate energy."

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Education

ADB-Funded Bio-Mechanical Research Laboratory Unveiled to MUST

September 14 (news.mn) Yesterday, a new Bio-Mechanical research laboratory opened at the Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST). This USD 394.000 laboratory has been financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) under the "Update of Higher Education" project

This is the first laboratory of its kind in Mongolia and equipped with the 22 kinds of equipment.  The beneficiaries of the ADB project noted that Mongolia will now be able to do bio-mechanical research on the muscle tendon system, spinal cord injury, the structure of synthetic bone as well as tissue and organ research.

The laboratory is also expected to be a stimulus to Mongolian medical science. The lab staff underwent preliminary training in Korea in the context of the program.   

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DeFacto: Higher Education – Your Investment

By Jargal DeFacto

September 14 (UB Post) An individual first learns to read and write, acquiring a compulsory education in order to understand how the world works, and begins using that knowledge to improve their livelihood. Obtaining a tertiary education, on the other hand, is not mandatory, although almost every person hopes to be enrolled in a university and receive a diploma. Everyone wants to do so because university is the only place that grants a widely acknowledged diploma proving that you have become familiar with the knowledge that humankind has accumulated in your chosen area.

Having been asserted by tertiary education, knowledge becomes a stronger tool. Knowledge is the basis of social development and requires that everyone keep learning. The advantage the 21st century information and communications revolution is offering people all over the world is limitless opportunities to learn and bring about development. Nelson Mandela once said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

In my column titled "University Rankings", published in September 2009, I wrote about the return on investment from tertiary education in Mongolia – with only one third of all graduates being able to find a job – and the lack of monitoring and evaluation of employment outcomes for the remainder of graduates. I also recommended examining the capability of Mongolian universities and to introduce ranking. Now it is necessary to have a broad discussion on what has changed over the last five years, and what progress has been made.

UNIVERSITIES WITH WOBBLY FEET

Mongolia's increasing demand for tertiary education has been catalyzing the increase in supply as well. Although the number of universities has been decreasing, their capacity has grown. A study done by the School of Economics of the National University of Mongolia reported that the number of universities and colleges in Mongolia decreased by 44 percent from 2002 to 2013, to reach 100. During the same period, the number of students reached 176,000, growing by almost 80 percent. This number reached 180,000 in 2015. In the decade covered by this study, the number of public universities and private universities decreased from 40 to 15 and from 138 to 85 respectively. Yet the number of students grew by 60 percent at public universities and by almost 100 percent at private universities. The number of Mongolian students studying in foreign universities increased by 15 percent. As of 2013, approximately 60 percent of all university students were attending public universities.

The increase in university students was the same as the international average. It directly relates to the rapid development of the knowledge economy and the fact that the service industry is dominating the economy. The research team also said, "As we set more limits on the number of students to be enrolled in public universities, the number of students going to non-public institutions has increased."
In 2011, experts from Asian Development Bank (ADB) assessed that there was a need to boost the quality of education, improve curricula, strengthen the governance and funding of universities, and increase the availability of universities in Mongolia. In line with these recommendations, the government established an agreement with the ADB four years ago to acquire a long-term soft loan of 20 million USD to strengthen universities as institutions improve the preparation of personnel, obtain some required facilities, expand cooperation between public and private universities, and improve the policy environment in tertiary education.

They actually started doing some work. However, it has been lagging behind since government policy has changed, almost on a yearly basis, and the structure of the relevant ministry keeps changing. For example, the national coordinator in charge of this project has been replaced four times in four years. Due to these delays, the most important objective, to certify that the structure and governance of Mongolian universities and the tertiary education they provide be raised to international standards, has not been met. As a result, there has not been any change in the quality of education provided by universities, while the government continues to give an allowance to each student not dependent on their performance. The number of unemployed people with diplomas is still rising.

STRENGTHENING RANKINGS

The first attempt to rank Mongolian universities was made by Forbes Mongolia a year ago. Students and their parents have the right to calculate what investments they are making, the kinds of institutions they are investing in, and what returns they are getting. The study that was carried out to provide an independent assessment of the quality of universities and give guidance to young people in choosing their profession looked at the issue from three aspects: universities, students, and professors. The study covered 30 universities, one third of the total nationwide. The National University of Mongolia was ranked first, followed by the Mongolian University of Science and Technology, and the Institute of Finance and Economics. Monos and Khuree universities were ranked last.

Going forward, we need to further improve the methodology of this ranking, include all universities, and add more specific areas to cover the assessment of social needs and industry demands, determine the percentage of students who found a job within three to six months of graduation, and to even start ranking on the average salaries of graduates, especially for business schools. Furthermore, it is time to determine the effectiveness of English classes provided by universities, determine if there is direct access to the Internet, and assess the outcomes and opportunities of research and development.
Also, it would be more beneficial to have a student loan system for tuition, which graduates can pay off after finishing school, instead of financing public universities by giving allowances to students. This would provide incentive for students to perform well and to find a job with good income. If the product you have prepared for five years has decreasing quality without being sold, and is being used for different purposes than originally intended, it means that the investment you made in the product is not profitable.

Higher education is the most important investment in life. However, it is currently valued as poor and cheap in Mongolia. Students are paying for tuition for the sake of it, while universities are being paid for the sake of it. For this reason, universities are unable to attract the best professors. The education and knowledge of Mongolians guarantees the prosperity and security of our country.

Trans. by B.DULGUUN

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Society

Mongolia vies for Janicki Omniprocessor garbage machine from Gates Foundation

Ulaanbaatar, September 14 (MONTSAME) A member of the State Great Khural (parliament) Ts.Oyungerel legged last week the Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation headquarted in Seattle, within her visit to the USA.

The parliamentarian met Mr Brian Arbogast, a director of the Foundation's program on water and hygiene, to ask him to support Mongolia in installing in Ulaanbaatar a small-sized factory of processing garbage, called Janicki Omniprocessor. As of today, such an omniprocessor has been operating only in Dakar city of Senegal with a support from this Foundation.

"This machine has not been tested in a country of cold weather. In order to do so, a training is needed for Mongolian engineers, and collaboration may follow it. We are ready to launch the cooperation with Mongolia in building the first factory," said Arbogast.

After this Oyungerel legged the Bioenergy Company which produces the omniprocessor machines. The machine's inventor Mr Peter Janicki presented to the MP the Janicki S200 model and said the company is ready to cooperate with Mongolia by installing the machine in Mongolia.

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Emergency management agencies receive 6.6 billion in rescue equipment

September 13 (UB Post) Equipment and vehicles required for rescue and firefighting, valued at 6.6 billion MNT, were supplied to Mongolian emergency management organizations last week with financing from the state budget.

The organizations that received the new equipment were the Rescue Team of the National Emergency Management Agency, Ulaanbaatar Emergency Management Agency, and emergency management divisions in the provinces.

The equipment and vehicles provided were planned for in the 2015 state budget to improve the disaster prevention and management capacity of Mongolia. The recently appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia, Ts.Oyunbaatar, presented the new resources.

A total of 30 vans specially equipped for rescue and emergency projects were provided. They cost 3.2 billion MNT, while the remainder was spent on protective gear and fire and disaster equipment for minimizing losses in emergency situations.

Two fire trucks were purchased with funds from the city budget for two fire departments in Ulaanbaatar last week as well.

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ACMS Speaker Series - William Taylor: Understanding Ancient Horse Use in the Mongolian Steppe

September 15th, 2015 - Starting 5:30 PM

Location: American Corner, Ulaanbaatar Public Library

Tel: 976 7711-048

Although Mongolia is known the world over for its expert horsemanship and horse culture, little is known about how the domestic horse first arrived in the Eastern Steppe. The earliest archaeological evidence for equine herding in the region dates to the late Bronze Age (ca. 1300-700 BCE), when horses were buried in small mounds surrounding stone monuments known as deer stones and khirigsuurs. Some scholars have linked this period with the first Mongolian horse-riding societies and the beginnings of a mobile herding lifestyle. However, with few artifacts or written records to work from, the relationship between people and horses during this period has remained difficult to evaluate directly.

Using techniques from archaeozoology (the study of animal bones from archaeological contexts), Mr. Taylor's research investigates how these Bronze Age Mongolian horses were used and managed. His talk will summarize osteological and demographic data which suggest that horses were not only managed as livestock, but also harnessed and used for transport as early as 1200 BCE. As a result, late Bronze Age groups in Mongolia might have played a key role in the shift from chariots to mounted horseback riding, and could have facilitated the initial spread of domestic horses to other areas of East Asia.

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Schedule: Mongolia to celebrate Khubilai Khaan's 800th birthday with September 15-24

September 14 (gogo.mn) Ceremony dedicated to 800th birth anniversary of Kublai Setsen Khan, the 5th Khagan of the Mongol Empire and founder of Yuan Dynasty to be organized tomorrow at Chinggis Square at 11:40AM.

In scope of the anniversary, International Khuumei Festival, International Research Conference, "Kublia Setsen Khan - 800" exhibition and "Mongolian State Anthem -261" orchestra concert are planned to be held.

Following table shows the schedule for events dedicated to the anniversary.

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Mogi: good one, Natso!

10 Proverbs That Will Help You Understand the Mongolian Mindset

By Natso Baatarkhuu

September 8 (So Why Mongolia?) Cross-cultural management is a fancy name for how to get along with international co-workers, because it can be hard. Mongolia is no different. Anybody who has worked with Mongolians can attest to their mystifying stoicism and endless uttering of margaash (which means tomorrow, the greatest excuse for procrastination). There's also a reputation of perseverance and other positive traits that are less frequently noted. The line between proverbs and idioms are blurred. Sometimes proverbs get shortened and serve as idioms, and most idioms have a proverb or aphorisms behind them. Here are ten proverbs, or idiomatic aphorisms, that can help you understand the Mongolian perspective.

10. The last camel gets the heavy load (Сүүлийн тэмээний ачаа хүнд)

This is a simple sentence that gets used in several situations, and interpreted in several ways. You can express it as punishment for a person who has come up last; because that person was slow and scared, he or she came up last and gets the heaviest load. If the load is something good, you can also express it as a reward for people who have shown the most perseverance and let themselves come in last out of courtesy. In this case, it is usually used to reward the last person, which gets the odd remainder to himself. In fact, Mongols have sympathetic and motivational phrases for the last person in a race.

"Dinner's ready. Let me pour this tsuivan out on all the plates."

"Mom, that's too much. Stop!"

"Son, the last camel gets the heavy load. You were the last, so I had to empty it on your plate."

9. A bad person's voice is loud (Муу хүний дуу чанга)

This might be something you notice right away–most Mongolians talk quietly, with little inflection. That can partly be attributed to this proverb. Loud conversation style with a high pitch is considered immature and evil. Talking softly and with little intonation can balance the idiosyncrasy of our language, which is lots of rough consonants at the base of the throat. When we think of a bad person with a loud voice, Adolf Hitler on a podium comes to mind.

"HEY, TUGSOO! HOW ARE YOU?"

"I'm not talking to you."

"WHAT'S WRONG?"

"You, that's what's wrong. Stop shouting."

"BUT THIS IS MY NORMAL VOICE."

"We're not friends anymore."

8. Wolves come during rain (Чоно борооноор)

This is a proverb to explain that bad things happen during messy or hard-to-monitor circumstances. Wolves attack during rain, because for herders, this is when you're scrambling to gather your herd and you're not observing your surroundings fully. Also, the rainy weather leads to poor visibility. The main takeaway is that you should be alert during rain to detect sneaky wolves. This proverb is usually used when talking about a situation where things are out of control and some people have exploited that situation.

"Yo, Baldan. Did you hear about the Ganbats having their TV set stolen?"

"What is this, the 90s? Why did they get their 100k TV set stolen?"

"It could be made to look like a TV job. You know how they were ninja miners for the summer and found a 100g of gold, right? They were getting lots of threats that the gold would be stolen."

"Poor guys. I hope they find the thief. Wolves always come during rain. He hit them during hard times."

7. Suffer with your own rule , rather than frolic under someone else's rule (Хүний эрхэнд жаргахаар өөрийн эрхэнд зов)

This is the quintessential phrase that expresses the Mongolian mentality–that of independence. Because of the vast area available for habitation and ease of mobilizing, for a long time, Mongols preferred to stubbornly do something themselves instead of listening to others and collaborating. Because the land is huge, whenever you had a disagreement with your clan, you could always branch out, because the land had enough for everybody… at least in the old sense.

"Dorj, how's it going?"

"Not too shabby, man. I quit my job to start my own company."

"But you're a fresh college graduate. What could you possibly know about starting a company? Plus, you said your boss was wonderful."

"Well, it still doesn't beat just being on my own. I'd rather suffer with my own rule, rather than frolic away blissfully under someone else's rule."

"So, you prefer unemployment? Great."

6. Man's happiness lies in vacant steppes (Эр хүний жаргал эзгүй хээр)

This is the proverb that expresses a Mongolian man's ideal environment, the outdoors. Our herders have machismo in the countryside that would make cowboys give up, and this proverb shapes a good part of that, but camping, fishing, and making khorkhog are a typical pastime equally enjoyed by men and women. Serene and pristine nature is the default position and docking station for our tiny little lives.

"Can you pop the trunk and take out the flamethrower? Let's torch the meat and prepare the boodog."

"Alright, Tsetsegee. This is great. Man's happiness does indeed lie in vacant steppes."

5. Push out the ghee butter that entered your mouth (Аманд орсон шар тосыг хэлээрээ түлхэх)

This means to ruin things when an opportunity presents itself to you. Ghee butter, or shar tos, is a dairy product made by boiling the top crust of milk–basically, it's the creme de la creme, a really nutritious product often used as tallow for zul, religious lamps. To have it come to your mouth, but then accidentally (or intentionally) push it out of your mouth is a big screw-up. People use this proverb to express things with bitter disappointment.

"Hey, Zorigt. Why didn't you get the promotion?"

"My boss wanted me to submit my annual appraisal and I submitted it late, so he got upset and withdrew the promotion."

"You really pushed out the ghee butter that entered your mouth."

"I know, right?"

4. Bad dogs can't stomach ghee butter (Муу нохойн гэдсэнд шар тос зохихгүй)

This is on a related theme to the previous entry, and it basically means a person isn't good enough to deserve something good. Again, the ghee butter is a reference to something dignified and good, and feeding a dog butter cream is a waste, because dogs can't process it (along with chocolate and other goodies) and they can't appreciate these finer things anyhow. This proverb is saying, "You know, sometimes you're just not worth the thing you're holding here."

"Oh my god, Boldoo, are you choking?"

"Oh, thanks, Chimgee. I almost choked on this sushi. It's mighty expensive and I can't even eat it properly."

"You know what they say, bad dogs can't stomach butter cream."

3. I'd rather give it to our dog, than the neighbor's dog (Хүний нохой идэхээр өөрийн нохой идэг)

This is the second entry that involves dogs, and it is a proverb that's similar to "charity starts at home". It references a preference for family and friends when it comes to giving something away. Let's say you're giving away an old phone. Would you rather give it away to a complete stranger or your cousin? Most likely your cousin. But this viewpoint also abets cronyism and nepotism, which is a huge problem in Mongolia.

"Tulgaa, my cousin. How are you?"

"Just the girl I wanted to see, Navchaa. Our company's hiring a web developer. Would you be interested?"

"Would I? It's my dream to be a web developer. I'm glad I bumped into you."

"Well, when I heard they were hiring, I thought you'd be a perfect fit. I'd rather give it to our dog, rather than the neighbor's dog."

2. Whether the rich eat carrots or candles doesn't concern you (Баян хүн лаагаа иднэ үү, луувангаа иднэ үү хамаагүй)

This is a remnant of a mindset from a different time, a time when the poor were afraid to inquire about the rich. There is a short story of a newly rich man going to buy carrots for the first time, but mistakenly getting candles instead. When he awkwardly munches on the candles, the children in the street make fun of him. The rich man responds with, "So what? I'm rich, so whether I eat carrots or candles is none of your business." Silly tale, I know, but it's still often mentioned in passing and shows the indelible line of class in the Mongolian mindset.

"I bought a bunch of ingredients to try puntuuztei huurga yesterday and failed."

"That's because you're an idiot."

"Shut up. The rich can eat carrots or candles, and it wouldn't concern you."

"You're not rich though."

1. Like the mouse that hanged itself for the state (Төрийн төлөө оготно боож үхнэ)

This basically means don't bother with politics, your efforts won't amount to anything anyway. This is also a proverb that speaks volumes in its backstories. The proverb means that if you're as small and as trivial as a mouse, the state moves on without your interference, even if you've hung yourself you won't be missed. From here, you can see that Mongols are avid debaters of politics, needing a proverb to discourage them from state affairs.

"This politician should face jail time for what he did."

"Just leave it, Maralaa. This is not our place and time."

"But, he has to be held accountable by the authorities."

"Come on! You're obsessing over politics like the mouse that hanged itself for the good of the state. What good do you ever expect in return?" 

Do you agree with them? Did we leave anything out? Leave us a comment and let us know what we should write about next. 

UPDATE: Thanks to Gundegmaa Jargalsaikhan for correcting the translation of shar tos as ghee butter! 

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Image News of the Week: 6 Insane Events/Stories in Mongolia

September 11 (So Why Mongolia?) It's the end of the week again. Let us summarize the interesting stories of the past week and give you a heads-up on the upcoming events. We received some comments from our readers that image news was a little hard to read, so we're tweaking the format a bit this time. As always, any feedback is appreciated.

A Mongolian Wins Wrestling Championship 2nd Time, Eligible for Rio Olympics 2016

Our athlete Battsetseg Soronzonbold has won the gold medal in 63-kg and proved herself a two-time champion, becoming eligible for participation in the Summer Olympics of 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. World Wrestling Championships is happening September 7-12 in Las Vegas, USA.  Battsetseg has been a great hope for freestyle wrestling over the last few years. A total of 16 athletes are competing in this tournament, so we'll see how this will unfold over the weekend.

Source: GoGo.mn

60 Tons of Nut Stash Confiscated

The Specialized Inspection Agency of Ulaanbaatar city confiscated 60 tons of illegally harbored stash of pine nuts in Bayangol district. The new law dictates that the extracting of nuts start from October 15 when they're the most ripe, but the comments show people are interested in what the agency will do after this 'nut bust' (no pun intended). No doubt, many nut-lovers are fantasizing of  diving into this like Ebenezer Scrooge.

Source: GoGo.mn

First Spelling Bee event in Mongolia

You're proabbly a speling champion since you read us. Why not head over and joing the Jet School's very first Speling Bee competishn on September 21st? The registartion deadlain is September 19, 2pm. Ah-hem. The place is at State Drama Theater, 11:00 am. There's no age restrictions in the description, so we're gonna crash the contest as well. The winners gets cash as much as 500,000.

Source: Facebook.com

Awesome Graphic Novel About Mongolia on Kickstarter

An original graphic novel project about Mongolia just recently launched on Kickstarter. It weaves the story of a Mongol archer in 13th century and a foreign tourist in modern UB together. The creators are an Italian duo who are here in UB, meticulously researching the aspects of the story. They're looking for a historical researcher to help them create as accurate storyline as possible and a publisher to make the final product's bilingual hardcover version. This Kickstarter project is planning to raise 4,500 EUR and will finish in 58 days.

Source: Kickstarter.com

Polish Art Film Screening and Film Trivia Night

If you're an avid film fanatic, you will enjoy the Dreamer's Day weekly series where an art film is screened and discussed by art film lovers. The upcoming screening is of Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Krotki Film o Milosci" on September 12,  4pm at Peace Tower. This is a film about a young boy's attempt to woo his older neighbor woman using increasingly bizarre tricks. The regular admission is 2,000 MNT.

Source: Ikon.mn

Daylight Savings Time Ends

After a long SNAFU of a Daylight Savings that wasn't acknowledged internationally (Our government just forgot to mention that to Google), Mongolia is reverting back to GMT +8 timezone on September 26 at 00:00. This means at midnight of 25th, we change our clocks to 11:00 pm. This will solve all the problems that the country's been having due to conflict with internet server times.

Source: MNB.mn

For last week's image news, click here.

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Mongolian portraits feel like 'time travel'

By Allison Love, CNN

September 14 (CNN) Stanislas Guigui only has a few minutes of the wrestler's time.

The man, dressed as a traditional Mongol warrior, poses against a bare sliver of wall outside a stadium where he participating in a wrestling contest. Guigui takes his photograph, and the wrestler is gone.

"It has to be fast," Guigui said. "It's in the middle of the competition."

The wrestling competition is part of the Naadam festival held in Mongolia every summer. The festival, a celebration of traditional Mongolian culture, once served as a training ground for soldiers. It now commemorates the country's independence from China. Along with the wrestling competition, the weeklong festival includes tournaments in archery, horse racing and Kazakh eagle hunting.

Guigui, who is from France, typically works in more urban environments photographing people like drug addicts, thieves and gang members. He wanted to experience something different.

"I normally work with strange people," he said. "I needed something nice."

In Mongolia, he encountered a people very much in tune with the nature around them. He was invited to ride horses with them, and he found that competition is normal.

"They have a really strong culture and history," Guigui said.

Yet even a place where centuries-old traditions are kept alive is not immune from the effects of modernization, and for Guigui, this culture became sacred.

"You go to a land where there is nothing, and you see people living like they would 100 years ago. But they all have cell phones, they know how to use Skype and Facebook," he said. "I think that culture will die with technology. It's globalization."

Guigui's portraits pay homage to this threatened way of life. He didn't want to make a reportage, but rather something he could control that felt "out of time and out of space." His images of these people in their traditional dress look painterly and invoke a sense of timelessness.

"I wanted to be a painter," he said. "I don't really like photography as photography. I like texture, and I don't find it in photography."

Finding people to photograph wasn't easy.

"They're afraid of everything," Guigui said. "It's a shamanist culture. They believe in bad spells, superstitions. They don't like to be photographed."

Guigui had to ask people one by one if he could take their portrait. Because he was shooting during the middle of competition, he only had a few minutes with each.

"I was shooting really fast," he said. "I talked to them for maybe two minutes explaining what I'm doing, and we did the shoot in one minute. For them, one picture is one picture."

Guigui did not have to give direction to his subjects; they made a pose that felt most natural to them.

"They are not aggressive, but they're warriors," he said. "They act like warriors when you shoot them. (The warrior) has to be him. If you direct too much, you lose authenticity."

Another challenge Guigui faced was finding a clean background for his photographs.

"They put advertising everywhere," he said. "In the arena where they fight, you see Coca-Cola (ads) everywhere. I had to take (the subjects) out of the arena."

Guigui said his experience in Mongolia and working with the people at the festival was like "time travel." The purpose of his photographs is to make the viewer question when they were taken.

Yet witnessing the effects of modernization saddened him. He likened it to photographing an endangered species in Africa. "This culture will disappear," he said.

Despite the juxtaposition between old and new in Mongolia, Guigui was struck by sense of nobility.

"For me, there's a lot of beauty in these people," he said. "To shoot the beauty of eagles, horses, people -- I don't know how to explain that feeling. It's noble to me. It still exists."

Stanislas Guigui is a French photographer represented by Agence VU. You can follow him on Facebook.

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Nature, Environment

Earthquake: M4.8 - 106km SW of Altay soum, Mongolia, September 13

(U.S. Geological Survey) --

Time

2015-09-13 07:51:12 (UTC)

2015-09-13 16:51:12 (UTC+09:00) in your timezone

Nearby Cities

106km (66mi) SW of Altay sumu, Mongolia

297km (185mi) NE of Turpan, China

298km (185mi) NNW of Hami, China

328km (204mi) S of Hovd, Mongolia

1225km (761mi) W of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

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Sports

Mongolia Ends World Wrestling Championship with 1 Gold, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze

September 14 (infomongolia.com) World Wrestling Championships 2015 took place in Las Vegas, the United States on September 07-12, 2015. Around 650 athletes from 100 countries came to compete in City of Las Vegas.

Mongolian wrestlers showed great results winning one gold, three silver and one bronze.

In women's 63 kg category, Olympic bronze medalist S.Battsetseg captured silver medal after defeating her opponents from Hungary, Turkey, Latvia and Belarus. In the final match she have faced Risako Kawai from Japan. After dominating fight with two-time junior world champion, Soronzonbold BATTSETSEG won the match grabbing gold. Thus, she becomes twofold world champion.

Another good news is that Mongolian women's team ranked three at the World Wrestling Championships 2015, Las Vegas. Men's team came after Russia, U.S.A. and Georgia in fourth place by 41 scores. 

Medal summary

Gold

- Soronzonbold BATTSETSEG - women's freestyle 63kg

Silver

- Batbold NOMIN - men's freestyle 61kg
- Purevjav UNURBAT - men's freestyle 74kg
- Sukhee TSERENCHIMED - women's freestyle 60kg

Bronze

- Erdenebat BEKHBAYAR – men's freestyle 57kg

Mongolian team for the World Wrestling Championships 2015, Las Vegas

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Team Japan arrives in Mongolia for AFC U-16 qualifiers  

September 14 (gogo.mn) The 2016 AFC U-16 Championship will be the 17th edition of the AFC U-16 Championship, the biennial youth football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for the men's under-16 national teams of their member associations. A total of 45 nations will participate in the qualifiers with the draw seeding based on the rankings from the last edition in 2014. Mongolia is in Group K with Japan, Hong Kong and Brunei.

Group K competitions will be held in Ulaanbaatar during September 16-20th with official rights from AFC.

Today, Team Japan led by Takefusa Kubo known as Japanese Messi arrived in Mongolia and started its training. They to play against Team Mongolia on September 16 at 05PM.

Tickets for the matches are now available for MNT 5,000 at the Central Office of Mongolian Football Federation.

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Mongolia beats Macao with 5:0 at East Asia Football U-14

September 14 (gogo.mn) Mongolian Football team of under the age of 14 have participating in the East Asian Youth Football Festival in Beijing, China during September 7-14th.

The first match of Team Mongolia led by E.Shinebayar coach was against Team Japan and it ended with 0:2.

However, Team Mongolia was defeated by the Team Hong Kong with 2:0 at its second match, they beats Macao team with 5:0 yesterday.

Mongolian Youth Team which have competing at the international festival for the first time, made its first winning.

Following athletes have scored a goal;

  • G.Bat-Orgil
  • T.Hash-Erdene
  • A.Temuulen
  • B.Gan-Erdene
  • B.Ganbat.

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Travel

Hospitality or Hazing? Surviving a Vodka Fueled Night in Mongolia

By Paula Froelich, Editor-in-Chief

September 15 (Yahoo Travel) When one thinks of hazing, one usually thinks of college fraternities and sororities. But, my friends, the American Greek system has nothing on the Mongolian nomads. 

Related: How to be a True Nomad: Milking Camels in Mongolia

During my trip to Outer Mongolia this summer, I learned about the Nomad Code — which, according to my guide, Timur Yadamsuren from Intrepid Travel, is basically, if anyone rolls up on your door, you have to give them food, drink, and shelter. "If you don't, they might not survive. And the next time you are traveling, they will give you shelter — or you might not survive." 

My crew and I called on this Nomad Code outside of the Singing Sand Dunes in the Southern part of the country, with a friendly ger (yurt) family headed by Ankhaa. We were quickly joined by his curious neighbors. But Timur had neglected to tell us about Mongolian hospitality — or, as Americans might call it, hazing. 

After eating camel milk curd, drinking camel milk tea, and then milking said camels to replenish the liquids we had downed, my crew and I were about to go on our way when we remembered the bottles of vodka we had bought for presents to give out to helpful families during our road trip. Our host Ankhaa and his neighbors definitely qualified, so we whipped out a bottle of Chingghis Khan vodka for the families. 

What we didn't realize is that if you present a bottle, you are also expected to drink it with the host. We also were unaware that Mongolian "shots" are soup bowls, and you are expected to down it in one go … and that you cannot have just one.

Even for a girl raised on and below the Mason Dixon, drinking an entire bowl of vodka with just camel curd in my belly was not an easy feat, but I did it. After my turn on the soup bowl full of vodka, I got up.

"Where are you going?" Timur asked.

"Um, to the car?" I said.

"We are not done!" he said. "You cannot leave until the bottle is finished — it would be rude." There were eight of us in the circle. Which meant two bowls for me. 

I figured I could handle it, until the neighbors started bringing out bottles of their own.

Eight (ish?) bottles of vodka and one Lionel Richie dance party later, our new best friends finally ran out of vodka and we were allowed to leave, with our dignity barely intact. For your enjoyment, my crew kept rolling — so you, too, can experience a night of Mongolian hazing. Camel cuddling was also involved but thankfully not captured on camera. (Ed note: One should never attempt to cuddle semiwild feral camels unless extremely drunk. And even then it should probably be avoided.)

Thankfully, our driver, Moogi, doesn't drink and we could actually leave — else I and my crew and our pickled livers might still be in that ger. 

But you've been warned. When traveling in Outer Mongolia, bring your strongest hangover concoction. You'll need it.

Thanks to Intrepid Travel for showing us such a good time in Mongolia!

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