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Monday, November 2, 2015
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MATD closed -3.3% Thursday on the announcement to 3.625p, Friday closed flat
LONDON, October 29 (Alliance News) - Petro Matad Ltd Thursday said it is pleased with the data quality that has been observed to date at its Blocks IV and V in Central Mongolia.
The Mongolia focussed oil exploration company has been undertaking an airborne full tensor gradiometry data survey, combined with a high resolution aeromagnetics, on the block, in order to gather 2D seismic data.
The combined survey, which was contracted to Bell Geospace, has been successfully completed within budget and ahead of plan, it said. It has acquired 22,000 line kilometres of data, over an area of 11,000 kilometres squared.
Petro Matad said it was committed to an exploration drilling programme in 2016, and expects prospect generation arising from the interpretation of this new data and existing data to be completed by the end of March 2016.
"I am very pleased with the operational progress being achieved and the data quality observed to date in the company's FTG and seismic acquisition programmes. I am very confident that once the Petro Matad team has integrated the new data with the existing database a number of exciting drillable prospects will emerge, with exploration drilling on the best commencing during the third quarter of 2016," said Chairperson Enkhmaa Davaanyam said in a statement.
Shares in Petro Matad were flat at 3.75 pence Thursday morning.
ERD closed +3.85% Friday to C$0.135
This might be the most exciting investment in Mongolia...
October 29 (MIBG) Erdene Resource Development Corp. is one Mongolia's premier exploration companies.
The principals have been actively exploring Mongolia for nearly 20 years, in search of world class projects.
In 2011, Erdene identified and pegged land in the country's mineral rich province of Bayankhongor, not far from some of the world's largest copper/gold deposits.
Today, this area is home to Erdene's wholly owned Altan Nar discovery, a project that has proven drill hole after drill hole to deliver impressive results.
Here's the best part...
Altan Nar isn't alone. In the most recent company release, Erdene announced the discovery of high grade mineralization near Altan Nar in what they're calling Bayan Khundii, meaning rich valley.
Together, Bayan Khundii and Altan Nar represent an incredibly exciting gold project, unlike anything else in Mongolia right now.
To recognize this additional information, and to properly represent what we believe is a fair valuation of Erdene, MIBG is updating our equity research on the company.
We'll be publishing the updated research next week.
For now, watch Erdene CEO, Peter Akerley discuss the company's most recent successes in Mongolia:
As always, if you have any comments or questions don't hesitate to get in touch.
Link to post (and video)
Turquoise Hill to Announce Third Quarter Financial Results on November 5, 2015
VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - October 29, 2015) - - Turquoise Hill Resources will announce its third quarter financial results on Thursday, November 5, 2015 after markets close in North America.
The Company will host a conference call and webcast to discuss third quarter results on Friday, November 6, 2015 at 11:00 am EST/8:00 am PST. The conference call can be accessed through the following dial-in details:
SouthGobi Resources Announces Update to TSX Delisting Review and Financing Initiatives, and Third Quarter 2015 Financial Results Announcement Date
HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - Nov. 1, 2015) - SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX:SGQ) (HKSE:1878) (the "Company" or "SouthGobi") today announces the extension to the Toronto Stock Exchange (the "TSX") delisting review until November 23, 2015.
As announced by the Company on October 5, 2015, the Continued Listing Committee of TSX (the "Committee") would make a decision regarding the Company's listing status and whether the Company has met the listing requirements of the TSX by October 28, 2015. On October 30, 2015, the Committee has notified the Company of its decision to extend the delisting review until November 23, 2015.
Short-term Bridge Loan - The Company executed a US$10 million bridge loan agreement with an Asian based private equity fund and drew down $6.3 million on October 30, 2015. The Company expects to draw down the remaining $3.7 million by mid-November 2015.
Turquoise Hill Payment Deferral - The Company and Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. ("Turquoise Hill") entered into a deferral agreement on October 27, 2015, in which Turquoise Hill agreed to defer the repayment of the shareholder loan and other payables to April 22, 2016 ("Limited Deferral Date") and the Limited Deferral Date shall be extended to October 24, 2016 subject to completion of a potential share sales transaction by Turquoise Hill.
Third quarter 2015 financial results announcement date
The board of directors of the Company will meet on November 12, 2015 to consider and approve the third quarter 2015 financial results of the Company and its subsidiaries. These financial results will be released on November 12, 2015.
Cash at end of quarter A$2.1 million. AKM closed flat Friday at A$0.016
Aspire Mining Quarterly Activities Report
October 30, Aspire Mining Ltd. (ASX:AKM) --
Northern Railways Investment Update
• Concession Agreement executed between Northern Railways LLC and Government of Mongolia granting the exclusive right for Northern Railways to build and operate the Erdenet to Ovoot railway project over 30 years before transfer of ownership.
• Cabinet resolution passed to grant Licence to Construct the Erdenet to Ovoot railway to Northern Railways.
• First Stage Rail Bankable Feasibility Study commenced for the Erdenet to Ovoot railway project.
• Scoping studies assessing the connection of the Erdenet to Ovoot railway through to the Russian town of Kyzyl confirms that there are no technical obstacles to building an efficient, high capacity rail connection.
• The Erdenet to Ovoot alignment is part of the new "Economic Corridor" connecting China and Russia, through Mongolia.
Nuurstei Exploration Update
• Non-core drilling completed at Nuurstei extending strike length of correlated seams to 1.6 km (from 1.2 km).
• Infill drilling results are being compiled to define a maiden JORC compliant coal resource.
• Noble Group confirms the exercise of its option to acquire 10% of Northern Railways LLC.
• Medical equipment donated to hospitals in Khuvsgul province in collaboration with Mongolian Red Cross and Rotary Club of Osborne Park.
XAM last traded A$0.15, October 29
Xanadu Mines Quarterly Activities Report
New drilling confirms continuity of high-grade mineralisation
· Drilling continues to increase scale and potential of this large copper-gold system with multiple near-surface centres;
· Diamond drill hole KHDDH379 intersects longest intersection within the tourmaline breccia mineralisation:
- 484m grading 0.57% Cu and 0.32g/t Au (0.78 CuEq) from 186m, including;
- 158.40 grading 0.80% Cu and 0.24g/t Au (1.25 CuEq) from 342m;
· Broad step-out drilling (KHDDH378) 650m east of current resource around the middle of tourmaline breccia clips the edge of mineralisation;
· Tourmaline breccia has strong potential to host large scale high-grade copper-gold mineralisation.
Trenching significantly extends surface mineralisation at Tsagaan Sudal
· New trench results extend the strike (up to 300m) of higher-grade surface mineralisation;
· Trench KHTR056 intersects significant copper-gold mineralisation:
- 122m grading 0.49% Cu and 0.75g/t Au (0.98 CuEq);
· Trench KHTR061 intersects significant surface copper-gold mineralisation:
- 116m grading 0.72% Cu and 0.35g/t Au (0.95 CuEq);
· Continued exploration success on many fronts around current resources continues to add significant insight and value;
· Access to near surface higher-grade, gold-rich mineralisation will have significant implications for potential future project development.
Drill planning currently underway
· A technical review incorporating new results is currently underway;
· Kharmagtai geological model is being updated allowing prioritisation of targets.
· Current cash and equivalents of A$2.5m at 30 September 2015.
October 29 -- Xanadu Mines Ltd (ASX: XAM – "Xanadu") is pleased to provide shareholders with an update of exploration results from a strong third quarter.
Cash at end of quarter A$216K. WOF closed flat Friday at A$0.01
Wolf Petroleum Quarterly Activities Report
October 30 -- Wolf Petroleum Limited ("Wolf" or "the Company") is pleased to provide an update on its activities for the September quarter.
SB Block Farm out Update
Wolf Petroleum has been negotiating Farm Out Agreement terms with a potential strategic partner on the SB block and talks are at an advanced stage.
The final financial terms have not yet been agreed, however the Company will update its shareholders and provide detailed terms on the Farm Out Agreement once the potential strategic partner finalises financing plans and fully confirms payment schedules.
The Company is making all efforts to increase its shareholder value and not dilute any WOF shares at the current market price.
Wolf Petroleum remains the largest petroleum acreage holder in Mongolia with over 18 million acres under license in three highly prospective petroleum blocks.
BU and Jinst Block Update
The Company has completed preparation works to apply for a production sharing contract ("PSC") on the BU and Jinst blocks and is planning to apply for a PSC in the following quarter.
Cash at end of quarter A$721K. TPO last traded A$0.18 on 27 October
Tian Poh Quarterly Activities Report
October 30, Tian Poh Resources Ltd. (ASX:TPO) --
• Signed an agreement to purchase Modun Resources LLC in Mongolia, the 100% owner of the Nuurst Thermal Coal Project, from Modun Resources Limited (ASX: MOU). Transaction has since been completed.
• The Nuurst Thermal Coal Project has JORC (2004) Reportable Coal Resource of 478.3 million tonnes (326.1 million tonnes Measured, 103.8 million tonnes Indicated, 48.4 million tonnes Inferred). It is located 120km south east of Ulaanbaatar. The Company intends to immediately commence planning development of the Project.
• Completed 1,000m of due diligence drilling at the Khuvyn Khar Porphyry Complex, related to the potential acquisition of an interest in the Zuun Mod Porphyry Molybdenum-Copper Deposit from Erdene Resources Development Corp (TSX: ERD).
The Company's licenses are grouped into five project areas across Mongolia (Figure 1):
• Amulet Project in the Govi-Altai Province;
• Mandal-Urghukh Project in the Umnugovi Province;
• Khangailand Project also in the Umnugovi Province;
• Huabei Kuangye Project in the Bayankhongor Province; and
• Nuurst Project in the Tov Province of Central Mongolia.
The Company also has an option to acquire 51% of the Zuun Mod Project located in the Bayankhongor Province (Figure 1).
Activities during the quarter
To assist with funding of the Company's exploration programs and acquisition of the Nuurst Thermal Coal Project, the Company raised US$ 2,070,000 through the issue of convertible notes ("Notes") on the following terms:
Guildford Coal September 2015 Quarterly Report
November 2 -- October Guildford Coal Limited ("Guildford" or the "Company") (ASX: GUF) is pleased to present its quarterly activities report for the period ended 30 September, 2015.
• 2015 Strategic review implementation progressing across operational and corporate levels
• Brisbane corporate office closure and reduction of staffing levels as part of cost reduction plan
• Re - branding announced to transition Guildford Coal Limited to TerraCom Limited, subject to shareholder approval
• Ramping up to 1.5Mtpa annualised production for Baruun Noyon Uul (BNU) coking coal mine in Mongolia
• Direct mining costs of sub US$2 per cubic metre of total material achieved at BNU during period
• Excellent safety record maintained at the BNU mine, during the Quarter with no lost time incidents
• Mining License obtained for the recently acquired Khar Servegen Project adjacent to the BNU Mining license.
• Mining Development Lease approved for the Springsure Project in Queensland, Australia
Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. September 2015 Monthly Letter to Shareholders
Toronto, Ontario, October 29 (FSCwire) - Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. (YAK – TSXV and MNGGF – USA), ("MGG") or ("the Company") a commercial real estate investment and development company participating in the dynamic growth of the Mongolian economy announces the release of its September 2015 Shareholder Letter.
September 2015 Shareholder Letter
To the Shareholders of Mongolia Growth Group Ltd.,
In September 2015, MGG's core commercial property portfolio* experienced a same-store rental decline of 12.3% relative to September 2014 on properties owned 12 months or longer, as measured in Mongolian Togrog (MNT). Total billed revenue for September 2015 was 248.9 million MNT, as compared to 247.6 million MNT in September of 2014 or a 0.5% increase.** The occupancy rate for the core portfolio in August of 2015 was 93.9% including an occupancy rate of 97.1% for core retail properties and an occupancy rate of 89.7% for core office properties***.
September Revenue & Tuguldur Update
During September, we experienced a slight increase in revenue when compared to August, our second sequential monthly increase in revenue. Last month, I noted that office rents in Ulaanbaatar were rapidly declining; this trend has continued to accelerate as more supply enters the market and multiple firms cease operations or dramatically downsize. We have now noticed this trend extending to the retail market where rents have also suddenly taken a large down-leg as businesses close up due to lack of revenue. Even retail properties in the most trafficked locations in Ulaanbaatar are being affected. Fortunately, there isn't as much new supply that will impact the retail market, like it has with the office market. However, retail relies on customer turnover, which is clearly declining rapidly.
Tuguldur Development Update
For much of 2015, we have been planning to expand our existing Tuguldur property (TC1) and develop Tuguldur Stage 2 (TC2) as a large retail and entertainment center attached to the existing Tuguldur Center. To date, we have spent considerably to divert various underground utilities away from the development site along with acquiring the majority of the statutory approvals and permits needed for the TC2 development. However, during the year, it has become clear that the economy of Mongolia is not currently in a condition to absorb a development of the size that was previously contemplated.
Over the past few months, we have reviewed our options and chosen to go with a smaller facility of approximately 4,000 square meters of space, producing approximately 3,100 meters of usable space. We believe that this project will cost approximately US $3 million and have a much higher return on capital compared to the previous larger structure—even with the substantially reduced rents that exist today in the market. To date, we have received strong indications of interest from various tenants that want to lease space and we are working to secure funding so that we can break ground in early 2016. Despite the current state of the Mongolian economy, I remain convinced that the economy will ultimately turn around and that investing in Mongolia at this junction is a prudent move.
Mongolian Economic Update
Since the most recent letter:
· Centerra Gold and the Mongolian government agree in principle to set a 3% special purpose royalty instead of a 34% government stake in Gatsuurt mine, according to statement published on Mongolian government website.
o 3% royalty subject to adjustment based on gold price; final decision on entire agreement requires parliamentary approval
o Size of initial investment $230m, lower than earlier estimate of $350m (Bloomberg)
· The World Economics Headline Sales Managers' Index (SMI) for Mongolia stood at 36.1, down from 38.6 in September. This indicated a sharper deterioration in business conditions that was the lowest level since March. The index has now been in negative territory for the past twenty months. (World Economics)
· Business confidence remained negative in October linked to weaker domestic demand, high interest rates, uncertainty over commodity prices, and falling direct investment. The Business Confidence Index posted 34.8, down from 40.3 in September, the weakest level since March. According to panellists, business conditions over the coming months are anticipated to deteriorate cold winter weather is expected to have a further impact on demand and logistics. (World Economics)
· As of this week, the General Taxation Authority of Mongolia suspended financial transaction activities of 8,418 legal entities. The spokeswoman of the GTA stated that 3,000 entities had their accounts frozen due to outstanding payables to the Social Insurance Agency and a further 5,418 legal entities had their accounts frozen due to outstanding payments to the General Taxation Authority of Mongolia. At the end of Q2 2015, there were about 120,000 legal entities registered and operating in Mongolia. (MIBG)
We look forward to updating you again on our progress and new developments in the Mongolian economy next month.
MSE Trading Report: Top 20 +0.69%, ALL +0.37%, Turnover ₮17.5 Million Stocks
October 30 (MSE) --
MSE Weekly: Top 20 -0.54%, ALL -0.42%, ₮811.2 Million Stocks, ₮8.7 Billion T-Bills
October 30 (MSE) --
Historic low ₮1,997.26/USD set September 11
BoM MNT Rates: Friday, October 30 Close
MNT vs USD (blue), CNY (red) in last 1 year:
BoM FX auction: USD, CNY bid, CNY ask offers declined, accepts $25m USD, $14.3m MNT, CNY30m swap offers
October 29 (BoM) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on October 29th, 2015 the BoM has received bid offers of USD 5.0 million in a rate between MNT 1989.55-1992.50 and CNY 9.1 million in a rate between MNT 312.30-312.75 and also received selling bid offers of CNY 12.0 million in a rate between MNT 312.98-131.00 from local commercial banks. The BoM did not accept any offers.
On October 29th, 2015, The BoM has received USD Swap agreement selling bid offer equivalent to USD 25.0 million and MNT Swap agreement buying bid offer equivalent to USD 14.3 million and bid offers of CNY 30.0 million Swap agreement from local commercial banks and the BoM has accepted the offers.
BoM issues ₮151.5 billion 1-week bills at 13%, total outstanding -6.7% to ₮606.5 billion
October 30 (BoM) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 151.5 billion at a weighted interest rate of 13.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
Parliament finally amends Amnesty Law, no pardons for corruption, abuse of power
October 30 (infomongolia.com) The State Great Khural (Parliament of Mongolia) finally adopted the amendments to the Law on Pardon after four consecutive sessions on October 29, 2015 at its Autumn plenary session with 91.2 percent of the vote.
The law will take effect on its adoption date. Thus, the Government of Mongolia plans to release around 1,700 citizens from the prison according to the newly adopted law.
The Law on Pardon was originally submitted to the Parliament on occasion of 25th Anniversary of the establishment of permanent functioning parliament in Mongolia.
During past sessions, the parliament could not adopt the amnesty law due to the Presidential veto and some conflicts between political parties with seats in the parliament. Later, required draft amendment was prepared and submitted to the Parliament for discussion.
Protesting parties demanded not to grant amnesty to cases such as corruption and abuse of authority. Moreover, President Ts.Elbegdorj had issued veto on the law with the same reason.
During the discussion held at Autumn plenary session on October 29, most of members of the parliament supported the exclusion of corruption, abuse of authority, abuse of state budget, and illegal capitalization cases from amnesty. Therefore, these cases will not be granted amnesty.
Long-awaited Amnesty Law amendment approved – UB Post, October 29
Transparency International Chair asks Mongolia Prime Minister to reject Amnesty Law
28 October 2015 (Transparency International) --
RE: Rejection of proposed Amnesty law and criminal procedure amendments
Dear Prime Minister Chimed, Dear Mr. Zandaakhuu,
Transparency International is writing to respectfully ask that you reject the proposed Amnesty law and amendments to the code of criminal procedure, and to express our deep concern that such changes would severely undermine the positive progress Mongolia has made in tackling corruption.
Mongolia has shown great leadership and willingness to address corruption and its damaging effects to society through the establishment of the Independent Agency Against Corruption (IAAC) in 2007; joining more than 125 other Anti-Corruption Agencies (ACAs) around the world, 35 in the Asia Pacific region alone. This growth signifies an identification of ACAs as indispensable partners in the fight against corruption. Equally worthy of praise are the ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the ratification of Mongolia's anti-corruption law.
Given Mongolia's strong efforts to stop corruption in recent years, Transparency International and its chapter in Mongolia respectfully ask you to reject the Amnesty Law that includes provisions granting amnesty to those under investigation for corruption. The law would have the effect that 45 out of the 55 cases the IAAC is currently investigating would be closed and amnesty would be granted to the accused – potentially sending a worrying message to the Mongolian people that the corrupt will not be brought to justice. We also ask you to reject the Amendments to the laws regulating the public prosecutor's office and code of criminal procedure which would dismantle the IAAC. These changes to the law contradict Mongolia's recent strong efforts to combat corruption and would reverse important efforts to stop corruption.
Ahead of the 29th of October discussions on these very important legal issues we ask that you consider the best path forward for the people of Mongolia and keep the fight against corruption at the top of your agenda.
In collaboration with Transparency International the government can support the efforts to fight corruption and improve the effectiveness, performance, and independence of the IAAC. The 110 chapters in the Transparency International movement strongly believe that there should be no impunity for the abuse of power and that the corrupt must be held to account. We passed a resolution in our 2015 Annual Membership Meeting against amnesty laws in September that named Mongolia.
Therefore, we respectfully call on you to show your support in stopping these unacceptable laws and provisions before the Mongolian parliament.
Chair, Transparency International
Mogi: does this include local elections, or just parliament, or parliament/city elections?
2016 election estimated to cost ₮14.6 billion in budget bill
October 30 (gogo.mn) According to "The "State Budget Law-2016", the cost of running the 2016 parliamentary election has been estimated as MNT 14.6 billion. The director of the General Election Commission, D.Sodnomtseren stated: "According to our initial estimation, the organizing cost of the election was projected as MNT 20 billion. We reduced this amount to MNT 16.5 billion, taking into consideration the economic difficulties, which is MNT 300 million less than the 2012 election cost. We submitted this estimation to the Ministry of Finance and following discussion led to reduce the election budget further to MNT 14.6 billion. For this reason, we have officially proposed that there should be no reduction to the election budget".
Election to cost MNT 14.6 billion – news.mn, October 29
Mogi: the 2015 budget amendment was passed on Friday
Parliament reviews 2015 budget amendments with political parties weighing in
October 29 (UB Post) A joint meeting of political parties in Parliament was held on Wednesday, where Members of Parliament held discussions on amendments to the 2015 budget and political parties introduced their requests and conclusions on the amendments.
DP: We support the initiative to deduct the salaries of politicians by 30 percent
Following discussions of amendments to the 2015 state budget, Chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) faction in Parliament B.Garamgaibaatar expressed the party's position on salary reductions for higher ranking authorities, and introduced the party's requests and conclusions on budget amendments.
B.Garamgaibaatar noted during his speech that the ruling DP completely supports the government's initiative to reduce service prices, current expenses, salaries, and the planned purchasing of budgetary organizations, with the exception of budgets related to harvesting, winter preparations, preparation for natural disasters, keeping public order, national security, and healthcare.
The Chairman added, "In particular, we support the idea to reduce the salaries of politicians and the state's higher ranking officials by 30 percent during a time of economic crisis… Mongolia is facing demands to amend the 2015 state budget as 2015 budget income is to be lower than expected, based on the main indicators of 2015 macro-economic assumptions, the conditions of the foreign and domestic economies, and the volume and prices of exported mineral products.
"It is time to live off of what we earn. In the past decade, Parliament has estimated budget income unrealistically, spent wastefully, and approved budget income and expenditure submitted by the Cabinet, augmenting it by seven to 15 percent, which has led us to the current negative consequences.
"We [the Democratic Party] now reminds Parliament to approve the state's income in accordance with income and expenditure submitted by Cabinet. The Democratic Party supports the idea to estimate the budget's expenses and income realistically, and to hold the deficit of the 2015 compound budget at five percent of GDP.
"Under the leadership of the Mongolian People's Party, the budget deficit of 2011 reached 5.8 percent and 6.8 percent of GDP in 2012. Meanwhile, the DP is operating with a budget renovation policy to reduce budget deficit to five percent of GDP in 2015, 3.3 percent of GDP in 2016, and to make it zero percent of GDP in 2017. The World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and many other international banking and financial organizations approve of the renovation budget policy.
"In previous years, the government used to borrow from commercial banks devoted to entities in order to recover the budget deficit, leaving no credit space for private entities. The DP believes that it would be correct to end that situation by approving the budget with no deficit and giving opportunities to private entities to obtain credit of one to two billion MNT from the financial market.
"During the discussions of the 2014 state budget, the DP laid the beginning of budget reforms by requesting initiatives to inevitably renew the policy and situation that leads to the state's wasteful spending and oversized current expenses of state organizations."
Justice Coalition: Deductions from salaries will increase poverty
Chairman of the Justice Coalition (the merging of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party and Mongolian National Democratic Party) D.Terbishdagva introduced the coalition's conclusions on the 2015 budget amendments, stating that the coalition believes salary deductions will negatively affect people's lives.
"Deducting salaries during a time when economic growth has slowed down, the foreign currency rate has been tightened, and the purchasing capacity of citizens has deteriorated will negatively affect the economy and financial system, as well as cause great financial pressure for state servants and their families, who are covered by mortgage loans," stressed MP D.Terbishdagva. The MP added that this decision could become a strong factor in pushing people to poverty.
The coalition also reached the decision that the issue of mass deductions to the salaries of political and state officials that would be implemented under the draft budget amendment, calling to reduce current expenses by 43.9 billion MNT, needs to be reviewed.
The Justice Coalition believes it is correct to mobilize other sources of income, considering that the draft amendment to the 2015 state budget estimated that the budget's deficit would reach over 900 billion MNT by the end of the year. Coalition members believe that generating around 400 billion MNT for the budget by collecting accrued arrears is not a realistic option.
"In order to create better conditions to attend parliamentary elections and make preparations for elections, lots of state servants and citizens visit and travel to foreign countries with state money. This case will be repeated. For instance, the 2015 draft budget amendment states includes spending for foreign appointments and visits by 12 percent, or nearly 3.8 trillion MNT.
"Current expenses – the spending for furnishing and items for state organizations – also has to be increased by 12 percent, or 2.9 trillion MNT, in accordance with the 2015 draft budget amendment, which proves that wasteful budget spending has been increased. Draft developers did not work properly to improve budget accountability and discipline," noted D.Terbishdagva.
D.Terbishdagva also requested that some more unfruitful and insignificant investments included in the 2015 state budget be withdrawn, believing that more money can be saved from ending financing for insignificant projects. The state budget for 2015 includes spending of 381.6 billion MNT for 428 projects. With changes to the budget the number of projects was reduced to 422 with investment of 356.4 billion MNT.
MPP: Salaries should be increased by 80 percent instead of deducted by 30
At yesterday's meeting of political parties in Parliament, member of the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) D.Khayankhyarvaa delivered the party's requests and conclusions on draft amendments to the 2015 state budget. MPP members have taken the position that policy holders should increase the salaries of state servants by 80 percent instead of deducting them by 30 percent, blaming the DP for not keeping their promise to the public.
D.Khayankhyarvaa went on to say, "The draft amendment of the 2015 state budget calls for reducing budget expenses by 530 billion MNT. Citizens have been tightening their belts since 2012, limiting their consumption, working to get over the economic crisis. Meanwhile, the luxury of cabinet ministers and state authorities has been excessive, causing wasteful spending. Since the implementation of glass accounts, the wasteful spending of state organizations and state owned entities has been revealed to the public and is frustrating them.
"Meanwhile, the government is considering saving 1.8 billion MNT by cutting the salaries of state servants by 30 percent, spending 12.7 billion MNT for green trash bags, 8 billion MNT on an unused railbus, and spending 1.2 billion for nonrefundable funds, all unveiled through the glass account policy. The nation is opposing that decision, that spending. We [the Mongolian People's Party] are standing firm on our position that we are against the decision to reduce state servants' salaries.
"The financial capacity of government has become extremely deteriorated. Since July 2014, Mongolia hasn't been able to sell the desired amounts of bonds released in the domestic market. We hope that lawmakers are comprehending the risk that, from the end of this year, a situation might be faced where the government may not be able to grant salaries, pensions, and welfare on time, in the case that Mongol Bank does not buy the government's bonds.
"In order to get votes from the public in the 2012 elections, the DP made a promise to increase salaries and pensions, adjusting them to the inflation rate and labor performance. In the last three years, commodity prices went up by 80 percent, and the tugrug's purchasing capacity fell by 40 percent. For example, in 2012, a widely consumed loaf of bread cost 650 MNT, but now it costs 1,150 MNT. The situation has worsened, but the salaries of state servants has increased by only around 10 percent.
"MPP members asked to allocate 90 billion MNT in the 2015 state budget for the salary and pension increases, but policy holders left our request out of developing draft amendments to the 2015 state budget. Even more, they put all the blame on the economic crisis and submit an initiative to deduct the salaries of state servants by 30 percent. According to the [ruling DP's] sworn promises, the time has come to increase salaries by 80 percent instead of deducting them by 30 percent.
"The MPP faction in Parliament is demanding not to decrease the salaries of state servants. During the 25-year history of Mongolia, since shifting to a free market, no initiative has been made to decrease salaries. Between 1996 and 2000, when [the DP] ruled the state, the salaries of state servants was held up for several months, failing to grant them on time. History is to be repeated. We advise that you learn from past mistakes and consider the initiatives submitted by MPP members."
MP Davaasuren: Cutting budget through politicization and populism is wrong
October 29 (UB Post) The following is an interview with independent Member of Parliament Ts.Davaasuren regarding timely issues related to 2015 budget amendment and 2016 budget projections.
Parliament had already finished discussing budget amendments by October last year. This year's budget has become troublesome, with several additional amendments. Can you comment on this?
Economic and fiscal challenges have been fueled by a political crisis. Politicians who are fired up with politics probably don't have time for fiscal issues. Most politicians, who consolidate their power by selling national resources, wouldn't be aware of the money shortage faced by the public. But they do seem to be concerned with wage, pension and tax issues. They're paying attention to the state budget only to decrease the taxes they pay, such as excise taxes. How can a good state budget be made with these approaches?
MPs are discussing structural changes to ministries and government offices. Is this an attempt to overcome economic difficulties?
Well, I wonder. I think that Mongolia can overcome the economic crisis and debt burdens by making agreements for strategic deposits, such as Oyu Tolgoi (OT) and Tamsag, by increasing yield percentage to the Mongolian side.
People were screaming that we were facing crisis and currency shortage last year. Yet exports, which was 4.2 billion USD in 2013, increased to 5.7 billion USD in 2014. When export is increasing, why is currency reserves declining, exchange rates falling, the economy becoming more dire, and why are we unable to repay debts? The reason is very simple. Mongolia is getting back only five to 24 percent of export income. The government is receiving merely five percent from sales revenue after reducing OT taxes for loan repayment.
The integrated budget for 2016 is 6.9 trillion MNT. OT is planning to make sales of 3.9 trillion MNT, which is equal to 56 percent of Mongolia's state budget. If we cut debt deductions from OT taxes, OT will provide only 2.6 percent of the 2016 state budget's revenue. Mongolia will be left with 20 percent gains from crude oil. Under these circumstances, we will not be able to overcome the economic crisis no matter how much we cut costs. The only way to get through the crisis is by making major mining agreements with foreign investors that are mutually beneficial, and recover lost revenue.
Policymakers explained that they expect the 2016 state budget to be directed to the private sector with a softer monetary policy. What should be done to make sure next year's budget doesn't face a deficit?
Will you join a political party during the next election? Or will you run as an independent?
At the moment, I'm fulfilling the expectations of my voters as an independent member. I will enquire about what I should do from them. Afterwards, I will make my decision.
Which political party do you think will win the 2016 election?
Political parties have lost public confident right now. Situations have probably become difficult especially for parties participating in the current government. They will have to take responsibility together. The party that realizes its situation first and regains public confidence will probably win the next election. But I doubt they'll be able to apologize, make a reform in time and regain the public confidence. It's most likely that public will seek an alternative option.
National Labor Party organizes demonstration against establishing Khalkh Gol Free Trade Zone
October 29 (UB Post) On October 28, Dornod Province residents and the National Labor Party demonstrated against government decree No.75 to establish a free trade zone in Khalkh Gol soum, at Chinggis Square.
The decree approved the use of 500,000 hectares of land in the Khalkh Gol river basin for an agricultural free zone.
The National Labor Party inspected the site after the government decree was issued. They analyzed the risks of the trade zone and whether other countries had similar zones with experts, and sent a report to the government. The party said that they still haven't received a response.
Khalkh Gol residents have said that the government should not experiment an agricultural free trade zone, which doesn't exist anywhere else in the world, on the land of Mongolia's ancestors.
"There are a few times a country has succeeded with the agricultural free trade zones and no country has built one on more than 2,500 hectares of land," they claimed.
The protestors warned that they will demonstrate until the government retracts the decree.
President Elbegdorj to visit to Khalkh soum as residents block Minister Burmaa's visit
October 30 (gogo.mn) The parliament approved 75th resolution on July 9, 2015, which is fundamental to establish free zone as agricultural region in Khalkh soum. This issue has been much discussed topic among the public.
Local citizens in Khalkh soum, Dornod province put up resistance against the establishment of the free zone in the area covering 500 thousand hectares in the soum.
Yesterday, Minister of Agriculture R.Burmaa and a working failed to hold meeting with local citizens for the purpose of delivering information in relation to the 75th resolution despite visiting to the region.
Local citizens organized the demonstration and blocked the entrance of officials to the area, holding signs saying "We will not give away our lands. We demand the 75th resolution to be terminated".
President of Ts.Elbegdorj plans to visit to the soum near future, in regards to the issue.
Mongolia seeks aid and loans in organizing ASEM11 in 2016
October 29 (UB Post) At the regular meeting of the national council organizing the 2016 Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit, chaired by Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg, council members discussed financing for transportation and communications during ASEM, as well as preparation for the airport to receive foreign delegates.
As of the first ten months of 2015, partial construction at Chinggis Khaan International Airport, the expansion of the airport's international passenger hall, construction of a new transit hall, and construction of nine new hangars for 4C model aircrafts is at 90 to 100 percent of completion. Some roads included in the travel routes of foreign delegates after their arrival in the city are to be renovated and improved with lighting and drainage systems. At the meeting, Justice Minister D.Dorligjav spoke about the decision to establish a new air traffic control center.
Expenses during ASEM and spending for preparations for the summit are being financed by the state budget, and the national council says it plans to resolve some financing with aid and loans from foreign countries.
According to preliminary registration, close to 4,000 foreign delegates, including the state heads of 51 countries, high ranking foreign parliamentarians, leaders of international organizations, and press correspondents, are to arrive in Ulaanbaatar next July to attend the ASEM Summit.
The summit is held to addresses political, economic, and cultural issues, with the objective of strengthening the relationship between Europe and Asia in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership.
MPP addresses mining sector development with experts at national forum
October 29 (UB Post) From October 26 to 30, the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) organized the national forum We Together, at the Independence Palace, to exchange views on problems faced by the mining sector and looking for solutions along with the sector's specialists and academics.
Chairman of the MPP M.Enkhbold presented opening remarks at the forum. Following the opening ceremony, Chairman of the Mongolian National Democratic Party M.Enkhsaikhan, Secretary of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party Ts.Sharavdorj, Chairman of the Civil Will Green Party S.Demberel, and Head of the Parliamentary group of the MPP S.Byambatsogt presented speeches.
Forum attendees touched upon issues concerning the nation's difficulties faced in the geology and exploration sectors, current foreign investment conditions in the mining sector, and the impacts of global price drops in minerals products in the country's economy. Attendees also shared opinions on possibilities for increasing competitiveness in the mining sector.
Doctor and Professor of the Economics School of National University of Mongolia Ch.Khashchuluun said, "We are left with piled dirt in the name of railway connecting Tavan Tolgoi to Gashuunsukhait. We still don't know what the great deal of money was spent on and where it went. We need to openly discuss whose rights and whose faults are behind this issue, and seek accountability and measures. Railway directed to the eastern regions is not beneficial for Mongolia at all. I believe that this infrastructure was ordered by foreigners."
Former Minister of Geology and Mining Ts.Khurts said that Oyu Tolgoi's copper smelting plant issue needed to be intensified, and underlined that Mongolia needs to start independently processing and smelting copper. He added that the government needs to pay attention to building a non-ferrous metallurgy complex.
MP Ya.Sodbaatar said that the MPP will take into consideration suggestions from specialists and scientists in the mining sector, and reflect them in the party's action plan for 2016. He promised that the MPP will focus on managing the mining sector properly in the future.
After discussions concerning the nation's mining sector, the national forum continued with sub-conferences to discuss issues faced by the country's banking and financial sectors, industrialization and agriculture, infrastructure, environment, and green development.
Erdenet Mining Corp threatens to sue media over false reports
October 29 (infomongolia.com) The Administration of Erdenet Mining Corporation (EMC) gave an explanation on recent news published on some media in Mongolia.
According to the news, Russian government has decided to transfer its 49 percent of EMC to Rostec Cooperation (formerly Rostekhnologii, Russian Technologies). This decision can bring EMC under economic sanctions of European Union (EU) taken against Russian Federation.
At the press conference on October 28, 2015, the representatives of Erdenet Mining Corporation said: "Erdenet Mining Corporation surely faces certain economic difficulties due to copper price drop at global market, but our company operates as usual thanks to measures taken by our company's administration towards current difficulties.
For example. Erdenet Mining Corporation could fulfill production plan in first nine months of this year and paid 219.5 billion MNT tax and social insurance to the government.
In addition, we could save around 140 billion MNT (Tugrug) in past two years by reducing fixed cost of copper per ton.
Therefore, our company warns media agencies in Mongolia not to publish news without any proof as it can create a false image that can harm company's future. If this situation continues further, we have to sue media companies that published such news related to our company.
In addition, Rostec is Russian state-owned corporation that consists of around 600 companies. EU's economic sanctions imposed on Rostec only applies to companies holding share above 50 percent. Therefore, EMC will not be effected by EU's sanctions on Rostec."
Information from "Erdenet Copper Plant" – news.mn, October 29
"HUSUG" brand unveils collections to public acclaim
October 30 (gogo.mn) "Husug" brand which released their products at last week through social media and received many positive feedbacks from the public has three collections of more than 20 types of products.
Former International NGO employee and economist A.Namuun and costume, cashmere and wool knitting designer A.Sarnai jointly initiated the project.
A.Sarnai said that as a professional designer, I am very excited my dream of creating Mongolian products with unique design and pattern came true and became good deeds helping others.
We interviewed with the founders of "Husug" brand A.Namuun and A.Sarnai about the brand, the production and future goals.
-Even though your products were introduced in last week, you have been receiving words of encouragement through social media. Let`s start out interview with the goal of "Husug" brand?
-Currently, everyone is talking about supporting domestic production, increasing export and improving economy. We started with the aim to contribute to our country by creating basic products and released our first collection in cooperation with women doing housework.
Our products are being created thanks to numerous people's contributions, including garment, jewelry and souvenir industry, Stay-at-Home moms, skilled women interested to increase their income and disabled women.
-How did you find out the idea for an initial product?
-I am studying Ph.D in China, with the thesis work on "Opportunity to expand Mongolian agricultural market or to estimate by the gravitational model". In scope of my research, I attended international training named "Social Enterprise" held in Italy. While meeting with international social enterprisers and watching their presentations there, I was really motivated to develop this sector in Mongolia. Social Enterprise refers to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being by any business operation. In other word, it is described as activity of "a positive environmental impact "
Although creators gain profits from their innovative products and services, other stakeholders including all people involved in the creation also benefit from the business, with contributions to environment and social well-being.
It is also associated with the operation of our "Eureka Young Designers Association" NGO with the objective of supporting people doing home production or creating Mongolian products on the design and technology, contributing to support of foreign trade. Thus, we found out the idea to establish "Husug"' brand.
Experiment and research on product have started from October, 2013 and lasted for two years.
-How many products have you produced currently?
-We produce over ten types of products including notebook and mobile phone cases, wallets, iPad and laptop cases, eyeglass cases. Three collections have been released so far under "Husug" project.
Collection named as Lotus includes religious decorations such as Nepal stone and Dharma drum.
Collection named as "Hunnu" was inspired by the upper flap of a Hunnu Deel.
Our third collection is decorated with yin and yang, the main symbol of the Feng Shui.
-It is commendable that you are offering an opportunity to earn income for disabled women and stay-at-home mothers. How many employees do you have?
-We have 15 employees as ten out of them are working from home. One of them is a really good sewer but has hearing problem. The disabled or women leading households usually work in our company. Namely, two-thirds of our employees are female-headed households which may be considered as noteable and worrisome data.
During the international training, I introduced my research to international youths and received many positive feedbacks from them. After the presentation, many people advised me as the participant from India inspired me by telling the story about same organization operate in India - their female employees introduced their products used traditional patterns and decorations to the world market and now became the main exporting body of their country. It seemed praiseworthy to me that many female-headed households stand behind such world acknowledged products.
-Our readers may be interested in the prices for the products.
-Our products are required of handmade and delicate works. We initially aimed to produce quality products that meet export standards. Prices for iPad cases is at MNT 35000-42000, prices for wallet is at MNT 38000-45000 and prices for notebook cover is ranging between MNT 25000-35000.
Let`s imagine that one company to purchase gifts for guests worth MNT 3.5 million. If it buys a pen from China, the money will go to China. If it purchases our products, it will invest to our employees.
Prices for our products is not expensive compared to our efforts of creating products.
-Could you share your further goals with us?
-"Husug" brand has slogan of "Endless inspiration of Nomad". Therefore, design idea of products is never ending and we have planned to increase our collection and will use livestock raw materials such as hides and skins, leather, felt, wool and cashmere.
Right now we are cooperating with "MR" brand on leather and felt combined collection. Further we should be glad because of cooperating with industries which produce Mongolian raw materials to finished products and aimed to increase Mongolian export.
We have recently introduced our products to the public and we are very pleased that the public is giving us great encouragement and calling for each other to support national products.
However, at this time of economic difficulty, I want not only people to call for each other to use Mongolian brands but also organizations and companies to prefer purchasing from Mongolia than abroad to get profits remain in local economy.
-Thank you for the interview. Good luck to you.
IFC Hosts Corporate Governance Forum with CGDC to Improve Disclosure in Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, October 29, 2015—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is hosting the eighth annual Corporate Governance Forum in Ulaanbaatar today in partnership with the Corporate Governance Development Center (CGDC) to raise standards of disclosure and transparency among Mongolian companies.
This year's half-day forum examines Mongolia's disclosure and reporting practices and shares global best practices and trends in these areas. More than 100 participants from Mongolian listed entities and state-owned companies have attended the forum where they discuss the challenges and opportunities in corporate reporting and the quality of annual reports. Numerous studies have shown that companies with good governance typically make better decisions, perform better, and are more attractive to investors.
"We will focus on issues of disclosure and transparency, which is most important for good corporate governance of companies," says Tsend-Ayush Tuvshintur, Chief Executive Officer of CGDC. "Mongolian companies need to understand the benefits of better reporting."
Many Mongolian companies still do not produce annual reports, and those who do need to improve their quality. To raise standards, CGDC says it will organize an annual-report competition in cooperation with the Financial Regulatory Commission and the State Property Committee this year.
"Companies in emerging markets, including Mongolia, face similar challenges in terms of insufficient disclosure, but the need for disclosure and transparency will continue to rise due to tighter regulations and investors' demand," says Tuyen D. Nguyen, Resident Representative for IFC in Mongolia. "This forum is another step in the right direction."
In addition to hosting the forum, IFC is supporting CGDC over the next three years to develop training programs for local consultants, deliver corporate-governance assessments for companies, and promote industry and public dialogues to encourage wider adoption of best practices such as proper public disclosure and investor protection.
Since 2009, IFC has supported Mongolia's efforts to strengthen corporate governance. Corporate governance scorecards were developed in 2013 for Mongolia's 20 largest listed companies, benchmarking Mongolia's current practices to global standards. Improvements in related-party disclosures have helped Mongolia rise in the global Doing Business rankings with respect to protection of minority investors. According to the 2016 Doing Business survey, the country ranked 56th in terms of the ease of doing business globally, up three places from a year ago.
IFC's Corporate Governance Program in East Asia and the Pacific is funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland.
Chinggis Bond-financed Sonsgolon road opens the public
October 30 (news.mn) On 28th October, the official opening of a new 5.5 km highway in Sonsgolon took place. The width of the new road is 24 meters and it has four lanes. There are also 1.5 meter-wide bike paths and one-meter wide pavements on either side. The companies responsible for the construction noted that the new road is planned to have a 50-60 years operational lifespan. Comparing to other roads, this highway has 26 cm thick concrete casting. Also, every components of this road has been made in Mongolia. The highway has been financed by Chinggis Bonds to the value of MNT 23 billion.
Photo report from the tallest building in UB
October 29 (gogo.mn) Ulaanbaatar city is expanding year by year and being surrounded by numerous buildings including the tallest glass buildings to old European buildings. One of them is Shangri-La which is being constructed in the heart of UB city with the height of 140 meter. Our report team have visited there at last weekend and delivering you the photo report which shows the entire look of UB.
History of UB: From Urgoo to Khuree to Ulaanbaatar
October 29 (news.mn) Today is the 376th anniversary of the Mongolian Capital - Ulaanbaatar.
Ulaanbaatar is located between the four ancient and venerated mountains: Bayanzurkh, Bogd-Khan, Songinohairhan, and Chingeltei, and also located in the wide basin of the River-Tuul at the southern end of the Khan-Khentii mountainous area.
Ulaanbaatar is 1350 meters above sea level, and occupies an area of 4, 704.7 hectares.
The name of Mongolian Capital City has changed five times in history.
When Zanabazar was proclaimed as the religion leader, Ord-Urgoo was established 1639 in the Shireet Nuur in the current Uvurkhangai province. This Urgoo is counted as the "proto" Mongolian Capital City. Urgoo was the center of the Mongolian Yellow-Hat Buddhism and the Khalkha Mongol Political Center. Also, this Urgoo was the important point for domestic and foreign trade. In other words, Urgoo was at the process of becoming a real city.
Ikh Khuree was located in the hollow of the River Selbe as a permanent center in 1706. Before this, the previous settlements have been totally nomadic. In the 19th century, Ikh Khuree became the center of Mongolian religion, politics, culture, and trade. The population of Ikh Khuree is considered to have been about 15-20 thousand people.
Niislel Khuree /1912-1921/
Ulaanbaatar /1924 – till now/
The People's 14th meeting the capital city status was legalized and changed and its name changed to "Ulaanbaatar", following the 29th October Session.
China-Mongolia ties enjoy prosperous times
By Gu Jianjun, post doctorate of Central Compilation and Translation Bureau
October 29 (CCTV.com) The first China-Mongolia Expo has been held in Hohhot, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region from October 23 to 27 with an attendance of 8,000 delegates from China, Mongolia, Russia and Malaysia. The Expo will serve as an important platform to improve economic cooperation and cultural exchange between China and Mongolia.
Mongolia is a special neighboring country to the north of China. It used to belong to China, and later Ulaanbator established diplomatic ties with Beijing in 1949. Bilateral relations were further normalized in 1989. The recent years have witnessed deepening political mutual trust, closer trade and economic cooperation as well as people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
China-Mongolia ties have been lifted to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2011. In August 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to the nation.
Deepening economic cooperation
China has long been Mongolia's largest trade partner and foreign investment source. In 2013, bilateral trade volume reached 5.96 billion US dollars, accounting for more than half of Mongolia's total foreign trade volume.
Until the end of 2013, China's accumulated investment in Mongolia stood at 2.56 billion US dollars.
Mongolia is an inland country with a small population, vast land and rich in natural resources. As the second largest economic entity in the world, China remains in the industrialization and urbanization stage.
Sharing complementary economic structures, Beijing and Ulaanbator are considering to open a free trade zone.
The China-Mongolia Expo can serve as a platform to improve economic cooperation and cultural exchanges.
The expo could boost cooperation among northeast Asian nations at large as well.
Stronger comprehensive strategic partnership
Adjoining Russia and China, Mongolia holds an important geo-strategy value due to its lucrative exploration of copper, gold mines, coal and uranium mines.
Additionally, Mongolia plays an important role in China's Silk Road strategy.
When China and the former Soviet Union confronted each other, Mongolia was controlled by the Soviet Union and allowed nearly 150 thousands Soviet Union army troops to station near the China-Mongolia border.
Yet currently, Ulaanbator has refrained from engaging in unnecessary international disputes. Mongolians encourage more cooperation with China to develop their economy.
Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj proposed for his nation to become a permanent neutralized state on Sept. 7, 2015. In a speech at the United Nations on Sept. 29, he emphasized that Mongolia's permanent neutrality can promote the peace, security and prosperity of the world and asked for international support.
A good neighbor is better than a brother far away. Beijing endorses a neutral, prosperous and stable Mongolia.
Due to joint efforts on both sides, the cooperation in terms of politics, trade, culture, education, military and humanity between both nations are enjoying prosperous times.
Trade unions of Belarus and Mongolia sign cooperation agreement
MINSK, 29 October (BelTA) - The Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FTUB) and the Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions (CMTU) signed an agreement on cooperation. The document was signed during a visit of FTUB Chairman Mikhail Orda to Mongolia, BelTA learned from the press service of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus.
"During the visit, Mikhail Orda met with President of the Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions (CMTU) Amgalanbaatar Khayankhyarvaa. The colleagues from Belarus and Mongolia discussed the bilateral cooperation, interaction between member organizations, shared experience in collective regulation of labor relations," the press service informed.
The parties signed a cooperation agreement which provides for a range of measures to promote interaction, including provision of free legal assistance to the FTUB and CMTU members, the development of the trade union education and tourism. The trade union leaders agreed to expand contacts between sectoral trade unions of the agro-industrial complex, railway workers, transport and communications.
During the visit the head of the Belarusian delegation met with Sainkhuu Ganbaatar, a member of the State Great Hural (Parliament) of Mongolia, and officials of the CMTU sectoral trade unions. Mikhail Orda got acquainted with the work of the trade union organization of the Gobi factory which is the world's fifth biggest producer of cashmere products. The issues of development of cooperation in trade union education were discussed during meetings with representatives of the CMTU Trade Union Learning Center and the Mongolian Institute of Labor and Social Relations. The cooperation in the field of culture was considered during a visit to the Trade Unions Central Palace of Culture of Mongolia.
The press service informed that the partnership of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus and the Confederation of Mongolian trade unions has been developing for many years. Along with the interaction between the national trade union federations, cooperation agreements have been concluded between the Minsk City Association of Trade Unions and the Federation of Trade Unions of Ulan Bator, the Institute of Labor and Social Relations at the CMTU and the International University MITSO of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus.
The Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions (CMTU) is a national trade union center in Mongolia. It was founded in 1927 as the Central Council of Mongolian Trade Unions. Today, the CMTU is the largest federation of Mongolia bringing together about 450,000 trade union members, comprising 14 sectoral federations and 22 regional trade union associations. It is also one of the most influential trade union organizations in the Asia-Pacific region.
Kuwaiti Minister of Amiri Diwan meets governor of Mongolia's Khentii province
KUWAIT, Nov 1 (KUNA) -- Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah met, on Sunday, Monogolia's Khentii city governor, and his accompanying delegation.
The meeting, which was attended by Mongolia's Ambassador to Kuwait Enkhbat Sodnom, stressed friendly ties between the two countries.
Later, Sheikh Nasser also met with Brunei Ambassador to Kuwait Pengiran Mustapha Aliuddin and his deputy.
The meeting discussed promoting ties between Kuwait and Brunei.
Speech Delivered by the Turkish Ambassador Murat Karagöz on the Occasion of the Republic Day Reception (92th Anniversary)
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 29 October 2015 --
Honorable Members of the Parliament,
Distinguished Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Fellow Citizens and Dear Guests,
It is a great honour and pleasure for me to celebrate the 92th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey once again with you here in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of the friendly country of Mongolia.
The Turkish nation founded a new state on 29 October 1923. Modern Turkey is a product of the republic. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is a historical figure who led the foundation of the new state from a dismantled Empire. Republican regime and the idea of a Turkish nation state are his primary revolutions. On this occasion, we pay tribute to and respect the profound memories of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his collaborators who materialized this important project that carried us from 20th to 21th century.
Turkey, which, despite being encircled by unmanageable states in its fragile neighborhood, serves as a source of hope and inspiration with the universal values it represents, has unfortunately been suffering in the last months from heinous acts of terror and violence. These terrorist attacks which resulted in the loss of hundreds of our civilians, policemen and military personnel, pose no doubt a threat to Turkey's territorial integrity, national unity and democracy. We condemn these terrorist attacks in the strongest manner which deeply saddened millions of people who bear Turkey in their hearts and minds. We wish that our country whose friendship in international arena is immensely sought will attain soon the much required tranquility and peace. In this regard, we wish to express our deepest gratitude to the Mongolian Government, distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corps, our citizens and Mongolian friends for sharing our grief in the aftermath of the deadliest terrorist attack in Ankara.
2015 was a fruitful year in the Turkish-Mongolian relations which have deep-rooted historical ties. For the first time, an official visit from Turkey to Mongolia took place at the level of Foreign Minister. The Mongolian Defense Minister and the Minister of Construction and Urban Development paid multi-purpose visits to Turkey in the spring. We commemorated the centennial of the Gallipoli Land Battles together. We hosted a delegation from the Turkish Exporters Assembly here in Ulaanbaatar. Mutual working visits were paid in the fields of agriculture and livestock, justice, internal affairs and health. Consultations on defense industry took place in Ulaanbaatar. We opened the Office of the Military Attaché within our Embassy. Very recently, a joint military exercise "Nomadic Warrior" involving Turkish and Mongolian Special Forces was conducted in Mongolia. We organized for the second time "Turkish Cultural Days in Ulaanbaatar" in the summer. Moreover, TİKA continued its development projects throughout the country and initiated excavation works in and around Tonyukuk Monuments. Through Turkey Scholarships, we sent 57 Mongolian students to Turkey for undergraduate and graduate programs.
Upcoming period has significant milestones for both Turkey and Mongolia. Next Sunday, parliamentary elections will be held in Turkey. Following that world leaders of G-20 will come to Antalya to meet at a Summit Meeting. With the formation of our new government after the elections, we expect to hold the Joint Economic Commission Meeting here in Ulaanbaatar as well as political consultations and consular talks in our capitals. We wish that general elections in Mongolia to be held in 2016 and the ASEM Summit due to take place following those elections will yield positive outcomes for this beautiful country.
To conclude, I express my gratitude to you all for attending our reception organized on the occasion of our most important celebratory day.
Long live the Republic of Turkey, long live the Turkish-Mongolian friendship."
Mongolian Embassy in Singapore participates in SG50 Diplomatic Charity Bazaar
October 29 (infomongolia.com) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Singapore has hosted SG50 Diplomatic Charity Bazaar among foreign embassies in Singapore devoted to the 50th Anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Singapore at Shangri-La Hotel on October 24, 2015.
44 embassies out of 70 diplomatic representatives in Singapore joined the event advertising their national cuisine, tradition and culture to the visitors. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan visited stands of each embassies that participated in the event after giving opening speech.
At stand of Mongolian Embassy, Minister Vivian Balakrishnan tasted Mongolian tradition food Aarul (dried milk product) and asked questions about Mongolia from Ambassador of Mongolia to the Republic of Singapore, Mr. T.Lkhagvadorj.
Moreover, participating embassies have given great performances to the visitors emphasizing their country's unique culture.
Mongolian violinist O.Baigali has played composition for violin of honored composer B.Sharav at the charity event at the invitation of Embassy of Mongolia.
SG50 Diplomatic Charity Bazaar, where 4,000 people visited, could raise donation of around 60 thousand US dollars. Proceeds from the bazaar will be split evenly between two charities: The Singapore Children's Society and the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.
World Bank donates two 3D printers for public use to National IT Park
October 29 (gogo.mn) Within the framework of Code 4 Green UB project, World Bank has handed over two Ultimaker 3D printers to Mongolian National Park of Technology. Anyone majoring in technology, working in technology field or keen to create something valuable is enabled to use the printer at open laboratory of the park.
Now it is possible to print what is seen on computer screen into a tangible object thanks to 3D printing technology, which has been rapidly developing for last two years in the world.
Two 3D printers presented by World Bank is one of the leading brands in the field, each of which is worth of USD 2500 and received 6.5 out of 10 ranking from CNET.
The printer produces low level of printing sound and supports operating systems including Mac OS, Linux, Windows, with the capacity of printing sizes of 23x22 and 5x20.5 at the speed of 30mm – 300mm seconds.
In addition, the cabinet with Raspberry Pi and two incubator rooms are also established at the park. The technology is open for anyone to use, so that you can print 3D object at anytime and write software by using Raspberry PI.
Open laboratory's timetable is available at 09:00 – 18:00 on Monday – Friday, and closed on weekend.
Denver Zoo Welcomes Przewalski's Horse Foal
Male Horse Is Only Second Birth of Its Species at Zoo in More Than 20 Years
DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - October 30, 2015) - Denver Zoo is celebrating the birth of an endangered Przewalski's (sheh-VAL-skee's) horse foal, born the morning of October 29. The male, unnamed foal, was born to mother, Yisun, and father, Bataar. This is only the second birth of this species at Denver Zoo since 1991. The foal is quietly exploring its yard under the watchful eye of its mother, but guests can see them both from the Zoo's main pathway now.
The Przewalski's horse is considered the only remaining, truly "wild" horse in the world and may be the closest living wild relative of the domesticated horse. There are a number of other wild equine species, including three species of zebra, and various subspecies of the African wild ass, onager and kiang.
Przewalski's horses, also called Mongolian wild horses or Asiatic wild horses, once roamed throughout Europe and Asia. Today, they are only found on reserves in Mongolia and China and in zoos around the world. The species was actually extinct in the wild for almost 30 years, before reintroduction projects began in the early 1990s. The horses faced a number of threats that may have led to their extinction, including hunting, military activities and competition with livestock for resources.
Captive breeding programs, supported by zoos, helped keep this species from disappearing completely from the globe. Recent estimates indicate that there are now more than 380 in the wild and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies them as endangered. Denver Zoo has a small herd, which helps support these efforts. This new foal is an exciting addition to the world population.
Denver Zoo is a leader in conservation around the world and has a number of projects specifically in Mongolia. To achieve Denver Zoo's mission, to secure a better world for animals through human understanding, the Conservation Biology Department works with communities, local governments, and various non-governmental organizations to develop innovative solutions to conservation issues around the world. Current programs in Mongolia focus on the capacity building with local communities and efforts to preserve and conserve the important habitats and wildlife found in the region. The argali sheep, cinereous vulture and wild Bactrian camels are several of the species Denver Zoo is currently focusing on.
Why climate change unites Buddhists around the world
International climate change talks are in the works, and different religious leaders are weighing in, including – in a remarkable show of unity – Buddhist leaders.
October 30 (The Christian Science Monitor) The interactions between environmental issues and faith are evolving, as religious leaders weigh in to guide actions of the faithful on climate change.
Buddhist leaders expressed support and lofty expectations for the Paris climate talks at the end of November in a document they call "Global Buddhist Climate Change Collective," released Thursday.
"We are at a crucial crossroads where our survival and that of other species is at stake as a result of our actions," leaders wrote in the statement. "There is still time to slow the pace of climate change and limit its impacts, but to do so, the Paris summit will need to put us on a path to phase out fossil fuels."
The statement was signed by the Dalai Lama and 14 other Buddhist leaders from nations including Japan, Mongolia, France, the United States, and Vietnam. They represent roughly one billion Buddhists, and this is the first time so many Buddhist leaders have expressed a united opinion, according to the BBC.
The leaders themselves call their climate statement an unprecedented show of Buddhist unity, according to the Huffington Post. The leaders who signed the document received further support from Chan Khong, a Buddhist disciple at Plum Village in Vietnam.
"We must take action, not out of a sense of duty but out of love for our planet and for each other," she wrote, according to the Buddhist publication, the Lion's Roar.
Most responses to her statement on an official Facebook page expressed support, although one man who commented expressed concerns that the political thrust on the issue threatened Buddhist teachings against extremism.
"I do believe action is warranted by the facts," he commented. "That said, the solutions included in this statement are political in that they are specific."
The declaration is the product of a council of Buddhist leaders formed in September to contribute to the United Nations climate talks in Paris starting Nov. 30, according to Lion's Roar. The Buddhist leaders do not set out a policy in their document; rather they described their view and called on political leaders to take action. They hope to decrease global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels and phase out fossil fuels.
They end by expressing solidarity with Catholic and Muslim leaders, who have already released formal statements on climate change, and interest in an upcoming "Hindu Declaration on Climate Change."
Religious leaders have been weighing in on climate change this year, but this is one of the most unified calls from a religion's leadership. The pope referenced his encyclical "Laudato Si," which advocated action to protect the environment, when he spoke to the US Congress in September, The Christian Science Monitor reported.
A group of Muslim leaders published the Islamic Climate Declaration from Istanbul in August, although it was much less representative of the broader Islamic world than the statement by Buddhist leaders, the BBC reported.
"We are not set up like [Christian] churches; there is no Islamic pope," Fazlun Khalid, an Islamic environmental activist who helped draft the declaration, told the BBC. "The Declaration is like a trigger – to say, wake up wherever you are, wake up and take care of the Earth."
Mongolia earns 1st victory at Breeders' Cup horse race
LEXINGTON, Ky., October 31 (AP) — Mongolia made a splash at the Breeders' Cup when a longshot horse with an owner and trainer from the central Asian nation won the $1 million Turf Sprint at Keeneland on Saturday.
It was the landlocked country's first representative in the 32-year history of the world championships.
Sent off at 15-1 odds, Mongolian Saturday won by a neck and paid $33.80 to win.
The winner's circle was a jubilant scene with owner Ganbaatar Dagvadorj, who races as Mongolian Stable, and his relatives and friends dressed in colorful traditional garb and headgear. He was joined by his wife, a former Miss Mongolia.
"It's a big dream as Mongolians to participate in this big event," Dagvadorj said. "And as a Mongolian, we ride horses starting at age four. It's part of our tradition."
Known as the "Land of the Horse," Mongolians by reputation are considered some of the best horsemen in the world.
"Some people say Mongolian people are born to ride," trainer Enebish Ganbat said. "Everybody was raised on horses and our horses are field horses."
Dressed in robin egg blue silks with "MGL" in red letters on the back, jockey Florent Geroux and the 5-year-old gelding broke from post 14 on the far outside and immediately challenged for the lead. They took the lead at the top of the stretch and then needed an all-out drive to the wire to hold off Lady Shipman in a photo finish.
"Everybody is crying over this celebration," Ganbat said of the reaction 6,475 miles (10,421 kilometers) away in the capital of Ulan Bator.
Five years ago, Ganbat switched from the long-distance training done in Mongolia to thoroughbred training in the U.S.
"From last year I begin to understand this is how to feed, how to train, how to breed," he said. "It's totally different."
At an event that celebrates the breeding industry, Mongolian Saturday is, ironically, a gelding. He was bred in Kentucky and was purchased for $60,000 at a Keeneland sale.
The victory was worth $550,000 or just over 1 billion tughriks in Mongolian currency.
Mongolian Saturday conquers Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint – AFP, October 31
Breeders' Cup: Mongolian Saturday brings international flair to Turf Sprint – Lexington Herald-Leader, October 31
Kakuryu needs titles to elevate place in sumo's pecking order
October 27 (Japan Times) If for nothing else, the upcoming Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament in Fukuoka's Kokusai Center may well be remembered as the tourney in which Mongolian yokozuna Kakuryu was finally able to call himself the "best of the best" — at least for one basho.
Having taken nine full tournaments over the past 18 months, only now has he reached the top yokozuna slot on the east side of the banzuke rankings (Y1e).
His ascent to Y1e is the slowest of any yokozuna in decades.
Hakuho, the sport's most dominant yokozuna ever with 35 titles to his name topped the bill in his third basho at rank.
Another current yokozuna, Harumafuji also managed to occupy the top slot after just three basho, with fellow Mongolian, the now-retired bad boy of the sport, Asashoryu, reaching Y1e after only two tourneys in the rank; albeit benefiting from then-fellow yokozuna Musashimaru missing his first tournament through injury.
For his part, Musashimaru also made Y1e in his third outing.
One half of the Waka-Taka phenomenon from the late '80s and '90s, Wakanohana as perhaps the sport's most underrated yokozuna in the past 20 years, reached the same honored spot atop the rankings at the fifth attempt.
His brother Takanohana amazingly in his first tournament was promoted straight into the coveted Y1e slot — luck playing a part in that there was only one yokozuna active at the time (Akebono), who finished with a disappointing 10-5 in the previous tournament, while Takanohana went 15-0 as ozeki.
In fact, not since the days of Onokuni, yokozuna between late 1987, and mid-1991, has a yokozuna taken so long to truly lead the sport's rankings.
In the case of Onokuni, the current Shibatayama Oyakata never actually made Y1e, and finished his career with just two Emperor's Cup titles to his name.
Like Kakuryu, he was promoted with just one title as an ozeki.
Will history repeat itself and see the man from Mongolia, sumo's 71st yokozuna and also promoted after just one yusho-win, one day ranked amongst its weakest?
Another title in Fukuoka would in many ways put pays to such claims.
But, with Hakuho having started training three weeks ago in a bid to overcome the knee injury that forced his withdrawal from the Autumn Basho in Tokyo last month, and ozeki Terunofuji champing at the bit in his quest for promotion, Kakuryu will have to be on top form to even come close to winning number three.
Watch this space.
Away from the yokozuna ranks, the rikishi most serious fans will be watching — pin-up boy Endo aside — will be Mitakeumi.
A Dewanoumi Beya rikishi in his first-ever makunouchi basho, and only his third as a sekitori, Fukuoka will be only his fifth tournament since joining the sport.
He is still a long way off being able to sport a mage seen atop rikishi in the lower four divisions, let alone an oicho-mage worn by those in the top two divisions. But will the 22-year-old man from Nagano succeed where so many other Japan-born hopefuls have failed?
Kisenosato, Kotoshogiku, Endo and others have all at one time or another been lauded as the man to break the Mongol-Euro grip on all things sumo as fans await the first Japan- born winner of an Emperor's Cup since January 2006.
Former ozeki Tochiazuma, currently Tamanoi Oyakata, was the last Japan-born rikishi to win the top-flight trophy.
And in so many ways, Mitakeumi is already a mirror image of Tochiazuma at the ozeki's peak. Height and weight are almost identical. He is a hugely gifted pusher-thruster, and his skill on the belt is already far above his experience level.
Ranked at maegashira 11 in the makunouchi division for the Nov. 8- 22 outing the stage is set for sumo's latest domestic hope to show what he is made of.
I think he will do quite well and earn at least a kackikoshi winning record come the final day.
Another space to watch.
Cricket could almost have been invented in Mongolia
By Chris Hurd
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, October 28 (Letter to FT) Sir, You published a letter from me during the 2006 winter Ashes when I was in trouble for carrying a cricket ball up a Baker Street escalator. Your newspaper was sympathetic to my passion for the game, but others dubbed me the "Lethal Weapon Cricketer" and I moved to Ulaanbaatar, escaping infamy and seeking reformation.
However, I must now break my silence to report on the state of play in Mongolia.
Battulga Gombo, cricket's only Mongolian coach, plans to raise a permanent ground beneath Bogd Khan, the mountain that protects Ulaanbaatar from the Gobi desert. This wonderful country is blessed with vast flat areas, all perfectly mown by goats. If not for lack of willow, cricket would perhaps have been invented here.
Instead, the seeds of horseracing, archery and wrestling flourished. Anthropologists insist these sports are logical given Mongol history, and fit the years of tribal survival, war, empire-building and nomadic pastoralism. No matter the reason, during the late Soviet period, matka, a bat and stone game was very popular on the streets of Ulaanbaatar. Perhaps this was a variant of lapta introduced by the same Russian soldiers that routinely claim the origins of cricket.
Perhaps, however, matka was a first sign of gestation, and thanks to Battulga's nurture, Mongolia's first ground will be born next year.
Piers Morgan: Simon Cowell's face froze when I asked why he's not in Mongolia
By Piers Morgan Event for The Mail on Sunday
October 31 (Daily Mail) --
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23
A year ago, I interviewed Simon Cowell at the MIPCOM television festival in Cannes.
During the chat, I showed him a chart that illustrated in blue all the 193 places where his Got Talent format now airs, making it the most successful global entertainment franchise in TV history.
It's been sold everywhere from Afghanistan to Azerbaijan and Cambodia to Myanmar.
So the whole map looked pretty much blue, apart from a massive white blob between Russia and China.
'Why have you never sold Got Talent to Mongolia?' I asked him.
Cowell's face froze. Well, as much as it can freeze these days.
He stared intently at the map. 'I didn't know that. You've just made me very unhappy.'
'Does Mongolia not have any talent?' I suggested.
'Every country has talent,' he replied. 'This is not good. I'm going to investigate the Mongolia situation as soon as this is over.'
Later that night, as he and I were swigging beer at a party on the Croisette, one of his executives ran up.
'Good news Simon, we just sold Got Talent to Mongolia.'
His glimmering fangs smirked so widely the entire harbour lit up like a Catherine wheel.
Mongolia's Got Talent launched this week, exactly a year later, to the highest ratings in the nation's history, with 70 per cent of the audience share and a third of Mongolia's entire three million population tuning in to watch.
This astonishing achievement means Cowell is now the greatest territory-grabbing emperor since, ironically, a Mongolian called Genghis Khan swept the world in the 13th century.
The two men share uncanny similarities.
Khan was a ruthless, barbaric warlord with a keen eye for talent, a penchant for meritocracy and very dodgy facial hair, who never left a score unsettled.
He was also reputed to have been the greatest seducer in the history of Planet Earth, capturing for himself hundreds of the most beautiful women as he pursued his merciless conquests.
The only real difference is that Khan sired so many children, it's believed more than 16 million people are directly descended from his loins.
Simon, with just little Eric so far, has work to do in the procreative department.
I texted Genghis Cowell my congratulations.
'Do I owe you a royalty?' he replied.
Simon, it's four yeses… and there'd better be at least four noughts on the cheque too.
UBTZ unveils refurbished "Standard" train service with internet, shower
October 29 (gogo.mn) Ulaanbaatar Railway today holds the ceremony of introducing "Standard" train project, which commenced back in July. The project started with the aim to improve indoor conditions and provide pleasant travel experience to passengers.
The train with 25 wagons has been refurbished with half a billion tugrugs, with Internet networking; shower installed in bathroom and updated restaurant area.
"Standart" train is different from other trains in terms of services available, which include deliver of small-sized package, service of safe deposit box, tax order, accommodation service order, healthcare service and many others.
Ulaanbaatar railway owns 923 wagons in total and provides train services on 14 routes. The company plans to refurbish all wagons near future.
"It must be the standard in our service. Therefore, we are going to improve conditions in all wagons" said Chairman of Ulaanbaatar Railway L.Purevbaatar.
4 Peace Avenue, Chingeltei District 1
Ulaanbaatar 15160, Mongolia
P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.