Pages

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

[SUU to split; FDI, FX reserves down; Moody's warns of pressure; cricket fundraising held; and Sony buys The Eagle Huntress]

Please click Display Images or Download Pictures to properly view this newswire

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Follow Cover Mongolia on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube and Blogspot

Jump to: Int'l Market - Local MarketEconomyPolitics, LegalBusinessUlaanbaatarDiplomacyHealth, Education - Culture, SocietyNature, Environment - Sports - Art, EntertainmentTravel

Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original

 

Int'l Market

TER is in trading halt pending announcement on balance sheet restructure

TerraCom Gains Two New Substantial Holders Following Restructure

Notices of Initial Substantial Holder – Rastas Limited 19.9%, Acecrest Investments Limited 19.9%

 

HAR closed +50% to 0.3c Monday

Haranga Resources: Letter to Shareholders re Entitlement Issue Prospectus

February 1 --

Link to letter

Back to top

Local Market

SUU Shareholders Approve 1,000-for-1 Stock Split, Top 20 -0.49%

February 1 (BDSec) MSE Top 20 index lost 0.49 percent on Monday.

Coal miners Shivee Ovoo (SHV) and Aduunchuluun (ADL) fell more than 5 percent.

Shares of Suu (SUU) advanced +2.2% after the Company's Shareholders' Meeting approved the stock split of 1,000-1 on Friday. Suu shares are the most "expensive" stock on the MSE. The shares ended the day at MNT 107,300, after the stock managed MNT 105,100 and MNT 120,700 as the two extremes.

MNT 2.5 billion worth of government retail bonds were exchanged hands on the secondary market.

 Link to update

Back to top

Economy

Historic low ₮2,011.38/USD set January 29, 2016

BoM MNT Rates: Monday, February 1 Close

2/1

1/29

1/28

1/27

1/26

1/25

1/22

1/21

1/20

1/19

1/18

1/15

1/14

1/13

1/12

1/11

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/611b76b6-2b0b-4a23-a444-02f9cb3dd75f.png

USD

2,010.73

2,011.38

2,008.59

2,007.81

2,007.68

2,006.44

2,007.09

2,007.10

2,007.31

2,006.79

2,004.88

2,003.48

1,999.93

1,999.37

1,998.88

1,998.23

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/d90344bf-7731-47f3-bffe-93a4596232a2.png

EUR

2,180.84

2,192.10

2,184.34

2,182.09

2,181.34

2,170.07

2,173.58

2,188.44

2,196.20

2,181.98

2,183.51

2,177.08

2,171.72

2,162.52

2,177.68

2,177.87

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/db4fa868-a5a2-4a14-9cd9-ef3b0081caa7.png

JPY

16.59

16.67

16.91

16.98

17.05

16.93

17.00

17.19

17.19

17.02

17.12

17.02

16.93

16.91

17.03

17.02

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/663d9297-6b7b-421b-a2c7-022882ec5691.png

GBP

2,868.51

2,890.96

2,864.35

2,879.70

2,855.02

2,864.09

2,856.39

2,843.26

2,843.66

2,868.10

2,860.36

2,882.21

2,881.10

2,886.29

2,903.27

2,904.33

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/a772b2ab-9007-499a-9c78-69d8ac652d26.png

RUB

26.36

26.70

26.07

25.40

24.57

25.73

24.74

23.91

25.25

25.63

25.43

26.20

26.18

26.14

26.09

26.30

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/ceaa3227-2aea-4575-9f0f-9374539b6e52.png

CNY

305.65

305.88

305.46

305.17

305.13

304.97

305.05

305.06

305.09

305.01

304.73

304.16

303.57

304.00

303.95

303.48

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/9366ea6f-cdc8-4c79-87a2-c6de37f4f2db.png

KRW

1.67

1.68

1.67

1.67

1.67

1.68

1.67

1.65

1.65

1.67

1.66

1.65

1.65

1.66

1.65

1.65

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/020a3b13-d459-4bf3-b596-f93ff6442059.png

SGD

1,411.98

1,415.82

1,407.76

1,406.67

1,402.60

1,404.04

1,404.30

1,394.59

1,395.27

1,398.56

1,392.71

1,390.97

1,390.53

1,393.14

1,387.39

1,390.27

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/e78a2df0-8efa-4dfa-adb2-9cf7540dfc08.png

CAD

1,433.57

1,438.55

1,427.52

1,421.71

1,403.43

1,414.63

1,407.89

1,383.06

1,371.16

1,388.40

1,378.59

1,385.77

1,393.58

1,404.10

1,402.53

1,410.13

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/ec21d929-99bc-4825-8f98-d8f66d0a4814.png

AUD

1,421.39

1,432.40

1,419.77

1,411.69

1,392.63

1,404.01

1,407.97

1,382.99

1,377.92

1,388.10

1,381.66

1,389.11

1,392.05

1,404.76

1,387.92

1,393.97

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/ce22f7ae-6e61-4961-b249-a66ee1a47c1a.png

HKD

258.33

258.25

257.79

257.80

257.56

257.64

257.58

256.73

256.67

257.03

257.12

257.11

257.43

257.68

257.65

257.44

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4296ba475e0a2fd5de8e5bee5/images/9775661f-ece0-420b-843d-58b1b4b23546.png

CHF

1,967.45

1,975.52

1,976.57

1,976.09

1,983.19

1,979.23

1,987.32

2,000.40

2,003.40

1,994.13

1,995.70

1,992.72

1,982.88

1,989.13

2,003.39

2,007.67

Bank USD rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy ₮2,007 Sell ₮2,015), Khan (Buy ₮2,007 Sell ₮2,015), Golomt (Buy ₮2,007 Sell ₮2,015), XacBank (Buy ₮2,007 Sell ₮2,015), State Bank (Buy ₮2,008 Sell ₮2,016)

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

Link to rates

 

BoM issues ₮121 billion 1-week bills at 12%, total outstanding -4.2% to ₮386.35 billion

February 1 (BoM) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 121 billion at a weighted interest rate of 12.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release

 

Mongolia's 2015 Inbound FDI Falls 39% Y/y to $232m

By Michael Kohn

February 1 (Bloomberg) -- Inbound foreign direct investment falls to $232m in 2015 vs $381.9m in 2014, according to data released by central bank today.

* Mongolia had $153.6m of FDI in Dec., the highest total of any month in 2015; the second highest amount was $85.4m in May

* 2015 current-account deficit was $547.9m vs $1.4b deficit yr earlier, a 61% decline

* Data is preliminary

* NOTE: In previous years Mongolia had inbound FDI of $2.14b in 2013 and $4.45b in 2012

(BFW)

 

Mongolia FX Reserves Down -9.29% in December, -19.81% in 2015 to US$1.3 Billion

February 1 (BoM) --

Date

Gross Reserves

Monthly, %

YTD, %

YOY, %

2015/12

1323.1

-9.29

-19.81

-19.81

2015/11

1458.7

3.68

-11.59

7.88

2015/10

1406.9

-0.41

-14.73

0.6

2015/09

1412.7

-18.28

-14.38

-8.42

2015/08

1728.7

1.26

4.77

27.05

2015/07

1707.2

1.28

3.47

26.52

2015/06

1685.6

5.95

2.16

27.94

2015/05

1591.0

25.55

-3.57

-0.84

2015/04

1267.3

-4.28

-23.19

-30.44

2015/03

1323.9

-2.83

-19.76

-31.87

2015/02

1362.5

2.61

-17.42

-37.94

2015/01

1327.8

-19.53

-19.53

-45.72

2014/12

1649.9

22.03

-26.60

-26.60

Link to data

 

BoM buys 644.1 kgs of gold in January, 15.1 tons in 2015

February 1 (BoM) --

Date

Month

Year-to-Date

YTD Change

2016/1

644.1

644.1

419.8

2015/12

694.7

15084.0

2379.3

2015/11

1518.4

14389.2

2605.4

2015/10

2674.0

12870.7

2137.4

2015/09

2793.5

10196.7

1444.2

2015/08

1993.8

7403.2

391.8

2015/07

1647.6

5409.3

1.5

2015/06

1344.1

3761.7

-335.4

2015/05

895.4

2417.6

-663.1

2015/04

536.7

1522.2

-530.0

2015/03

287.0

985.5

-680.3

2015/02

218.4

698.5

-801.1

2015/01

480.1

480.1

224.3

Link to data (in Mongolian)

 

Weak China Growth, Commodity Prices Weigh on Mongolia: Moody's

February 1 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's B2 negative credit profile under pressure over next 12 to 18 months due to falling commodity prices, lower growth in China, Moody's Investors Service says
Monday.

* Slim reserve buffers, insufficient to cover country's short- term external and maturing long-term debt over next two yrs, exacerbate situation

* Growth and inward investment flows will reduce country's domestic and external pressures

Link to Statement: Link

(BFW)

 

Mongolian HNWs Fastest Rising In Asia Pacific 2000-2015; Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Predicted To Grow Next

January 31 (Forbes) Talking about New World Wealth's latest report on High Net Worth behaviour in the Asia Pacific (APAC), Head of Research Andrew Amoils told me, "Ho Chi Minh City is expected to be the fastest growing APAC city over the next 10 years."

The report, tracking the years 2000-2015, finds APAC HNWI numbers have risen 115% in the 15 year-research period.

It says that Mongolia was the best performing APAC country for HNWIs, with 670% growth. Vietnam, Indonesia, China and India also achieved highly.

Sri Lanka and Vietnam are predicted to be the quickest growing APAC markets over the coming next 10 years.

New World Wealth interviews over 800 HNWIs every year in order to check their preferences. Its database contains over 150,000 HNWIs from around the world.

Link to full article

Back to top

Politics & Legal

Official election campaigning to start on June 11

February 1 (gogo.mn) According to the Election Law of Mongolia, any promotional and campaign activities shall commence 18 days before the polling day. This year, pre-election campaign will be conducted from June 11 due to the polling day of 2016 Parliamentary elections will take place on June 29. 

Election General Commission of Mongolia to register the candidates and hand over the IDs of candidates on June 07. Moreover, MNT 16.5 billion is planned to be spent from the State Budget in 2016 Parliamentary elections. Detailed information on election spending will be approved on May. 

Residents residing in abroad will poll on June 17, 18, 19 from 7am to 10pm while elders and bedridden people will poll on June 28 through polling box from 9am to 10pm and  poll of remaining people will be received on Jun 29 from 7am to 10pm. 

Preliminary results of the Parliamentary elections is expected to be introduced on Jun 29 at 12am, reported by the Head of the Election General Commission of Mongolia. 

Link to article

Related:

Election to be held on 29th Junenews.mn, February 1

 

MPRP accountant under investigation by IAAC

February 1 (news.mn) The accountant of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) has been under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Implementation Agency. This occurred on Friday 29th January when information was spread that the Central Building of the MPRP was being checked by legal investigators and the internet had been off. Some online sources are connecting this with the matter of the letter of the Minister of Health and Sport G.Shiilegdamba; this explanation, however, is still not official.

Link to article

 

Government working group on decentralization policy holds first meeting

Ulaanbaatar, February 1 (MONTSAME) The Cabinet Secretariat for Government has launched a project on realization of a decentralization policy in frames of the programme on supporting governance and decentralization, being co-implemented under a Mongolia-Switzerland intergovernmental contract.

Within the project, a working group has been set up by order of S.Bayartsogt, a head of the Cabinet Secretariat, with duties of re-planning functions of the government and self-governance bodies of localities, calculating financial expenses caused by the re-planning, and refining a present system of budget balancing.

In order to ensure multi-party role, the group has included representatives of the Cabinet Secretariat, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism, the administrations of the capital city and provinces.

On Monday, the group held its first meeting at the State House to discuss a plan of actions and to determine roles and responsibilities of the group's members. In addition, foreign consultants on budget balancing delivered reports. 

Link to article

 

Parliament autumn session to conclude on Friday

Ulaanbaatar, February 1 (MONTSAME) Closing of autumn session of the State Great Khural will be held this Friday.

During the current session, PMs managed to adopt the Law on Elections and finalized the debates about constituencies. Some legal documents, including draft amendments to Law on State Service, new wordings of Criminal Code and Law on Law Violations, are on the schedule of immediate reading.

Issues of recalling an appointing member of Constitutional Court and of taking some lands under state special protection, as well as of designating state ownership of Gatsuurt gold deposits are also planned to be addressed this week.

Especially, a resolution on designating state ownership of Gatsuurt deposit is expected to be approved before closing of this session. 

Link to article

Back to top

Business

PwC Tax Alert#1: Significant changes to the Law On Value Added Tax and other legislative amendments

January 29 (PwC Mongolia) Starting 1 January 2016, the new Law On Value Added Tax came into force. In addition, there are another changes in the tax law.This tax alert summarises main highlights of the these updates.

Link to alert

 

Only 130 operational plans approved out of 280 mining licenses for 2016

February 1 (news.mn) Currently, 3436 special licenses have been provided in Mongolia, of which 1939 are exploration licenses and 1497 are operating licenses for mining companies. We decided to ask the director of the Mineral Resource Authority, D.Uuriintuya, "if the companies which have operating licenses will be able to function as normal in 2016?" In reply, D.Uuriintuya said, "280 companies of the total 1497 license holders have submitted their operation plans for the year. Of this number, only 130 companies have been approved and received permission to operate in 2016".  Therefore, it looks as if the numbers of the mining companies might be reduced this year.

Link to article

 

Erdenet Mining Corp talks cooperation with Industry Ministry following MOU

February 1 (UB Post) Following the establishment of a memorandum on cooperation between the Industry Ministry and Erdenet Mining Corporation (EMC) signed during a consultation meeting held for the state and producers supporting domestic production on January 15, Mongolian Mining Journal spoke with the Deputy Director in Charge of Development Issues at the EMC, B.Namkhainyambuu, regarding collaboration between the two bodies. 

What is the main goal and direction of the memorandum? 

The two sides signed a policy document. The issue of sales is prioritized. EMC will be working toward ensuring its procurement from domestic producers. Our company has been supporting local producers from Orkhon Province. Our domestic procurement is increasing from year to year. There are around ten domestic producers in Orkhon and they all cooperate with EMC. The second issue planned under the memorandum is to develop EMC's Maintenance and Mechanical Plant into a mining equipment and parts factory with support from the Industry Ministry. One of the goals of EMC authorities and engineers is to build a copper concentrator. We are close to fulfilling our dream together with the ministry.

What measures will first be taken under the memorandum?

The Industry Minister became acquainted with the activities of Hutni Projekt Frydek-Mistek LLC's coke production and cast iron processing factory, and Vitkovets Group's steel processing plant during his visit last year to the Czech Republic. Authorities of Vitkovets Group are going to pay a visit to Mongolia soon. This will be the first project.

What percentage of EMC's procurement does domestic production make up? 

According to our agreement with Orkhon Province, we need to purchase 30 percent of our raw materials from domestic companies. However, this year's agreement is set to be 35 percent. We will be purchasing more from domestic companies when Mongolia's equipment production industry develops in the future.

The Cabinet made a decision to build a copper concentrator in Bor Undur. What would EMC's support look like? 

There is everything in Bor Undur, including water, infrastructure, roads, railroad, and energy. Because it is closer to Oyu Tolgoi's mine for transporting copper concentrate, Bor Undur was chosen. The state is also aiming to provide support to the fluorite industry. This location has the potential to become a region with a chemical and metallurgical complex in the future.

EMC will cooperate on this issue. We will probably have to discuss how many shares will go to Oyu Tolgoi, Tsagaan Suvarga, and EMC for the cooper concentrator, and determine if the stake will be the state's or not. The EMC will be focusing on supplying copper concentrate. Mongolia's mining sector is close to deep processing and producing finished products.

What would you say was the biggest development at EMC last year? 

In 2015, we did expand our ore processing by six million tons, which means that we are now capable of processing 32 million tons of ore per year. This was a big investment and a big expansion. We also opened a steel ball factory in order to cut factory expenses. As a company with social responsibility, we opened the Erdenet Medical Center that started its activities in treatment and diagnostics. This was a good project for the health issues of Mongolians.

Link to interview

Back to top

Ulaanbaatar

10 point traffic violation score system comes into effect from today

February 1 (gogo.mn) From February 1, 2016, every driver received 10 points which are removed in case of committing traffic violations.

In other words, if a driver violates law, regulations, rules and standards related to traffic safety, 1-5 points are to be removed depending on level of violation.

A driver is not allowed to drive a vehicle if all 10 points are diminished. If so, the driver must attend in driving course and will be again awarded 10 points after passing exam according to related regulations.

Also, points awarded for a driver currently forfeited of driving are not effective according to the law. Adoption of violation point system aims to prevent traffic accident and violations, reduce volume of damage, improve drivers' responsibility and encourage them to drive in civil manner.

Obviously, if you comply with the law and do not violate regulations, you still keep your 10 points. Please see from following infographic which incidents diminish 10 points on driving record.

According to new regulation, a driver is able to receive "violation score" information by using own driving license number via mobile-based application, SMS or website.

Link to article

Back to top

Diplomacy

Ambassador Ts.Sukhbaatar: Mongolia-China trade turnover will reach $10 billion by 2020

February 1 (UB Post) The following is an interview with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to China Ts.Sukhbaatar on timely issues.

The Mongolian economy is greatly reliant on the Chinese economy. What projects is the Mongolian government carrying out for expanding trade with China? 

The trade and economic sector is a vital part of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Mongolia and China have been working closely to facilitate trade, improve structure and increase investment within the framework of the Medium Term Trade and Economic Cooperation. The two nations have set a target to increase trade turnover of Mongolia and China to 10 billion USD by 2020.

China issued a concessional loan of 300 million USD to Mongolia in 2003, a concessional loan of 500 million USD in 2010, and another one worth one billion USD in 2014. As you can see, the balance of China's concessional loans to Mongolia has been increasing over the years and the scope of projects implemented by these loans have been gradually expanding. Yet, projects scheduled to be completed with grants and concessional loans are altered every time the government or the minister in charge is changed. Losing time not only causes the exchange rate differences between USD and CNY to widen but also increases the total project expense because transportation, construction material and workforce costs increase as time passes. Higher project costs lower economic yield and make it problematic for other nations and enterprises to cooperate with the Mongolian government. This puts our government in a difficult spot.

China's economic slowdown is impacting negatively on the Mongolian economy. The slowdown led the price of coal to drop in international markets, causing significant loss to our economy. How should Mongolia and China develop its trade and economic cooperation so that both sides can mutually benefit?

Link to interview

 

Mongolian Embassy in Beijing hosts meeting of Mongolists

Ulaanbaatar, February 1 (MONTSAME) Mongolia's Embassy in Beijing held a meeting with some 30 Mongol studies scholars January 28, in anticipation of Tsagaan Sar (Lunar new year). The event was opened by the Ambassador Ts.Sukhbaatar.

"To promote the Mongol studies, Mongolian government issued a national programme on this discipline and set up related to it National Council and a Promotion fund," he said and added that Ulaanbaatar is to host the 11th Annual International Mongol Studies Conference this August.

Some 30 scholars were invited to this action from Peking University, General Administration of Press and Publication, China Central Television, China National Central University, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Center for Mongolian Studies, The Institute of Modern International Relations at Tsinghua and Central Compilation and Translation Bureau of China.

The scholars expressed a gratitude to the Embassy for organizing this event and spoke about their academic works on the Mongol studies.

At the end of the meeting, the Ambassador gave the gathered "Chronicles of Yuan Empire" books and treated them to the Mongolian cuisine. 

Link to article

 

Mongolian Ambassador Briefs Young European Journalists on ASEM Preparations

Ulaanbaatar, February 1 (MONTSAME) In connection with the 8th Asia-Europe Editors' Roundtable meeting, which will run in Ulaanbaatar this July 9-10, a training was organized by the Asia-Europe Foundation, Konrad Adenauer Foundation and Brussels Press Club this January 28-29 for young journalists in Europe, on connectivity of Asia and Europe.

Journalists from over 20 countries shared opinions and experiences under topics such as a role of journalism in modern interconnected era, and ways to work in the digital environment.

Mongolia's Ambassador Kh.Davaadorj visited the training to give information about the importance of 11th ASEM Summit, which will run this July in the UB city, Mongolia's government's preparation for the Summit, a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Asia-Europe Meeting.

Principal Advisor in the Asia and Pacific Department of the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels Micheal Matthiessen and a Director of Public Affairs for the ASEF Raj Kumar gave presentations on ASEM and ASEF operations.

Mongolia was represented by P.Bayarmagnai, head of Mongolian Press Club.

Link to article

 

ASEM 11 hotel bookings will be managed through an integrated system

February 1 (gogo.mn) The Venue and Accommodation working group, led by P. Tsagaan, Chief of Staff of the President of Mongolia, held its 21st meeting at the Government Palace on January 13.

The meeting, among others, discussed the system for hotel booking by guests and delegates, food safety and service standards for visiting guests, as well as the question of setting up a sub-working group to organize and manage proficiency training courses for hotel service staff, a project which is being jointly implemented with the Ministry of Labor.

The working group discussed inclusion of 47 ASEM partner hotels in an integrated hotel booking system, and relevant proposals submitted by local companies were considered during the meeting. The meeting group concluded that the payment mode for hotel accommodation and services, international transactions and hotel promotion flyers should all comply with international standards. Mr. P. Tsagaan instructed relevant officials to coordinate hotel bookings with an integrated delegate registration system, to look into the possibility of an integrated solution and to come to a final decision on this matter.

The meeting reviewed the suggestions by local companies who proposed using nano-technology magnetic stickers with health and safety guarantees on all food products, goods and services during the Summit, and it was noted that collaboration with the General Specialized Inspection Agency could be possible in this regard.

Hotel food standard would be guaranteed jointly with the Food Industry Policy Implementation Department (FIPID) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The working group instructed FIPID to finalize the national dish menu. The meeting also reminded the partner hotels to organize culture and art performances to promote the country during the Summit.

As a result of the meeting, four sub-working groups managers were appointed to lead the groups jointly recruited with the Labor Ministry. The managers of the sub-working are to: train 800 hotel service staff, prepare 600 volunteers, train 1,800 organizing staff of the Summit and to manage souvenir shops by people with physical disabilities.

Link to article

 

Hong Kong and Mongolia sign Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons

February 1 (news.gov.hk) The Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok, and the Minister for Justice of Mongolia, Mr Dambii Dorligjav, today (February 1) represented the Governments of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and Mongolia respectively in signing the Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons (TSP).

"The transfer of sentenced persons to their place of origin, by returning them to an environment free of language and cultural barriers and where their friends and relatives can visit regularly, is conducive to their rehabilitation. It is the HKSAR Government's policy to facilitate such transfers between the HKSAR and other places," Mr Lai said at the signing ceremony held at the Central Government Offices.

Under the Basic Law, the HKSAR Government may, with the authorisation of the Central People's Government, make appropriate arrangements with foreign states for reciprocal juridical assistance, which include, among others, the transfer of sentenced persons.

This is the 16th TSP Agreement the HKSAR has signed with other jurisdictions. The other 15 jurisdictions that already have TSP Agreements with the HKSAR are Australia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, India, Italy, the Republic of Korea, the Macau Special Administrative Region, the Philippines, Portugal, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

"The signing of the Agreement signifies another step forward in the legal co-operation between Mongolia and the HKSAR," Mr Lai said.

Link to release

Back to top

Health, Education

Child Education: Smart investment in Mongolia's development

By Jargal "DeFacto" Dambadarjaa

February 1 (UB Post) One fifth of Mongolia's population is living in poverty today. What change is going to be made to this number in 20 years' time depends directly on not only economic growth, but also development of our younger generation – the children of today.

An average adult has a brain that weighs 1.1 kilograms. By the time a child become three years old, their brain grows to about 87 percent of its adult size and reaches the most flexibility, as billions of cells become connected in no time.

Until the age of six, children spend one third of all their energy on their brain's development. Therefore, scientists believe that the childhood years are crucial to what kind of person the child will become and how their livelihood is likely to be.

RETURN ON INVESTMENT

Nobel laureate economist James Heckman, who is a professor at the University of Chicago, determined that investment in early childhood education yields the biggest returns.

He calculated that the return on every dollar invested in children up to six years old is approximately 12.90 USD and deemed it essential to development strategy, saying, "This investment benefits not only the children who are receiving an education but also the economic development of a country."

A KINDERGARTEN IS NOT ONLY A BUILDING

The birth rate is increasing year by year in Mongolia. A total of 81,224 births were registered in 2014, which is 30 percent higher than 2010. If so, do we have a policy and a plan for social investment that takes birth rates and future trends into account? If there is such a policy, have social indicators such as location, livelihood, and household income been reflected? What is Mongolia's attitude towards early education and the development of children?

If there is a lack of nutrition, love, and care in early childhood (up to six years, when the brain develops most intensively), it is very hard and costly to make up for these deficiencies later on.

As of 2015, 13 percent of Mongolia's population (almost 400,000) are children under the age of five, half of which are three to five years old.

Although nearly 70 percent of those children receive early childhood education, the programs they are involved in vary significantly depending on household income and whether they are in urban areas or in the countryside.

A 2013 social indicator survey carried out by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) revealed that 75 percent of children living in Ulaanbaatar received preschool or prekindergarten education, while the number was around 57 percent in the countryside.

In other words, it is highly probable that one in every four children in the capital city and half of the children living the countryside are or may be missing out on education and development during the most important stage of their brain's development. Also, even if they are receiving an education, it is hard to know whether it is effective or not.

Unless the children receive enough nutrition during the most important stage of their brain's development, it is very likely that their body ends up not reaching its full potential, and there is an increased likelihood that they will have a tough life ahead.

A suburban kindergarten in Ulaanbaatar has 14 groups of children and an annual budget of 580 million MNT, 70 percent of which is spent on heating and electricity. However, a kindergarten is not only a building.

One kindergarten teacher is supposed to look after 35 children, and one child should have an area of 7.2 square meters available to them. However, some teachers are taking care of 60 children at a time, and one student gets approximately 4.2 square meters for himself today. Also, the kitchens at kindergartens are working twice as much as recommended.

It seems like politicians do not fully understand the primary function and full potential of kindergartens. In their eyes, kindergartens are only a building that they've promised during elections. It is enough for them to have a building constructed and to put some children in it.

Most of the children who do not go to kindergarten are either disabled or from low-income households. In Mongolia, the cause of 28 percent of the deaths of children is household accidents.

If we manage to enroll these children in early childhood education programs, it will produce significant positive impacts for society and the economy.

A U.S. survey that was carried out for 40 years in Michigan revealed that children who received early education were 40 percent more likely to successfully graduate from high school, get a job, and have a savings account, compared to children who did not go to kindergartens or preschools. Also, the rates of divorce and crime among these subjects as adults was twice as low.

EXPERIENCE TO BE DUPLICATED

Mongolia has always put forward objectives to reduce poverty and made efforts to make them come true. However, we still do not see that the key strategy to eradicate intergenerational poverty is investing in early development and the education of children.

First and foremost, we need to ensure that children who are from low-income families are receiving preschool and prekindergarten education.

This is the only way to prepare a skilled workforce who creates value and pays their taxes rather than inactive individuals who live on social care.

An interesting initiative has been launched by UNICEF in cooperation with the government. They have developed a strategy named Child Friendly Community, and are implementing the Early Childhood Development Program in Nalaikh District and in Khuvsgul Province.

Approximately 80 percent of the working age population of Nalaikh District's 4th khoroo do not have a job or regular income. This khoroo is home to 530 children who are two to five years old. About 130 of them go to kindergarten, while the rest are locked inside their homes without anyone looking after them, and are living under tough conditions with insufficient food and heating.

The Early Childhood Development Program has been running ger kindergartens there throughout the academic year (10 months) and operating in the same way as an average kindergarten does.

A total of 35 million MNT was invested in building Mongolian gers, purchasing toys, and resolving water supply and sewage issues. The operating costs are covered by the public budget.

In Khuvsgul Province, they are operating mobile ger kindergartens that reach children who live in the remote countryside. Even though the ger kindergartens operate for three months in the summer, they are making invaluable contributions to preparing children for school and their future social lives.

They also help local people and parents to have increased awareness of the importance of early childhood development and their culture at home.

In 2014-2015, the mobile ger kindergartens operated in 10 bags (bag is the smallest administration unit in Mongolia) of Khuvsgul Province. The funding came from the local development fund. The initial investment for one ger kindergarten is 15 million MNT, and the operating costs are reflected in the public budget.

These two examples show that there is enormous potential for kindergartens, families, and local governments to work together and make a great investment in early childhood development, especially in rural and suburban areas.

Mongolia's private sector and local business are more likely to support these initiatives which yield important benefits for society.

We need to make sure that everyone understands that early childhood development is not limited to building kindergartens. The development of Mongolia is based on human development, especially early childhood development. Therefore, there needs to be a broad-based investment that focuses on the development of our children.

Link to article

 

Why the Future of Mongolia is in the hands of translators

February 1 (So Why Mongolia?) Are you a bilingual Mongolian? Would you like to help Mongolia prosper better than any entrepreneur, economist or politician? Because you can do that. By translating valuable English content into Mongolian.

See, the best thing about you is that you have two perceptions. In Mongolia, you're part of a country in turmoil, where unemployment and social dissatisfaction is common, but on the Internet, you're connected to the whole wide world--myriad of people teach skills and share knowledge for free in English. There's so much out there, yet a lot of Mongolians are left out due to the language barrier--and you can help them.

We're living in a time where getting a Harvard-quality education doesn't mean actually going there. It's all online! And. It's. All. Free.

CHANCE FOR ME TO GET FREE HARVARD EDUCATION?!

OK. This is just to catch your attention--there are plenty more schools, but everyone thinks Harvard is the best school in Mongolia.

Let me tell you about Massive Online Open Courses, or MOOCs. Eight years ago, professors of American universities thought they should make some of their courses open on the Internet, free for all. By 2012, there was a quiet revolution on education around the world.

Let's say an African teenager had to walk a kilometer to get to an Internet cafe and watched two hours of video lectures and submitted a small homework each week. At the end of as little as only four weeks, he'd have a certificate from Stanford university. That's the beauty of MOOC. No payment, just your attention. There are websites like Coursera and edX that made MOOC super famous, but they're not the only ones; almost every country (even Mongolia--look at one.mn andedu.golomtbank.com) is making MOOCs these days.

You can google almost any profession or technical skill you want, add MOOC after it, and find a MOOC course on it. 

Here's me googling MOOCs on being a magician and an alcoholic. Surprisingly, there were courses on both, but I we don't need any lessons on the latter.

As long as you can commit time, you can study absolutely anything--and for free.

IF IT`S SO COOL, WHY ISN`T ANYONE LEARNING IT?

Well, that's the thing. Nobody can commit time. Especially me Mongolians, because of two reasons. One, Bill Gates said poor people prefer entertainment to education, whereas rich people (or people bound to get rich constantly seek education). I Mongolians watch at least one feature movie and one serial episode every night--that's three hours every evening, 21 hours a week, 90 hours a month, 1,080 hours a year--but I you can't commit to spend only three hours per week for a lecture. Two, for most other people who are committed, who could be getting so much--there's the language barrier.

AND THAT`S WHERE YOU COME IN, MY BILLINGUAL FRIEND.

Imagine your family, friends, people on the street and little kids in school receiving that high quality education. They'd be making making right decisions about life, career and working smart--and hard--to create value. The more Mongolians get educated, the more compounded this investment becomes.

You can help make this happen. If only fifty bilinguals translated one hundred courses in--I don't know, animal husbandry, international business, finance, tourism--imagine the impact it would make in the country's economy.

There's benefit for the translators themselves, too. For every 25,000 words translated from Coursera lectures, they give you a right to take $49 certificate of one course. That means you'll get the actual certificate from the university, be it Harvard, Stanford or any school from around the world.

Translating for Coursera - They're not making Mongolian available until a Language Coordinator is selected. I applied, so as soon as they select me someone, we can begin.

Translating for edX - You can start anytime. Also Harvard has its classes here.

BUT THAT`S NOT ALL

There are many other gems on personal development, science and business that Mongolia is absolutely missing out. Let's explore them.

ECPLAINER CONTENTS 

Explainers started with the idea that someone should explain everything about one concept. For example, What is Ebola virus? Paris attack: Everything You Need to Know.  Video channels are more successful at this, because the viewer absorbs everything passively and the explainer has many tools of multimedia at hand. Here's a short list of popular explainer channels on Youtube:

ASAPscience -- answers curious questions about science and many others, like Kurzgesagt--In a NutshellThis School of LifeTED videosTED-Ed videos.

Then, there are lots of articles that needs to be translated. WaitButWhy is a series of funny long informative articles by an extremely smart man--one piece was actually recently translated into Mongolian

Another similar branch that grew up on the Internet is mythbusting contents, like Cracked.com (where I had the privilige of busting few things), "Adam Ruins Everything" and "Mythbusters" shows. It uncovers myths and misconceptions through serious research and experimentation, and open our eyes. 

Translating Youtube subtitles is easy. All you do is follow these three steps. 1. Click on the gear icon on lower right corner of the video, 2. Click on Subtitles/CC, and 3. Click on Add subtitles/CC. You will be directed to a page where you can translate the text one by one. Note that some videos don't have this option, and you'd have to contact the creator in this case.

WEBSITES TO TEACH YOU CODING 

The whole world is secretly preparing their children for a war to fight or tame the machine, but Mongolians are missing out. With more and more items being computerized, coding can be used for anything from websites, cars and smartphones to home appliances, farms and companies.

Code.org teaches primary-level students (and their teachers) how to write important programming languages by playing games. And they're looking for a Mongolian translator. All you have to do isemail them your name, diploma copy and credentials, and you've got a stellar CV and at least 100 likes on your Facebook. A group of people recently founded an NGO to teach code to Mongolian kids.

I'm 30% done translating CodeCombat, another online game that teaches coding--and this one's a fantasy game, like World of Warcraft, for teenagers and adults.

Translating Code.org tutorials

Translating CodeCombat

GOOGLE TRANSLATE 

This is the ultimate contribution for the glorious motherland of Mongolia. Mongolians have been quipping about how lame Google Translate works, but a private company did it for us. Not everyone has had this opportunity; for Kyrgyzstan, a group of enthusiasts are doing the grunt work.

Mongolian translation shouldn't end here. We should be improving the machine translation system so that every part of the society can use the Internet with as little language barrier as possible.

Better yet, Google Translate has become really simple and ask you to only translate short phrases. There are levels for contribution, where you're applauded at every graduation, and there has even been a competition to win smartphone.

Improve Google Translate

ALL OF THIS IS NICE, BUT I CAN`T WORK FOR FREE. I NEED MONEY!

First off, translating for free means you'll get better practice, you'll feel better about yourself because you're helping others.

For now, there isn't a politician or a millionaire who's willing to pay you money for your translation (if they are reading this, they should email me here), but in case that happens I'll notify you. Leave your email here if you're interested.

Besides, there are people who don't speak English, but who are willing to pay to get this valuable education. I'm testing a website that could facilitate these two groups, maybe we can arrange a crowdfunding system that employs bilinguals like you and make certain translations available. It'll help you earn some money and make education accessible for all other Mongolians. And that's as beautiful as the future of Mongolia can be.

Again, leave your email here.

Link to article

Back to top

Culture, Society

Tsagaan Sar vacation will last during Feb 9-11

February 1 (gogo.mn) Tsagaan Sar is celebrated according to the lunar calendar. The date falls anywhere between the end of January and early March in the Gregorian calendar. This year, Bituun or the Tsagaan Sar Eve occurs on February 8th.

According to the Law on Celebrating Public Festivals and Memorable Days, the First day of Tsagaan Sar to Third Day of Tsagaan Sar is official non-working public holiday in nationwide. 

Therefore, this year's Tsagaan Sar vacation will last from Feb 09 - 11.

Link to article

Related:

How many days for Tsagaan Sar holiday?news.mn, February 1

 

VAT Lottery to be held on 31st January

February 1 (news.mn) The new VAT law which came into force on 1st January 2016 enables people to reclaim 2% of their purchases and also to participate in a lottery twice a month.

In the first lottery, which was held on 17th January, the public registered 1,114,929 receipts on the ebarimt.mn site.  A total 160 people, who had registered 1169 receipts, became lotto winners – of whom approximately 20 people won MNT 500,000.

On Sunday 31st January at 19.30 pm, the second lottery is going on air via Mongolian National Broadcaster; this time, there will be 4800 winners. According to R.Otgontulga, who is director of the "VAT Giveaway" at the General Authority of Customs and Taxation, 2-3 winners will win MNT 20 million. There will also be a lot more winners of the MNT 4 million than in the first lottery.

The third VAT lottery will be held on 7th February and is expected to be even bigger; it is forecast that it will involve about 7 million receipts.

Link to article

Back to top

Sports

Bojangles Quiz Night raises 480,000 towards Mongolia's first cricket ground

February 1 -- Very great thanks to the Bojangles Cricket Quiz Massive that turned out on Friday evening on an exceptionally chilly evening. About 70 quizzers pitted their wits against Bojangles' own Ian McNeil and his riddles to raise a whopping MNT 480,000 for the cricket.

This is stupendous progress, so a massive thanks to all present, including Jagermeister, Tunga and Co., Captain Kurt (aren't we all a little bit upriver?), Nina and Co., Young Couple Unknown, Doug, Terry, Robbie and the Crew and Couple of Gents by the bar that came in second and donated their entire winnings to The Great Game in Mongolia! Where were Elite? ASU? Orchlon? Santis? ISU? BSU?

It can be safely explained away that any headaches the following day were due to over exertion of the brain rather than anything else!

This is a great project and on the verge of success - every little helps and if we can build a cricket ground here in Mongolia this year it will generate many happy memories and friendships for Mongolians, expats and visitors for decades to come as well as bruises, self-doubt, cursing, extra laundry, frustration and broken fingers...

If you couldn't make it but wanted to support please follow the link.

www.goldengiving.com/charity/maca

Thank you!

Link to post

 

Mongolian stops three-time Olympic wrestling champion Kaori Icho's 13-year winning streak

February 1 (UB Post) Mongolian freestyle wrestler P.Orkhon beat Olympic and World Championship gold medalist Kaori Icho of Japan 10:0 at the 27th Golden Grand Prix, which took place in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, from January 29 to 31.

On the first day of the international tournament, which is named after celebrated Soviet wrestler and Olympic champion Ivan Yarygin, bronze medalist of the 2013 World Junior Championships 2013 P.Orkhon competed in the women's 58 kg event. She faced B.Shoovdor of Mongolia and two  Russian competitors in the first, second, and semi-final rounds and beat them.

In the finals, she defeated three-time Olympic and ten-time world champion Kaori Icho.

Kaori Icho faced Mongolian world champion S.Tserenchimed and defeated her. In the semi-final, Kaori Icho won against Mongolian wrestler E.Gantuya.

As news of Icho's loss traveled quickly to Japan, Japanese national team director Kazuhito Sakae said, "We're lucky it wasn't the Olympic Games. We have some time before the Olympics to correct some things. Kaori Icho knows what needs to be done and I'm convinced that she is an athlete who can correct herself, so I'm not worried."

Since her forfeit loss at the 2007 Asian Championships, Icho had won 108 straight bouts before facing P.Orkhon.

S.Tserenchimed and B.Shoovdor won bronze medals in the women's 58 kg category. E.Sumiya also won a bronze medal in the women's 63 kg category. Sh.Tumentseteg secured another bronze medal for Mongolia in the women's 69 kg category.

On the second day of the tournament, International Sports Master B.Odonchimeg claimed a gold medal in the women's 75 kg category, emerging as a champion among ten wrestlers after defeating Russian wrestler Elena Perepelkina.

State Honored Athlete O.Burmaa took home a bronze medal in the women's 75 kg contest.  And Mongolian wrestler E.Narangerel grabbed a bronze medal in the women's 48 kg event.

A total of 330 wrestlers from 10 countries, namely the USA, Greece, Italy, Kazakhstan, Cameroon, Mongolia, Senegal, Japan, and Russia competed in the tournament.

Link to article

Related:

Golden Grand Prix Wrestling Championsnews.mn, February 1

 

Mongolian women judokas maintain leadership in IJF rankings

Ulaanbaatar, February 1 (MONTSAME) The International Judo Federation (IJF) released the latest rankings of judokas on January 31 following international tournament including the Havana Grand Prix, Sofia European Open and Paris Grand Slam.

According to the rankings, a State Honored Sportswoman and World champion M.Urantsetseg kept her leadership in the women's -48 kg division with 3,190 points, being followed by her Argentina counterpart Paula Pareto (2,970 points). A bronze medalist of the 2015 World Championship D.Sumiya led the ranking of the women's 57 kg weight category with not-changed 2,600 points. She was followed by a Romanian judoka Corina Carrioriu who has 2,244 points.

D.Tomorkhuleg IMS maintained his second place in the men's -66 kg division with 2,205 points, while 2014 World champion G.Boldbaatar also kept his 3rd place with 1,978 points; and D.Amartuvshin (1,392 points) stayed at 11th place in the men's -60 kg weight category. This division was led by Japanese judoka Naohisa Takato who collected 2,066 points.

An Olympic bronze medalist S.Nyam-Ochir kept his 10th in the men's -73kg with 1,226 points, and L.Otgonbaatar IMS went down to ninth place in the men's -90kg category.

A State Honored Sportswoman Ts.Munkhzaya (woman's 63 kg) maintained the seventh place with 1,830 points.

Link to article

 

Mongolian wrestlers grab medals in France and Bulgaria

Ulaanbaatar, February 1 (MONTSAME) Freestyle wrestlers of the men's national team have won medals in international tournaments.

International master of sports N.Lhamgarmaa won a gold medal in the men's 65kg contest at the Grand Prix tournament held last weekend at the Olympic Training Center in Paris of France. In the same category, another Batmagnai won a bronze medal after defeating opponents from France, Venezuela and Hungary.

This tournament has been also attended by wrestlers from the USA, Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Venezuela, Greece, Georgia, Iran, Spain, Colombia, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland.

D.Khuderbulga IMS captured a silver in the men's 97kg bout, defeating rivals from Brazil and Iran. In the finals, he lost to a Venezuelan.

Others--L.Tortogtokh and J.Chuluunbat IMSs--won bronze medals in the men's 61 and 125kg divisions, respectively.

Meanwhile, B.Nomin claimed a bronze medal in the men's 65kg contest at the 53rd Dan Kolov&Nikola Petrov's international tournament which ran this January 29-30 at the "Universiada" sport hall in Sofia of Bulgaria.

Male wrestlers of our national team will take part in the 44th international competitions named after Yasar Dogu this February 5-7 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Link to article

 

Mongolia takes 1st place in Hakuho Cup international youth sumo tournament

Ulaanbaatar, February 1 (MONTSAME) A Mongolian youth team for sumo wrestling has successfully competed in the "Hakuho Cup" international tournament which attracted some 1,200 young wrestlers of Mongolia, Japan, the USA, China and South Korea.

As the team results, the Mongolian team won the first place for the first time. A wrestler from Bayankhongor province A.Sosorkhuu captured a gold medal, and E.Javkhlantogs won a bronze medal. 

Link to article

Back to top

Art, Entertainment

Sundance: Sony Classics Buys Documentary 'Eagle Huntress'

February 1 (Variety) Sony Classics has acquired rights to the documentary "The Eagle Huntress" for North America, Latin America, Germany, Australia/New Zealand, Scandinavia and Asia.

"The Eagle Huntress" is directed by Otto Bell and executive produced by Morgan Spurlock and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" actress Daisy Ridley. The film centers on Aisholpan, a 13-year old Mongolian girl striving to become the first female Eagle Hunter in the sport's 2,000-year history.

The film follows Aisholpan as she learns all aspects of the ancient tradition, including taming her own eaglet and training for the annual Golden Eagle Festival, which involves competing against 70 male Eagle Hunters. The movie is set in the remote Altai Mountains of Northwestern Mongolia.

"The Eagle Huntress" held its world premiere last week at the Sundance Film Festival in the Sundance Kids section. Aisholpan, together with her father and mother, journeyed from Mongolia to Park City, Utah to present the film and participate in discussions.

Producers are Stacey Reiss and Sharon Chang. Ridley, Spurlock, Jeremy Chilnick, Marc H. Simon, Dan Cogan, Regina K. Scully, Barbara Dobkin and Susan Maclaury are executive producers, in association with Artemis Rising Foundation, Impact Partners, Shine Global and Warrior Poets.

The film's theme song is written and sung by Sia.

The deal was brokered by CAA with legal services provided by Marc H. Simon of Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP on behalf of the filmmakers.

Link to article

 

N.Jantsannorov best song at 29th Morin Khuur Festival

February 1 (UB Post) The final round and award ceremony of the 29th Morin Khuur Festival was held on January 28 at the Central Cultural Palace.

A song titled "Burkhan Khaldun", composed by State Honored Artist and People's Artist N.Jantsannorov and lyric by poet G.Bayar, won the Grand Prix of the Morin Khuur Festival. Composer N.Jantsannorov was named the best composer of the year.

First place went to "Darigangyn Kheer Tal" (Steppe of Dariganga), composed by Kh.Altangerel and written by G.Mend-Ooyo.

Second place prize went to "Tsetsen Khany Nutag" (The Country of Tsetsen Khan), composed by B.Byambabayar and written by G.Mend-Ooyo.

Third place prize was awarded to "Tavilangiin Khargui", composed by T.Ser-Od and written by G.Munkhtsetseg.

Head of the Cultural Policy Management Department of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science D.Gantumur handed the prizes to the winners.

A total of 25 songs were selected to compete in the final round.

The Mongolian Union of Composers annually organizes the Morin Khuur Festival.

The previous year's Grand Prix prize went to the song "Ijii Guruus", composed by the State Honored Artist N.Chuluunkhuu and written by A.Tumur-Ochir.

Link to article

Related:

N.Jantsannorov receives the "Silver Horse-Head Fiddle"news.mn, February 1

Back to top

 

---

Suite 702, Level 7, Express Tower

4 Peace Avenue, Chingeltei District 1

Ulaanbaatar 15160, Mongolia
Email: info@covermongolia.com
P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

No comments:

Post a Comment