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Friday, April 29, 2016

[Rio 'set' to approve; MMC defaults on notes; S&P affirms ratings; $1B India loan signed; Erdenet, OT lead Top 100 list; and BCM appoints new ED]

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Friday, April 29, 2016

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original

 

ASEM 11

Mongolia has commenced training of 1500 ASEM Volunteers

April 28 (ASEM Mongolia Office) 1,500 students and youths registered to volunteer during the ASEM Summit and its side events received their first training on April 25.

The volunteers, recruited from children's organizations and more than 20 universities, have been divided into 24 teams with 50 members each. The first training has been to four groups, where the participants were introduced to a general overview of the duties and responsibilities of the volunteers. The training also focuses on giving the volunteers an understanding of the ASEM's activities and practical knowledge on teamwork.

The training is being conducted by professional teachers of the Dudu Educational foundation, which is implementing an international "Teamwork & Teamplay" training program.

The basic training will continue up to May 10, after which "orientation training" covering international relations, diplomatic rules and norms, principles to be complied with during state protocol events, and the job requirements for volunteers as well as organizational issues would be included in the training.

The "orientation training" will be run by officials of the ASEM Office of Mongolia and senior diplomats of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and special tours will be organized to historical sites in Ulaanbaatar in order to train them as guides.

More than 50 volunteers successfully took part in the 9th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Partnership Meeting which was held in Ulaanbaatar on April 21-23. A Volunteer headquarters has been established at the Mongolian Children's Palace, and students trained as volunteers will have their uniform and special identification cards.

Link to article

 

Managers of ASEM partner hotels attend Convention management training

April 28 (ASEM Mongolia Office) A capacity building training for managers of ASEM partner hotels began at Blue Sky Hotel on April 26, jointly organized by the Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism (MEGDT), the South Korean KOICA international cooperation organization and the ASEM Hotel and Accommodation working group.

The opening of the training was attended by P. Tsagaan, Chief of Staff of the Office of the President of Mongolia and chairman of the ASEM's Hotel and Accommodation working group, D. Gankhuyag, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and Chairman of the ASEM Office of Mongolia, Ts. Tsengel, State Secretary of MEGDT, and Park Soo Young, Permanent Representative of KOICA in Mongolia.

In his opening remarks, P. Tsagaan said, "The quality of services to the guests is one of the key factors for the success of the ASEM Summit. That's why the ASEM Office of Mongolia, giving priority to the quality of hotel services, is organizing multiple stages of capacity building initiatives. I am happy that Mongolian hotels are getting trained in organizing and managing international conventions. This training aims at building the capacity of the ASEM partner hotels, and I am also confident that it would make an important contribution to promoting the development of Mongolia's tourism and services industries."

More than 150 managers of ASEM partners hotels are taking part in the training, learning about preparations of international conventions and protocol of serving high-level delegates.

The training is delivered by 5 professional hospitality instructors from South Korea, and will continue until April 29.

Link to article

 

Int'l Market

TRQ closed +0.7% to US$2.83, +11.4% YTD

Rio set to OK $US4bn Oyu Tolgoi expansion

By Matt Chambers

April 28 (The Australian) Rio Tinto appears set to approve the long-awaited $US4 billion ($5.25bn) expansion of the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in Mongolia as early as next week, in a move analysts say could add $US4.7bn of value to the company and pave the way for further expansion.

The miner, whose copper boss Jean-Sebastien Jacques will take over as chief executive from Sam Walsh in July, holds its annual general meeting in Brisbane next Thursday ahead of what is likely to be the board's final meeting for the first half.

And with Rio this month saying it was on track for a June-quarter decision on the expansion, which was stalled for 18 months because of disagreements between Rio and Mongolia, an investment decision looks increasingly likely.

In December, Rio said the disagreement had been settled, paving the way for project financing deals and the coming approval of the expansion, which is designed to unlock the up to 80 per cent of the value of the project that cannot be accessed by the open pit mine.

"We expect the Oyu Tolgoi project to be approved by Rio Tinto, Turquoise Hill (the Canadian listed Rio subsidiary that operates the project) and the Mongolian government during the second quarter," Deutsche Bank analysts said yesterday in a note to clients. "We value Rio's 34 per cent share of the underground phase 1 at $US4.7bn, or $3.50 per share, with the project delivering an internal rate of return of 25 per cent at our long-term copper price of $US3 a pound."

The latest cost estimate for the underground expansion issued by Rio was $US4.9bn in October 2014.

Deutsche Bank says this could have been whittled down to about $US4bn because of reductions in construction costs that the downturn has brought.

In its March quarter report, released last week, Rio said the board was expected to make an investment decision on the Oyu Tolgoi underground this quarter, which is a good indication management thinks the project is set to go ahead.

At full production, Oyu Tolgoi is expected to produce about 700,000 tonnes of copper and 500,000 ounces of gold a year at a cost of US70c a pound (net of gold credits).

Deutsche Bank said there was the potential to expand the mine through further development of other deposits.

It said a second phase could mine another 2.5 billion tonnes of resource at a cost of $US4bn, including boosting the size of the mill by 50 per cent to be able to process 210,000 tonnes of ore per day. That could another $US1.1bn of value to Rio, the bank said.

Link to article

 

Turquoise Hill to Announce First Quarter Financial Results on May 5, 2016

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - April 28, 2016) - Turquoise Hill Resources will announce its first quarter financial results on Thursday, May 5, 2016 after markets close in North America.

The Company will host a conference call and webcast to discuss first quarter results on Friday, May 6, 2016 at 11:00 am EDT / 8:00 am PDT. The conference call can be accessed through the following dial-in details:

Link to release

 

975 trading +1.4% in early trading to HK$0.07

MMC Announces Default on $600M Senior Notes Due 2017

April 29 -- This announcement (the "Announcement") is made by Mongolian Mining Corporation (the "Company") pursuant to Rule 13.09(2) and Rule 13.19 of the Rules Governing the Listing of the Securities on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the "Listing Rules") and the Inside Information Provisions under Part XIVA of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 571 of the Laws of Hong Kong).

Reference is made to the announcement of the Company dated 26 January 2016 in relation to the potential restructuring the Company is seeking for its US$600,000,000 8.875% senior notes due 2017 (the "Notes").

Reference is also made to the announcement of the Company dated 14 March 2016 in relation to formation of the Steering Committee of the holders (the "Noteholders") of the Notes (the "Steering Committee") and appointment of legal and financial advisers to the Steering Committee.

Reference is also made to the announcement of the Company dated 30 March 2016 that the Company was neither able to pay the semi-annual interests due on 29 March 2016 under the Notes (the "Coupon Payment") nor secure any waiver or forbearance from the Noteholders in this regard.

As at the date of the Announcement, the default on the Coupon Payment has continued for a period of 30 consecutive calendar days. As such, an event of default under the Notes has taken place.

The Company is in discussion with and intends to continue dialogue with the Steering Committee and its legal and financial advisers.

As at the date of the Announcement, the Company has not received any notice from any of the Noteholders demanding immediate repayment of any outstanding amount under the Notes.

The Company will publish further announcements to update the shareholders and potential investors the progress as and when necessary.

Link to release

 

Xanadu Mines Ltd trenches bonanza gold from Oyut Ulaan in Mongolia

April 28 (Proactive Investors) Xanadu Mines Ltd (ASX:XAM) has received gold assays of up to 589.96 g/t from its trenching work at its 90% owned Oyut Ulaan copper-gold project in Mongolia.

Trenching results at the Stockwork II and Bavuu zones within Oyut Ulaan continue to increase the scale and potential of the system.

Multiple near-surface, shallow-dipping lodes have produced high grades of 1 g/t to >30 g/t gold.

Following the previously reported discovery of multiple zones of potentially significant outcropping mineralisation, the company continues its program of systematic and cost effective exploration work.

This work is designed to understand the geological controls on high-grade mineralisation within this large system before drilling is planned.

Andrew Stewart, CEO, commented: "We are delighted that detailed trench sampling of these newly discovered quartz-sulphide veins continues to deliver outstanding gold results with multiple bonanza grade assays confirming the existence of continuous shallow high-grade gold mineralisation with remarkable continuity along the strike.

"Now we have received all results from the first part of the trenching program we are now developing plans for accelerated exploration of this exciting new discovery at Oyut Ulaan."

Background

The Oyut Ulaan project is strategically located within the South Gobi Copper Belt, which hosts the world class Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project, and 260 kilometres east of Xanadu's flagship Kharmagtai copper-gold project.

The recent discovery of potentially significant gold vein mineralisation broadens the range of targets at Oyut Ulaan and opens up a whole new area for exploration.

The results of this first part of the trenching program are encouraging and indicate Oyut Ulaan is developing into one of the most prospective districts in the South Gobi.

Furthermore, copper grades within the samples from the Stockwork II zone average 0.3% which supports the possibility of a buried porphyry copper mineralisation.

Analysis

Given the bonanza grades and significant strike; we expect the ongoing field work to continue to produce high grade results.

Xanadu maintains broker support from Bell Potter who have a $0.35 price target and Speculative Buy rating.

The share price is up circa 100% year to date trading around $0.23.

These results are further confirmation of the existence of sub-outcropping high-grade gold mineralisation at Oyut Ulaan. 

Furthermore, these assays demonstrate that the host rock is also carrying gold mineralisation and the gold is not only being carried by the quartz veins.

Link to article

 

NUR: Annual Report 2015

April 28, National United Resources Ltd. (HKEx:254) --

Management Discussion and Analysis

Acquisition of Glorious Future Logistics Limited

On 19 May 2015, the Group entered into a sale and purchase agreement with independent third parties to acquire the entire issued equity of Glorious Future Logistics Limited ("Glorious Future"), a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands with limited liability, at a consideration of HK$44,000,000. Glorious Future holds 95% shareholdings interest in Ifrontier LLC, a limited liability company incorporated in Mongolia, with self-owned trucks and vehicles located in Mongolia. Such acquisition would enable the Group to establish a full supply chain of coal from Mongolia to the PRC. The acquisition was completed in this financial period.

Link to report

 

Rio Tinto to purchase $1.359 billion debt under Any and All Offer 

28 April 2016 -- Under Rio Tinto's plan to reduce gross debt through the early repayment of some near term maturing debt, Rio Tinto Finance (USA) plc has accepted for purchase a total of $1.359 billion in debt pursuant to its Any and All Offer, which commenced on 21 April 2016 and expired on 27 April 2016. 

$339 million in aggregate principal amount of its 2.000 per cent Notes due 2017 will be purchased at a price of $1,006.91 per $1,000 principal amount of notes. $1.020 billion in aggregate principal amount of its 1.625 per cent Notes due 2017 will be purchased at a price of $1,005.85 per $1,000 principal amount of notes. The above amounts exclude $2 million of Any and All Securities that remain subject to the guaranteed delivery procedures described in the Offer to Purchase. The Any and All Securities purchased will be retired and cancelled and no longer remain outstanding. 

The settlement date for the Any and All Offer will be 29 April 2016 (or 3 May 2016 in the case of Any and All Securities delivered pursuant to the guaranteed delivery procedures). 

Capitalized terms in this announcement have the same meaning as assigned to them in the Offer to Purchase dated 21 April 2016. 

The Lead Dealer Managers for the Any and All Offer are Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and RBC Capital Markets, LLC. The Co-Dealer Managers are BMO Capital Markets Corp., CIBC World Markets Corp., nabSecurities, LLC and TD Securities (USA) LLC.

Link to release

 

Centerra Gold Reports Search of Kumtor Gold Company's Bishkek Office

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - April 28, 2016) - Centerra Gold Inc. (TSX: CG) ("Centerra" or the "Company") reports that the Kyrgyz Republic General Prosecutor's Office ("GPO") and other state law enforcement agencies conducted a search at the Bishkek offices of Kumtor Gold Company ("KGC"), Centerra's wholly-owned, Kyrgyz Republic subsidiary, on the afternoon of Thursday, April 28. According to a news release issued by the GPO, the purpose of the search appears to be to collect documents relevant to a criminal case relating to alleged financial violations by KGC in connection with past inter-corporate transactions between KGC and Centerra. Mine operations remain unaffected by the GPO's action.

The Kyrgyz Republic government has very recently indicated to Centerra its dissatisfaction with the current arrangements governing Centerra and the Kumtor project. The government repeated certain historical concerns and allegations regarding Centerra's and KGC's management and governance and the operations of the Kumtor project and expressed its desire to resolve all such matters through proposals to be provided by it to Centerra. Centerra has communicated to the Kyrgyz Republic government its openness to receive and discuss proposals to resolve such concerns in a manner that is fair to all of Centerra's shareholders. No negotiations with the Kyrgyz Republic government have to date taken place.

As previously disclosed, the Kyrgyz Republic government has expressed concerns regarding, among other things, an inter-corporate dividend paid by KGC to Centerra in 2013. The Company re-iterates that such inter-corporate dividend complied with the 2009 agreements governing the Kumtor Project (the "Kumtor Project Agreements") and all applicable Kyrgyz Republic laws. Any claims to the contrary are without merit.

The Company has benefited from a close and constructive dialogue with Kyrgyz Republic authorities during Kumtor Project operations and remains committed to working with them to resolve these issues in accordance with the Kumtor Project Agreements, which provide for all disputes to be resolved by international arbitration, if necessary. However, there are no assurances that the Company will be able to successfully resolve any or all of the outstanding matters affecting the Kumtor Project. There are also no assurances that any discussions between the Kyrgyz Republic government and Centerra will result in a mutually acceptable solution regarding the arrangements governing Centerra and the Kumtor Project or receive the necessary legal and regulatory approvals under Kyrgyz law and/or Canadian law and that the Kyrgyz Republic government and/or Parliament will not take actions that are inconsistent with the Government's obligations under the Kumtor Project Agreements, including adopting a law "denouncing" or purporting to cancel or invalidate the Kumtor Project Agreements or laws enacted in relation thereto. The inability to successfully resolve all such matters would have a material adverse impact on the Company's future cash flows, earnings, results of operations and financial condition.

Link to release

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Local Market

MSE Trading Report: Top 20 +0.76%, ALL +0.09%, Turnover 36.9 Million Shares

April 28 (MSE) -

Link to report

 

5th Mongolia-London Business Forum Taking Place in London

April 27 (MSE) "5th Mongolia-London Business Forum" organizing taking place on 26-27 of April 2016 in London. This forum is organized by the Mongolian British Chamber of Commerce in association with London Stock Exchange Group, UK Ministry for Trade and Industry /UKTI/, Mongolian Stock Exchange and the Mongolian Embassy.

During the forum, total of 120 delegations from UKTI, Mongolian British Chamber of Commerce in association, international organizations, international investors and Mongolian companies are participating.

This forum aims to provide a platform for the Mongolian business community and United Kingdom financial institutions to extend their cooperation and exchange information about investment opportunities in Mongolia.

Link to release

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Economy

Historic low 2,050.85/USD set March 28, 2016. Reds are rates that set a new low at the time

BoM MNT Rates: Tuesday, April 26 Close

4/28

4/27

4/26

4/25

4/22

4/21

4/20

4/19

4/18

4/15

4/14

4/13

4/12

4/11

4/8

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USD

2,009.41

2,005.71

1,996.79

1,996.27

1,980.38

1,982.67

1,978.39

1,986.24

1,992.39

2,005.08

2,008.46

2,013.15

2,020.04

2,023.91

2,026.93

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EUR

2,279.17

2,271.67

2,248.88

2,243.51

2,234.26

2,240.32

2,247.65

2,250.41

2,249.41

2,257.52

2,258.71

2,285.13

2,306.89

2,310.29

2,301.07

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JPY

18.57

18.04

18.02

17.94

17.92

18.08

18.17

18.24

18.45

18.34

18.35

18.49

18.64

18.77

18.64

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GBP

2,927.81

2,927.13

2,896.74

2,880.42

2,841.45

2,844.54

2,842.95

2,843.10

2,817.34

2,839.59

2,833.33

2,864.31

2,880.38

2,861.40

2,851.18

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RUB

30.82

30.61

30.00

30.06

29.90

30.59

29.80

30.19

29.12

30.27

30.16

30.49

30.34

30.17

30.02

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CNY

310.25

309.00

307.38

306.86

305.03

306.18

305.95

306.96

307.49

309.33

309.66

311.28

312.38

312.97

312.81

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KRW

1.77

1.75

1.73

1.74

1.73

1.75

1.75

1.75

1.73

1.75

1.74

1.76

1.76

1.77

1.76

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SGD

1,496.49

1,486.76

1,474.08

1,475.49

1,466.51

1,474.05

1,474.43

1,477.42

1,466.45

1,474.43

1,470.43

1,493.82

1,501.33

1,504.54

1,500.98

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CAD

1,601.12

1,590.32

1,575.63

1,573.91

1,555.07

1,568.94

1,556.68

1,557.10

1,534.61

1,566.04

1,557.67

1,571.12

1,566.71

1,558.17

1,547.81

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AUD

1,536.50

1,526.65

1,538.73

1,540.82

1,532.91

1,548.56

1,540.77

1,547.58

1,523.78

1,547.82

1,534.87

1,539.56

1,543.21

1,529.27

1,528.41

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HKD

259.06

258.57

257.44

257.35

255.28

255.58

255.06

256.09

256.90

258.50

258.91

259.56

260.46

260.89

261.30

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CHF

2,075.30

2,064.23

2,045.89

2,043.37

2,029.60

2,042.83

2,057.61

2,062.77

2,061.77

2,071.90

2,075.71

2,100.53

2,120.78

2,124.06

2,116.79

Bank USD rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy ₮2,008 Sell ₮2,016), Khan (Buy ₮2,008 Sell ₮2,016), Golomt (Buy ₮2,006 Sell ₮2,016), XacBank (Buy ₮2,009 Sell ₮2,018), State Bank (Buy ₮2,007 Sell ₮2,017)

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

Link to rates

 

S&P: Ratings On Mongolia Affirmed At 'B/B'; Outlook Stable; 2.6% Growth Projected

April 28 (Standard & Poor's Ratings Services) –

OVERVIEW

·         Mongolia's economic outlook remains weak, with our projection for GDP growth averaging 4.6% over 2016-2019.

·         In addition, weak exports and investment inflows continue to pressure Mongolia's public finances and balance of payments. We also observe that developing institutional effectiveness and predictability hamper policy responses.

·         We are affirming our 'B' long-term and short-term sovereign credit rating on Mongolia.

·         The stable outlook balances the country's low-income resource-driven economy, weak policy environment and fiscal performance, high external risk, and limited monetary flexibility with the prospect that large mining projects could quickly reverse Mongolia's sovereign credit profile.

RATING ACTION

On April 28, 2016, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B' long-term and 'B' short-term sovereign credit ratings on Mongolia. The outlook is stable.

RATIONALE

The ratings on Mongolia reflect our assessment of the country's weak economic prospects, public finances, and balance of payments. We also observe that developing institutional effectiveness and predictability hamper policy responses.

After Mongolia's five years of growth that is among the highest of all rated sovereigns, we expect the country to slow to a projected 2.6% this year, and we project growth to average about 4% through 2019. We expect per capita growth to rise by only 1% in 2016. We assess Mongolia's economic performance to be similar to that of other countries with US$4,100 per capita GDP. This lower growth stems partly from the ancillary effects of weaker terms of trade, capital outflows associated with risk aversion in emerging markets, and partly from the country's mixed mining policies, which had discouraged foreign direct investment.

These mining policies are beginning to turn more supportive. Two large projects are underway. The first is the Oyu Tolgoi gold and copper mine, located in the South Gobi region of Mongolia. The US$5.4 billion mine will be one of the world's largest new copper-gold mines. It is owned by the government of Mongolia and Turquoise Hill Resources and operated by Rio Tinto.

The second project is Tavan Tolgoi and has been proposed by the Mongolia government to be a US$4 billion coal mine located in the same region and operated by the Mongolian Mining Corp., China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd., and Sumitomo Corp. Although these two projects could transform the Mongolian economy, our ratings reflect the risks associated with these projects while they are being developed.

The first risk pertains to Mongolia's external position, which continues to weaken. We project the country's current account deficit will return to double digits as a percentage of GDP for the forecast horizon (2016-2019) because the import content of the two big mining projects is high. As a result of historical and projected current account deficits, Mongolia's external debt net of public and financial sector external assets will rise to 126% of current account receipts (CARs) this year, from 11% in 2010, and we forecast it to remain above 100% until 2017.

We also expect the broader measure of net external liabilities to CARs to deteriorate to above 430% this year, from 45% in 2010. Similarly, we project gross external financing needs to CARs plus usable reserves to rise to 168% this year, from 104% in 2010, and we estimate the ratio to remain above 130% through 2018. Central bank reserves net of swaps with domestic banks amounted to US$1.3 billion as of December 2015 (or two months of current account payments), including a substantial drawing from a Chinese renminbi (RMB) 15 billion (US$2.3 billion) swap line provided by the People's Bank of China (PBOC).

Although the risks to the external position are partly attenuated by a floating currency regime, the togrog is not an actively traded currency and the central bank occasionally intervenes in the market to reduce volatility.

Half of government debt and a third of banking system loans are in foreign currency, suggesting balance sheet vulnerabilities.

Another deteriorating risk factor relates to Mongolia's public finances. On Nov. 13, 2015, the Mongolian parliament approved the 2016 budget, which provides for further public sector jobs, wage cuts, and a reduction in the number of ministries. Despite these measures, we expect net general government debt (which captures onlending and foreign exchange effects but excludes the PBOC swap drawings) will rise by 7.3% of GDP to 56.8% this year. Downside risks to this outlook include weaker growth and attendant revenue underperformance. Volatile commodity prices present both upside and downside risks. Pressing infrastructure needs are also a source of expenditure pressure.

Standard & Poor's considers the Development Bank of Mongolia as part of the general government, given its quasi-fiscal activity. We view the rest of the financial and public enterprise sectors as posing limited contingent liabilities to the government, as our criteria define the term, largely due to the small size of Mongolia's financial sector.

Mongolia's banks remain exposed to vulnerabilities associated with its undeveloped, primarily commodity-based, low-income economy. Rapid credit growth in recent years and cooling property prices add further risks. We also observe weaknesses in its regulatory framework, transparency, and disclosures.

Our Bank Industry Credit Risk Assessment for Mongolia is '10' (with '1' being the highest assessment and '10' being the lowest).

The country has been ruled by the minority Democratic Party government following the breakup of Mongolia's grand coalition in August 2015. Parliamentary elections are to be held in June 2016. Despite its minority status, the government passed its 2016 budget in November 2015. Mongolia's governance and policy effectiveness remains weak, in our view, and a past record in policy shifts continues to weigh on the environment for growing business confidence and foreign investment.

OUTLOOK

The stable outlook balances the country's low-income resource-driven economy, emerging policy environment and fiscal performance, high external risk, and limited monetary flexibility with the prospect that large mining projects could quickly reverse Mongolia's sovereign credit profile during the next 12 months.

Upward pressure could build on the rating if the development of the Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi mines accelerates economic growth and improves fiscal and external performances more than we currently expect. Downward pressure could emerge on the ratings if Mongolia's external liquidity weakens markedly.

KEY STATISTICS

Link to release

 

Meat price increases

April 28 (gogo.mn) National Statistics Office released price report of the 4th week of April. This week 1 kg mutton with bones costs 6915 MNT, and 1 kg beef with bones costs 8505 MNT.

Price for beef with bones is increased by 380 tugrik compared to the previous week, whereas price for beef without bones lowered by 35 tugrik.

Observation of this week indicates Kharkhorin grocery market sells beef meat at lowest price at 8300 MNT, and whereas Tavan-Erdene market price was highest at 9500 MNT.

Compared to last week, prices for mutton with or without bones was increased by 115 to 155 tugrik. And Kharkhorin market sells mutton for lowest price at 6700, and Mercury market is selling at highest at 8500 tugrik.

"Altan Taria" packed flour price at big markets:

  • premium flour 1200 - 1500
  • 1st grade 1000 - 13000
  • 2nd grade 780 - 1000

Potato and some vegetable prices have gone up by 30 tugrik and turnip price skyrocketed by 210 tugrik.

Link to article

 

As cashmere output quality improves, export price might go up

Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) Cashmere trading at the Agricultural Exchange has increased against last month, reported the exchange. Next month is the peak season for cashmere market in Mongolia.

A kilogram of unprocessed light colored cashmere is costing 61,000 MNT, whereas a kilogram of dark cashmere is 59,800 MNT, as of today. On April 27, the Agricultural Exchange conducted trades of 10.9 billion MNT, among which was 91 tons of cashmere that cost 5.4 billion MNT.

Combed cashmere of dark color costs 117,900 MNT and that of light color costs 120,500 MNT. The cashmere price is slightly lower than that of the previous year.

Due to the abundant snowfall of last winter, cashmere output quality has improved. With the improving of recovery of pure cashmere from one kilogram of unprocessed cashmere, the cashmere export price might go up, state the exchange specialists.

Link to article

 

"Landlocked developing nations should develop their economies under multilateralism"

April 28 (MONTSAME) In 2014, landlocked developing countries adopted the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries for the Decade 2014-2024.

Such countries usually export very few kinds of products mostly mineral raw materials due to an infrastructure development of land only. They make up only 2 or 3 per cent of total export worldwide, so the Vienna programme reflects goals for a facilitation of international trade, broadening regional cooperation, boosting transit transportation and infrastructure. Representatives of landlocked nations gathered at a workshop on mainstreaming the 2014-2024 Vienna Program of Action which began Wednesday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to discuss own ways of realizing the programme.

Mongolia will organize its parliamentary election this July and will form a new cabinet, so reflecting clauses of the action programme in election programmes could immensely contribute to boosting the socio-economic development, the participants said.

Besides it, international organizations believe that Mongolia's establishment of international contracts on socio-economic development and implementation of infrastructure projects as well as active participation in its region will contribute to a realization of the Vienna programme of action.

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Politics & Legal

Mogi: Tsog is MPRP, Saikhansambu is MPP. Uyanga's party just formed a coalition with Mongolian Green Party, "United Mongolia" coalition

MP Tsog and Narantuul boss leave their parties

April 28 (news.mn) The Deputy Parliamentary Speaker L.Tsog and Member of Parliament G.Uyanga recently left the "Justice Union" group of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) and the Mongolian National Democratic Party (MNDP). Following her action, G.Uyanga, also went on to leave the MNDP. The reason for her action has been revealed, namely, the fact that she was to be appointed chairperson of the newly established Independence and Unity Party (IUP). This new party has already started preparation for the June election. Subsequently, Ms. Uyanga has written on twitter that: "Deputy Parliamentary Speaker L.Tsog and MPRP member Sh.Saikhansambuu proposed to leave the MPRP". Mr Saikhansambuu is better known as the boss of the Narantuul trading center.

Link to article

 

MPRP to enter election alone

April 28 (news.mn) Today, the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) held a press conference, during which Chairman N.Enkhbayar made the following statement:

"The MPRP and Mongolian People's Party (MPP) formed working teams on the issue of an alliance. But at around 21.30pm on 19th April, the MPP meeting decided that they will enter the election without the MPRP. The law states that alliance issues must be decided before 29th April. Therefore, we have appealed MPP to 'reconsider your decision on the alliance; this election is essential to save Mongolia from further hardship'. But, yesterday the MPP stated that they will not change their decision.

The MPRP has also proposed forming an alliance with the Green Party (GP). But Greens and the Independence and Unity Party have already formed one of their own. So yesterday, we discussed the same issue with the Civil Will Green Party. Chairman Ts.Gankhuyag confirmed interest and said they are forming a working team. S.Oyun- another chairperson of the same party, however, wants to form an alliance with the Democratic Party. Therefore, we could not reach a deal.

Subsequently, during a party meeting yesterday we prepared the necessary documents to enter election alone. Tomorrow we will present these documents to the General Electoral Commission, in accordance with the law on elections".

Link to article

 

Minister Battsereg submits draft amendments

Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism N.Battsereg MP Thursday submitted to the Speaker Z.Enkhbold draft amendments to the laws on garbage (new version) and on VAT.

Due to a rapid population growth, urbanization and industrialization, a size of garbage has been increasing by about 500 thousand tons a year in Mongolia, and kinds of garbage have increased as well. The increasing amount of garbage and long-year existed poisonous garbage cause pollution in soils, water and air and bad effects to health of people.

The current law on garbage has gone out of date, lacking a potential to satisfy requirements of intensive development of socio-economy, technologies and environment. It is estimated that 5-10% of garbage in Ulaanbaatar city is thrown outside. In addition, waste of imported second-hand vehicles, their accessories, lubricants, tires and electric products have been increasing the size of dangerous and poisonous garbage.

The current situation in garbage management makes some necessities to perform technological reforms in actions of collecting, transporting and burying garbage, to create spots of dangerous garbage, to back factories of classifying and processing garbage and to create a legal landscape for putting garbage into economic circulation. Thus, the draft amendment has been worked out, reflecting necessary clauses on regulating these matters, said N.Battsereg.

It is expected that the draft amendment will make the tax environment better and nicer, create opportunities for introducing new techniques, technologies and innovations and increasing a volume of processing, productions, export and job places and will create positive effects to the socio-economic development, he said.

Link to article

 

Draft amendment to law on traffic safety submitted

Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) A member of parliament Kh.Temuujin Thursday submitted to parliament a draft amendment to the law on traffic safety.

In three clauses, the amendment says about regulations that would clearly determine those officials who has a right to perform arrests, and would abolish duplicated punishments. 

The initiators said the draft, fully harmonized with the Constitution and some laws, would end some contradictions in related laws and make the legal responsibilities/punishments clearer and more effective.

Link to article

 

Gold exploration: delay in incentive package implementation

April 28 (news.mn) Last year, the Government decided to provide a loan of MNT 256 billion, aimed at discovering new gold reserves and intensifying gold exploration by 9% annually. The gold exploration companies, however, have still not this loan via the commercial banks. In turn, the commercial banks will only start providing these loans, after the Government guarantees 50% and the Bank of Mongolia secures the money source.

So far, five companies have submitted their application documentation to the Ministry of Finance, which in response, has decided to provide gold loans to two of them. The key criteria for providing the loan is that the company in question must be a reliable firm with a good reputation and which should explore for the gold without any delay.

If the companies deliver the newly discovered gold in accordance with the terms of the contract, the annual loan rate will be reduced to 6.5%.

Link to article

 

94.6 thousand citizens have won 3.8 billion worth promotion through VAT lottery

April 28 (gogo.mn) According to the quarter 1 report released by Customs & Tax Information Technology Office (CTITO), 94 thousand 689 hundred citizens have won 3.8 billion MNT worth promotion through 9 times of VAT lottery.

CTITO reports 27 thousand 102 hundred citizens have been issued the 986 million MNT worth promotion.

Super lottery winner who won 400 million MNT last month only knew of his winning this week when he registered a receipt. The 400 million MNT winner has submitted his documents and receipt to related office.

So far there have been 6 winners of 20 million MNT; 81 winners of 4 million MNT; and 90 percent of the VAT lottery winners have won at least 20 thousand MNT.

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Business

Erdenet Mining Corp and Oyu Tolgoi lead the Top 100 Enterprises

April 28 (gogo.mn) The Government of Mongolia in cooperation with Mongolian Chamber of Commerce and Industry have organized the award ceremony for the Top-100 Enterprises for its 15th year. 

Below is the leading 10 enterprises of Top-100 Enterprises of 2015

  • Erdenet Mining Corporation
  • Oyu Tolgoi LLC
  • Trade Development Bank of Mongolia 
  • Ulaanbaatar Railway 
  • Development Bank of Mongolia 
  • APU LLC 
  • Mobicom Corporation 
  • Golomt Bank 
  • Khas Bank 
  • Nik LLC 

Erdenet Mining Corporation has leading the list for its third year. 

Top-100 Enterprises were selected based on its taxes paid to the state budget, sales, number of employees and financial performances. 

Top-100 Enterprises of 2015 have paid MNT 2.5 trillion taxes to the state budget which accounts the 50% of total tax revenue. Moreover, total employment have increased by 20% compared to the previous year. 

Top-100 Enterprises cover the following sectors:

  • trade and services sector - 31%,
  • mining - 18%, 
  • food production - 10%,
  • bank and financial - 8%,
  • energy and heating - 8%,
  • communication -7%,
  • oil supply - 5%,
  • construction - 5%,
  • transportation and logistic - 4%,
  • cashmere and wool - 3%,
  • agricultural - 1%.

Link to article

 

Letter from BCM's New Executive Director Ch. Mergen

April 25 --

Dear BCM Members,

It is a great honor to be appointed as the new Executive Director for Business Council of Mongolia (BCM), the premier business organization in Mongolia today.

First, I would like to thank you for being our loyal customer. With this downturn, there is now even greater need for us to learn & to implement best practices in our businesses and also for us to cooperate to have stronger voice for stable and improved business environment. Coming from the private business sector in Mongolia and in US (Wagner Asia, Webguru, Corporate Express, Castle Rock Industries, etc), I understand full well your pains and challenges. In the coming years, we will be working to provide even more value for you.

Secondly, I would like to thank Jim Dwyer, the administrative team, the working group teams, the executive committee, and all involved who did a great job helping BCM to reach this status.

It will now be up to us to build upon this success and to improve BCM further.

While I have some ideas for immediate and gradual improvements, I will greatly welcome your inputs and thoughts on what has been working great (must keep) and what you would like to see improved (improve or stop doing).

With that said, my plan for improvement is two-folds: a) make quick improvements where possible (for example, improve quality of monthly meetings through improved presentations; i.e. requirement to provide applicable take home values for attendees from every single presentation while eliminating extended "about us" talk b) make a gradual and long-lasting improvements through better direction & clarity of BCM's vision, strategy, and annual planning/focus. Please stay tuned for more information.

In the meantime, please share with me your thoughts on how BCM can better serve you via my new email address mergen@bcmongolia.org. Also, if you are one of the members who asked for a direct one-on-one meeting in our recent survey, please let me know.

Have a fantastic day and a week!

Yours truly,

Mergen Chuluun

Link to release

 

Oyu Tolgoi Q1'16 Scorecard

Strong Safety and Production Performance; US$36m Taxes Paid; US$59m National Procurement Spend

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 28 April 2016 (Oyu Tolgoi LLC) Oyu Tolgoi LLC today released the latest edition of its Performance Scorecard.

In the first quarter of 2016, Oyu Tolgoi maintained its focus on safety and saw no major incidents. During the period, Oyu Tolgoi was injury-free for 88 out of 91 days. All Injury Frequency Rate of 0.21 makes it one of the best safety performers across the Rio Tinto Group and peers in the industry.

The operation continued its strong environmental performance, consuming an average of 0.477 cubic metres of water per tonne of ore processed – significantly lower than comparable operations worldwide, which consume an average of 1.2 cubic metres per tonne – and recycling 84.5 per cent of water over the quarter.

Andrew Woodley, CEO of Oyu Tolgoi, said, "The Scorecard is a clear demonstration of our achievements and progress as a safe and globally competitive copper mine. We are extremely proud of our position among the leading safety performers in Rio Tinto Group, and indeed among all our peers around the world. This is especially significant as our employees have responded to the on-going market challenges faced by the entire industry with substantial productivity and efficiency improvements throughout our operations."

The company, in the first quarter of 2016, paid US$36 million in taxes, fees and other payments, and spent nearly US$59 million on national procurement, of which US$11 million was in the South Gobi. The company invested approximately US$130,000 in training and education programmes, and US$1.5 million in various sustainable development projects in the South Gobi, during the quarter.

In April 2016, Oyu Tolgoi and its local partner communities also marked the first anniversary of the Cooperation Agreement, opening two new kindergartens in Dalanzadgad and completing the 2016 phase of the Youth Development Programme. These programmes underscore Oyu Tolgoi's commitments to its partnership with the local communities and to the long-term sustainable development of Mongolia and, in particular, Umnugovi province.

The Performance Scorecard provides regular updates on key operational parameters including safety, environmental performance, local employment, supplier spends and taxes paid, as well as broader investments in social and educational projects. The latest edition of the Oyu Tolgoi Performance Scorecard can be seen here.

Link to release

 

Japan buys Mongolia honey

April 28 (news.mn) Over the last two years, beekeeping and honey production in Mongolia has seen a recovery. One Mongolian beekeeper, Ms.T.Shijirtuya comments: "The most organic and tasty honey is Mongolian, which is produced 1000 meters above sea level. Foreign countries are very interested in obtaining Mongolian honey. However, Mongolia has traditionally imported honey. Therefore, the state should increase the import taxes on honey". Ms Shijirtuya runs the "Arga Gangat" honey farm, which produced 10-15 tons of honey, last year, of which, up to 300 kilograms was exported to Japan. The honey price per 1 kilogram is MNT 20,000. The honey was sold for MNT 200 million representing over a third of Ms Shijirtuya's net profit.

The Mongolian beekeepers have noted that: "Even though, beekeeping is very labor intensive, the commercial benefits cannot be dismissed". Mongolia currently imports 90% (130-150 tons) of its annual honey demand. Domestic beekeepers produce roughly 100 tons of honey in a year. As in a lot of counties where excellent honey is produced there are problems in "hive to market" logistics involving bottling, labeling, transportation and marketing.

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Ulaanbaatar

Apartment lottery today

April 28 (news.mn) The State Apartment Corporation has received the applications of the people who wish to obtain state rental apartments. The applications were submitted from 21st March to 1st April. However, the number of the people wanting apartments exceeds the number of apartments available. Therefore, the decision as to who will get a flat will be decided by lottery.

The lottery itself is scheduled to take place today and will be broadcast live.  The TV lottery will be attended by representatives of the applicants, the Fair Competition and Consumer Protection Agency, the Ministry of Building and Urban Construction. A total of 4000 people have applied for the State Rental Apartments, of which 2262 applications were accepted. Now, the lucky winners of the lottery will be announced.

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Diplomacy

India extends $1-bn credit line to Mongolia

April 28 (IANS) Following delegation-level bilateral talks led by Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh and Mongolian Foreign Minister Lundeg Purevsuren here on Thursday, India extended a line of credit (LoC) of $1 billion to Mongolia.

The two countries also agreed to exchange sentenced persons.

"On track for the future. India & Mongolia sign agreements for US$1 bn LoC & exchange of prisoners," external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

This comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Mongolia in May last year during which he announced the LoC for economic expansion and infrastructure development and the two sides signed 14 agreements.

This was the first prime ministerial visit from India to Mongolia.

Modi said that Mongolia was an integral part of India's Act East policy.

Minister of State Singh participated in Thursday's talks on India's behalf as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is indisposed.

According to a statement issued by the external affairs ministry, the visit of Purevsuren is part of the intensified bilateral exchanges following the upgrade of bilateral relations during Modi's visit.

"During that visit the relationship was upgraded to strategic partnership and a series of important agreements including in the defence and security fields were signed," the statement said.

It also said that as part of ongoing high level exchanges, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan visited Mongolia earlier this month.

"The visit helped to consolidate parliamentary exchanges and underscored the shared bonds of democracy which further strengthen bilateral relations based on age-old spiritual and cultural foundation connecting the peoples of India and Mongolia," it stated.

Earlier on Thursday, Purevsuren conferred Mongolia's highest civilian award, the Order of North Star, on Lokesh Chandra, president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), and Mansura Haider, former academic adviser of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA).

Describing India as the "spiritual neighbour" of Mongolia, Purevsuren, speaking on the occasion, said: "President of Mongolia, Tsakhia Elbegdorj, bestowed the Order of North Star on these two eminent scholars and I am honoured to hand over these awards to them during my official visit to India."

India and Mongolia are marking 60 years of diplomatic relations this year with a series of events.

Link to article

Related:

Visit of Foreign Minister of Mongolia to India (April 27-28, 2016)Ministry of External Affairs of India, April 28

Sushma to miss Mongolia Minister's visitThe Hindu, April 28

 

Mongolia confers highest civilian honour on two Indians

August 28 (Press Trust of India) Mongolia today conferred its highest civilian award "North Star" on two noted Indian scholars-Lokesh Chandra and Mansura Haider-for their contribution to Mongolian studies.

Mongolian Foreign Minister Lundeg Purevsuren conferred the award on Lokesh Chandra, president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), and Mansura Haider, former academic adviser at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), at ceremony at the Mongolian embassy here which was also attended by Union Minister Kiren Rijiju. 

This year being the 60th Anniversary of Indo-Mongolian diplomatic relations, the award has been presented to two Indian scholars for their outstanding "contributions to the development of friendly relations between India and Mongolia and promotion of Mongolian studies". 

"India and Mongolia are two of the earliest nations in Asia, with their friendship as old as Buddhism. The two countries are intertwined with spiritual cultural and spiritual bonds based on which our governments have established diplomatic relations," Purevsuren, who is on an official visit to India, said at the ceremony. 

The minister also recalled the contributions of professor Raghu Vira, Lokesh Chandra's late father and a renowned scholar who invited students and scholars from Mongolia and revived the cultural and scientific ties between the two countries even before diplomatic relations were established. 

In his acceptance speech, Chandra said, "North Star is called Sudarshan in Sanskrit and goes back to a very ancient period of Mongol History. My father was among the first to travel to Mongolia as they were the first Asians to conquer Europe." 

Mansura Haider, who was a professor and former dean of the faculty of arts in Aligarh Muslim University's history department, said was the first to give the Mongols an identity was misrepresented in history. 

"Khan was misrepresented in history because the contemporary aggrieved historian whose land was attacked exaggerated the tales of tyranny allegedly inflicted on their country. But Mongolians' regard for the land of Gautam Buddha and Indian culture and religion is exemplary". 

To reassess the contribution of Genghis Khan, ICCR is going to organize an International conference in Mongolia on "Genghis Khan, his legacy and Indian culture" concurrently with "International Mongolian Congress" in Ulaanbaatar in August.

Link to article

 

India, Mongolia Launch Military Exercise With Counterterrorism Focus

Nomadic Elephant will last until May 8.

April 28 (The Diplomat) India and Mongolia launched a military exercise this week which will last until the beginning of May.

The 11th iteration of Nomadic Elephant began with an opening ceremony on April 25 and will last until May 8. The exercise will feature a platoon of the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army and two observers on the Indian side as well as 60 personnel from the Mongolian Armed Forces.

The aim of the exercise, the Indian Army said, is to boost interoperability between the two armies and strengthen cooperation in the areas of counterinsurgency and counterterrorism.

"The aim of this exercise is to develop synergy and interoperability between the two armies to fight in counter insurgency and counter terrorism environment[s] under the United Nation[s] mandate," the Army said in a statement.

The drills will include a 48-hour joint outdoor exercise covering specialized operations in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism. India will also share its experience in the field in a series of classroom lectures and outdoor demonstrations which will include house clearing and room intervention techniques in hostage situations, establishing mobile checkpoints, intelligence gathering and dealing with improvised explosive devices.

Both sides will also participate in other cultural activities including sports events.

Nomadic Elephant caps a month of intense diplomatic engagement between India and Mongolia, which began with a meeting between National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his Mongolian counterpart in early April and culminated in the visit of Mongolia's foreign minister Lundeg Purevsuren to New Delhi on April 25.

Last May, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first ever Indian premier to visit Mongolia during the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The historic trip stressed shared religious heritage as well as economic and trade cooperation.

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Turkish cultural days reception takes place

April 28 (gogo.mn) The 3rd Turkish Cultural days reception took place on the 25th of April at the Turkish Embassy Residence. The Honorary guest of the reception was Mr.Kadir Topbash, whose paying a visit to Mongolia between the 24th and 25th of April. Official delegates and representatives of Cultural background also took part in the reception. Official delegates include, Tsolmon.Ts, Mongolia's minister of defense, MP Bold.L, Enkhbold.N and the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar Bat-Uul.E. The supporter of "Friendly Ulaanbaatar" Project, the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar Bat-Uul.E noted that he was delighted by Mr. Topbash's visit to Mongolia, and expressed his gratitude to the Turkish embassy in Mongolia for organizing the Turkish cultural days every year.

The Turkish Embassy celebrates International Children's day Every year, the 23rd of April marks the day of Turkey's National Sovereignty and International Children's Day. On the 23rd of April, 1920, the National assembly of Turkey was established and the Founder of Turkey Mustafa Kemal Ataturk marked this day a Children's day. Later, Turkey's National Radio Television started celebrating this day internationally.

Turkish embassy in Mongolia is celebrating the International Children's day under the theme "Global peace and friendship" as part of the 3rd annual Turkish Cultural Days taking place through 22nd and 29th of April. This year, the embassy organized composition and drawing competition among the students of School number 5 named after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, school number 61, American School, British school and The Children's Creative Center and the embassy today rewarded the winners of the competitions.

Also, "Turkey, through my eyes" paintings exhibition opened in the Children's Creative Center and the students showed a cultural performance. Traditionally, the ambassador Murat Karagoz received the students of the above mentioned 5 schools and transferred his position to them for a certain period of time. Also, together with students of the 5 schools, he planted trees that symbolize friendship and peace in the embassy's garden. The International Children's day operation will end as the Embassy's delegates deliver gifts to the "Unur Bul" orphanage on the 23rd of April.

Link to article

 

A conversation with Canada's Ambassador Ed Jager

Ambassadors in Depth

April 28 (UB Post) The UB Post is Mongolia's only English language newspaper that is distributed to all the embassies in Mongolia. We make an effort to work closely with all ambassadors and other accredited representatives as we acknowledge the crucial role they play in establishing and sustaining good international relationships. For our 20th anniversary, we are introducing a new regular feature story to The UB Post, "Ambassadors in Depth", to give our readers a closer look at our esteemed ambassadors as individuals and to learn about the work they do. We are grateful for the work these individuals do and are eager to learn more about them with our readers.

——

Canada's third resident Ambassador to Mongolia since 2008, His Excellency Ed Jager, was appointed on January 9, 2015, and has been serving as Ambassador since March 2015.

With a law degree from the University of Western Ontario, Ambassador Jager has gained a wide range of international experience in the business and trade sectors of Indonesia, Peru, Afghanistan, and Brazil while representing Canada. Ambassador Jager also contributed to the negotiation of Canada's air transport agreements from 2011 to 2014.

During his leisure time, the ambassador tries to be as active as he can. He jogs in the morning, rides his bicycle for 35 km stretches, enjoys horseback riding, walking around the city to discover nice places, as well as taking time to read good books, mostly non-fiction.

One of the books he is now reading is "Sinophobia: Anxiety, Violence, and the Making of Mongolian Identity", which takes an academic look at the psychological aspect of Mongolia's
relationship to China. He is also reading a book written by Chrystia Freeland, Canada's Minister of International Trade.

Ambassador Jager says he appreciates his job in the foreign service and the opportunity to represent his country abroad and deliver its foreign policy respectfully. The ambassador values family, and he and his wife have five children and seven grandchildren. He is engaged in many community activities, including helping children who want to see the world and building a great future for the children of Mongolia. In our interview with the ambassador, we learn more about his diplomatic mission and life for him in Mongolia.

You arrived in Ulaanbaatar a little over a year ago. Could you please highlight some activities you have initiated as ambassador?

Link to interview

 

Ambassador to Cuba visits University of Havana

Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Cuba Wednesday legged the University of Havana, and met Dr Gustavo Cobreiro Suarez, rector of the university; and Ms Magda Luisa Rivera, chair of the external relations division of the university.

Dr Suarez briefed about the university, emphasizing that the University of Havana established on September 21, 1728, is the very first university in American continent. He also talked about the university's history and current activities.

The Ambassador got familiarized with the university's faculties of laws, philosophy and mathematics, and then legged the university's library. He exchanged views with the university's authorities about a possibility of setting up cooperation between the Mongolian State University and the University of Havana.

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Health, Education

Education Minister reports at "Minister's Hour"

Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) The government has approved a national programme called "Good student" which creates a chance for students to take loans with soft terms, said L.Gantomor, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, at the "Hour of Minister" weekly meeting on Thursday.

The Minister said that 25 thousand teachers and 534, 766 pupils have been provided with computer laboratories. Between 2012 and 2015, 127 kindergartens, 79 schools, 39 dormitories and 33 sport halls commissioned, he added.

In January of 2016, a scholarship programme selected projects of 200 schools in the first turn. In the second turn in April, 450 projects of 427 schools were selected, and scholarships of USD 2,000-3,000 were given to these schools for creating favorable condition of studying. Money of 3.5 billion Togrog has been given as scholarships to 18 projects and 60 research works at universities with an aim to make fundamentals of the knowledge-based economy, the Minister said.

The Minister also talked about starting of construction works of a new building of the National University of Medical Sciences, an announcement of a scholarship programme for students on natural sciences, engineering and agricultural sciences, and adoption of a package laws on education.

Link to article

 

Nat'l campaign against cancer starts in Darkhan-Uul aimag

Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) The National Campaign against Cancer screening program has begun its nationwide tour in Darkhan-Uul Province, the Khan Bank's website published Wednesday.

The campaign is being jointly organized by Khan Bank, the National Cancer Center (NCC), and Mongolian National Broadcaster (MNB) for its 6th year, to enable citizens to lead a healthy life.

State Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Sports S.Lambaa attended the opening ceremony, along with representatives of the campaign's organizers General Director of the NCC L.Tumurbaatar, CEO of Khan Bank John Bell, Deputy Director of MNB D.Enkhtuya, and representatives from the Governor's Office of Darkhan-Uul Province, management of Darkhan's General Hospital, doctors, and local residents.

Dedicated to preventing cancer, engaging target groups in health screenings and early detection, and improving public awareness of cancer, the National Campaign Against Cancer has been spreading its scope each year. In six years of the campaign, 90,000 citizens have received comprehensive cancer screening and diagnosis, 403 surgeries have been conducted by campaign oncologists, and 5,400 doctors and specialists have been engaged in skills training.

Khan Bank has financed 720 million MNT in support of the campaign over the past 6 years, and has trained its 2,000 employees as health volunteers to raise public awareness of cancer prevention.

The National Campaign against Cancer has been implemented through the joint effort, dedication, and cooperation of many people, bringing positive outcomes to the Mongolian people.

Following its launch in Darkhan-Uul, this year the campaign will continue its work in Selenge, Arkhangai, Zavkhan, Khuvsgul, Dornod, Umnigobi and Khovd provinces, and comprehensive cancer prevention work will be organized for reducing the rate of late stage diagnosis, engaging in active diagnosis and screening among target groups, training local doctors and specialists in cancer screening and diagnosis, conducting regional training, preparing health volunteers for soum hospitals and family clinics, and providing home care guidelines for patients with severe illnesses.

The 2016 National Campaign Against Cancer's team of doctors and specialists will stay in Darkhan-Uul Province from April 25 through 30, and the campaign will continue in Omnogobi province from May 1 through 7, 2016.

Link to article

 

Roberto Benes: Children are our future

Human capital is top priority and most important area of investment in Mongolia

April 28 (gogo.mn) GoGo Mongolia invited Mr. Roberto Benes, UNICEF Country representative for Mongolia to talk about his personal opinion, experiences of Mongolia and the works of UNICEF in Mongolia. 

Mr.Roberto Benes has been working for UNICEF for the past fifteen years in different regions of the world, in both child protection and social policy related areas.

We have touched some key areas such as:

  • Education in Mongolia
  • Biggest concerns for children's right
  • UNICEF operation in Mongolia
  • Cooperation with Mongolian government
  • Future plan of UNICEF in Mongolia
  • Issues on child support and labour
  • 2 messages from Mr.Roberto Benes to our audiences

​​For more information, please watch the full interview below.

UNICEF in Mongolia

UNICEF has worked in Mongolia for over 50 years. But an representative office opened in 1991. Over this period, the country and its people have experienced dramatic transformations that have brought about different challenges – a transition from a centrally planned to a market economy with strong democratic values and institutions; from a low-income to a lower-middle-income country; from a recipient of development aid to a leader in the promotion of multi-lateral diplomacy and human rights.

In response to Mongolia's increasing capacities, development and economic growth, UNICEF has gradually re-focused its work in the country to better accompany and support the Government in ensuring that every child reaches his or her full potential. 

While the scope of the UNICEF programmes may have changed over time, the organization's core mandate has not: UNICEF is in Mongolia to reach every child.

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Culture, Society

Maitreya ceremony takes place in the last month of Spring

April 28 (MONTSAME) Maitreya ceremony was held at the Gandantegchinlen monastery, the center of Mongolian Buddhism. The annual ceremony which is organized in the last month of Spring, according to the Lunar Calendar, is a ritual for receiving teacher's wisdom for all the faithful. As explained in Buddhism, Maitreya is the fifth of the thousand gods to come in the future, in other words the Future Buddha. The ceremony is held in order to near the timing of Maitreya to arrive.

Link to article

 

Asashyoryu becomes Matsumoto University Honorary Doctor

Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) The 68th Grand Champion of professional sumo Yokozuna Asashyoryu D.Dagvadorj received an honorary degree of Doctor at the Matsumoto University of Nagano, Japan, on April 28.

Asashyoryu D.Dagvadorj is also the President of Mongolian Freestyle Wrestling Federation.

Among the Mongolian wrestlers, the World Championship silver and gold medalist S.Tserenchimed (freestyle) has graduated a wrestling school in Japan. Also, the champion of Mongolia Ts.Namuuntsetseg will go to Japan to study in the near future.

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Nature, Environment

Extremely rare dinosaur specie fossils to be returned home soon

Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has seized some smuggled dinosaur remains and conducted an investigation. Eight kinds of remains including small and large bones and skulls have been proven to be brought from Mongolia.

Mongolia and the USA has an agreement on cooperation against smuggling of paleontological findings. In accordance, the US side handed over the findings to the Mongolian side on April 5.

The issues of transportation of the paleontological artifacts are being discussed at the moment. Among the findings are a skull of Alioramus, parent specimen of T-Rex Bataar. The meat-eater specie is considered extremely rare. The US side has valued it to be worth 300 thousand USD, Specialist at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences G.Dulamsuren.

It is planned that the findings will be brought back to Mongolia within this June. Allegedly, there are also 4-5 dinosaur findings in the hands of others, including skulls. There many cases of skull smuggling, as the dinosaur skulls are more expensive. A priceless finding, which was returned from Belgium to Mongolia last week was the skeleton of a baby Archaeopteryx, dating 70 million years back. Mongolia obtained back over 20 dinosaur findings from smugglers and, reportedly, even greater number of artifacts are spread around the globe, which collectively can make up a museum treasury. Mongolia ranks top in the world after China and the USA by its dinosaur fossils.

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Sports

Mongolian triumphs at World Amateur Chess Championship

April 28 (gogo.mn) The World Amateur Chess Championship 2016 have successfully concluded in Halkidiki, Greece.

Mongolian team fortified their previous successes and welcomed 4th World Amateur Chess Champion. 

Khulan Enkhsaikhan, Sports Master and a student at Mongolian National University of Education and Sports Master played at rating up to 2000 and won 7.5 out of 9 games. This victory gave her two gold and grants her an eligibility for the rank of International Sports Master (IMS). 

Gantsooj Ganzorig of "Monchess" club won Bronze medal with winning of 6.5 at rating up to 2300.

N.Tsogzolmaa of "Khos Master" club won Silver medal with winning of 4,5 in female division at rating up to 1700. And T.Bayanochir of the same club was awarded with an honor of best young chessplayer, reports Mongolian Chess Federation.

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Related:

Mongolian girl becomes amateur World champion in chessMontsame, April 28

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Art, Entertainment

Mongolia might become more favorable place for filmmakers

Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) Minister R.Burmaa presented to the Chairman of the State Great Khural (Parliament) Z.Enkhbold the bill on Film Industry on April 28. The bill aims at exporting Mongolia's film products, promote the film industry through legal grounds in harmony with the economic growth.

The government action plan for 2012-2016 outlines an objective to establish legal regulations governing the film industry and productions, as also provided in the "State Policy on Culture", adopted in 2012.

Economic promotion and benefits, as well as tax alleviations are included in this draft law. Accordingly, any foreign investor in film industry will enjoy 40 percent payback as a government incentive. The filming equipment and other required instruments will be exempted from customs taxes, says the presenter of the bill.

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