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Friday, May 20, 2016

[EBRD sells MATD; APU to split shares; election a 2-way race; Air Astana cancels flights; EY selects Seaberry CEO; deals signed in Seoul; and bone smuggler arrested]

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Friday, May 20, 2016

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original

 

ASEM 11

ASEM, an opportunity to attract investment

May 19 (gogo.mn) The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an informal process of inter-governmental dialogue and cooperation-- addressing political, economic, social and cultural issues of Asia-Europe countries, in spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership.

Established in 1996 with only 26 members, today ASEM has expanded into exclusive forum having 51 countries, 2 regional organizations. Mongolia became member of ASEM in 2008 during the ASEM Summit in Beijing, China.

During the ASEM Summit, sides have advantages of running open discussions and expressing their position, approach to challenges they are facing. This provides a great opportunity to confer and find solutions to issues and share experience while bringing countries closer.

Asia-Europe meeting strengthens two continents' relations and promotes to see the development of two continents in much more broader range. The event covers broad sectors such as government, business, social society, science and media & press.

This year, Mongolia carries the responsible duty to host the 11th ASEM Summit in Ulaanbaatar. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia H.E Mr L.Purevsuren highlighted "By hosting the ASEM Summit, First, Mongolia shows internationally that we too can organize/host important high level meeting. Second, an opportunity to develop political tourism will be introduced."

POSSIBILITY OF INVESTMENT AGREEMENT

Prior to the 11th ASEM Summit, there will be a Business meeting on July 13-14. And 51 largest businesses are expected for this meeting which brings us a chance to promote Mongolian market to these large conglomerates. Besides this, another 10 side events are scheduled, gathering some 5000 people in Mongolia. Large amount of asset will be left behind from these guests, delegations.

Now, let us give you few examples of how other countries have attracted investment through ASEM. 

Socialist Republic of Vietnam, a founding member of ASEM. In 2004, Vietnam hosted the 5th ASEM Summit  in Hanoi. During this summit, Vietnam signed eight cooperation agreements on economic and information and technology sectors with the People's Republic of China.

Specifically, sides agreed to build a factory in Ninh Binh city that produces fertilizer out of coal, cooperate on building railroads from Ha Dong to Hanoi, implement the "1 Economic region, 2 corridors" development initiative etc.

Further agreements include, establish Information and Technology College with $10 million aid from South Korea and build Recycling plant in Ninh Binh city with $21 million aid from Korea Economic Development Co-operation Fund. 

Poland also promised to give soft loans to Vietnam, supporting their coal mining sector, shipbuilding industry and construction of super thermal power station.

Until today, Vietnam took $13.35 million aid from 'ASEM Trust Fund' and successfully executed 21 projects in 2 stages that reformed their banking system and helped to fight poverty.

Also, European Union is second largest commercial partner after China. 

The 9th ASEM Summit was hosted in Vientiena, Lao PDR. During the 2 day meeting, Lao government successfully signed 18 Memorandum of Mutual Understanding with members and partners of ASEM.

Link to article

 

Int'l Market

KRI closed +1.18% Thursday to C$0.86. +115% in last months

Final stage for Khan's seven-year battle to get US$70 million from Mongolian Government is here

May 18 (Financial Post) After a seven year battle Khan Resources announces it's set to receive US$70 million as compensation from the government of Mongolia for the expropriation, without compensation, of the Dornod uranium mine.

On Wednesday, Khan and the Government of Mongolia signed the "settlement documentation" required for the release of a US$70 million payment to Khan from the New York-based escrow agent. In a release, Khan said with the execution of that agreement, "joint instructions will be issued to the escrow agent to transmit the funds to Khan." In addition, counsel to Khan, will secure a "dismissal order" from the U.S. district court, "of Khan's petition for certification of the international arbitration award," that was rendered in March 2015.

The settlement comes about one year after the death of Khan's chairman's Jim Doak, a highly respected Bay Street figure, who passed away in Mongolia following meetings with representatives of the Mongolian government.

Daniel Lloyd, a hedge fund manager, a business partner of Doak in Sui Generis Investment Partners, and a Khan investor, said, "the hard work and determination of the board has been vindicated. However the receipt of this award is bittersweet as we are unable to celebrate it with our friend and former partner Jim Doak."

Loudon F. McL. Owen, a Khan Resources director, said that the company "was intrepid in its pursuit of a fair outcome. This is the type of courage and tenacity that has been responsible for Canada's leadership in the mining industry for generations. While it does not always result in a mine, it does mean that property rights and international law were respected, even if it took very hard work to get there," he said.

Owen, who is no stranger to protracted disputes — having spent a few years pursuing a US$315 million patent infringement award for i4i, a small Toronto software company against Microsoft that went all the way to the US Supreme Court — noted that "the Mongolian Government is clearly serious about change and progress in dealing with foreign investors and I applaud their commitment to opening the country to more foreign capital and expertise."

Owen, along with Khan's chief executive, Grant Edey, was a key player in the negotiations with the Mongolian government.

With the proceeds almost in hand, Khan will continue its investigation into how to distribute the funds to its shareholders in "a tax-efficient and timely manner. The process may entail multiple tranches," it said.

Link to article

 

MATD closed +15.74% to 3.12p

EBRD Sheds Petro Matad Stake from 11% to 5.3%

May 19 (Cover Mongolia) A notice filed yesterday by Petro Matad Ltd. shows one of its largest shareholders EBRD had disposed of 16,500,000 shares on May 17.

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Local Market

MSE Trading Report: Top 20 -0.89%, ALL +1.45%, Turnover 18.7 Million Shares

May 19 (MSE) --

Link to report

 

APU 10-for-1 Share Split Sent to FRC for Final Approval

May 19 (MSE) According to the Company Law of Mongolia, Listing Rule of MSE and the Resolution No.:16/01 of Board of Directors meeting dated 22 April 2016, "APU" JSC conducted stock split for 10 for 1 on its total of 74,287,700 shares at MNT1.0 per share. The listing amendment made to "APU" JSC and total shares changed to 742,877,000 shares at MNT0.1 per share.   

MSE sent report of stock split to the FRC, and FRC will ratify the listing amendment.

Link to release

 

MSE Registers Baganuur JSC's Additional 9.87 Million Shares for Issuance

May 19 (MSE) According to the Company Law of Mongolia, Listing Rule of MSE and Listing materials and documents of "Baganuur" JSC, Mongolian Stock Exchange /MSE/ registered additional 9,870,287 shares at MNT100.0 per share and made listing amendment on "Baganuur" JSC to total of 30,844,647 shares at MNT100.0 per share.

MSE sent report of additional shares information to the FRC, and FRC will grant permission to "Baganuur" JSC for public trading.

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: Thursday, May 19 Close

5/19

5/18

5/17

5/16

5/13

5/12

5/11

5/10

5/9

5/6

5/5

5/4

5/3

5/2

4/29

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USD

2,001.09

2,001.86

1,991.54

1,998.70

2,003.01

2,012.16

2,017.93

2,020.06

2,021.40

2,021.03

2,020.79

2,019.89

2,017.26

2,015.41

2,011.84

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EUR

2,245.72

2,257.50

2,256.22

2,261.33

2,271.41

2,296.08

2,298.02

2,300.44

2,307.83

2,306.80

2,321.48

2,321.86

2,332.66

2,309.76

2,290.78

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JPY

18.16

18.28

18.21

18.38

18.44

18.46

18.56

18.58

18.79

18.89

18.87

18.90

19.06

18.93

18.75

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GBP

2,918.59

2,889.58

2,888.93

2,870.83

2,885.14

2,901.94

2909.55

2,912.62

2,913.75

2,926.65

2,931.96

2,938.84

2,972.43

2,947.44

2,944.13

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RUB

30.31

30.79

30.89

30.80

30.76

30.91

30.48

30.52

30.82

30.64

30.63

30.28

31.13

31.18

31.23

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CNY

305.88

306.35

305.49

306.26

307.07

309.14

309.68

310.01

310.84

310.73

310.90

310.87

311.65

311.31

310.46

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KRW

1.68

1.69

1.70

1.70

1.71

1.72

1.72

1.73

1.73

1.73

1.74

1.75

1.77

1.77

1.76

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SGD

1,450.85

1,455.42

1,456.60

1,458.96

1,456.47

1,469.53

1,473.59

1,475.14

1,482.07

1,486.49

1,492.73

1,492.29

1,504.63

1,501.52

1,497.57

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CAD

1,532.11

1,544.17

1,550.56

1,546.68

1,556.04

1,563.81

1,558.97

1,560.61

1,564.67

1,567.97

1,576.53

1,587.40

1,616.39

1,606.61

1,606.39

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AUD

1,442.79

1,454.05

1,464.48

1,457.95

1,459.99

1,473.81

1,481.87

1,483.43

1,488.26

1,488.39

1,517.01

1,514.82

1,531.10

1,534.43

1,539.56

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HKD

257.65

257.87

256.56

257.44

258.05

259.34

259.97

260.25

260.48

260.40

260.40

260.29

259.98

259.75

259.35

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CHF

2,027.34

2,037.10

2,037.90

2,048.27

2,057.75

2,069.91

2,078.41

2,080.61

2,083.81

2,087.84

2,110.38

2,114.29

2,120.20

2,099.82

2,088.92

Bank USD rates at time of sending: Khan (Buy ₮1,995 Sell ₮2,005), TDB (Buy ₮1,995 Sell ₮2,007), Golomt (Buy ₮1,992 Sell ₮2,005), XacBank (Buy ₮1,994 Sell ₮2,004), State Bank (Buy ₮1,995 Sell ₮2,010)

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

Link to rates

 

BoM declines USD, CNY bid offers, accepts US$75.5m MNT, $5m USD swap offers

May 19 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on May 19th, 2016, the BOM has received buying bid offers of USD 4.0 million in a rate between MNT 1993.00-2000.00, buying bid offers of CNY 7.0 million in a rate between   MNT 304.00-305.15 respectively. The BOM did not accept any bid offers.

On May 19th, 2016, the BOM has received MNT Swap agreement buying bid offers equivalent to USD 75.5 and USD swap agreement selling bid offers equivalent to USD 5.0 million from local commercial banks and the BOM accepted all of the bid offers.

Link to release

 

Passenger and freight statistics

Ulaanbaatar, May 19 (MONTSAME) In the first four months of this year, 5,812 thousand tons of freight and 837.3 thousand passengers (duplicated counting) carried by railway transport.

Size of carried freight increased by 157.8 thousand tons or 2.8%, while the number of passengers decreased by 94.9 thousand or 10.2%.

The revenue from railway transport in the first four months of 2016 reached MNT 118.1 billion which increased by MNT 9.0 billion or 8.3% against the previous year.

888.9 tons of freight and 172.4 thousand passengers (duplicated counting) were carried by air transport in first four months of 2016. Compared to same period of the previous year, the volume of freight increased by 79.4 tons or 9.8%, and the total number of passengers--by 5.1 thousand or 3.0%. The revenue from this kind of transport reached MNT 68.7 billion, increasing by MNT 3.2 billion or 4.9% against the previous year.

Link to article

 

Prices of agricultural raw materials

Ulaanbaatar, May 19 (MONTSAME) According to a survey on market prices of agricultural products by April of this year, an average price of cow-hide of 2 cm more thickness was the lowest--15-16 thousand Orkhon, Ovorkhangai, Tov, Khovsgol and Dornod aimags, while the highest (MNT 22-27 thousand)--in Selenge, Arkhangai, Darkhan-Uul aimags and in Ulaanbaatar city.

An average price of horsehide was the lowest (MNT 10-12.5 thousand) in Gobi-Altai, Bayankhongor, Orkhon, Dornogobi and Bulgan; and it was MNT 18-20 thousand--in UB city, Zavkhan and Sukhbaatar aimags.

An approximate price of white cashmere was MNT 45-59 thousand per kilo in Dornod, Bayan-Olgii, Khentii, Omnogobi and UB city and MNT 65-59 thousand in Zavkhan, Bayankhongor, Ovorkhangai, Arkhangai and Khovsgol aimags.

Link to article

 

Commercial sector in statistics

Ulaanbaatar, May 19 (MONTSAME) As of the first quarter of this year, there were 67.4 thousand enterprises nationwide.

25.6 thousand or 38.0% of them do business in wholesale and retail trade sector which trade turnover amounted to MNT 2,137.9 billion in this period to decline by MNT 99.3 billion or 4.4% against the previous year. Compared to the same period of 2015, wholesale turnover decreased by MNT 92.8 billion or 7.5%, while the retail--by MNT 6.5 billion or 0.6%.

91.1% of both wholesale and retail trade were made up in Ulaanbaatar city. Total trade turnover in the commercial sector went down by 0.2-21.9% in Bayankhongor, Omnogobi, Darkhan-Uul, Bulgan and Orkhon aimags against the previous year, but it increased 2.1 times in other aimags.

Link to article

 

Government holds Belt and Road side event at UNESCAP Session in Thailand

Ulaanbaatar, May 19 (MONTSAME) Government of Mongolia organized Wednesday an event called "The Belt and Road Initiative: Corridor towards Sustainable Development" during the 72nd session of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific continuing in Bangkok, Thailand.

Experts and researchers, delegates from China, Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries attended the event which targeted at facilitating discussion among panelists from Asian landlocked developing countries who shared their national development trajectories and explored options in adjusting their development strategies to maximize potential benefits and mitigate risks resulting from the Belt and Road initiative.

The State Secretary of the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs D.Gankhuyag made the opening remarks at the event, and director of the Ministry's Division of Economic Cooperation Yo.Manlaibaatar delivered a report on impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative on the Mongolian economy which was launched with support from the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).

Link to article

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Politics & Legal

Mongolia's new election rules handicap smaller parties, clear way for two-horse race

BY TERRENCE EDWARDS

ULAANBAATAR, May 20 (Reuters) Democratic values that flourished in Mongolia in the quarter century since communism crumbled have been eroded, according to small parties that have been marginalised by changes to election rules ahead of next month's parliamentary poll.

With just three million people, this remote land, best known as the birthplace of the Mongol emperor Genghis Khan, has stood as an oasis of democracy, surrounded by single-party dominated regimes - including giant neighbours Russia and China.

Mongolia's political transformation since a peaceful revolution in 1990 has been a big plus for foreign investors eyeing up its rich mineral resources.

But an abrupt economic slowdown since 2012 has stirred controversy over the role played by international mining firms like Rio Tinto , which this month finally approved a $5.3 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper mine extension plan, having settled a long dispute with the government a year ago.

The mining slump was still likely to cost ruling Democratic Party seats at the June 29 election, according to opinion polls.

Whether the opposition Mongolian People's Party (MPP) can take advantage is unclear, but following a recent fundamental change to the character of Mongolia's democracy, the election has become much more of a two-horse race.

On May 5, parliament amended the election law to remove a clause first introduced in 2012 that allocated 28 of the 76 seats in the legislature, known as the Grand Khural, according to parties' shares of the vote.

"Unfortunately, the recent decision to go back to the majoritarian system is a regress and will again force many parties into two political blocs," said Oyun Sanjaasuren, a lawmaker from the Civil Will-Green Party, a junior partner in the ruling coalition.

A panel of judges said all lawmakers should be directly elected by voters, rather than selected from party lists.

The decision will also mean some 150,000 Mongolians living abroad won't be able to vote as they are not registered with a constituency.

Advocates of democracy were dismayed by the late rule changes.

"It's considered bad practice everywhere to change the law so close to the race," Dagva Enkhtsetseg, the Open Society Forum's programme manager for elections and political financing, told Reuters.

The complete switch to a 'first past the post' system - similar to British democracy - virtually reduces the poll to a two horse race.

The Democratic Party, which emerged out of the revolution, will slug it out against the MPP which had held sway during earlier decades of Soviet hegemony, and later reinvented itself as a social-democrat party and either led or was partner in coalitions between 2002 to 2012.

Two days prior to the election law amendment, the government-appointed General Election Commission, barred two smaller parties - including the Civil Will-Green Party - from contesting due to election paper irregularities.

Another 12 small parties were given the all clear, including the Respect the People Party, the "Khan Choice" Coalition, and the Conservative Party, but they are not expected to score well under a 'first past the post' system.

HARD TIMES

The Civil Will-Green Party is seeking reinstatement in the ballot, but Surenkhuu Borgil, leader or the newly-formed National Labor party (HUN), which was also barred from contesting, intends to run as an independent.

He fears controversies arising from the law changes could spark discontent, as seen during the 2008 election when rumours of vote rigging sparked riots in the capital, Ulaanbaatar.

"Changing the election law is not improving the election process, but cheating democracy," he said. "This could trigger a messy election."

A weak economy and lack of jobs has reduced confidence in politicians and widened social divisions in a nation where nearly a third of the people still live nomadic or semi-nomadic lives.

An International Republican Institute (IRI) survey found 57 percent of Mongolians believed parliament was ineffective and 67 percent disapproved of Prime Minister Chimed Saikhanbileg.

Economic growth is projected at 0.1 percent this year, far away from the all-time high of 17.5 percent in 2011. Falling coal and copper prices, and weak demand from China, Mongolia's biggest trading partner, have made for hard times.

"Everything is bad, it's pretty bad," Delgermaa, a 56-year-old stall holder, said while selling candies in the capital's Chinggis Square. She hadn't decided who to vote for.

Link to article

 

MPP Conference Postponed from Saturday

May 19 (news.mn) The Mongolian People's Party has been planning to hold its conference this Saturday; however, for reasons unknown it has been postponed.

The political parties must officially nominate their candidates for the election on 20th-23rd May. Therefore, it would appear that the MPP has decided to call the conference 'after' the candidates have been chosen.

According to the law, candidates will receive their certificates on 7th June, in other words, 22 days before the election; electioneering will start from 11th June. In previous elections, it had been normal for electioneering to commence as soon as the candidates received their certificates.

Link to article

 

Mogi: when I tweeted to the transport minister on why this happened, he gave this response. Basically it says they couldn't come to a mutual agreement on route tariffs. Doesn't sound very convincing

Air Astana forced to cancel Ulaanbaatar route as Mongolia revokes permission

May 19 -- Air Astana regrets to inform that it has been forced to cancel the planned launch of flights connecting the capitals of Kazakhstan and Mongolia with direct Astana-Ulaanbaatar flights starting from June 2, 2016, due to the ungrounded revocation of permission by the Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia (CAAM).

The intergovernmental Air Services Agreement between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Mongolia was signed in 1992 and the Memorandum of Understanding establishing the number of flights to be operated was signed in 2014.

These documents provide the legal basis for the airlines of two countries to start flights with immediate effect of signing.

Air Astana started the flight permission application process that normally takes two months, eight months before the first flight. The company successfully completed the audit by the Mongolian civil aviation authorities and was informed that there were "zero findings". CAAM granted permission to start flights in March 2016. In April 2016, the CAA of Mongolia unilaterally withdrew permission without any valid grounds. The Air Services Agreement stipulates the specific three grounds based on which Mongolia could possibly revoke the permission of a Kazakh designated carrier and none of these apply to Air Astana.

Despite intensive efforts by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Industry and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Air Astana itself, the CAA of Mongolia has not reversed its revocation quoting a range of ungrounded and changing list of reasons. These include the audit for which the airline has a confirmation it passed with zero findings, unavailability of the Ulaanbaatar Airport in June for the ASEM Summit in the middle of July and latest an alleged blacklist by ICAO while Air Astana has never been blacklisted for any operation to any country.

The intergovernmental air services agreement was signed on the basis of the 1944 Chicago Convention, of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO. By refusing the operation of the designated carrier of the Republic of Kazakhstan to operate under the bilateral agreement, Kazakhstan believes that Mongolia is in breach of the provisions of the Chicago Convention, and will refer the matter to the ICAO Council accordingly.

Air Astana deeply regrets the inconvenience caused to its passengers for reasons beyond its best efforts and control. Air Astana is in the process of contacting all affected passengers.

Link to article

 

"Open Governance Partnership" public discussion held

Ulaanbaatar, May 19 (MONTSAME) Deputy Chief of the Cabinet Secretariat of Government and vice chair of the National council of Open Governance Partnership G.Ganbold addressed an open discussion themed "Open governance partnership and Mongolia" which took place on Thursday.

Main objectives of the discussion were to review a draft 2016-2018 national action plan and to receive certain proposals thereto. The participants came up with their proposals and ideas about improving the public services, strengthening justice at high levels, forming effective mineral resources management, building safe society and enhancing corporate social responsibility.

Recalling Mongolia joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in 2013, Ganbold pointed out the national council is set to release the 2016-2018 action plan this month, while the previous action plan for 2014-2016 already has been audited and concluded.

Commencing activities of the "11 11" center at the government and implementing the law on "glass" account are effective approaches to improve the public services and promoting the civil engagement in it, he said.

Link to article

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Business

E&Y Selects Seaberry Farm Products CEO for 2016 Accelerating Entrepreneurs Asia-Pacific Program

Meet Asia-Pacific's future market leaders

These 16 fast growth startups were selected because they have an innovative technology-based product or service and an ambition to scale and accelerate growth internationally.

Bolortuya "Beverly" Dorjsuren, CEO, Seaberry Farm Products

Bolortuya "Beverly" Dorjsuren is a CEO of Seaberry Farm Products, a company that produces skin care and health products using the Mongolian grown organic sea buckthorn ingredients. Bolortuya was born and raised in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. She received a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Duke University and an MBA from the California International University. After completion of her education, she has worked as sales and brand manager for a number of U.S. based international brands where she has managed a range of strategic priorities and dealt with key clientele. Upon realizing the vast opportunities in global health and beauty industry, Bolortuya has returned to her home country in 2012 to contribute her global experience to her father's sea buckthorn farm. Bolortuya is now working together with French, American and Korean chemists as well as a number of international factories to introduce "a miracle berry of Mongolia" to the global market.

Link to release

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Ulaanbaatar

Best clubbing destinations in UB

May 19 (gogo.mn) Today we deliver you the best and safest clubbing destinations in UB. Each one has its own vibe. 

Most clubs of Ulaanbaatar work whole week even on Monday so you can feel like Friday or Saturday every night. However you must remember that clubs aren't open every night and be sure to check schedules. Also, all clubs have age restriction and entry is strictly to those 21 and over. Special licensed clubs work until 4AM in Ulaanbaatar. 

Most clubs have ladies night on Wednesday with free entry to all ladies and girls. 

Remember that the first day of each month is a day that alcohol is not allowed to be sold or served anywhere in Ulaanbaatar. However, there are still some clubs open and serve only non-alcoholic drinks. 

Below clubs offer all types of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, cocktails and dinner. 

1. CLUB TEMPLE

The Club Temple has just opened on Jan 29, 2016. Currently the newest club of UB aims to deliver house and techno music, contemporary art, tradition and cultures of Mongolia to their customers. With its most creative and unique interior, the club is the place for your ears, body and eyes to be satisfied together.

2. MINT ULAANBAATAR

The most popular clubbing destination of UB since its establishment on August 8, 2014. The houses feature three interconnected rooms: VVIP, Club and Lounge. Every room has its own special features such as atmosphere, decoration, music and service. MINT aims to deliver the best clubbing experience to cool clubbers, dance music fans, working executives and tourists.

Note: Sportswear are not allowed.

3. MARQUEE 27 CLUB

The Marquee 27 club declared itself as the most spectacular music and entertainment club in Ulaanbaatar. They offer you mix of great sounds and glamour to give all the ingredients for the best night out in Ulaanbaatar.

4. XOME

This is more a pub than a nightclub but it's still a decent place for a night out. Xome is a club where you can spend the night with your friends in a cozy atmosphere, listening to good music, mingling with good people and dancing.

5. CASTLE MONGOLIA 

The only club which has its own building dedicated for the night club. With a solid lineup of resident DJs and a powerful sound system, this venue always seems to boast a spectacular scene. Also, Castle club is known for their sexy go go dancers from Russia.

6. ARIGU LOUNGE ART 

Arigu Lounge Art is a unique lounge providing an elegant atmosphere, professional staff, and superior service. They aims to become Ulaanbaatar's brand new premiere destination while raising the bar in UB.

7. AVA NIGHT CLUB 

Ava night club has just opened in Jan, 2016. They feature DJ Anna Sui, DJ Marta and DJ Layla, the best female DJs of UB as well as resident DJs. The club works on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

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Diplomacy

S. Korea, Mongolia agree to seek increase in flights, bolster development cooperation

SEOUL, May 19 (Yonhap) -- The leaders of South Korea and Mongolia agreed Thursday to seek an increase in flights between the two nations and expand cooperation in the latter's infrastructure construction and overall economic development.

President Park Geun-hye and her Mongolian counterpart, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, signed three memorandums of understanding (MOUs) on strengthening bilateral economic cooperation and another on cooperation in the sports sector.

One of the MOUs concerns joint efforts to "actively" discuss ways to increase the number of flights between the two nations.

Currently, there are 12 weekly passenger flights between South Korea's western port city of Incheon and the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar despite a recent increase in the number of passengers.

Last year, some 190,000 people traveled between the two cities.

Since 2013, there has been no increase in flights between the two nations due mainly to opposition from Mongolia fearing a potentially negative impact on its airline's competitiveness.

Under another MOU, the two sides will seek to bolster cooperation in Mongolia's urban development project. The MOU will help South Korea export its "smart city" model to the Central Asian state, Seoul officials explained.

The two countries also signed an MOU to enhance cooperation in the quarantine process for Mongolia's livestock products. South Korea has been struggling to cope with illicit livestock imports from Mongolia, which could pose health risks here.

To expand South Korea's support for Mongolia's development projects, the two sides, moreover, inked an MOU to enhance cooperation in various areas, including energy, education, urban development, environment and public administration reform.

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Related:

Video: Korea-Mongolia summit to be held at Cheong Wa DaeArirang, May 19

 

South Korean visit: agreements on power plant, new hospital and trade

May 19 (news.mn) President Ts.Elbegdorj's visit to South Korea is in its second day. Today, the Presidents of the two countries signed an official agreement, in the framework of which, the Mongolian Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Health and Sport and the General Authority for Inspection have signed a memorandum of co-operation with the South Korean Inspection Agency.

According to the agreement, Mongolian semi-processed products can now cross into South Korean without any obstacles, as long as they have a custom's document. In the energy sector, in accordance with the agreement between the Ministries of Finance of the two countries, a USD 300 million power plant will be built in Mongolia.

There will also be a new direct air route between Ulaanbaatar and Busan which is South Korea's second largest city.  Finally, a "South Korea hospital" by will be opened in Mongolia; therefore, people will no longer need to go abroad for medical treatment.

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President meets Mayor of Seoul

Ulaanbaatar, May 19 (MONTSAME) On an official visit to the Republic of Korea, the President of Mongolia received Wednesday Park Won-soon, the Mayor of Seoul city.

Recalling his meetings with the Mongolian President during his visit to Mongolia and the Davos World Economic Forum, Park said he is happy to meet Elbegdorj in Seoul.

"We know that President Elbegdorj has gained achievements in the activities of promoting democracy and protecting human rights. It is noteworthy that Mongolia succeeded in making democratic revolution in a peaceful way without violence," Park said.

The Mayor emphasized Seoul is paying attention to helping Mongolians residing in Seoul in social issues. Municipality of Seoul has established the Dongdaemun Global Center which provides Mongolians with legal and business services, he said. He added Seoul is studying a chance to impart business education to youth so that they could have better access to employment. 

President Elbegdorj asked the Korean side to open the Mongolian weekend school in Seoul in order to create conditions for Mongolian children in Seoul to learn their language and national culture and tradition. He promised to focus attention on fostering ties and cooperation between the capital cities.

The same day, the President attended a ceremony of granting certificates of honorary citizens of Seoul, and held a meeting with his fellow country people residing in South Korea.

At the ceremony, Elbegdorj was awarded with the certificate of Honorary Citizen of Seoul, which was granted by the Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon.

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MP Oyungerel meets Ambassador of Germany

Ulaanbaatar, May 19 (MONTSAME) Member of the State Great Khural Ts.Oyungerel met Wednesday Gerhard Thiedemann, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to Mongolia upon the latter's request.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Ambassador informed that he plans to work in New Zealand in near future, while he saying that he is thankful to Oyungerel MP for contributing to the bilateral cooperation in culture, particularly to a joint research of archeological findings.

Oyungerel MP said that opening of an outdoor museum in Kharkhorin, Ovorkhangai aimag and displaying of ancient findings including an Altai zither to the public with German support were a remarkable event in the cultural cooperation of the countries. The museum's opening was a model collaboration in further archeological works in Mongolia, she added.

The Ambassador pointed out that German side intends to launch a study of a mummified body belonged to the Ice Age together with the National Museum of Mongolia.

At the meeting, views were also shared on laws passed last week on criminal procedure and on law enforcement.

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Fmr. Ambassador Badral Highlights Common Traits of Nepal and Mongolia, Sandwiched Between Two Giants

HCS 2016: Himalayan Institutions: The New Paradigm

May 9 (Nepal Economic Forum) The sixth session of the Himalayan Consensus Summit provided a platform for speakers from diverse institutions working on grass root and home grown institutions to share their innovation and provide a perspective to what they think are some of the new ways in which institutions will and shall go through transformation. This session was moderated by Co-founder and Director at Samriddhi - Arpita Nepal.

Arpita Nepal started the session with three optimistic propositions. First of all she highlighted now we are making our societies, its institutions and structures more inclusive while asserting our own unique cultures and ethnic diversity. Secondly, she reflected on how the grassroots level is actively participating in policy and decision making and simultaneously moving to higher levels of accountability. Lastly, she pointed to how institutions nowadays are making conscious efforts to protect the environment and indigenous knowhow.

Suren Badral, former ambassador-at-large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Mongolia, addressed the participants of the Himalayan Consensus Summit via a video message.  Badral highlighted the common traits of Nepal and Mongolia—both sandwiched between two large and powerful neighbors—and elucidated the rationale of Mongolia's third neighbor policy which holds relevance to Nepal as well. Talking about the need for a new paradigm, he stated that empowering local communities and making them resilient is one of the most important development models and stressed on the need for a balance between wealth generation and sustainability.

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Culture, Society

German citizen arrested for attempting to smuggle dinosaur bones

May 19 (news.mn) On 15th May, a German citizen by the name of Fabian Andy Deutsch was arrested for attempting to smuggle the fossil remains an unknown creature by air from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing. Senior State Inspector B.Delgermaa detected and confiscated the five fossilized bones, which weighed a total of 3.65 kg and did not have any accompanying documentation. The Paleontology and Geology Institute at the Academy of Sciences has confirmed that fossils were dinosaur bones. The initial report on the case states that it is essential to find out who Mr Deutsch got the bones from. The case has been transferred to the Police Department at the Civil Aviation.

Media and Foreign Bureau at the General Authority for Inspection

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Capacity-building workshop to be held on safeguarding intangible cultural heritage

May 19 (gogo.mn) The Nairamdal Camp in Ulaanbaatar is all set to host a five-day training workshop on developing safeguarding plans for intangible cultural heritage from 23-27 May 2016. This capacity-building workshop is the outcome of joint efforts by UNESCO Beijing Office, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of Mongolia, the Center of Cultural Heritage of Mongolia and the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO.

The workshop is aimed at enhancing capacities of Mongolian stakeholders in elaborating safeguarding measures for intangible cultural heritage under the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. 33 participants will attend this workshop, comprising cultural officers from all 21 provinces of Mongolia, government officials and ICH practitioners representing selected ICH elements.

Utilizing newly developed training modules on ICH safeguarding, two UNESCO-accredited facilitators will give theoretical sessions and present a step-by-step guide for developing safeguarding plans. Participants will subsequently be engaged in an entertaining role-play on a fictional case study in which they will explore how communities play different roles as primary actors in the preparation and execution of safeguarding measures for their ICH. The knowledge acquired will then be applied to three selected Mongolian ICH elements: the TsagaanSar (White Month) Festival, the custom of naming and giving ablution to a child and the Mongolian traditional craftsmanship of bow and arrow.

This workshop is the last in a series of four organized thanks to the generous financial contribution of the Government of Japan to implement the project in the Asia-Pacific region. Mongolia has benefited since 2012 through a cycle of capacity-building activities including implementation, community-based inventorying and elaboration of nomination files for the effective implementation of the 2003 Convention.

For more information about this project please click HERE.

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"Mongol boy" children's day event to be held at Hui doloon hudag

May 19 (gogo.mn) "Mongol boy" children`s day event, initiated by the Mongol Naadam Complex, will be held at Hui doloon hudag on June 01 with the aim to promote Mongolian tradition, culture and Naadam festival. 

This year, the event is being organized for the first time and will be organized annually in the future. Children are enabled to spend their day by attending competitions at fresh air during 11 am to 7 pm while watching art performances of 250 children from "Talent" children`s palace. 

At the event, following activities will be organized: 

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Nature, Environment

Mongolia Dzud: Resident Coordinator Situation Report No. 2

May 18 (UNOCHA) This report is produced by Office of the Resident Coordinator in Mongolia in collaboration with humanitarian partners and sector lead agencies. It is issued by the United Nations Humanitarian Country Team and covers the period 14 April to 16 May 2016. The next report will be issued on or around 14 June.

Highlights

·         The National Emergency Management Authority has officially declared the winter dzud over; however, spring conditions remained variable and harsh, with snowfall occurring in some parts, and dry conditions anticipated.

·         The consequences of the recent winter dzud are linked to El NiƱo, and may negatively impact livestock health and place additional strain on herder households in spring and during the summer months. Average temperatures for May will be higher than average in western territories.

·         Pasture re-growth is reportedly normal in Khuvsgul, Bulgan, Darkhan-Uul, Khentii, Dornod, Uvs, Khovd, Govi-Altai, Zavkhan, Arkhangai, Uvurkhangai, Orkhon, Selenge, Tuv and some parts of Umnugovi aimags. However the remaining aimags are experiencing poor to middle levels of renewal.

·         Response activities are ongoing to address immediate and medium-term needs. Cash grants and cash-for-work interventions have begun as part of early recovery efforts.

·         The agriculture sector response is the largest at the current time, supporting some 83,000 herder households with fodder and animal health interventions.

·         Initial findings from a United Nations monitoring visit indicated that the comprehensive Central Emergency Relief Fund assistance package (which covered food, nutrition, livelihood and livestock needs) has been very well received by target herder households.

·         Funding from the Asian Development Bank has been secured to address identified gaps in transportation and early recovery response operations including cash grants provision.

225,800

Affected people

11,800

Vulnerable herder households

1.1 million

Livestock perished

US$6.36 million

Funding received to meet immediate and longer term needs

Situation Overview

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Sports

Sumo: Hakuho, Kisenosato win to set up a crunch matchup

May 19 (Kyodo) Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho and ozeki Kisenosato maintained their perfect records to set up an intriguing clash as they eased to victories in the 12th day of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday.

Hakuho was briefly pushed to the edge of the ring by Goeido (7-5) but there was no real danger of getting pushed out. When the ozeki tried to produce another charge, he lost his footing and was sent sprawling at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Kisenosato had a comfortable bout against injury-plagued Terunofuji (2-10), with a strong right-hand push to the throat of his fellow ozeki and easily ousting the Mongolian to his 10th straight defeat.

Kisenosato, chasing his first career title, led Hakuho by a win in March's Spring tourney in Osaka but lost against the yokozuna on the 11th day. The ozeki then lost to Mongolian yokozuna Harumafuji the following day as Hakuho went on to claim his record-extending 36th championship.

Yokozuna Harumafuji became the only wrestler with just two losses, getting hold of the front side of Kotoyuki's (5-7) belt with his right hand and forced the sekiwake out. The popular sekiwake appeared to stumble going out and was propelled backward through the air to a crash landing among the spectators.

Yokozuna Kakuryu finds himself close to elimination from title contention after a defeat to Kotoshogiku (7-5). The ozeki wrapped the Mongolian up and quickly grappling the yokozuna out to his third loss.

Fourth-ranked Georgian maegashira Tochinoshin and No. 15 maegashira Endo improved to 9-3 to avoid being eliminated from the title calculations.

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