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Friday, May 27, 2016

[EBRD sells off MATD; CAAM responds to Air Astana; sausages win medals; UN to train ASEM volunteers; and judo champ to run in Bayankhongor]

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Friday, May 27, 2016

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original

 

ASEM 11

Foreign Minister L.Purevsuren gives report at MONTSAME press center

Ulaanbaatar, May 26 (MONTSAME) At the MONTSAME agency's info-center, officials led by the Foreign Minister L.Purevsuren reported on ongoing preparations for the forthcoming 11th ASEM Summit which is scheduled in July.

Ahead of the ASEM Summit, nine side events are scheduled, and two of them already have been held in Ulaanbaatar. Now, Mongolia is ready to host the next event which is the ASEM Finance Ministers' Meeting to be held on June 9-10 here, the Foreign Minister said.

According to L.Purevsuren, a memorial statue is planned to erect in Ulaanbaatar in honor of the 20th anniversary of the ASEM. Decision thereon was taken by the UB Mayor's Office. Reconstruction works are underway in some busy streets in the capital city, he added.

Additional updates concerning the accommodation, media issues and programs for guests of the ASEM Summit were available at the press conference as well.

Link to article

 

UN provides training support for ASEM11 Volunteers

Ulaanbaatar, May 26 (MONTSAME) The Resident Representative's Office of the United Nations in Mongolia has sent three national volunteers for support, reports the ASEM11 Volunteers Working Group on Tuesday.

Three qualified Mongolian UN volunteers from FAO, UNICEF, and UNDP have been placed at the ASEM11 Volunteer Station on June 9, and has since been providing volunteer management, training, media, and documentation services to the ASEM11 Volunteers' Station.

ASEM11 Volunteers, which mainly consists of Mongolian university students, get involved in ASEM organization, ranging from welcoming delegations at the airport and escorting participants during meetings and forums, to providing translation services and distributing handouts. The recruitment and training of over 1,500 volunteers have been managed by the ASEM 11 Volunteer Working Group under the ASEM Office of Mongolia, and about 50 volunteers have already been deployed to support the organization of Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP9) in April and Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) in May this year.

"We provide three modules of training: teambuilding, volunteerism orientation, and task-oriented competencies, each lasting three hours," said Ch. Purevjav, ASEM Volunteerism and Communication Officer and the UN National Volunteer from FAO, "Due to the large number, we're training them in a group of fifty at a time. Our first module has been delivered to almost everyone, and we have already trained five groups with the second module."

"Even after ASEM11, the volunteers' experience and resources will serve as a strong base for further endeavors to work for various public events in the country. It will also help promote youth participation and volunteerism in Mongolia," says Ch. Purevjav.

Link to article

 

Traditional Mongolian costume 'Deel' will be bestowed to ASEM delegates

May 26 (gogo.mn) The traditional Mongolian costume 'DEEL' will be presented to the 11th ASEM Summit delegations as gift.

In regards to this matter, a survey was conducted on traditional costume manufacturing business entities in order to get better understanding of their styles and price offers. Those companies who sent the most reasonable proposals are to be discussed for cooperation at the National Council meeting.

National Council also decided to enroll 250 vehicles and 293 drivers, which used for ASEM delegations transportation and security, in automobile and driver's responsibility insurance.

The transportations are imported by "Monnis motors" LLC and cars will be sold after ASEM concludes.

Related officials note that fiber cable is required to connect ASEM Summit venues to 'Press Center' for international and local journalists that is being established at the Shangri-La trade center.

Prime Minister and chairman of National Council Ch.Saikhanbileg tasked the working group to urgently start finding solutions for the issues and free public areas to dig up network canals.

Link to article

 

Int'l Market

MATD jumped +15.9% on Thursday to 3.28p

EBRD Sells Off Last Remaining Petro Matad Shares

May 26, Petro Matad Ltd. (AIM:MATD) --

Link to disclosure

 

KCC drops -30% to C$0.035 on Thursday after doubling on Wednesday

Friedland-backed company in Mongolia merger

May 26 (Mining Journal) TSX-listed junior exploration company Kincora Copper has engulfed High Power Ventures (HPV), a private company controlled by High Power Exploration (HPX), in an all-share deal to combine two extensive exploration portfolios targeting copper-gold porphyries and other mineral systems in Mongolia.

HPX is a private company boasting Robert Friedland as its chairman and chief executive officer. Friedland is of course most famous in Mongolia for his role at the head of Ivanhoe Mines, which drilled out the massive Oyu Tolgoi porphyry deposit and is developing the mine with majority project partner Rio Tinto. Oyu Tolgoi will produce some 450,000 tonnes per annum of copper when fully ramped up.

Kincora's flagship asset is the Bronze Fox copper-gold project, which Ivanhoe was forced to discard during negotiations with the government over a proposed windfall tax ahead of the 2009 Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement being signed. Interestingly, the Oyu Tolgoi prospect had once-upon-a-time been disposed by BHP Billiton under duress during not dissimilar government negotiations over investment terms.

The merger will create one of the largest known regional geophysical and surface geochemical datasets globally focused on what Kincora described as "Mega" (Oyu Tolgoi-type) porphyry targets, along with your standard gold-rich copper porphyries, plus epithermal and Carlin-style gold deposits.

The company said the consolidated portfolio in a "world-class gold-rich copper province" was analogous to having the run of northern Chile's copperbelt before it was opened up to foreign investment.

Within the holdings are at least six porphyry and one epithermal advanced gold targets, including the "most significant untested complex in the belt".

The enlarged portfolio will also benefit from HPX's Typhoon geophysical technology and other proprietary technical services. 

To complete the merger, Kincora will issue 58,950,000 shares and 29,475,000 share purchase warrants to HPV, with each warrant worth 1.8 times the issue price during the next Kincora private placement. 

The market clearly approved of the deal, bumping up Kincora's share price by 50% to C$0.05 (US$0.04). 

At the current price, the deal is worth about C$5.6 million.

With former Rio Tinto country manager for Mongolia and CEO of Oyu Tolgoi, Cameron McRae, already an advisor to Kincora, adding Robert Friedland to the management team feels like the combination of a sort of dream team for Mongolian exploration and development.

"The merger is an opportunity that wouldn't be available at other points of the Mongolian and commodity cycles, is at an attractive scrip acquisition price, with involvement of one of the industry's leading groups [which] will be a new shareholder and provide proprietary technical services," Kincora president and CEO Sam Spring said.

In the near term, the company plans to test its advance stage targets, validate its geological interpretation of the regional portfolio, add yet more land, and look at other M&A opportunities. So not much then.

The obvious question is how a junior in this market stationed in Mongolia plans to pay for all this but with the backing of certain individuals and the quality of its exploration proposal, that shouldn't prove an insurmountable challenge.

Link to article

Related:

Origo Partners Takes Note After Kincora Copper Deal - Alliance News, May 26 (link to OPP release)

Back to top

Local Market

MSE Trading Report: Top 20 +0.35%, ALL -2.38%, Turnover ₮35.9 Million Shares, ₮4.6 Million T-Bills

May 26 (MSE) --

Link to report

Back to top

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: Wednesday, May 25 Close

5/26

5/25

5/24

5/23

5/20

5/19

5/18

5/17

5/16

5/13

5/12

5/11

5/10

5/9

5/6

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

USD

1,998.60

1,997.83

2,000.01

2,000.20

1,998.33

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

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EUR

2,232.44

2,228.18

2,240.21

2,246.72

2,242.63

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

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JPY

18.19

18.17

18.28

18.24

18.15

18.16

18.28

18.21

18.38

18.44

18.46

18.56

18.58

18.79

18.89

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GBP

2,943.64

2,918.93

2,896.71

2,905.39

2,912.27

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

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RUB

30.72

30.36

29.83

29.94

30.04

30.31

30.79

30.89

30.80

30.76

30.91

30.48

30.52

30.82

30.64

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CNY

304.62

304.63

305.15

305.48

305.52

305.88

306.35

305.49

306.26

307.07

309.14

309.68

310.01

310.84

310.73

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KRW

1.69

1.69

1.68

1.69

1.68

1.68

1.69

1.70

1.70

1.71

1.72

1.72

1.73

1.73

1.73

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SGD

1,450.26

1,448.96

1,446.50

1,450.58

1,448.59

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

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

CAD

1,538.45

1,526.34

1,517.23

1,525.94

1,525.85

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

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AUD

1,437.59

1,442.33

1,432.81

1,448.74

1,446.59

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

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HKD

257.37

257.23

257.48

257.50

257.34

257.65

257.87

256.56

257.44

258.05

259.34

259.97

260.25

260.48

260.40

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

CHF

2,018.07

2,014.86

2,017.87

2,022.04

2,017.09

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

Bank USD rates at time of sending: Khan (Buy ₮1,990 Sell ₮2,002), TDB (Buy ₮1,995 Sell ₮2,005), Golomt (Buy ₮1,995 Sell ₮2,005), XacBank (Buy ₮1,989 Sell ₮1,999), State Bank (Buy ₮1,996 Sell ₮2,006)

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

Link to rates

 

BoM declines USD, CNY bid, ask offers, accepts $21.7m MNT, $25m USD swap offers

May 26 (Bank of Mongolia) During the Foreign Exchange Auction held on May 26th, 2016, commercial banks bid MNT1989.50-MNT1994.00 for USD1.9 million and MNT303.00-MNT303.20 for CNY4.5 million and asked MNT1997.81-MNT1997.83 for USD8 million and MNT304.70 for CNY0.65 million. The BOM did not accept any offers.

On the May 26th, 2016, commercial banks bid for USD21.7 million of MNT swap agreement and asked for USD25 million of USD swap agreement. The BOM accepted both offers.

Link to release

 

Subsidized Mortgage Report: 96.8 Billion Issued at 5%, ₮268.5 Billion at 8%, 32.9 Billion Transferred to 5%

May 26 (Bank of Mongolia) As of May 25 banks received ₮425.7 billion (₮374 billion as of May 13) mortgage requests of 6,889 citizens (6,045 as of May 13), of which ₮96.8 billion (₮84.7 billion as May 13) of 2,026 citizens (1,784 as of May 13) have been approved at 5%, ₮268.5 billion (₮234.6 billion as of May 13) of 3,975 citizens (3,508 of May 13) at 8%.

Also, ₮32.9 billion mortgages (₮29.6 billion as of May 13) of 813 borrowers (731 as of April 22) who bought housing in Ulaanbaatar ger area redevelopment zones, satellite districts Baganuur, Bagakhangai, and Nalaikh, new capital housing zones, and 21 aimags have been transferred to 5%.

Link to release (in Mongolian)

 

'Good Herder' 10% Loan Program: 109.8 Billion Loan Requests Received, 101 Billion Issued

May 26 (Cover Mongolia) Since the Government of Mongolia launched the "Good Herder" Program in March 15, 2016 the State Bank and Khan Bank has received requests from 28,245 herders for 109.8 billion loans at 10% (24,163 herders for 93.8 billion as May 17) and as of May 17 101 billion 10% loans (86 billion as of May 17) have been issued.

Link to BoM announcement (in Mongolian)

Back to top

Politics & Legal

Olympic champion N.Tuvshinbayar to run for parliament from Bayankhongor

May 26 (gogo.mn) Olympic champion N.Tuvshinbayar posted on his facebook that he is to run for parliamentary election 2016 from Democratic party (DP) in Bayanhongor aimag. 

At the DP committee meeting that was held in Bayanhongor aimag, 100 percent of members have supported N.Tuvshinbayar, H.Battulga and D.Ganbat to stand for parliamentary election 2016. 

He stated that "I am rediscovering the winning feeling that I first felt from Bayankhongor mini olymp. I would like to thank to people of Bayankhongor aimag. I will not let you down. Joint strength and success"

N.Tuvshinbayar was born in Bulgan aimag. However Bulgan has only one constituency. Thus the olympic champion has decided to nominate from Bayanhongor.

Link to article

Related:

Olympic champion N.Tuvshinbayar to debut in politicsMontsame, May 26

 

New Members of Judicial General Council Receive Accreditations

Ulaanbaatar, May 26 (MONTSAME) President Ts.Elbegdorj granted certificates to newly-appointed members of the General Council of Court (CGC) on Wednesday.

In accordance with a decree of the President, N.Lundendorj, D.Erdenechuluun, O.Zandraa and P.Batsaikhan were appointed the CGC members after being elected by incumbent judges under a secret ballot system.

The President congratulated the new members on taking their duties, and urged them to promote and raise public awareness of ongoing legal reforms in compliance with the pertinent laws. He underlined importance of effective realizing the newly-adopted laws on crime and on conflicts.

Link to article

 

Two new laws on children will come into effect from September 1

May 26 (gogo.mn) Laws on children rights and protection were ratified by Parliament in February. Draft bills reflected feedback from citizens and were supported by NGOs and other international organizations.

MP and team leader of working group on the draft bills S.Odontuya said "Ratification of these bills will enable Mongolia's legal environment to develop internationally recognized child protection service".

Also, there will be officers to look after children's right and all forms of child abuse will be prohibited. The laws state any forms of children abuse and rights' violation legitimized by felony and offense laws

World Vision international organization also notes these ideologies of these two laws focus more on prevention and educating a child in positive methods.

Link to article

 

Institutionalized Role for State in Emerging Resource Economies

By Julian Dierkes

May 25 (Mongolia Focus) The workshop on "The State's Role in Large Resource Projects" CIRDI recently co-organized with the International Cooperation Fund of the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was designed as an opportunity for Mongolians to share their experience in mining governance with international delegates (from Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos and Myanmar), but also to spur discussions among Mongolians about the political and organizational decision that have been made on the state's involvement in mining projects through State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

One aspect of the workshop that definitely worked was to expose the different approaches that countries are taking to the resource sector. In sociological parlance, these approaches seem to be highly institutionalized, meaning that they are governed by a set of taken-for-granted, implicit rules that show up as a striking uniformity across a population even when not explicitly mandated by laws or regulations.

Put very simply, these five resource economies take fairly different approaches to the state's involvement in the resource sector. The contrast is particularly stark between Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Myanmar, while the Laotian resource economy seems to be mostly small scale and a bit of a mix of different governance models, and Afghanistan's resource sector is still emerging from decades of civil war.

Patterns in the State's Participation in the Mining Sector

For the three somewhat more developed resource countries, the pattern appears to be the following:

·         In Kyrgyzstan, direct state participation (investment and operation) in the resource sector is a given. Whether or not this is best understood in a post-Soviet political economy or rooted in other factors, Kyrgyz delegates were very clear that SOEs are the dominant model, but that these SOEs are also comprehensive enterprises in the style of a state socialist Комбинат (note that even Wikipedia acknowledges Erdenet's status as an all-encompassing company-cum-town-cum-conception-of-modernization). Кыргызалтын's holdings thus include a health resort and a transport company. Governance issues have been a source of friction with Canadian miner Centerra Gold (also active in Mongolia, of course), around the Kumtor mine.

·         In Mongolia, Erdenet is the example of a state-operated and fully-integrated-into-policy project, while the model in the past decade has become to have minority stakes in resource projects. This taken-for-granted position has been enshrined in law through the designation as "strategic assets" that automatically trigger a state equity stake, but it has also been institutionalized in political discourse where only private sector representatives (foreign and domestic) seem to question it. The on-going turmoil around the co-ownership with Rio Tinto (via Turquoise Hill) of Oyu Tolgoi illustrates some of the governance challenges this poses, though Erdenes Mongol (the state holding company for assets other than Erdenet) is eagerly "normalizing" its position as a corporation, rather than a specific form of an SOE.

·         A foreign caricature of the Burmese resource sector would refer to (military) crony capitalism, Chinese investments, and a giant oil sector. But, the highly institutionalized form of government investment in the resource sector in Myanmar are production sharing agreements (PSAs). As a tool, these are very common around the world (including in Mongolia's Dornod oil fields) in petroleum production, but not very common at all internationally in mining. PSAs are, very clearly, highly institutionalized in Myanmar.

Learning from Comparisons

The most fruitful discussion (in my mind) around these institutionalized alternatives for public participation in mining investments came around the Kyrgyz-Mongolian comparison. Clearly, The Kyrgyz and (Russian-speaking) Mongolians were very comfortable speaking to each other right from the beginning. A shared cultural history and legacy of nomadism and state socialism as well as a sense of common challenges reinforced this initial comfort through discussions. As one of the Kyrgyz delegates noted very memorably, "95% of the questions that you're asking (in Mongolia), are the same questions in Kyrgyzstan".

Yet, as the discussion showed, some of the answers are remarkably different. Mendee has been telling me for some time now that Erdenet is much more important to understanding contemporary mining governance, but also contemporary politics than is generally appreciated. As I mentioned above, Kyrgyz participation of the state in the resource sector follows a similar pattern to Erdenet. Yet, despite Erdenet's apparent successes (long-lasting production, the creation of a mining city that has grown into a viable and livable (perhaps distant) alternative to Ulaanbaatar), this is not the pattern that Mongolia has followed over the past 20 years. In part, the alternative pattern grew out of the destitute mid-1990s when state investment was simply not a (financial option) and the door was flung wide open to foreign investment. By the time more serious governance questions arose in the negotiations over an OT investment agreement, perhaps notions of free markets had been ingrained enough that the pendulum only swung back to a financial minority investment, namely the current structure of stakes in "strategic deposits". I don't know enough about post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan to guess at the political economy of projects there with independence and its aftermath, but the paths between Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia have clearly diverged.

Best Practices?

As is often the case with highly institutionalized models, aspects of these models "make a lot of sense", but when we step back for a broader/deeper analysis, it is not clear that there is much to recommend one model over the other. Clearly (and as emphasized by Matt Genasci in the workshop) different ways to participate in the resource sector offer different opportunities but also come with different risks and costs. While all forms of ownership can be mimicked by taxes and other regulations, ultimately, decisions about different governance models are made within the context of specific political economies. No well-meaning and unfathomably comprehensive (big data and AI, I'm looking at you) analysis can make the final decision on what model might fit a country best, so that institutionalized responses to the question "how does the nation benefit from resource endowments?" differ across different national contexts.

It certainly seemed that the workshop provided a meaningful opportunity for dialogue between international delegates and Mongolians, but also among the Mongolians that perhaps pointed to some of the consequences of choosing particular models and thus strengthens resource governance in a small way to lead to better decisions that lead to more equitable distribution and thus alleviation of poverty through the development of natural resources.

Link to post

 

Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia Responds to Air Astana's Claims

Ulaanbaatar, 26.05.16 (CAAM) Air Astana was indeed appointed as the airline entitled to conduct non-stop flights on the route Astana-Ulaanbaatar in 2015, in accordance with the provisions set out in the Article 3 of the Air Services Agreement (ASA)signed between the Governments of Mongolia and the Republic of Kazakhstan.

However, Air Astana's June 2016 launch for the new route failed due to absence of the Air Operator's Certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia (CAAM). It is also our understanding that Air Astana had initiated ticket sales for the scheduled flights, while it was still expected to undergo a series of additional safety and security audits after a serious assessment in January 2016.

We regret that Air Astana has taken the matter on wrong accounts by publicly accusing CAAM of revoking a permit, despite not taking the full steps to acquire the certified safety approval along with appropriate permissions for landing slot and tariffs.

Mongolia has long maintained a high international aviation safety rating; thus, it expects the same level of safety requirements and responsible corporate behavior from all foreign air transport operators in Mongolia.  Finally, we hope that Kazakhstan's principal airline and flag carrier Air Astana will follow through with the necessary procedures governed by international standards and recommended civil aviation practices in respect of our ASA.

Link to release

 

Flight between Astana and Ulaanbaatar postponed

May 26 (news.mn) A new air route between Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, and Ulaanbaatar was due to start this June. But, the launch has been postponed. The Mongolian Minister of Transport M.Zorigt has said that the reason of this delay lies with "Air Astana".

The "Air Astana", which is the principal airline and flag carrier of Kazakhstan, has failed to meet the flight safety control requirements set by the Mongolian General Civil Aviation Authority (MCAA). It would appear that an inspector of the MCAA checked "Air Astana" once in Kazakhstan and released a conclusion that the certificate could be granted "Air Astana". However, many additional things still need to be checked before the certificate can be issued.

Kazakhstan has about 20 aviation companies, 19 of which are on the black list making it impossible for them to fly to the countries of the European Union; the one exception is "Air Astana". But, Mongolia's safety and quality regulators consider that Mongolia cannot provide a certificate to "Air Astana" simply because the EU has done so for European destinations. A re-examination will take place in July and August. Therefore, the earliest date the new air route can start will be September.

Unfortunately, when the Astana-Ulaanbaatar route was announced, many people began buying tickets. "Air Astana" will be responsible for refunding.

Link to article

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Business

Mongolian meat jerkies and sausages win medals at Frankfurt

Ulaanbaatar, May 26 (MONTSAME) "Makh Impex" Ltd. Company has grabbed gold and silver medals at the IFFA 2016, the international competition of quality meat products and technology standards. With its 70-year history, Makh Impex is the first meat factory of Mongolia.

The IFFA international trade fair was held this May 7-12 in Frankfurt, Germany. Makh Impex challenged its "Nuudel Brand" (Migration) jerkies and "Deedes" (Royalty) smoked sausages.

The products were once again exhibited with their medal certifications Thursday at Shangri-La Hotel of Ulaanbaatar.

Link to article

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Ulaanbaatar

West road of Chinggis square to be closed on Saturday to military competition

May 26 (gogo.mn) West roads of Chinggis square to be closed on Saturday (May 28) during 11AM-2PM and 9PM-11PM due to award ceremony and evening show of the "Mongolian military glory - 2016" contest to be held at Chinggis square. 

Moreover, front parking lots of the Chinggis square will be closed during 8AM to 11PM on this day while residents are enabled to use parking lots of Amar street, Hangardi palace, State Drama Theatre, The General Intelligence Department and Sports Palace for free.

Link to article

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Diplomacy

Speaker Z.Enkhbold receives Bundestag members

Ulaanbaatar, May 26 (MONTSAME) Speaker of parliament Z.Enkhbold received Thursday Gerda Hasselfeldt, a member of the German Bundestag and chairwoman of the Bundestag group of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU); and Max Straubinger, a Bundestag member and deputy chair of the group.

Gerda Hasselfeldt informed of the purpose of their visit to Mongolia which is their first. She noted that Germany acknowledges greatly Mongolian democratic transformations and welcomes the social progress in the country.

At the meeting, the parties exchanged views on the political, socio-economic and current issues.

Link to article

 

President Elbegdorj's KBS TV interview breaks record

May 26 (gogo.mn) President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj paid an official visit to the Republic of Korea on May 18.

During his visit, president Ts.Elbegdorj had official meeting with his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye and other officials such Chairman of National Assembly of Korea and mayor of Seoul. As side events, president Ts.Elbegdorj met with Mongolians residing in Korea and gave a lecture at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies on 'Foreign policy of Mongolia and regional security'

Another important part of his visit was his interview at KBS Tv, one of the largest news agency in Korea. The program is regarded as top program that interviews high profile officials to discuss important issues.

The episode with president of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj had 12.5 million viewers, making it highest number in past year.

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Related:

12 million Koreans watch interview with President Elbegdorjnews.mn, May 26

 

Multinational partners tested during convoy training at Khaan Quest 2016

Ulaanbaatar, May 26 (MONTSAME) More than 40 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Peacekeeping Operations Interim participated in a convoy escort simulation May 24, as part of the annual, multinational peacekeeping exercises, Khaan Quest 2016 in Mongolia.

The course was designed to reshape the protocol of how armed forces deal with locals while on deployment or participating in U.N. missions. It also introduces new tactics, tailored to achieve the Global Peace Operations Initiative program's goal through peacekeeping.

"It is a challenge in a peacekeeping mission when you have platoons that have done missions that are very different," said Staff Sgt. Richard Murphy, a convoy escort instructor from the Alaska National Guard. "It's quite the balancing act, between being tactical and peacekeeping. They almost have to unlearn everything that they have learned in the past."

Six different scenarios were set in place in front of the Philippine platoon: meeting Non-governmental organization (NGO) representatives requesting assistance, an ambush, negotiating with Mongolian locals to pass through a checkpoint, delivering the NGO's package, navigating through civil unrest, and what protocols to take when encountering an improvised explosive device. Each scenario tested the soldiers' ability to apply the skills they learned in the classroom to execution in a field simulation.

"I think the training went okay, however there are some points to learn," said Maj. Pablo Masa-ad, the platoon leader for the Armed Forces of the Philippines Peacekeeping Operations Interim. "We thought we knew everything but when you actually simulate and execute new tactics, unexpected events happen. We learned how to adapt to the situation and complete the mission."

Convoy escort is one of 11 simulations designed to enhance tactical and combat capabilities of participating uniformed services during Khaan Quest 2016, reports dvidshub.net.

"The goal for each course is to increase interoperability between our partners and allies," said Capt. B. Munkhbayar, of the Mongolian Armed Forces and senior instructor of the convoy escort course. "Our training will benefit us when we deploy and when we have to work together during U.N. missions."

Khaan Quest 2016 is an annual, multinational peacekeeping operations exercise hosted by the Mongolian Armed Forces, co-sponsored by U.S. Pacific Command, and supported by U.S. Army Pacific and U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. Khaan Quest, in its 14th iteration, is the capstone exercise for this year's Global Peace Operations Initiative program. The exercise focuses on training activities to enhance international interoperability, develop peacekeeping capabilities, build to mil-to-mil relationships, and enhance military readiness.

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Ambassador represents Mongolia at roundtable meeting on disaster risk at World Humanitarian Summit

Ulaanbaatar, May 26 (MONTSAME) Ambassador of Mongolia to the Republic of Turkey H.E. B.Batkhishig represented the country at the Roundtable Meeting on Natural Calamities and Climate Change on May 24, being organized in the margin of the World Humanitarian Summit, taking place in Istanbul, Turkey.

The roundtable meeting was chaired by the UN Secretary General Mr Bang Ki Moon and the UNDP Administrator Ms Helen Clark. The meeting focused on the necessity countries face to systematically collaborate on estimating the risks of natural disasters and preventing them.

In particular, the representatives discussed about individuals' engagement in the disaster risk prevention and the overall implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction for 2015-2030.

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Permanent Rep of Mongolia addresses World Health Assembly

Ulaanbaatar, May 26 (MONTSAME) The Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the UN Office in Geneva and other international organizations Ambassador V.Purevdorj addressed Wednesday a plenary meeting themed "Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" which was held in scope of the Sixty-ninth World Health Assembly kicked off on May 23 in Geneva, Switzerland.

In his speech, the Ambassador informed that Mongolian parliament passed last February a document called "Concept for sustainable development - 2030" which designs a Mongolian long-term development policy, thereby Mongolia is focusing particularly on performing policy and legal reforms and ensuring the readiness of sectors in order to make certain the development concept is implemented duly.

"Approval of the development policy document has immense significance to ensure the continuation of socio-economic policy and stability," he underlined.

Noting that the national development goals of Mongolia have been formulated in line with the global sustainable development goals, Purevdorj elaborated that Mongolia pursues goals for abolishing preventable causes of the infant and child mortality, minimizing the rate of early mortality caused by non-infectious diseases and by birth complications and maximizing population's longevity.

Both domestic funding and assistance from international organizations are vital for the successful achievement of the sustainable development goals for nations, Purevdorj noted, and called for the WHO and other international organizations to continue supporting the development of middle-income developing countries.

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Russian journalists remark Mongolia's rapid development

May 26 (MONTSAME) Although Mongolia has 95 years' history of friendship with Russia, the ties had been weakening in all spheres since 1990. However, one of the indications that steps have been made for better is the cooperation between the journalists of two countries. Last week saw the successful completion of a forum of Mongolian and Russian journalists in Ulaanbaatar, as a revival of long-time friendship.

A.A.Barkov, a director of All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) in Kaluga:

"I would like to thank Mongolian side for organizing this forum. However, re-boosting of our ties could be a bit sooner, it is better late than never. Using this opportunity, journalists from the two countries shared opinions on ways to report factual news about each other's country"

Rinchinova Olga, a deputy director of VGRTK in Irkutsk:

"Mongolia is developing rapidly. Speed of growth is not so visible in Russia, because of such a large territory. The situation is the contrary in Mongolia. We arrived in Erdenet city today. It feels just like home because, as I heard, this city was built by russians. This is the true historic evidence of the two countries' friendly relations, I reckon".

The guests visited the Erdenet plant, Mongolia-Russian joint venture. After getting au fait with the plant operations and getting to know about its yield to Mongolia's economy, they preferred Erdenet over the western-managed OyuTolgoi. Erdenet is now a home to more than 100 thousand people, and accommodates Erdenet Carpet factory and medical and diagnostic center, equipped with latest technology.

Eduard Istomin, a director of VGRTK in Volga:  I've known Mongolia since my childhood. I'm visiting Mongolia for the first time, and I really enjoy it. I appreciate restoration of our traditional relations. We say seeing is believing. I'm very excited to write about Mongolia what I've seen

"The journalists were given abundance of opportunity to get to know Mongolia's modern development, history and traditions. It was a pleasant occasion to visit the 300 and more years old Amarbayasgalant Monastery, and to view the Mongolian religious culture and national architecture. There, the guests prayed and took part in religious rites. Impressions of the Russian journalists and their travel notes will be the foundation of a bridge to more friendly ties between the two countries".

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Health, Education

Measles vaccination period extended to June 1

May 26 (news.mn) Since the beginning of 2016, there has been a severe measles outbreak across Mongolia. Therefore, on 12th May, a free additional vaccination campaign was launched for people aged 18-30. Despite the fact that two weeks were provided, not everyone eligible for free treatment has done so. Therefore, yesterday, it was decided to extend the vaccination period until 1st June. As of 20th May, only 60% of the target group had received their injections.

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Health Minister reports at "Hour of Minister" meeting

Ulaanbaatar, May 26 (MONTSAME) Minister of Health and Sport S.Lambaa gave a report at the "Hour of Minister" weekly meeting on Thursday about new laws passed in scope of the legal reforms in healthcare sector and some draft laws to be submitted to parliament.

The national consultation on hygiene to take place late June will give an opportunity to voice proposals to rules and regulations for implementing the newly-adopted law on health. The law on medicine and medical aid will come into force starting from June 3, 2016, the Minister said.

The cabinet meeting decided last Monday to submit to parliament a draft amendment to the law on crime which has been designed to soften the criminal punishment to be imposed upon medical workers who are found guilty in deaths of patients.

By the current law on crime passed in 2015, those medical workers who are guilty for causing damages to health and lives of people shall be punished with a fine of up to MNT 80 million, disqualification for up to three years or sentencing them to 2-8 years in prison, the Minister said. He added that the cabinet decided to submit to parliament a bill on liability insurance of medical staff.

Link to article

 

National Diagnostic Treatment Center to open in 2018

May 26 (news.mn) Yesterday, the foundation of the National Diagnostic Treatment Center was laid. This center is planned to be opened in 2018. The modern, much-needed National Diagnostic Treatment Center will cost USD 65.5 million, USD 55.5 million of which will be provided in the form of a preferential loan from South Korean; the Mongolian Government will provide the remainder. The Center will be built by Samsung C&T from South Korean side and "Odcon" from the Mongolian.

The building of the National Diagnostic Treatment Center will cover an area of 15,468 square meters and have 103 beds. When the Center is opened in 2018, it will be equipped with modern, state of the art equipment.

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Related:

Foundation laid for Nat'l Diagnostic and Medical CenterMontsame, May 26

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Sports

Mountaineer B.Gangaamaa targets Indonesia's Mt. Carstensz

Ulaanbaatar, May 26 (MONTSAME) A State Honored Sportswoman and mountaineer has announced that she will conquer Mount Carstensz in Papua province of Indonesia, in pursuing her dream to reach all the Seven Summits.

No Mongolian has conquered Mount Carstensz yet.

"My dream of conquering all the Seven Summits was motivated when I reached the highest peak of Europe, Mount Elbrus on May 25, 2010 together with my colleagues Terbish, Bat-Erdene, Odonchimeg and Naran. I am delighted to inform that I will head for Indonesia to make my step closer to my dream," Gangaamaa said.

Her conquering of Mount Carstensz is being sponsored by the Turkish Airlines. As of today, she has climbed the five highest points of the Seven Summits so far.

Mount Carstensz in the Sudirman Range of the western central highlands of Papua Province, Indonesia.

At 4,884 m (16,024 feet) above sea level, Mount Carstensz is the highest mountain in Indonesia, the highest on the island of New Guinea which comprises the Indonesian West Papua region plus Papua New Guinea, the highest on the continent of Australia.

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