Wednesday, September 21, 2016

[HAR raises A$174K; KOT gets clarity; bondholders bank on bailout; OT directors dismissed; and GoM to pitch rail to AIIB]

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

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Int'l Market

HAR last traded A$0.004 on September 12

Haranga Resources: A$174,000 Placement to Sophisticated Investors

September 20 -- Haranga Resources Limited ('the Company') is pleased to announce it has successfully completed a placement of new shares to sophisticated investors to raise $174,000 (before costs).

The placement consists of 58,000,000 fully paid ordinary shares priced at A$0.003 per share with the new shares being placed using the Company's existing 15% placement capacity under ASX Listing Rule 7.1.

The Company will use placement proceeds for working capital purposes.

Link to article


Khot to Increase Ownership of Ashid Munkhiin Zam LLC ("AMZ") to 100%; Confirms Receipt of New Permits and Provides Shareholder Update on Mongolian Infrastructure Policies

ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA--(Marketwired - Sept. 20, 2016) - Khot Infrastructure Holdings, Ltd. ("Khot" or the "Company") (CSE:KOT) is pleased to provide shareholders with an operational update on the Company in light of new clarity on future infrastructure opportunities under the newly elected majority Mongolian government.

The June 29, 2016 federal elections saw the Mongolian People's Party win 67 of 76 seats, an impressive majority. This will help ensure political stability for the next four years and enable government to implement new economic policies designed to attract foreign capital and stimulate domestic growth. The Mongolian People's Party has a mandate to fast track critical Mongolian infrastructure needs and the new government has acted swiftly to address the delays in executing key concessions.

At an extraordinary meeting of parliament on August 26, 2016, the government officially announced its four year master economic development plan. This official operational document addresses the government's priorities which include a major infrastructure focus including sections outlining building out extensions to the electrical grid network, expanding paved roads connecting all provincial centres and continuation of the announced massive Millennium road project, and finally, a section announcing further rail and rail bed projects linking major trading partners in Russia and China.

In addition, the government has formed the Mongolian Development Agency ("MDA"). This "super agency" assumes complete control and oversight of plan implementation with the MDA director reporting directly to the Prime Minister. A key responsibility of the MDA will be communication with international investor and business communities as well as ensuring clarity and efficiency in the bidding process. These relationships are increasingly critical given the financial challenges facing the country.

The Mongolian in-country management team quoted, "The infrastructure opportunity for Khot and our strategic partners is now more clearly defined than ever. The new majority government and its rapid response to past economic uncertainty are huge steps forward for the business community."

Khot is also pleased to announce the receipt of a 110 Kilovolt ("kV") power line construction permit awarded by the Mongolian government. This permit allows AMZ to further increase the scope and scale of bidding opportunities in the power line construction sector.

Erin Chutter, Khot's COO, emphasized, "We are very pleased to add this permit to our arsenal which now, includes road and bridge building, road maintenance and rail bed construction licenses. The optimism and excitement around the $5.2 billion expansion of Oyu Tolgoi has brought new investor interest to Mongolia and heightened interest in all four of these burgeoning infrastructure sectors."

On June 23, 2016, the leaders of Mongolia, China and Russia agreed to cooperate on the development of an economic corridor, including investments in upgrading the Ulan Bator rail line and focus on road transportation infrastructure.

AMZ previously announced the acquisition of three other important licenses in the rail bed, road construction and asphalt provision sectors. All three of these are critical for ongoing relationship negotiations underway with major financial and construction entities that will enable the Company to fully exploit these major infrastructure opportunities.

Khot also intends to acquire a final 25% interest in AMZ from a company controlled by affiliates of Firebird, Khot's largest shareholder, in a non-cash transaction; this acquisition will bring Khot's holdings to 100% of AMZ at a time when significant concession opportunities are planned by the government.

Link to release


As Mongolia teeters, bond investors bank on China for bailout

By Umesh Desai and Sujata Rao 

HONG KONG/LONDON, September 20 (Reuters) Holders of Mongolia's high-yielding dollar bonds are looking beyond a sharp rise in sovereign default risks on a bet that China or the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will help the once-booming commodity producer to stay solvent.

Mongolia, a vast country of just three million people, is perhaps the most extreme example among oil and metal-rich nations that binged on debt during the good times and were pitched into hardship when the commodity boom turned to bust.

The borrowings have left the $12 billion economy staggering under total foreign debt -- public and private -- of over $20 billion, and a state debt burden that the government predicts could hit 78 percent of annual output by the end of the year.

Other countries in Mongolia's high-risk "B" rating category have an average 50 percent debt ratio, the Moody's agency says.

On Wednesday, the country's state-backed development bank must pay a $16.7 million coupon to bondholders. That is unlikely to pose a problem but over $1 billion of bonds mature between March 2017 and January 2018, while $120 million in coupons are due from now to the end of this year.

"In terms of Mongolia's economy these are very significant amounts. The country is in dire need of either a debt restructuring or a Big Brother loan," said Chris Weafer, senior partner at the Macro-Advisory consultancy.


Mining firms' woes are adding to the headache -- Hong Kong-listed Mongolian Mining Corp is in default and Reuters reported last week that state-controlled Erdenet was prevented from transacting metals sales in London after a court froze its UK assets over unpaid debts.

News of acute dollar shortages within Mongolia have increased investors' unease. The tugrik currency has slumped 15 percent since June and the government has even fallen behind on payouts to Olympic athletes.

In contrast to the panic within Mongolia, its sovereign bonds have weakened but not collapsed -- the 2018, 2021 and 2022 bonds trade between 85 and 103 cents in the dollar, levels that don't imply serious default concerns,.

Venezuelan dollar bonds, where a default has been widely anticipated, trade mostly below 50 cents.

"Investors are sanguine because the assumption is China will cut a check," Weafer said.

Neighboring China is the biggest buyer of Mongolia's commodities, its main investor and supplied a 15 billion-yuan ($2.25 billion) swap line that staved off economic disaster in 2009.

Another option is the International Monetary Fund -- the lender sent a staff mission to the capital Ulaanbaatar recently and said it would help if the government requested it.

Marco Ruijer, a fund manager at NN Investment Partners, is holding on to his Mongolian bonds.

He says investors are confident China will extend its swap line and possibly even increase it. Creditors have also been assured by the Development Bank of Mongolia it had enough cash to meet upcoming coupons and part of next year's $580 million maturity, he added.

"Regarding the immediate upcoming maturities and coupon payments I am less concerned. Longer-term, I would look at reducing positioning if they don't do some fiscal adjustment," Ruijer said.


The other reason funds are reluctant to sell Mongolia -- aside from annual coupons as hefty as 10.875 percent -- is its mineral wealth that may ultimately transform the economy of the former Soviet bloc state.

The multi-billion dollar Oyu Tolgoi project, led by Rio Tinto, should produce 560,000 tonnes a year of copper between 2025 and 2030.

After significant delays and disputes, work at the lucrative underground phase of the mine is finally under way.

According to Boon Peng Ooi, chief investment officer at Eastspring Investments, the Asian investment arm of Prudential, any bond weakness is a buying opportunity because mining and power project investments "will propel the country's growth and external account prospects."

First though, Mongolia needs to get through the current phase and worryingly for current investors, seems willing to pile up more debt at ever higher prices. That 10.875 percent on its most recent bond was among the highest coupons from an emerging sovereign in recent times.

Mark Lo, head of fixed income at Hong Kong financial services group AMTD, says he was recently approached by a Mongolian commercial bank willing to pay double-digit yields on a new loan.

"I am not quite convinced it's a good time to bottom fish Mongolia risk for the time being," Lo said.

Finally, if the IMF enters the fray, private creditors could be made to bear part of the rescue costs. In Ukraine for instance, bondholders took a 20 percent principal writedown and longer bond maturities as part of last year's IMF-led bailout

"There is precedent in Ukraine's case where private sector involvement was a condition. It could happen in Mongolia's case too, although the market is clearly not pricing that risk," said Richard House, head of emerging debt at Standard Life Investments.

He added: "Even if (the IMF or China) come through, they don't resolve the long-term problem of a big pile up in debt and not many means to repay."

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Local Market

MSE Trading Report: Top 20 -0.31%, ALL -0.27%, Turnover ₮25.8 Million Shares, ₮14 Billion T-Bills

September 20 (MSE) --

Link to report


5 Billion 12-Week, 10 Billion 28-Week T-Bills Sold on MSE

September 20 (MSE) On 20 September 2016, 12 weeks Government bonds /15.70% annual coupon rate/ worth total MNT5.0 billion, 28 weeks Government bonds /16.40% annual coupon rate/ worth MNT10.0 billion traded at Mongolian Stock Exchange.

Bellow member brokerage companies participated in bonds trading as follows:

Link to release

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USD/MNT historic high ₮2,265.28, set Aug 18. Reds are rates that set a new record at the time

BoM MNT Rates: Tuesday, September 20 Close
















































































































































































































Bank USD rates at time of sending: Khan (Buy ₮2,242 Sell ₮2,253), TDB (Buy ₮2,240 Sell ₮2,252), Golomt (Buy ₮2,242 Sell ₮2,2523), XacBank (Buy ₮2,244 Sell ₮2,254), State Bank (Buy ₮2,240 Sell ₮2,252)

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

Link to rates


BoM declines bids for USD, CNY, ask offers for MNT, accepts US$8.5m USD, $1.7m MNT swap offers

September 20 (Bank of Mongolia) Spot trade: Commercial banks bid MNT 2241.00-2252.00 for USD27.7 million, asked MNT 2253.00 for USD 0.2 million and also bid MNT 335.86-337.80 for CNY36.0 million respectively. The BoM did not accept any bid offers.

Swap and forward trade: The BoM accepted the bid offers of USD 8.5 million of MNT swap agreement, asked USD 11.4 million of USD swap agreement from commercial banks respectively. The BoM accepted the buying bid offers of USD 8.5 million and selling bid offers of USD 1.4 million.

Link to release


Is the Worst Over for Mongolia?

September 19 (Bloomberg Television) Ganzorig Ulziibayar, chief executive officer at Golomt Bank, discusses Mongolia's economy, the level of government debt and the outlook for foreign direct investments. He speaks to Bloomberg's Rishaad Salamat on "Trending Business."

Link to video


Mineral-Rich Mongolia Teeters on the Verge of Bankruptcy

By J. Berkshire Miller

September 20 (World Politics Review) Over the past few years, Mongolia's once vibrant and high-growth economy, buoyed by mineral riches, has languished to the point that there are some legitimate concerns that the country is on its way to bankruptcy. The Mongolian currency, the tugrik, hasplunged nearly 15 percent since the beginning of this year against the U.S. dollar. Foreign direct investment, once bountiful and rapidly growing, has completely evaporated. The economy is contracting; unemployment is spiking; and deflationary trends are continuing. Combined, that makes for a cocktail of trouble for the new government in Ulaanbaatar that has been in office since elections in June. 

These pressures weigh heavy on Mongolia's economic future, with its credit rating being slashed to a junk status "B" rating, its borrowing costs soaring, and, as a result, its debt soaring. Mongolia's government now owes more than $3 billion, a massive amount for a small developing economy valued at around $12 billion per year, let alone one that is contracting. The lack of growth is limiting Mongolia's ability to service its debt and pay its own bills, such as the salaries of civil servants or money for much-needed infrastructure projects. The steep decline in public revenue has also put pressure on Mongolia as its struggles to keep up a steady flow of fuel subsidies to offset the high cost of energy in the country. This has hit corporate interests in Mongolia especially hard, since they are large consumers of energy and depend on these subsidies.


Link to article (needs subscfription)

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Politics & Legal

Mongolia Dismisses Oyu Tolgoi Directors Behind Rio Negotiations

By Michael Kohn

·         Purging of government agencies becoming routine after electons

·         Directors helped unlock $4.4 billion in investment for mine

September 20 (Bloomberg) Three board members that helped steer the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine out of a long-standing dispute between the government of Mongolia and Rio Tinto Group have been dismissed.

Byambasaikhan Bayanjargal, Ganbold Davaadorj and Otgochuluu Chuluuntseren were released as board members on Friday, according to Solongo Sukhbaatar, a spokeswoman for Erdenes Mongol LLC, which holds state stakes in resource assets such as the Oyu Tolgoi mine.

Mongolia has seen many executive departures since the Mongolian People's Party came to power in late June. The changes aren't uncommon as the winning party consolidates power and finds loyal members to assume executive roles, said Munkhdul Badral, head of market intelligence firm Cover Mongolia.

"Public service is often the biggest victim of any political shift in Mongolia. It has become a ritual of a new ruling party to 'cleanse' the leaderships of government agencies and SOEs of the previous administration,'' Badral said in an e-mail from Ulaanbaatar. "This time was no exception.''

The trio was instrumental in negotiating a settlement with Rio Tinto after Mongolia and the mining firm clashed over a range of issues that left the underground mine stalled for more than two years. An investment accord signed late last year opened the door to $4.4 billion to restart the mine.

After the MPP won 65 out of 76 seats in the Great Hural, many of those employed by the former government headed for the exit. Earlier this month, Byambasaikhan resigned from his position as chief executive officer of Erdenes Mongol. Otgochuluu left his post as the company's chief economist.

Munkhbaatar Begzjav, a former deputy mayor of Ulaanbaatar, replaced Ganbold as executive director of Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi LLC.

Erdenes Mongol is the parent company of Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi, which holds a 34 percent stake in Oyu Tolgoi LLC, owner of the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine. Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd., which Rio Tinto controls through a 51 percent stake, owns 66 percent of the Oyu Tolgoi deposit. A Rio Tinto spokesman declined to comment on Tuesday.

The Oyu Tolgoi LLC board includes a chairman and eight members. Replacements for the three departing Mongolian members have not been announced yet, said Solongo. Munkhbaatar, the new head of Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi, is a strong candidate to join the board, Byambasaikhan said in an e-mail.

Link to article


Oyu Tolgoi dismisses the members of the Board of DirectorsGoGo Mongolia, September 20

Some OT Board members dismissed Montsame, September 20


PM Erdenebat: Mongolia will become a favourable country for investment again

September 20 ( Prime Minister J.Erdenebat has attended AmCham meeting and gave remarks on the new Government's Action Plan and efforts to improve investors' confidence.

PM noted the newly formed Government has planned to implement policy to boost economy by supporting national production and services as well as implementing development projects which are beneficial to a country. 

He introduced brief summary of some macroeconomic policies taken by the Government of Mongolia. 

1.    Restore investor's confidence and create favorable condition for foreign investors.

2.    Government of Mongolia to emphasize the stability of economic and business environment while creating legal environment that has no bureaucracy. 

3.    Government of Mongolia focuses on joining bilateral and multilateral international agreements on trade in order to diversify the regional integration and export structure. 

He concluded that we will re-confirm that Mongolia is a favorable country for investment and is a country with full of opportunities.

Link to article


Prime Minister meets AmCham Mongolia RepsMontsame, September 20


DeFacto Review, September 18

September 19 (VTV) --

I. Recording Gives Insight into Democrats' New Election Rules
II. Democrats Postpone Reforms
III. Inflation on the Decline
IV. Lingering Questions Surround Erdenet Deal

Link to video


15,209 candidates vying for 7,006 local council seats as registration ends

September 20 ( Mongolia is preparing for a local election, which will be held on 19th of October.  According to the General Election Commission, the registration for the local election has officially ended. A total of 15209 candidates from more than 330 soum (districts) of the 21 provinces and 9 districts of Ulaanbaatar have registered for 7006 seats.  Tuv province (1107 candidates) and Khuvsgul province (1100 candidates) have 500 electoral mandates.

Candidates for the local election will begin announcing their campaigns on 1st of October.

Link to article


UNICEF representative introduces 5-year Mongolia objectives to speaker

Ulaanbaatar, September 20 (MONTSAME) Chairman of the State Great Khural M.Enkhbold received Monday Permanent Representative of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Mongolia Roberto Benes.

The latter introduced the main objectives of the UNICEF for cooperation with Mongolia for the next five years and expressed interest in collaborating with the related Government agencies and the Parliament in improving the child protection system, reducing air pollution, and ensuring equality among the population, as well as a broad range of other issues.

Speaker M.Enkhbold promised to attach more importance to coordinating the UNICEF's proposals with the country's social and economic circumstances, and shared that the Parliament is set to discuss the bill against domestic violence and adopt it within the next regular autumn session.

Link to article


Deputy Finance Minister Kh.Bulgantuya elaborates on fiscal changes

September 19 (UB Post) Earlier this month, Parliament approved amendments to the 2016 state budget, proposed by the Cabinet on August 24. The amendment sets the 2016 state revenue projection at 5.3 trillion MNT and expenditure at 9.7 trillion MNT, with a deficit amounting to 4.3 trillion MNT. 

Deputy Minister of Finance Kh.Bulgantuya spoke in depth about changes made to the state budget in the following interview.

The public attention has shifted towards state budget amendments, discussed at the irregular parliamentary meeting. How has the 2016 state budget changed?

State budget amendment was necessary as the state revenue of 2016 plunged by 1.7 trillion MNT, expenditure escalated by 2.4 trillion MNT and the budget was expected to be short by four to five trillion MNT by the end of the year. Mongolia has had four or five state budgets since 2012. In 2015, the state deficit reached 1.2 trillion MNT, and in 2016, this amount increased by nearly four folds. Outside the state budget, we had to spend a total of 1.4 trillion MNT for some legislations, concession, and promissory notes. This impacted the most on the increased deficit. Fiscal deficit is limited to four percent of the GDP according to the Fiscal Stability  Law so we cut the deficit amount, estimated at 20.6 percent of the GDP, through the state budget amendment. The fiscal revenue was approved at 5.3 trillion MNT and expenditure at 9.7 trillion MNT with a deficit of 4.3 trillion MNT, which is equal to 18 percent of GDP.

Why has the fiscal revenue decreased? Which sectors had lower than expected income?

Everyone expected to have continued positive revenue in 2016. Several large projects were planned to launch, including Gatsuurt Project.

The navigation income was set 30 percent higher than 2015's and major government joint stock companies were supposed to be privatized according to the original state budget. Unfortunately, these specifications weren't carried out due to various reasons. The government and Parliament had no choice but to lower state budget revenue projections to a more reasonable level because some highly anticipated projects didn't work out.

What kind of state expenses were cut? In particular, which departments and agencies had to reduce their spending? Were these cuts related to investment or operating costs?

We (the Ministry of Finance) submitted quite a few proposals on ways to cut state spending. State employee wages form a very large part in the Mongolian state budget right now. One of the proposals suggested the reduction wages of high-level state officials. Both the Cabinet and Parliament disapproved, saying cutting wages was wrong especially when facing economic difficulties because it directly impacts the people's livelihoods. Another proposal asked to lessen one-time retirement bonuses of civil servants from 36 months' worth of salary to one to 12 months' sum,and reduce military officials' one-time retirement bonuses to 24 months' worth of salary. Parliament decided it was best to resume this type of one-time grant while the economy is facing difficulties. All expenses that can be spared have been cut. Fuel and postal costs have been reduced by nearly 50 percent. The budget for organizing meetings and conferences has also been cut considerably.

We didn't randomly initiate suspension of some types of social welfare services and only allowed target groups in dire need of it to receive it. The 2016 state budget specified to distribute children's monthly cash allowances of 20,000 MNT to only targeted groups of children, but now, every child will receive it under the 2016 budget amendments. 144 billion MNT was spent within the first six months of this year to issue monthly allowances to children who didn't receive it in December 2015. We had run out of funds for July's allowances so Parliament specified a budget for it in the state budget amendment.

Is it true that only 60 percent of children's allowance will be issued?

Children's allowance will continue until the end of 2016. Children's allowance will be distributed in cash to targeted groups of children, which is around 60 percent of the total children in Mongolia. The remaining 40 percent will be able to receive state welfare again in cash from 2019 along with outstanding welfare allowances.

The implementation of the Law on Joint Pensions has been postponed. Over 50 billion MNT has to be distributed for joint pensions but the social welfare fund doesn't have that kind of money at the moment.

Will students' monthly stipend of 70,200 MNT be issued until December 2016? 

Yes, it will be issued until the end of 2016. However, students must meet certain requirements.

It seems that everything will continue the way it was. How exactly was the state spending decreased besides cutting fuel and postal costs? Shouldn't the state revenue increase since the Economic Transparency Law unearthed an underground economy by improving transparency? How effective is the new VAT Law?

Some hidden incomes and profits were exposed but the state revenue continues to decrease because the entire economy is suffering. Import income alone declined by some 30 percent compared to last year. Of course, the new VAT Law is helping to expose the underground economy but it doesn't mean that tax collection will increase drastically since the whole economy is in a bad shape.

We tried taking steps to recover the Mongolian economy and approve an accurate budget. We need to start taking action before it's too late. The Social Insurance Fund alone requires subsidies of 400 to 500 billion MNT. The situation worsened so much because nearly a trillion MNT was given away as subsidies within the last four years. Taking all of this into account, Mongolia must make daring changes to some management structures and systems so that we can create a healthier economy.

At a meeting with private and public sectors' representatives, the Prime Minister firmly stated that the Cabinet will not go back on their statement to increase taxes in the future. In your opinion, will taxes increase in the future?

We have a couple of options at the moment. Tax increasing proposals, submitted by the Ministry of Finance and government, don't affect ordinary people that much. It impacts about one to two percent of taxpayers. Most Mongolians don't own gold deposits, live in an apartment larger than 150 cubic meters, receive over 2.5 million MNT as monthly wage, or engage in a business related to alcohol and tobacco. We must take measures consistent with international standards and establish a tax environment aimed to narrow the gap between the rich and poor. It might be better to make some changes and specifications for calculations such as increasing taxable income brackets from 2.5 million MNT monthly income to four million MNT. In countries with similar GDP per capita as Mongolia, five to 35 percent income tax is imposed through five tax brackets.

Most countries reduce taxes rather than increasing them when the economy isn't doing well. Many people are concerned that increasing taxes, regardless of to whom it may apply, would bring bad consequences. Wouldn't increasing duty rate for importing cars cause burdens on not only importers but also purchasers?  

There are several countries that overcame economic difficulties by reducing taxes. For example, the USA alleviated some taxes when Ronald Reagan served as president, causing the US economy to grow from -0.3 percent in 1980 to 4.1 percent in 1988. However, these countries imposed extremely high tax rates, which were almost incomprehensible, according to research.

At the time, former President Reagan reduced the maximum income tax rate from 50 percent to 28 percent and increased the minimum income tax rate from 11 percent to 15 percent. The USA had 15 tax brackets before Reagan made it five.

In the early 1990s, Mongolia had multi-tiered tax system. The current taxation system was established in 2007 and most taxes were set at 10 percent. The Mongolian economy was much smaller back then. The tax collection and control system was very poor. Mongolians started creating savings at the end of 2000 and local businesses had just started to grow so lowering taxes was a correct policy at the time.

What was your reaction to complaints about the re-appointing of deputy ministers? If the economy is doing as badly as the Cabinet says it is, was it necessary to reestablish the deputy ministers' position?

The Mongolia People's Party executed a policy to lessen the number of ministries, cut all expenses that can be spared, and improve management organizations. As every sector is in a crisis right now, we need to quickly process and identify issues and address complaints, as well as establish a good management organization that will have close cooperation with foreign and local investor and international organizations. This is more important than cutting wages of 13 people. There are times when one minister is just not enough for resolving every problem. In particular, ministers who also function as a Member of Parliament are very busy and are overloaded with things to do. Other countries appoint many deputy ministers for various roles. But of course, this is impossible in Mongolia, considering its current financial difficulties.

When will large projects be advanced?

The Cabinet will discuss which projects to advance at the fall session. There were instanceswhen projects that had already been approved by Parliament had to be withdrawn. This alarmed many investors and lowered the credibility of the Mongolian state. To earn back their confidence, the second phase of Oyu Tolgoi Project, Tavan Tolgoi Project, Gatsuurt Project, and Tavan Tolgoi sub-projects for constructing a power plant and railway will be launched.

Link to interview


Dividing Mongolia into new development regions

By Ts. Elbegsaikhan

September 20 (Mongolian Economy) The 3rd "New Economic Conditions: Theory and Policy" International Research Conference was held on the 10th of June at the Corporate Convention Centre. The Bank of Mongolia, Consortium of Economics and Business Institutes of Higher Education and the National University of Mongolia cooperated to organise this year's conference. Academics and researchers from universities in Russia, Japan, Republic of Korea and Mongolia presented their latest research and exchanged views on current issues.

This article is not about the conference, but about an interesting presentation made during the conference. Last year, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) developed a "Study on Regional Comprehensive Development in Mongolia" and presented the assessments and recommendations of the study at the conference. The study began in March of last year with the objective of gathering information on necessities and opportunities for regional comprehensive development by paying particular attention to economic development.

The study tried to re-regionalise Mongolia by its economic factors. The regionalisation was based on potential resources of the provinces, making it quite reasonable and understandable. Usually, we divide the country geographically into Western, Eastern, Central and Khangai regions, while this new study took a different approach.

The study team proposed establishing a horizontal economic corridor connecting Mongolia's east and west. They believe that this corridor can be realised by developing a value-added agricultural processing industry. Roads and relatively plentiful sources of water from Dornod Province to Khovd Province serves as an advantage to developed manufacturing. In doing so, the western part of the corridor can develop into a hub based on industrial parks, while the eastern part can become Mongolia's gateway for trade and export-oriented output based in Chinggis and Choibalsan city.

As for tourism, the report says it can be based on a single city or cover the vast area from the South Gobi to the wilderness of Khuvsgul. The study team under JICA is proposing five strategically important regions:

Darkhan-Erdenet: Northern agricultural region

Sainshand-Dalanzadgad: Southern mining region

Eastern region based in Choibalsan: It will draw attention as the eastern trade border with China. With the construction of new railways, it will connect with the Trans-Asian railway network and have an opportunity to expand international trade

Ulaanbaatar city region: satellite cities

Khuvsgul-Khovd: Tourism and agricultural region

The study's foundations and advice are clear and objective. For example, it recommended focusing on traditional animal husbandry as it is most suitable for Mongolia, and also advised that Mongolia introduce intensive and semi-intensive animal husbandry technology in the future. But in order to create a healthy market system with minimal price fluctuations, the state needs to become engaged in the combined industry of animal husbandry and agriculture and establish a special economic zone by building processing plants. By doing so, Mongolia can export meat directly by covering the region's livestock with health examinations and vaccination. In addition, Mongolia has the possibility to domestically process hooves and waste wool, which are worthless here in Mongolia but valuable in other places.

In addition, the JICA team recommended expanding the irrigation system, upgrading agricultural technology used before the transition to a market economy, developing a strain of wheat resistant to a dry climate and introducing it in production. They hold that specific types of local planting could create potential future businesses. For example, sea buckthorn which grows in Uvs and Selenge province has a high nutritional content.

Honey from Selenge and Tuv province makes up the majority of the honey market. In the future, there is a possibility to breed bees for medical purposes and produce a natural honey for medical purposes. It has been said that natural sweet grass, which grows in Bayankhongor province, has the potential to become a branded product.

Although the situation in the mining sector is far from perfect, it is unthinkable to imagine Mongolia's future without this sector. The sector will continue to have good and bad impacts on the economy of Mongolia, so it cannot be sidelined. In general, the study recommends producing value-added products in every sector. It says creating a value chain by harnessing the rising domestic demand for coal has significance in the productivity growth and industrial development of mining.

The value chain includes a coal processing plant, coal gasification and liquefaction and fuel production. The export value of the raw coal currently exported will increase by 25-40 percent if it is processed. By drying the coal used for domestic needs, it is possible to supply high quality coal used for coal gasification and liquefaction. Creating this value chain has the added benefit of reducing air pollution in Ulaanbaatar.

The JICA team developed seven proposals on the issue of industrial development. In particular, it says that agriculture should be developed through six stages. Although the recommendation developed by the JICA study group may seem like it has the same contents as guidelines developed by ministries and other non-governmental and international organisations, its advantage is that it has identified solutions based on the conditions in Mongolia and its potential.

We have been talking about logistics and the issue of entering foreign markets for a long time. On this topic, the study noted that reaching the Tianjin Port through China's rail network is the most effective route to connect with a third country while using Nakhodka Port through Sukhbaatar of Selenge Province is the best long-term option to conduct regular freight transportation to the East Asian market. They also recommend to immediately start implementing the project to establish a logistics center in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank which will improve the transshipment capacity of Zamyn-Uud and the project to establish Mongolia-China joint "Dunzian logistics center" at Tianjin Port, which will speed up the work to establish unimpeded shipping system.

Also, the recommendation states "The state needs to accelerate the work to establish a shipping system (refrigerated transport). There is a need to establish logistics centers which will integrate separate warehouses and keep the shipping costs at lowest levels. In particular, building logistics center near the new international airport will be a valuable contribution to the development of domestic logistics."

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Mongolia to pitch railway projects to China-backed AIIB - govt adviser

By Terrence Edwards

ULAANBAATAR, SEPT 20 (Reuters) Mongolia will pitch a number of railway projects to the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), an adviser to the government told Reuters, as the crisis-hit nation tries to attract investment and boost trade.

The landlocked country, wedged between China and Russia, is mired in debt following a slump in commodity prices, a precipitous drop in foreign investment and a rapidly declining currency, forcing the government to hike interest rates and slash spending.

It sits on vast, untapped mineral wealth but inadequate transportation infrastructure has held back development, with several proposed railway projects to ship copper, coal and gold to China long out of reach because of prohibitive costs and arguments over security.

But China's "One Belt One Road" project, along with another initiative to create an "economic corridor" connecting it to Mongolia and Russia, has provided opportunities for Mongolia to kickstart new projects, including the expansion of the Trans-Mongolian railway and construction of a new route going east, said Yondon Manlaibayar, an adviser to Mongolia's Ministry of Roads and Transportation Development.

Manlaibayar said Mongolia plans over the next four years to bolster railway capacity and build new routes that will eventually connect it to a trading route spanning from China to Europe.

"It will go forward," Manlaibayar told Reuters. "We've been a driving force for the economic corridor," he said.

The corridor agreement signed by Mongolia, China and Russia in June committed the countries to upgrading regional rail transport by modernising existing capacity and building new routes.

Mongolia wants to find financing to build 550 km (342 miles) of new railways, and plans to expand existing routes.

Manlaibayar didn't say how much Mongolia would seek to borrow to finance the projects, but said preliminary discussions have already been held with the AIIB. A spokesman for the AIIB declined to comment when contacted by Reuters on Tuesday.

The plans include the Northern Railway project led by Australian coal miner Aspire Mining. The China Development Bank has already expressed interest in providing three-quarters of the financing needed for the project.

Also on Mongolia's list will be a rail line linking its Tavan Tolgoi coal mine to the Chinese border. Mongolia has already invested $200 million, Manlaibayar said, but the project needs another $800 million.

The Tavan Tolgoi railway project is one of five major infrastructure projects flagged as priorities by the finance ministry last week as the country tries to dig itself out of an economic crisis.

Five years ago, foreign investment helped drive Mongolian growth into double digits, but capital inflows have been on the decline since 2012 because of disputes with miners and a slump in commodity prices brought about partly by slowing Chinese growth.

The government has also identified Rio Tinto's underground expansion of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine and the Gatsuurt gold mine owned by Canada's Centerra Gold as development priorities.

Manlaibayar said he is seeking approval from the government to launch a road show to get other institutional investors involved in the railway projects.

"We'll present one-by-one because it's difficult getting all these investors in one room," Manlaibayar said. 

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Mongolia-Hokkaido Business Forum held in Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar, September 20 (MONTSAME) Such a forum was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia on September 20. The event took place at the very due time when the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Mongolia and Japan which took effect in June is on the early stage.

In October of 2014, Mongolia-Japan Economic Committee was established and now afilliates 12 leading entities of Mongolia.

Japanese businesspeople face a strong demand in information on Mongolian companies and businesses as avail big opportunities of cooperation. Therefore, this forum focused on identifying the key areas of cooperation.

Hokkaido island of Japan has similar climate conditions and can act as a proper role model for Mongolia for its agricultural technologies and management, and equipment that can adapt to cold weather conditions such as of Mongolia.

The Ministry and the Community for Promoting Mongolia-Hokkaido Economic Ties have thrown this forum to establish better contacts between businesspeople and open new cooperation opportunities.

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Eagle News Brings Viewers Close to the Action of Mongolian Parliament Election With AVIWEST Equipment

AVIWEST's DMNG PRO180-RA Video Uplink System Features a Compact and Lightweight Design That Makes It Easy for Eagle News to Broadcast Live HD Video

SAINT-GRÉGOIRE, France -- Sept. 20, 2016 (Broadcasting & Cable) -- AVIWEST, a global provider of video contribution systems, today announced that Eagle News, a television broadcaster in Mongolia, used AVIWEST's DMNG PRO180-RA video uplink system during the recent Mongolian parliamentary election, which took place on June 29. Utilizing the DMNG PRO180-RA system, Eagle News successfully broadcast live HD video of the event over 3G/4G cellular wireless networks with minimal delay.

"During the election, speed and efficiency were critical from a broadcast perspective. Our viewers wanted to be kept abreast of the results in real time," said G. Baterdene, chief engineer at Eagle News. "AVIWEST's DMNG PRO180-RA is a lightweight, compact, and dockable solution that made it easy for our news crew to move between various venues and stream live high-quality HD video. At the end of the day, our viewers felt like they were in the heart of the action during the parliamentary voting process."

Eagle News travelled to 10 different election voting centers throughout the city of Ulaanbaatar, transmitting an up-close look at the Mongolian voting process. After the election was over, near midnight, the first results were announced by the Mongolian election agency. Leveraging AVIWEST's DMNG PRO180-RA system, Eagle News crews provided live coverage of the results, giving viewers immediate access to information.

The DMNG PRO180-RA features eight 3G/4G internal modems with internal high-efficiency custom antenna array, a built-in Wi-Fi modem, and two best-in-class H.264 video encoders, allowing Eagle News to stream live HD video without latency. Weighing about 1 kg, the portable system can be easily connected to any professional camera and mounted via V-Mount, Gold Mount, or PAG plates.

Eagle News found the DMNG PRO180-RA system's ability to automatically detect real-time network capabilities especially useful during the election. Through a user-friendly and intuitive touch-screen interface, the broadcaster could easily configure and operate the system as well as communicate with the studio through the IFB return channel.

"Broadcasting live from 10 different areas of a major metropolitan city can be challenging due to the unpredictability of 3G/4G cellular wireless networks. With the elections being live, Eagle News couldn't afford to miss out on a second of coverage," said Frederic Parbey, APAC director of sales at AVIWEST. "The DMNG PRO-180-RA system was the perfect solution for Eagle News, ensuring the broadcaster could reliably transmit results to viewers in real time, with high video quality, without having to worry about the environment, weather, or network conditions."

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French senate members welcomed at Government Palace

Ulaanbaatar, September 20 (MONTSAME) Head of the Mongolia-France Friendship group in the parliament L.Bold MP and group member Ts.Davaasuren MP received September 19 members of French Senate François Pillet, head of France-Mongolia friendship group, and Philippe Mouiller.

L.Bold MP highlighted that the French delegation is becoming the first guests for the new incumbent parliament, formed as a result of the 2016 elections, and this visit is of a great significance in friendly relations and multilateral cooperation, as well as in upgrading the bilateral ties between Mongolia and France. Mongolia-France friendship group in the State Great Khural has 21 members, said the MP and added "We will put efforts for stepping into a new era of Mongolia-France relations by promoting economic cooperation".

Mr Pillet noted "France-Mongolia friendship group takes up an important position in the Senate". Mentioning that he and the accompanying delegation have attended the opening ceremony for the French School of Ulaanbaatar, he underlined that the delegation finds this as an indication of enduring friendship between Mongolia and France being passed down to the future generations. Mr Pillet invited the head of Mongolia-France group L.Bold MP to pay a visit to the House of Senate in the near future, along with the other members of the group.

The dignitaries also touched upon matters regarding bilateral cooperation in the fields of mining, education, culture and information technology, as well as the major joint projects.

Present at the meeting were, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of France to Mongolia, Ms Elizabeth Barsak.

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Speaker receives Mongolia's Honorary Consul to Hokkaido

Ulaanbaatar, September 20 (MONTSAME) The Chairman of the State Great Khural, Mr M.Enkhbold welcomed at the State House the President of the Community for Promoting Economic Cooperation of Hokkaido and Mongolia, Mr Tsutomu Takebe and accompanying delegates on Tuesday.

The latter congratulated the Speaker on the MPP's absolute victory in the 2016 parliamentary elections.

Mr Enkhbold said he is pleased to meet once again Mr Takebe, the Honorary Consul of Mongolia to Hokkaido and president of the economic cooperation community, and extended gratitude on behalf of the parliament and himself for his valuable contribution to the deeds of strengthening Mongolia-Japan relations.

The Speaker expressed hope for the good outcomes of the business forum, being held in Ulaanbaatar among the Mongolian and Japanese businesspeople, which is expected to attract more investment and open new opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation.

Mongolia faces a massive challenge to overcome the economic difficulties in a short period of time, mentioned the Speaker and informed that the Prime Minister J.Erdenebat will start his overseas trip as the head of government with a visit to Japan in October.

Present at the meeting were also, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan, Mr Takenori Shimizu.

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President Elbegdorj to attend the United Nations General Assembly

September 20 ( Following the Official Visit to the Republic of Cuba, the President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj has arrived in New York, the United States of America to participate in the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The President is scheduled to participate and deliver his remarks at the discussions of the UN General Assembly and attend other sub-sessions and events organized on the sidelines of the UNGA. President Elbegdorj will attend the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change convened by UN Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon and hand over the document approving that Mongolia joined the Paris Agreement on climate change as signatory. 

On the sidelines of the visit, President Elbegdorj will visit Philadelphia, meet with the authorities of the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, deliver lecture at the University of Pennsylvania and give an interview to the university's press.

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President to attend UN General, September  20


Mongolia's President cites 'essential' nature of sustainable development, UN goal to 'leave no one behind'

20 September 2016 (UN News Agency) – Achieving sustainable development is essential "because no one in the world should be left behind and deprived of the right to development," the President of Mongolia told the United Nations General Assembly today, urging the international community to work together towards a world where everyone could have a dignified life, free from poverty, violence and depression.

"I firmly believe that justice, stability and security cannot be guaranteed without the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms for all. These basic principles must be respected and protected in every country by all governments," Tsakhia Elbegdorj told delegations attending the Assembly's annual general debate.

With the new UN 2030 Agenda, Mongolia would work to ensure that no one is left behind "by reaching out to the most vulnerable first," he continued, noting that the Agenda's policies have been translated into the national strategy as the 'Sustainable Development Vision of Mongolia 2030,' which is already being implemented.

"Our agenda calls for the establishment of a diverse and inclusive economic structure. That is for increasing decent jobs and providing opportunities and income generation. Our goal is for improving quality of life and ensuring environmental sustainability," said the President, adding that it is equally essential to ensure cooperation between and among governments, international development communities, the private sector, and civil society institutions.

Addressing a wide range of issues, he noted, among others, that "development and accountability is all about democracy," which should never be taken for granted. "It must be nurtured and strengthened on a daily basis […] a democratic society is sustainable because it aims at the highest development of every one of its members," Mr. Elbegdorj said, emphasizing leaders should provide for an environment where democratic institutions can thrive, provide for rule of law, human rights, democratic governance, and free and fair elections.

On climate change, he called the Paris Agreement "our common success […] the result of hard work. And we must deliver on this promise." Mongolia is one of smallest carbon emitters in the world but suffers disproportionally from the phenomenon "Desertification, deforestation, and the loss of biodiversity have been severe blows to the livelihoods of our traditional nomadic culture, and they spur further environmental degradation," he explained.

Stressing that Mongolia is holding its end of the bargain, he said the promised international cooperation and support are still lacking. The benefits of the green funds and carbon credits are "sorely missed" in Mongolia and many other developing countries. As such, he urged the multilateral institutions to take the lead in such important efforts.

"We have one home, one world for all of us, and we have one universal goal to save it. And, today is our time to act. We must not miss it as we cannot miss our future," he stated.

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Azerbaijan, Mongolia discuss prospects for cooperation

Baku, September 20, (AZERTAC) -- Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has today met Mongolian counterpart Tsend Munkh-Orgil on the sidelines of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly.

They discussed how to develop bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Mongolia on various fronts, and touched upon the bilateral cooperation within international organisations.

FM Mammadyarov highlighted Azerbaijan-initiated energy and transport projects in the region.

The FM hailed the important role of Azerbaijan in connecting European and Asian transport corridors, adding cooperation on the development of the transport corridors in Euroasia would be fruitful for the landlocked countries.

The Mongolian FM said his country was interested in developing cooperation with Azerbaijan.

They also stressed the importance of reciprocal visits in terms of developing bilateral ties between the two countries even further.

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UAE keen to build tourism ties and exchange direct flights

Ulaanbaatar, September 20 (MONTSAME) Prime Minister J.Erdenebat received today (September 20) Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, a son of and adviser to the President of the United Arab Emirates. The Premier underlined that the Mongolia-Emirates ties have been strengthening through more frequent high-level visits and exchanges of dialogues owing to mutual efforts.

As for the economic cooperation, the Taishir Hydropower Plant, built with the non-refundable aid of USD 13 million form the Government of UAE, serves a significant role, noted the PM.

Sheikh Sultan Al Nahyan highlighted an importance of the recently opened embassy of the UAE in Ulaanbaatar for broadening the ties between the two countries, and expressed interest in promoting cooperation in tourism and launching direct flights. The Emirates delegates informed that they are to send a working group to Mongolia to study the possible areas of economic cooperation, and invited the Premier to pay an official visit to their country at his convenience.

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North Korea asks for international help to overcome Tumen River flood

Ulaanbaatar, September 20 (MONTSAME) North Korea's Foreign Ministry held a briefing for diplomats from nine Asian countries (including Mongolia and Vietnam) who are based in Pyongyang and asked them to help the North rebuild after the flood, on September 14, reports

Thirteen UN-affiliated humanitarian organizations operating in North Korea have published a jointly drafted report about the situation on the ground and are appealing to the international community for emergency aid.

South Korean groups dedicated to providing humanitarian aid to North Korea have also launched a campaign to raise money to provide relief to the victims of the flooding and have asked for permission to contact North Korea to get a better picture of what is happening there. Thus far, the South Korean government has made no response, citing a lack of an official request for aid from North Korea. It remains to be seen whether these developments will cause Seoul to change its stance.

The flooding - which the North Korean government has described as "the worst catastrophe according to meteorological observation since liberation" - was caused by torrential rain in the northern part of North Hamgyong Province from Aug. 29 to Aug. 31. The rains were produced by the convergence of Typhoon Lionrock, this year's tenth typhoon in the Pacific Ocean, and a low pressure front in the region.

A four-hour downpour on the night of Aug. 30 and the early morning of Aug. 31 raised the level of the Tumen River to 6 to 12 meters higher than normal, and the resulting floods have caused extensive damage.

According to the joint report about damage from the flooding in North Hamgyong Province that was released by the UN humanitarian aid organizations on Sep. 16, the damage has been concentrated in the city of Hoeryong and six surrounding areas, including Onsong, Musan, and Yonsa counties. There are more than 667,000 people living in these administrative districts.

The report was prepared by a team of 22 people who surveyed the affected areas from Sep. 6 to Sep. 9. The team was made up of North Korean government officials and a delegation from 13 UN humanitarian organizations with permanent operations in North Korea, including the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to the report, more than 500 casualties have already been confirmed, including 138 dead and 398 missing. More than 37,000 houses have been flooded, including more than 15,740 that have been completely destroyed, affecting more than 118,000 people.

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North Korea requests emergency support, September 20


Maldives, Mongolia, South Korea condemn Uri terror attack

September 20 (IANS) The Maldives, Mongolia and South Korea on Tuesday joined the international community in condemning Sunday's cross-border terror attack from Pakistan on an army base at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir that left 18 Indian soldiers dead.

"The government of Maldives condemns in the strongest terms, the terrorist attack on the army base in in Uri, Kashmir, India," a statement issued from Male said, according to a tweet by External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

"Terrorism is a threat to regional and international peace, security and democracy," it stated.

"The Maldives has always condemned international terrorism, especially those originating from outside, defeating and eliminating which requires international collabortion and cooperation in good faith."

In a statement from Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian government expressed "deep regret" that armed terrorists brutally attacked the military complex in Uri and army personnel were killed and injured.

"While extending condolences to the victims and their families, Mongolia firmly stands that the terrorist attack must not be disruption of efforts for strengthening the regional stability and mutual understanding in the region."

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Health, Education

Teachers and students banned from using cellphones during class

Ulaanbaatar, September 20 (MONTSAME) Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Sports J.Batsuuri issued an ordinance on September 16 on banning use of cellphones during lessons for teachers and students of the general education schools. The ordinance will take effect on October 1.

Similar regulation was practiced in the general education schools of Songinokhairkhan district in accordance with a pertinent decision of the Citizens' Representatives Khural.

Mayor of Ulaanbaatar S.Batbold has recently has conducted a survey via Twitter, inquiring the social media users' opinions on use of smart phones in educational environments.

Results of the latest scientific studies show that growing use of smart phones are affecting physiological and social health of humanity.

The Education Ministry have submitted official notices on implementation of the ordinance to all private and public general education schools.

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Culture, Society

Stunning photos of the Tsaatan reindeer herders of Mongolia, a dying culture

September 21 (Business Insider) Pascal Mannaerts is a Belgian photographer whose work has taken him around the globe for the last 10 years.

He's hung out with Qasqhai nomads in Iran, seen the bull jumping ritual of the Hamer tribes in Ethiopia, and visited an ancient Kurdish town that is about to disappear forever.

A recent trip saw him getting to know nomads in Mongolia - reindeer herders that live in northern Khovsgol Aimag and are said to be a dying culture.

Keep scrolling to see breathtaking photos of this vanishing tribe:

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"White Khadak" movie to premiere next week

Ulaanbaatar, September 20 (MONTSAME) "Tsagaan Khadag" (White Khadak) film, inspired by the life story of judoka D.Sumiya, a silver-medalist of Rio 2016 Olympics, will be screened on September 28 in cinemas.

The film was written and produced by T.Nomuunzul and directed by J.Sengedorj. The film tells the journey of a young girl's fight and resilience in sports and in life in order to become one of the most successful athletes of Mongolia.

The main role named Davaa, characterizing D.Sumiya, has been played by T.Jinjmaa, a third course student of the Mongolian University of Arts and Culture.

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International Day of University Sport to Celebrated in Mongolia

September 20 ( The UNESCO General Conference set the 20th of September as the International Day of University Sport (IDUS) and for the first time it is being celebrated in Mongolia.

The Mongolian university sports federation is currently organizing the VI Asian University Men's Basketball Championship, which is being held in Ulaanbaatar from 18th  to 25th of September. Basketball teams from South Korea, China, Macao, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Taiwan and Hong Kong are celebrating IDUS together.

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Art, Entertainment

Talk with Me: Juulie Rousseau, Canadian Singer

September 19 (Star TV) --

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State Drama Theater wins top prizes at Altan Serge int'l festival

September 19 (UB Post) Winner of the Saint Muse 2016 international festival, a reimagining of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" by director N.Naranbaatar competed in the International Festival of National Theaters, Altan Serge, which took place in Ulan-Ude, Buryatia, from September 11 to 16. The retelling of the old tragedy has won several prizes at the festival.

General Director of the State Academic Theater of Drama and State Honored Artist N.Naranbaatar won the best director award of Altan Serge.

Actress at the State Academic Theater of Drama J.Oyundari won the best supporting actress award for her role as the Nurse in "Romeo and Juliet".

Actor E.Todgerel, who played Mercutio, received the best supporting actor award, while actor B.Shinebayar won the jury's prize.

Artists from Tuva, Yakutia, Kalmykia, Buryatia, Russia and Mongolia participated in the festival.

The State Academic Theater of Drama competed in the previous Altan Serge with "Tamgagu Tur", a play by People' Poet B.Lkhagvasuren, and Valentin Krasnogorov's "Let's Have Sex".

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"48 Hours" short film festival begins on September 30

September 20 ( Filmmakers from all over Mongolia are to compete to see who can make the best short film in only 48 hours. Registered filmmakers have to make their short films in 48 hours from 30th September to 2nd October. Each team must select its movie genre in a random draw 15 minutes before the start of the competition. In 2015 there were 14 genres. In addition, the teams are given a character, a prop and a line of dialogue that must appear in their film. The remarkable '48 hours' film project has been organized since 2010.

The winning film will go up against films from around the world at Filmapalooza 2017 for a chance at the grand prize and an opportunity to screen in next year's Cannes Film Festival's 'Court Métrage' - or short film category.

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Mongolia's first ever 3D animation launch soon

September 20 ( The first feature-length 3D animation by a Mongolian studio "Mora" will be launched soon. The "Mora" project started in 2015 and now is ready for release. The upcoming 3D animation was made by 'Amjilt animation studio' of the Tom Amjilt company.

Animated movies are continuing to gain popularity among the global audience. In 2014, Dream Works Animation generated over USD 11 billion at the box office, for the latest releases in its movie franchises, which includes Shrek, the Croods, and Kung Fu Panda.

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Mongolians Pay Tribute to Steve Nash

September 20 (Cross Country Magazine) Friends and supporters of Steve Nash, the British paraglider pilot who was killed in Mongolia last month, held a candlelit vigil in his memory on Sunday 18 September.

Local mountaineers, athletes, expats and citizens gathered at the National Park of Ulaanbaatar to remember Steve Nash on Sunday evening.

Also present was the British Ambassador to Mongolia, Catherine Arnold; the president of the National Federation of Mongolian Mountaineers, Mr Tulga; and one of Mongolia's best-known mountaineers, Ms B Gangaamaa.

Representatives from other sports federations and local paraglider pilots also paid their respects.

During the event, people signed a book of condolences which will be forwarded to Steve Nash's family.

The investigation into Steve's murder is still ongoing.

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