IMF Reaches Staff-Level Agreement on the Fourth Review of Mongolia’s Extended Fund Facility

May 18, 2018
End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF's Executive Board for discussion and decision.
  • Driven by strong external demand, Mongolia’s economy continues to recover; key macro-economic goals, including to reduce the fiscal deficit and boost international reserves, have been achieved.
  • This progress notwithstanding, risks to the program remain, including lower external demand for commodities, a slowdown in structural reforms, rising domestic spending pressures, and adverse changes to the investment climate.
  • To safeguard the program’s continued success, the focus should remain on strengthening the banking system, ensuring a prudent fiscal policy, remaining vigilant against inflation, building foreign exchange buffers, and improving public financial management.
    An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team led by Mr. Geoff Gottlieb visited Ulaanbaatar from May 2-17, 2018 to conduct discussions on the fourth review of the three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement approved on May 24, 2017, in an amount equivalent to SDR314.5054 million, or about US$434.3 million [1] (see Press Release No. 17/193 ).
    At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Gottlieb made the following statement:
    “Macro-economic performance under the program remains positive, with all quantitative targets met. Fiscal results in the first quarter of 2018 have been much better than expected with a 21-percent improvement in revenues. Net international reserves improved by $200 million over the same period.
    “On fiscal policy, the authorities’ program for 2018 envisages continued budgetary restraint and strengthening tax administration. In addition, the authorities are taking concrete steps to improve public financial management particularly with respect to concessions, public investment projects, and the operations of the Development Bank of Mongolia.
    “In the financial sector, the authorities are moving ahead with the strengthening of the banking system as part of the follow-up to the recently completed Asset Quality Review. Banks that are undercapitalized will have until end-December to raise capital. A law that sets out, under appropriate conditions, when public funds can be used to stabilize banks is expected to be passed shortly. The authorities are also moving ahead with reforms that will allow for more rapid NPL resolution and strengthening banks’ balance sheets.
    “The authorities are committed to maintaining a monetary policy stance that is vigilant against inflation and supporting further strengthening in the balance of payments. It is critical to maintain progress in building reserves to help insulate the economy from external shocks. Sound macro-economic policies accompanied with structural reforms of the banking system will help durably reduce interest rates.
    “The authorities and the mission have reached staff-level agreement on the completion of the fourth review under the EFF arrangement, which is subject to the approval of the IMF Executive Board.
    “The team thanks the authorities for their cooperation, constructive dialogue, and hospitality during its stay in Mongolia.”
    [1] The dollar amount is calculated based on the SDR-dollar rate of May 24, 2017, equivalent to $425mn at SDR-dollar rate of 1.35274 as of February 27, 2017.
IMF Communications Department
MEDIA RELATIONS
PRESS OFFICER: TING YAN
PHONE: +1 202 623-7100EMAIL: MEDIA@IMF.ORG
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Dr Mahathir should reopen Altantuya case, says Mongolia's President

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should reopen the murder case of Altantuya Shariibuu, said Mongolia's President Khaltmaagiin Battulga.  
“I sincerely hope that you will pay attention to bringing justice, implementing court decisions and settling the civil suit of the family of the victim in a fair manner to invigorate the atmosphere in the bilateral relations between our two countries,” Battulga said in a letter to Dr Mahathir on Wednesday (May 16).  
“As the President of Mongolia, I pay special attention to the grave crime committed in Malaysia on Oct 18, 2006 - the murder of Ms Shariibuu Altantuya, a Mongolian national and a mother of two children," he added.  
The letter was reproduced on the official website of the president’s office.  
Battulga also congratulated Dr Mahathir for being sworn in again as Prime Minister, saying that under his previous tenure, Malaysia developed intensively and that its reputation in the regional and international arena strengthened tremendously.  
“I am confident that Your Excellency will extend valuable support in restoring and activating the traditionally friendly relations between Mongolia and Malaysia as well as strengthening the people-to-people ties,” he said.

Source:https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/05/18/dr-mahathir-should-reopen-altantuya-case-says-mongolia-president/
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Critically Endangered Mongolian Saiga Antelope Population Drops by 40 Percent, WWF Survey Shows

Ulanbaatar, Mongolia – WEBWIRE – 
Populations of the critically endangered Mongolian saiga antelope (hereinafter ‘saiga’), which occurs only in Mongolia, have plummeted by 40 percent following large die-offs due to a harsh winter, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced. The findings of a population survey show around 3,000 saiga remaining after the brutal winter kept them from their food source of natural hay.
“Mongolia’s saiga antelope population has been suffering for several years now from a combination of disease and harsh weather conditions, so this news is extremely worrying,” said Chimeddorj Buyanaa, WWF-Mongolia Conservation Director.  “WWF and the Government of Mongolia are doing everything they can to prevent them going extinct but urgent action and support is needed.” 
The saiga population has suffered a roller coaster ride since 2001 when the numbers dropped to only 750 animals following a summer drought and a heavy winter. However, thanks to continuous conservation efforts by WWF and the Government of Mongolia, the population increased to 14,000 and its range increased by 13 percent in 2014. But then an outbreak of goat plague reduced the numbers to 5,000 in 2017. Poaching has also reduced the saiga population.  
To help conserve the species over the winter, WWF-Mongolia specialists and officers took emergency actions such as putting additional hay, forage food and salt licks in saiga distribution ranges. They monitored the results of their emergency actions through automatic cameras placed in the field and found that the saiga individuals were feeding on the hay. 
The survey of the saiga populations was performed by WWF-Mongolia in April 2018 in order to identify the current population size and compare it to those in the previous year, in addition to assessing their mortality rates. The team used a transect method for the survey within the saiga distribution range and counted about 3,000 saiga individuals, resulting in a 40 percent reduction from the March 2017 data.
According to the researchers, the saiga distribution areas are still lacking natural hay to be eaten, forcing the populations to travel large distances in search of food. This means that strategic conservation actions are needed, including setting aside breeding and calving areas for conservation and preservation of the saiga herds. In addition, detailed studies on saiga genetic survivability/capability are required to prevent this unique, globally important species from going extinct in Mongolia.


Source:WWF
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Inner Mongolia provides the perfect escape from big cities of China

By Luo Yunzhou Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/17 18:17:40

With more youngsters in China seeking out a freer and more relaxed lifestyle, Inner Mongolia has become a dreamland for those who just want to chill out on the prairie as they appreciate the local wildlife. 

"Here you have the opportunity to see the world's most azure sky and the flourishing grasslands, " Zhang Qian, a young man I ran into from Hohhot, the provincial capital of North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. 

"Since ancient times, Chinese poets have been attracted by the beauty of this place. One of the most popular folk songs during the Northern Dynasties (386-534), "A Song of Chi Le," describes the vast wilderness and herds of cows and sheep," Zhang added. 

The Mausoleum of Genghis Khan

The first Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, Genghis Khan founded what would become the largest contiguous empire in history. Born Temüjin, he became the top leader of the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia, and eventually took on the name by which he is known today - Genghis Khan. Under his command, the Mongol empire conquered a large portion of China and expanded its territory to Central Asia.  

Genghis Khan spent his lifetime fighting with other tribes and nations, including the Qara Khitai (1124-1218), Khwarazmian (1077-1231), Western Xia (1038-1227) and Jin dynasties (1115-1234). 

The Caucasus region also fell under his control during that time. After his death in 1227, his descendants continued to expand the empire's territory through invasion and war. As a result, the Mongol Empire became a fearsome legend throughout history.

After Genghis Khan's death, his remains were buried at a secret location. Since then several temples dedicated to the father of the Mongol Empire have been built over the centuries. 

To commemorate the khan, between 1954 to 1956, the Chinese government built a mausoleum to Genghis Khan in the  Kandehuo Enclosure in the Ejin Horo Banner, Ordos Prefecture of Inner Mongolia.

Unfortunately, the mausoleum was severely damaged during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). With the help of local authorities, it was restored during the 1980s, and new replicas of other temples were also built around the original structure. 

Standing on the grassland, the mausoleum is an impressive monument to Genghis Khan. The white coloring of the structure makes it look both elegant and solemn. Though there is coffin inside the building, it actually only contains a headdress and other accessories similar to those that would have once belonged to the khan. 

Resonant Sand Bay 

Another recommended site for your Inner Mongolia vacation is Resonant Sand Bay, a desert surrounded by grasslands. What makes this place really special is that the sand gives off a singing sound whenever someone slides on it. This interesting facet is what gives the area its name. 

Since the area is China's seventh largest desert, you can experience the typical desert climate. When the wind is strong and dry, it causes sand to randomly shift from one place to another. If you are sliding on the sand with others, it sounds just like an airplane is passing over head. 

To explore the desert, horse riding and camel riding are two good choices that can allow you to appreciate the landscape and see the local wildlife.

Motor racing on the sand is also a great activity for those who crave something a bit more exciting. The soft sand makes riding around a very different experience than driving over hard-packed earth or concrete. The bikes are far more difficult to control on this type of terrain, so make sure you don't go too fast! 

If you are looking for something more relaxing, a sandbath might be a good option for you. Lying down on the warm sand and feeling the breeze of the wind kissing your cheeks, is far more comfortable than I ever imagined.

A meat feast

If you head to Inner Mongolia, a traditional Mongolian dinner is something you shouldn't miss out on. If you are lucky enough to have some local friends, ask them to introduce you to the most distinctive Mongolian food!

"The food here will definitely impress!" Zhang told me in an excited voice. 

"We have kumiss, hand-served mutton, special cheese and milk tea. They may all be a bit greasy, but they are really tasty." 

Every time I walked into a Mongolian restaurant got my stomach rumbling. Since meat is served everywhere, it felt almost like I was visiting a museum of meat, as entire roasted cows, lambs and pigs hung from hooks or had been placed on tables not far from where we sat. 

Looking at these roasted delicacies, we could just point at what we want, and the server brought it over to our table. 

"The lambs here are from the prairie, where the weather is dry, which provides a really good natural environment for grass, but not for any other plants to grow, so lambs and cows here have a plenty of food," Zhang explained.

Except for meat, some staple foods such as beizi, a kind of bun, and shaomai, a kind of steamed dumpling stuffed with lamb are also worth trying.

"I heard from the older generations that shaomai and beizi were probably brought from North China's Shanxi Province, when people started moving from Shanxi during the mid-Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). This lasted for 300 years, until the end of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), since overpopulation in Shanxi caused many problems such as food shortages and Inner Mongolia at that time was still developing."

Nadaam Fair 

Once a year, a traditional festival is held in Inner Mongolia at the end of summer, usually around September 11-13. Locally called the Naadam Fair, or "The Three Games of Men," the festival involves three activities: Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery. In recent years, more woman have been participating in all women races and archery competitions, but wrestling is still reserved exclusively for men.

As one of the most popular festivals among ethnic Mongolians, the Naadam Fair can be traced back to the sporting competitions and military parades in ancient times, when the three events were widely held to celebrate special occasions, including spiritual gatherings and wedding ceremonies. 

There are some must-haves for any Nadaam Fair. The first is a splendid opening ceremony, during which many beautiful young ladies wearing traditional Mongolian clothing will perform traditional dances.  Then comes the introduction, when athletes and musicians make their appearance. The games then begin after the opening ceremony.

This interesting festival was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO in 2010.

Rules of thumb

What to wear: The weather is dry and temps can range from very cold to extremely hot, so summer clothes are suitable for the afternoons, but long sleeves are required in the early morning and at nighttime.

Getting around: Taxies and buses are cheap and convenient when in cities, but there are no subways. Make sure you have some coins ready for public transport.
Newspaper headline: The sound of nature

Source:Global Times
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Mongolia buys 3.2 tons of gold in 4 months

Mongolia purchased over 3.2 tons of gold in the first 4 months of 2018, the Bank of Mongolia said. 
This marked a rise of 257.6 kg from the same period last year. As of April, the central bank's average gold price was 102,096 tugrik (US$42.52) per gram, which corresponds to a low rate on the London Metal Exchange, according to the Bank of Mongolia.
It is expected that the gold purchase will increase with the start of the peak of gold mining in August, September and October.
Miners in the country submitted 20.01 tons of gold to the central bank in 2017, contributing 800 million dollars to the state budget.
Annual gold production had not surpassed 20 tons since 2005 when it reached its record high of 25 tons, Xinhua reported.

Source:Xinhua news agency
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Mongolia to hold forum on renewable energy

ULAN BATOR, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia will hold the 9th National Renewable Energy Forum here on May 24, organizers said in a statement on Wednesday.
The annual forum is co-organized by Ministry of Energy, the Energy Regulation Commission of Mongolia, the Mongolian Renewable Industries Association and the Mongolian Wind Energy Association.
This year's forum is expected to cover topics such as establishing independent grid in remote area, current renewable energy situation on grid, opportunities of reducing air pollution using renewable energy in urban areas.
Currently, the number of attendees of this year's forum has reached 600.
Mongolia has enormous potential for the development of renewable energy.
The East Asian country with a population of just over three million enjoys more than 250 days of sunshine a year.
The country's renewable capacity nearly doubled last year, reaching 155 MW, according to data from the Ministry of Energy.
The landlocked country installed its first large solar power plant, with a capacity of 10 MW, in Darkhan-Uul province, in the north of the county, in January 2017. Its second wind farm, the 50 MW Tsetsii Wind Farm, also opened in October of that year.
Mongolia seeks to provide sufficient heat and electricity to its population, especially in rural areas, and renewable energy projects are seen as a possible solution.
According to Mongolia's Ministry of Energy, the country has a potential wind capacity of 1,100 GW.

Source:Xinhua news agency
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Mongolia to allocate over 8,600 hectares of free land to families

ULAN BATOR, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia will allocate a total of 8,605 hectares of land free of charge for families this year, the Mongolian government press office said in a statement Wednesday.
The government will also allocate 30 hectares of land to business people who want to grow potatoes and vegetables.
Last year, 32,000 Mongolians owned 3,443 hectares of land free of charge.
The total land area of Mongolia is 1,564,116 square km. But over half of its three million population live in the capital, Ulan Bator
Those residing in the capital are also able to own land in rural areas for free, according to the Department of Land Privatization Management of the Ulan Bator Property Relations Agency.
According to the law on land allocation, the size of land allocated for ownership for family needs varies depending on location.
Foreign citizens and companies who are not permitted to own land can only use it under definite conditions and terms.

Source:Xinhua news agency
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Mongolia welcomes Russian investors in its market

Mongolia is waiting for Russian investors in its market, in particular in the energy sector

MOSCOW, May 16. /TASS/. Mongolia is waiting for Russian investors in its market, in particular in energy sector, the country’s Foreign Minister DamdinTsogtbaatar said at a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
"We are waiting for Russian investors in Mongolia. For the Russian business this is a well-known market, for example our energy sector. We have great opportunities for cooperation," he said.


Source:Tass News agency
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SRC Mongolia coal deal done without feasibility study, says AG report on 1MDB

KUALA LUMPUR: Investment in a coal mine in Mongolia by a joint-venture company between SRC International Sdn Bhd (SRC) and Aabar Investments PJS,  was done without evidence showing a feasibility study being conducted.

The Auditor-General report said  the board of SRC approved a USS45.5mil investment in the coal industry in Mongolia without evidence to show a feasibility study on the status of the project to be undertaken by the joint venture ASRC in the Gobi Coal & Energy Limited (GCE) company. 

“SRC also invested in PT ABM Investama TBK, Indonesia amounting to US$120mil (RM366.68mil) through quoted shares listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange. During the meeting on Feb 14, 2012, Chief Executive Officer of SRC reported an estimated profit on the investment amounting to US$4mil,” the report said.

The report said that as a subsidiary of 1MDB, SRC obtains financial resources from Government grants in the form of development grants of RM15mil from RM20mil approved by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and RM2bil financing from the Retirement Fund (Incorporated) (KWAP). 


The proposal to establish SRC was submitted to ex-Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in August 2010. 1MDB established SRC on Jan 7, 2011.


Financing amounting to RM2bil was received on 29 August 2011 is a term financing of 10 years. The loan is secured by the Government which includes principal and financing benefits of RM2.902bil.

SRC’s objective was to identify and invest in projects related to exploration, extraction, processing and trading of conventional and renewable natural resources and minerals including acquisition and hold stocks, stocks or company securities. 

On Feb 15, 2012, SRC’s shareholding by 1MDB was transferred to the Ministry of Finance. 

The transfer of SRC shares reduced the operating losses of the 1MDB from RM25mil to RM16.2mil, lowering the gearing ratio of 1MDB from 12 times to 9.5 times and reducing the government’s total guarantee of RM2.902bil to the 1MDB Group.
Source:https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2018/05/16/src-mongolia-coal-deal-done-without-feasibility-study-says-ag-report-on-1mdb/
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Mongolian court extends ex-finance minister's detention over alleged abuse of power

ULAN BATOR, May 15 (Xinhua) -- A Mongolian court on Tuesday extended the detention of a former finance minister held in custody for alledged abuse of power in a large mining deal after prosecutors demanded more time to investigate the case.
Ulan Bator's Chingeltei District Court extended Sangajav Bayartsogt's custody by an additional month once his current detention period expires on Wednesday.
Bayartsogt signed an agreement on behalf of Mongolia with Canada's Ivanhoe Mines in 2009 to develop Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine, granting a 66-percent controlling stake to the company.
Ivanhoe Mines subsequently changed its name to Turquoise Hill Resources and is now majority owned by Australian-British mining giant Rio Tinto.
The Independent Agency Against Corruption, Mongolia's top anti-corruption body alleged that Bayartsogt used his influence and position to provide the other parties to the agreement an advantage in negotiations.
Mongolia's two former prime ministers, Sanjaa Bayar and Chimed Saikhanbileg, are also in custody over corruption allegations in the mining deal.
Mongolian government signed the original 2009 investment agreement during Bayar's term, as well as the financing arrangement of the deal was revised in 2015 during Saikhanbileg's term.
The Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine, located in the South Gobi Desert of Mongolia, 80 km north of Mongolia's border with China, is expected to produce an average of 430,000 tons of copper and 425,000 ounces (about 12,050 kg) of gold annually for 20 years.

Source:Xinhua news agency
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Mongolian FM to visit Russia

ULAN BATOR, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Mongolian Foreign Minister Damdin Tsogtbaatar will visit Russia at the invitation of his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on May 16-17 to boost bilateral ties, the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.
During his stay in Moscow, Tsogtbaatar is expected to hold talks with Lavrov, and the two sides will exchange views on the entire spectrum of bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest, the ministry said in a statement.
"The visit would provide an opportunity to explore ways and means to further strengthen cooperation in the political, economic, trade and investment fields," the statement said.
Also, the two foreign ministers will discuss ways to enhance trilateral cooperation between Mongolia, Russia and China.

Source:Xinhua news agency
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European investors back funding of Mongolian solar plant

ImpactAlpha, May 16 – Mongolia, landlocked with a population of three million, is almost entirely dependent on imported fossil fuels: 80% of its power is coal-based, while only 3% comes from renewable sources. The country has an abundance of renewable resources: its sun and wind alone could be harnessed to generate a potential 15,000 terawatt-hours per year, according to a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency. The Mongolian government is aiming for 20% renewable domestic power generation by 2020 and 30% by 2030. International development agencies and private sector players are investing in the development of Mongolia’s renewables sector.
  • Biggest deal… Dutch development bank FMO, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and Triodos Investment Management are providing a €31.6 million ($37.5 million) loan to develop a 30-megawatt solar farm.
  • More solar… In 2016, Mongolia’s first commercial solar plant, developed by Sharp and Shigemitsu Shoji with financing from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, began producing power.
The new solar farm, called Desert Solar Power One, will supply power to 27,000 households and be the country’s largest solar installation. The three investors are providing equal shares of financing. In 2012, FMO and the EBRD backed Mongolia’s first renewable power project: a 50-megawatt wind farm. The $120 million project was sponsored by French energy company ENGIE, German developer Ferrostaal, the Danish Climate Investment Fund and a local Mongolian entrepreneur.

Source:https://impactalpha.com/european-investors-back-funding-of-mongolian-solar-plant/
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Korean Air monopolizing Mongolia-Incheon route… ‘Expensive tickets’ for 19 years

[ Kim Yang Hyuk mj@ ] | 2018-05-16 11:01:29

Korean Air is being criticized for taking the expensive airline charge for the 19th year on the Ulaanbaatar route from Incheon to Mongolia, which has secured the exclusive rights to travel from the government in the past. According to Incheon International Airport`s exclusive route, Korean Air is receiving Ulaanbaatar air fare for 3 times more than the similar distance and flight time between Incheon and Hong Kong. Earlier, Hanjin Group`s total number of family members and the suspicion of tax evasion now followed by the controversy over the airline bill.

The price of the round-trip ticket from Incheon to Ulaanbaatar as of May 15, starts at KRW 955,500 on the summer high season (June 27 ~ July 1) of Korean online booking site. The price of a round-trip ticket to Hong Kong from Incheon is about KRW 323,700, about three times cheaper than that of Mongolia.

All of these tickets include a fuel surcharge of KRW 30,800. From Incheon to Ulaanbaatar and Hong Kong, the same fuel surcharge means that the flights are similar. Actual flight time is not different between Ulaanbaatar (3 hours 10 minutes ~ 40 minutes) and Hong Kong (3 hours 40 minutes ~ 50 minutes).

The Korean government and the industry cited "exclusive" flights as a background in which the price of a ticket is about three times the difference on similar streets. An official from the Ministry of Land, Transport and Tourism said, "Unlike Hong Kong routes, Mongolia does not have to compete for price because it is an exclusive flight for Korean Air." "The airline should not exceed the upper limit of the fare fare that is reported to the authorities." The average fare for Korean Air`s Ulaanbaatar route report to the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs is KRW 1,700,000 based on the standard fare, which is twice as high as Hong Kong`s KRW 544,600.

Korean Air has been operating in this form for the past 19 years since its disembarkation by the government from the Ministry of Construction and Transportation (now the Ministry of Land Transportation) and the Mongolian government in 1999. An official of the industry said, "Even though there was Asiana Airlines at the time, Korean Air was able to say that it had eaten the route with the image of nationality." Hanjin Group Chairman Hanjin donated B727 aircraft to Mongolia, Mongolia has always been a part of the Mongolian government. It is in this connection that Joe was awarded the Polar Medal, the highest Mongol Medal. The official said, "Because of past ties, Chairman Cho Yang-ho will receive `state hospitality` when he visits Mongolia."

Korean Air, in 2012, became a controversy because it was discovered that a high-ranking civil servant belonging to the Mongolian Aeronautical Authority was paying for the travel expenses of Jeju Island. In the meantime, the South Korean government and the Mongolian government continued their negotiations on the increased number of flights with the Mongolian government rejection. In addition, the Fair Trade Commission issued a correction order saying that Korean Air and Mongolian national airline American Art Airlines had unfairly monopolized the route in the same year, but the situation did not change.

The company representative said, "The Mongolian route is focused on demand during the peak season (June to August), making it difficult to secure stable earnings throughout the year, and the airfare is expensive due to poor weather conditions, "He said." It`s not as high as the comparable freight rates of similar routes on a single carrier. "


By Kim Yang Hyuk mj@




Source:http://eng.dt.co.kr/mcontents.html?article_no=20180516110129001674 
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Former foreign minister warns Mongolia should not take sides during global polarization


When questioned if Mongolia will join Shanghai Cooperation Organization during its regular summit in China next month, Gombojav Tserenpil, who served as foreign minister between 1988-1996 said there is no need for that.

Former Minister said new type of “Cold war” has began today and world has become polarized and many hot spots has emerged, trade wars expanded its scope and emphasized Mongolia needs to pursue non-alignment and multi-pillar policy based on current key foreign relations documents.

He understands SCO as a coalition that opposes US domination, however, India and Pakistan joining SCO made the SCO more confusing. He said four out of eight members of SCO has nuclear weapons and four are Muslim countries which have common problems of terrorism, extremism, separatism.

He put forward question “ what will Mongolia gain by joining SCO?”.
-We must be able to answer this question. Will our security improve?  Will our international reputation increase?  Will there be new development source?

However, former Minister said he himself can’t give positive answers to this question. Mongolia has political and bilateral cooperation agreement with all members of the SCO. These agreements contain clauses on jointly fighting against human trafficking, terrorism and narcotic transportation. 

Therefore, it is not really necessary for Mongolia to join the SCO as it is possible for Mongolia to cooperate with SCO as observer. Not joining SCO is not about distrusting or isolating from our two immediate neighbors as this is proven by scope of our current cooperation.

In nutshell, Mongolia should not abandon its third neighbor policy and should not take sides in polarized world, according to former foreign Minister.

Source:itoim.mn (Mongolian news portal)
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Imprisonment of former top gov’t officials under Oyu Tolgoi mining deal investigation extended for another month

Preliminary criminal court of Chingeltei district decided to extend jailing of former Finance Minister Bayartsogt, former CEO of State owned Mining company “Erdenes Mongol” Byambasaikhan for another month starting from May 15, 2018.  


According to Otgon, attorney of Bayartsogt, during  hearing on Tuesday held by request of Ulaanbaatar city prosecutor’s office, prosecutor’s office persisted for imprisonment of  Bayartsogt because “ he may commit another crime and  his case is very complicated” .

These former gov’t officials in addition to 2 former PMs of Mongolia have been charged by Independent agency against Corruption  for “ abuse of official position and making clearly illegal decision that creates preferential circumstance for others”  in relation to Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement and questioned by staff of the Anti-corruption body.

Currently, they are detained in detention unit no.461 under Court decision implementation authority and participated in the hearing via online.

By Moninfo News service
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Mongolian girl singing 1930s Walt Disney classic "Somewhere over the rainbow"

9 year old Bulgantamir Ganbat studies in 4th grade of secondary school in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. She likes to sing. This time she she sung "Somewhere over the rainbow" for school graduates. 

Hope you like little Mongolian girl singing "Somewhere over the rainbow".
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Making Mongolia Great Again: A 21st-Century Economy In The Heart Of Asia

As the Trump administration resets U.S. foreign policy toward Asia, Mongolia seeks to develop its democracy and natural resources for the benefit of its people and the stability of the region. Our democratic system and our way of life have proven to be resilient. And our partnership with the United States is no small reason why.



President Trump wrote to me in February saying, “I want to assure you that my administration is strongly committed to our valuable partnership with Mongolia. The United States is proud to be Mongolia’s trusted ‘third neighbor,’ and we appreciate Mongolia’s support as we work together to address regional and global challenges.”
These words are both an important encouragement and responsibility to us.
Mongolians and Americans share a faith in free markets, gender equality, religious liberty and pride in our way of life. We are steadfast in our support of the NATO mission in Afghanistan with the Mongolian Expeditionary Task Force Seven, now playing a leading role in keeping Kabul secure.
Along with Singapore, our capital Ulaanbaatar is honored to be considered as the host location of the landmark summit between the U.S. President Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un. It is a recognition of Mongolia’s decades of effort in preserving peace and stability in Northeast Asia.
As the president of Mongolia, I was elected on a platform of fighting corruption, bolstering national security and creating jobs. Mongolia is blessed with vast natural resources, but we cannot afford to let it exacerbate income inequality. The growing gap between poor and rich among our population of three million would weaken our national security and undermine our democratic institutions.
When I previously worked as the minister of infrastructure and agriculture, I took a more sustainable approach: to preserve the nomadic herding lifestyle of yesteryear while fostering new economic opportunities through free market and the increased employment of women.
That is why I welcomed the leading American companies to invest and advise our government. With the best partners in the world, Mongolians can develop business cases, demonstrate feasibility of our development projects and conduct engineering studies necessary to build our infrastructure.
At the same time, we want to invest in our people. Given the cyclical nature of commodity markets, we want to build up industrial centers that can do value-added processing of minerals. This will create skilled jobs and diversify the economy like nothing else.
The benefits of our approach are there for all to see. In the 1990s, Mongolia began to shed its command economy for the free market. Thanks to the tariff waiver legislation introduced by the late U.S. Congressman Phil Crane, the Mongolian wool industry was the first enterprise to escape state control. With freedom came production and trade.
Last year, the United States exported $56 million worth of goods to Mongolia, while Mongolia exported only $11 million worth of goods to American consumers. Mongolia will not be dumping cheap products that would displace American workers.
The potential for trade is even larger. One key to our growth has been the Most Favored Nation (MFN) status, bestowed by the United States in 1991. This special relationship helped open up our markets and ultimately created jobs for nearly 40,000 women in the textile sector. The strategic benefits of our bilateral commercial relations is even greater.
Now we hope to deepen and strengthen our economy with diverse international partners while protecting our national security. Both Japan and the European Union extended preferential treatment to numerous Mongolian imports. A similar United States program for our cashmere, wool, and textile industries would offer an effective way to strengthen Mongolia’s position in the region—and with no loss to US workers.
A Mongolia with strong economy and vibrant democracy is not only good for Mongolians. It is good for our Northeast Asian region, which includes North Korea, and the rest of the world too. Our stability and development strengthens the region and all nations that want free and fair trade as the cornerstone of the global economy.
Standing up for our interests means standing up for our values. With our democratic experiment in the last 20 years, we have transformed our country’s defunct communist system into a dynamic free market society. The same kind of creative thinking that has lifted Mongolia since the 1990s will be essential to fostering a 21st-century economy in the heart of Asia.
Battulga Khaltmaa is the president of Mongolia.

Source:http://dailycaller.com/2018/05/14/mongolia-model-21st-century-economy-in-heart-of-asia/
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Dubai financial plan of Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement to be audited by Mongolian gov’

Ceremony for start of auditing into Oyu Tolgoi underground mining development and financing plan/Dubai agreement) held on Monday was attended by D.Khurelbaatar, chief auditor of Mongolia, A.Enkhbat , advisor to the chief auditor, Ts.Batbayar, quality assurance department of National Auditing Agency, S.Enkhbaatar, head of Compliance auditing department and Oyu Tolgoi LLC officials led by executive director Armando Torres and others.


National Auditing agency is to review the Dubai financing agreement for development of Oyu Tolgoi mine according to following  article 15 of  Mongolian law on State Auditing:

1.2. To audit operations of legal entities that received financing from state budget, contributes to budget revenue, fully or partially owned by state;
1.20.To audit agreements, negotiations related to government guarantee, loan and all types of financial obligations, including technical, financial feasibility studies or investment agreements of projects to be fully or partially funded by state budget;
1.8. To be audited and assessed if it is deemed necessary.

This auditing is initiated by resolution no.06 of the Parliamentary standing committee in 2016 and the resolution no.03 passed in 2018. The auditing will cover following 2 topics: Actual investment in first and second phases of Oyu Tolgoi project and estimation of investment  and investment loan for shareholders,  loan repayment status and expected to continue throughout 2018-2019.

D.Khurelbaatar, state chief auditor stated the auditing will be done according international auditing standard” auditing agencies to find out about public expectation and depiction without reducing independence and provide timely, suitable response” and will cooperate with professional consultancy, research, engineering-technical teams based on factual information and documents. 

He pledged the auditing will be done within legal framework and adhere to principle of providing accurate and correct information for public.

Armando Torres, executive director of Oyu Tolgoi LLC said he will support the auditing operation and cooperate with auditors.
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EBRD financing for Mongolian solar plant

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is providing financing to build the largest solar plant in Mongolia.
The $31.6m loan is provided together with Triodos Investment Management and FMO Dutch Development Bank.
It will support the construction and operation of the bank’s first solar project in Mongolia.
The EBRD was the original seed investor in the first renewable energy project in the country and financed a total of three wind farms. These contributed to the creation of a renewable energy market, the bank said.
The current power and heat generation in Mongolia depends on highly polluting coal-fired combined heat and power plants.
The financing consists of an EBRD loan of $10.5m, while Triodos Investment Management and FMO Dutch Development Bank will also provide $10.5m each.
The project is in line with the bank’s Green Economy Transition approach, in which it aims to dedicate 40% of its annual investments to climate finance by 2020.

Source:EBRD
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Chinese firm invests 40 mln USD in Mongolian meat-processing complex

ULAN BATOR, May 9 (Xinhua) -- A complex with a meat-processing plant will be built in Mongolia's central Tuv Province with Chinese investment, local authorities said on Wednesday.
According to the provincial governor's office, a cooperation agreement was signed by Tuv's Deputy Governor D.Munkhbaatar, A.Idersuren, head of Mongolia's state-owned enterprise Tuv-Erdenet, and Chinese entrepreneur Ma Yuanfeng, who is the director of Ai Zhui, a farming, science and technological company in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
With Chinese investment worth 40 million U.S. dollars, the complex will have an annual processing capacity of one million heads of livestock and promote local herdsmen's welfare, Mongolian authorities said.
Construction is scheduled to begin next month. The project will be completed by December 2021.

Source:Xinhua news agency
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Kincora Copper Ltd. announces resignation and appointment of directors

Resignation and appointment of directors

  • Ray Nadarajah and Anthony Jackson appointed as non-executive directors
  • Duchintav Khojgor and Eric Zurrin resign as non-executive directors

Vancouver, BC— May 10th, 2018
Kincora Copper Ltd. (the “Company”, “Kincora”) (TSXV:KCC) is pleased to announce that Mr. Ray Nadarajah and Mr. Anthony Jackson have joined as a members of the Board of Directors effective immediately.  Ray is a seasoned finance executive and investor with extensive experience in the natural resources sector both in Mongolia and globally, and is a new independent director to Kincora. Anthony has extensive experience as a Director and CFO of numerous publicly traded corporations in the metals and mining industry, and been CFO to Kincora since September 2014.

Click to view Full Announcement (May 10th)

Mr. Ray Nadarajah was most recently a Managing Director of TPG Capital where he was responsible for infrastructure investments across emerging markets.  Prior to this he worked at Rio Tinto where he held a number of senior strategic and commercial roles, including Head of the Office of the CEO, General Manager of Corporate Development, Director of Business Development for China and Head of Business Development for Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia.  

Ray began his career as an investment banker across Sydney, Hong Kong and Beijing with Citi and Goldman Sachs where he advised on M&A and capital market transactions worth over $20 billion across the natural resources, infrastructure, diversified industrials and telecom sectors.  Ray holds a double degree in actuarial studies and finance from the Australian National University and has undertaken executive education from the Harvard Business School.  He has worked in over 25 countries and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and Tok Pisin.

Mr. Anthony Jackson is a Principal of BridgeMark Financial Corp. (“BridgeMark”) and a founder of Jackson & Company Chartered Accountants, a company that assists private and public companies with their accounting, tax requirements and corporate services.  Anthony earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Simon Fraser University, and holds the professional designation of Chartered Accountant (CA), where he is a member of the BC and Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Concurrent with the appointment of Mr. Ray Nadarajah and Mr. Anthony Jackson, Mr. Duchintav Khojgor and Mr. Eric Zurrin have stepped down as non-executive directors of the Company in order to devote more time to other business commitments.

“Ray has a unique skill set, is well positioned to add value to the team and we are very pleased to have attracted someone with his calibre and experience, as we look forward to working more closely with Anthony in his expanded role on the Board.” said Sam Spring, President and CEO. “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Duchintav and Eric, and wish them well with their busy existing business interests. Duchintav has provided a significant contribution to Kincora, as co-founder of the Company, seven years on the Board and support as a successful local businessman, with Eric contributing four years of service on the Board and as chair of the Remuneration Committee”.

The Company will grant to Mr. Ray Nadarajah and Mr. Anthony Jackson, in accordance with the Company’s stock option plan, options to purchase up to an aggregate of 125,000 common shares each exercisable on or before May 10th, 2020 at a price of $0.20 per share.  

Highlighted further details
New Kincora Copper website: Click Here
Click to view Updated Company Presentation (April, 2018)   
CEO Interview at 121 Mining Investment Hong Kong: Click Here (April,2018) 
Upcoming Events
May 17-18th 2018

About Kincora
Kincora is a junior resource company engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of mineral properties, with a focus on copper-gold projects in Mongolia. For further information: www.kincoracopper.com.
For Further information please contact:

Sam Spring
President & CEO
Kincora Copper
+61 431 329 345

Enquiries:
Andrew Krelle
121 Group
+852 5936 4081
Kincora Copper will attend 121 Mining Investment
London. To register to meet with Kincora as an investor please click on the respective links below.
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