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27.06.2014, NEWSWIRE, Issue331


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June 27 2014

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27.06.2014, NEWSWIRE, Issue331

  1. 1. BUSINESS COUNCIL of MONGOLIA NewsWire Issue 331 – June 27, 2014 NEWS HIGHLIGHTS: Business  Turquoise Hill files notice of dispute with Mongolian government;  Rio Tinto in $130 mn tax dispute with Mongolia;  Mongolia Business Summit kicks off with signing of $1.3bn power deal;  Investors detailed on Tavan Tolgoi power plant project;  TDB receives greenlight for overseas IPO;  Minister releases list of SOEs up for privatization;  Hong Kong takeovers code to apply to SouthGobi;  Noble Group benefits from strategic alliances;  Dutch firms aid Mongolian tanneries with sustainable production;  Wood processing factory opened in Selenge;  Immunitor presents cancer breakthrough in UB;  Chinese contractors fall short of road construction expectations;  MSE appoints new acting CEO and board directors;  ADA University launches “Go to Asia” project;  Mongolia-China tourism business meeting held;  Invest Mongolia signs memorandum at Mongolia-Poland business forum;  France backs GE's bid for Alstom;  LSE to buy U.S. stock index and asset manager, Frank Russell, for $2.7bn. Economy  Mongol Bank: FX auction, swap agreements, 1-week bills, treasury bills;  Altanbulag Free Trade Zone opens;  Turkish speaker attends road commissioning ceremony;  Rental prices falling between 10 and 20%;  Bus stops to offer WiFi;  Mongolia secures growth with cement production hike;  Kazakhstan gives 10-year tax breaks to foreign investors. Politics  Parliament speaker hopes to sign Russian deal on visa-free regime;  Mongolia plans anti-discrimination laws;  Mongolia-Russia meeting sees expanded consular ties;  Mongolia, Russia to cooperate for special border zones;  China's foreign minister visits Mongolia ahead of expected visit by Chinese president;  Mongolia, Turkey sign parliamentary cooperation agreement;  Mongolian Minister Oyun chairs U.N. Environment Assembly;  Mongolia joins Global Green Growth Institute;  North Korean delegates visit to learn about tourism;  Dinosaur repatriation agreement signed;  Political in-fighting within Democratic Party falls under public eye;  U.S. Marines renovate Mongolian kindergarten;  Three Scottish wrestlers set to grapple with Mongolia's finest;  Ex-SouthGobi workers long stuck in Mongolia get trial date;
  2. 2.  IAAC opens investigation into Development Bank chief;  Our continuing fascination with the Mongolian death worm;  Mongolia and Japan: Beyond power politics? – Editorial;  China expands plans for rival to World Bank. Others  New Mongolian Laws;  Announcements;  BCM Updates - Working Groups; Websites; Social Networks; Photo Gallery. ECONOMIC INDICATORS  Weekly Market Indicators;  Inflation;  Central bank Policy Rate;  Currency Rates. *Click on titles above to link to articles. SPONSORS Khan Bank International SOS Wagner Asia Automotive Invest Mongolia Agency BCM MEETING RECAP The BCM meeting on 23 June was held in the Crystal conference room in Blue Sky Tower and Hotel with Bayanjargal Byambasaikhan in the chair. In attendance were 110 members and invited guests. Byambasaikhan opened a discussion on the Mongolia Business Summit held on 19 and 20 June, where Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag said Mongolia's focus would be on rule of law, stability and predictability, business growth, and getting the state out of the affairs of business. The six newest BCM members were introduced by Jim Dwyer. They are: 1. Ard Financial Group operates primarily in the financial services industry. Subsidiaries include Ard Daatgal, Ard Credit, Monet Capital and the Institute of Engineering & Technology. 2. ESKO Services provides provision of camp and remote site services, catering, housekeeping, camp management, camp design and construction and others. 3. Grandsmart focuses on sales, marketing and distribution and after-sales service for mobile and
  3. 3. smart phones, sanitary ware, tile, stationary and ceramics across Mongolia. 4. Mobile Fleet Services, also known as, offers the largest selection of off-the-road tires for mine sites, mining contractors, equipment dealers, and tire dealers across the planet. 5. Trafigura Mongolia is a global commodities trader. It markets a wide range of minerals and chemicals, including copper concentrate, and recently signed an off-take agreement with the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine. 6. World Vision Mongolia is a development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. S. Bekhbat, director general of the department of innovation and public private partnership (PPP) at the Ministry of Economic Development, presented first to explain to the audience the progress Mongolia has made in its PPP initiatives. ―We should introduce what was already introduced in many countries for many hundreds of years,‖ he said of PPP agreements. Mongolia is able to make six different kinds of PPP agreements, such as those for services, management, or operation and management. So far Mongolia has signed an agreement for the 100-megawatt Telmen Power Plant and approved agreements such as a highway between the Tavan Tolgoi coal mine and Khanbogd Soum. In the process of approvals are 14 road projects, 10 education projects, and 5 power generation and transmission projects, including the Chandgana power plant that would be run by Prophecy Coal Corp. The director of the Mongolia Immigration Agency, B. Purevdorj, spoke next on how Mongolia was working to cut through the bureaucracy in visa relations. He said he entered his position with a strong drive to streamline the visa process in Mongolia. ―I was determined to make things more consistent, and diminish red tape and headaches for people when dealing with the agency,‖ he said. He added, ―The legal framework in one thing, but what is in our power is another.‖ T. Gansuld, executive director of Outotec Mongolia, introduced his company as one that has worked with Mongolia since the early 90s, when it first began cooperating with the Erdenet copper mine. But it wasn't until 2013 that it established its representative office in Mongolia. ―In 2011, I would say there was a construction period in the extraction industry, but we've gotten stuck. However industry will need processing solutions, still,‖ said Gansuld. He added that many of the deposits in Mongolia would need processing to extract value from the complex ores so often found in Mongolia. Gansuld described Outec's ―Lifecycle‖ solution, a five stage process that takes a project from start to finish. It begins with a test campaign, before moving on to engineering and supply, then to construction and commissioning, then operations and maintenance, and finally decommissioning. Lisa Gardner, a journalist and media trainer, gave the final presentation on Mongolia's media laws. Mongolia's media, although developing, faces challenges posed by Mongolia's laws and a lack of transparency in media ownership. Defamation is a criminal offense that holds editors and journalists liable. Although Mongolia has only 313 such cases on record, this is largely because news media is quick to retract stories before criminal charges are brought out. ―Most practice self-censorship,‖ she said. Other problems include the great deal of pressure authorities place on journalists to reveal sources and the way media owners are distorting the news for their best interests. ―The media doesn't function as a fourth estate as much as it does a business capital,‖ she said. Gardner urged those in the audience to investigate the magazines they choose to advertise with and not to support news media with hidden agendas or provide protection clauses that allow companies to censor stories critical of them.
  4. 4. BUSINESS TURQUOISE HILL FILES NOTICE OF DISPUTE WITH MONGOLIAN GOVERNMENT Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. said it filed a notice of dispute with the Government of Mongolia, after tax authorities in that country claimed unpaid taxes and penalties related to the development of the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine. Turquoise Hill, which owns 66 percent of Oyu Tolgoi, said it strongly disagrees with the claims that are contained in the audit report, and believes the mine has paid all legally required taxes and charges. The company said on Thursday the filing is the first step in the dispute-resolution process and includes a 60-day negotiation period. "If the parties are unable to reach a resolution during this period, the dispute can be referred to international arbitration." Rio Tinto-controlled Turquoise Hill said the distribution of the underground feasibility study will be delayed as outstanding shareholder issues, including tax claims, must be resolved before further investment in the underground can proceed. Oyu Tolgoi's open pit is in production, but an underground expansion was put on hold last year after the Mongolian government became concerned that cost overruns would cut into profits. In May, Turquoise Hill said talks with the government on restarting development had been "constructive" and the feasibility study would be finished by the end of June. Source: Reuters RIO TINTO IN $130 MN TAX DISPUTE WITH MONGOLIA Mongolia‘s Tax Authority claims a Rio Tinto Group unit operating in the country has unpaid taxes, penalties and disallowed entitlements associated with the USD 6.6 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper mine development. Rio‘s Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. says it has paid all taxes and charges required under its accord with the government and has complied with the country‘s laws, the Vancouver-based unit said in a statement. The disputed amount is about USD 130 million, Ganbold Davaadorj, a director of the mine‘s operating unit Oyu Tolgoi LLC, said today in an interview. ―We strongly disagree with the claims in the audit report and are currently reviewing all options to resolve this matter,‖ Kay Priestly, Turquoise Hill‘s chief executive officer, said in the company‘s statement. The fresh dispute is evidence of further strains on London-based Rio‘s relationship with Mongolia. Recent discord has centered on funding for a second-stage expansion of the mine, delaying the USD 5.1 billion proposed development. Source: Mineweb, Bloomberg MONGOLIA BUSINESS SUMMIT KICKS OFF WITH SIGNING OF $1.3 BN POWER DEAL Over 400 participants arrived for the first Mongolia Business Summit opened in Ikh Tenger, Ulaanbaatar on 19 June 2014, where a concession agreement was signed for the Combined Heat and Power Plant No. 5. Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag opened the summit with the message that the first thought before any policy is passed in Parliament: ―How does this support private business?‖ The cabinet is meeting twice a week to decide on reforms that would support the growth of business growth and attract foreign investment, he said, with the greatest focus on strengthening rule of law, stability, predictability of the legal and regulatory environment, and business growth. President Tsakhia Elbegdorj addressed the summit on the second day, highlighting the capabilities of citizens, profitability of business, and the initiative to introduce smart government as three pillars of growth. ―The business community is eager to engage and transform the investment climate,‖ said Bayanjargal Byambasaikhan, managing partner of NovaTerra and chair of the summit. ―This Summit brings together the private businesses, which produce 80 percent of the economy, together with the government that is expected to bring on key economic reforms.‖
  5. 5. Presenters introduced 18 investment projects in areas such as mining, infrastructure, construction, finance and industrial processing. The highlight of day two was the signing of a concession agreement between the government and international energy consortium for the USD 1.3 billion, 450 megawatt CHP No. 5. The consortium groups together France‘s GDF Suez Corp., Japan‘s Sojitz Corp., Korea‘s Posco Energy Corp., with each investing over USD 100 million to fund the project. Source: Mongolia Business Summit INVESTORS DETAILED ON TAVAN TOLGOI POWER PLANT PROJECT The project development team for the Tavan Tolgoi power plant presented to representatives of MCS Holding LLC and Oyu Tolgoi and investors on Thursday. A trade commitment was presented that include 10 documents on such issues as energy sale and purchase, coal supply, and investments for the investors. The successful completion of the project would pave the way for subsequent mega projects in Mongolia, said project unit director M. Enkhsaikhan. France's GDF Suez SA and Posco Energy Corp., Kansai Electric Power, Marubeni Corporation and Daewoo Engineering and Construction have all been chosen to participate in the project. Source: Montsame TDB RECEIVES GREENLIGHT FOR OVERSEAS IPO The Financial Regulatory Commission last week gave Trade and Development Bank (TDB) of Mongolia LLC permission to launch an initial public offering overseas (IPO). TDB would be the first Mongolian bank to list on a foreign stock exchange. Details concerning the IPO have not yet been released. TDB has completed several international debt offerings in recent years. Source: Undesnii Shuudan MINISTER RELEASES LIST OF SOEs UP FOR PRIVATIZATION Minister of Industry and Agriculture Sh. Tuvdendorj on 18 June released a list of companies to be fully and partially privatized that will be up for approval. Privatizing state-owned assets is part of Norov Altankhuyag's 100-day economic stimulus program. Companies to be fully privatized: Company name Type of ownership Method of privatization Eligible buyers Erdenet-Bulgan Electricity Distribution Network State-owned joint stock company Competitive selection National companies Baganuur, Southeast Regional Electricity Distribution Network State-owned joint stock company Competitive selection National companies Tsagaan Shonhor State-Owned Enterprise Open auction "Orgil Spa Resort" state-owned joint stock company State-owned joint stock company Open auction Cinema and Culture Institute LLC Open auction Auto Impex State-owned joint stock company via Stock exchange "Khutul cement and lime State-owned joint stock company via the Mongolian Stock Exchange "Monsam" government- owned limited liability State-owned LLC Open auction
  6. 6. company Road equipment rental State-owned joint stock company Open auction "Traditional Medicine, Science, Technology And Industrial Corporation" Closed Competitive selection Related scholars and team of researchers "Erchim" Corporation Closed Competitive selection Related scholars and team of researchers "Armono" Corporation Closed Competitive selection Related scholars and team of researchers Agricultural Technical Science, Technology And Industry Association Closed Competitive selection Related scholars and team of researchers Companies to be partially privatized: Company name Type of ownership Interest to be sold Method of privatization Eligible buyers Mongolian Stock Exchange State-owned joint stock company 66 Gradual privatization through at the Mongolian and International stock markets Mongolians and foreigners Crop Production Supporting Fund Crop Support Fund 66 Gradual privatization "Agricultural Exchange" 66 via MSE "Mongol Shuudan" State-owned joint stock company 34 via MSE "MIAT" state-owned joint-stock company State-owned joint stock company 49 Competitive selection "Mongolian Telecommunications" State-owned joint stock company 66 Involve investors ―Communications network‖ State-owned LLC 66 Gradual privatization "Shiv ovoo" State-owned joint stock company via MSE and Foreign Stock Exchange "BAGANUUR state- owned joint-stock companies. State-owned joint stock company 49 via MSE Source: Udriin Sonin HONG KONG TAKEOVERS CODE TO APPLY TO SOUTHGOBI The Takeovers and Mergers Panel of the SFC ruled on 19 June that SouthGobi Resources Ltd. should be considered a public company in Hong Kong for the purposes of a takeovers code.
  7. 7. SouthGobi recently made an application to the SFC for a confirmation of its prior ruling that SouthGobi was not a public company in Hong Kong for the purposes of the takeovers code. The company made this application so it could assess, with a greater degree of certainty, its options for sourcing the additional financing it requires to continue operating and meet its obligations. The Hong Kong takeovers panel said it would release its written decision on the matter ―in due course.‖ Source: SouthGobi Resources Ltd. NOBLE GROUP BENEFITS FROM STRATEGIC ALLIANCES Companies such as Noble Group Ltd. that have invested in a major segment of the South Gobi region continue to display the belief that long-term payoffs will result from increased participation in the sector. Hong Kong-based Noble Group is the other half of the joint venture that Aspire Mining Ltd. purchased 50 percent of from Xanadu Mines Ltd. for the Nuurstei coking coal project. Noble is slated to partially finance a railway that will connect the coal projects to the main railway going to both Russia and China and has acquired access to a Russian port that could allow seaborne transport. Noble Group has linked itself to multiple projects in the South Gobi Region. Xanadu Mines Ltd. has taken on a USD 4 million financing agreement with Noble that will be used to fund exploration of the Kharmatgai copper-gold project, and Noble and Xanadu‘s coking coal joint venture Ekhgoviin Chuluu LLC own the Javkhlant exploration project also located in South Gobi. Noble's other efforts include its assistance in financing a 98 kilometer haulage road from Terra Energy‘s Baruun Noyon Uul Mine to the Mongolia-China border at Ceke. In 2012, Noble entered the agreement with Terra for the marketing of the coal mined at this project. Guildford Coal Ltd, Terra‘s parent company, has two contracts with Noble valued at approximately USD 20 million. ―Investors such as Noble Group display the potential prowess of the mining industry in Mongolia,‖ reads the Source. ―The company has become a progressive demonstration of the benefit of long- term investment as the success they achieve validates the potential of the country‘s main industry. Source: Mongolian Investment Banking Group DUTCH FIRMS AID MONGOLIAN TANNERIES WITH SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION MVO Nederland and various Dutch companies from the leather industry, including Stahl, have entered into a partnership to support tanneries in Mongolia with making their production processes sustainable. These companies are going to assist in setting up a sustainable tannery in Mongolia, as well as the production locations for shoes, bags and clothes. The chemical company Stahl from Waalwijk, which runs in leather processing products such as dyes and coatings, started creating closer ties with the tannery sector in Mongolia in 2013. The aim was to make the local production process more sustainable and improve the quality of the leather. Working together with MVO Nederland, a joint venture was set up to establish the first sustainable tannery in Mongolia. The tannery will use new technologies and products where needed, which are less harmful to the environment. At the same time the employment conditions will be assessed and improved. The partnership also aims to encourage other tanneries in Mongolia to follow this sustainable example. In order to achieve that, the Dutch companies will provide advice, schooling and technical support and assist in selling the Mongolian products in the Netherlands. The tanneries will become certified, whereby they will be able to carry a Mongolian sustainability label. That label will make future consumers aware that the leather shoes, bags or jackets have been made by the most sustainable route possible in the Mongolian highlands. Also participating in the initiative are Macintosh Retail Group, known for the retail formulas Manfield, Scapino and Dolcis; OAT Shoes, which brings fully degradable shoes onto the market; the sustainable bag label MYOMY; Donders‘ DNR brand that makes sustainable leather jackets; and the clothing brand Traced Good that‘s strives for transparency in the chain. Source: Apparel
  8. 8. WOOD PROCESSING FACTORY OPENED IN SELENGE Khangain Burged Co. has opened a new factory in Tunkhel village of Mandal Soum, Selenge Aimag for the manufacture of wooden finger-joint boards. The factory will take Tunkhel's logging industry to the next step with the supply of its wooden boards to the local market and Ulaanbaatar. Khangain Burged uses fallen trees for its production to conserve the living trees that still grow in the area. Boroo Gold LLC funded MNT 94 million for the construction of the factory and the purchase of all equipment, while Khangain Burged paid for the training of its 20 personnel, said M. Tleuberd, Khangain Burged's director. The government has also provided assistance as part of its program to support small business utilizing the proceeds of the 2012 Chinggis bond. Source: Boroo Gold IMMUNITOR PRESENTS CANCER BREAKTHROUGH IN UB Immunitor Inc., a Vancouver-based biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of oral vaccines, on 25 June presented initial clinical data of the company's lead cancer vaccine at a conference in Ulaanbaatar. The presentation given at the fourth Current Advances in Microbiology and Immunology conference dealt with findings from the proof-of-concept study in 13 patients diagnosed with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or liver cancer. Liver cancer is the fifth most common cancer worldwide. While the majority of HCC cases occur in Asia (especially Japan and China) and sub-Saharan Africa, the incidence is on the rise in the United States and Western Europe due to chronic hepatitis B and C viral infections. Mongolia has the world's highest rate of liver cancer prevalence and mortality—6 times the global average. In this setting Immunitor had undertaken an open label salvage study involving 13 patients with advanced, inoperable HCC characterized by elevated serum levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) biomarker. Patients were given one daily tablet of the vaccine containing the mixture of tumor antigens together with alloantigens from pooled blood. After average 2.2 months of treatment 12 out of 13 patients experienced eleven-fold decrease of AFP, with 7 exhibiting absolute marker levels within what is considered a normal range. The decrease in AFP was correlated with tumor clearance or regression on CT scans or sonography. "Unlike previous cancer vaccines, Provenge and Yervoy, we do not merely seek to prolong the survival of patients by a few months; we potentially have a cure—a revolutionary breakthrough that no one has been able to deliver so far,‖ said Chief Executive Officer Aldar Bourinbaiar None of the patients experienced any adverse effects and are still well and alive after median follow-up of nine months, which is three times longer than typical three months survival in historical controls in terminal stage of HCC. These findings indicate that the vaccine holds promise as safe, effective and fast-acting immunomodulatory intervention for HCC. Source: Immunitor Inc. CHINESE CONTRACTORS FALL SHORT OF ROAD CONSTRUCTION EXPECTATIONS Some of the 6 companies from China contracted by the government for the construction of roads are failing to meet expectations. Xinjiang Shinfa is working on five road projects across the country as well as the Ulaanbaatar ―Streets‖ program to build and renovate roads in the capital. Xinjiang has reportedly failed to complete a road at Uyench, Khovd Aimag after receiving MNT 1 billion from the government. Another Chinese firm, China Jao, received criticism from the Minister of Roads and Transportation Ch. Erjan because it failed to complete 50 kilometers of road between Undurkhaan and Choibalson Soums. Mongolia is 68 percent complete with the construction of 1,800 kilometers of roads to connect every province with Ulaanbaatar. Mongolia and has employed 38 companies for road work, of which 6 are Chinese. Source: Undesnii Shuudan
  9. 9. MSE APPOINTS NEW ACTING CEO AND BOARD DIRECTORS The Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE) announced the appointment of Davaasuren Angarag as acting chief executive officer and named new members to its board of directors following a shareholding meeting made on 23 June. Angarag replaces Damdin Bolormaa. The MSE appointed Buyantogtokh Nyama as chairman, in addition to 5 board members. Nyama is director of the fiscal policy and debt management Department at the Ministry of Finance. As for the board appointments, Bazarkhuu Daajamba is vice chairman of Financial Regulatory Commission; Batsukh Sukh-Ochir is director of the internal audit, monitoring and evaluation division at the budget control and risk management department of the Ministry of Finance; Nanjid Munkhbat is executive director of the Development Bank of Mongolia; Nemekhbayar Enkhbayar is director of the economics, finance and investment policy division at the strategic policy and planning department of the Ministry of Mining; Myagmarsuren Batgerel is director of the restructuring and policy implementation department at the State Property Committee. Source: Info Mongolia ADA UNIVERSITY LAUNCHES “GO TO ASIA” PROJECT A project titled "Go to Asia" was unveiled during a ceremony at ADA University of Azerbaijan. ADA University's students in the master's degree program in International Affairs visited Mongolia, Vietnam and Japan in order to explore the business environment of the Asian continent in March, said Rector of ADA University, Deputy Foreign Minister Hafiz Pashayev. "The aims of the project were to enhance the business interests of Azerbaijan and to research investment opportunities in these countries," he noted. Pashayev said the project was dedicated to Vietnam, Mongolia and Japan in the Asian continent that are relatively stable and economically promising. He also noted that political, economic, social and cultural environment of those countries were investigated and Azerbaijan's business opportunities were assessed accordingly. Pashayev thanked the Azerenergy OSC and Mitsubishi Corp. for supporting the project. Addressing the event, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov stressed the importance of the project. Source: Azernews MONGOLIA-CHINA TOURISM BUSINESS MEETING HELD Some 80 tour operators, air transportation and tourism companies of Mongolia and China attended a joint Mongolia-China tourism meeting Wednesday in Ulaanbaatar. Visitors presented their products and services, discussed ways of attracting tourists to Mongolia, who are traveling further to the biggest cities of China, and noted the importance of joint advertising. Ulaanbaatar has rolled out its "Friendly Ulaanbaatar" campaign in the hopes of expanding tourism ties with cities connected to Mongolia by direct flights. According to 2013 statistics, half of foreign tourists in Mongolia were in-transit, with 34 percent traveling to China, 12.7 percent to Russia and 7.8 percent to South Korea. Fifty-three percent of tourists traveled by air, 40 percent by car or bus, with the remainder traveling by rail, according a survey from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Source: Montsame INVEST MONGOLIA SIGNS MEMORANDUM AT MONGOLIA-POLAND BUSINESS FORUM Invest Mongolia signed a memorandum with Polands's Agency for Information and Foreign Investment and Commerce chamber at the Mongolia-Poland business forum held Monday in Ulaanbaatar. Economic Development Vice Minister Ochirbat Chuluunbat gave opening remarks for the day, followed by a report by Invest Mongolia Chairman Sereeter Javkhlanbaatar on the investment environment in Mongolia, the new law on investment, and business opportunities. The business forum coincided with Mongolia's first intergovernmental joint commission meeting with Poland, where guests shared information on Mongolia and Poland's economics and politics, and how they could cooperate. Poland said it is ready to provide greater assistance in providing aid and
  10. 10. financing for projects such as one to build a factory from prefabricated construction materials and another for the purchase of meat and dairy technology from Poland. Source: Montsame FRANCE BACKS GE'S BID FOR ALSTOM General Electric Co. (GE) Chief Executive Jeff Immelt won France's blessing to buy most of engineering giant Alstom SA, outmaneuvering German and Japanese rivals. But the price was a promise to create French jobs and an agreement to tie up a number of businesses in joint ventures in which the French government will have a stake. The deal for Alstom's electricity business would reduce GE's reliance on its banking arm and help Immelt deliver on a pledge to refocus the conglomerate around its industrial operations, which investors value more. The concessions will mean a smaller boost to GE's profit and fewer cost savings from the deal, said Nicholas Heymann, an analyst at William Blair & Co. They could also complicate decision making in situations where the French government feels it has an interest. Talks are still under way on a final price, but a French government official said on Friday that GE is expected to pay Alstom between USD 11 billion and USD 13.6 billion in cash. GE is "pulling the levers to accelerate the shift back to their industrial infrastructure roots," Heymann said. "Power is set up to be the biggest driver for the second half of the decade." Alstom's energy operations generated nearly USD 20 billion in revenue, 71 percent of the company's total, in its fiscal-year ended 31 March. Those operations would complement GE's power and water unit, its biggest business after financial and one that accounted for USD 24.7 billion of the company's USD 146 billion in total revenue last year. The deal will help reshape GE. With Alstom, industrial businesses such as power turbines, jet engines and medical equipment will make up 75 percent of the company's profit, a massive shift for a conglomerate that generated more than half its earnings from its financial unit just seven years ago. Source: USA Today LSE TO BUY U.S. STOCK INDEX AND ASSET MANAGER, FRANK RUSSELL, FOR $2.7BN London Stock Exchange (LSE) Group PLC, which is expected soon to decide on the future of its partnership with the Mongolian Stock Exchange, said Thursday it is buying Frank Russell Co., a Seattle-based stock-index and asset-management business, for USD 2.7 billion. The U.K. exchange said last month that it was in talks with Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., Russell's parent, about a deal. The acquisition will be funded in part through a USD 1.6 billion rights issue to be launched in September. The rest of the consideration will be funded from existing and new debt facilities. Russell comprises two main units: its stock-index business, which includes the widely watched Russell 2000 barometer of small-stock performance in the United States; and an investment business, which has some USD 256 billion in assets under management. LSE was competing for Russell with MSCI Inc. and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, people familiar with the matter said in May. The exchange said it expects the deal to be earnings accretive in the first full year on an aggregate basis. Source: Reuters
  11. 11. SPONSORS Oxford Business Group Mongolian Economy Magazine Milestone GRP ECONOMY MONGOL BANK: FX AUCTION, SWAP AGREEMENTS, 1-WEEK BILLS, TREASURY BILLS; The Bank of Mongolia on 26 June reported that it sold USD 14 million and CNY 44 million to commercial banks for closing rates of MNT 1,827 and MNT 293.51, respectively. The central bank also reported that it had received an equivalent of USD 63 million from swap agreements with commercial banks. The central bank reported on 26 June the issue of one-week bills worth MNT 168.1 billion at a weighted interest of 10.5 percent a year. The central bank reported on 25 June MNT 75.5 billion in bids for the issue of 12-week treasury bills with a face value of MNT 40 billion. Each unit was sold at a discounted price of MNT 1 million each with a weighted average yield of 9.328 percent. Source: Bank of Mongolia ALTANBULAG FREE TRADE ZONE OPENS An opening ceremony for the Altanbulag Free Trade Zone (FTZ) at the border with Russia in Selenge Aimag was held on 22 June. Some 87 businesses have made land ownership in a 500 hectare space. Construction of enough infrastructure for a population of between 15,000 and 20,000 people is under way. Meanwhile, Russian citizens and other passport holders of nations given visa-free status may enter Mongolia via the free-trade zone. Altanbulag FTZ is set to establish an economic corridor for trade between Asia and Europe. Located 335 kilometers from Ulaanbaatar, the Altanbulag FTZ was first agreed upon in 2002. Source: Info Mongolia TURKISH SPEAKER ATTENDS ROAD COMMISSIONING CEREMONY Turkey's parliament speaker attended a ceremony for an 11 kilometer road being built with Turkish assistance. The road runs between the Bayazurkh bazaar in eastern Ulaanbaatar and an ancient Turkic monument near Nalaikh District. The Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) participated in the road's construction, which is scheduled to be completed by this September. Source: Montsame
  12. 12. RENTAL PRICES FALLING BETWEEN 10 AND 20% Rental prices in Ulaanbaatar are falling by up to 20 percent due to the surge of new space opening in the city. Leases for A-grade office space in Ulaanbaatar have reportedly seen less change compared with B- and C-grade locations. Some renters are offering up to 10 percent discounts because of the economic challenges. Meanwhile it has become common to find second- and third-tier space at 10 to 15 percent discounts because of the degrading economy. Rents for residential and commercial space have fallen 20 and 15 percent, respectively, mostly because of the new buildings opening up, according to real estate firm Aktiv Zuuch. Source: Zuunii Medee BUS STOPS TO OFFER WIFI Many of the bus stops installed throughout Mongolia are being equipped with free wireless Internet in Ulaanbaatar. JC Decaux Group of France consulted for the contractors who are replacing old bus stops with new ones made of stainless steel and equipped with information boards, water-resistant roofs, and LED lighting. Contractors also plan to erect street signs and create parking areas for taxi and bikes, in addition to audio equipment for the disabled and WiFi connections. A total of 69 bus stops are planned, with the first 31 to be completed before the Naadam Festival, which begins 11 July. Source: Montsame MONGOLIA SECURES GROWTH WITH CEMENT PRODUCTION HIKE New production capacity in Mongolia‘s cement industry is set to meet rising demand as advanced technology is replacing old equipment, moving towards self sufficiency in one of the key materials in the construction trade. In May, Mongolia began production at the country‘s largest cement plant, a one million-ton-capacity facility in the Khutul district of Selenge Province. The plant was refurbished over a one-and-a-half year period, replacing outdated technology from an inactive Soviet-era cement factory with a modern dry process system. Prior to the Khutul plant coming back on line, Mongolia‘s cement production was around 240,000 tons per year, well short of the two million tons poured in 2013. The shortfall in production has traditionally been met by imports, mostly from China, though demands from that country‘s domestic market have at times put constraints on sales to its neighbor, limiting construction sector growth in Mongolia. At the end of April, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced it would provide a USD 65 million loan for Mongolian firm Senj Sant to fund the construction, commissioning and operation of a high-tech dry process cement plant. The new plant, located at Dornogobi Aimag, is forecast to add one million tons of production capacity to the cement industry. Demand for cement, along with other building materials, is set to rise sharply in the coming years as both the public and private sectors roll out extensive construction projects while state-backed projects in infrastructure, housing and utilities draw heavily on domestic production and imports. Apart from the Senj Sant project, there are at least two other cement plants in the works with the Mongoliin Alt Group (MAK) and Germes Gakhiur building new production facilities, both expected to be completed and begin production some time in 2015. With the additional production these plants offer, Mongolia is expected to come close to cement self-sufficiency. This could still be tested by rising demand from both the public and private sector, with some estimates putting requirements at up to three million tons a year by 2015. Source: Oxford Business Group KAZAKHSTAN GIVES 10-YEAR TAX BREAKS TO FOREIGN INVESTORS Mongolia‘s neighbor Kazakhstan will suspend corporate and land tax for 10 years for foreign investors setting up businesses outside its oil industry in new incentives meant to diversify the economy, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said.
  13. 13. A vast steppe nation of 17 million, Kazakhstan is Central Asia's largest economy and the second- largest ex-Soviet oil producer after Russia. It has received more than USD 170 billion in foreign direct investment since 1993, but the bulk of this sum was absorbed by the oil and gas sector. Nazarbayev, who has kept a tight lid on dissent but has overseen the opening up of markets, wants to sustain economic growth, which accelerated to 6 percent last year from 5 percent in 2012. But in order to do so, Kazakhstan needs to diversify the economy away from hydrocarbons and metals to reduce its dependence on commodity price fluctuations on world markets. "We want to create a new type of industry in our country. Historically, we were a raw materials- producing appendage of the Soviet Union, which only brought raw materials out of here but built nothing," Nazarbayev told a meeting of foreign investors on Thursday in the northern resort town of Borovoye after signing the law allowing the incentives. In addition to suspending land and corporate tax for 10 years, foreign investors will be exempted from paying tax on non-land assets for 8 years and be reimbursed 30 percent of the costs of building new plants. The landlocked country would also allow non-oil investors to bring in foreign laborers without any quotas or permits to work for one year after the launch of a new business. The 73-year-old former steelworker and member of the Soviet Communist Party's decision-making Politburo, whose rule spanning more than two decades has been marked by Western criticism of his authoritarian methods, said he would appoint an investment ombudsman to protect foreign investors' rights in the country. Nazarbayev also suspended the requirement for visas for business executives from countries that have invested steadily in Kazakhstan, including the United States, the Netherlands, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and Japan. Source: The Moscow Times POLITICS PARLIAMENT SPEAKER HOPES TO SIGN RUSSIAN DEAL ON VISA-FREE REGIME Parliament Speaker Zandaakhuu Enkhbold hopes to sign a visa-free regime with Russia in August. ―In August we expect that (Russian President) Vladimir Putin will attend celebrations on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of victory in the Battle of Khalkhin Gol,‖ Enkhbold. ―I believe that during President Putin‘s visit it (the agreement) will be signed, the issue is already agreed upon.‖ ―Talks on this issue have lasted five years, and this agreement has already been reached at the level of foreign ministries,‖ he said, adding that ―we are convinced that the transfer to visa-free rules will attract new investors and tourists". Source: Itar-Tass MONGOLIA PLANS ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS The government has embarked on a series of sweeping reforms to the country's legal system, including provisions that aim to prevent crimes of hate, bigotry and discrimination. Hate crime has emerged as a serious issue in Mongolia, rising to international prominence in 2011 when nationalist groups—many of whom draw from neo-Nazi ideology—were found responsible for numerous attacks against the country's Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) population, and foreign migrant communities. "Hate-motivated acts need to be included as a crime category," says Bataa Bayaraa, head of the Mongolian National Human Rights Commission's Complaints and Inquiry Division. "That's why we proposed to include provisions…[for] those acts where perpetrators pressure, threaten and interfere with the daily lives of people out of hatred." At present, no measures exist to further penalize perpetrators for suspected bias-motivated violence, nor are law enforcement agencies required to outline suspected intent. It is not yet clear what these draft measures would deploy as additional penalties for those found guilty of hate- motivated acts. As currently drafted, the law would require training of law enforcement agencies to recognize and report cases of suspected hate-based acts. This, say advocates, will prove vital in
  14. 14. gathering reliable records. In late May, the Ministry of Justice, responsible for submission of the draft to parliament, removed hate-oriented provisions, replacing these with generalized references to "discrimination." Some argue this may lead to broader, unintended implications. "They had intended to draft hate crimes into law," explains Anaraa Nyamdorj, executive director of the country's LGBT Centre. "Instead they've codified discrimination, drafting it in such a way—so broad—that it will be very difficult to bring down to an implementation level. It means that Mongolia could very well be one of the first countries in the world to criminalize the very concept of discrimination almost entirely." The initial draft, produced by a working group made up of rights groups and justice ministry officials in January this year, had included specific provisions for crimes of "hate bias." Provisions would, in a similarly unprecedented move, establish penalties and reparations that would recognize psychological, as well as physical, damage caused by such crimes. Bayaraa says the draft law, though likely to face substantive amendments throughout the course of parliamentary sessions, is likely to be passed. Others have expressed uncertainty as to whether hate-crimes legislation should be a priority, given its provisions serve for the protection of minorities. Yet for some, the changes cannot come soon enough. "An issue like this can no longer be ignored," says Anaraa of the LGBT Centre. "We cannot wait for these constitutional amendments to be passed. We need to take whatever we can...and run with it. Right now, lives are being affected irreversibly." Source: Al Jazeera MONGOLIA-RUSSIA MEETING SEES EXPANDED CONSULAR TIES Mongolia and Russia expanded consular ties at the 13th consular consultative meeting between the foreign ministries of Mongolia and Russia on 19 June in Ulaanbaatar. Mongolia and Russia had reached an agreement for a final draft of the Mongolia-Russia intergovernmental agreement on visits. At the consultation, the two sides concluded measures taken from the last consultative meeting and agreed to work towards improving ties and travels conditions, share information on criminal records, study the insuring of Russians residing in Mongolia, and strengthening the consular representation in each country. Source: Montsame MONGOLIA, RUSSIA TO COOPERATE FOR SPECIAL BORDER ZONES Mongolia and Russia plan to cooperate with their border controls, said Russian Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko in a joint statement with Parliament Speaker Zandaakhu Enkhbold at a press conference on 23 June. Enkhbold said Matviyenko's visit to Mongolia was successful, noting that bilateral relations on politics, inter-parliamentary relations, trade, economy, culture, science, education and transit shipment were discussed at the meeting. Looking forward, they said Mongolia and Russia plan to boost cooperation on the management of Russia and Mongolia's special border zones. Enkhbold said Mongolia and Russia would also collaborate for the celebration for the 75th anniversary of the victory at the World War II battle of Khalkhyn Gol as well as for cooperation between their country‘s parliaments. Source: CHINA'S FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS MONGOLIA AHEAD OF EXPECTED VISIT BY CHINESE PRESIDENT Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag called for a push for continued regular communication between Mongolia and China's high-level officials during a meeting with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi. Altankhuyag said it was important that China and Mongolia maintain sustainable development of their strategic partnership and a frequency of high-level meetings. He recommended an exchange of views on bilateral cooperation issues between the two nations' presidents at the CICA summit this May.
  15. 15. Wang said Altankhuyag‘s visit last year to China was a success and that he hoped a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Mongolia would launch a new set of cooperative efforts in economy and trade as well as joint ventures in mining and infrastructure. Wang also invited the prime minister to the Economic Forum to be held this September in Tianjin, China. Source: Montsame MONGOLIA, TURKEY SIGN PARLIAMENTARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT Parliament Speaker Zandaakhuu Enkhbold and his Turkish counterpart on 24 June signed a cooperation agreement for Mongolia and Turkey's parliaments. Present for the signing were Foreign Affairs Minister Luvsanvandan Bold, Mongolia's Turkish Ambassador B. Batkhishig, Turkish Ambassador Murat Karagoz, and head of a parliamentary group for the Mongolia-Turkey relations A.Bakei. Source: MONGOLIAN MINISTER OYUN CHAIRS U.N. ENVIRONMENT ASSEMBLY Delegations at the U.N. Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi, Kenya unanimously agreed Monday to appoint Mongolian Environment and Green Development Minister, Sanjaasuren Oyun, as the assembly's chair. Over 150 high-level delegations attended the UNEA meeting last week to discuss environmental legal issues, financial mechanisms for green development, illegal wildlife trade, environmentally sustainable industry and consumption, and development targets to start from 2015. Oyun was invited to the first UNEA held in Nairobi from 23 to 27 June, where over 1,200 participants from 170 nations gathered. A Mongolian delegation will present the government's green development measures and share its experiences in its "Partnership for Green Economic Activities" that was initiated by the United Nations. Ministers will discuss issues such as the black market for wild game and the rule of law for the environment. Source: Montsame, NAMBC MONGOLIA VIES FOR GLOBAL GREEN GROWTH INSTITUTE MEMBERSHIP Mongolia's Korean Ambassador Baasanjav Ganbold handed over a note of endorsement for Mongolia to Global Green Growth Institute's (GGGI's) director general for its membership. Mongolia has actively cooperated with the Institute since 2011, said GGGI Director General Yvo De Boer. Boer said he desired to see Mongolia contribute to the organization's mission and help resolve environmental issues such as global climate change. Ganbold said Mongolia's Parliament had adopted a mid-term program for green development and expressed Mongolia‘s interest in cooperating with the GGGI for its joint projects and research in areas such as environmentally friendly transport, energy generation and construction. Source: Info Mongolia NORTH KOREAN DELEGATES VISIT TO LEARN ABOUT TOURISM A North Korean delegation led by Deputy Director General of the DPRK National Tourism Administration attended a workshop on Mongolia's tourism sector while visiting Ulaanbaatar from 20 to 25 June. The North Korean delegation came to visit Mongolia's main tourist destinations and presented North Korea's investment policy for tourism at the Institute of Finance and Economics in Ulaanbaatar. The delegation on 23 June met Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Tsedevdamba Oyungerel to share views on broadening cooperation in tourism before holding a separate meeting with Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister D. Gankhuyag. The delegation's visit follows a state visit paid by President Tsakhia Elbegdorj to North Korea last year. Source: Info Mongolia
  16. 16. DINOSAUR REPATRIATION AGREEMENT SIGNED Mongolian Ambassador to the United States B. Altangerel signed on Thursday an intergovernmental agreement for the repatriation of dinosaur fossils to Mongolia. According to the agreement, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Agency will return dinosaur remains that have been proved to be smuggled from Mongolia. An official ceremony for the fossils‘ repatriation is expected early July. Representing the U.S. side, Lucy Escamilla, a special representative of the International Operations at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, signed the document in the presence of Chief of Consular Department of the Mongolian Embassy in Washington B. Monkhjargal and others. Source: Montsame U.S. MARINES RENOVATE MONGOLIAN KINDERGARTEN Sounds of power saws and hammers could be heard emanating from the halls of a white-bricked elementary school in the Bayayngol District of Ulaanbaatar on 18 June, where Marines were working hard to renovate it as part of the Engineering Civic Action Program of Khaan Quest 2014. U.S. Marine Corps combat engineers participated in the ENCAP alongside members of the Alaska National Guard and Mongolian Armed Forces. The Marines worked in two groups, dividing up the labor of digging a trench outside the perimeter of the schoolyard to help reinforce the new fence the Marines are building and working to replacing windows. The old floors were ripped up, and the Marines mixed concrete in preparation for the new floors. ―I consider myself very fortunate to be able to interact with the Mongolian Armed Forces and see their skill set,‖ said U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Thomas Heinzelman. ―This is also a wonderful opportunity to experience the local culture.‖ The ENCAP portion of Khaan Quest 14 also includes the construction of a water distribution point and the replacement of a gymnasium lighting system at an elementary school, both in the Songinikhairkhan District. The Marines are scheduled to complete all three ENCAP initiatives by 30 June. Khaan Quest is a regularly scheduled, multinational exercise co-sponsored by the United States Marine Corps Forces Pacific and United States Army Pacific and hosted by the Mongolian Armed Forces. Khaan Quest 2014 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises designed to promote regional peace and security. This year marks the 12th iteration of this training event. Source: Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System THREE SCOTTISH WRESTLERS SET TO GRAPPLE WITH MONGOLIA'S FINEST Three Scottish wrestlers are set to face the challenge of a lifetime by taking on some of Mongolia‘s best grapplers in their own backyard. The intrepid Scots will travel 5,000 miles to the eastern state, where wrestling is the national sport. It was invented there more than 5,000 years ago and fabled leader Genghis Khan used it to keep his mighty army—the famous Mongol hordes—fit. Now the Mongolians have given a special invite to airline pilot Jamie MacDonald, 41, his photographer brother Robert, 36, and businessman David Scott, 40, from Clarkston, East Renfrewshire, to take on their best. Mongolia is the top wrestling nation in the world and won a string of gold wrestling and judo medals at the last two Olympics. Dubbed the Genghis McKhans, the three amateur wrestlers are to challenge the Mongolians at their own unique form of wrestling. They have been invited to the remote town of Bulgan in August where Mongolia‘s best wrestlers will descend for their national competition. It is the first time outsiders have been invited. But the trio will not be wearing the traditional and distinctive Mongolian wrestling garb, which includes a jacket, small briefs and leather boots. Instead, they will compete in their kilts. David, who also runs an adventure holiday firm, said: ―It is a real honor to be invited. Mongolia is to wrestling what Brazil is to football. ―The Mongolians are great admirers of the wrestling style used in Highland Games, which is different from Mongolian. David has been visiting Mongolia for more than 10 years on trade and cultural missions and was recently appointed an honorary consul for Scotland. One of his adventure holidays involves a trip
  17. 17. across the Gobi desert. He added: ―Mongolia is a little-known country, but there are great trading opportunities here for Scottish businesses. They are very friendly people.‖ Source: Scotland Now EX-SOUTHGOBI WORKERS LONG STUCK IN MONGOLIA GET TRIAL DATE Three former SouthGobi Resources Ltd. employees, long detained in Mongolia, may be a step closer to freedom as a Mongolian court will finally hear their case next week. The Court of Justice will hear the tax investigation case into SouthGobi and the three on 30 June, the company said in a statement dated Tuesday. Hilarion Cajucom Jr. and Cristobal David of the Philippines and U.S. citizen, Justin Kapla, have been barred from leaving the country since 2012, when the probe began. All three deny the charges against them. "My career has been destroyed and I don't know when I will be able to leave," Businessweek quoted Cajucom, previously an accountant at SouthGobi, as saying. A storm in the Philippines last year destroyed David's family home, according to Businessweek. The family had to be evacuated while David, trapped in Mongolia, could do nothing. The case involves allegations that SouthGobi evaded taxes between 2007 and 2011, allegations the company dismisses. The Mongolia-focused coal producer, which is 56 percent owned by Vancouver-based Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd., said it has prepared its financial statements in compliance with International Financial Reporting Standards and lodged all tax returns as required under Mongolian tax law. The case has made Mongolia's legal system, which allows officials to place travel bans on suspects and witnesses, the subject of international scrutiny. More than 50 foreign miners, bankers, accountants and charity workers are unable to leave Mongolia in connection with investigations of their employers. Some such investigations have gone on for years. Source: IAAC OPENS INVESTIGATION INTO DEVELOPMENT BANK CHIEF The Independent Agency Against Corruption has opened an investigation into N. Mukhbat, executive Director of the Development Bank of Mongolia, said a staff member of the Prosecutor's Office. The investigation, which the IAAC confirmed but did not provide any further details, comes after IAAC said in May that it was looking closely at spending of the 2012 Chinggis and 2013 Samurai bond proceeds. One unnamed source said B. Shinebaatar, state secretary of the Ministry of Economy and Development, may also be involved in the case. A listening device has reportedly been found in Shinebaatar's office, said the source. Source: Unuudur, Udriin Sonin POLITICAL IN-FIGHTING WITHIN DEMOCRATIC PARTY FALLS UNDER PUBLIC EYE Recent events have made public a rift within the Democratic Party and misgivings between the president, the speaker and prime minister. Sh. Tuvdendorj was selected as Minister of Industry and Agriculture upon the nomination of Norov Altankhuyag even though it was against the wishes of the president. President Tsakhia Elbegdorj said he would reject a nomination for Sh. Tuvdendorj because appointments to the Cabinet Secretariat going forward should adhere to the so-called ―double deel‖ law to take effect in 2016 that would prohibit parliamentarians from serving as ministers in the Cabinet. And Speaker Zandaakhu Enkhbold supported the ―double deel‖ in the lead up to the vote, only to vote against it when the time came. ―The President is always worked for the sustainability of the government,‖ said an advisor to the president. ―However, the government is not taking measures to reprimand some of its members who have not performed adequately. The government is plotting against the President, which is bad for the Government itself‖. Multiple laws initiated by the president have failed to pass at parliament or even pass the hurdles within the government.
  18. 18. Source: Zuunii Medee OUR CONTINUING FASCINATION WITH THE MONGOLIAN DEATH WORM Desolate, windy and exceedingly cold in the winter, the Gobi Desert is home to only the hardiest of life, be it plants or animals. The wild ass, Bactrian, or two-humped camels, and the Gobi bear call this region home, as does the Mongolian death worm. Death worm? Yes, the death worm. Elusive and secretive, this creature has never been captured, photographed or scientifically documented, yet according to a small body of literature, and even more movies and documentaries, they are said to be real. Called the Olgoï-Khorkhoï or "large intestine worm," by locals, the Mongolian death worm is as real as any terrifying creature you can imagine. With very little scientific literature documenting the existence of the Mongolian death worm, it is with some surprise to find an English language account of the creature, published in 1922 in Asia Magazine. The magazine published selections from zoologist Roy Chapman Andrews' 1926 book, On the Trail of Ancient Man and subsequently in a 1932 book, The New Conquest of Central Asia. The Mongolian death worm does have its advocates in today's scientific world. Cryptozoologist, Ivan Mackerle (1942-2013), was a Czech, living in Prague, and had access to Russian and Mongolian literature on the Olgoï-Khorkhoï, and it was he who introduced the terrible worm to the Western world. Mackerle's accounts of his search for the death worm, and his unusual methods in trying to get it to come out from under the sands, were published in the Czech magazine Reflex in 1991, then again in another Czech magazine Filip in 1992. Based on Mackerle's works, any reference in the literature today, or at least since the 1990s, can be attributed to his writing. So does the Mongolian death worm exist? Perhaps, and more than likely, not. But it certainly does make for a great story, and one frightening enough to keep small children from wandering out of their yurts at night to go wandering in the desert. Who knows, maybe the creature will be captured, but then, the enticing mystery of it will be gone forever. Source: Digital Journal MONGOLIA AND JAPAN: BEYOND POWER POLITICS? - EDITORIAL For some reason the Mongols always seem to catch the Japanese by surprise. From the Japanese viewpoint, the 13th century Mongol invasion materialized out of thin air, as did the more recent ―invasion‖ of talented sumo wrestlers from Mongolia. Many here were equally surprised to learn that Mongolia had acted as an intermediary between Tokyo and Pyongyang regarding the abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s. The emergence of Mongolia as a possible mediator in East Asia is one reason why the Japanese government has begun to place more importance on relations with that nation. But the driving factor behind this rapidly evolving relationship may not be Mongolia‘s potential value to Japan so much as Japan‘s potential value to Mongolia. National security is by definition a matter of survival, the issue of paramount concern to every state. Ever since Outer Mongolia declared its independence from China over 100 years ago, Mongols have relied almost exclusively on one basic strategy, that of turning regional rivalries between much larger powers to their own advantage. At one time, Japan was one of the key players in this regional drama, vying directly with China and Russia for control of the area encompassing modern Mongolia. Today it enjoys friendly relations with China as well as Russia and pursues omni-directional diplomacy, but it is searching for other powerful partners to enhance its security situation. The top candidates for this role are the United States and Japan. In a recent conversation the author, a member of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, summed up the situation as follows: ―Mongolia is looking to the United States for military security and to Japan for economic security.‖ Of course, in today‘s post-imperialist world, Mongolia needs to offer new inducements for cooperation by highlighting its unique assets. Something that has come up time and again in my discussions with Mongolian scholars is the notion that Mongolia is uniquely positioned to act as an intermediary between Japan and Russia, given its long acquaintance with Russia and its
  19. 19. understanding of Russian character. If we apply the same reasoning to North Korea, we begin to understand how Mongolia came to play the role of mediator in recent talks between Tokyo and Pyongyang concerning the abduction issue. In the past, when the Mongols turned to Japan in their quest for independence or autonomy, there was always a mismatch between the two countries‘ expectations of one another. To the Japanese, Mongolia was a country incapable of functioning independently, and so-called Mongolian independence was a sham, the product of self-interested Russian-Soviet machinations. Japan, following suit, treated Mongolia as a tool for advancing its own interests. After a period of indifference, the Japanese have come to see Mongolia‘s unique potential value as a mediator— aiding in the resolution of disputes with North Korea and other countries in the region—not to mention a supplier of natural gas and other resources. The question now is whether they can recognize and appreciate the kind of shared values that go deeper than immediate self-interest. Oka Hiroki is a professor of Asian history (specializing in Mongol history) at the Center for Northeast Asian Studies at Tōhoku University. Source: Nippon CHINA EXPANDS PLANS FOR RIVAL TO WORLD BANK China is expanding plans to establish a global financial institution to rival the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, which Beijing fears are too influenced by the United States and its allies. In meetings with other countries, Beijing has proposed doubling the size of registered capital for the proposed bank to USD 100 billion, according to two people familiar with the matter. So far, 22 countries across the region, including several wealthy states in the Middle East, which China refers to as ―West Asia,‖ have shown interest in the multilateral lender, which would be known as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). It would initially focus on building a new version of the ―silk road,‖ the ancient trade route that once connected Europe to China. Most of the funding for the lender would come from China and be spent on infrastructure projects across the region, including a direct rail link from Beijing to Baghdad. China‘s push for a regional institution that it would control reflects Beijing‘s frustration at western dominance of the multilateral bodies. Chinese leaders have demanded a greater say in institutions such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Asian Development Bank for years but changes to reflect China‘s increasing economic importance and power have been painfully slow. ―China feels it can‘t get anything done in the World Bank or the IMF, so it wants to set up its own World Bank that it can control itself,‖ said one person directly involved in discussions to establish the AIIB. ―There is a lot of interest from across Asia, but China is going to go ahead with this even if nobody else joins it.‖ Japan and the United States are the largest shareholders in the ADB with 15.7 percent and 15.6 percent respectively and the president of the bank has been Japanese since its founding in 1966. Among the ADB‘s 67 member countries, China holds just a 5.5 percent share even though its economy surpassed Japan‘s in dollar terms in 2010 to become the world‘s second biggest. China has discussed its plans for an AIIB with countries in southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Beijing hopes to have the bank up and running by the end of the year and has appointed Jin Liqun, former chairman of the board of supervisors for China‘s sovereign wealth fund and a former ADB vice-president, to establish the AIIB. Jin has hired about two dozen people from Chinese financial institutions such as Bank of China and Citic. The ADB estimates that Asia will need USD 800 billion a year of infrastructure investment between now and 2020. Yet, it lends only USD 10 billion a year for infrastructure, theoretically providing scope for other entities such as AIIB. Source: Financial Times NEW MONGOLIAN LAWS The following law, amendments, addenda and annulment to laws were published in the latest
  20. 20. weekly Government bulletin. Unless otherwise decided by Parliament, they will take effect ten (10) days after publication. Date Laws 23.06.2014 Law on Protection of Cultural Heritage /revised version/ Annulment of Law on Protection of Cultural Hheritage Addendum to Law on Special Permits for Economic Activity Addendum to Law on Mineral Resources Amendments to Law on Land Addendum to Law on Administrative Responsibility Addendum to Law on Civil Law Addendum to Law on Value Added Tax Amendments to Law on Relation between State and Religion Amendments to Law on Land under Special Protection Amendments to Law on State Sign Fee Addendum to Law on Personal Income Tax Amendments to Law on Treasures Fund Amendments to Law on Science, Technology Addendum to Law on Construction Addendum to Law on Auto Road Amendments to Law on Company Amendments to Law on State and Local Property Amendments to Law on Regulation of Public and Personal Interest, Prevention from Interest Conflict in Public Service Addendum to Law on Legal Body State Registration Please visit BCM's website, Legislative Working Group, for a summary of Mongolian laws. BCM members who wish to access complete versions of the laws and regulations in Mongolian language are welcome to email the BCM office. ANNOUNCEMENTS BCM FOOTBALL CUP-2014 SPONSORED BY MONGOLIAN PROPERTIES AND TRANSWEST MONGOLIA Dear Members, We are pleased to invite you to the 3rd annual "BCM Football Cup-2014" tournament which will be held on School #5‘s field on July 5-6. Our sponsors are Mongolian Properties and Transwest Mongolia. The annual event has become one of the prestigious football tournaments among non-professional players in the private sector. We have expanded to a 2-day event with 16 teams this year. We apologize that we could not include all interested entities. "BCM Football Cup 2014‘s" technical session with the Team captains will be held on Tuesday, July 1. Team allocation will be selected by lottery during the technical session. Please come out and join us at the tournament! Contact, 70114442 for additional information. BCM WORKING GROUP NEWS The BCM Environmental Working Group met on Thursday, 26 June with 15 members attending. Bayarmaa A, Vice Director at BCM, moderated the session. New member: Shinetsetseg-Breakthrough PR
  21. 21. Participants: -Binderya Oyunbaatar, Dolzmaa Davaasuren-The Nature Conservancy, Tirza Thevnissen-The Asia Foundation Guests: Baigalmaa Puntsagmaa-Mongolian Water Forum, Tsenguun Tumurkhuyag, Munkhjargal Bayarlkhgva-Sustainability East Asia, Altai Onkhor, Kevin Trzcinski-Mongolian National University. Speakers and topics were: - Introduction of Urban Services Program by Tirza Theunissen, TAF Deputy Country Representative, Asia Foundation; - Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources by P. Batima, Director, Mongolia Water Forum; - Application and Use of Solar Thermal and Energy Efficient Technologies in Mongolia by Kevin Trzcinski, Vice President of International Relations, Mongolian National University. If you have any questions, please contact Erdenetsetseg at ___________________________________________ The BCM Logistics Working Group met on Tuesday, 10 June, with 7 members attending. Mattias Ahlin-Scania, Chairman, moderated the session. New members: D Enkhbat CEO-Mongolian Express; Rentsendorj Yondon, Mongolian Opportunities Fund; Buyanderler Tsogt-Ochir, Logistics Supervisor, Cummins Mongolia; Nobuo Okada, General Manager, Mitsui Co. BCM`s Logistics Working Group Chair, Mattias Ahlin is leaving the country. Tengis Garamgaibaatar, Chief Executive Officer, Monroad, was elected as WG chairman. Congratulations to him for his new role as BCM`s Logistics Working Group Chairman. Speakers and topics were: 1. Follow up from last meeting‘s discussion a. Main challenges for the Mongolian Logistic sector 2. Discussion about BCM Logistics Working group role and focus areas (Mission Statement) a. Transport modes; road, rail, air b. Customs efficiency c. Legal framework; Loads and dimension, safety, standards d. Stakeholders: Ministries, customs, transport organizations, vehicle manufacturer association e. Transport efficiency 3. Discussion about meeting intensity and organization 4. Other business Next meeting was scheduled on 7 August 2014. If you have any interest joining the new and growing Logistics Working Group, please contact Erdenetsetseg at ___________________________________________ The BCM Capital Markets Working Group met on Thursday, 29 May, with 11 members attending. Howard Lambert /ING Bank/ and Nick Cousyn /BDSec/, Co-chairmen, moderated the session. Guest: Michael O`Malley-Executive Director at ISG MineElect. Speakers and topics were: Facilitating foreign direct investment (FDI) and Capital Markets update - by Byambaa Losolsuren, Leader of FDI Capital Markets group of 100 Day Revitalization Council, and Partner of Mandal Capital LLC. If you have any recommendations on Capital Markets for the Revitalization Council, please contact: ___________________________________________ The BCM Tax Working Group met Thursday, May 22, with 12 members attending. Onch D. - Co-chair, BCM‘s Tax WG and Deloitte Onch a moderated the session. Attending were representatives from the following BCM member entities - Deloitte Onch, PwC, Ernst & Young, KPMG Tax, OT, Terra Energy, Petro Matad, MahoneyLiotta, TMZ and BCM.
  22. 22. New members: Amarbayasgalan and Tuvshinbayar from Terra Energy. Meeting agenda: • Overview - B. Byambasaikhan, Secretariat, 100 Day Revitalization Program; Chairman, BCM • Initial new tax policy thoughts from WG members. On May 29 BCM‘s Tax Working Group sent a detailed study of the current value added tax (VAT) deficiencies and recommendations for efficiencies to result in greater tax revenue to the 100 Days Revitalization Council. Please contact T.Erdenetsetseg, BCM Working Group Coordinator, ___________________________________________ The BCM ‗expanded‘ Legislative Working Group (LWG) met on Tuesday May 20, with 42 members attending at Corporate Hotel meeting room. This was the third expanded WG meeting on the draft Amendments to the Minerals Law. The 2 ½ hour session included BCM members from mining companies, embassies and the MNMA. Special guests were 5 members of Parliament and others from the Mining Ministry, Geological Society and Export Society. LWG Co-chair, James Liotta, Mahoney Liotta, moderated the session. The following 11 presentations were made: -A healthy Private Sector Driven Industry (1997 and 2006 Minerals Law / Amendments / what to look for. By Doug McGay – longtime resident in the Minerals and petroleum industry; - Investor views and concerns about making investments in Mongolia and its mining sector. By Randolph Koppa – Vice Chairman, BCM and President, TDB; - A view from the Mining Majors by Sunjidmaa Jamba from Peabody Energy; - A supply side view by Stephen Potter, Wagner Asia; - Tax Issues impacting the Minerals Industry by D. Onchinsuren – Co-chair BCM Tax Working Group and Deloitte Onch Audit; - Use of MSE for State Privatizations by Nick Cousyn – Co-chair, BCM Capital Markets Working Group and BDSec; - Views from within the Industry by N. Algaa – Executive Director, MNMA; - Transparency and Public Comment by David Wyche – Economic/Commercial Section Chief, Embassy of the United States of America - International Agreements that attract bi-lateral investment, and views on the State ownership of assets by Maxim Berdichevsky – Counselor & Senior Trade Commissioner, Embassy of Canada - Some specific thoughts on the Amendments by James Liotta – Co-chair, BCM LWG and MahoneyLiotta Law Firm; Bayar Budragchaa - Co-chair, BCM LWG and ELC Law Firm. As MP Garamgaibaatar, Chair of the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs and Head of the Parliamentary Working Group on the Draft Amendments to the Minerals Law, commented at the meeting's conclusion - "We should not really change general structure and core contents of the draft Amendments." Also MP Garamgaibaatar welcomed BCM sending any additional comments directly to his Working Group. BCM WEBSITES MONGOLIAN WEBSITE: „PRESENTATIONS‟ The following statistics and reports posted on Presentations section in Mongolian:илтгэлүүд • Монгол улсын нийгэм эдийн засгийн байдал, 2014 оны 4 сарын байдлаар, Үндэсний статистикийн хороо • Мандал Женерал Даатгал тайлан, 2014 оны 5 сар • Сант марал сангаас гаргасан УЛС ТӨРИЙН БАРОМЕТР №13(47), 2014 ОН 3 САР
  23. 23. • Монгол улсын нийгэм эдийн засгийн байдал, 2014 оны 3 сарын байдлаар, Үндэсний статистикийн хороо • ―Anti-Corruption legislation and State Policy‖ (Mongolian) by D. Munkhjargal, Prevention and Public Awareness Department, Senior Commissioner, Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC) Mongolia at the ―ANTI-CORRUPTION LEGISLATION/POLICY, INTERNATIONAL BEST PRACTICE ON TRANSPARENCY‖ Training seminar, Mar 06, 2014 ___________________________________________ ENGLISH WEBSITE: 'PRESENTATIONS', 'MONGOLIA REPORTS', „INTERVIEWS„, MONGOLIAN BUSINESS NEWS‟, „PHOTO GALLERY‟ 2 presentations from BCM monthly meeting on June 23, 2014: • T. Gansuld, Executive Director, Outotec Mongolia – ―Outotec Mineral Processing Solutions and Experience in Mongolia‖ • Lisa Gardner, Journalist & Media Trainer – ―Mongolia‘s Media Laws: Defamation, Libel and Threats to Press Freedom‖ 3 presentations from BCM monthly meeting on May 26, 2014: • B. Lakshmi, Director, Mongolia Economic Forum – ―Why Mongolia Business Summit?‖ at the BCM Monthly meeting May 26, 2014 • Nick Cousyn, Co-chair, BCM Capital Markets Working Group – ―Use of MSE for State Privatizations‖ at the BCM Monthly meeting May 26, 2014 • Peter Benson, VicRoads Team Leader, ADB Capacity Building Project – ―Mongolia Roads – Achievements and Challenges‖at the BCM Monthly meeting May 26, 2014 • China Metals & Mining Thermal Coal, Coking Coal, Copper, Gold, Steel by Macquarie Capital Securities Limited 4 presentations from 3rd Mongolia Trade and Commodity Finance Conference, May 13, Blue Sky-UB: • Mongolia – New Investment Laws, Stephen Tricks, Consultant, Clyde & Co; • Mongolia Investment Law: select issues, B. Enkhbat, Partner, MDS & KhanLex Law Firm; • Mongolia‘s promise of mineral wealth, Arnout van Heukelem, Head of Metals & Mining Asia ING; • Utilising international partnerships to extend access to trade finance, Marco Nindl, Trade Finance Banker, EBRD. 16 Presentations at 2014 Mongolia Investment Summit London, April 30-May 1: • Assessing developments in current economic policy and how the government will manage and improve existing regulations, Ochirbat Chuluunbat, Vice Minister for Economic Development, Ministry of Economic Development, Mongolia • How should investors interpret the shift in government policy and the introduction of the new investment law?, Andrew Danenza, Founder and Managing Partner, Melbury Capital, UK • Examining legal developments and what this means for the stimulation of FDI, Chris Melville, Partner, Hogan Lovells, Mongolia • Examining Mongolian mining policy and how it could benefit the production and export of mineral resources, Rentsendoo Jigjid, State Secretary, Ministry of Mining, Mongolia • Analyzing the Mongolian coal market: how could mining companies best respond to the operating environment and fluctuations in demand?, Battsengel Gotov, Executive Director and CEO, Mongolian Mining Corporation, Mongolia • Examining how Mongolian banks and financial institutions are dealing with the challenges and opportunities of a fast growing economy, Norihiko Kato, CEO, Khan Bank, Mongolia • Spotlight presentations: a chance to showcase your services and projects to a wide investor audience, Leading bank of Mongolia: Golomt Bank - Munkhbat Davaatseren CEO, Golomt Securities LLC, Mongolia • To what extent has Mongolia retained its previously high levels of investment appeal? Alisher Ali
  24. 24. Chairman, Eurasia Capital, Mongolia • How can Mongolia attract private investment in power development? Philip Lam, Senior Banker, Power and Energy Utilities, EBRD, UK • Examining the potential for successful renewable energy projects in Mongolia and the benefits cleaner energy will bring for foreign investors, Bolor J. Artan, Deputy CEO, Newcom Group, Mongolia • Spotlight presentations: a chance to showcase your services and projects to a wide investor audience, Michael Jonas Director, Genie Mongolia and Executive Vice President, Genie Oil and Gas, Mongolia • Assessing the Mongolian Stocks Exchange‘s cooperation with the London Stock Exchange and how this can benefit investors, Jon Edwards Deputy Head of Primary Markets- Emerging Markets, London Stock Exchange, UK • Spotlight presentations: a chance to showcase your services and projects to a wide investor audience, Boldbaatar Lamjav, Board Member, Nuudelchin, Mongolia • Mining infrastructure case study: examining the development of infrastructure to support Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi and how a continuation will bring, Badarch Enkhbat, CFO, Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, Mongolia • Developing strategic mineral assets and infrastructure in Mongolia: Examining the timescales and how obstacles can be overcome, Sainbuyan Odon CEO, Erdenes MGL LLC, Mongolia • How could you ensure an effective IPO and the raising of the necessary capital for your business?, Ayuna Nechaeva, Business Development Manager – Russia, CIS and Mongolia, London Stock Exchange, UK. _________________________________________________________________________- Mongolia reports: • Social and economic situation of Mongolia as of MayMarch 2014 by National Statistical Office of Mongolia (available in Mongolian language - Монгол улсын нийгэм эдийн засгийн байдал 2014 оны 3 сарын байдлаар, Үндэсний статистикийн хороо); • Real Estate Report 2014 by Mongolia Properties • ASIA Reaching for the Top by International Monetary Fund, June 2014 • ASIA Achieving Its Potential by International Monetary Fund, June 2014 • Mongolia: Economy outlook 2014, by Asian Development Bank; • Polit Barometer by Sant Maral Foundation, March 2014. Interview Section: • Talking to United World, the Executive Director of the Mongolian Drilling Association (MDA) Professor J. Tseveenjav. Source: • Jim Dwyer, Executive Director, BCM – ―Business need more business‖; • Damshnamjil Tsogtbaatar, Chairman of the SPC: ―Privatizing Mongolia‖; • Jan Hansen, Economist, ADB: ―The depreciation should help to increase the competitiveness and to develop the non-mining industrial sector‖; BCM's English website includes the ―Mongolia Business News‖ section. BCM continuously posts news stories and analysis of relevance to Mongolia at ‗Mongolian Business News‖ before they are all put together each week for Friday's weekly NewsWire. The ―Photo Gallery‖ contains photos from the 6th Anniversary BCM Renewal dinner on November 11, 2013. BCM Football Cup 2013 pictures are posted to the website - en/album?albumid=200 The BCM NewsWire will continue to be issued each Friday, incorporating items already on the home page for a consolidated account of the week‘s events.
  25. 25. SOCIAL NETWORK WITH BCM The Business Council of Mongolia (BCM) has expanded its reach to your favorite social networks. Keep up to date on the latest business deals in Mongolia and how the climate for investment is improving each day with BCM. Add BCM on Facebook at to read the latest announcements and comment on events carried in the NewsWire with the community. Hear breaking news and announcements as they happen when you follow BCM on Twitter at The bulk of the content on BCM‘s new LinkedIn page is Mongolian language to better cater to BCM's Mongolian-speaking audience and members. Please click on the below link to follow us on our new LinkedIn page. Social stats: BCM now has 5,825 fans on our Facebook fans page, 616 connections on LinkedIn network, and 1,124 followers on Twitter. Of course for news information, interviews, event photos, VIDEOS and announcements regarding our organization, visit the official BCM website at ECONOMIC INDICATORS
  26. 26. INFLATION Year 2006 6.0% [source: National Statistical Office of Mongolia (NSOM)] Year 2007 *15.1% [source: NSOM] Year 2008 *22.1% [source: NSOM] Year 2009 *4.2% [source: NSOM] Year 2010 *13.0% [source: NSOM] Year 2011 *10.2% [source: NSOM] Year 2012 *14.0% [source: NSOM] Year 2013 *12.5% [source: NSOM] May 31, 2014 *13.7% [source: NSOM] *Year-over-year (y-o-y), nationwide Note: 13.9% y-o-y, Ulaanbaatar city, May 31, 2014 CENTRAL BANK POLICY LOAN RATE December 31, 2008 9.75% [source: IMF] March 11, 2009 14.00% [source: IMF] May 12, 2009 12.75% [source: IMF] June 12, 2009 11.50% [source: IMF] September 30, 2009 10.00% [source: IMF] May 12, 2010 11.00% [source: IMF] April 28, 2011 11.50% [source: IMF] August 25, 2011 11.75% [source: IMF] October 25, 2011 12.25% [source: IMF] March 19, 2012 12.75% [source: Mongol Bank] April 18, 2012 13.25% [source: Mongol Bank] January 25, 2013 12.50% [source: Mongol Bank] April 8, 2013 11.50% [source: Mongol Bank] June 25, 2013 10.50% [source: Mongol Bank] CURRENCY RATES – 26 JUNE 2014 Currency Name Currency Rate US Dollar USD 1,826.56 Euro EUR 2,488.41 Japanese yen JPY 17.94 British pound GBP 3,104.15 Hong Kong dollar HKD 235.64 Chinese Yuan CNY 293.23 Russian Ruble RUB 54.09 South Korean won KRW 1.80 Disclaimer: Except for reporting on BCM‘s activities, all information in the BCM NewsWire is selected from various news sources. Opinions are those of the respective news sources.