National Debt Equals State Budget

By , 16 April, 2010, 1 Comment

Finance Minister S.Bayartsogt has said that the total foreign debt of Mongolia has reached MNT2.8 trillion, equal to the whole annual state budget. Of this 31.7 percent is in USD, 26.5 percent in Japanese yen, 28.1 percent in euro and 13.7 percent in other currencies. He was speaking at a joint meeting of the Standing Committees on the Economy, on Security and Foreign Policy, and on the Budget which discussed a loan offer from Monaco, and a draft cooperation agreement with the Asian Development Bank for additional financing on a project to develop regional roads.

Both drafts were approved and would now go to Parliament, but several MPs expressed their unhappiness with aspects in both. Some felt that Monaco, with which diplomatic relations were established only two years ago, is offering assistance worth no more than MNT30 million only to help it join the European Union. The ADB loan carries a low interest but has preconditions which make it less acceptable than high interest loans. Mr. Bayartsogt stated that Mongolia will no longer take loans with such preconditions.

Source: Undesnii Shuudan; highlighted in the BCM Newswire by Business Council of Mongolia

Khan Resources Uranium Mining & Exploration Licences Invalidated

By , 16 April, 2010, 2 Comments

Below is Press Release from Khan Resources.  Two related posts on our Mongolia Business Blog (MBB) website are Dornod Uranium, Khan Resources, ARMZ, Russia, & Mongolia and Khan Rebuts All Charges Based on “Inaccurate Information”.  On the day of the press release, the stock price of Khan Resources on the Toronto Stock Exchange dropped from 85 cents to 67 cents and then to 57 cents (33% drop).

TORONTO, ONTARIO, April  13, 2010 – Khan Resources Inc. (TSX:KRI) (“Khan”) announced today that its 58%-owned Mongolian joint venture subsidiary, Central Asian Uranium Company, LLC (“CAUC”) and its 100%-owned Mongolian subsidiary, Khan Resources LLC (“Khan Mongolia”) have received notice from  the Mongolian Nuclear Energy Agency (the “NEA”) stating that CAUC’s mining license 237A (the “Mining License”) and Khan Mongolia’s exploration license 9282X (the “Exploration License”) have been invalidated. The invalidations purport to be effective as of October 8, 2009 and purport to be based on a failure by CAUC and Khan to address violations of Mongolian law stemming from a July 2009 report issued by an inspection team appointed by the Mongolian State Specialized Inspection Agency (the “SSIA”) in respect of the Mining License.

Khan continues to believe that it and its Mongolian subsidiaries have always operated and continue to operate in compliance with all applicable Mongolian laws, including the Nuclear Energy Law, and there is no legal basis for the NEA invalidation notices.  Khan intends to challenge the NEA’s actions through all legally available means.  In Khan’s view, the actions by the NEA are a clear violation of Khan’s rights and interests under the laws and Constitution of Mongolia, and are in breach of Mongolia’s obligations under international law.  Khan and its legal counsel intend to vigorously defend its rights and interests, and to pursue all available rights and remedies in the Canadian and Mongolian courts and, if necessary, in international arbitration.

Background

Khan believes that in order to understand the  latest action by the NEA, it is necessary to understand the background and recent history.

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Chinese Press: Batbold Reaffirmed Mongolia Would Adhere to One-China Policy

By , 13 April, 2010, 14 Comments

This has got to be Chinese press at its finest. I cannot fathom any Mongolian person agreeing to One-China policy, certainly not any of our politicians, however faulty they may be.  It’s really unbelievable.  Read on.

Here is the excerpt from the Chinese Press:

Xi said China  would like to work with Mongolia  to expand bilateral cooperation.

Batbold proposed the two countries work more closely in economy, trade, finance, minerals, energy, infrastructure and people-to-people exchanges.

Batbold reaffirmed Mongolia would adhere to the one-China policy.

Batbold was one of 2,000 political and business figures and experts from Asia and around the world who gathered at the island resort in south China’s Hainan Province for the BFA annual session.

Here is the link: China, Mongolia underline stronger cooperation

Probably, the article should read “China agrees to One-Mongolia Policy”, but too bad our economy and population is just too small to make that a reality.  😀

I still can’t believe something like this can be posted on an online website that has the 198th highest usage in the world according to Alexa.

China’s 24 Million Wife Shortage – Concern for Mongolia?

By , 12 April, 2010, 4 Comments

Earlier today, I ran across an article indicating that there may be 24 million wife shortage in China over the next decade.

As the shortage of women increase in China, surely the ambitions of men (Chinese or not) to marry will not be squelched.   The fear in Mongolia might be that some of these men may marry Mongolian women.

The crazy thing is… this fear might actually be justified.

As you may know, Mongolia’s entire population today is only 2.7 million.  If we take the fact that 70% of Mongolians are aged 30 years or younger and that roughly 50% are women, we are left with less than 1 million Mongolian women and girls.  Looking at the numbers, even if a few ten thousands of Chinese men somehow succeed in marrying Mongolian women, this might create a dramatic imbalance and a fierce competition for Mongolia’s women.

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Bayar’s Income Rises 20 Times, Gansukh’s 7 Times, and Bayartsogt’s 3 Times

By , 12 April, 2010, 1 Comment

According to figures released by the Anti-Corruption Authority, the declared assets and reported income of most senior Government officials for 2009 show considerable increase over those for 2008.

An exception was the President Ts. Elbegdorj, whose income decreased by about MNT 1 million.  The Speaker earned more but his assets have not grown over the years.  He still lists a Mazda car, a one-room apartment and shares in Gobi Company.

Former Prime Minister S. Bayar’s income rose 20 times in the year, reaching MNT109.2 million from MNT5.4 million in 2008.  He owns 10 percent of Sansar Cable TV and Palace LLC.  The MNT94.7 million in his bank account in 2008 now stood at MNT156.3 million.

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Dornod Uranium, Khan Resources, ARMZ, Russia, & Mongolia

By , 5 April, 2010, 1 Comment

Editor’s note: I found this article online today.  It gives an overview of events involving the Dornod Uranium mines.  The players include Khan Resources, ARMZ, Russian Government, and Mongolian Government…

Despite the potentially huge profits, it can be difficult to do business in a former communist country — particularly one that is in Asia. Western companies have learned this the hard way.

One current example is in Mongolia, involving a Canadian company, Khan Resources, and a rapid chain of events that put the company on the verge of losing vast amounts of money and essentially being kicked out of Mongolia. In the end, however, Khan Resources would have the last say.

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Enkhbayar Launches Broadside on Bayar before MPRP Conference

By , 23 March, 2010, 1 Comment

The ensuing MPRP general conference promises to be a lively affair with former President N. Enkhbayar bluntly accusing party chairman and former Prime Minister S. Bayar of being “the mastermind behind the well-orchestrated sabotage” of his re-election bid last year.

Mr. Enkhbayar prefaced his salvo, in a long and wide-ranging interview published in the newspaper Zuunii Medee, by saying, “It does not help if the finger of blame is forever kept sheathed,” and added he was coming out with “the truth now as several events can now be seen in proper perspective” and also because “the party has to be stopped from committing suicide by allowing its leaders to deliberately betray its interests”.

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Mongolia Social and Economic Indices February 2010

By , 23 March, 2010, 1 Comment

ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA – The National Statistics Office has published social and economic data. All figures are for February alone or for the first two months in 2010 and, unless otherwise mentioned, all comparisons are with the corresponding period in 2009.

CPI

The consumer price index rose 3.0 percent over January, 5.4 percent over the end of 2009, and 8.3 percent over February 2009.

State budget

The overall balance in the General Government budget in the first two months of 2010 showed a deficit of MNT51.4 billion, MNT 0.8 billion less than in the same period of the previous year, mainly because revenue increased 53.8 percent more than did expenditure.

The current account deficit was MNT36.6 billion. Tax revenue was 74.8 percent more than in 2009. Windfall profits tax yielded 227.4 times more, corporate income tax 2.2 times more, and value added tax 34.6 percent more. Non-tax revenue was up by 91.3 percent.

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Central Bank Confirms TDB in Good Shape, After Rumors Cause Concern

By , 22 March, 2010, 1 Comment

The Central Bank has said it sees no reason to worry about the health of Trade and Development Bank (TDB). The bank administration has also strongly denied there is any problem whatsoever. The reassurances were found necessary after the city had been abuzz with rumors about the bank, with customer confidence continuing to be low following what happened at Zoos and Anod banks.

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Khan Rebuts All Charges Based on “Inaccurate Information”

By , 22 March, 2010, No Comment

In an open letter to MP Z. Enkhbold, Khan Resources has clarified its point of view about certain conclusions and recommendations recently made by the working group led by him after its visit to Dornod uranium district last summer.

The company notes that the license it holds was not included in the list of licenses whose legality was sought to be investigated. Reiterating that the company has been fully cooperating with Government officials, Khan says it would be pleased to provide all relevant documents to the working group if asked to do so. Expressing confidence that Khan has fulfilled all its obligations towards Central Asia Uranium Corporation (CAUC), the company says it is difficult to understand why only it should be investigated when there are two other partners in the joint venture. “It is most unfortunate that inaccurate information has been delivered…through recent official and unofficial sources that suggests that only Khan may have been in breach of the law,” the letter says.

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Erdenet Citizens Urge President to Go Ahead with Judicial Reforms

By , 15 March, 2010, No Comment

President Ts.Elbegdorj’s meeting last week with the citizens of Erdenet turned into an indictment of the way legal and judicial organizations worked in the province of Orkhon.

A woman said she had been practically living in courts trying to get the truth established after the court ordered her son to 8 years’ imprisonment for theft of two mobile phones. Many at the meeting sympathized with her, saying they, too, “knew how judges treat poor people and how they please those with money and power”. The audience urged the President to boldly carry on with his plans to reform the judiciary so that reliable justice was available to all.

Only Economic Diversification Can Assure Survival, Says Former PM

By , 13 March, 2010, 2 Comments

Former Prime Minister D. Byambasuren does not see any “quick exit from the present economic crisis, even if some superficial indications may look promising”.

The distribution of cash has led to an overall increase in prices of items in daily use. Banks are still troubled with outstanding loans and the long-term impact of the dzud will be clear only with time. Livestock is the economy’s key sector and difficulties there will be felt in many areas of life: herders’ livelihood, the consumer market, and health of the banking system. Herders, he felt, are not receiving adequate support, but abandoning them will have disastrous consequences.

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Environmentalists Urge Mongolian State Authorities to Probe “Illegal” Activities of Petro-China

By , 12 March, 2010, 1 Comment

A coalition of environmental protection movements in the country has sent a report to the President, the Parliament Speaker, the Prime Minister, and the Ministers of Minerals and Energy, Finance, and Labor and Social Welfare detailing “illegal activities” by Petro-China Dachin Tamsag and demanded an inquiry into how the company has been allowed to violate Mongolian laws, pollute the environment, and harm local communities in several ways.

Petro-China has been working in three oil fields in Dornod aimag since 2005 on the basis of a product sharing agreement with the Government. Petro-China has refused to make available to the coalition a copy of the agreement, as also of its performance and monitoring reports, even though the NGOs have a constitutional right to the information.  Petro-China says these are “company secrets that cannot be disclosed to a third party”.

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Goldman Sachs May File Case on Olon Ovoot

By , 12 March, 2010, No Comment

Goldman Sachs is believed to have filed a case against Mongolia in an international arbitration court in matters relating to Mongol Gazar and the Olon Ovoot mines.  This news comes in the wake of unconfirmed but strong reports that the Mongolian Government has lost the case against the Russian-owned Altan Dornod.

Mr. B.Lhagvasuren, director of the Inspection Department at the Central Bank, has denied any information about Goldman Sachs filing any case
Mr. Ts. Myanganbayar, a business magnate, mortgaged the Olon Ovoot gold mine license to several banks and to Goldman Sachs to borrow a total of MNT 210 billion. Of this, Zoos Bank, now known as State Bank, gave him MNT 60 billion, Anod MNT 30 billion, and Goldman Sachs MNT 15 billion.

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Curry For A Cause

By , 4 March, 2010, 1 Comment

Taste the Savory Indian curry at its Best. Your participation will enable a needy Mongolian family live in a house called home.  A worthy cause.

A Buffet Charity Dinner will be organized on the 13th of March, 2010 at the Taj Mahal Restaurant at 6.00 – 10.00 p.m.  located on 6th floor of the Ulaabaatar Hotel.  Entrance fee 21,000 MNT per person

Curry for a Cause Event Program:

  • Welcome Habitat for Humanities (HFH) Mongolia Blue Sky Build Presentation
  • Dinner and then after dinner some fun Games
  • Auction – Items, A saree from India, Another dress called Salwar
  • Kameez, some Indian Handicrafts, Famous Mongolian artists paintings
  • Music and Dance

Come and join Hands to lend a Helping Hand .  All proceeds to be given to Habitat for Humanity Mongolia.

About The Blue Sky Build

Building 30 houses for 30 Mongolian families with low incomes.  A sign up paper will be available for people to sign up as volunteers during the actual days of the Blue Sky Build 28th June – 2nd of July, 2010.

For reservation of a seat, please phone into Tajmahal restaurant – 98110562 OR the Habitat for Humanity Director Charles Jolliffe -99041137