Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hong Kong’s (Direct) Mongolian Connection

Mongolia just got a little bit closer to Hong Kong, partly thanks to the city’s banking community.

MIAT Mongolian Airlines says it will start flying direct from Hong Kong to Ulan Bataar. The new schedule—with flights Thursday and Sunday—will go into effect June 2.

MIAT, whose executives have been talking about the possibility of a direct route for at least a year, says the decision was driven by the growing business connections between Hong Kong and Mongolia.

“Emerging development in the mining sector creates a huge interest of foreign investment and mining associated trade in Mongolia,” an MIAT representative said. “In this regard, there is a potential demand on business travel between Mongolia and Hong Kong.”

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. has made a big push to lure resource firms onto the HKEx recently, with executives touring resource-rich destinations, including Mongolia.

With companies such as Mongolian Mining Corp. and SouthGobi Resources now listed in Hong Kong, resource-sector bankers from the city have been making regular trips north to Ulan Bataar. And starting June 2, they will be able to do that without having to change planes in Seoul or Beijing.

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