Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mongolia Brief April 28, 2014

Mongolia to Host Int’l Tournament for Football
Ulaanbaatar, April 27 (MONTSAME) At its meeting on Saturday, the cabinet decided to allot money of 250 million togrog for hosting games of one group of the "AFC PRESIDENT'S CUP-2014" that will take place on June 1-10, 2014.

Mongolia has been awarded a right to host the international football competition thanks to having a new football pitch with 5,000 seats. This pitch was built last year within a project implemented by the FIFA.
The Mongolia’s “Erchim” club has been qualified to participate in the AFC President’s Cup-2014 after winning the Mongolia’s Premier League. The Mongolian club will face its opponents of the Philippines and Sri Lanka at the group stage games in Mongolia.
AFC President's Cup is an annual international association football competition between domestic clubs sides run by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The 2014 AFC President's Cup will be the 10th, and the last edition of the AFC President's Cup, a football competition organized by the AFC for clubs from "emerging countries" in Asia.
This year’s tournament will run among teams of Mongolia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Taiwan, North Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.  

International Competition Winners to Receive Cash Prizes
Ulaanbaatar, April 27 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting held Saturday made a decision to grant cash prizes to those people who have successfully participated in international contests for arts.
In accordance with the decision, students of the Mongolian College of Music and Dance (MCMD) A.Anujin and J.Ariunzaya, second place holder of the Bartok-Kabalevsky-Prokofiev International Piano Competition & Festival, will be awarded with a prize of MNT 14 million each. Third place holders of this contest O.Sumadi-Sharana, B.Suvd, B.Goomargad, M.Zaya, N.Orgil and G.Enkhtsetseg will receive MNT 9 million each.
A cash prize of MNT 34 million will be given to N.Togoldorsaikhan, G.Enkhgerel, G.Altjin, G.Sarangua and N.Mongontsatsrag, contortionists of the “X-roses” group that won the Bronze Lion Cup of the Wuhan International Circus Festival.
In last seven years, the government has given MNT one billion and 173 million to creative artists for winning international contests.

Cabinet Meeting in Brief
Ulaanbaatar, April 27 (MONTSAME) An annual meeting of the Asian Union for Budget Expenditure Management will take place on June 11-13 in Ulaanbaatar city. At the cabinet meeting ran Saturday ordered Ch.Ulaan, the Minister of Finance, to organize the meeting with support from international organizations.
- The cabinet considered as necessity to submit to parliament a bill on ratifying a credit agreement for the “Project on nutrition and social welfare: Extra financing” which has been established between the government of Mongolia and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
- The cabinet also considered as necessity to parliament a draft law on ratifying a credit agreement for a project on engineering and technological higher education. It has been established between the government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Mongolian Women’s Team Finishes 3rd at Asian Championships
Ulaanbaatar, April 27 (MONTSAME) Women wrestlers of the national selected team grabbed four silver and one bronze medals in the 2014 Asian Wrestling Championships held April 23-27 in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Mongolian women E.Narangerel, P.Orkhon, B.Shoovdor and Sh.Tumentsetseg captured silver medals in the 48 kg, 55 kg, 58 kg and 69 kg weight categories’ contests, respectively. One woman S.Tserenchimed grabbed a bronze in the 60 kg tournament. By winning these medals, the women’s team finished 3rd with 57 points by the team ranking, following its opponent team of Japan (66 points) and China (64 points).
As informed before, the men’s freestyle team of Mongolia took 2nd place in the Asian Championships, collecting 63 points and winning one gold, three silver and three bronze medals.
As the overall team result, the national team of Iran claimed the championship title winning seven gold, one silver and three bronze medals in the men’s and women’s freestyle, and Greco-Roman tournaments.

Stock Exchange Weekly Review
Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) Five stock trades were held at Mongolia's Stock Exchange on April 21-25, 2014.
In overall, one million 340 thousand and 681 shares were sold of 50 joint-stock companies totaling MNT 765 million 345 thousand and 132.79.
"Mongolia development” /one million and 130 units/, "Silikat” /119 thousand and 352 units/, "Remikon" /117 thousand and 543 units/, "Merex” /37 thousand and 407 units/ and "Genco tour bureau" /20 thousand and 315 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Mongolia development” (MNT 600 million 089 thousand and 694), "Silikat" (MNT 28 million 997 thousand and 186), "Bayangol hotel" /MNT 18 million and 128 thousand/, "Remikon" /MNT 17 million 611 thousand and 333.00/ and "APU" (MNT 14 million 131 thousand and 620).

“New Artwork - People 3” Exhibition Opens
Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) A so-called exhibition opened in “Red Ger” Art Gallery of the Art Council of Mongolia on Monday.
Organized from “Ts.Batzorig Fund of Documentary Photography”, a total of 300 documentary photos from 31 photographers were received for open competition and this exhibition is displaying selected 19 best works of 16 participants.
It will be on public view until April 30. 

Sport day for people with disabilities
April 28 (news.mn) On Saturday 26th of April, a sport day event for People with Disabilities was held at school 70. This special day was organized for young people with disabilities to show that these people have the right, and the desire, to have access to different activities outside of their care center or home.
With the sponsorship of PADEM (Programmes d"Aide et de Developpement destines aux Enfants du Monde), an NGO approved by the Government of Luxembourg, the Rotaract club of Tuul- Mongolia, the Association for Parents with Disabled Children (APDC) and school 70 organize a fun day of sport activities for children with various disabilities and their families. 40 children aged between 10 and 16 years were invited to participate in this event. 
The goal of the day was to promote sport for everyone and give opportunities for children with disability to have fun and to try different sports-games.
The participants were invited at 10am to school 70. After an opening ceremony with Gantumur singing and dance performances from a rotaractor, the participants were divided in four groups for two team challenges: a motor skills challenge and a treasure hunt.
After the award ceremony, one child took the microphone to tell everybody how grateful she was for this day and that she really enjoyed it with her friends.
In the afternoon, after the event, there were free activities for everyone including bowling, darts, basketball and golf.
PADEM is an NGO that aims to improve the quality of life of vulnerable populations, especially children in developing countries through sustainable actions based foremost on partnerships with local civil society actors. PADEM seeks to fulfil the fundamental rights of the beneficiaries under the most strict respect for their culture.
The country representative of PADEM, Alexandre Balson, said: “We already had a cultural event last December for International day of People with disabilities. Then we started a Fun Club Activity twice a week since one month with APDC (Association of Parents with Disabled Children). The goal is for all children to enjoy different activities: Sport, music, art and cooking, learn new skills and for their family to see their children not just as disabled but also with their ability. Today was the first activity outside of the center. In the future we will focus more on inclusive activities for children with disabilities to go to different public places to share activities with other people.”

Motorcycles in Zavkhan aimag banned from carrying passengers
April 28 (news.mn) In Zavkhan aimag, about 60 local motorcycle riders provide local transport services to local residents to make earnings. 
The Provincial Department for Transport and Roads and the Local Police Department made a statement to the Governor`s Office of Zavkhan asking the practice of taking a motorcycle passenger to be banned, in order to prevent serious accidents. 
Due to the statement, the Local Governor issued an order on April 28th to ban motorcycle passengers in the province. The new local rule banning motorcycle passengers will be effective from today. However, the rule is likely to be broken as it is doubtful that local residents will stop using the local motorcycle transport service because the motorcycle transport service is cheaper than the local taxi service. 
In the countryside motorcycle transport services are popular, and this is blamed as the cause of the number of accidents related to motorcycles. 

Finance Ministries of Mongolia and China sign MoU
April 28 (news.mn) Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei begins an official visit to Mongolia today, April 28th on the invitation of Mongolian Finance Minister Ch.Ulaan. Minister Lou Jiwei will conduct the official visit between April 28th and 29th. 
Finance Ministers Ch.Ulaan and Jiwei exchanged views on the topic of the establishment of an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and about expanding mutually beneficial cooperation between the Finance Ministries of the two countries. In particular they discussed the sharing of information and experience. The two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreement on cooperation between the Finance Ministries of Mongolia and China. 
The Chairman of China Xi Jinping initiated the idea to create an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Government of China is working hard to establish the bank in the near future. 
Discussions are underway and there are expectations that 15 Asian countries including Mongolia and China are expected to join to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as members. 

Economic outlook for Mongolia, April 2014
April 28 (Mongolian Economy) In the beginning of April, at a press meeting, Prime Minister Altankhuyag admitted the Mongolian economy is not in good shape. However, he stressed that the reason behind a weak economy is mainly due to external factors. It is true that the commodity prices, which are important for Mongolia, are all down this year. But is there anything else that Mongolia can do internally to improve the economy?
April also saw the release of several reports from major foreign donors, such as ADB, World Bank and IMF. A brief insight into these reports and what each entails for Mongolia follows.
Please click here to see more details.
The World Economic Outlook of the International Monetary Fund
According to the world economic outlook of the IMF, released at the beginning of April (see below table), the economies of most developed countries are doing well so far and will do better in 2015. For instance, the US economy has dipped in 2013 at a growth rate of 1.9 percent. Yet, because of the recovery of consumption, accounting for almost 70% of the economy, the US growth rate in 2014 is expected to stay strong at 2.8 percent followed by 3 percent in 2015. Europe is still in a recovery phase from the Greece shock in 2012. However, liquidity towards the region has also increased for the last two years. Hence, the growth rate is recovering from -0.5% to 1.2% and 1.5% in 2014 and 2015 respectively. 
On the other hand, the growth rate of Emerging markets will slow down at around 5% in 2014 and 2015. Particularly, investors are worrying about the sustainability of the economy in China. So, we will explain further about China’s economy later on. 
The Commodity Price Outlook of IMF
As you see below, even with the robust economy growth in both the developed and emerging economies, the outlook of the commodity price is grim. The main cause may be China’s change in economic structure, as China has been consuming quite significant amount of commodities through the last 5 years. 
Is China’s Spending Pattern Shifting (away from Commodities)?
Below is the long-term forecast of commodity price and the growth rate of China forecast by IMF. As you can see, the Chinese economy will slow down gradually to around 6.5% in 2019. The growth rate in China will still be quite significant. However, the IMF believes that the commodity price will consolidate in the next 5 years. 
One of the reasons for the weak commodity price with relatively strong economic growth in China can be explained by the change of the patterns of the consumption in China. Compared with 10 years ago, the rate of consumption of commodity and metal has halved in 2012 as you see below. Industry experts predict that they will spend even less on commodities in the future. 
Basically, this is because China has already built up massive infrastructure during the last decade. So, the growth of its economy will be reliant on service sectors like consumption. Also, because of the higher labor cost, it has become more difficult for China’s manufacturing sector to compete globally.
The graphs below will explain the correlation between income level and commodity consumption rate in developed nations in the past.
It is true that as income increases, the consumption of energy will increase. However, the investment to fixed assets will stop to increase once the investment to major infrastructure projects has finished. If you look at China, Government investment on public infrastructure has increased considerably in the last few years and the level of investment was much higher compared to other economies. These investments saw an upswing in commodity prices until 2011. However, because the level of investment was abnormally high compared with the other economies, the driver of the economic growth will be shifted to the service sector in the future. 
The level of private consumption in China, on the other hand, has been lower compared with other economies at a similar stage. Therefore, this expected shift will drive the economy in the future. The demand for commodities will not be as high when the economy was driven by heavy investment in public infrastructure.
Therefore, even will relatively high growth of China at 6-7% until 2020, the commodity price may remain weak. 
The Assessment of IMF of Emerging Economies in the World including Mongolia
Below table shows the most updated GDP forecast of Emerging Market and Developing Economies, according to the IMF. It says the economic growth rate of Mongolia was the highest among those nations in 2013. Mongolia is likely to maintain its surprising rate of growth in 2014 with 12.9% assuming Oyu Tolgoi and the Government reach an agreement . However, the rate of growth in 2014will slow down to 7-9% in the next two years. 
The World Bank forecast is too optimistic because the investment related to OT remains uncertain. 
ADB’s assessment of the Mongolian Economy and Policy Recommendations
Seeing as 90% of Mongolian exports are sent to China and the contribution of the mineral sector to exports is also around 90%, the decrease in China’s appetite for commodities and a weaker commodity price is worrisome for Mongolia. In this environment, according to ADB, Mongolia is challenged by significant external imbalances because foreign direct investment has declined rapidly and some mineral exports remain weak. Growth is forecast to remain moderate in 2014 and broadly stable in 2015, inflation to decline, and the current account balanceto improve over the next 2 years, assuming the appropriate policies. The major policy priority is to address pressures on the balance of payments and foreign exchange reserves.
Based on the above scenario, ADB forecasts that the GDP in Mongolia will grow 9.5% in 2014 and 10.0% in 2015. 
We also believe that their forecast is based on the optimistic scenario that OT related income will be generated in 2014.
The Outlook and Emerging Challenges Observed by World Bank
According to World Bank, in 2014, economic policies in Mongolia are likely to repeat the expansionary path of the last year in light of continued political emphasis on double-digit economic growth. Off-budget spending through the Development Bank of Mongolia will remain as the main financing vehicle for many infrastructure projects, by passing the control of the Fiscal Stability Law. It is likely to create an additional budget deficit of 7 to 8 percent of GDP on top of the official budget. Monetary policy will also likely remain loose, including the Price Stabilization Program and the politically popular housing mortgage program.
ADB also predicts that the main policy challenge is to adjust to unsustainable macroeconomic policies to relieve BOP pressure, contain inflation, and reduce the risk of severe distress in the financial sector. Negative shocks to FDI and coal exports have intensified BOP pressures since mid-2012. These types of pressure have been compounded by highly expansionary fiscal and monetary policies that have spurred substantial credit expansion and debt accumulation, as well as boosted demand for imports. While the current foreign exchange reserves are broadly adequate, the declining trend is not sustainable. The resumption of significant foreign capital inflows may take some time despite the adoption of the new investment law. Current policy offers little room to strengthen the financial buffers to cope with possible external shocks. Mongolia needs to change course to mitigate its vulnerability to external shocks. 
Addressing these challenges requires a comprehensive package of economic policy reforms, but improvements to monetary management and fiscal policy are most urgent. Monetary policy should focus on macroeconomic and financial stability. The priority should be to gradually phased out from the BOM’s quasi-fiscal lending programs—or, if they are considered high priority, included in the budget. Procyclical fiscal policy is a major concern, although the discipline of the FSL, if adhered to, in practice and in spirit, would reduce the scope for such a policy. Needed fiscal reforms include reprioritising and reducing public expenditure, incorporating DBM off-budget expenditure into the budget (thereby subjecting it to the FSL), and developing a medium-term fiscal framework to reduce the consolidated, on- and off-budget deficit the law’s 2 percent ceiling. Expenditure reform should include improving the quality of public investment expenditure which has come under strain in view of the rapid increase in public Investment.
Frontier shares the same view with World Bank that the international reserve level and exchange rate will likely remain under continued pressure from the large gap between the current and financial/capitalaccounts. Therefore, we hope that the government will ensure a stable and sustainable growth path, minimising the possibility of boom-bust cycles and addressing the balance-of-payments situation. The immediate policy priority is to counter rising balance-of-payments pressure and inflation through regaining foreigncapital inflow and tighter economic management.
2013 was a bad year for emerging economies’ foreign exchanges. Some currencies in emerging markets have lost their value as much as 30% compared with that of the USD. However, in 2014, the direction seems to depend on each country’s economic condition. JP Morgan Asset Management has put importance on the direction of current deficit. In case the current deficit is shrinking, the pressure for foreign exchange will be softened. That is why most of the emerging economies are trying to tighten monetary policy. However, Mongolia has been loosening both the fiscal and monetary policy at a time while the economy has been losing its momentum. Therefore, we are seeing mounting pressure on the tugrug. We hope that the government will understand the risk and take measures to tighten the economy to defend the currency. 

Mongolia’s Achilles Heel
April 28 (Mongolian Economy) Even though the data from the National Statistics Office shows that the trade deficit in the first quarter has improved quite significantly, we maintain our cautious stance on the outlook of the Mongolian Economy. 
That is based on the conviction that current expansionary monetary policy by the Bank of Mongolia (BOM) is not sustainable. We urge BOM to tighten its stance as early as possible to avoid the “hard-landing” scenario. 
After looking at the most updated economic forecast of Mongolia done by World Bank, ADB and IMF, we have confirmed that the economic slowdown is eminent in Mongolia. Collectively, the outlook of Mongolia is still high with around 7-10% GDP forecast in the next three years. But, if you look at details more closely, they are based on the scenario that the Government will take the right measures to cool down the economy. 
However, if the Government will continue to follow its current expansionary policy, they are more skeptical about the economy especially after 2015. They are particularly concerned about stimulus measures taken by BOM, strong BOP pressure driven by weak FDI and current account deficit and weak governance of politically important decisions like Oyu Tolgoi. 
We believe this situation is not sustainable. And, some measures should be taken as soon as possible.
This report summarizes the view from foreign donors and investors and suggests possible measures for the Government.
Mongolian Economy 
The Mongolian Economy has grown by 12%, on average, in the last three years. And, it is expected to grow another 8-10% in the next three years according to ADB, World Bank and IMF. However, the pace of growth will slow down going forward in any scenario. 
As the current strong economic growth relies on issuance of Chinggis Bond and expansionary monetary policy, we believe loose monetary policy will result in a weaker currency, resulting in higher inflation. IMF predicts this occurrence as a risk scenario (see below). Under its weak policy scenario, the IMF forecasts that economic growth in Mongolia could be minus two years in a row in 2015 and 2016 which could be more severe than the period in 2009 when Mongolia, and the world, was impacted by the Global Financial Crisis.  
This risky scenario mirrors the scenario we have predicted 13 months ago. Our report identified the potential risk of the Mongolian Economy which we believed was due to too loose budget control. But, no many people may have paid attention our findings at that time. My current warnings regarding the economy have not changed so much from then. But, the risk of the “hard-landing” scenario , which we predicted, is the most likely to play out.
Economic Risks
This bar chart shows loan-to-deposit ratios of emerging economies in Asia, including Mongolia. The ratio has increased the most in Mongolia in the last three years. 
And the same ratio has continued to increase since December 2010. The ratio is almost equivalent to December 2008 when Mongolia’s bubble burst. 
The high loan-to-deposit ratio is the result of an expansionary monetary policy by BOM. As you see below, Credits from BOM now accounts for 22 percent of the Bank’s liabilities which has increased a mere 3.6 percent from a year ago. 
As a result, the banking system’s reliance on Central bank funding has increased dramatically in the last 18 months. As you see on the graph below, the reliance has exceeded that of major weak credit countries like Spain, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, Italy and Cyprus. And now, it looks like Mongolia may be entering a similar insolvent condition.
Speaking of non-performing loans (NPL), the ratio has increased a bit as of the end of September last year at more than 5%. This figure is comparatively low to the 20% peak after the Global Financial Crisis. However, at a time when credits increase, the ratio tends to be low. So, as the increase of the credit has softened this year, the NPL ratio will increase. 
Looking at sectors, we believe that mining, manufacturing, construction and mortgage sectors are the most vulnerable sectors. And, we have already seen some evidence of growing NPLs in these sectors as you see below. 
As for the balance sheet of the Government, charts below show the recent sharp increase of both nominal and net present value (NPV) of public debt. As you see the structure of public debt has tripled in just two years. As a result, the public debt in percentage of GDP has increased from 36% of GDP in 2011 to 63% of GDP in 2013. The Government assumes that the ratio will decrease gradually if the economy grows at 12-15% just like they did in the past.
However, as the economy will only increase modestly and currency may be weakened more than expected, the ratio may remain high in the next half a decade. In addition, the maturity of the debt of – around 1 Billion USD – is expected in 2017 and 2022. So, the government needs to finance for those in the future. To repay the debt, exports of mining, especially Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi are expected to contribute a lot. However, the revenue should be much smaller than previously anticipated because of the delay of the production and much weaker copper and coal prices. 
Going back to the situation of banks in Mongolia, below are the Stress Test Results and Stress Test Assumptions made by Moody’s. Based on the adverse scenario and highly adverse scenario, you can see how the profit ratio of the banks will be influenced. Under the highly adverse scenario, the ratio may go down to similar figures which Banks in Mongolia have experienced at the time of the Global Financial Crisis.
As explained earlier, bulk of Bank System Asset growth is funded by the central bank. If BOM will continue its current strategy, risks of higher inflation and weaker currency will be heightened. The balance sheet of the Government will deteriorate as well. Hence, a sudden shock coupled with weak BOP may lower international reserve and result in default of sovereign debt in the future. To avoid the worst-case scenario, BOM should stop injecting money to commercial banks and tighten the monetary policy. And, the Ministry of Finance should make sure that under the Fiscal Stability Law, the expenditure should be controlled more. The off-balance sheet by Development Bank of Mongolia should be added to the balance sheet as well. With those measures, the currency may not be weakened so much. And, inflation will be under control. And BOP pressures will be softened in a future. 

Government of Mongolia Resolves to Establish Project Unit for Asgat Silver Deposit
April 28 (infomongolia.com) At the regular Cabinet meeting held on April 26, 2014, one of the issues resolved was to commercialize Asgat silver deposit as a project unit under Mining Ministry of Mongolia.
The Minister of Mining D.Gankhuyag is obliged to control on conducting feasibility study and environmental impact assessment for the deposit, to provide the project’s activity with technical guidance and to monitor the implementation of process by establishing an agreement.
Moreover, authorities of the State Property Committee and “MongolRosTsvetMet” (Mongolia-Russia joint venture) are accountable to provide with geology and exploration results made on the deposit, also with pre-feasibility assessments, estimates and other relevant research documents.
The Mining Ministry deems by commencing a utilization of the Asgat silver deposit it would helpful to overcome the economic challenges facing our country today, to create a new type of export and to increase source of foreign currencies.
Recently, the “MongolRosTsvetMet” LLC sent an official document to Mining Ministry of Mongolia citing that there is no current context of financial opportunities to start circulating the Asgat silver deposit. The reasons are the fluorspar production by the company stopped since the second quarter of 2013, because major customer, the Russian Federation, has stopped buying; transportation tariff in the PR of China is increased and sales tax rate is also high, besides reserves of gold deposits used to exploitation are finished and some deposits are listed within the prohibited area.
Therefore, Government considered it’s appropriate to establish a project unit by conducting testing technology on silver deposit’s samples and feasibility studies to develop the deposit, because there is no opportunity for “MongolRosTsvetMet” LLC to finance the project unit.
According to Parliamentary Resolution No.27 issued in 2007, the Asgat silver deposit is listed as the deposit of strategic importance. When the Asgat silver deposit’s mineral reserves were determined, the geology and exploration works for were made under the Government fund, thus due to Mineral Resources Law, Mongolia owns up to 50% of the deposit.
Asgat silver deposit is located in Nogoonnuur Sum of Bayan-Ulgii Aimag.

Minister S.Erdene Introduces Living Standards of Households in Mongolia
April 28 (infomongolia.com) At the Cabinet meeting held on Saturday, April 26, Minister for Population Development and Social Protection Mr. S.Erdene introduced the results of a study conducted to determine the living standards of households in Mongolia.
Minister S.Erdene gave the responsibility to the relevant Ministers to use the collected data in their developing policies.
The survey was conducted between November and December of 2013 and covered 86% of Mongolian households. The data of 714 thousand households were arranged by the living standards and added to a general database of households. Also, other non-governmental organizations are able to use the database in their relevant services.
Moreover, during the meeting it was resolved to carry out some measures on socializing homeless citizens. In the frameworks of the implementation, administrative organ governors of the Capital City and Aimags are obliged to include the necessary fund in their budgets to launch an informational data on registering such citizens, to conduct social care and psychotherapy services, and involve these citizens in educational and health programs, also to assist with job orientations and job mediation. Minister S.Erdene is entrusted to provide these governors with under policy, professional and methodological advices.

The “C” Group Matches of "AFC President's Cup-2014" Commences This Week
April 28 (infomongolia.com) The “C” Group matches of the "AFC President's Cup-2014" international football tournament will be organized in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on May 01-05, 2014.
Accordingly at the Cabinet meeting held on Saturday, April 26, Finance Minister is responsible to allocate the required 250 million MNT (Tugrug) from the Government Reserve Fund.
This is first marked event to organized in Mongolia, where consecutive champion of the national league, the "Erchim” FC has been participating in the AFC President's Cup for the third time since 2012.

Government Awards Winners of International Art and Culture Competitions with Monetary Prizes
April 28 (infomongolia.com) During the Cabinet meeting held on Saturday, April 26, it was resolved to award second place winners of the Bartok-Kabalevsky-Prokofiev International Piano Competition held in the United States, students of Music and Dance College of Mongolia A.Anujin and J.Ariunzaya with a monetary prize of 14 million MNT respectively.
Also, winners of the third places of the piano competition, students O.Sumadi-Sharana, B.Suvd, B.Goomargad, M.Zaya, N.Orgil and G.Enthtsag with a 9 million MNT each.
Besides, the third place winner of the Wuhan International Acrobatic Art Festival of China, contortionists of Mongolia’s “X Roses” center, N.Tuguldursaikhan, G.Enkhgerel, G.Sarantuya and N.Munguntsetseg, who were awarded with “Bronze Lion”, will be bestowed with 34 million MNT by the Government of Mongolia.

Cabinet Meeting Resolutions in Brief: April 26, 2014
April 28 (infomongolia.com) At the Cabinet meeting held on Saturday, April 26, the following issues were resolved and some were approved to submit the State Great Khural (Parliament) of Mongolia.
- The Asian Association for Budget Expenditure Management annual meeting is scheduled to take place in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on June 11-13, 2014. The Finance Minister Ch.Ulaan is entrusted to organize the meeting with support of international organizations in Mongolia.
- The “Additional Financing and Technical Assistance Grant for Food and Nutrition Social Welfare Project” established between Mongolian Government and the Asian Development Bank was resolved to submit the Parliament.
The Asian Development Bank approved the Project in December 2013 that aims to provide a more efficient and transparent delivery of social insurance and social welfare, beyond the successful targeted food stamp program, through better policy, benefit targeting, capacity development for central and local government officials, and improved information technology processes. The Project amounts 20 million USD from the Asian Development Fund and 500 thousand USD from the Technical Assistance Special Fund.
- It was resolved to submit the Parliament a bill "To Ratify the Engineering and Technology Higher Education Project Loan Agreement" established between the Government of Mongolia and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Mongolian Freestyle Wrestlers Grab 12 Medals from 2014 Senior Asian Championships
April 28 (infomongolia.com) The 2014 Senior Asian Championships in Greco-Roman, Freestyle and Female Wrestling were successfully finished in Astana, Kazakhstan on April 27, 2014.
On the third of the Championships, the Female Wrestling were held in 53kg, 55kg, 60kg, 63kg, and 69kg weight divisions, where IMS P.Orkhon (55 kg) and IMS Sh.Tumentsetseg (69 kg) have competed in gold medal contests, but both were defeated to their opponents and achieved Silver medals.
Also, IMS S.Tserenchimed, who competed in the Women's 60 kg, division grabbed the 12th medal, Bronze, from the 2014 Senior Asian Championships, and as of other female wrestlers IMS E.Davaachimeg (53 kg), IMS B.Nyamgerel (63 kg), and G.Urtnasan (75 kg) could not take any medal.
Consequently, Mongolian Freestyle Women’s Team (57 points) achieving a total of 4 Silver and 1 Bronze medals stood in the third place after Japan (66 points) and China (64 points).
As of Men’s Freestyle Team (63 points) ranks in the second place with 1 Gold, 3 Silver and 3 Bronze medals after Iran (70 points with 7 Gold, 1 Silver, 3 Bronze).
Freestyle Women’s Team results in the 2014 Senior Asian Championships
Gold - Japan 7 medals (Gold 3, Silver 0, Bronze 4)
Silver - China 6 medals (Gold 2, Silver 2, Bronze 2)
Bronze - Mongolia 5 medals (Gold 0, Silver 4, Bronze 1)
Women's Freestyle - 53kg
1. Xeuchun ZHONG (CHN)
2. Thi Lua NGUYEN (VIE)
3. Hikari SUGAWARA (JPN)
3. Roazalia TILEGENOVA (KGZ)
Women's Freestyle - 55kg
1. Sun JONG IN (PRK)
2. PUREVJAV Orkhon (MGL)
3. Yajing GUAN (CHN)
Women's Freestyle - 60kg
1. Lan ZHANG (CHN)
3. SUKHEE Tserenchimed (MGL)
3. Haruka SATO (JPN)
Women's Freestyle - 63kg
1. Yurika ITO (JPN)
3. Yekaterina LARIONOVA (KAZ)
Women's Freestyle - 69kg
1. Sara DOSHO (JPN)
3. Bin YANG (CHN)
Women's Freestyle - 75kg
2. Feng ZHOU (CHN)
3. Joyti JOYTI (IND)
3. Hiroe SUZUKI (JPN)
As a final result of the 2014 Senior Asian Championships in Greco-Roman, Freestyle and Female Wrestling, Mongolian National Wrestling Team in the Men’s and Women’s Freestyle categories achieved a total of 12 medals (1 Gold, 7 Silver and 4 Bronze) so far.
The 2014 Asian Wrestling Championships medal table (Gold+Silver+Bronze)
1. Iran - 11 medals (7+1+3)
2. Kazakhstan - 14 (5+2+7)
3. Japan - 13 (3+3+7)
4. Kyrgyzstan - 9 (2+3+4)
5. China - 10 (2+2+6)
6. South Korea - 6 (2+0+4)
7. Mongolia - 12 (1+7+4)
8. Uzbekistan - 6 (1+1+4)
9. North Korea - 5 (1+1+3)
10. Tajikistan - 3 (0+2+1)
11. India - 6 (0+1+5)
12. Vietnam - 1 (0+1+0)

Minister Ch.Ulaan Meets with His Counterpart
Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Finance Ch.Ulaan Monday met with his counterpart Mr Lou Jiwei during his working visit at invitation of Mr Ulaan on April 28-29.
The sides talked matters about establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank /AIIB/, expansion of fruitful cooperation between the two ministries and exchanging information and experience in frames of the cooperation.
Furthermore, a mutual understanding memorandum on cooperation between the two ministries was inked by the parties.
This bank, initiated by the President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, is supposed to improve economy of Asian countries and to support infrastructure matters and our country will participate in this bank project as one of 15 founder countries of Asia.

Ambassador of Mongolia to Federal Republic of Germany, Mr. Ts.Bolor Accredited
April 28 (infomongolia.com) The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Federal Republic of Germany Mr. Tsolmon BOLOR with residency in Berlin has presented a Letter of Credence to the Federal President Mr. Joachim Gauck on April 25, 2014.
Following the credentials handing ceremony, two dignitaries held a private meeting and at the beginning of meeting newly accredited Ambassador Ts.Bolor conveyed greetings of the state head of Mongolia.
At the meeting Ambassador Ts.Bolor said he is highly please to take his office in the special year of celebration of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Mongolia and Germany that marks in 2014 and pledged to take every efforts to foster traditional friendly comprehensive partnership relations and cooperation between the two countries.
Federal President Joachim Gauck wished success in his diplomatic mission and mentioned with pleasure a meeting with the President of Mongolia during his state visit to Germany in 2012. President Joachim Gauck expressed his satisfaction that the both Germany and Mongolia takes joint active endeavors for the implementation of agreements reached during the meeting and a visit of the Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel to Mongolia conducted in 2011.
Also, parties exchanged views and comprehensively discussed on a coal gasification plant project to establish in Mongolia, the Mongolian-German joint mining technological institute and the Mongolian studies in Germany.
Afterwards, Ambassador Ts.Bolor re-affirmed that the Federal President is invited to visit Mongolia at his convenient time and wished him robust health, happiness and further successes in his presidential activities.
At the Cabinet meeting held on October 05, 2013, it was resolved to recall some envoys in foreign states and new Ambassadors to succeed were promoted, where incumbent Ambassador Ts.Bolor succeeds the Ambassador Mr. Baldorj DAVAADORJ.
Prior to his office term, Ambassador Ts.Bolor used to be an advisor to the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Federal Republic of Germany B.Davaadorj.
Mongolia and the Federal Republic of Germany have established the diplomatic relations on January 31, 1974.

Parliamentarians Meet FBI Delegation
Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) Members of the working group in responsible for drawing up a bill on investigation service met last Friday a delegation of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The working group comprised D.Battsogt, D.Lundeejantsan, M.Batchimeg and S.Demberel MPs, and present at this meeting were Mr Ronald D. Curtis and Mr Timothy J. Altomare, special agents of the FBI; and Mr Russell Hunt, a legal attaché of the US Embassy in China.
At the beginning of the meeting, Battsogt MP mentioned that the State Great Khural is discussing the draft law on investigation service which has 40 clauses in six chapters. “We are studying the same laws of foreign countries,” he said, and introduced to them directions of this law.
The working group members clarified from the delegation some functions of the FBI, and discussed related matters.

Standing Committee Head Receives ADB Delegation
Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) Head of the parliamentary Standing committee on budget Ts.Davaasuren Monday met a delegation headed by Mr Robert Schoellhammer, country director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for Mongolia.
Expressing thanks to the Standing committee head for receiving him, Mr Schoellhammer introduced projects which are being implemented by the ADB in Mongolia on modernizing a sewage water management in Darkhan city, refining upon payment system of the Bank of Mongolia (BoM), renovating the public transport in Ulaanbaatar city and improving skills for employment.
Mr Schoellhammer said the Asian Development Fund (ADF) has proposed to give a financing of USD 25 million for the project on skills for employment that focuses on supporting ongoing reforms to establish a market-responsive, and competency-based technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system for the agriculture, construction and road-transportation sectors in Mongolia.
The project on refining upon the sewage water management for Darkhan city aims to renovate pipelines of the local city and to realize an urban development policy in order to form a nice condition for living.
In response, Mr Davaasuren said these projects should be fruitful for bringing positive changes in specific sectors, adding that he will back the projects.

Initiative on Northeast Asian Security Backed
Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) Ambassador of Mongolia to Turkey B.Batkhishig attended a regular meeting of the Special Working Group (SWG) and Senior Officials Committee (SOC) of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) held in Ankara on April 24 and 25.
The meeting backed inclusion of a provision in support of the Mongolian President’s Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on Northeast Asian Security initiative into the Declaration which is expected to issue at CICA summit in Shanghai in May 2014. The document supports International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries in Ulaanbaatar and Mongolia’s nuclear-free status.
Joined CICA in 2001, Mongolia is one of its founders.

Mongolian Foreign Deputy Minister’s Trip to Southeast Asia Ongoing
April 28 (infomongolia.com) Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, Mr. Damba GANKHUYAG who is paying a working visit to the Lao People's Democratic Republic, had a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith on April 28, 2014, reports the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia.
At the meeting, the sides deliberately discussed a broad range of issue concerning Asia-Pacific regional cooperation mechanism, including East Asian Summit, Mongolia’s willingness to become a partner of ASEAN Dialogue, International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing countries in Ulaanbaatar, and the UN Human Rights Council and UN Security Council non-permanent member elections.
The Lao Foreign Minister accepted gratefully an invitation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia L.Bold to pay a visit to Mongolia at his convenience.
On the same day, Deputy Minister D.Gankhuyag was received by the Minister of Public Health and Chairman of the Lao part of the Mongolia-Laos intergovernmental commission Eksavang Vongvichit. The sides expressed a satisfaction with the completion of “Lao-Mongolian Friendship” hospital’s extension and touched upon issues concerning bilateral economic cooperation.
Moreover, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and the Lao People's Democratic Republic held a consultative meeting in Vientiane city on April 24, 2014.
Co-chaired by Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia D.Gankhuyag and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Laos Sounthone Xayachack, the meeting discussed issues concerning bilateral political and economic relations and cooperation and certain issues related to the integration in Asia and the Pacific.
Mongolia is carrying out some projects and programs charted to develop animal husbandry and veterinary in Laos and extend the Laos-Mongolia Friendship hospital founded with Mongolia’s aid and has launched a project for rice cultivation in Laos with a view to supply its domestic needs.
Mongolia and the Lao People's Democratic Republic have established the diplomatic relations on September 12, 1962.
Vice Foreign Minister in LaosMontsame, April 28

Local Administration Receives Japanese Delegates
Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) The administration of Khovsgol province received Japanese delegation led by Mr Yutaka Sakuma, a head of administration office of Niigata prefecture in the province, last week.
The sides talked cooperation matters such as to involve local business people, specialized doctors, senior pupils and journalists in experience exchanging program, then agreed to establish a cooperation memorandum during UB city and Niigata prefecture joint "Open Day" to be organized in this August.
During the stay, the delegates legged local factories of cashmere and of concrete and witnessed hotel operation after visited Khovsgol lake.

Congratulation Letters Handed in Celebration of Cooperation Anniversary
Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) Celebrating the 20thanniversary of establishment of friendly relationship and cooperation between Mongolia and China, state heads of the two countries sent congratulation letters to each other.
The letters were sent from the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj to the President of China Xi Jinping, from the Prime Minister of Mongolia N.Altankhuyag to the Premier of the State Council of China Li Keqiang, and from the Foreign Minister of Mongolia L.Bold to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. Congratulation letters have also been sent to Ts.Elbegdorj from Xi Jinping, to N.Altankhuyag from Li Keqiang, and to L.Bold from Wang Yi.
Twenty years ago, Mongolia and China signed a memorandum of friendly relationship and cooperation on April 29.

Vice Speaker Receives Russian Ambassador
Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) Parliamentary vice Speaker M.Enkhbold received on Monday Ambassador of Russia to Mongolia Iskander Azizov in the State House.
At the meeting, the parties talked about current economic and political states of the two countries and future tendencies of cooperation between them. The Russian Ambassador highlighted great importance they attached to celebration of anniversary of Khalkh River battles, and invited Mr Enkhbold to Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum taking place this May 22-24.

Government to Socialize Homeless
Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) A Cabinet meeting last Saturday agreed to take some measures aimed at socialization of homeless people.
These measure include forming of a database to collect information of the homeless, rendering of social welfare, psychotherapy, educational and health services to them, and assisting in job training and employment – all the actions to be carried out under financing from the local budgets. Human Development and Social Protection Minister S.Erdene will be responsible for overall supervision of these projects.
The same meeting assigned Ulaanbaatar Mayor E.Bat-Uul to renew and expand the activities of ‘Philosophy of Life’ training center affiliated to City Governor.
According to a population and housing survey of 2010, there were 1,018 homeless people in the country. However, social welfare projects by municipal authorities registered 2,800 homeless people in 2011.

Mining Ministry to Cooperate with MNMA
Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) The Ministry of Mining and the Mongolian National Mining Association /MNMA/ have established a mutual understanding memorandum on cooperation.
This document was signed Friday by R.Jigjid, the State Secretary of the Ministry and by D.Damba, the president of the MNMA with aims to strengthen partnership between state and private sectors, to reflect entrepreneurs' opinions in the state policies, to provide private sector's participation in law making process and to share true information to the public.
The sides also intend to advertise social responsibility of companies in mining sphere including responsible mining principles, to report work results and to give a comprehensive support on mutually initiated actions.
Furthermore, the parties agreed to co-organize annual exhibition and conference of mining sector themed “Discover Mongolia”, “Minetech” and “Safety First” in frames of the cooperation.

"I am Edith Piaf" Monodrama to Be Staged
Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) A winner of the International Monodrama Festival in Kosovo Ts.Bayasgalan is to stage her monodramas in the State Academic Drama Theater on May 2-3.
Our actress Bayasgalan is planning to perform monodramas of “I am Edith Piaf” and “Sound of Sky” and her concert themed “Benefis” will be staged as well.  

Stock exchange news for April 28
Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades held Monday, a total of 18 thousand and 328 shares of 18 JSCs were traded costing MNT seven million 839 thousand and 806.10.
"Remikon" /14 thousand and 235 units/, "Genco tour bureau” /2,588 units/, "Khokh gan” /769 units/, "Gutal” /250 units/ and "Hermes center” /100 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Gutal" (MNT two million 767 thousand and 500), "Remikon" (MNT two million 131 thousand and 218), "Darkhan nekhii" (MNT one million 132 thousand and 880), "Talkh chikher” (MNT 660 thousand) and "Ulaanbaatar khivs" (MNT 400 thousand).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 611 billion 395 million 532 thousand and 898. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,685.61, decreasing by MNT 68.01 or 0.43% against the previous day.
Teachers exchange begins between Mongolia and S.Korea
Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) An opening of Mongolia-S.Korea teachers exchange program was held in the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding in Seoul on April 25.
From Mongolia some 25 teachers representing teaching staffers of Ulaanbaatar and remote provinces will work in 13 schools and kindergartens in cities such as Seoul, Incheon, Jeju, and Changwon until July 18. While working there, Mongolian teachers learn experiences from their S.Korean colleagues.
Present at the opening were representatives of Mongolia’s Education Ministry, Embassy of Mongolia in Seoul, S.Korean Education Ministry, together with principals of S.Korean schools where our delegation will work.

Young boxers capture 23 medals from Irkutsk
Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) Mongolian junior boxers successfully took part in an international boxing tournament named after the Victory Day on the Great Patriotic War held April 24-27 in Irkutsk, Russia.
The competitions ran in three age divisions--young, junior and youth, and Mongolia was represented there by a team comprised 40 people, of them 29 are boxers.
Mongolian boxers grabbed a total of 23 medals from the competitions. Boxers competed in the weight categories of 44, 46, 49, 54, 64 and 66 kg won gold medals. Seven boxers captured silver medals in the 34, 52, 54, 57, 60, 66 and 75 kg bouts. Other ten boxers won bronze medals.
They are trained by four coaches, and two Mongolians were worked at the judges’ panel.

Mongolia at 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championships
Ulaanbaatar, April 28 (MONTSAME) Table tennis men’s and women’s national selected teams are participating in the 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championships which started on Monday in Tokyo, Japan.
The men’s national team of Mongolia is competing in the fourth division, whereas the women’s team--in the third division. The Mongolian players are headed by Ch.Amarsanaa, the secretary-general of the Mongolia’s Table Tennis Federation, and are coached by T.Enkhtor.
By the schedule, the players will start their first games on Monday.
The first division (Championship division) comprises 24 teams. The top eighteen teams of the first division and the top two teams of the second division at the 2012 World Team Championships will be guaranteed a place in the competition. The other four spots will be based on the latest ITTF Computer World Team Ranking before the Championships.
The championships will last until May 5.

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