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Jon Springer
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I write about emerging and frontier markets in Asia. I now primarily contribute work to Forbes Asia. My most recent work and my complete bio can be found on Forbes Asia's site: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonspringer/ If it is easier, you can find my recent work sorted by country on this... More
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  • Mongolia Weekly Update Archives 08: October 23, 2012 To December 11, 2012 2 comments
    Dec 16, 2012 9:03 AM | about stocks: ASPXF, EGI, ERDCF, GMGLF, TRQ, KHRIF, BZDLF, LKYSF, MNAP, MERMF, MOAEF, MOAEY, MNGGF, MOGLF, PRTDF, PRPCF, SLMZF, SGQRF, VOYRF

    Archives have name of poster & date at the top of each, and the date & time stamp at the bottom of each post. These are prior posts from the dates indicated. To search the posts for particular data or companies use control-F on PCs and command-F on Macs.

    For current news posts, links to other Mongolia-related pages, and current author disclosures, please go to Mongolia Weekly Update.

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        New article on Mongolia by me: http://bit.ly/PnS4GM

        23 Oct, 09:43 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 4

      • Guest Investor Comments (20)

        Bad, bad, bad news from Mongolia....

        -----
        RIO Tinto is embroiled in another potential Asian corruption scandal with Australian mining lawyer Sarah Armstrong being held in booming, resource-rich Mongolia.

        It is believed the 32-year-old chief lawyer for Rio subsidiary SouthGobi Resources is being held as a witness to alleged corruption and money-laundering.

        A spokesman for Foreign Minister Bob Carr said Ms Armstrong had been detained as a witness and she still had her passport.

        Four months ago, she signed a complaint against the Mongolian government.

        Ms Armstrong had been stopped on Sunday as she tried to board a flight at Ulaan Baatar airport to Hong Kong.

        http://bit.ly/SfUl5r
        ---

        Another article makes clear that she was detained by the Anti-Corruption Authority of Mongolia in connection with SouthGobi Sands investigation

        ---
        Sarah Armstrong had her passport taken away after being detained at the airport in the capital, Ulaanbaatar.

        The 32-year-old has been questioned by anti-corruption officials in relation to activities at a coal mine in the country's south.

        http://bit.ly/XP37ZA
        ---

        Is there anyone else who still thinks that Anti-Corruption Authority is a legitimate law enforcement agency and not a political repression tool as I maintained all along?

        23 Oct, 10:56 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 4

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        GI. If you would not mind, please repost that data in comments of my new article http://bit.ly/PnS4GM

        (you'll have to change one word in your post to post it again as Seeking Alpha blocks people from making identical posts)

        Not sure what to make of this yet to be honest. would like to give this a little time to unfold though, once again, at first blush I think this is bad news for FDI and the investment climate in Mongolia.

        The U.S. Dept. of State has noted for some years in its investment climate report on Mongolia that the ability of the government to arbitrarily detain people from exiting the country was a problematic issue that foreigners periodically encountered.

        23 Oct, 11:05 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        There are 4 anti corruption authorities in Mongolia the GIA, Criminal Police ,a unit within the Prosecutors office and the recently established IAAC which was created as a requirement by the Americans to have MCA money theoretically available to Mongolia . The ABC article you refer to doesn't say which authority detained her?Are you suggesting that anti corruption agencies from other countries aren't political repression tools? From what I can see they might just be doing their job. This isn't good after the Stern Hu case.She hasn't been arrested only delayed for questioning lets see what happens next.

        23 Oct, 02:45 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Sarah Armstrong arrest hits Bloomberg TV http://bloom.bg/R0aWXg-mn~bHNUpT2ae1tljAJ9gR...

        25 Oct, 03:07 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        According to Travis Hamilton and many other news sources Sarah Armstrong has not been arrested so lets use the correct terms.This story is going to get a lot bigger following the raid on South Gobi offices in UB. Lucky for Hamilton that he had people on the ground to ring immediately during the raid to dump the stock.Is she really this naive or is it a clever tactic, can't wait for the next installment. The Austrade office/Consul is way out of their depth with this one.

        25 Oct, 02:50 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        point of correction. not arrested. simply held by police for questioning and not free.

        but technically, not arrested.

        25 Oct, 03:01 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • SMaturin Comments (642)

        Does Mongolia have a writ of habeus corpus statute?

        What is the technical difference between detention and arrest, without due process of law to prevent unwarranted detention?

        25 Oct, 10:09 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        article by me in Forbes about a Mongolian businessman http://onforb.es/UFr1b4

        please click early and often... :-)

        25 Oct, 02:43 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 5

      • SMaturin Comments (642)

        Great article, Jon. Thanks.

        The Sarah Armstrong on Bloomberg link above 404's.

        25 Oct, 09:24 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Thanks Smaturin!

        Here's the link to the Bloomberg story: http://tinyurl.com/9hk...

        25 Oct, 09:30 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Valley Boy Comments (1537)

        That story was inspirational, Jon, and well worth telling; thanks for sharing.

        26 Oct, 10:52 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • KingFox Comments (17)

        Ahhh..... see its a positive thing for investors in Mongolia, that Ms. Armstrong is being detained ?! Will be interesting to see what the fall out of this situation is with the Rio relationship specifically. Any timeline on when an announcement for the Chinese power agreement might be made ?

        25 Oct, 10:05 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Greetings KingFox and welcome.

        Not sure what will become of the situation with Ms. Armstrong. For the moment its more negative PR for Mongolia in a year they are experiencing declining FDI.

        As for a timeline on the Chinese power agreeement. I don't believe in timelines until deals are done, signed, and consummated. No idea. Maybe someone will have insight to offer next week at the Mongolia Investment Summit.

        25 Oct, 10:11 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • KingFox Comments (17)

        Looks like some 'upbeat' comments/news coming out of Peabody Energy regarding the resumption of talks with the Mongolian gov't re: coal and the western block of the TT deposit, hitting the wire

        26 Oct, 10:03 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • KingFox Comments (17)

        sorry it was CEO, Gregory Boyce speaking at the Melbourne Mining Club in Aussie land ........ here is a Reuters link

        http://reut.rs/XtCSJ3

        26 Oct, 10:47 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Thanks King Fox

        On a sllllllowwww internet connection at airport, will have to check it out on on the other side. Peabody (NYSE:BTU) getting a deal done for Big TT finally would be positive news all around.

        26 Oct, 01:03 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        FYI all, I will be archiving comments later this weekend so the page loads faster. Comments will be deleted from this page but moved into an accessible archives blog. Thank you, Jon

        26 Oct, 01:04 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Archives 7 http://bit.ly/ThkGMJ

        28 Oct, 01:51 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Good overview of where things currently stand with Mongolia's investment climate from Oxford Business Group (in Mongolian first, scroll down the page to get to the English version) http://bit.ly/U6Dcse

        28 Oct, 04:19 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        http://bit.ly/Ybanit
        Interesting article on money laundering as it relates to the "Tony Blair of the Steppes" Enkhbayar.

        28 Oct, 02:47 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 0

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Thanks for the link DEF. Original post of this article was on 17 September 2012 here http://bit.ly/RfedC8

        28 Oct, 06:42 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        SODON excerpted the article 20 September 2012 here http://bit.ly/PeKrBs

        28 Oct, 06:45 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        The guys at M.A.D. Investment Solutions pen The Mongolian Tango, A complicated, dynamic, sometimes violent yet sensual dance between Foreign Investors and the Mongolian Government. http://bit.ly/WUGm8I

        29 Oct, 04:08 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 4

      • H. T. Love Comments (11474)

        That was a good read Jon.

        Thanks for the link.

        HardToLove

        29 Oct, 04:19 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        An article about trying to save the Children's Park in Ulaanbaatar, one of the last green space in the city's center, and by far the largest http://bit.ly/WUGzIX

        All parts of the park have already been sold off and it is likely only a matter of time until it is developed. It would take a public groundswell of support against development of this park to stop it.

        29 Oct, 04:11 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        The children's park was created by Tsendenbal's wife Anastasia Filatova who also created the Russian modeled College of Music and Dance.He was killed by a Russian Doctor allegedly by injection.
        http://bit.ly/Ru7KFD
        It is the Americans who have been speculating on this park area. Lee Cashell in particular has been spruiking it .UB is developing into separate small towns eg. Japan Town and this area has been actively promoted as the American area.It seems to reach down to the Hilton building which came to a construction halt in 2008.
        Also a comment about your story on Davaadorj he was given the old Circus building a prime piece of real estate opposite the State Department Store by Enkhbayar after he "retired". The Japanese didn't want him to break their record of the number of contests won 36? so they started a media campaign against him which included him being banned from competitions for participating in a charity soccer match in UB. The weaker spoon fed journalists such as Mark Willacy wrote stories about the poor behaviour of Mongolian wrestlers in Japan and didn't look for the truth.

        30 Oct, 02:34 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        well... there is one side of a story on several stories

        as I understand it, the Children's Park is owned predominantly by two different Mongolian conglomerates that respectively have different members of Mongolia's 10 richest people among their CEOs/chairs

        to put the Children's Park story in perspective, I'll just mention that the over-developed area of Zaissan was supposed to be a protected nature reserve

        the American property developer you mention has no land ownership in the Children's Park area; that's just factually incorrect from talking both to him and his competitors

        ***

        as for Davagdorj's history...
        - in earlier drafts of the article that were too long for the magazine, the aspects of the circus story were discussed, though there are multiple versions of that story and it is not just one-sided... but anyway, its one of those things that people love to debate
        - the reason there was a suspension stemming from participation in the soccer match was because at the time he was skipping sumo matches due to injury; the sumo federation concluded it looked bad if he said that he was physically unable to perform and then was running about on a soccer pitch (for a charity event for kids); I think the sumo federation wasn't comparing like sporting situations but that was their choice

        30 Oct, 06:16 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        The comments on the Children's Park were verbatim from a private conversation with LC . perhaps you could interview him and see if his vision for the area has changed?
        Davaadorj did have an injury prior to the charity soccer match but was banned from competition because the Sumo federation enforced their strict code of behavior which involves many seemingly strange things. This caused an outrage in Mongolia at the time.They did not want a Mongolian to break the Japanese held record.

        31 Oct, 01:39 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Well, we both had verbatim conversations with LC with, apparently, different data.

        (there is not a surprised look on my face)

        31 Oct, 01:42 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Oliver Belfitt-Nash of Monet Capital has moved upward and onward. Now replacing him with Monet Capital's news service is Vidur Jain. If you would like to subscribe, e-mail jain.v@monet.mn

        Vidur's first news and notes was today. His note was an informative doozy laden with opinion and personal insight. Here it is:

        "Amidst all the recent uncertainty S&P have lowered the outlook on Mongolia from positive to stable. The government's attempt to renegotiate the OT agreement, and uncertain mineral demand and prices are some of the underlying causes for this. However they do believe the country has strong growth potential, and that nominal GDP growth will exceed the growth in debt."

        "The mining minister appears to continue with his mission to renegotiate the O.T investment agreement and is now promising to resign if unsuccessful. Though this is worrying at first glance to investors, we believe this is likely a political stunt for the party to appear to be sticking to the campaign promises made to get the nationalist vote. The government knows that the world is watching their actions closely and will not jeopardize future foreign investment and relations."

        "South Gobi Sands (NYSEMKT:SGS) lawyer Sarah Armstrong is being questioned as part of the government's investigation into corruption between SGS and the former Director of Minerals authority of Mongolia D. Batkhuyag and a separate tax evasion case (The company allegedly did not pay approx.. 125 Million USD in taxes). Ms. Armstrong is being prevented to leave the country for ease of questioning as she is one of the few senior people in the country. This case is getting a lot of international media attention, which some feel could be a ploy by SGS to divert attention from the actual investigation."

        [note: South Gobi Sands is the business name of SouthGobi Resources (OTC:SGQRF) in Mongolia]

        29 Oct, 08:59 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        will eventually write up some things from the first day of the Mongolia Investment Summit yesterday, but on four hours sleep and need to prepare for the 2nd day today

        at the conference yesterday, the most salient point of heated discussion about the foreign investment law (which everyone concurred needs revision) was that there was historical precedent and necessity for the foreign investment law stemming from 2005 when British owned Soco sold the only producing oil fields in Mongolia at the time to PetroChina, in a deal that was wholly against national, and national security, interests http://bit.ly/QT0RxC

        30 Oct, 06:22 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        http://bit.ly/VDVK4g
        There are several inaccuracies in this article regarding Sarah Armstrong. She wasn't going to Hong Kong, she was heading to Beijing to meet an Australian Lawyer. She text messaged this person to say that her passport had been taken. Perhaps it has been returned now but it seems Senator Carr is wrong.
        Australia has a hopelessly inadequate presence in UB for a country that has spent $63 million since 1995.They have a 6 month lease on an office in the Eznis building and the office is run by the wife of a senior Mongolian Legal figure trained in UB and Melbourne by Australians funded by Ausaid. Lets see how they go calling in a few favors.

        31 Oct, 02:29 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        off the record speculations about Ms. Armstrong at the Mongolia Investment Summit varied widely

        my guess is she will be detained for a good while

        can't really say much more

        ***

        a persistent frustration for me is a lot of people will tell me what they think is the truth, but only on condition that its off the record... then again, people keep being truthful with me because I respect their desires when they tell me what they say is off the record

        31 Oct, 02:50 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Stilldazed Comments (1322)

        JS,
        Ouch, what a conundrum. Just like in high school, can you keep a secret? Well, I am not supposed to say anything but....
        So , they can't keep a secret and if you want to be properly informed, you have to keep the secret (I feel the pressure building under my TFH). Who's on first? ;-)

        1 Nov, 03:56 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Speaking of, off the record,

        Next article I write about Mongolia will advocate hold or sell everything related to Mongolia, and to raise cash for investment when things shake out.

        Going to take a few days to get it written and vetted (might take a week to get it right and through SA editing process); thus giving advanced heads up here. Will be flying all day tomorrow/Friday.

        Right now *should* be a good buy value on stocks, but things going on with the government, FDI, banks, geopolitics, et cetera... everything points toward another leg down, and another round of anti-Mongolia investing sentiment.

        The narrative of investing in Mongolia *was* that after reversing the wind fall profit tax of 2006 (the 68% one) in 2010, (along with getting the Oyu Tolgoi deal done in 2009), it showed that the government had learned the lessons that going too far with resource nationalism would crush the economy (as two banks failed in 2009 and the economy tanked during the global crisis), and that it would not happen again...

        Well... apparently... lesson not learned. Now, the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. While the government pushes resource nationalism and makes laws incredibly difficult for foreign investment; FDI is drying up, foreign companies are cancelling deals or at best holding back on them until policy changes, and the banking sector is destabilized (though no one will say so on the record).

        The extent to which the government policies are going "too far" will ultimately cause them to have to reverse field "too far" once again, causing another boom... but that's later... not now... and that is problematic too... because the government needs to find more reasoned middle grounds, yet keeps swinging to extremes which makes life not only difficult for investors, but far more importantly, is creating a mess of problems for Mongolia's citizens

        For my own investments in Mongolia, I'm philosophizing about getting out or holding. Things can reverse field quick, and will have to at some point. But, first, it seems like there will be a rough road.

        1 Nov, 08:00 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 5

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Just so you understand this isn't simple hearsay. At least 6 different sources told me they thought at least one Mongolian bank may collapse in the next 6 months. The system is tight on money.

        No will go on the record. No one will validate me saying it. Pretty much, whoever told me this, didn't tell me this, because they didn't, even though they did... you see.

        However, I'm an irresponsible jerk if I don't tell readers some of whom are investing in Mongolia or considering investing.

        For those with a long term perspective, in the end, things will be positive again... just buckle up and get ready for some more turbulence

        1 Nov, 08:14 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 4

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        If Sarah Armstrong is charged then Westerners will see the real Mongolian Inquisitorial system in action The words in the new constitution will mean nothing and she will be in serious trouble.There is no sentiment for her in Mongolian blogs and now that the issue is so public and popular amongst the Mongolian people these issues wont be swept or bribed away.The Australians have appointed the wife of the former Legal Advisor to the former Speaker Nyamdorj to run their office. They might find it hard to deal with the DP controlled IAAC. Nyamdorj was one of the major players in the recent arrest of Enkhbayar. The Australians should have taken a more neutral approach but instead aligned itself with one of the most dangerous factions within the MPP.
        Unfortunately we are about to see how useless foreign organizations are when it comes to helping people in trouble in Mongolia.

        1 Nov, 02:08 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        Two banks the Zoos and Anod collapsed during the GEC.One reportedly as a result of a very high profile Mongolian mining figure refusing to repay his large borrowings. The other was involved in the building of the new black market on the other side of the rail line which came to an abrupt halt after the GEC.

        1 Nov, 02:13 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        http://bit.ly/WhJP20
        If this article is true it shows a pathetic side of Rio/SGS. Did they leave her in danger whilst sitting on their butts in Hong Kong?

        3 Nov, 12:19 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        dulleyefarmer,

        No idea.

        Here's some other questions.

        Is Sarah Armstrong guilty if she was simply doing what people higher up in her organization told her to?

        Is Sarah Armstrong a negotiating chip between Mongolia and Rio Tinto?

        If you talk too loudly in bars, will it get back to the government?

        The more I hear, the less answers I have about this case. I have my doubts there are any innocent parties.

        3 Nov, 08:32 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        I find myself agreeing with you on all points!
        Why was Molyneux sacked? There has been no official reason
        http://reut.rs/RAMIFf
        This was a complex and dangerous time why was she left so exposed when other executives knew there could be trouble?
        Mongolia's investigating authorities should not be taken lightly they are tough and trained by KGB/FSB. Bat Khurts is smart and relentless and seemingly taking a shine to his new job.
        Senator Carr had the opportunity to address many issues during his recent trip to Mongolia and interview on Lateline but instead used it as a puff piece and talking about the odious Alan Jones.
        Many companies and governments take Mongolia too lightly they have it tacked on to other departments without proper representation and respect,

        3 Nov, 02:49 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Not sure what is being agreed with as I asked questions and didn't give my answers ;-)

        Bat Khurts WikiPedia page might be a good introductory read for some http://bit.ly/TBZyp6

        Some curious gossip out of Mongolia has the story that Mr. Bat Khurts was sent to Europe to nag Mr. Zorig's assassin (assassinated in 1998 http://bit.ly/SoAI8V)... then Mr. Khurts was caught and left hung out to dry in Europe by the MPP, subsequently brought back to Mongolia and now in a position leading the prosecution of members of the MPP and people who did deals with them (e.g. mining companies)

        This is gossip... a story told that may be loosely based on facts. However, gossip is indicative of public pyschology and usually has a few grains of truth.

        3 Nov, 06:51 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        Yes too all your questions. Enkhbat Damarin had nothing to do with the murder of Zorig and his kidnap etc. was a pre election stunt organized by Enkhbayar he was offered a short time in jail if he agreed to go along with the charade. There were witnesses to his murder including Zorig's wife and students seeing a man and a woman leaving his appartment. This is how political rivals are dealt with 5 previous leaders have been murdered. I wrote about the rise/fall and rise again of Khurts in a previous blog glad to see it is being accepted along with his release due to the visit by Merkels to Mongolia.

        3 Nov, 07:23 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • doubleguns Comments (6026)

        Seems a nimble investor can make money in that market but buy and hold is not so good.

        1 Nov, 08:13 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        That's an interesting question DG.

        I think one's ability to buy and hold is partially dependent on when one buys.

        Those who bough stocks in late 2009 and early 2010 on the Mongolia Stock Exchange are fine to hold...

        In the end, the story reverts to positive.

        I ran some numbers and realized that for every Mongolian citizen there is, at minimum, $350,000 of natural resources in the ground. Could be double that or more.

        Citizens earn less than $5,000 per year on average. 5% of the roads are paved. Railroad infrastructure needs to be built out. Energy infrastructure needs to build up. Mongolia neighbors 1.3 billion with a growing appetite for natural resources. GDP growth and opportunity is big time. Risk of Dutch Disease is major. Potential for all citizens to benefit with such a small population is huge *if* the elite will have the foresight to realize sharing will benefit them as well.

        ***

        Interestingly, among Mongolia Stock Exchange stocks, Remicon's share price has been resilient while the market has struggled. Makes some sense, Remicon is a concrete company... the country uses up all its homegrown concrete and cement and then needs to import more that is at a higher cost.

        Real estate prices in central Ulaanbaatar were resilient in 2009 even when the banks collapsed, though other real estate value struggled. So far, its been the same this time, but that's no guarantee. However, with construction slowing down (as foreign investment slows down), real estate supply will cease to come on line and support prices.

        Does any of that argue for buy and hold of anything. I don't know. I think my job right now is probably just to distribute cautionary words and let others take the information in hand, do their own due diligence, and decide what to do for themselves based on their personal risk appetite and investing style.

        1 Nov, 08:34 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 5

      • KingFox Comments (17)

        Power deal for OT, SG CFO resigns, looks like there is some progress here between the lines. The open looks as though there is a good bid tone for TRQ ..... and a few others.

        5 Nov, 10:55 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        I literally cannot keep up with the wave of bad news for foreign investors that keeps flowing out of Mongolia.

        Regarding the SEFIL (strategic entities foreign investment law) passed in May. The attorney with the Business Council of Mongolia (NYSEARCA:BCM) put out a memo today that *all* persons and entitities with a shareholding larger than 5% in an entity covered by SEFIL must file with the government. This, even though SEFIL supposedly doesn't kick in until there is a 33.33% holding. Although I received this memo today, the government has stated the deadline is 17 November, although the attorney for BCM believes one should submit by 12 November (this Monday) to be safe as that is a true 180 days from the date the SEFIL law was passed.

        Additionally, in the news, there are legal changes going on with royalty taxes being upped which run counter to the Oyu Tolgoi agreement but will be applied to Oyu Tolgoi (so they say).

        Also, there are some muncipal level elections coming up and the MPP is playing games with petrol as brokerage BDSec noted in translating an article from a local Mongolian language paper:

        "MPP uses gas provider as campaign tool

        The Mongolian People's Party worked hard to spread the message the party-affiliiated Shunklai LLC was the only gas station selling fuel this week.

        The MPP is apparently trying to capitalize on the recent price hikes on Russian gas. While many gas stations have refuse to purchase gas at the higher prices, the MPP has begun touting that Shunkhlai, stations, to which it openly admits holding ownership over, will continue to operate without interruption. It has used the event as an opportunity to embarrass the ruling Democratic Party, which it said runs all other gas providers.

        Shunkhlai is reportedly the only gas station to continue operations with the onset of price hikes instituted by Russian exporters. A Shunkhlai station visited was selling type A-92 and A-95 fuels with no limit to how much could be purchased while diesel was only sold to customers holding a customers card or coupon. Meanwhile, MT LLC M-Oil LLC, Just Oil LLC, Sod Mongol LLC, and Petrovis LLC were not selling certain types of fuels or had limits to how much could be bought by a single customer.

        Source: Udriin Sonin"

        8 Nov, 06:00 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 4

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        There is a rumour in Mongolia that Khurelsukh the former General Secretary of the MPP and famously one of three men who cleaned out the Savings bank of 1.4 million USD and blew it at a Seoul Casino has sold his seat in the Ikh Hural to the son of a very wealthy mining identity.His company Mak reportedly paid around $500,000 USD for the seat. Like Bayar and Enebish he says he is resigning for "health reasons"but apparently the IAAC is on his case.

        8 Nov, 01:19 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Selling Kincora, Origo, and probably all MSE holdings except RMC in near term.

        Only things left investing in Mongolia I'm willing to hold are Mongolian Mining Corporation, Mongolia Growth Group, and Remicon.

        The rest is in bad shape that is likely going to get worse before it gets better. Can re-enter another day. Have better places to allocate my cash where the government is not playing a game of chicken with the oncoming train of banks collapsing, budget shortfalls, and foreign investor patience.

        9 Nov, 11:46 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 4

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Some links:

        BD Sec CFO Survey: http://bit.ly/Z93j7w

        Oyu Tolgoi/Turquoise Hill (NYSE:TRQ) power agreement with China (why the stock popped recently): http://reut.rs/TzS6Xd

        Positive article on Mongolia Growth Group (OTCPK:MNGGF): http://bit.ly/Z93ks6

        Prophecy Coal (OTCQX:PRPCF) looks set to keep its mine closed due to depressed prices: http://fxn.ws/TzS6Xg

        Local elections are November 21: http://bit.ly/Z93ksa

        Mongolia plans to raise US$1.5 billion in bonds for spending on infrastructure: http://on.wsj.com/TzS7dw

        11 Nov, 09:52 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • haiguike Comments (417)

        The title of the article is "Mongolia aims to woo foreign investors". Yeah, just right after screwing them.

        11 Nov, 10:52 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Regarding local elections, this was in a local paper in Mongolian and translated:

        MPP uses gas provider as campaign tool
        The Mongolian People's Party worked hard to spread the message the party-affiliiated Shunklai LLC was the only gas station selling fuel this week.
        The MPP is apparently trying to capitalize on the recent price hikes on Russian gas. While many gas stations have refuse to purchase gas at the higher prices, the MPP has begun touting that Shunkhlai, stations, to which it openly admits holding ownership over, will continue to operate without interruption. It has used the event as an opportunity to embarrass the ruling Democratic Party, which it said runs all other gas providers.
        Shunkhlai is reportedly the only gas station to continue operations with the onset of price hikes instituted by Russian exporters. A Shunkhlai station visited was selling type A-92 and A-95 fuels with no limit to how much could be purchased while diesel was only sold to customers holding a customers card or coupon. Meanwhile, MT LLC M-Oil LLC, Just Oil LLC, Sod Mongol LLC, and Petrovis LLC were not selling certain types of fuels or had limits to how much could be bought by a single customer.

        Source: Udriin Sonin

        11 Nov, 05:28 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Forgot to link Michael Kohn's recent piece on Mongolia's property market http://bit.ly/UwjdsX

        11 Nov, 12:37 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        The trouble with buying in USD is that the tugrig is pegged to the USD and only trades in a very narrow range. 5 years ago the AUD was .65 now it is around1.04 USD. The USD has been around 1380 tg. for as long as I can remember.
        Michael doesn't mention that you can buy properties to develop but if you don't start your project within 2 years? you will forfeit your property. Many Mongolian "businessmen" are keen to find partners to develop their properties for this reason.

        11 Nov, 01:29 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Yahoo charts aren't working on the currency.

        Exchange rate has been between about 1250 and 1600 for the last few years. I expect the Tugrik to go below 1600 to $1 within the next year unless the government changes policy direction.

        There are people in the Real Estate market in Mongolia who are leveraged, and others who are not. I'd want to be very far away from those who are leveraged right now. I'd also be happy if I had some cash in my pocket to invest in 4 to 12 months in the real estate market when there are going to at least start to be some good opportunities.

        In case you haven't noticed, my near-term outlook on Mongolia since attending the Mongolia Investment is between dim and dark.

        11 Nov, 01:46 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 4

      • haiguike Comments (417)

        I must be totally lost. As someone who is trading between the MNT, CNY, and USD, when was the MNT ever pegged to the USD? The MNT/USD exchange rate was around 1300 half a year ago.

        12 Nov, 01:46 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • haiguike Comments (417)

        I have been holding CNY and USD for half a year now. Still waiting for the right entry point into the MNT. Even for the corporate accounts, I'm only exchanging from USD to MNT when expenditures are needed.

        Jon, you're definitely right that there will be more distressed sellers over the next year or two.

        12 Nov, 01:49 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        http://bit.ly/RwDkTl
        Depending on who you read the currency has been pegged.
        In my experience of 12 years visiting Mongolia the rate has rarely changed from 1380.My first visit in 2001 this was the rate when you changed dollars. Sorry if you are lost.

        12 Nov, 03:53 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        The exchange rate is about to come unhinged.

        One commenter in this comment stream works part of the time at a Foreign Exchange company in Mongolia. Hint: its not me.

        12 Nov, 05:35 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • haiguike Comments (417)

        What are you talking about? The MNT/USD went from around 600 in 1996 to 1200 in 2005, hovered below 1200 levels till November 2008 and then rapidly depreciated to 1600 by March 2009. Following the economic crisis, the MNT/USD appreciated to 1190 by April 2011, rapidly depreciated to 1415 by January 2012, rapidly appreciated to 1300 by April 2012, and is now back around 1400 ever since the beginning of October 2012.

        Sorry if you are misinformed. Maybe you got really nice exchange rates in the black market, but I really doubt you had a spread difference of around 300 MNT back in 2001.

        I do agree with Jon's prediction that the tugrik will go over 1600. Reasons being a triple whammy: 1) Out of control spending in an FDI, rising net imports economy, 2) Anti investment draft laws and screwing foreign investors over, 3) Another global recession coming in 2013 or 2014 (maybe China will come up with a massive stimulus package, but before then there will still be a shock to the MNT).

        In the midst of this upcoming storm, I'll be sitting on CNY waiting for a good opportunity to jump in MNT.

        12 Nov, 09:47 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Thank you for that thorough and well informed comment Haiguike

        12 Nov, 10:34 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • EBennett Comments (8)

        Haiguike -

        I am no expert on FX at all, so excuse my ignorant questions. *If* OT comes online will this not make a big difference to the balance of trade and correspondingly cause the MNT to appreciate or, at a minimum, not depreciate?

        13 Nov, 09:28 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • haiguike Comments (417)

        Yes, net export economies does cause its currency to appreciate; however, with delays in OT's production and the following factors below, the MNT can be in risk of rapid depreciation:

        1. Foreign investors are exiting. To purchase assets in Mongolia, foreign investors and business people must exchange their foreign currencies for the MNT. The more MNT purchases, the more it appreciates; the more MNT sold, the more it depreciates.

        2. Out of control deficit spending - Mongolia is currently an FDI, net import country.

        3. Global economic crisis - Investors flock to the USD, which would cause the MNT to depreciate vs the USD.

        14 Nov, 01:06 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        World Bank's Quarterly Update on Mongolia, October 2012 edition http://bit.ly/ZaUpq8

        11 Nov, 05:16 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        I submitted an article to Seeking Alpha Sunday night Mongolia-time (Sunday morning New York-time)

        I am still waiting on its publication or request for editorial revision

        One of the things mentioned in the article has now happened according to my sources:

        A new budget passed in the Mongolian parliament on Monday which, according to sources, does include excess royaltly taxes on Oyu Tolgoi which contradict the Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement of 2009. This will make Turquoise Hill (TRQ) and Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) management unhappy.

        If you haven't gotten my veiled messages for the past few months: no one should be long Turquoise Hill until this storm clears and it is nowhere close to clearing.

        12 Nov, 05:39 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 4

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Read my new article. It is pointed. http://bit.ly/Tu3qq5

        12 Nov, 08:46 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 4

      • Stilldazed Comments (1322)

        Hi Jon,
        Another fine article. Wish I could say the same for investment opportunities in Mongolia. I want to thank you for all the globe trotting and first hand accounts.

        12 Nov, 12:58 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        SD,

        1 Will try to globe trot to countries with less narrative reversals in the future and/or see them coming better. This has been cruddy.

        2 Policy must reverse to some extent because government is wholly dependent on foreign investment and the success of the mining story.

        3 Please comment on the article early and often. Link to article will go out on Friday in news wire service that is read by members of government and diplomats.

        4 Thanks for the kind words but I really want to find you better winning situations in the future.

        Best,
        Jon

        12 Nov, 02:39 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • KingFox Comments (17)

        I thought that on Friday Parliament announced a break for this week.
        If so how did a new budget pass ?

        Cheers,

        12 Nov, 02:45 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        KingFox,

        I believe you're right and I'm tired.

        Clarification #1 that I was given is that it was page 1 news on Monday which means the budget passed Friday.

        Will post more when I have clearer data. Thanks for calling me on that. Very much appreciated being corrected on anything I'm wrong about.

        12 Nov, 11:41 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Sahwa Comments (10)

        Hi Jon,

        Parliament approved it last Thursday and announced on Friday hence in the news on Monday. Foreigners are not benefiting from the language difference in Mongolia.

        we have just doublecheck their third submission file and announcement comments. The total expected tax revenue includes the revised/ increased OT implication.

        Including ca. $300m boost from OT, the gov budget is still to com e in $250m deficit with ambitious commodity sales target.

        13 Nov, 12:16 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Hi Sahwa,

        Thank you for those details. Wish I saw your comment before I wrote something still a bit wrong in the comments of my article. I really should drink coffee in the morning before I start commenting on Seeking Alpha.

        13 Nov, 09:11 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        Good article Jon more frank than usual. You mentioned previously that there was a lot of talk regarding the Sarah Armstrong situation but you didn't mention it in your Hong Kong summary?
        I have been banging on about the Law in particular Chapter one article 6 of the Constitution and good to see Liotta talking about it. You could drive a dump truck through some of those loop holes.
        I still think that there is a lot more to come out regarding Mongolia's so called debt settlement with Russia in 2003.What was really promised?
        I think you should mention which Bank you think is in danger.It is obviously partnered by foreigners or you would have mentioned it already?Does it start with K ? The Mongolian people have been done over enough by Banks and building cooperatives many innocent people have lost everything and deserve better.

        14 Nov, 01:21 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        dulleyefarmer,

        Would be much obliged for your comments over on the article as not all readers also check the blogs.

        Sarah Armstrong case had mixed reviews in HK. In the end, with apologies to all parties involved in the case, it is currently a minor detail in a situation that is getting seriously dire. Hence, the lack of even mentioning it in the article.

        Debt settlement from 2003... is that RTZ? or are those two big things in the pipeline with Khan Resources also brewing?

        Banks. Really don't want to get into specific banks. I have received a ton of informed and more speculative e-mails about which banks are in trouble since writing the article. Overall, the indication is the plumbing of Mongolia's banking system is in real dire trouble. Among the more known banks, in my opinion, more are in at least some level of trouble than are not. I say "in my opinion" because I am sifting through the information I get and trying to figure out what's true and what's gossip that is not true.

        At this point, I think my investments in Mongolia are in bad shape and I probably can't get out of them due to liquidity issues. However, that, in the end, is a blip that hurts an investment portfolio. Honestly, I am far more concerned that the people of Mongolia are about to experience yet another brutal economic collapse, and that upsets me greatly (because it does not have to happen and is being directly caused by the government).

        14 Nov, 01:37 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        I don't think Sarah Armstrong's friends and family would call her situation a "minor detail".Rio/SGS have hung her out to dry just like they did with Stern Hu.This is a big story which sent Foreign Correspondents racing off to UB to cover it.This could be pivotal case which could determine the breaching of licenses. If you are genuinely concerned "that the people of Mongolia are about to experience yet another brutal collapse" you could do something about it ie.pass on your privileged information. Informed is a term you use when talking about our fellow blogger FX trader perhaps he has info that could help the Mongolian people?
        Tomorzam was only one part of he 2003 so called debt settlement.

        17 Nov, 02:01 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        DEF, I understand your perspective.

        Yet, there are unknowns about Ms. Armstrong's innocence or guilt, and she is not in prison, only held in a hotel room.

        So, I am trying to look at the bigger picture and not be distracted as the rest of the international media is. My job is to cover the things they ignore and be two to three weeks ahead of them. I talked about Sarah's case two articles ago. The international media has caught up a bit with that, and I've moved forward.

        Apologies if this is not satisfactory.

        18 Nov, 10:14 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        I ask you for your help and your comments in favor of Seeking Alpha expanding it's basis for international coverage. Please comment here: http://bit.ly/QF3eYg

        13 Nov, 07:25 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • KingFox Comments (17)

        Sahwa,

        Thank you for that info. Being almost exactly on the other side of the planet, off by about 5 degrees W, from UB, the language barrier is not the only problem in my case!

        In trying to evaluate the political risk, clearly there is some political maneuvering going on, but I think there is a material difference in some MP's writing to the PM and calling for "more" from RIO, promising to resign if they don't get what they want, while other government officials stating that all is "good", and comparing that to actually having something passed by the parliament in gov't business. Which this appears to be. My question would be is this revised/increase tax revenue of $300 M a result in a change to the agreement already in place or merely a revision/re-evaluation of the expected tax being paid under the current agreement.
        If that makes any sense .........

        14 Nov, 05:03 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Sahwa Comments (10)

        KingFox,

        to my best understanding, it is labelled 'increase in OT tax'. I am only reading a translated version which may not be 100% in line with the language of the actual budget. Judging from Rio's comments, this indeed appears to be increase in tax rate rather than revaluation reserve.

        18 Nov, 03:46 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        If you follow this blog and have not yet, please comment on my blog asking Seeking Alpha to expand the international coverage it is willing to pay authors for: http://bit.ly/QF3eYg

        18 Nov, 10:15 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Thanks to Dulleyefarmer for a very nice comment on the linked blog. As we don't always agree, I sincerely appreciate your very kind comment and want to acknowledge my gratitude publicly. Discord and differing opinions are important for all to hear in order to assess data accurately.

        18 Nov, 05:26 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Mongolia Energy Corporation (OTCPK:MOAEF) (OTCPK:MOAEY) (0276.HK)

        Minister of Mining Gankhuyag is in the process of declaring their Khushuut Coking Coal Mine a strategic mine. Under law, government has right to take ownership of 34% or 51% of mines of strategic importance depending on the particular situation.

        Here's MEC's executive leadership page, see if you can spot why this is happening: http://bit.ly/SXThkg

        19 Nov, 01:18 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        It was obvious that the Government would be using the definitions of "Strategic deposits" and 'not less than 51%" They have the Supreme court and Constitutional court to deal with yet. Maybe MEC needs a few cardboard cut out Mongolian Directors to make their website more Mongolia friendly and a few name changes here and there.This isn't good for Leighton.
        Further to our discussion on potential Bank collapses.Lots of Mongolians go to Korea for work as they can make around $100 per day. For years the false documents and Bank statements required to do this were run through the GPO Prosecutors office and in particular General B. Tserenbaltav former head of the Mongolian Police and Deputy Prosecutor (now head of Customs!).The Koreans are wise to this and now insist on a $10,000 USD deposit into Khan Bank as surety for any visa application.If this Bank is in danger many people will lose their $10,000 deposits which have been scraped together from apartment sales and loan sharks or any other means.
        Thanks for the mutual respect who knows we may have a beer one day at the Steppe Inn!

        19 Nov, 01:34 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        DP party platform called for 39 new strategic deposits if I recall correctly. 38 more to go.

        Beer -yes, I would like that whenever I next get back.

        Banks - working on a follow up. Probably for next week as US investors are evaporating this week due to Thanksgiving holiday.

        Sending you an email to your SA inbox dulleyefarmer

        19 Nov, 02:11 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        http://bit.ly/T6idpQ
        I see Lee Cashell has raised the outlooks for Khan and Xac Banks so it must be true that they aren't in any danger?

        22 Nov, 02:15 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 0

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        New article by me on Rio Tinto vs. Mongolia http://tinyurl.com/cs7...

        19 Nov, 08:54 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Guest Investor Comments (20)

        Things like arbitrarily arresting investors don't go unpunished for long.

        Canadian Government changes Mongolia travel status to: "Exercise a high degree of caution"

        http://bit.ly/SKFLQE

        19 Nov, 06:39 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 5

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        IMF's free advice to Mongolia on double taxation agreements http://bit.ly/10mjUED

        20 Nov, 09:44 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Can someone who speaks Mongolian translate what is happening in this election related video http://bit.ly/TdR2MA

        20 Nov, 09:45 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Guest Investor Comments (20)

        Young woman comes into the local khoroo (city subdistrict) to register and get documents for voting. The woman at the desk gets her name and phone number, asks if she has any election materials, the girl says no, she just came from countryside, the woman gives her some election materials for MPP and says to vote for MPP candidates in district election and parliamentary revote.

        Seems another of DP staged videos to me, IMHO.

        (and, by the way, technically speaking, - there are only two candidates for revote in Bayanzurkh district, both from MPP, so telling voters to vote for MPP in parliamentary revote seems rather redundant...)

        20 Nov, 11:24 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Thanks GI. That was very sharp.

        20 Nov, 11:31 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 0

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        The woman at the desk named Oyun is the Khoroo leader not just an election worker

        21 Nov, 04:02 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Thank you for that DEF. Quite the well informed group we are now.

        21 Nov, 08:13 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Guest Investor Comments (20)

        this is what it says in the title of the video, but I didn't hear that in video itself.

        21 Nov, 08:36 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        Another point ; a lot of people from the countryside who come to UB can't vote because they don't have a UB irgenii vnemleh a UB identity card. it is doubtful that the young woman is from the countryside. The ger districts are full of people who can't vote.

        21 Nov, 04:09 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Guest Investor Comments (20)

        The problem is not just with countryside people. People are allowed to vote in this election only if they produce the so called smart ID cards, issued this year.

        The problem is that many people, particularly the senior citizens, who are more likely to vote for MPP, did not get them.

        The standard answer for this complaint is "we are very sorry, there was delay in production, so we are unable to give you the new ID, sorry, but you can't vote this time"

        21 Nov, 08:41 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        GI,

        Do you think seniors not being able to vote influenced June's elections?

        21 Nov, 09:26 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Guest Investor Comments (20)

        In June, old IDs were still used, so it's unlikely to have been an issue.

        21 Nov, 09:47 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Thanks. Makes everything clear for everyone.

        21 Nov, 09:48 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        Yes the oxymoron smart card was a problem. This issue was covered in the now toothless UB Post.It seemed to be a debacle from start to inconclusive finish.Mongolia's seniors are people over 50 who are on the scrap heap.Quite a lot have good education and training and could be a great asset to Mongolia.I am struggling to think of any that I know who would vote for the MPP.I think Khurelsukh selling his seat to the son of Nyamtaisha and his MAK company is a serious breach of the democratic process and we should be talking about it.More needs to be done about the fair registration of voters,the abolishing of the Asia Foundation as electoral observers and polling booth corruption and manipulation.At least Mongolia has a 50% voting threshold unlike America where voting is optional.

        21 Nov, 01:23 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Guest Investor Comments (20)

        Watching first results. It looks like that the idiotic policy of prohibiting use of old IDs for voting produced predictable effect.

        Voter turnout is very low, in many city districts and some towns, it appears to be below the legally required 50% threshold.

        21 Nov, 09:50 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Guest Investor Comments (20)

        No official results yet. MPP chief Enkhtuvshin gave a press conference at which he appears to have conceded defeat.

        According to him, MPP won in 9 aimags out of 21 and in 2 out of 9 Ulaanbaatar districts. The rest is presumably won by the Democrats who earlier today claimed to have won even more - 14 aimags and 8 districts.

        In any case, there will be revote in more than half of voting precincts in Ulaanbaatar due to voter turnout being below 50% threshold.

        Even parliamentary revote in Bayanzurkh district appears to have failed

        22 Nov, 04:46 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Did anyone see Ganbaatar's TV debate Friday night Mongolia time about renegotiating the OT agreement? Would like your opinions of how it went... and how the public reacts...

        23 Nov, 10:18 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Raash Onolt Comments (2)

        Mr Ganbaatar performed poorly, but heart went for him.
        Mr Bayartsogt did very his best to defend the OT IA, he is well prepared and very professional, he did not won public

        23 Nov, 12:45 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Thank you Raash Onolt. Greatly appreciate the on the ground insights. Welcome to you.

        23 Nov, 03:31 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • marpy Comments (142)

        Raash Onolt or others - Can you provide further comment on what the public thinks and why they think this way.

        Thank You

        23 Nov, 01:11 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Marpy,
        Just to be clear, this was not about the royalty tax being hiked (which is awaiting presidential signature after being passed). This discussion was wholly about the reasons to renegotiate the OT IA and for Mongolia to own a bigger percentage of OT than the current 34%.

        23 Nov, 03:33 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Raash Onolt Comments (2)

        Public reaction according to comments about the debate in
        http://on.fb.me/YbobvU
        is more than 90% for Mr Ganbaatar ,although he was ill prepared and did very poor job in debating with the person who signed the agreement.
        Mr Bayartsogt was well prepared, knowledgable and aggressive in presenting himself with displaying all the numbers, financial schemes. But I bet that ordinary mongolians did not understood it fully after watching 1.30 hour TV talk,.Mr Bayartsogt's claimed OT IA is best deal for Mongolia,almost a miracle which is not really convincing for any Mongolian. Probably miracle for Bayartsogt and those people who gets always large contract from OT. Bayartsogts Nomads, Bold's Bodi Intl, Monnis, Petrovise, even the president connected little unknown company got contracts from OT.
        We (my family's 5 adults) got feeling that Mr Bayartsogt is acting like representative of foreigners. He was attacking Mr Ganbaatar for being too ignorant on the OT IA, even called him naive for MP.

        Anyway, thanks to Mr Ganbaatar, ordinary citizens got first knowledge about OT IA from lesson given by Mr Bayartsogt. need more details and procedures.
        They (MPs of both side, anti/pro MPs) should debate more often on OT, even OT representatives should do more work on openness/ deliver more information for public.

        At the end we still did not got answer for question "Is OT mining good for us, I mean for ordinary mongolians?

        23 Nov, 09:54 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Thank you Raash Onolt. Fantastic summary. Would welcome some more opinions, but very much appreciate yours.

        23 Nov, 10:01 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • haiguike Comments (417)

        Unfortunately for the people of Mongolia, Rio Tinto does not have to heed to the demands of the people when Mongolia has very little leverage. Mongolia has already experienced a taste of fast money and luxuries. For the working class, successful entrepreneurs, and foreign businessmen, it will be extremely painful if OT halts operations.

        Perhaps Rio Tinto knows that once the presidential election is over, it will be business as usual. If not, they can always play hardball, which Mongolia stands no chance against, by announcing to the global media that all OT operations will be halted indefinitely due to the Mongolian government not honoring the OT agreement.

        I hope Mongolia does not become an example of why a frontier market should not become a democracy too soon before stabilizing economic prosperity and education. Korea and Japan are democracies; Singapore and China are becoming more democratic, but they all started off as authoritarian one-party regimes with pro economic growth policies.

        If only Mongolia had their own Lee Kuan Yew. Then Mongolia would surpass Dubai and Singapore combined within 30 years. Democracy in a frontier market sounds all warm and fuzzy in theory, but in reality, what happens is that the uneducated and ignorant people (not their fault) are the majority and they continue to vote in the incompetent and/or insidious politicians to power.

        25 Nov, 04:04 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • EBennett Comments (8)

        Haiguike - I completely agree and frequently make this point in arguments in bars here in UB. Mongolia (and Russia!) might be better today if they had quickly modernized and slowly liberalized (as China did) rather than quickly liberalized and slowly modernized.

        25 Nov, 10:08 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Getting back to public reaction to the debate about Oyu Tolgoi renegotiation on national TV Monday night. I received this note in my e-mail this morning from Munkhtulga "Tulga" Ganbold of BDSec brokerage (Mongolia's largest brokerage):

        -BDSec employees generally felt Bayartsogt (pro OT) was better prepared and won the debate, with News.mn reporting 51% were in favor of Bayartsogt, 46% for Ganbaatar (anti OT) and 3% undecided.

        -However, the Facebook page of National TV garnered a whopping 90% of respondents saying they were against Bayartsogt and his pro Oyu Tolgoi stance. [Hat tip to Raash Onolt for providing us the Facebook page link earlier here.]

        -We are inclined to give more weight to the Facebook results, given the relatively large sample size (589 respondents), the lack of anonymity and the detailed responses they generally made to support their opinion.

        -Should the Facebook results be anywhere near accurate, RIO & OT risk losing the hearts and minds of the Mongolian people, which we would regard as the worst possible outcome.

        -As such, we hope RIO & OT are able to come to an agreement with Government of Mongolia and put the ghost of Robert Friedland (ex TRQ CEO) behind them for good.

        26 Nov, 06:21 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Raash Onolt,

        Regarding your question, "Is OT mining good for us, I mean for ordinary Mongolians?"

        I think, at the current crossroads, the answer is yes, but it is not a simple yes. It is complex yes, and certainly brings a host of problems and issues to resolve. I can elaborate if you would like.

        23 Nov, 10:10 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 0

      • marpy Comments (142)

        As everyone knows, mining will bring lots of money and jobs into Mongolia and a lot of the money will go into services and tax revenue. From all the pictures that I have seen of the mining complex at OT, it is a very modern and well built complex and so should provide good quality jobs. How efficiently and fairly Mongolia deals with all this money really will determine how good it will be for Mongolia. Will it be used to build a future for Mongolia or will it just end up in the hands of a few corrupt individuals? How good it is for Mongolia will really be up to Mongolia but one thing for sure is that the current situation is not good for Mongolia as it has slowed development considerably. It is unfortunate that they had to have Mr Bayartsogt's argue on the agreements side as his position is compromised and thus it looks like he has little credibility with the people.

        Just my opinion

        24 Nov, 11:33 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Joseph Harned Comments (40)

        Haiguike, painful though it be, you've got it precisely right.
        As an old man, I recall spending months attempting to explain to the nascent Russian pro-democracy young leaders that you've got to get it right. FIRST, you reform the economy from an autocratic perspective and go through the inevitable pain with the inevitable discipline required, THEN you reform the political system and make it more democratic. Otherwise, as the French so aptly puit it, on perde les pedals - you lose the pedals - you lose control and start to freewheel downhill, which is exactly what has happened.

        25 Nov, 12:23 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Joseph Harned Comments (40)

        The young Russians didn't listen any better than the young Mongols have!

        25 Nov, 12:25 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        I am still very concerned about Sarah Armstrong who seems to be quickly forgotten.Why was she given executive authority in Mongolia and why was her name on international arbitration proceedings against the GOM? This seems to have similarities to the Khan Resources case in the ICC. The GOM lost this case and most likely doesn't want to go through another case. The pattern seems he same if you do a deal with a Chinese company you will be suspended or lose your licenses and they end up under Russian control.Shame on Rio/SGS executives for dropping her in it.

        25 Nov, 01:35 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • mccorj Comments (7)

        thx

        26 Nov, 01:35 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        From my news in-box this morning:

        "According to the comments from Minister of Mining Gankuyag, the GOM and OT are evidently talking, which is a positive. We will have a note out later detailing the results of Friday night's debate."

        "Also the specifics of the '13 budget have been released and it does indeed contain revenues from the excess royalty tax on OT, as we had reported previously. Specifically, they forecast 446,761.4 million tugrugs as income from OT, the details can be found here (if you speak Mongolian) http://www.iltod.gov.mn "

        "OT
        - Minister of Mining D.Gankhuyag met with a number of Embassies in Mongolia. During the meeting the minister was asked about Oyu Tolgoi project. His answer was: "GoM is working fine with the investor side of the project. GoM's policy is to fulfill its obligations indicated in law, regulation or contract. GoM and the investor side have agreed to inform the public should they come to an agreement and if we are not fully agreed on something we will not disclose that.""

        26 Nov, 06:26 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        For anyone wondering about my "downgrade" of Monet Capital's news-wire on my "news sources" page (http://bit.ly/JnsPyC)...

        1) My last few articles have not been put into Monet Capital's wire of aggregated news because, according to Vidur Jain, who puts out the note, I have not had "credible sources" for my articles. Additional insults to both the integrity of my sources and my own integrity followed when I questioned why Monet had not put a weblink to my work in his news notes, which are essentially a comment followed by weblinks to "all news" that is Mongolia related.

        2) Furthermore, in Monet's note of 20 November, Monet went out of their way to say the opposite of what I was saying. Monet wrote to it's client and newsletter list on November 20, 2012: "The government budget for the next year has been passed (Mongolian link: http://bit.ly/UVZFsf), and so far it does not include any income from excess royalty taxes that contravene the Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement. Although there have been rumors circulating about this, concerning investors, the point is still being contested with 23 MPs in favour. The government work plan for the next 4 years has also been released which does not mention anything about renegotiating the OT agreement. So for now indications are that the OT agreement is safe."

        3) Yet, just above this post you have a link to the budget in Mongolian that "does indeed contain revenues from the excess royalty tax on OT" which does indeed contravene the Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement.

        4) Thus, my conclusion that Monet's newswire, since Vidur Jain took it over from the excellent Oliver Belfitt-Nash, is no longer interested in telling all sides of the investment story in Mongolia, and both readers of this news wire, and Monet's clients, should be aware.

        5) When Monet's wire again has a policy of publishing links to all news about Mongolia and not just the news it right or wrongly thinks is right, or perhaps only posts the news that maintains the story it wants it's client to know, I will be happy to alter the status.

        My apologies for the long post. I have received some queries about why this change was made, as I dropped Monet from 1st to 8th on my list of news sources with a notation suggesting their news wire is incomplete.

        26 Nov, 06:44 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        Another classic example of why your blog/work is important. I think Monet has now become something other than a "credible source".
        Is there a media and comment blackout on the plight of Sarah Armstrong? is there pressure on Rio/SGS to drop the ICC proceedings? Would love to hear from Alex Molyneaux on the matter.McRae emerged from his safe world to do an interview with Stephen McDonel for ABC Australia the "Big Dig" but wouldn't talk about SA. Very weak and unreassuring for her friends and family surely he could have said something instead of gloating about what he thinks he will get from Mongolia.

        26 Nov, 01:41 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Dulleyefarmer,

        Alex Molyneux - last I heard, he has gone Kyrgyzstan. He won't talk to anyone that might lead him into riskier conversations. I have tried to get a conversation with him for over a year without success.

        Sarah Armstrong - I think in the 24 hour news cycle age, the problem is there is no new news. The situation is stagnant. No one involved will likely talk because they are trying to sort things out through back channels is my guess.

        26 Nov, 03:38 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • redfernabc Comment (1)

        I don't think there's a media or comment blackout, its just that is willing to go on the record about what they think is happening. You just can't broadcast rumours , a good journalist needs some substance rather than speculation and mining companies tend to have a reputation for "spinning journalists"

        26 Nov, 04:03 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Thank you to redfernabc, a broadcast journalist, for that color. Indeed, while I think I know what is going on with Ms. Armstrong based on a collection of off-the-record statements to me, I am very cautious to say anything I say about the case is speculative or based on hearsay, et cetera. No one will go on the record about this case, so it puts news media in a bind unless, and until, Ms. Armstrong is held for long enough that a story about how many days she has been held for interrogation becomes news in and of itself.

        Generically, people who work in Mongolia are fairly uptight at the moment about saying much on the record.

        26 Nov, 04:49 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Leonardo 123 Comment (1)

        I do not understand your point on the OT agreement.

        First of all, thank you for your thorough coverage of Mongolia. What you write is interesting and I do follow up on most of your posts by doing some research myself. Now my question:

        This OT agreement is clearly of great interest- could you clarify your calculation? What I did is multiply the agreed royalty to projected output and I more or less got the same number the budget did i.e. no higher tax rate, if so fairly minimal.

        Thanks for the clarification!

        P.S. I have been reading what you recommend, and to be honest a few of the other sources listed other than Monet have content that read much more like sales pitches than Monet's newswires- understandably so since they are published by companies with vested interests in what they write.

        27 Nov, 12:45 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        I spoke with you today and gave you an insight into the situation which is private at this stage . Do you still think that what l know is rumor and speculation? Most people on this blog can end their association with Mongolia with a click on the sell tab , unfortunately I can't. Rio is spinning Mongolian and Australian Journalists as seen in the recent Ausaid funded trip to Australia by 12 Mongolian Journalists.None of this is helping Sarah. If Molyneaux, Tromans and McRae had any sense of decency they would go on the record in explaining the situation.The Mining Minister wouldn't speak to Stephen McDonel his recent story was spin from Rio via Mc Rae ie. only talk about the things that you want to and leave Sarah Armstrong off the question list and hung out to dry.

        27 Nov, 03:55 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        For a fresh view on Mongolia, please read my interview with BDSec Chief Operating Office Nick Cousyn, "A Positive Outlook On Mongolia"
        http://bit.ly/TYMdTt

        26 Nov, 06:49 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • mccorj Comments (7)

        Glad to see your interview with mr. Cousyn. Since he deals in mongolian exchange he could note the exposure of mongolian companies stocks to those of us who take for granted companies complying to international exchange accounting principles and gaap compliance.
        Love the ability for constant updates.
        Can anyone supply an agenda for the investmentagreement meetings so we know when to tune in.
        Thx

        26 Nov, 02:08 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • mccorj Comments (7)

        Retired financial compliance manager.
        Interest in an historical view of a countries emergence and the varied issues they must contend with. Afraid to trust anyone after centuries of being misused. Following with great interest.
        Hsppy to answer any direct questions. Have a multiyear position in ivn/trq. Follow rare earths and metalic element commodities.

        26 Nov, 02:58 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        mccorj,

        Welcome. Glad to have your perspective here. Look forward to your future comments, and learning what we can learn from you.

        26 Nov, 03:30 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Valley Boy Comments (1537)

        It looks like Mongolia has the potential to mine its rare metal
        reserves sometime in the future if they wish to do so.
        http://bit.ly/Sm0SMD

        26 Nov, 05:40 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        VB,

        - Rare earths in Mongolia are covered by the Uranium Law of 2009 (i.e. less favorable status for foreign investors).

        - I really think rare earths are 7 or more years away in Mongolia (except some molybdenum deposits).

        - The resources mentioned in the links are not ones I've heard people talking about as being in Mongolia before.

        26 Nov, 10:38 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        Rare earth minerals are possibly stitched up by Germany after the visit by Merkels one week after the release of Bat Khurts the extradited Spy Chief by the Germans. What a coincidence that the Germans who were once indignant about Khurts kidnapping E.Damarin in France and transporting him drugged and in a wheel chair home via Germany now have rare earth deals with Mongolia and Khurts has gone on as deputy of the IAAC to arrest former president Enkhbayar and detain Sarah Armstrong.

        27 Nov, 04:08 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • mccorj Comments (7)

        jon, is the issue of the request for an increase of ownership put to bed? Your article of April 19 (nothing new) basically said that a minority of parliament asked for the increase. Is this still an issue?

        Can Mn. abrogate its own agreements vis-a-vis the tax increase which had been previously addressed in the existing contract.

        are the terms of there laws equal to the continuous years a party is in power or the electorate who transcends all parties?

        Trying to get the flavor of any sense of propriety in their govt. or is it simply a rationalization of political corruption to suggest that 'the original contract was not signed on my watch'.

        enjoyed your interview earlier.

        thx

        27 Nov, 01:49 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        There were elections in June which changed the makeup of parliament. MPP (Mongolia People's Party) lost control. DP (Democratic Party) gained control. Mongolia People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) and CWGP (Civil Will Green Party) are small minority members of DP coalition.

        Current/new Minister of Mining has said he will resign if the OT IA (Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement) is not renegotiated.

        The OT IA was not signed with the current government. Mongolia is a sovereign nation. Mongolia can do what it wants, period. What Mongolia does may have consequences, and may be against the agreement that was signed, but, with all due respect (as well as desire for the OT IA to be upheld), Mongolia *can* do whatever it wants to.

        Caveat: Yes, if a company does not like what Mongolia does, they can take Mongolia to international arbitration. However, Mongolia does not have to listen to international arbitration either (the U.S. doesn't, for example refusing to submit to the jurisdiction of The Hague, so why should Mongolia?).

        (Probably doesn't answer your question quite the way you want me to. My mind got off on a tangent, and I now have to go to a meeting for a few hours. Please follow up, and I will as well.)

        27 Nov, 07:46 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • mccorj Comments (7)

        He'll resign if he doesn't get his way? And he's still the Minister today?

        27 Nov, 02:42 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 0

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Yes and yes. Started on the job in September IIRC.

        27 Nov, 10:13 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 0

      • KingFox Comments (17)

        Scotiabank kick off their three day mining conference here in Toronto yesterday. One presentation piqued my interest. Ian Atkinson of Centerra Gold presented yesterday. Ian commented on Centerra's gold producing mine and exploration properties in Mongolia.

        Two things I took away from the presentation, first that there didn't seem to be any great concern with investing/working in Mongolia, either with their current Borro mine or their Altan Tsagann Ovoo (NYSE:ATO) property. In fact I was left with the impression they are going to continue to spend and increase their exploration budget, 2012 - $45 mil ($11 mil Mongolia) to $50-$60 (Mongolia - $?) mil in 2013.

        Secondly that they have "invested" $6.4 mil. USD in the construction of a maternity hospital in UB. I'm wondering, given that there is some degree of backlash against foreign investment from the general public, that companies such as Centerra are not doing a good enough public relations job to the average Mongolian on the benefits of not only their investment but also this type of "goodwill" ? Wondering if anyone on the ground has any comment on that issue.

        Centerra's presentation can be heard here

        http://bit.ly/TtKxFv

        and the presentation can be followed here

        http://bit.ly/Wv3eqC

        Cheers,

        28 Nov, 09:15 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • EBennett Comments (8)

        OT is definitely doing a very poor job of publicity here. Their spokesperson is a foreign male with no prior experience in Mongolia and no Mongolian language skills. What a great way to emphasize OT/Rio's foreign-ness.

        What idiot thought of that? They don't have to convince the foreigners, they need to convince the Mongolians!

        28 Nov, 08:56 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Centerra has been in Mongolia for a long time. Boroo used to be a cash cow.

        I'm seriously behind on things, so I'm just going to ask:
        - did he talk about "the long law" which is actually the law about rivers and forests (it complicated matters for Centerra for a while in Mongolia; and is, I believe, a good law, although, as with most laws governing mining in Mongolia, too vague, which leaves it open to government abuse)

        Centerra's principal profits come from Kyrgyzstan. The company is not reliant on Mongolia and has the flexibility to handle the ups and downs of Mongolian policy.

        29 Nov, 09:21 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Guest Investor Comments (20)

        Someone here (or in other thread) wondered about Chinese political influence in Mongolia.

        Here is an illustration what it looks like in real life.

        In October this year, Mr. Bat-Uul, new Democratic mayor of Ulaanbaatar, has ordered demolition of Lenin statue (near the Ulaanbaatar hotel). At the demolition, he made, as usual, a brave anti-Communist speech, denouncing Communist crimes in Mongolia and elsewhere. In his speech, he also briefly mentioned that the Chinese Communist Party is responsible for deaths of tens of millions of people.

        Of course, this was a historically accurate, but rather undiplomatic statement.

        The results were predictable. Chinese ambassador asked for meeting with Mongolian Foreign Minister, issued a protest on behalf of Government of China and demanded a formal apology from Mr. Bat-uul.

        On November 15, duly chastened Mr. Bat-uul met Chinese ambassador and apologised for his statement (but asked to keep silent about this issue for a few days, until the local elections are over).

        Ambassador Wang Xiaolong accepted his apology and promised Chinese support and investment to the capital city.

        End of story.

        For people familiar with Asian concept of "losing face", this brief showdown demonstrates quite clearly just who is really the boss here...

        28 Nov, 10:06 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        Interesting story, Bat Uul was a close friend of Zorig and was detained as a suspect in Zorig's murder by the Mongolian Police because his hat was found at Zorig's house.He like Damarin had nothing to do with it. Has anyone read the book by Jon Halliday on the rise of Mao? I didn't realise how much influence the Russians had in creating Mao. Perhaps Bat Uul could make a speech denouncing Choibalsan.

        28 Nov, 01:53 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • mccorj Comments (7)

        can guest investor comment on Chinese currency. Is there any correlation between currency and gold.
        China should want the world to be on a chinese reserve currency. It is rumored that they secret their gold mining results. They should want Mongolian mining to go on hold while they amass their holdings and eventually form an Asian reserve currency.

        January 2013 brings the Basel III change in gold being accounted as Tier One funds at 100% (or something close). That increases western deposits significantly. Banking 'On deposit %s' will be increased but the glut created in the balance sheets will allow the creation of additional fiat dollars. China could discontinue treasury purchases and create their Asian own reserve all while the creation of newly available stays on hold. They don't need more precious metals, but should want Mongolias metals and precious elements to remain out of circulation.
        I agree with Guest Investor. China runs it all and will kick this can longer than any US Congress with its 'fiscal cliff'. The threat of fiscal cliff pales with Chinas machinations.

        28 Nov, 03:38 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • haiguike Comments (417)

        China is currently officially both the largest gold producer and consumer in the world. It is projected that by 2015, China's consumption rate will double its production rate. I have heard that China also participates in many underground black market gold purchases. For example: A big Chinese cargo ship goes to Africa carrying weapons and leaves with a bunch of gold.

        2 Dec, 07:15 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        Agree.The Mongolian Black market for gold took off the day they introduced the 67% sudden wealth tax. One local mayors wife was busted trying to sell 25kg of gold to China, she was stupid enough to make international phone calls and the ever vigilant GIA was listening in.The most famous case was a Russian who took out 4 tonnes and wanted to buy his own plane so he could take out more.
        Lots of executives with their own planes and diplomats from lots of countries do all sorts of things.

        3 Dec, 01:31 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        Chris Patten the last Governor of Hong Kong said something like China has been the biggest economy for 18 0f the last 20 centuries.
        The only glitch was the collapse of the Qing Dynasty a joint Manchu/Mongolian Dynasty.This will soon be rectified,China is doing the heavy lifting in many forgotten and ransacked corners of the British and European Empires.I am old enough to remember the joke of something "made in japan".

        29 Nov, 02:06 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        The $1.5 billon Mongolian debt issue for infrastructure went off without a hitch. http://on.wsj.com/TnUG43

        Good luck to all bond holders.

        29 Nov, 09:25 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 4

      • FocalPoint Analytics Comments (4797)

        Did you expect the offering to go so well Jon?

        29 Nov, 09:35 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Nope.

        I was being quoted that it would go off at 8%. For that much, I figured with what's going on in Europe, U.S. & Japan, the demand would be there. 5.125% for 10 years doesn't feel like a good risk-reward exchange to me weighing out the investment climate in Mongolia vs. the challenging global debt markets.

        However, the article says they only sold "more than 80%" of the bonds. If Mongolian Mining Corporation bonds are any guide, the secondary market for these bonds will be nearly non-existent.

        To me, this is in part a comment on the sad state of affairs the central banks of the U.S., Europe, and Japan, have created. I remember getting more than 5% on U.S. Treasuries (http://bit.ly/u1OK2z). Now, for the same return, people are willing to take on vastly higher risk of sovereign default.

        29 Nov, 09:47 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • FocalPoint Analytics Comments (4797)

        When I read it, my eyebrow indicator went off... reminds me of a poker game... if you want to play, you have to ante up..

        29 Nov, 10:00 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • IsaiahU Comments (3)

        Jon,

        I think your analysis is absolutely on point but while I understand that you are very pessimistic on Mongolia right now, it should be recognized that this represents a great opportunity for the country. There are a lot of "ifs"--this bond deal is fantastic IF it is spent on infrastructure, IF it is used to get TT to production, or IF it is used to leverage private investment in low-income housing to reduce the severe air pollution problem. None of these outcomes is guaranteed and past experience has clearly told us that the opportunity could be squandered.

        However, getting financing at these rates (no one I know here saw these kinds of rates coming either) it is clearly a POTENTIAL win for the GoM and for the Mongolian economic development story and in my opinion, should be regarded positively by investors in Mongolia.

        30 Nov, 01:19 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Isiaiah,

        I agree with everything except the last point.

        It really is not good for foreign investors that after the GoM does one bad thing after another to foreign equity investors, then the desperate foreign bond market never the less awards Mongolia a very favorable deal.

        If I am in the GoM, my takeaway is that more can be demanded of, and taken away from, foreign investors without repercussion.

        30 Nov, 03:24 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • haiguike Comments (417)

        Isaiah, I agree with Jon. Do expect the GoM to skim off the top.

        2 Dec, 07:22 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        Former President Enkhbayar faced court today but his lawyers weren't present.
        http://news.caak.mn
        They claimed that they were missing documents that were supposed to be sent to them.Enkhbayar claims he is being poisoned. Interesting to see the new Secretary of the MPRP Shilegdamba with him in court.He made a fortune as former Environment Minister by creating and selling land titles. He was also a recipient of an Ausaid Scholarship a very tidy package of around $70,000 per annum to study in Australia.
        Regarding the foreign bond loan money being spent on infrastructure that has virtually no chance of happening if you look at the myriad of grants, loans and funds that have been plundered in Mongolia.

        30 Nov, 04:39 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        dulleyefarmer,

        Could you elaborate on "Regarding the foreign bond loan money being spent on infrastructure that has virtually no chance of happening if you look at the myriad of grants, loans and funds that have been plundered in Mongolia."

        30 Nov, 06:50 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Regarding the Enkhbayar case, I'm waiting for more progress toward what I think the cases against him will ultimately be about. My view is quite cynical.

        30 Nov, 06:51 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        The best example of bond money being plundered would be the $50 million bonds from Ivanhoe as part of the $250 million cash component of the Russian debt repayment.As discussed previously in this blog the then MPRP allegedly took $50 million and divided it up amongst it's parliamentary members which lead to the story the "31 corrupters of Mongolia".I know many stories of private and Foreign Government grants /funds being plundered in Mongolia.The GOM has become skilled at getting money for various purposes then not doing the work.

        1 Dec, 02:41 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • haiguike Comments (417)

        Wow, that's a lot more than just skimming off the top.

        2 Dec, 07:32 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        One man's dipping is another man's skimming ;-)

        2 Dec, 08:50 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 0

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Potentially good news for news...

        I got a note from Mogi that "Cover Mongolia is back". For those who don't know, when in business Mogi provides the most comprehensive aggregated news service about Mongolia.

        Facebook: http://on.fb.me/SyFsKt

        Twitter: http://bit.ly/1198PYS

        E-mail to receive the news feed via e-mail: covermongolia@gmail.com

        2 Dec, 09:35 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        This is a re-posting as "Cover Mongolia" requested a change of e-mails to what is now listed as covermongolia@gmail.com. I deleted the old message with the other e-mail. If you e-mailed that address, it was received. Going forward, for organizational purposes, it is easier to use the one now listed.

        2 Dec, 09:37 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Guest Investor Comments (20)

        Final (hopefully) election results after re-vote last Friday (which had astonishingly bad voter turnout in the city - less than 20% in many districts).

        Democrats have majority in 11 aimags and 4 districts.

        MPP has majority in 9 aimags and 4 districts.

        In addition, there is no majority party in Tuv aimag and Nalaikh district (Democrats have 20 out of 41 seats in Tuv and 12 out of 25 in Nalaikh). Situation there depends on cooperation of MPRP with the Democrats which can not be taken for granted .

        http://bit.ly/UBzMSt

        3 Dec, 07:51 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Guest Investor Comments (20)

        The politics in Mongolia is getting even stranger.

        In local elections in Bulgan aimag, the DP has won 17 seats out of 33 (MPP-14, MPRP-2).

        But to everyone's surprise, MPP member and former governor Mr.Oyunbat was elected by the new deputies as a head of citizen's representative council of Bulgan.

        http://bit.ly/TIXusw

        If DP fails to get their man elected as a governor in Bulgan (which now appears as a distinct possibility), then MPP might still emerge as a victor of 2012 local elections.

        In addition, apparent cooperation between MPP and MPRP deputies in local councils is suggestive.

        8 Dec, 03:52 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • IsaiahU Comments (3)

        Can anyone confirm this news?

        http://bit.ly/TyXGL1

        Thoughts?

        4 Dec, 04:48 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Guest Investor Comments (20)

        Yes, MPRP decided to pull out of government in protest against "continuing political persecution".

        Enkhbayar's case will go before the Supreme Court and things apparently don't look good. It is rumored that Enkhbayar has decided to end his life by starting a hunger strike to death if Supreme Court upholds the sentence.

        So much for the political stability of Mongolia and 5% interest bonds....

        4 Dec, 06:24 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Waiting to see what happens next. Everything's a negotiation ploy.

        4 Dec, 12:38 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        Are you suggesting that for the sake of political stability they should let corruption flourish?This is exactly what Mongolia needs, a case that shows they are going after the big fish. It is laughable for the MPRP to cry political persecution they were the masters of it and now the wheel has turned.Elbegdorj has recently stacked the Supreme Court with 3 new appointments much like any Government can do.
        The trouble is that many foreigners spent a lot of money getting into the pockets of the then MPRP to get what they wanted but now it is unravelling and they don't like it.
        Jon's article "Mongolia's elite lies and a solution" called for the corruption authorities to do their job and that is what they are doing.Of course it is biased and politically motivated. Do you think Enkhbayar would care if Khurts was in a foreign jail for the rest of his life? Anyone who bought these bonds needs to get help for gambling addiction.

        4 Dec, 01:47 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Just to clarify my position.

        Going after corrupt people is good.

        However, selectively going after some corrupt people while protecting others is neutral to negative. Some argue prosecuting Enkhbayar is progress. I say it would only be progress when there are arrests made from people in all parties that are corrupt; and when government officers give up their right to be exempt from corruption charges (as all members of parliament, all ministers, the prime minister and president are all currently exempt from prosecution; if Enkhbayar had maintained a seat in parliament, he'd be a free man today).

        Enkhbayar is still the only person among Mongolia's 100 richest people arrested on corruption charges.

        I appreciate that other people who took money from --------- are going to try to white wash themselves and pin the whole thing on Enkhbayar, but I'm buying that story.

        4 Dec, 03:41 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Correction: I'm NOT buying that story.

        4 Dec, 03:44 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 4

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        It's not only about who took money from Ivanhoe. They took money from all types of sources. Arresting Enkhbayar is a good start, lets hope that someone else from the top 100 will be arrested soon.
        Three of the four investigative units in Mongolia are controlled by the MPP/MPRP only the IAAC is now DP controlled. Of course they will use it to their advantage as it is the only tool they have. It was the Americans who created the IAAC and like you are now complaining about it's bias.

        5 Dec, 02:52 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Well, I didn't help create it. LOL.

        Of course there was money taken from various sources. With this, my question becomes:
        - was this or that action actually corrupt, or was it standard business practice? (i.e. if everyone knows the rules, and operates the same way, is bribery really corrupt if there is a standard practice that it is part of a process)

        ***

        What if Enkbayar was not arrested because he was corrupt, but because he was threatening to come clean with the public about corruption?

        What if Enkhbayar was not arrested because he was corrupt, but to hide the corruption of others?

        What if Enkhbayar was arrested correctly; who ought to be arrested for the same reasons outside the government? and inside the government?

        These are not questions based on facts. They are only questions I wonder about and can't get answers to I feel confident about one way or the other.

        5 Dec, 06:06 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Nice work by Terrence Edwards on the MPRP pulling out of it's coalition with the MPP. http://reut.rs/VBeCCp

        "Mongolian bonds plunged $7-$8 on Wednesday on the news..."

        5 Dec, 06:23 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Sarah Armstrong case is getting close to being long enough for the Australian press to start counting the days she's been held (which is the only news story that can be reported about it, as no one is willing to speak on the record about the case in any meaningful way)
        http://bit.ly/VjMeTr

        5 Dec, 06:44 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        http://bit.ly/VkoluM
        This story also misses the point of Sarah's detention.She was detained after she was given executive authority in Mongolia and her name was on ICC International arbitration proceedings against the GOM.They hoped to emulate the success of the Khan Resources case.There is still no word from Molyneaux Tromans or McRae "men" who don't want to go to Mongolia and get a young woman to do their dirty work.
        Stan's story including your grab Jon is safe conservative journalism which doesn't explain what really happened and wont help Sarah.

        5 Dec, 01:12 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        1) I spoke to Stan for nearly an hour for that snippet you heard from me. I don't control what fits the story he can make from it right now.

        2) I'm a journalist. I normally would not give an interview (I should be the interviewer). I did the interview because I know how few people are willing to talk on the record about this case.

        3) What I said to Stan that didn't make it into the interview was a lot of things I had to couch in terms of "some people have said" this and "other people have said" that, and I've heard all this as third hand gossip. However, that's the truth. I don't have facts. I have guesses and suppositions on how I would triangulate the information I have been given, but I don't have facts.

        4) Neither I nor Stan nor any other journalist can go pointing our fingers based on suppositions from third party gossip. For one thing, we wouldn't have much integrity if we did. For another thing, we could get sued for doing so, and rightfully so.

        5) We need facts. We need legal documents. We need interviews with people directly involved. We don't have them. We can't get them. If we could, I'm sure Stan, as well as myself, would be happy to do more.

        5 Dec, 04:09 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        You and Stan both have some facts that I sent you privately.You are both more interested in sticking to your journalistic routines and safe guarding your careers than trying to help her. Don't try to put me down. I will keep trying to keep her welfare as a point of discussion. If you need legal documents ask Molyneaux,McRae or Tromans or perhaps the ICC would have a record of their submission.

        6 Dec, 03:40 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • haiguike Comments (417)

        You're asking a journalist to stop being an objective journalist? Jon is a journalist because it is his passion. He's not making much money journalism; his main source of income is his investments. He does not work for any major corporation that he needs to safe guard his career from. He is simply trying to be objective and unbiased.

        6 Dec, 04:32 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        Objective implies without feeling . l don't care where Jon makes his money I care about Sarah Armstrong and the people who put her in her current situation.
        You can contact me via the inbox and I will give you the info that l gave to Stan and Jon and you can make up your own mind.Jon by his own admission is an unemployed blogger seeking employment.

        6 Dec, 05:33 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        dulleyefarmer,

        Have you considered that I also have been told information that is the opposite to what you have told me? Because, you're not the only one with an opinion, and I've heard the other side of things.

        What would you have me do?
        Publish an article about all the contradictory hearsay I've heard none of which I can verify.

        So, all I have is a collection of information different people have told me third hand. I have no verifiable facts. None.

        I tried the e-mail you provided. I got no response. So, there's nothing I can do with it.

        The people you suggest getting documents from will not give them up, and I'm not sure we're exactly looking for official documents either anyway (more likely, looking for unofficial documents that can be verified as coming from XYZ source).

        I am not going to continue this line of discussion further. The subject is moot until there is clear factual information. There is none except that she is detained.

        I'm not talking down to you. I'm not being safe. I went out on a limb I was not terribly comfortable with letting myself be interviewed by Stan. I've written and done what I can with what I have. So I suggest you stop talking down to me.

        6 Dec, 07:04 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 5

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        Point taken it is very frustrating to see her situation continuing. All her points of contact will be watched and it seems clear that her employers aren't going to help her by providing documents or interviews.Some contradictory hearsay might be good you can always say it is rumor or speculation.The difference with my evidence is that it is fact from her and not others. I am not the only one with an opinion and I am sure this matter is complicated and probably involves bribery corruption and the ICC the point is her employers knew there would be further trouble and left her there to deal with it.As far as going out on a limb I have done that by talking to you and Stan and yet nothing was reported of Sarah's actual words on the matter.

        6 Dec, 02:01 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • KingFox Comments (17)

        Transparency International ranks Mongolia 94th out of 176 countries/territories on its 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index. Not nearly as bad as I would have thought.

        Jon I think you raise a very good question in what is "corruption/bribery" vs standard business practices.

        In addition where is the line drawn on this issue, for example is building, say a school or hospital, for the citizens of a country where you would like to do business a "good" or acceptable bribe ?

        5 Dec, 12:15 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        The difference would be what the law of the land says and how the laws are implemented.
        Building a school or hospital could depend on who suggested it and sold you the land/building and for how much. There is a great deal of corruption going on in the hospital precinct opposite the main square in UB.It is small money for foreign companies trying to make themselves look good.

        5 Dec, 01:19 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        KingFox,

        As I've said before on corruption/bribery. I knew people when I was a child who got painting contracts to paint bridges in New York City. They were very frank that part of the deal were payoffs/bribes to the city government, the mafia, and the unions. If they didn't do that, they couldn't get the job and the work done. Once they did it, they made their money. This notion that corruption/bribery is unique to developing world countries is absurd. There's plenty going on in Europe, U.S., etc.

        As for schools and such...
        I'll just say one of my "favorite stories" in Mongolia is all the buildings in the south of Ulaanbaatar, in the Zaissan district. Zaissan was supposed to be a national park protected from development. However, there was an exemption for buildings that had something "educational" in them. So now, Zaissan is covered with buildings that theoretically have a one-room nursery school or one-room museum in them, etc., to meet the "educational" guideline.

        As for businesses such as Turquoise Hill or any other mining company building educational venues and healthcare centers, I think that's smart on their part. It is a low cost way to do community relations. All the mining companies should do more of it and help raise educational and healthcare standards. Higher educational and healthcare standards wouldn't just build community relations in the short term, but would provide the perspective to the next generation (via education and a better quality of life) to understand better how the mining companies can be good partners with the nation.

        Look around some time and think what you wouldn't have without mining... say goodbye to electricity (even green electricity needs something mined - lithium, silicon, metals, etc.), say goodbye to cars, computers, light bulbs, plastics, metals, silverware, etc.

        5 Dec, 04:19 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Guest Investor Comments (20)

        A week ago, a wild wolf was found roaming in "Khatan-Tuul" residential complex in Zaisan area. The armed cops shot the dangerous animal causing protests from environmental groups.

        Companies seeking international investors to invest into "elite" real estate in Zaisan area probably should insert something about wolf menace in their investment booklets....

        7 Dec, 05:13 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • doubleguns Comments (6026)

        Wonder what protest they would have gotten if they shot one of the environmental group members roaming in "Khatan-tuul" residential complex.

        7 Dec, 11:11 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        Traditionally it was good luck to see a wolf or in Chinggis Khan's case a blueish wolf.There are large packs of dogs roaming around Mongolian cities I have some great footage of a "contractor" walking around city streets with a rifle following dogs into corners and shooting them then dumping them onto a truck. In 2006 one enterprising group was shooting UB dogs and making them into buuz (beef dumplings) for sale at the UB Naadam.Unfortunately for them they were busted with a van full of dead dogs. A wolf menace clause could be good, also a clause about every time you step outside someone tries to rob you.

        7 Dec, 11:44 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Guest Investor Comments (20)

        The Supreme Court has reviewed the Enkhbayar's case today. Charges related to TV-9 television and Erdenet Mining Company were dropped, but charges for "Urguu" hotel and "Ulaanbaatar Times" building were upheld. The Enkhbayar's sentence was reduced to 2.6 years

        7 Dec, 05:05 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Thanks for that rapid update GI.

        7 Dec, 06:22 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        This is a joke in a country where everyday citizens are routinely sentenced to 8 and 10 year prison terms for seemingly small crimes eg. cannabis possession.
        The people of Mongolian will know this decision is a joke as they know what he has done and what he owns. Can someone please explain to me again how his son E. Batsugar was ineligible to run for parliament but was made number two man at the Mongol Bank? the back door deals are always fascinating in Mongolia as plans are well under way for the next election cycle.If the Urguu and Ulaanbaatar Times charges stick will this mean he is ineligible to stand for parliament?

        7 Dec, 11:57 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • Guest Investor Comments (20)

        Enkhbayar's case is bogus with not a shred of evidence against him personally and would have been thrown out in court in any civilized country.

        Case against Enkhbayar in "Ulaanbaatar Times" privatisation is particularly ridiculous.

        The prosecution failed to produce any evidence suggesting that he influenced privatisation process. So how can he be charged for this?

        Don't worry the Mongolian prosecutors will find a way...

        It turns out that in 2010, Mr. N.Enkhbayar, retired former president of Mongolia, has decided to go into private business and became CEO of a company called "Eskon".

        "Eskon" in turn has acquired another company called "Media holding" owned before by N.Enkhtuya, his sister.

        Two years earlier, in 2008, this "Media holding" company has given a loan (several hundred thousand dollars) to managers of "Ulaanbaatar Times" newspaper.

        So essentially the case against Enkhbayar is that he became a CEO of a company which acquired another company which two years before gave a loan to managers of "Ulaanbaatar Times" which money they used to win the privatisation tender which might have been disadvantageous for the state (which btw they also failed to prove).

        The fact that the Supreme Court has upheld this ridiculous sentence means essentially that CEO of any company can be tried for any wrongdoing committed by any company they have acquired (even if they weren't even present in Mongolia at that time).

        This legal novelty is particularly relevant for foreign investors buying Mongolian companies.

        Rio Tinto managers (or lawyers like Ms. Sarah Armstrong) thus can be held liable today for any crimes or wrongdoing committed by Mr. Friedland's Ivanhoe, for example

        Even in 2003....

        8 Dec, 02:50 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        N. Enkhbayar "decided to go into private business' way before 2010.He was already an extremely wealthy man and had a myriad of companies, partnerships and family and friends placed in key positions. This spin is ridiculous. I wonder how Interpol are going trying to locate N Enkhtuya?The Supreme Court of Mongolia can interpret cases any way they like, they don't have to do it the way you would prefer. I have been banging on about the inadequacies of the hybrid Mongolian legal system for years. It is not democratic, American or fair. Imagine Rio managers being liable, surely not. I think some of them might be worried about setting foot in Mongolia.

        8 Dec, 07:42 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Thanks for your detailed run-down of the cases against Enkhbayar, Guest Investor. Do you have any supporting links to news items?

        ***

        Does anyone have a copy of HERO magazine's list of Mongolia's 100 richest for 2012? (I have 2011... but I'm guessing it is dated... and I'm curious how many folks are rising and falling in wealth with the decline in FDI)

        ***

        I wonder if Enkhbayar's sentence is being reduced as other members of the elite, even from the DP, begin to realize that if they go through with this case and imprisonment, they themselves could be next.

        9 Dec, 09:48 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Guest Investor Comments (20)

        Here is what the court sentence states exactly:

        "N. Enkhbayar, with the Ulaanbaatar City Mayor and Director of the capital City Property Privatization Commission of that time, T. Bilegt and D. Chuluunbaatar , illegally purchased the Ulaanbaatar Times printing house under the name of Do. Chuluunbaatar and under the Media Holding company to be registered under his sister"s name N. Enkhtuya, and further registered it as a subsidiary to his own company, which the court deemed that it caused huge damages to the Capital City."

        http://bit.ly/12g0H8C

        Note that the former mayor Bilegt was not sentenced, even though it was he who approved the privatisation. Bilegt is hiding somewhere in the United States where he went for health reasons and never returned.

        The prosecution could not prove Enkhbayar's link to privatisation, so they found a roundabout way - they conjectured that since he later has acquired the company which gave financing to management team which won the privatisation tender, so he must have been an ultimate beneficiary and he must have organized this illegal conspiracy all along back in 2008!

        But not a shred of hard proof was produced - not a single piece of written evidence with his signature at the time of privatisation, no witness testimony, no testimony of "co-conspirators", nothing.

        9 Dec, 06:45 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        Bilegt has now joined the long list of people disappearing"for health reasons". Bilegt, Khurelsukh ,Enebish and Bayar how stressful it must be for these poor guys.
        GI you sound like a kid who bought a train set and set it up then turned it on and the train ran backwards. The Mongolian legal system is not what western Governments paid for it is much more complex and your indignation will go unnoticed.

        10 Dec, 02:50 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • KingFox Comments (17)

        An article written in the Asia Times today.
        http://bit.ly/QNe9Oy

        7 Dec, 12:36 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 3

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        "In addition, I should mention that one of the staunchest defenders, in the West, of ex-President Enkhbayar has been Mr. Doug Schoen, writing in Forbes Magazine. A few minutes on Google reveals that Mr. Doug Schoen's company Penn, Schoen & Berland is linked, via affiliation to the WPP Group, to Ogilvy PR which is in a strategic alliance with a PR firm, Breakthrough PR, in Mongolia. Coincidentally, Breakthrough PR's Ulaanbaatar office is located IN THE SAME BUILDING as ex-President Enhbayar's TV9 television station. "
        This reply to your linked article shows the direct link to Bill and Bettina Infante former Director of the Asia Foundation in Mongolia and now running Breakthrough PR a shameful organization milking money from the MCA/MCC as consultants, grooming political candidates, and manipulating Mongolia at every chance they get.

        10 Dec, 03:01 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • EBennett Comments (8)

        I don't like Doug Schoen at all either but this connection seems a little tenuous. I find it hard to believe that there is some elaborate international conspiracy here.

        10 Dec, 07:53 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        Tenuous links are used exactly for this purpose.I never mentioned an international conspiracy but l do believe there is blatant manipulation done by numerous self serving foreigners in Mongolia.
        TAF is a pretend aid organization founded by the CIA in 1951 as the Committee For Free Asia. Both former country representatives Layton Croft (Ivanhoe board) and Bill Infante (Breakthrough PR) have gone on to show their true colors.
        Tenuous links often lead to interesting places such as Mongolia or the Cayman Islands.
        Jon one of my comments seems to have disappeared? and we were getting along so well. I hope it was just a problem with the server or maybe a tenuous link?

        11 Dec, 01:48 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        I didn't delete any comments on this blog the last few weeks (except one of my own to update it).

        11 Dec, 02:19 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        OK it was a comment for GI about how he was like a kid who brought a new train set and plugged it in and it ran backwards.A clumsy metaphor about Mongolia.
        Good news about Sarah Armstrong the Mongolians have stopped blocking all her emails and some have made it through to friends. There is still no outcome and my prediction of her being held until Tsaagan Sar still seems likely or as others have suggested she could be used as a pre presidential election stunt.
        Rio has apparently cancelled a $1 million dollar Mongolian Cultural Concert tour to Australia next year. They funded the tour of the Bangarra dance Company to Mongolia earlier this year but are apparently not sharing the love with Mongolia at the moment.

        12 Dec, 03:17 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Guest Investor Comments (20)

        Asia Times is getting a habit of writing about Mongolia quite frequently. Unfortunately the quality of their articles is getting worse.

        I particularly liked this crazy article

        http://bit.ly/SMGyUB

        It's about building super-sized windmills in Gobi desert (by Newcom LLC) and selling their energy to Japan, through thousands of miles of power cables across Mongolia, China, sea, Korea and sea again....

        I wonder how many investors will be sucked into this scheme

        7 Dec, 10:01 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 6

      • Stilldazed Comments (1322)

        GI,
        Copper cables? Wonder where they would get all that copper? Oh, the irony.
        ;-)

        9 Dec, 03:43 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 1

      • dulleyefarmer Comments (51)

        Probably the same investors that bought the recent Mongolian bonds

        9 Dec, 03:53 AM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

      • Jon Springer Comments (3346)

        Sovereign immunity; an important topic for Mongolia currently.

        Felix Salmon explains a bit about that little thing called sovereign immunity in this 6 minute video about Argentina http://bit.ly/SY8FyK

        9 Dec, 01:14 PM Reply Delete Comment Like 2

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Comments (2)
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  • joggle
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Let me remind you that foreign investors are not angels. As for the South Gobi Sands case, it has been discovered by the police that the company has evaded some $125 million dollars and 4 of its 15 licenses were renewed despite the fact there were clear legal grounds for revocation. The Company also had a secret contract with the Mongolian People's Party. So, it is ridiculous to view Sara Armonstrong as a innocent witness, as a lawyer she would have known the legal consequences and risks of taking the slippery slopes. All directors have managed to escape as soon as they suspected that the new Government would investigate the company's affairs. The Mongolian police has asked Interpol to look for those directors. The bottom line is the SGS case creates a poor image of Rio Tinto as a reliable and honest investor.
    18 Dec 2012, 09:34 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Hi joggle,

     

    Thanks for your comment.

     

    Current blog that others read is here: http://bit.ly/sNjhw1

     

    This is archived data I keep of older comments.

     

    If you want to copy & paste your comment into the current blog, you will need to change (or add) about two words (as the Seeking Alpha system does not allow multiple posts of the same comment).

     

    I will send you an e-mail with some other information in case you want to use Seeking Alpha more.

     

    Best,
    Jon
    18 Dec 2012, 09:39 PM Reply Like
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