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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: If it is easier, you can find my recent work sorted by country on this... More
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  • Standard Bank's role in the whole Just/Erdenet/Savings Bank deal is being investigated by the government. As a part of this, one of their executives has been named as a suspect and is not allowed to leave Mongolia.
    1 Dec 2013, 07:02 AM Reply Like
  • This has a familiar pattern to it. We never did hear what happened to Justin Kapla/ South Gobi the last executive banned from leaving the country? As for Wolf they should change the symbol from WOF to WTF.
    2 Dec 2013, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • Kapla is still in country, under a travel ban, as are two other more junior foreign SGS management. Expect progress on that matter very soon.
    3 Dec 2013, 02:22 AM Reply Like
  • You are the first person to mention anything about Kapla for 10 months thanks for the news. This in spite of a media blackout remains a serious unresolved issue.
    3 Dec 2013, 02:08 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Comments are NOT deleted. Comments from March 13 to December 13 have been archived here:
    13 Dec 2013, 01:02 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Some facts about my status.


    - I am now a contributor to Forbes Asia's website.
    - Home page:
    - Recent post (on Thailand):
    - Recent print edition Forbes Asia article (on Sri Lanka):


    - My role contributing to Forbes Asia is to cover emerging markets for all of Asia, including Mongolia. I should have my first work on Mongolia in a long time up by the end of the month.


    - I would like to maintain this blog as everyone's comments here are useful and this is a great discussion room. I will likely pop in very occasionally as contributing to Forbes' site will take up quite a bit of time.


    - I would of course also be pleased if you registered as followers of me on the Forbes site and would read my work on Mongolia and other countries there.


    - As mentioned above, older posts have been archived here: I wanted to clean this page up so it loads faster.


    - I have never commented under an alias on this blog.


    - I was premature in trying to come back in my comment of August 7th of this year. The fact was that I needed to think more about how to return after being away a long time.
    13 Dec 2013, 02:10 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » More personally:


    - I am really grateful to all of you who have commented here and in my other posts for the last three years. Please keep me up to date on what I can do to keep this blog a good environment for you, and what news items you're interested about reading about for my work contributing to Forbes Asia.


    - It has been a really challenging year. In part, honestly, it was a year where I really didn't realize everything that transpired until Forbes asked me to be a contributor to their website. It was a strange tough go of things. Just for the serendipity of it, it is worth noting I was initially offered to be a contributor for Forbes on my birthday.


    - Those of you who need other channels to communicate with me to let me know about things anonymously, please send a note to my Seeking Alpha in-mail.


    - I have left up the comments about executives indefinitely detained in Mongolia (despite those comments now appearing in the archived comments as well), as this bothers me deeply.


    - If anyone knows how to contact MSE Investor and other who gave up waiting, please let them know I am back, albeit in a different format, and with different obligations.
    13 Dec 2013, 02:23 PM Reply Like
  • Welcome back! Look forward to following your comments at Forbes. Congratulations on the new soapbox.
    15 Dec 2013, 09:37 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Cheers Pathfinder. I know I owe you an e-mail. Thanks for the reminder, going to it presently :-)
    15 Dec 2013, 10:09 PM Reply Like
  • Chris Bradley from Standard Bank was allowed to leave the country last Thursday.
    23 Dec 2013, 12:33 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Kapla and two Philippine nationals who worked with SGS are still under exit ban to my knowledge, and I am working on an article about this.


    Thank you for the update on Mr. Bradley. I'm curious why he was released so rapidly while the SGS detentions linger.
    23 Dec 2013, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Can you or someone tell me about Hilarion "Larry" Cajucom and Cristobal "Cris" David, both also formerly of SGS?
    23 Dec 2013, 12:31 PM Reply Like
  • Seasons greetings Jon and others. It is very interesting why the US is so tolerant of the Kapla situation. Imagine a US citizen being refused exit for example in Iran or Iraq.Is the International arbitration case still active and why has the signatory ,Sarah Armstrong disappeared off the radar.
    The Standard Bank have done their dough but the SGS case is much more complicated.
    24 Dec 2013, 04:19 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Hi dulleyefarmer,


    Been waiting for you to turn up. Season's greetings to you as well.


    Various issues related to SGS seem to have more layers of complication. That said, Ms. Armstrong was able to leave in short order last year compared to Mr. Kapla and his two colleagues mentioned above (who have been under exit ban longer than Mr. Kapla I've come to find out).


    The practice of using exit bans seems to be a risk of doing business in Mongolia as a foreigner.
    24 Dec 2013, 08:35 AM Reply Like
  • Both are still in country, barred from leaving, along with Justin.
    24 Dec 2013, 09:24 PM Reply Like
  • Its a busy time of year for us farmers cutting hay etc. along with the other jobs. l am very interested in your upcoming story Jon. Speaking of ex pats in trouble in Mongolia l would like to open the case of the former Vice Consul of the British Embassy who "died" under mysterious circumstances whilst on holiday aged 44.There are some very serious rumours as to his demise. Peter O Brien was deputy to Chris Osborne who is married to Rio executive Emma Pinnell. Osborne retired to Australia late 2007 but Emma continued working in Mongolia.
    24 Dec 2013, 11:39 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » when did this happen? link to article below
    25 Dec 2013, 06:31 AM Reply Like
  • Congratulations on the article and raising this forgotten matter. There are still legitimate Mongolian concerns that can get lost in family reunion talk. The transfer of licenses, the payment of 6 million dollars to Monnis, the botched sale, and the International Arbitration case are still unresolved.
    The Peter O'Brien matter happened sometime between 2007-8 good luck in trying to find any information.
    25 Dec 2013, 07:50 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Second Christmas Without Families For Executives In Mongolia
    25 Dec 2013, 06:31 AM Reply Like
  • Dulleyefarmers latest conspiracy theory regarding Peter O'Brien (above) and his inaccurate portrayal of the former British Ambassador and his wife are just plain disgusting.


    Peter had transferred out of Mongolia for some time and was well established back in the UK before he tragically committed suicide for deeply personal reasons. He was a good man and not deserving of this type of slur being applied to his life and work.


    For anyone to make allusions such as Dulleyefarmer is doing ("mysterious death "; " very serious rumors as to his demise") is not only wrongly portraying Peter and his career, but are guilty of slurring a man in death.


    Is there yet another conspiracy theory that this guy is alluding to? Why inverted commas around "died"? Is he trying to allude to something along the lines of murder or assassination? Really? Or is it just simple character assassination?


    "I would like to reopen the case" indeed. There never was a case, except in dulleyefarmer's ailing mind. If it wasn't such a serious set of innuendos his approach would be laughable for its pomposity.


    When Ambassador Osborne and his wife were posted here, she was not employed by anyone. After some time in country she was employed locally by Rio's then-exploration office, before the Oyu Tolgoi deal between Rio and Ivanhoe. She was not in an executive position in the normal sense of the word. When the ambassador had to retire early due to ill-health, she left as well. There may have been a week or two difference, as she had to come back and pack as he was unable to travel from his sick bed.


    It is all as simple and as innocent as that. In Peter's case it was as tragic, simple and as sad as that.


    One has to wonder why he maintains this constant stream of outrageous anti- Rio, anti-british, anti-diplomatic, anti-western rubbish. Let alone the other untruths he has spun about some Mongolians.


    Jon - congratulations on a good, accurate and sympathetic portrayal of the situation regarding the SGS employees. You have also alluded to the sterling job that the US Mission here has been doing in difficult circumstances. It has shone an honest light on dulleyefarmer's previous innuendos against those diplomats and their efforts. I know that there is scarcely a day goes by that justice for their citizens is not pursued. You quoted a paragraph from their investment guide which clearly portrays their frustration of these processes.


    Perhaps you are not aware, but this practice has been going on for years, with other examples of ex-pats being detained in country prior to the high profile recent cases this thread and your article mentions.


    I know of at least four cases in the years 2003-2012 where western businessmen who had disputes with their Mongolian partners were detained for periods well over 12 months by this method. The civil dispute is converted to a criminal matter by the Mongolian partner and thus as a material witness to a (concocted) criminal case is not allowed to leave the country. Of course this needs the tacit co-operation of the authorities as these issues are blatantly not criminal and the subsequent criminal investigation is deliberately delayed for a long time.


    Canadians, British and American businessmen have spent desperate years in Mongolia under this benign method of detention. Some people missed their close relative's funerals, children's weddings and a goodly portion of their homelife. There seems to be no mercy as you have portrayed in our Filipino and American friends' cases.


    They all ended with no material actions against the detained persons, and they could eventually leave the country. Some have come back and worked on here.


    One good sign to have come out of the Bradley matter is that it was solved in a month, unlike all previous cases you have written about and I have mentioned above. Either the New Zealand diplomats have more stroke than the US or Philippines, or the Mongolian government is starting to realize what damage these practices do to the reputation of their country.


    Finally, despite dulleyefarmer's sweeping assertion that Standard Bank have lost their money, there is still an arbitration case to be heard in the UK and the defendants are not just private Mongolian companies, but also government-owned entities. SB's case is strong and I would not discount either a judgment against the Mongolian parties which would be internationally binding and embarrassing enough for them to pay, or a settlement being reached beforehand.
    25 Dec 2013, 10:25 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » For the portion of the comments directed at me, and your thoroughness, I thank you very much.


    If you recall names of previous people who were under exit bans longer than 12 months, this may be useful in future articles... if this practice continues.
    26 Dec 2013, 06:36 AM Reply Like
  • You always are quick to label everything that l raise as a conspiracy theory. Peter let me state was also a friend of mine who l spent a lot of time with socially. He helped us a lot and as you say and l agree totally he was a good man .l am very aware of his situation.
    When l returned to Mongolia in October 2009 l enquired at the Embassy about my friend to be told that he had died and that he was on 3 weeks holiday and no one found him.On November 19 l spoke with a former ASIO operative who is involved in a commercial venture in Mongolia, he raised the matter not me and claimed to have seen the file which paints a very different picture. l am happy to eloborate in private but not in this forum.l resent you suggesting that l am sluring my friend, l don't see how you can twist this when l am trying to find the truth .There is a file and if you have access to it or have connections l suggest you read it.
    Chris Osborne was in fine health when l saw him heading off to Shanghai for his DIMI interview he was hospitalised with a respiratory complaint as a precaution in the winter of 2007 when the British taxpayers paid $70,000 to fly him to Hong Kong in a medical jet.This is approximately half of the British aid budget for Mongolia. Emma told me they met in Angola while working there. The British Embassy has a lot of direct connections to UKTI and the Mining Industry. Once again your exagerating is distorting the reality.Your claim that Emma only stayed on a few weeks is also wrong if you search you can see World Bank documents showing her active role in Rio Mongolia in 2009. It doesn't really matter it only shows that your information is often incorrect.
    27 Dec 2013, 03:25 AM Reply Like
  • More (correct) facts:


    Peter permanently departed the Embassy in Mongolia on 29 November, 2008.


    Your statement that he was on holiday at the time of his death almost a year later may be correct (I do not know), but he was not on holidays from Mongolia.


    Peter O'Brien's tragic death was officially notified on 12th November 2009 and he was buried on 25 November. That doesn't quite add up to your story of you being told of his death in October 2009, does it?


    Ambassador Osborne was emergency medivacced out of Mongolia to Hong Kong with severe respiratory failure in late March/early April 2008 (seven months prior to Peter's departure).


    What has the cost got to do with anything, let alone you bringing up the "aid" furphy? The cost was covered by insurance, not the British taxpayer.


    And is your meeting with him in Shanghai in the winter of 2007 relevant?


    The British Embassy has connections with the mining industry and their own government's Trade and Investment body? There has to be something sinister about that, eh? Laughable.


    The ambassador's wife promptly resigned from Rio when the ambassador was repatriated out. There is a public announcement of her resignation dated 12th April 2008. Later, she came back with her sister for a few weeks to pack their belongings, as the Ambassador was hospitalized and told by medicos he could never travel to altitude again and had to take early retirement.


    Neither ever returned to Mongolia, let alone her being here working for Rio in Mongolia a year later in 2009 as you state. A link to the World Bank document you cite would be easy to post?


    An un-named former ASIO operative is your sole source for a file on a British diplomat that you never sighted and he only claimed he saw? Give me a break!! It sounds to me like you were huddled with a former junior Australian diplomat late at night in a Mongolian bar self-aggrandizing and trying to outdo each other with tales of high level international intrigue.


    Much the same as you sound four years later.


    Your shady innuendos against three fine UK diplomats who did a fine job while they were here are nothing short of despicable.


    And as for your usual habit of making sweeping statements: Please point out to me exactly where my information is "often incorrect". It sounds like you should be able to severely embarrass me with multiple examples.


    This blog certainly has strayed from being an informative investment forum about Mongolia. I apologize to all for being a part of that and indulging in this type of exchange. But dulleyefarmer's hijacking of the blog for his outlandish, scandalous, inaccurate and hurtful rumor mongering just could not be let stand unchallenged, in my view.


    Enough is enough.
    27 Dec 2013, 06:06 PM Reply Like
  • It sounds like you should be able to severely embarrass me with multiple examples."
    The trouble with making arrogant boasts is that they may come back to bite you.l am still waiting for my reply regarding the evidence l sent you in private. You seem remarkably quiet. l stand by all of my previous claims. The only information that l didn't know was the exact date of the death, thank you again for telling me as it never came up in any searches. If l was your employer l would review your position on these issues you are clearly asleep at the wheel. Can't wait for your reply and apology.
    28 Jan, 02:26 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » For what it's worth, I should have two interviews with people from Mongolia in the next month.


    I'm really curious if an international bank is going to step in and make custodian account available when the new Securities Market Law goes into effect January 1. There's the Mongolia ETF name Van Eck registered in 2011, Mark Mobius and others laying in wait for that custodian situation to come into effect, and someone to make those custodian accounts available.


    However, if no one makes the custodian accounts available, it doesn't matter.


    And then, I do worry, if ETFs start entering into Mongolia, the MSE could get too wild for its own economic health, as that could be a major influx of money onto a small exchange.


    What do you all think?
    27 Dec 2013, 06:19 PM Reply Like
  • I believe it is inevitable. Mongolia will experience an enormous influx of hot money into a tiny exchange as the worldwide liquidity cycle has been picking up. As Mongolia's policymakers are inexperienced and the market is wide open, euphoria will once again return to Mongolia. When worldwide liquidity contracts and the hot money leaves, it will have a devastating effect on Mongolia's economy.


    MSE Investor's theory and investment strategy are fundamentally sound; however, I believe in the next contraction of the liquidity cycle, anti-foreign sentiment will increase several fold than from what happened in 2012/2013 and the GOM may be forced to implement capital flow restrictions, anti-business policies and even nationalization of foreign entities to appease populism.
    27 Dec 2013, 08:47 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » New exit ban article on Marketwatch/WSJ


    Can't find the article on WSJ for some reason, but clearly its there.
    1 Jan, 11:23 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » ah... here it is


    Amazing that local Minnesota and Philippine news outlets are ignoring these guys.
    2 Jan, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Different discussion topic I'm curious for thoughts on.


    A curve ball to watch for this year is when the settlement with Khan Resources is announced. There is the potential for it to be big enough (a few hundred million dollars) to give the government a bit of a ding at a time when finances are tight.


    UN arbitration court already ruled in favor of Khan last year (and I missed out on the opportunity to cover the hearings in Paris due to illness... there's one trip to Paris written off as a business expense down the drain).
    2 Jan, 06:34 PM Reply Like
  • agree. why take it from Kahn, who owned it, and sell to Russia? Sounds highly irregular and smacks or very illegal but nobody seemed to care.
    You would think that Mongolia would like to clarify the negative impressions they give if they wish for increased FDI or undo prior wrongs just on moral purposes. This is obviously a naive hope.
    2 Jan, 09:37 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Oyu Tolgoi goes to Harvard:
    5 Jan, 04:22 PM Reply Like
  • Battushig Batbold, the son of Mongolian Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold, "princeling", early 20's and working for major investment firm, interesting. He was a co-author of an "Abstract"(?) article.

    6 Jan, 05:26 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » "Abstract" is the term academics use for "summary" of an article. The "abstract" comes first so readers can decide if the details within are germane to their research topic.


    Interesting relativity.
    6 Jan, 05:42 AM Reply Like
  • Enkhbayaar's son married a woman from Goldman Sachs , these children aren't "princelings" but spoiled brats used as pawns to try and gain influence by foreign companies. What about the head of MAK group buying the seat of the the former General Secretary of the MPP Khurelsukh for $500,000 and giving it to his son Nomtoibayar.
    Enebish the man who sold out his own country as head of Tavan Tolgoi has been enjoying his retirement in Australia along with several other dodgy Mongolians. his son in law works in the Mongolian Embassy Canberra.
    17 Jan, 03:12 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Two things that interest me off the Cover Mongolia wire today.


    1) Enkhbayar promises political comeback


    2) CEO for Mongolian Stock Exchange resigns
    6 Jan, 09:29 AM Reply Like
  • If an investor is going to speculate on Mongolia investments, there is a big difference between resigning or getting fired. I speculate that he was fired.
    7 Jan, 08:15 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Hi Jeff,


    It has come to light that both the CEO and Deputy CEO of the MSE resigned. I think they have had some major achievements in their time working with the exchange and have decided to get paid now.


    As I understand it, being in charge of the MSE is a public service position that doesn't pay particularly well. Fair play to these guys for doing great service to the exchange and their country by bringing in all the changes they have during their time at the exchange.


    However, as they were good shepherds to many changes, I am concerned about whether their replacements will be up to the forthcoming challenges.
    7 Jan, 09:05 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Mongolian Stock Exchange interview:
    12 Jan, 07:10 PM Reply Like
  • Concur on the above comment. I visited the MSE 18 months ago and was impressed at the integration that they have completed with the London Stock Exchange.
    The market is treating Mongolian stocks like radioactive material at the moment but it's not because of any faults with the exchange itself. Mongolia's infrastructure is quite strong compared to some of the other frontier market exchanges I've visited. They're listed on Bloomberg now - both individual stocks and the MSE-20 index - which is more than I can say for many other frontier markets.
    12 Jan, 11:44 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Here's a good article by long-time Mongolian resident Terrence Edwards on Enkhbayar getting back into politics:


    The government of Mongolia probably needs to make a lot of progress in 2014 as attention will turn to 2016 elections by 2015, and that may be a disruptive distraction, again (especially if Enkhbayar has anything to say about it).
    21 Jan, 09:25 AM Reply Like
  • Looks like the Elbegdorj magnanimous gesture to pardon Enkhbayar could prove to be a rookie political mistake as well a a financial blunder for Mongolia.
    Enkhbayar, rattling his sword, will slow down the OYU TOLGOI phase 2 project and show the GOM as weak.
    Growing foreign investment support has been undermined.


    Time for Enkhbayar and/or Altankhuyag to step in with some strength and get something accomplished with OYU TOLGOI or the whole socio/politic/financia... situation will become a 'house of cards'.
    23 Jan, 10:52 AM Reply Like
  • sorry I meant Elbegdorj to jump in and do something.


    Then again Enkhbayar is precluded from running for office due to his conviction. Could his sword rattling be an OYU TOLGOI ploy?


    Isn't Kahn Resources due with their response to the court for their case an ain't the GOM?????
    23 Jan, 01:40 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I *think* Khan's UN case is due to have a settlement hearing in March. Not sure about the status of the Canadian case. Will check in with colleagues.


    As for the politics, I think a lot depends on if Mongolia can find the sweet spot or if they will keep swinging wildly from side to side. What I mean by this is if they can have moderate laissez-faire business policies and economic growth to allow the country to grow without growing in such an extreme way that anti-foreign-business populism rears its head next election cycle due to a sense of over-exploitation. This is in part up to the Mongolian government, but part of depends on the outlook of foreign investors.


    Enkhbayar is most successful at getting attention in the international media, less so in politics these days. However, the former can be more damaging for Mongolia's FDI at this point.
    23 Jan, 08:50 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Okay. To correct myself after talking to a colleague a few hours back.


    1) Khan's case against Russia (in Canadian courts) failed
    2) The settlement hear at the UN tribunal in Paris should be in March or April. They have won the case but is yet to be determined what the compensation number will be.
    3) Also, will be interesting how long Mongolia is given to pay Khan as Mongolia does not have a few hundred million dollars on hand to make a full pay off.
    24 Jan, 03:02 PM Reply Like
  • Perfectly put "sweet spot".
    The GOM was too influenced by some faction that killed foreign investment last year.
    They need to get it back on track, but not turbo charge it out of control.
    A well run sovereign wealth fund could control the surge and make it more business friendly. Others have done it well----Norway, Saudi Arabia, Singapore (Temasek-a holder of TRQ stock).
    24 Jan, 09:53 AM Reply Like
  • Here are words from Filipino billionaire Enrique Razon on Nigeria at Davos:


    "They produce over 2 million barrels of oil a day, huge population, GDP close to $300 billion. They need power, they need ports, they need many things. The government is much more serious than in the past of trying to build up infrastructure and build the economy."


    If Mongolia becomes serious, with only 3 million in population, they can easily become like Australia or Norway. Perhaps Mongolia should focus less on the global politics and branding and more on infrastructure and exports.


    Nigeria's GDP per capita is catching up to Mongolia and they have a population of 180 million.
    24 Jan, 12:38 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I was just posted a link to his Bloomberg article before coming here. What a guy.
    24 Jan, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Mongolia's FDI dropped 48% in 2013 according to preliminary reports. Ouch!
    26 Jan, 10:26 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » So does governance lead FDI, or does FDI lead governance?


    In any case, it seems they are correlated for now. FDI goes down, government makes policies more welcoming to foreigners. FDI goes up, government makes policies less welcoming to foreigners. This has been the cycle since 2006 or earlier. A new influx of FDI followed by policies remaining stable in the wake of elections of 2016 & 2017 will be needed to prove this time is different.
    28 Jan, 08:00 AM Reply Like
  • Good point. This is the problem. The new investment law means nothing until it is demonstrated by the OT phase 2 settlement, the Kahn Resources settlement, the 106 licenses resolved,-----all of which must include that the hoped for increase in FI will be used by all of Mongolians to be distributed by the new emphasis on "SMART government.
    The SMART concept is ----if implemented well and sincerely---the foundation of a great policy.
    29 Jan, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Good post mccorj, thank you.
    29 Jan, 06:11 PM Reply Like
  • New attempt to spark debate here:


    There has not yet been much discussion on this site involving the Mongolian banks (probably because they're not publicly traded) yet I would argue that they are one of the most critical catalysts for a hoped-for resurgence of FDI:


    Savings Bank blew up last year on the back of bad loans made by its holding company. Now we are seeing signs of trouble from Golomt. One of its largest lenders just called a loan ( and we're hearing rumours about an arrest warrant being issued for the bank's former CEO in absentia.


    Any insights into current stability in the banking system, or Golomt Bank in particular?
    2 Feb, 01:16 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Touched on this topic a bit for my next Mongolia interview/article which I'm guessing is going to be published next week.


    In the interim:
    - I wrote in November 2012 that it seemed like the banking plumbing was in bad shape and there might be a bank collapse in 2013 (Savings Bank's "bail out" or buyout by the government was as close as we came)
    - I've heard from some of the people I was talking to in late 2012 think things are "better" though all the banks are not quite out of the woods
    - my 2 most knowledgeable sources on this have been quiet, if they want to get in touch upon seeing this, they know how to find me... but one of them was very worried about a large bank imploding while the other (back in 2012) said Savings Bank collapsing would be insignificant (and wasn't a "major bank")


    there... that's a start...
    3 Feb, 08:14 AM Reply Like
  • In regards to the health of Mongolian banks:


    Rumors had been flying around Golomt for the last year. Will be curious to see how they come out of this latest issue.
    4 Feb, 01:05 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Golomt is one of the banks more heavily enmeshed in loans to mining companies. Mining has sucked the last couple of years because of the anti-foreigner laws (mostly now kaboshed) and the declining natural resource prices. Thus, not great times for Golomt.


    That said, if the folks in Abu Dhabi seriously didn't know there were corporate governance issues at a Mongolian institution before loaning them $25 million, then they didn't do their due diligence.


    Thanks for the link and input Isaiah.
    4 Feb, 06:46 AM Reply Like
  • More bad news about Golomt:
    4 Feb, 08:29 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Thanks Pat. This is not good.
    4 Feb, 09:09 PM Reply Like
  • This article is about Mongolia, the banking system, and big time investors (Credit Suisse, sovereign wealth fund) wanting to get out of Mongolia, even with Mongolia's resources underground..............


    I've been in Mongolia but not visiting over 9 years like the Standard Chartered executive from Australia , who was a cheerleader for Mongolia, but as the article says he now feels embarrassed.


    In addition to political risk, potential for laws to be changed, add now banking exec, according to the article, keeping loans off the books/destroying records/etc


    For any foreign company coming to Mongolia, their ex-pat execs might be ok, but .......
    as the exec from Standard Chartered and Credit Suisse and sovereign wealth fund have been burned,
    ...every company needs to look at their business and assess where they could get burned an employee, by a bank, by zoning laws or changing laws... what other risks are out there?
    Enterprise Risk Management 101


    With this news, Mongolia, as a country imo has just had a Reputational Risk event ... when a large well known domestic bank plays with it's books the Executive level ... who can you trust? Management are stewards of an enterprise ...and if they create the situation that's really suspect , especially at a banking institution that people feel are trusted ... and the Regulator needs to do something too. I'm available on an Advisory basis to companies or the regulator.
    6 Feb, 12:50 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Well, Golomt says it has no problems to repay Credit Suisse and Abu Dhabi
    6 Feb, 12:24 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting article with the Golomt CEO.


    His confidence and dismissal of the recent news is not reassuring.

    7 Feb, 03:25 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Thanks for that link A.tom
    7 Feb, 06:26 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Asked & answered on an old article about Mongolia Growth Group.


    Question from Bazooooka:
    Mr. Springer,
    What's your take on MNGGF since last year? Have you talked to Mr. Kupperman since this article. Its amazing the stock is down 66% while real estate values are supposedly going up in Mongolia. How can the stock not participate in the widely reported double digit GDP growth? Are investors missing something; volume is at an all time high so presumably those who would know best (the placement investors) are exiting at a loss for some reason.
    Answer from me:
    Hi bazooooka,
    Pretty much, most stocks listed outside of Mongolia have moved in concert with the price movements of TRQ. The government made very bad laws for foreign investors in 2012 that discouraged investment just as natural resource prices declined in earnest. FDI for Mongolia has plummeted the last two years, going down about 48% last year (2013) alone. My guess is real estate is flat to down depending on location. I believe MNGGF is well positioned for an uptick in the market as it has focused on commercial space that will benefit from an upswing in the economy.
    Honestly, if Mongolia starts getting FDI again and natural resource prices begin to rise and Mongolia figures out how to sell its natural resources at a fair price to China or someone else... then MNGGF will be a good investment as it is built to leverage a natural resource boom in Mongolia. On the other hand, if those things don't happen, it doesn't matter what the valuation is.
    I've spoke with Mr. Kupperman as recently as December 2013 (two months ago) and he remains very positive and optimistic.
    In truth, there were a number of things I anticipated would happen in spring of 2013 that would push the stock price up, none of which happened. For example, myself and some colleagues had anticipated an investment from Mongolia Blue Wolf Holdings which was a blank check company that had the conditions to invest around $60 million in one company doing business in Mongolia with clean books as a minority shareholder by April 2013. The only company that really qualified was Mongolia Growth Group, however it turned out that the regulations of the New York Stock Exchange where Mongolia Blue Wolf Holdings was listed would not let them invest in any companies in Mongolia because Mongolia did not meet some regulatory standards (PBOAC). In essence, I anticipated something that couldn't happen because the "very smart" guys at Mongolia Blue Wolf Holdings did not do their homework in advance on these regulations which wound proving the speculation of myself and colleagues to be a waste of time.
    I also thought the government would fix the things that scared off foreigners faster than they did and resolve issues with Rio Tinto & Turquoise Hill faster than they have (as they have not yet).
    6 Feb, 07:24 AM Reply Like
  • Maybe these types of situations, highlighting a growing sovereign risk, that may get worse before it gets better, is perversely good for my position (long TRQ / EGI, foolishly thinking it cant get any worse for these positions) and that it gives RIO a stronger position to deal from in its operations within the country. Of course assuming that RIO has shareholders, my best interest in mind. Ha !!


    Broke one of the fundamental rules of investing and fell in love with a position, and now paying for it !
    6 Feb, 09:03 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Hi KingFox,


    The problem for Mongolia (and TRQ shareholders) with RIO is that once RIO got over 50% ownership of TRQ, no one has any negotiating leverage with RIO. RIO is a gigantic company and if they don't like the terms of anything in their dealings, they can simply wait and mine elsewhere. They will get the terms they want sooner or later and if the share price goes lower in the interim so they can buy more TRQ shares on the cheap while they wait for their "partners" and "investors" to wake up to the fact that they have no negotiating leverage, that's okay too. If you pause and think about what you would do if you were a pure capitalist in charge of RIO, this is all pretty clear.
    6 Feb, 09:32 AM Reply Like
  • A terrific expose by Keith Harmon Snow, whose opinions get quoted on this board on occasion as an authority on Mongolia:



    (I'm being sarcastic, as I am on record as calling his material total rubbish).


    An amazing piece of "journalism" that I am sure will sink without a trace as per his previous efforts. As I am very familiar with all of the players and the events, I gave serious thought to writing a response, but quickly realized that to rebut all of his willful errors, lies and spin would be a huge job with probably no thanks or credit.


    It would be easier to write a critique pointing out what he got right. It would be a short piece.


    Of marginal interest it is noteworthy that he writes constantly about wicked western companies and states but never mentions Mongolia's nearest neighbors and their influence.


    My advice is to read it if you have a 30 minutes of your life you wish to waste, and if you want to end up feeling slightly ill.
    7 Feb, 06:29 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » One has to hope Keith gets paid by the word. As with his earlier work, a tall glass of whiskey on the rocks is recommended as accompaniment to the reading. As I have said on Twitter, I think the story that has been missed is that the $100,000 and acclaim Mr. Munkhbayar won with the Goldman Prize was negative for him as it radicalized and emboldened him. Most locals suggest he became progressively more isolated in the years since the prize as his actions became more radical.
    7 Feb, 02:53 PM Reply Like
  • If he was paid by the truthful word he would be a pauper.


    You are right. Even the Asia Foundation, the original proponents for his award acknowledge this and have disowned him. The Goldman Prize people still provide a partial defense by promoting his side of the story but there is next to no support locally and he is recognized for what he is.


    Hence the jail sentence.


    The focus of my comment was more the inane, biased and obsessive nature of this eco-warrior's writing. (I almost said reporting).


    While there are lots of stories about Modern Mongolia that should be thoroughly investigated and extensively aired, this is not one of them.




    * Erdenes TT debt levels $720m and rising)
    * Erdenet's profits
    * MAK's Tsagaan Suvraga financial issues
    * MMC
    * The new Minerals Law amendments (unprecedented state control and no recognition of private sector)
    * The new mineral policy (back to a central market economy)
    * Golomt (more ugly facts to come)
    * Property values and construction standards
    * The structural faults with the new, much acclaimed but not as yet successful Investment Law.
    * A detailed analysis of the Government's attacks on OT for the past three years


    just as the tip of the iceberg.
    7 Feb, 06:57 PM Reply Like
  • Earnings 2013 from MSE listed companies popping up:



    Shopping list:



    To keep in mind:

    11 Feb, 05:23 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Query received by e-mail from a reader:


    "i have followed ur blog over the past few mos as i am interested in TRQ; i was wondering if u have any thots on the following theory: it seems TRQ is now trying to put pressure on GOM to sign proj financing (see their press release today); they havent used proj financing committment expirations as a pressure point in the past; i do beleive they are close to resolution but dont have the support of ALL in govt (some radicals left who probably vow to never sign it); they obviously want ALL support so as not to risk someone coming back one day and trying to take back the agreement; so thye are putting pressure on them now; do you think they are trying to clean this up now b/c they are worried about Enkhbayer's return / political influence increasing? or am i reading to much into that? i agree with you comment on RIO's poker game; they are in win-win situation; no agreement, stock falls, they buy more; so you really need Mongolia to come on board and sign-up for this to work; i worry TRQ now thinks that may not be possible, so they are pressuring them now with the proj finacining committment expiration;


    any thots?"
    13 Feb, 04:56 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I'll just say this...


    Headwinds against TRQ/Oyu Tolgoi:


    - Natural resource prices are down significantly from their peaks


    - Based on geography and infrastructure the obvious export market for TRQ is China but China knows this and has leverage negotiating price, or just not buying unless they get a bargain


    - Government of Mongolia did some laws and things in 2011, 2012 and 2013 that were bad for foreigners and are going to stick around for a while


    - Neither 50.8% owner RIO nor TRQ itself do, or should, care about the current company stock price. Their job is the long-term health and profitability of the mine and the company, and if that means long and hard negotiations with the government of Mongolia and/or buyers in China, RIO is a large enough company that it can afford to be patient until it gets what it thinks is fair


    - Pending litigation against TRQ about its share price declines probably doesn't help its share price either


    - The need for greater infrastructure from railways to energy supply




    As for the questions in the reader e-mail about politics, I feel like the reader is writing from a different year. Mongolia's current politics is about trying to get FDI back in the country before the economy and currency is into deep(er) trouble.


    Whether or not TRQ and the GOM get things done in a timely manner is a matter of thinking about the motivations of all parties involved, and what their vested long-term interests are.




    Things are not that complicated. The only complexity to understand is the leverage that parties involved (directly or indirectly) are negotiating with. China (the end buyer of Oyu Tolgoi's production) has a lot of leverage as it can get its natural resources anywhere in the world. RIO/TRQ has a good amount of leverage as RIO has enough other mining operations around the world to afford to be patient for the right deals. The Government of Mongolia has the leverage that the mine is in their country and they own 34% of it. However, the Government of Mongolia needs the success of this mine's development not only for the economic boon to the country but for the public image of the country. In the end, as the Government of Mongolia is dealing with two parties (Rio Tinto and China) that are large enough that they can afford to ignore Mongolia (and its resources), it is a tough negotiating environment.
    13 Feb, 05:19 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Are there only 6 people reading this blog? If you like this blog, please like this comment so I know you're here.
    17 Feb, 07:47 AM Reply Like
  • Hi JS,
    Still here and lurking (I am not a peeping Tom). ;-)
    17 Feb, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • I'm still reading too. Glad to see you're back Jon
    18 Feb, 08:43 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Thanks Stilldazed, Jason and the rest of our band of 11 merry men (unless someone here is unexpectedly a lady).
    24 Feb, 12:04 PM Reply Like
  • Maybe some women might take an interest in these kinds of blog topics by now, who knows.
    24 Feb, 01:32 PM Reply Like
  • I think the above comment nails it. For all its rhetoric about wanting to renew FDI inflows, the GoM's knee-jerk reaction to the South Gobi incident, and its heavy-handed brinkmanship with Rio, produced self-inflicted wounds that will endure for a long time. Sideshows like Golomt and the Chris Bradley case only reinforce the market's negative outlook.
    Mongolia's two (larger/more powerful) neighbors will always force it to be the low-cost provider of resources. The best strategic move that the country can make right now is to strike a deal with China, Russia (maybe even DPRK?) to confirm long-term, low-cost rail access to a port, which will at least allow them to retain some pricing power.
    16 Feb, 01:35 PM Reply Like
  • Some action is underway to improve Mongolia's rail access to other Asian countries and the closest seaports. It looks like it is in everyone's best interest that this be the case so there should be a good chance that this will actually happen.
    16 Feb, 02:01 PM Reply Like
  • Of course Pathfinder is correct, but practicalities and politics will mitigate against third country rail access as a short-medium term option:


    I cannot imagine any likely importer of Mongolian products (ROK, Japan) accepting products that have come via a DPRK port. Also, the DPRK route involves two countries transit. There is no common border between Mongolia and North Korea. (One of the problems with HBOil's plans)


    Russian rail links are currently sub-standard and filled to capacity with Russian exports exiting to the Pacific. A test train of coal exports left Mongolia 18 months ago with great fanfare, never to be heard of again. It disappeared into darkest Siberia before getting anywhere near Vladivostok.


    Russia is a competitor to Mongolia's exports.


    China wants to keep all of Mongolia's exports as a captive market. Unless there is some pretty nifty negotiations, I cannot imagine transit rights being easily granted.


    Having said that, there are certain international treaties, obligations and rights that could be used to leverage access in the long term, and Mongolia is using those avenues.
    17 Feb, 04:09 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » North Korea fascination hasn't made sense to me for these and other reasons. Mind you, going through China to get to a port in North Korea is still more reasonable than going via Russia. People like to complain about having to change the rail gauge at the China border but they totally glaze over the fact that they have to change to Russian train cars at the Russian border which are not always available. With Russia trying to export its own natural resources, why are the Russians going to let the Mongolians easily use their rail and port system?
    17 Feb, 07:52 AM Reply Like
  • I think that is a good question, Jon.
    Perhaps someone at the WTO will know now that both Russia and China are members of that organization.
    17 Feb, 12:15 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Terrence Edwards on the banking issue with Golomt:
    17 Feb, 07:46 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Owner of Golomt Bank, D.Bayasgalan: John Finnigan was replaced due to his carelessness
    19 Feb, 07:45 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Oyu Tolgoi - Project Financing: The Other Side of the Story


    MIBG's take on the situation:
    19 Feb, 07:45 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » The long awaited interview of Mogi from Cover Mongolia by yours truly:
    19 Feb, 08:00 PM Reply Like
  • Good interview, Jon. Mogi's CoverMongolia is the first thing I read every morning to see what's happening in Mongolia.
    19 Feb, 09:04 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Have we looked at the chart of the Monglian Tugrik over 10 years lately? Here it is:


    So, as it hits new lows:
    1) currency losses mitigate stock market and other investment gains
    2) is it time to buy the Tugrik while its cheap or is it going lower?
    24 Feb, 12:03 PM Reply Like
  • US$ could benefit from any number of foreign financial crisis and timing Tugrik purchases is a pure parlor game. Continuing to average-in would be more appealing for a long term holder.
    Owning BDSec on the MSE would have more potential; I have no idea about the various brokers.
    Jon, I hope you benefit as much from writing this blog as much as we readers enjoy it. The blog must motivate you to pursue things that you'd otherwise set aside.
    24 Feb, 10:27 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Thanks RbarPNW.


    In my heart, I really want the people of Mongolia to succeed. I got started in journalism by buying a plane ticket to go there so I'll always have an attachment to the place.


    I just began a series of article on Forbes Asia called "Plane Ticket Journals" that will be about people 30 and under who change their lives by taking bold steps and buying a plane ticket.


    (Mind you, while similar to my story, it must be some idealized version of what I wish I had done since I didn't buy my first plane ticket to Mongolia until I was past 40 ;-)
    25 Feb, 04:57 AM Reply Like
    25 Feb, 11:31 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » FYI, the link Ulaanbaatar007 posted is for a presentation by BDSec brokerage COO Nick Cousyn to the Business Council of Mongolia titled "Economic and Capital Markets Update, The Good and The Not So Good"
    25 Feb, 04:58 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » For those interested in speculating on a junior copper miner...


    Kincora Copper (OTC:BZDLF) (KCC.V) *might* be getting interesting.


    Back in 2005, Robert Friedland, who has since been pushed out as found of Ivanhoe/Turquoise Hill by Rio Tinto said:


    "I just want to give you a little preview about something called Bronze Fox. There is a trend there though, you see those circles, that's about a distance of 50 or 60 miles and if we zoom in on Bronze Fox itself, and we've pulled out the slide of Bronze Fox itself. If we have Bronze Fox and Oyu Tolgoi today, and we were just starting the exploration process, it's not at all clear to me that we would screw around with Oyu Tolgoi."




    Since then, the government of Mongolia made Friedland give up Bronze Fox as part of the deal to allow Oyu Tolgoi to be developed. Bronze Fox was then owned by some locals for a while who eventually sold it off to Kincora, a company created specifically to buy Bronze Fox. (the U.S. ticker is BZDLF because the shell of the failed mining company used to create Kincora was a Brazilian diamond miner for those interested useless trivia)


    Now, news today is that former director of the Oyu Tolgoi project for Rio Tinto, Cameron McRae has joined the boards of both Kincora & Sky Path




    The Sky Path involvement makes this more interesting as local buzz on the street is Sky Path is backed by former early stage investors in Skype, and they are about to do a capital raise of a few hundred million. (I got this info from someone who told me about the Cameron McRae news before it was in the news.)


    This all said. Kincora's share price has suffered from continual capital raises to dig more holes to find what Friedland thought was there in 2005.


    - this is in Mongolia
    - copper prices are struggling
    - China, the end buyer for the copper if/when found is currently struggling
    - the Mongolian economy is struggling and the Tugrik is hitting new all time lows daily at the moment (just broke an historic trading band to do that last week)
    - they are still in exploration phase and haven't found what they think is there; and they have been trying


    (A BIG HAT TIP to my source of early knowledge on these things. Great data; bummed I was too busy this week to sort out how to independently gather data and break this story myself. Cheers sir!)
    27 Feb, 07:12 AM Reply Like
  • This strikes me as another sign that the vast mineral wealth of Mongolia will be developed over the course of a life time. Rather than speculate on the potential mining winners, there must be a way to invest in industries that will benefit from Mongolia's robust continued economic growth. How might one find a way to leverage such a boom? Invest in the MSE? taxi cab medallions?
    1 Mar, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Open the most popular bar in Dalanzagad?


    It is tough.


    This is the idea behind MGG (OTCPK:MNGGF) (which I'm long and in the red on).


    This is the idea behind investing in a basket of stocks on the MSE (which I've done but don't think my basket has been particularly good).


    For those with the money, hedge fund, private equity and venture capital plays offer different opportunities that may return multiples.


    Being a smaller investor in Mongolia has both opportunity and challenge.


    All ideas have met challenges at one point or another over the last few years.
    1 Mar, 03:11 PM Reply Like
  • About fat tails in Mongolia

    (MSE Top 20 Index kurtosis ~ 7.0)


    and fat tails in general from Dr. Nassim Nicholas Taleb



    Now draw your own conclusions about MSE!

    2 Mar, 02:55 AM Reply Like
  • I'll agree they are in a very risky situation. If they can manage those risks well, as time goes by, then more power to them.
    2 Mar, 11:05 AM Reply Like
  • Manage? How about manipulate...
    2 Mar, 01:07 PM Reply Like
  • "Manage" hints at taking and facing an ordinary business risk. "Manipulate" hints at some kind of shady dealing. I guess investors can take their pick......
    2 Mar, 07:29 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Mongolia Growth Group appoints new CEO, Paul Byrne:
    "Most recently, Mr. Byrne served as a Board Member and Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Properties, headquartered in Dubai, a US$6 billion property company with
    developments and property assets in 10 countries. The MAF portfolio includes; 4 million square meters of land for mixed use developments, 11 hotels and resorts, 16 major shopping malls including the iconic “Mall of the Emirates” with its famous indoor ski slope and a subsidiary in the property funds management business. While at MAF, Mr. Byrne led the organizational expansion plan to develop 10 retail malls, 8 hotels / resorts
    and 6 major mixed-use developments, across several of the company’s operating regions, most of them emerging


    Full press release:
    3 Mar, 10:18 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » some interesting reading with respect to mining throughout the world and in Mongolia


    The results of this survey for miners as far as where good places to invest money go.



    copied from page 71


    A regulatory “horror story”: The whole Oyu Tolgoi fiasco- government wanting to
    renegotiate a 30 year deal less than two years after signing it.
    —An exploration company, Vice president


    Government has not clearly set out new mining investment rules
    and is stuck with a system where investors do not know what they will end up owning at the end of the day—government needs a clear policy and several years of consistent non-corrupt operation of it to attract more investment.
    —An exploration company, Company president


    (originally post by Marpy - thanks)
    4 Mar, 02:45 PM Reply Like
  • Dont know if this is been discussed already.

    4 Mar, 08:29 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Hi DG,


    Thanks for the link to Cameron McRae's changing colors.


    He has a very different agenda with his new hat from his old hat.


    Old hat. In charge of biggest mining company representing large mining conglomerate ensuring mining conglomerate maximizes profits and gets best deal out of gov't possible (over the long term).


    New hat. Working with the new big hedge fund/equity investment group in town (Sky Path), taking up positions on the cheap and then promoting investment in the country to make some coin.


    The job defines the job... as it were... no tautology intended.
    4 Mar, 09:06 PM Reply Like
  • Jon, Thanks for cutting through the to speak.


    Now we all know where his bread gets buttered.
    4 Mar, 09:20 PM Reply Like


    IMF on Mongolia as of Nov. 1, 2013
    7 Mar, 09:08 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » In case you all have missed the fun, the Daily Mail (of the UK) posted an article last night that RIO is going to buy out TRQ for $8. I'm doubtful, but that bumped shares up after hours, and people also noted strange activity in the options.


    There is now also this article that TRQ & GOM have an OT agreement sorted, again


    And, TRQ also announced they'll have their annual meeting May 8th.


    I'm sitting tight and contemplating my navel regarding all this.
    7 Mar, 12:36 PM Reply Like
  • GOM Resolves to Build "Coal Gasification" Plant in Collaboration With China's Sinopec Group



    If China becomes more involved and GOM is willingly and wisely open to business, then the MNT will increasingly be pegged to the CNY, which would be good for the stability of the MNT and allow Mongolia to build up its FX reserves.


    This is long term bullish news for Mongolia. China may end up investing over US$100 Billion in Mongolia over the remainder of this decade. That is incredibly bullish for MSE stocks even if less than 20% this capital is directly impacting the Mongolian economy. The CCP, PLA and CN SOEs are not OT, which GOM would be downright silly to trifle with.


    If GOM truly wants to be good to its people, they should establish a SWF with all the money they will be making from China.


    Current projects in the works with China are:
    1. Shenhua
    2. US$8B road construction project
    3. US$30B coal gasification project


    I'll be in Mongolia this summer. Hopefully it will be good timing to pick up a few shares in the MSE.
    10 Mar, 06:34 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Other major projects going forward is more interesting to me than Oyu Tolgoi news at this point. What will push Mongolian stocks up, stabilize the currency and really get things moving is a buzz of activities beyond Oyu Tolgoi.


    Thanks for the post haiguike.
    10 Mar, 07:30 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Natural resource prices not looking good for Mongolia


    - Coking coal expected weakness


    - Copper price weakness


    - Iron ore price weakness
    11 Mar, 11:15 PM Reply Like
  • I got to wondering about that, too. The gold and uranium prices are not up where they were, either.
    Perhaps the cashmere industry is holding its own.
    11 Mar, 11:45 PM Reply Like


    That may sound small
    but it is a very BIG step forward for the MoF and Mongolia!


    My congratulations!!


    Now GOM is issuing 3, 5 and 10 years
    so whoever may be interested in locking MNT high yield with limited reinvestment risk can do so!!!


    So just ring the local banks that are building inventory, especially State Banks!!


    May I suggest MoF to advertise a bit on this and raise awareness with investment banks ...and it may find more demands than expected!!
    12 Mar, 07:25 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Nice link to GOM's promotion of bond issues. Cheers MSE Investor
    12 Mar, 08:34 AM Reply Like


    Nice piece of research covering this topic in length!!
    20 Mar, 01:09 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Good bit of research by BDSec on the longer dated bonds Mongolia is issuing.


    BDSec's COO was particularly interested in Mongolia doubling currency swaps with China last night as a sign pointing toward currency stability as well:
    20 Mar, 10:34 AM Reply Like
  • If you are an institutional investor are you _really_ going to put 50+ million USD to work in Tugrik denominated fixed income (OK, they also said equities...)? Guaranteed by a sovereign that has yet to demonstrate its ability to repay or roll over large tranches of international debt? With Rio Tinto busy engaged in write downs of c. USD 4 billion of OT and the Ex-Im bank agreements about to expire? And commodity prices looking to remain weak over the short term?


    The mark-to-market balance sheet risk seems substantial and this all assumes that the GoM is able to make their interest payments in a downturn or stressed scenario as well as payout 10 years from now (default risk not mentioned in the analysis piece).


    A c. 14.5% return (which includes currency risk that can't be hedged) looks too low if it were my money especially that this is likely to end up as a semi-liquid or illiquid asset if things go south.


    I'd be happy to be proven wrong--anyone have an idea what take up is looking like at this point?


    On a different subject, anyone still on the ground have any inside word on this project: ? Who's ponying up financing?


    Given that there is an oversupply of hotel rooms, office space, and potentially high end residential as well in UB (or was as of EOY 2013), I don't know if I buy the value proposition here.
    20 Mar, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Mongolia seeks to end Oyu Tolgoi impasse at parliament session (TRQ) (RIO)
    20 Mar, 03:40 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » New article by me: Mongolia Growth Group's New CEO Seeks Step Change


    Also on the same topic...


    Harris Kupperman interview about new Mongolia Growth Group CEO, Paul Byrne:




    Dates to meet Paul Byrne in the U.S.
    21 Mar, 07:15 PM Reply Like
  • Great article. Paul Byrne's comments seem VERY much on point. MGG has needed to increase yield and leverage up for some time to add value for shareholders. Very good sign for MGG's growth prospects.
    22 Mar, 12:19 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Thanks IsaiahU (on the part about it being a great article :-).
    22 Mar, 10:31 PM Reply Like
  • Something positive out of UB:







    31 Mar, 10:58 PM Reply Like
  • Previous vintages:











    31 Mar, 10:59 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » M.A.D. Mongolia Investment Solutions annual April Fool's Day newsletter.


    My favorites this year in order:


    1) The Louis Vuitton ger


    2) The tunnel from Chile to Mongolia


    3) The Tower of Doom project
    1 Apr, 09:01 AM Reply Like
  • My favorite is Batbayar's Ministry for Extraordinary Things.
    8 Apr, 10:20 PM Reply Like


    FT Blog:
    Mongolia’s investor relations: a job for Genghis Khan?
    10 Apr, 03:29 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » MSE Investor,


    Yes... Dettoni is the latest journalist to discover Mongolia and the ease to right extreme stories about it.


    Yes... Mongolia investor relations are poor...


    Nothing new.
    10 Apr, 08:24 AM Reply Like
  • ho, hum …. more waiting …. one day, one day !!!

    7 Apr, 09:13 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » From the article, "ADB economists now see 2014 GDP growth at 9.5%, down from a previous 14% estimate"


    That's a big cut.
    7 Apr, 09:20 AM Reply Like
  • Indeed and that is what stuck out to me. Of course weak data out of China, that I have no doubt is completely manipulated for some other agenda, is not helping market perception. Anyone with thoughts on the recent and continued brush up involving Russia and the impact this will have on Mongolia. It appears, and not surprisingly, the US has a little more political interest in the area.

    10 Apr, 08:52 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I have suggested to a few friends that Mongolia should be negotiating to put a U.S. military base in Mongolia. My friends have laughed... though I think this could be a good opportunity for all parties. (especially if Mongolia negotiated cheap U.S. natural gas into the agreement)
    10 Apr, 09:28 AM Reply Like


    but there may be a problem here:


    Technically Shamrock, Chuck Hagel’s horse, could be viewed as “US troop” on the ground in Mongolia 
    15 Apr, 07:05 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Nice of Business Mongolia to write that up. It would be a very smart move. Mongolia needs a 3rd neighbor that is materially vested in protecting its interests.
    15 Apr, 10:56 AM Reply Like
  • A coal explorer has enough faith in Mongolia's economy to buy property there.
    11 Apr, 12:27 PM Reply Like
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