Name organizer Where
7th Burns Supper, the Scottish celebration in Ulaanbaatar MBCCI Kempinski hotel
55TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF AMERICAN AND INTERNATIONAL LAW The Center for American and International Law May 27 - June 29, 2018 in Plano, Texas, USA



Disney buying Fox film, TV units for $52 billion in digital push www.reuters.com

(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) has struck a deal to buy film, television and international businesses from Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O) for $52.4 billion in stock, giving the world’s largest entertainment company an arsenal of shows and movies to combat growing digital rivals Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).

The deal brings to a close more than half a century of expansion by Murdoch, 86, who turned a single Australian newspaper he inherited from his father at the age of 21 into one of the world’s most important global news and film conglomerates. The new, slimmed down Fox will focus on TV news and sport.

Early indications are that the deal will not face strong resistance from antitrust regulators as AT&T Corp’s (T.N) bid to acquire Time Warner Inc (TWX.N) has done. U.S. President Donald Trump, who has attacked the AT&T deal, spoke to Murdoch on Thursday and congratulated him on the deal, according to the White House.

Shares of Fox, which have surged more than 30 percent since talk of the deal surfaced in early November, closed up 6.5 percent. Disney shares rose 2.7 percent, spurred on by the company’s plan to buy up to $20 billion of its own shares to offset dilution from the all-stock deal. Disney will also assume about $13.7 billion of Fox debt in the deal.

Fox stockholders will receive 0.2745 Disney shares for each share held and will end up owning about a quarter of Disney.

Under the deal, expected to close in 12 to 18 months, Disney acquires 21st Century Fox’s film and television studios, its cable entertainment networks and international TV businesses.

That brings marquee franchises like “Avatar” and “The Simpsons” inside the Mouse House, on top of Iger’s previous purchases, including Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Entertainment and “Star Wars” producer Lucasfilm.

The deal also includes 22 of Fox’s regional sports networks that have the rights to televise live games of U.S. professional baseball, basketball and hockey teams as well as popular college and high school games.

Disney’s global footprint expands with the acquisition of Fox’s international satellite assets, including Star TV network in India and a stake in European pay-TV provider Sky Plc (SKYB.L) and sports rights in several countries.

The new pipeline of shows and movies will help Disney battle technology companies siphoning audiences away from traditional TV networks.

Amazon is on track to spend at least $4.5 billion on video this year, according to analyst estimates, while Netflix plans to spend $8 billion on content next year. That is closing the gap on Disney, which spent $13.5 billion on content, half of that on sports, in the latest fiscal year, according to analysts.

“The deal illustrates the huge strategic challenge traditional media companies face and how they need to reinvent their business models to compete with digital, online competitors such as Netflix, Google and Amazon,” said Nick Jones, partner and head of technology at Cavendish Corporate Finance. “(It) helps Disney dramatically reduce its reliance on traditional television, a business that has declined over the last two decades.”


Immediately before the acquisition, Fox will separate the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, its sports channels FS1, FS2 and the Big Ten Network, into a newly listed company that it will spin off to its shareholders.

“This will be a growth company, centered on live news and sports brands and the strength of the Fox network,” 21st Century Fox Executive Chairman Murdoch told investors. He said Fox was not retreating, rather “pivoting at a pivotal moment.”

Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger, 66, will extend his tenure through the end of 2021 to oversee the integration of the Fox businesses. He has already postponed his retirement from Disney three times, saying in March he was committed to leaving the company in July 2019.

If Iger sees out his new term, that would rule out a presidential bid in 2020, which had been the subject of some speculation.

“This acquisition reflects a changing media landscape, increasingly defined by transforming technology and evolving consumer expectations,” Iger told investors on a conference call.

He said new technology would be necessary to meet the demands of viewers who want to access content anytime. Fox’s regional sports networks and cable network puts Disney in a better position to sell more shows directly to more consumers, he added.

Disney has been struggling to bolster its TV business as cancellation of cable subscriptions is pressuring its biggest network, sports channel ESPN.

The company plans to launch its own streaming service in 2019, a calculated gamble that it can generate more profit in the long run from its own subscription service rather than renting out movies to services like Netflix.

It is not clear who will head the new Fox. Iger said current Fox CEO James Murdoch, Rupert’s younger son, will help with the transition and that the two will discuss whether he will have a longer-term role at Disney.



State Structure Standing Committee receives feedback from discussions on constitutional amendments www.theubpost.mn

Secretary General of Parliament Secretariat Ts.Tsolmon presented Head of Parliament’s State Structure Standing Committee D.Lundeejantsan with the conclusions from the open discussions on constitutional amendments, which took place throughout Mongolia from late July to early September.

Ts.Tsolmon underlined that 550 representatives from the Parliament Secretariat, task forces on constitutional amendments and government officials from districts and provinces actively worked together to increase public participation in discussions on constitutional amendments and to increase people’s proposals regarding the amendments, and used various channels such as online and postal submissions to receive public comments and thoughts related to the amendments.

He noted that the task force got feedbacks from people who participated in discussions; 143,894 people took part from 21 provinces and 116,527 from Ulaanbaatar’s nine districts, and 63,638 proposals were collected through postal submission and 3,316 proposals through online submission.

The Secretary General said, “Unfortunately, some people who submitted comments and thoughts to the task force did not provide some required background information such as permanent address and first name or last name, and the proposals of 272,895 people who provided required information have been put into an online database by Parliamentary Secretariat’s Information Technology Department, which is open for the submitters to make sure that their proposals are included.”

Ts.Tsolmon added that 47.3 percent of the 272,895 proposals were given by men, while 52.7 percent were from women. 32.2 percent were from young people between the ages of 18 to 35; 19.8 percent by people between the ages of 36 to 45; 16.1 percent by people between ages of 46 to 55; and the remaining were submitted by older people aged above 55.

People voted on the first draft of the amendments to the Constitution, which was debated by the public in open discussions, and 72 percent supported a proposal to ban the increase of expenditures that have been outlined in the draft state budget. Some 70.9 percent voted for the proposal to extend Parliament’s spring or fall sessions’ duration to 75 working days.
78.2 percent of the public who participated in discussions supported the proposal to introduce a merit system in state services to ensure continuation and stability.

75.5 percent accepted the proposal to legislate a strict ban on the mass dismissal of state officials after an election. 71.6 percent voted for the proposal to increase the members of the General Council of Courts to 11 members. 71.4 percent approved of that the proposal that after Parliament approves judges of the Supreme Court proposed by the General Council of Courts, the President shall ratify it, and the President shall appoint judges proposed by the General Council of Courts.

With 69.9 percent vote, the public supported the proposal that the Supreme Court judge nominees must be above the age of 40, and judges must be above 30 years of age.
50.7 percent of people voted against the proposal to eliminate the President’s power that instructs Cabinet on issues in the areas of his or her full power.

53.4 percent agreed with the proposal to eliminate the President’s authority to put forward a bill to Parliament. 60.5 percent of voters supported a proposal that one-third of Cabinet members can have a seat in Parliament. 68.1 percent voted to reduce the President’s authority to dissolve Parliament. 59.4 percent voted for a proposal that Cabinet must have five permanent ministries; the Ministry of Justice and Internal Affairs; the Ministry of Finance; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Ministry of Defense; and the Ministry of Environment, and the Prime Minister is eligible to put forward a proposal to form up to seven new ministries in social, economic and infrastructure sectors depending on the country’s socio-economic state.

53.3 percent agreed that the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar should appoint mayors of districts; mayors of provinces will appoint mayors of soums; district mayors will appoint heads of khoroos; and mayors of soum will appoint heads of bagas. 68.1 percent of voters agreed with the proposal that Parliament will have the right to form a temporary committee to review a public interest issue, and more than a quarter of MPs or a group of a political party or a coalition in Parliament will have the right to propose to create a temporary committee to the Speaker of Parliament.

With 64.8 percent support, voters agreed that the Prime Minister must submit his or her decision to appoint or dismiss a Cabinet member to the President and Parliament, and the President is to have the power to ratify or veto the Prime Minister’s decision within 72 hours. 65.9 percent of people voted for the proposal on the local administration hierarchy of Mongolia; specifically, a province will be made up of soums; a soum will be made up of bagas; the capital will consist of districts; and a district will be made up of khoroos.



China about to knock out petrodollar by trading oil in yuan www.rt.com

As one of the world’s top energy importers, China has successfully completed its fifth dry run in yuan-backed oil futures contract trading. The step has been already called Beijing’s challenge to the US dollar.

According to Bloomberg, which cited a statement from the exchange, 149 members of Shanghai International Energy Exchange traded 647,930 lots in the rehearsal with a total value of 268.2 billion yuan. The system met the listing requirements of crude futures after the exercise, it added.

“This contract has the potential to greatly help China’s push for yuan internationalization,” said Yao Wei, chief China economist at Societe Generale in Paris.

She added, however, “its success will hinge critically on the degree of freedom allowed for the capital flows related to the contract.”

A former China division chief at the International Monetary Fund, Eswar Prasad said: “It is not unreasonable to envision a world in which the overwhelming share of commodity contracts, especially for oil, are no longer denominated just in dollars.”

But “the yuan’s role in global finance will ultimately be determined by the degree of commitment of Xi Jinping’s government to economic and financial market reforms.”

Since the 1970s, the global oil trade has almost entirely been conducted in US dollars. The largest energy consumer, China, is interested in having oil contracts in yuan. Beijing plans to introduce its own oil benchmark which will rival Brent or West Texas Intermediate. Analysts say Chinese authorities will need to first convince large oil producers and consumers to use the yuan and invest in the Shanghai benchmark.

The Chinese government announced plans to start a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold earlier this year. The contract will enable the country's trading partners to pay with gold or to convert yuan into gold without the necessity to keep money in Chinese assets or turn it into US dollars.

The new benchmark will reportedly allow exporters, such as Russia, Iran or Venezuela to avoid US sanctions by trading oil in yuan.

In September, Venezuela ditched the greenback for oil payments. Caracas has ordered oil traders to convert crude oil contracts into euro and not to pay or be paid in US dollars anymore. The measure followed the rolling out of sanctions by the United States against the country.



Indian captive power plants running at half capacity due to coal shortage www.mining.com

The Indian Captive Power Producers Association or ICPPA held a press conference on Thursday where its president, Rahul Sharma, denounced that most captive power producers are getting half of the coal they need from state-owned Coal India and are considering increasing their imports.

The scarcity of the mineral is due to the government’s decision to divert most of the country’s output to electricity generators in order to prevent outages. Coal India’s shipments to power plants rose 9.2 per cent to 290.6 million tonnes in the eight months ended November 30, 2017. This accounted for 79 per cent of the overall supplies of 368 million tonnes during the period. Local reports state that India’s thermal power capacity of 137 GW requires about 1.43 million tonnes of coal daily and, despite the increased supply, power plants currently have enough stock for eight days, when they are required to pile up 21 days worth of coal.

Given this situation, the public company is trying to engage states and the Central Electricity Authority in an assessment process that would provide a clearer picture of each region’s revised power demand for the next three years. Coal India’s goal is to use this information to do a more efficient job dealing with increasing demand.

But power plants that distribute electricity to the population are not Coal India’s only clients. The firm, which generates more than 80% of the country’s coal, is also in charge of supplying the mineral to ICPPA member-companies who generally produce electricity for their own use.

Chemical factories and aluminum smelters are among the latter and, according to the aforementioned Rahul Sharma, the local shortage is pushing them to make costlier overseas purchases, which has increased their power costs by 50 per cent.

Thermal coal at the Australian port of Newcastle, which is an Asia-Pacific benchmark, is trading near $100 a tonne after gaining about 17% in the financial year that started in April, Bloomberg reports.

High costs combined with reduced power generation is rendering operations economically unviable with huge risk of plant closure, Sharma and his team said at today’s event. The ICPPA requested urgent government intervention in this matter.



Housing price index in Ulaanbaatar - Nov, 2017 www.mongolbank.mn

Following is the public report of the November 2017 results of the “Housing Price Index” (HPI) research conducted independently by TenkhlegZuuch LLC at the request of Mongol Bank.

The research shows that the general index of housing price was 1.01 in November 2017. It shows a growth by 1.1 percent in January 2013. The index increased by 0.16 percent compared to the previous month. The general index increased by 0.24% compared to the same month in previous year. Below are the Price index indicators classified by new and old houses.

The new house price index was at 1.16. This shows a growth by 0.20 percent compared to the previous month. The index increased by 1,26% compared to the same month in previous year.

The old house price index was at 0.92. This shows a decline by 8.55 percent in January 2013. The index increased by 0.47 percent compared to the previous month, and dropped by 0.50% compared to the same month in previous year.

HPI was calculated by applying Hedonic regression methods and the calculation was based on the information available for 4881 old and new houses supplied for sale at the real estate market of Ulaanbaatar for the particular month.



Inner Mongolia seeks to create uniform rules, promote Mongolian chess www.news.xinhuanet.com

HOHHOT, China, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- A group of Mongolian chess players and experts from China and Mongolia have agreed on a series of standard playing rules here during an international forum in a bid to better promote the sport, said Nasun, president of the forum's organizer, the chess association of Inner Mongolia, on Wednesday.

"We have proposed World Chess Federation to legitimate them as worldwide rules," Nasun said. "If we succeed, we plan to adopt them in an international Mongolian chess competition in Ulan Bator, Mongolia slated for August, 2018."
Mongolian chess, also known as Shatar, is mainly played in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region as well as in Mongolia.
Rules of this variety of chess vary in different places. "Even in Inner Mongolia, we have different playing rules in various counties and cities," said Gunbatur, a Mongolian chess player from Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia, adding that the differences had become an obstacle for the promotion of the traditional sport.
Gunbatur started introducing Mongolian chess to the local elementary and secondary schools in 1996. He opened a club last year and has attracted 60 students to learn the techniques of this form of chess.
"The uniform rules will promote exchanges between players from diverse areas," Gunbatur said. "We look forward to hosting more regional, provincial, national and international competitions following the same rules," he said.
In a bid to further promote the sport, the local Mongolian chess association is devoted to developing software with an IT company for players competing around the world, Nasun said.



Mongolian government supports meat exports www.news.mn

Mongolia in recent years has started to export meat products in order to build up foreign exchange revenue and to diversify from its traditional export base of coal and ores. The country has already exported large amounts of meat products to countries including China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Japan, Iran, Vietnam and Qatar, with the annual export volume expanding five times compared to that of 2013. From the perspective of Mongolia's foreign trade in 2017, the Mongolian government obviously intends to promote its economic growth by means of expanding exports of meat products.

Mongolia will export 200 tons of goat meat to Vietnam between 2017 and 2018. The two governments believe that the signing of export agreements on livestock products will be a great boost to the goal of achieving bilateral trade of USD 70 million by 2020.

Also in August, when a Saudi Arabian government delegation visited Mongolia, both parties conducted extensive discussions on the establishment of a joint-venture meat processing plant and a relevant working team.

In November, during a political consultation meeting between Mongolia and Paraguay, Mongolia showed great interest in Paraguay's experience in beef exports and expressed a desire to strengthen bilateral exchanges and cooperation in relevant fields.

The Chinese government has expressed its willingness to give positive consideration to Mongolia's desire to expand its exports of mineral and energy products as well as increasing its beef and mutton exports. The two countries can expand their trade in meat products by establishing joint-venture meat processing plants or increasing or expanding cold-chain logistics zones for meat trading and processing in their border zones. Also, both countries can strengthen cooperation on the prevention and control of livestock diseases and the development of relevant vaccines.



Government's involvement highlighted in e-health project implementation www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar/MONTSAME/ In collaboration with the World Bank’s ‘E-Health Project’ and World Health Organization, the Ministry of Health organized a National consultative meeting on E-Health on December 14 in Ulaanbaatar.

Beginning from 2000, projects, supported by WHO, and the Governments of Luxembourg and China, are being implemented to digitalize health services with a purpose to provide quality and accessible health services by using advanced ICT technologies.

The Government of Mongolia and World Bank’s International Development Association signed a credit agreement on implementing ‘E-Health Project’ in June, 2015 and the agreement was ratified by the Mongolia’s Parliament in July, 2015.

The objective of the project is to improve integration and utilization of health information and e-health solutions for better health service delivery. It will design an e-health system to provide faster access to more integrated health information systems. It will speed the processing of referrals, avoid duplication of tests and procedures, and facilitate follow-up care. The project will pilot new e-health system in two aimags and one district of Ulaanbaatar city so that information to be shared among hospitals and healthcare providers, even in remote areas. 

Health Minister D. Sarangerel said, “Although there are some ongoing projects on building capacity of infectious and non-infectious disease information system and developing e-health system, it needs to satisfy their integration and unity, coordinate technical and financial supports of international donor organizations and increase involvement of the Government.”

The national consultative meeting brought together over 100 participants from the Ministry of Health, other ministries, agencies, international donor organizations, health centers of aimags, capital city and districts and other organizations.



ADB Asian Development Bank : Signs Grant Agreement to Support Smallholder Vegetable Farmers in Mongolia www.4-traders.com

ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA (14 December 2017) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Mongolia today signed a $3 million grant to pilot community-based approaches to farming in the country's central growing region of Tuv, Selenge, Darkhan-Uul, and Uvs aimags. The grant will improve livelihoods of smallholders involved in vegetable production.

Signing the agreement on behalf of the Government of Mongolia was Minister of Finance Ch. Khurelbaatar, while Country Director Yolanda Fernandez Lommen signed on behalf of ADB. First Secretary Hiroshi Fukasawa from the Embassy of Japan in Mongolia witnessed the event. Representative from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Light Industry also participated.

'The project supports the Mongolian government's efforts to improve agricultural productivity through inclusive value chains, climate change adaptation, and capacity building for farmers,' said Ms. Fernandez Lommen. 'The broad scope of this project reflects the work of the government and ADB to target key regions, sectors, and beneficiaries for poverty alleviation, livelihoods, and the environment. The goal is that these pilot projects are sustainable and can be replicated and scaled up elsewhere in the country.'

The grant is funded by the Japanese government-financed Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR), which over the past 18 years has supported projects in Mongolia focusing on poverty alleviation, community development, improving livelihoods, and safeguarding the environment.

Unlike livestock, vegetable farming remains an underdeveloped sector in Mongolia despite good potential for cropping. The project will introduce a community-farming model, applying improved climate-resilient farming practices and high-level greenhouse technology. It will strengthen farm-to-market linkages and integrate farming groups into inclusive agriculture value chains.

Vegetable farmers generally earn low incomes and the country is heavily reliant on imported products. The demand for good quality, locally-grown fresh produce is on the rise as people relocate to cities and citizens become more aware of the need to extend their diets beyond traditional meat staples.

The project is expected to directly benefit at least 180 farming households, many of them headed by women, representing about 500 farmers and seed producers. Indirect benefits will accrue to at least 45,000 people in target districts, or soums.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members-48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.



December 14, 2017 trading report www.mse.mn

On December 14, 2017, 146,820 shares of 36 firms listed as Tier I, II, and III were traded. 10 firms’ shares increased in price, 21 decreased and 5 remained unchanged. Mongoliin Khugjil Undesnii Negdel /HAM/ was the top performer, increasing 14.98 percent, whereas Uvs-Chatsargana JSC /CHR/ was the worst performer, decreasing 15.00 percent.

On the secondary market for government bonds, 12 bonds with a value of MNT0.8 million were traded.

The MSE ALL Index decreased by 2.04 percent to stand at 1,177.31 points. The MSE market cap stands at MNT2,489,471,669,340