Controversy swirls around sale of Russian share of Erdenet mine to newly registered Mongolian company NAMBC Newsletter
Announced one day before the June 29 elections, the proposed sale of the 49% Russian-owned shares of Erdenet Copper and Mongolrostsvetment to a newly formed Mongolian company has provoked controversy and will be debated by parliament when it reconvenes after the ASEM meeting. In a post-election analysis on July 6 at our brother organization, the Business Council of Mongolia (BCM), columnist and civic activist D. Jargalsaikhan (“Jargal de Facto”) asserted that last-minute popular anger with the transaction may have cost the ruling Democratic Party (DP) more than 20 seats. A similar point was made by “Cover Mongolia” editor and publisher Mogi Badral Bontoi, writing in the Nikkei Asian Review , where the called the Erdenet sale announcement the “ tipping point” for the DP before the elections.
Russian state-owned Rostec company agreed to sell its shares in both companies for US$500 million, as reported by Bloomberg News. The buyer is the newly-formed Mongolian Copper Corporation, headed by 28-year-old Tsooj Purevtuvshin, who briefly worked previously as a legal adviser to the Trade and Development Bank (TDB), which provided partial financing for the sale. Tsooj Purevtuvshin has closed or terminated his various social media accounts. One commentator, writing in The Diplomat, claimed that the address of record for Mongolia Copper Corporation was the same as for Bloomberg TV News Mongolia , which is a partnership between Bloomberg Media Group and TDB that started broadcasting in 2012. The Mongolian State Property Committee (SPC) owns the 51% Mongolian share of Erdenet; news media have reported that the SPC had the right of first refusal if Rostec ever decided to se