DeFacto

Chris Melville

WILL MONGOLIA IMPLEMENT CURRENCY CONTROLS?

December 5, 2018

One of the headline issues giving rise to concerns among investors in Mongolia right now is the effect of a new Currency Law being approved by Parliament, and its implications both for existing and potential FDI.

Chris Melville

THE INVESTMENT CLIMATE

December 5, 2018

As we head into the first week of September, conference season is upon us, with a number of investor-related events taking place in the space of just 5 days, including traditional annual events such as Coal Mongolia, Discover Mongolia and the IWFCI Global Women’s Trade Summit.

Chris Melville

ORGANIC MONGOLIA

December 5, 2018

Mongolia has a rich tradition of nomadic pastoralism, constituting a key element of the nation’s culture and traditions. With the onset of significant urbanization, and just under half of the country’s population now residing in or around Ulaanbaatar, these traditions are slowly changing, exacerbated by the infamous Mongolian dzud which reduces the livestock population and damages the livelihood of nomadic herders.

Chris Melville

DEFACTO INTERVIEW

December 5, 2018

Defacto: Good evening. Let’s get right to it. Please tell us about Hogan Lovells, and why it has closed its office here in Mongolia.

Chris Melville

BREAKING THE DEPENDENCE?

December 5, 2018

The Mongolian energy sector remains a highly interesting and at times sensitive area. With important recent developments in the wind and solar sectors, is It possible to break dependence on its neighbours, the Dragon and the Bear.

Chris Melville

STEPPE ON THE GAS

December 5, 2018

Recent announcements and developments regarding construction of a gas pipeline between Russia and China, transiting Mongolia, have been gathering steam and if the project moves forward would be a major boon for the Mongolian economy with a number of potential side benefits. These developments have built on the concept of an “economic corridor” between China and Russia routing through Mongolia.

Chris Melville

SOME TAXING QUESTIONS

December 5, 2018

Effective from 1 January 2018, Mongolia introduced changes to its Minerals Law, Land Law, Law on Registration of Legal Entities and various tax specific laws, with the aim of increasing tax revenues by way of a 30% tax on the direct or indirect transfer of rights in land and minerals licences.

Chris Melville

VISA ISSUES FOR FOREIGN BUSINESS

December 5, 2018

Several immigration issues have been prevalent over the course of 2018 as a result of various factors which are impacting both on foreign invested major projects, including Oyu Tolgoi, and now trickling down to impact on smaller businesses.

Chris Melville

ONE BELT, ONE ROAD, NO RAIL

December 5, 2018

It is difficult to imagine the sheer scale of the Chinese government’s “One Belt, One Road” policy, and it is equally difficult to imagine the huge problems and ‘black economy’ surrounding the reported 100 km tailback of minerals through the border points with China. One presents a carrot and the other a stick. How can these issues be navigated by the Mongolian authorities?

Chris Melville

BRINGING CONFIDENCE BACK

December 5, 2018

Clearly the past several years have seen some difficult times for the Mongolia economy, culmination in the IMF bailout this year. With commodity prices increasing once again, and particularly coal exports growing dramatically, it is interesting to reflect on the attractiveness of the Mongolian economy to foreign investors.

Chris Melville

FALL SESSION AGENDA

December 5, 2018

It’s always an exciting moment for lawyers when the Parliamentary agenda for the next session is published and there are some interesting legislative developments penciled in for discussion during the fall session of Parliament. While this time is typically dominated by debates around the state budget, a number of other interesting points are worth highlighting.

Chris Melville

DEVELOPING ETT

December 5, 2018

Developing the vast Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit has been one of the biggest strategic challenges that Mongolia has faced over the past ten years, with various different unsuccessful attempts having been made. These range from the failed auction of 2010, the abortive international IPO in 2012-13, the blocked deal with Shenhua in 2015, and on the operational side, a difficult contract with Chalco that has kept the business locked down to onerous long-term obligations, and the shift of operations from Macmahon to the mysterious TTJVCo. Meanwhile, the 1072 citizens shares issue remains unresolved and confusing.

Chris Melville

CONSULTATION AND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF LAWS

December 5, 2018

A number of important pieces of legislation are slated in the books for the upcoming spring session of Parliament, including extensive amendments to tax legislation, a new law on Mining, the revised Labour Law and various amendments to laws in the banking sector aimed at implementation of the ongoing IMF program.

Chris Melville

TO BE OR NOT TO BE OFFSHORE

December 5, 2018

Mongolia is currently gripped by offshore fever, with new developments coming on a regular basis, most recently a Cabinet decision to increase the scope of jurisdiction that are covered by offshore accounts legislation. This reflects a much wider international concern around the use of offshore accounts, which this article will touch upon, and which has certainly fueled domestic concern.

Chris Melville

FIVE OBSERVATIONS IN FIVE YEARS

December 5, 2018

I remember very clearly my first visit to Ulaanbaatar, the Red Hero, in March 2012. Approaching the brown and rugged Steppes, I looked out of the window, thinking that the barren snow-strewn landscape was like something from eh planet Mars. The trepidation eased as I was whisked off from the airport with a friendly handshake, and after a few Chinggis beers later that evening, it felt much more like home.

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