Tag Archives: Financing

Changes to Mongolian Central Bank Guarantee Independent Operation

Finishing our series (part one here, part two here) reporting on changes to the operations of the Mongolian Central Bank we present here the new provisions which will work to solidify and encode in the law the bank’s operations as an independent entity, not directly under the control of the executive branch of the government.

Independence of the Central bank from Government.

The amendments explicitly provide for the independence of the Central bank from the government. It is clear that the government should not provide any direction to the Central Bank regarding the agreements and transactions the bank enters into or in any other matter unless explicitly provided for in the law. The Central Bank of Mongolia should not directly or indirectly grant credit to the Government of Mongolia and may only purchase long and short-term securities of the Government from primary or secondary market except where explicitly provided for in the law.

Granting Credit to the Government

Under the new law, the Central bank of Mongolia may grant temporary credit or buy a short- term Government Bond in order to meet seasonal liquidity needs of the government, subject to repayment before the end of the financial year. If the Central Bank of Mongolia bought bond/securities issued by the Government, it will be added to the credit balance of the Government. In the frame of open market operation, the long -term securities of Government purchased by the Central Bank of Mongolia contingent upon repayment in short terms will not be included in the total amount of the balance of temporary credits.

Supervision of Bank Activities

The Central Bank of Mongolia will have authority to establish procedures, regulations and instructions, and make decisions, and carry out supervision and enforcement activities relating to the licensing to establish banks and operating activities of banks. This includes matters relating to the maintenance of adequate paid in capital and liquidity of bank assets, improving the security of the banking system, and regulation of banking activities for the purpose of protecting the interests of depositors and customers.

New amendment also updated the range of Central Bank’s activities.

In order to implement its objectives, the Central Bank of Mongolia will conduct the following activities:

  • issuing and regulating currencies into transaction;
  • formulation and implementation of monetary policy;
  • acting as the Government’s fiscal intermediary;
  • supervision of banking and entities specified in the law activities;
  • organizing, reconciling and supervising of local/national payments and settlements system;
  • holding and management of the State’s reserves of foreign currencies;
  • protecting right and interest of customer, depositor;
  • implement balanced/proper macro policy.

Mongolian Securities: What is a Depository Receipt?

What is a depository receipt?

According to Article 4.1.12 of the Security Market Law of Mongolia a “Depositary receipt” is a security issued by a depositary receipts issuer (depositor) for the purpose of future trade of that security on the securities market of another jurisdiction (where the depositor is not normally resident) on the basis of having deposited an underlying security at an institution conducting securities depository services (custodian) within that target jurisdiction.

In practical terms, a depository receipt is traded on the open stock market and it is a form of security and similar to a company share. Shares registered in the stock market of a foreign countries (for example Mongolia) are authorized to issue in another country’s stock market (for example USA) as a depository receipt.

In Mongolia, depositary receipts have the following types:

– Mongolian depositary receipts; and

– Foreign depositary receipts.

Mongolian depositary receipts

A “Mongolian depositary receipt” is a financial instrument registered and issued by a depositary receipts issuer for sale on the securities market of Mongolia on the basis of a deposit. The deposit is kept with a legal entity, such as a bank, licensed to undertake custodial services, of an underlying security registered with a stock exchange in another jurisdiction.

A domestic stock company which has fulfilled the requirements to issue depository receipt in a foreign market may deposit their own shares in any approved foreign custodian bank in that country. The bank issues depository receipts based on those shares, which will be traded in the foreign stock market.

The Mongolia Financial Regulatory Commission (“FRC”) defines the list of countries, types of underlying securities of Mongolian depositary receipts and current underlying security registration of relevant stock market based on proposal of Stock exchange. It is prohibited to trade or sell a depository receipt in Mongolia which are based on underlying securities that are not included in the list outlined by FRC.

Foreign depositary receipts

A Foreign Depositary Receipt is a financial instrument issued by a depositary receipts issuer on the basis of securities issued in Mongolia through an entity authorized to undertake custodial services. This means foreign companies are not required to register in the Mongolian Stock Exchange, and therefore place their shares in any custodian bank and its possible to sell or trade their depository receipts based on those shares in Mongolian stock market. One depository receipt may be represented by any number of shares. It’s prohibited to issue depository receipt unless the underlying security of depository receipt has not been deposited or incomplete quantity and amount. Issuer of depository receipt is prohibited to be beneficiary owner.

A foreign depositary receipt may have a name which identifies the market and jurisdiction in which the relevant depositary receipt will be traded.

A securities issuer that has decided to issue a global depositary receipt based on its own securities must inform the public, the FRC, and the stock exchange in writing after adopting a resolution to that affect.

There will be no consideration in the event of any conversion of a depositary receipt into an underlying security, or an underlying security into a depositary receipt.

Trading Bitcoin (and other Crypto-Currencies) in Mongolia

Following our recent post on foreign exchange trading in Mongolia, we had several inquiries regarding trade of crypto-currencies, such as Bitcoin. While there are no specific regulations in Mongolia addressing use or trade of crypto-currency, both Foreign Exchange and electronic payment and remittance services are allowed under the current regulatory framework, with only a permit required.

A Bitcoin trading (or mining) operation can be established in Mongolia relatively easily. One will only need to establish a Mongolian corporation. Then application must be made to the Financial Regulatory Commission of Mongolia for the appropriate permit.

Securities Registry Opens Opportunity for Mongolia Business

As we have written about in the past, Mongolia opened an internet based registration system for pledges, in March of this year. In addition to serving as a platform for registration of international pledges for some of the world’s largest financial institutions, the new system has also supported over 10,000 registrations in favor of small and medium sized entities (SME).

The registry, implemented by the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs, is one part of a major project to reform security backed transactions and financing in Mongolia. Enabled by the newly enacted Law on Tangible and Intangible Movable Property Pledges, the online registration service offers web based filing and public access for security interests on movable collateral in complex financial transactions.

The major benefit of the online platform is the ability of potential financiers to conduct a web-based search on property held by potential partners, to determine if the property offered up for collateral is already subject to a previously existing pledge or other security. This information will have a major impact on the business of lenders and will hopefully make potential lenders more likely to make funds available to a borrower after they are able to confirm there are no other securities on the proposed collateral.

According to The Financial, 38% of the more than 10,000 overall registrations are for equipment, 25% are for livestock, 5.4 percent are receivables, and 1.7% are vehicles. These stats suggest that local farmers have been quick out of the gate to take advantage of the new opportunities opened up by the new registration system and the availability of additional financing to promote development and growth.

Update on Online Security and Collateral Registration

As we have mentioned in the past, the Mongolian Law on Pledge of Movable and Intangible Property came into force on March 1, 2017. In order to fully implement this new law,  an official Procedure for Online Registry of Pledges of Movable and Intangible Properties was adopted by Minister of Justice and Internal Affairs on March 3, 2017 and a centralized online registry system, www.mpr.gov.mn, has been established to facilitate for the registration of pledges on movable and intangible properties.

All types of movable assets, present or future can be registered in this electronic database as collateral. This includes accounts receivable, construction equipment, agricultural equipment, crops, consumer goods, documents, industrial equipment, intellectual property, office items, inventory, vehicles, domestic animals, wood, furniture, household item, investment security, mineral resources and others.

The registered collateral information in the database will be available to the public and searchable online by the following key terms at www.mpr.gov.mn :

  • an initial registration number of notice of pledge;
  • creditor’s name and registration number;
  • debtor’s name and registration number; and
  • serial number for vehicles.

Furthermore, this collateral registry system is accessible online for verification, amendment, extension and cancellation of the details of the registered collateral. This centralized modern collateral registry is a big positive step to protect the non-possessory security rights of creditors against third parties by ensuring transparency.

Mongolia Movable Property Pledges: Online Registration is Perfection

As we posted previously, the Mongolian Law on Pledge of Movable and Intangible Property was adopted on July 2, 2015. This new legislation was supposed to come into force on September 1, 2016. However, effective date of the law had been postponed until March 1, 2017 due to lack of preparation of the required online database for registration of pledges.

In order to fully implement this new law, the Ministry of Justice and Internal Affairs, the International Finance Corporation, the Intellectual Property Rights and State Registration Office, the Bank of Mongolia, and other organizations have cooperated to establish an online database for the registry of pledges on movable property and information regarding collateral.

According to the law, collateral may be all kinds of stocks, securities, rights to demand, industrial designs, trademarks, all creative works of sciences, arts and other movable properties or intangible assets and present or future movable properties of individuals that are usable and transferable to other’s ownership of individuals that is valid and transferable to other’s ownership. Under the law, a Pledge will be perfected upon registration of a notice of the pledge with online registry, whether collateral is not transferred to the pledgee’s possession or a pledge is created by operation of law.

As for movable and intangible assets which have been pledged prior to the new law coming into effect, these collateral need to be registered with the new online database within six months after the entry into force of the law.

The new online database shows how Mongolia is utilizing new technologies to make its legal and financial systems more efficient, and will benefit Mongolian citizens and foreign investors alike. The implementation of this law provides a new lifeline for the economy and will create new opportunities in the business sector. Furthermore, information in the database will be available to the public, and registered information will become official records of assets and collateral.

Mongolia Secures New Funding for Water Supply

Regional Deputy Vice President for Europe, Asia, Pacific and Latin American of Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MMC) Department of Compact Organizations, Ms. Fatema Z. Sumar has informed the Mongolia Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Ts. Munkh- Orgil  that MCC’s Board of Directors have decided to include Mongolia in a list of countries eligible to sign the Second Compact Agreement.

Mongolia’s first MCC compact, a five-year, $285 million infusion of targeted development assistance from the United States was concluded on September 17, 2013.

The MMC’s second compact agreement will be focused on creating comprehensive ways to create sustainable and suitable solutions for Mongolia’s long-term development.

The MCC will cooperate with Mongolia to improve sanitation and water supply facilities serving the ger districts of Ulaanbaatar. The Board of directors of MCC believes that maintaining efforts to combat corruption in Mongolia will yield improvements for the economy. The preparations for the signing of the Second compact are underway and it expects to sign in 2017.

This is seen as an important development for Mongolia, as securing clean water and sanitation is a key element to attract Foreign Direct Investment. It is expected that new water and sanitation facilities will help to bring in new investments and help to diversify the Mongolian economy.

Establish A Mongolian Credit Union! Why Not? (You have to be Mongolian)

As with many developing countries, liquidity is an issue in Mongolia, especially for individuals without significant financial assets to start with. Banks often won’t make loans to those with limited income. Is there an alternative?

Dating from 2011, the Mongolian Law on Credit Unions allows a Credit Union to be established with at least 20 individuals Mongolian citizens as participants. The Credit Union, formed voluntarily by its members is to be governed in a democratic manner with each member having voting rights. The Credit Union is owned collectively by its members. A Mongolian company or other entity may be a part of a Credit Union.

There are some requirements for Credit Union members, each must be resident in the same locality, and there must be some unifying or communal relationship between the members, either in terms of business, industry, or a religious, social or educational commonality.

The Credit Union will be established with a charter approved by a meeting of its members. A management board and Audit Board must be elected to manage and oversee the Credit Unions affairs. Of course when dealing with people’s finances, a license is required. After acquiring the license to operate the Credit Union is able to offer credit and savings services, but these are limited to the Credit Union’s members.

There is no minimum amount of capital the Credit Union must have to be established. The assets of the Credit Union shall consist of the contributions of the members. The Credit Union may charge fees upon membership. Profits may be distributed in accordance with the Credit Union’s Charter. A single member may not contribute more than 10 percent of the Credit Union’s total assets.

Holding a Perfected Pledge in Mongolia just got 100% Better!

As part of the firm’s project finance practice, we do a lot of work with securities, and particularly pledges of movable and immovable property. When advising clients, we often receive pushback and incredulity when we explain Article 54.2 of the Law on Enforcement of Court Decisions which states, “A pledgee shall be responsible for other creditors’ payments.” Clients rightly ask, “what is the value of holding the pledge if after receiving the pledged assets you have to give it all away to other creditors of the pledgor?”

However, a plain reading of Article 54.2 led to the inevitable conclusion that the law was specifically making pledgees a first priority security interest in collateral responsible for payments owed by the pledgor to other creditors, even where the pledgee has not done or agreed to anything whereby it would otherwise assume any of those obligations.

Article 54.2 provided legal justification for Mongolia’s Court Decision Enforcement Agency, which is responsible for the enforcement of valid court decisions, to demand a pledgee take action to recover funds due to other creditors of a pledgor, even by going so far as to require redistribution of proceeds earned via the sale of the collateral and in some cases the pledgee’s own assets! All of this required no additional court decision or ruling against the pledgee. Naturally, once we convince a client of the meaning and implications of the law, the typical reaction would be, “Well, that’s just not fair!”

Luckily, the Mongolian Constitutional Court agrees. The court recently concluded that Article 54.2 resulted in outcomes in violation of Article 16.3 of the Constitution of Mongolia. Article 16.3 protects, “The right to fair acquisition, possession and inheritance of movable and immovable property.” The court ruled that due to violations of that provision of the constitution, enforcement of Article 54.2 shall be stopped.

This is great news for investors and foreign investment in Mongolia. In a country were major mining and infrastructure projects are financed via complex securities transactions with international banks taking pledges over local real estate and other assets, the legal regime provided for by Article 54.2 increased the risk of these international banks and made acquiring funding even more difficult that it would normally be. We consider this a step in the right direction for Mongolia and foreign investment in the country.