As sunlight gave way to moonlight and March 31, 2014 came to an eventless close, the most recent opportunity for Turquoise Hill to secure project financing for the $6.2 billion Oyu Tolgoi mine faded into the expansive steppe that is Mongolia. Lender commitments from the IFC, EBRD and commercial banks expired last night amidst the ongoing disputes between Rio Tinto and the Government of Mongolia, representing yet another failed attempt for the two parties to reconcile their disputes and move forward with the underground expansion of the mine.
This breakdown in negotiations is seen by many as the culmination of a painful two years marked by political inaction, political “misaction”, and quite plainly, political failure. Importantly, the prevailing sentiment among Mongolian based business leaders and investors is that it is the political instability, and not the global economy, that has led to the dangerous drop in foreign direct investment (FDI). As Christopher de Gruben, managing partner of M.A.D. Investment Solutions, commented, “The political environment in Mongolia has been scary for many investors. They look at the recent problems and see an administration that lacks the political will to take substantive action to prove to the investment community that they mean business.”
“Recently, it has become clear that Mongolia has lost favor with its international investors” Minister Otbayar
Yet, this morning in a poorly attended speech made in Chinggis Square, Minister Otbayar of the Ministry of Manly Culture announced a momentous change in policy that could mark the beginning of a new economic age for Mongolia. “Recently, it has become clear that Mongolia has lost favor with its international investors. We have bowed to their every demand, but they have proven incapable of seeing the strength and the power that lie within the Mongolian empire-state. Thus, I am officially announcing the launch of a new direction for our capital raising efforts, one marked by our upcoming Chinggis Style Investor Roadshow.”
While all other details surrounding this new roadshow were left out of the press release that followed the speech, a close source to the Minister revealed a program that he claimed would “literally have the world eating out of Mongolia’s palm.” The roadshow delegation, made up of both government officials and business leaders, will be accompanied on each of the tours’ whirlwind stops by an entourage of warriors adorned in armour, contortionists, Mongol style BBQ’s with samples of world famous Mongol cuisine, a caravan of Bactrian camel and bands of throat singers. In addition, the $5 million trip will follow the war routes used by the Mongol Hordes during Chinggis Khan’s formation of his empire, visiting cities such as Urgench, Otrar, Bagdad and Beijing. As the entire party will be traveling solely on horseback, the roadshow is scheduled to start in June of this year and continue through June 2016. When asked by a spectator if it made sense to have the roadshow last so long, Minister Otbayar responded by saying, “It took Chinggis Khan over 20 years to form his empire, we will not be restricted by the shackles and chains of time.”
“It took Chinggis Khan over 20 years to form his empire, we will not be restricted by the shackles and chains of time.” Minister Otbayar
So far, members of both the Democratic Party and the Mongolian People’s Party seem optimistic that this new strategy will yield significant results. “We’ve identified that obtaining financing is the most significant challenge facing a number of large scale development projects within Mongolia”, said Minister Batbold of the Ministry of Extraordinary Things. “I’m glad everyone came together to organise this momentous delegation and road show. It is a step in the right direction that will restore Mongolia’s pride and will once more allow the world to bathe in Mongolia’s glory.”
Please note that this article is intended as an April’s fool article and is not meant to be taken seriously. The event or situations it depicts are purely fictional and bear no resemblance to any real life situation.SOURCE: M.A.D. Newswire April's Fool