The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday said it has raised 21 billion Mongolian togrog (MNT), about 7.5 million U.S. dollars, in a groundbreaking issue of the first offshore MNT-linked nomad bonds.
The Manila-based multilateral lender said the issue sets a new benchmark in the international bond market for frontier currencies.
The ADB said the bond carries a 10.1 percent semi-annual coupon with an amortizing 5-year maturity. Denominated in MNT but settled in U.S. dollars, the bond issue was underwritten by ING Bank and sold to a European asset manager, it added.
The ADB said the proceeds are deployed to fund ADB’s Gender Inclusive Dairy Value Chain Project for Milko LLC in Mongolia.
“The emerging and frontier markets have come under pressure during the pandemic, therefore the ability to raise competitively priced term funding in Mongolian togrog at this time is a major achievement with tangible benefits in terms of currency risk mitigation for ADB‘s borrower,” he added.
According to the ADB, currency-linked bonds are important in development terms because they help plot a yield curve where government issuance is often sparse.
It said the Mongolian domestic government bonds have maturities of up to three years only, and the government has not completed any new issue of MNT debt securities since September 2017, therefore ADB‘s nomad bond serves as a relevant benchmark.
ADB is a regular borrower in the mainstream international bond markets but has also led issuances in developing Asian countries as part of its efforts to promote local currency bond markets as an alternative to bank lending.
ADB has previously issued currency-linked bonds in Armenian dram, Georgian lari, Indian rupee, Indonesian rupiah, and Philippine peso.
Established in 1966, ADB is owned by 68 members, 49 from the region.
China to build community of health with Russia, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia- FM
China, Russia, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia have agreed to jointly build an anti-pandemic fortress, a Health Silk Road and a community of health, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday.
Wang, who attended the meeting of foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member countries in Moscow and visited the four countries on Sept. 10-16, told Xinhua in an interview.
“The decision was made after he exchanged views with foreign ministers of Russia, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia on deepening anti-pandemic cooperation to defeat the virus.
“China and the four countries have supported each other through thick and thin and conducted effective anti-pandemic cooperation since the epidemic broke out,’’ Wang said.
Recalling Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga’s China visit in February, the telephone talks held between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his counterparts in Russia, Kazakstan and Kyrgyzstan, namely Vladimir Putin, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Sooronbai Jeenbekov.
Wang said: “China and the four countries have offered support and aid to each other to fight against the pandemic.
“In a bid to deepen the anti-pandemic cooperation, the ministers have agreed to take measures in four areas.
“First, China and the four countries will strengthen anti-pandemic cooperation, firmly support the World Health Organisation in playing a coordinative role and oppose any attempt to politicise the pandemic and attach a geographical label to the virus.
“Second, they will consolidate and expand anti-pandemic achievements.
“China stands ready to continue to provide other countries with assistance within its capacity.
“Such as the purchase of anti-pandemic supplies, expertise training, experience sharing and cooperation in drug development, and to accelerate the building of communication mechanisms with concerned parties on pandemic information.
“Third, they will actively promote the cooperation in the development, production and purchase of vaccine.
“Fourth, they will make a concerted effort on Chinese traditional medicine cooperation as China, for the sake of people’s health, is ready to promote the use of Chinese traditional medicine to meet the needs of various countries.’’
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Oil moves higher as storm threatens United States Gulf Coast
Oil prices rose on Monday as a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico prompted drillers to evacuate rigs and shut-in production.
Although gains were muted by concerns about excess global supplies and falling fuel demand.
Brent crude was six cents or 0.2 per cent higher at $39.89 a barrel.
Both contracts ended last week lower, falling for a second week in a row.
Tropical Storm Sally gained in strength in the Gulf of Mexico west of Florida on Sunday and was poised to become a category 2 hurricane.
The storm is disrupting oil production for the second time in less than a month after hurricane Laura swept through the region.
Typically oil rises when production is shut down, but with the coronavirus pandemic getting worse demand concerns are to the fore, while global supplies continue to rise.
The United States is the world’s biggest oil consumer and producer.
In Libya, Commander Khalifa Haftar committed to ending a months-long blockade of oil facilities, a move that would add more supplies to the market, although it was unclear if oil fields and ports would begin operations.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, a grouping known as OPEC+, meets on Sept. 17 to discuss compliance with deep cuts in production, although analysts don’t expect further reductions to be made.
“Given the more recent sell-off in the market, there will likely be more pressure on certain producers to improve their compliance,’’ ING Economics said in a note.
BP Plc and Equinor ASA evacuated staff from some offshore platforms on Sunday after similar moves by Chevron Corp and Murphy Oil Corp the day before.
Also supporting prices, drillers cut the number of oil and gas rigs for the first time in four weeks last week.
Demand globally for oil used in the transport sectors is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels until the fourth quarter of next year, Vitol’s Chief Executive Officer, Russell Hardy, said on Monday at the virtual Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference.
The forecast excluded jet fuel.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
Oil extends losses as stockpile rise amid weakening demand
Oil prices fell for a second day on Friday, pressured by a surprise rise in United States stockpiles as the coronavirus pandemic continues to erode demand for fuels.
Brent crude was down 18 cents, or 0.5 per cent at $39.88 a barrel by 0337 GMT, after falling nearly two per cent on Thursday.
United States crude dropped 14 cents, or 0.4 per cent to $37.16 a barrel, having fallen two per cent in the previous session.
Both major benchmarks are down around 6.5 per cent for the week and headed for a second week of declines, as hopes dim for a steady recovery in fuel demand amid signs of second-wave coronavirus outbreaks.
In the United States, stockpiles rose last week against expectations, as refineries slowly returned to operations after production sites were shut down due to storms in the Gulf of Mexico and wider region.
“While United States crude oil production continues to recover following Hurricane Laura, the numbers show that refineries further reduced run rates over the last week,’’ ING Economics said in a note.
United States crude inventories rose 2.0 million barrels, compared with forecasts for a 1.3 million-barrel decrease in a Reuters’ poll.
In a further bearish sign, traders were starting to book tankers again to store crude oil and diesel, amid a stalled economic recovery as the COVID-19 pandemic continues unabated.
Onshore storage remains near capacity as supplies continue to outpace demand.
So, the use of so-called floating storage is back in vogue as cheap financing costs and the spread between contracts for delivery now and later months makes it favourable for traders to hold oil for later sale.
Increasing stockpiles are likely to be a subject at a meeting on Sept. 17 of the market monitoring panel of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+.
The grouping has been withholding supply to reduce stockpiles but analysts say the meeting is likely to focus on compliance among members, rather than seek deeper cuts.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
SCO foreign ministers discuss Syria, Afghanistan, United States withdrawal from JCPOA – Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) are focusing their talks in Moscow on the situations in Syria and Afghanistan.
Lavrov said at a news conference on Thursday that the organisation is also focusing talks on United States’ withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
“We discussed the fight against international terrorism, illegal drug trafficking, organised cross-border criminality, cybercrimes, and approved draft statements that will later be submitted to the (SCO) heads of state.
“We exchanged opinions on Afghanistan, the situation around the Syrian crisis settlement, and other problems that remain in place in the Middle East … and the situation around the United States withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“All of us confirmed commitment to this important document,” Lavrov said.
The SCO foreign ministers also agreed to implement provisions of the United Nations Charter in order to ensure a “more sustainable and democratic world order,” Lavrov added.
He told reporters that the meeting was very productive, “and we have coordinated our common political positions, which are reflected in the circulated statement.”
The minister also said that the meeting focused on reviewing documents drafted for the upcoming SCO summit, which is due to take place in November in the format of a video conference.
“We have noted that in spite of the pandemic and all the effects that it had on our work, all the events planned under the Russian presidency took place.
“There were nearly 100 of them,” Lavrov said.
The SCO, established in 2001, has Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and India as permanent member, while Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia hold observer status.
Holding the status of Dialogue Partners within the organisation are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, and Sri Lanka.
The JCPOA, also known as the “Iran Nuclear Deal” or the “Iran Deal” is an agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme reached in July 2015 by Iran, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – China, France, Russia, UK, United States – plus Germany.)
The United States announced its withdrawal from JCPOA on May 8, 2018 on grounds that Iran was not complying with the terms of the agreement, which were intended to curtail Iran’s nuclear expansion.
United States President Donald Trump, who declared that he was withdrawing from the Iran deal, succeeded in isolating the United States from its Western allies and sowing uncertainty before a risky nuclear negotiation with North Korea.
The decision, while long anticipated and widely telegraphed, left the 2015 agreement reached by seven countries after more than two years of grueling negotiations in tatters.
Having taken the decision, the United States followed it up with moves to now reimpose the stringent sanctions it imposed on Iran before the deal and was considering new penalties.
Iran said it would remain in the deal, which tightly restricted its nuclear ambitions for a decade or more in return for ending the sanctions that had crippled its economy.
So did France, Germany and Britain, raising the prospect of a trans-Atlantic clash as European companies face the return of American sanctions for doing business with Iran. China and Russia, also signatories to the deal, are likely to join Iran in accusing the United States of violating the accord.
Trump’s move could embolden hard-line forces in Iran, raising the threat of Iranian retaliation against Israel or the United States, fueling an arms race in the Middle East and fanning sectarian conflicts from Syria to Yemen.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim