Fitch on Mongolia 2019 discusses Mongolia’s mining and banking sector outlook

2019-08-22 14:52:00

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. International credit rating agency Fitch ratings organized “Fitch on Mongolia 2019” forum in Ulaanbaatar on August 21. Being hosted for the third year, the forum brought together analysts and guests from leading institutions to discuss about opportunities and challenges the Mongolian economy faces today. This year, the Fitch on Mongolia 2019 focused on the Mongolia’s economic and banking sector, its policy challenges as well as mining industry of the country. 

Apart from analysts from the Fitch Ratings, delegates from the financial and banking institutions of Mongolia, such as Bank of Mongolia, Development Bank of Mongolia, Khan Bank, Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industries took part in the event to introduce about the policy environment of the economic and financial fields of Mongolia and challenges and opportunities of doing business in Mongolia. 

At the panel discussion under the theme “Views on Mongolia’s economic and banking sector outlook, and policy challenges”, guests touched on several issues, including macroeconomic developments and policy priorities, external financing challenges for the sovereign and banks, bank asset quality trends, banking sector capital needs and banks’ growth strategy and challenges. Speakers and guests of the discussion agreed that the Mongolian economy is still dependent on investment and funding from the outside market, which makes the country’s financial environment vulnerable to exchange rate changes. In addition, the developing vibrant democracy sometimes can be too vibrant because of its political instability. Another discussion was held to weigh on the developments and challenges of the Mongolian mining sector, policy framework for mining and non-financial corporates in Mongolia and capital market access for Mongolian corporates. 

As the government of Mongolia has long announced the sectors of mining, agriculture and tourism are the three crucial areas to focus on towards the economy development, the participating analysts noted that the country’s potential of export is great. For instance, the renewable energy field of Mongolia has big opportunities for further growth, which includes its ambition to export energy produced from renewable sources to China. Moreover, the ongoing development of the road and transportation of Mongolia is helping to tackle the challenges of the high cost of transportation, which is a disadvantage during price downturns of the mining commodities. Another promising opportunity for export of Mongolia exists with the US bill “Third Neighbor Trade Act”, which allows duty-free export of the cashmere and other light industry products. 

While the participants of the forum acknowledged that domestic political stability and policy certainty would contribute most to attracting investment in Mongolia, government officials also presented about the government policy and measures being taken in order to build the economic development and reduce the impacts of the global commodity price on the export products of Mongolia. 

Also at the event, Andrew Fennell, Director of Asia Pacific Sovereigns of the Fitch Ratings introduced about some key rating drivers for Mongolia. As the Fitch Ratings has recently affirmed Mongolia's long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating (IDR) at 'B' with a stable outlook, the key influencing factors were the country's robust growth outlook, improving fiscal metrics and strong governance indicators as well as its narrow economic base and a volatile political landscape.