Prime Minister S. Batbold plans to list 20% to 30% of Tavan Tolgoi, the country's giant coking coal deposit, on the Mongolian Stock Exchange, a person familiar with the situation has said. Under the proposal, about half of the shares would be distributed to Mongolian citizens, with the rest reserved for sale to Mongolian companies, the person said. An initial public offering on the international market could be considered at a later stage, the person said. Mr. Batbold's plan is subject to approval from Mongolia's Parliament.
The plan to list Tavan Tolgoi comes a few months after the prime minister announced plans to keep full government ownership of the asset, and to subcontract its development to foreign companies. The announcement dashed hopes that big foreign mining companies would have a chance to own the huge coking coal deposit, one of the largest in the world. Since then, the Mongolian government has been looking into a contract mining arrangement.
Mongolian officials have been considering initial public offerings of various state-owned mineral assets and mining projects, as part of plans to capitalize on the country's abundant natural resources. Government officials previously had laid out a plan to list three companies for state-owned assets: one for mining assets, another for energy and a third for infrastructure. They now appear to prefer the idea of splitting the country’s mining and mineral assets into a number of listings, instead of just one listing for the assets. Most Mongolian mining assets are held by state-owned holding company Erdenes MGL LLC.
Mongolia has been working to upgrade and expand its stock exchange, which was established in 1991 with the goal of privatizing more than 400 big state companies. The stock exchange has a total market capitalization of around USD450 million. To help drive liquidity, Mr. Batbold has been pushing for companies with Mongolian assets to conduct dual listings on global exchanges such as Hong Kong, London or New York, as well as on the domestic bourse.
Source: The Wall Street Journal Asia

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