State-Ownership Model Is Under Review

National air carrier MIAT plane. Photo credit: Montsame

The Cabinet discussed in November 2021 the draft list of companies to keep under 100 percent state ownership. The list included so-called “strategic” 30 entities in the mining sector (Erdenet, Erdenes) and usual suspects in utilities (heating, electricity) and infrastructure (railways and roads).

According to the finance ministry, except Erdenet and Tavan Tolgoi, which bring 80 percent of all revenues, all state entities make losses. But in view of the “strategic” nature of these companies, they need to be under direct state support and control as the government’s public service obligation, explained the finance ministry.

Tavan Tolgoi coal miner’s privatization is now abandoned for good as raising international capital for a coal mine is becoming harder with the climate and ESG push.

Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi (34 percent owner of Oyu Tolgoi LLC) is also on the list implying Mongolia is not ready to re-open the conversation on swapping its equity for a higher royalty.

What’s more, the draft list doesn’t contain the national air carrier MIAT, which is making the big preparation for the US direct flights.

The state-run Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE), which had the record year, is absent too. It is anticipated their ownership models and governance will be more commercial and their shares offered to the public.

The state ownership policy is still under review and is expected to be passed soon. The final list of 100 percent state-owned companies may change. The full privatization list will also be disclosed in early 2022.