Mongolia mulls listing of rail stake in Hong Kong

Mongolia is considering a Hong Kong listing of its rail-building firm in a bid to help finance its $5 billion railway plan, the South China Morning Post reported on Friday.

Mongolia Railways, the rail-builder owned by the Mongolian government, is planning a domestic initial public offering before turning abroad, pending parliament approval, the paper wrote, citing Manlaibayar Yondon, director general of the department of finance and investment at the Ministry of Roads, Transportation, Construction and Urban Development.

“We hope it will approve it within weeks,” Yondon said. “We want to start with a domestic initial public offering and then go international. While the Mongolian Stock Exchange is working with the London Stock Exchange, I think Hong Kong will be our better bet.”

It may embark on a Hong Kong flotation of up to 49 percent of the firm, the paper said. It gave no further listing details.

The railway plan is part of a $30 billion development blueprint for the country, which includes $13 billion of industrial parks, the paper said.

China is the biggest market for Mongolia’s coking coal and copper, the paper added.

Mongolia’s massive Tavan Tolgoi project began shipping 4,000 tonnes of coal south to its new partner, the Aluminum Corp of China Ltd (Chalco) following a ceremony at the mine site earlier this year.

The mine’s state-owned operator, Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, had earlier agreed to sell $250 million worth of coal to the Chinese company from its east Tsankhi block, a move designed to fund the deposit’s overseas listing scheduled for next year.

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