Bunhill: Mongolia grabs a share of the action
Sunday 06 September 1992
But with half an eye open as you cross the main square in Ulan Bator, you might just notice a shabby sign marking the dilapidated entrance to the Mongolian stock exchange.
Set up with money from the Asian Development Bank and with two Harvard professors training its young brokers, the market opened in February. As yet, it trades only twice a week in 40 quoted companies. But enthusiasm abounds: no fewer than 470 state companies are due to be privatised, and every one of the population is supposed to have been given coupons worth 6,000 to 7,000 tugriks (dollars 175 at the official rate, dollars 35 on the black market) with which to buy stock. In reality, few have received them. Not surprising when you consider that the average family 'moves tent' 10 times a year.
Once invested, the coupons cannot be traded for another holding. Best then to put the coupon where it will do well - with the Mongolian Vodka Company, easily the most valuable stock so far.
There are 29 brokers trading, but only seven are based in Ulan Bator. The rest are spread around the country's 18 regions, with hundreds of kilometres of uninhabited steppe, mountain and desert between them and the city.
Somehow, orders make their way through the drooping telephone lines that criss-cross the land. Settlement is by post. Neither system could be described as reliable, but ambitious plans are afoot in Mongolia to get all the brokerages computerised and permanently linked by modem and phone lines. However, quite how many of the country's 'arats', or herdspeople, will switch their minds from storing dried yak curd for the winter to watching share price movements remains to be seen.
- 3 Alton Towers crash: Four seriously injured and 16 guests trapped as Smiler ride carriages collide
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
Caitlyn Jenner's mother Ester thought her daughter, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, had transitioned for money
Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
Alton Towers crash: Four seriously injured and 16 guests trapped as Smiler ride carriages collide
Charles Kennedy dead: A guy once asked the Lib Dem leader who his favourite Muppet was and his letter response was wonderful
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...
£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...
£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...