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What the IMF's return means for Mongolia

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Storm clouds hang low over the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia's South Gobi region.   © Reuters

The story of Mongolia's relationship with the International Monetary Fund is a tale of geopolitics, local greed, mismanagement and uneasy ties with Chinese and Western investors. The return of the IMF to Ulaanbaatar is a harsh wake-up call for Mongolians and investors alike.

Mongolia's budget deficit is set to reach 20% of gross domestic product this year, and around $2 billion in public and private debt is scheduled to come due next year. With the Mongolian economy on its knees, Chinese creditors are making a case for greater investment concessions.

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