According to Bloomer, Japan Bank for Inter­national Cooperation (JBIC), the state-run lender that backed a USUSD1.1 billion Samurai bond issue by the Philippines last month, approached Mongo­lia to discuss similar sales.

The Tokyo-based lender is working on the sub­ject with Mongolia, though Hiroki Sekine, deputy division chief of JBIC’s Asia and Oceania finance department, admitted the process will take time because they need to do due diligence on Mongo­lia’s credit profile.

JBIC provided support to yen bonds sold by In­donesia, Mexico and Colombia last year after say­ing in May that it started a 500 billion yen program to help Asian developing nations reduce their bor­rowing costs amid the global credit freeze.

Always according to Bloomberg, Finance Min­ister Sangajav Bayartsogt said in an interview last month that Mongolia plans to sell as much as USD1.2 billion of bonds overseas this year in the Central Asian nation’s first “benchmark” offering of dollar-denominated debt.

While the government favours dollars for the sale, “Japanese banks are giving us very attractive proposals,” Bayartsogt said in Ulan Bator on February 9.

According to JBIC’s Sekine discussions with Mongolia are “still in a preliminary stage.”

Mongolia’s Government is seeking USD25 billion in foreign investment over five years to help mine metal and coal deposits and aims to boost living standards in a country where per capita income is about USD2,000 a year.

According to chief executive officer of Eurasia Capital Management Alisher Djumanov “Japan has a strong track record of investing and supporting institutions in central Asia and wants to be involved in the region economi­cally and politically.”