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Mongolia's best corporate and investment bank 2019: TDBM

Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia

Orkhon Onon, CEO, Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia.jpg
Orkhon Onon, TDB

In 2020, Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia will celebrate both a birthday and a milestone. As the nation’s oldest bank turns 30, its trajectory also speaks to the growing sophistication of a financial sector that has had a decidedly rocky few years. It is only just over two years since a small army of IMF staffers pounced on Ulaanbaatar to remind investors about the risks of boom-and-bust cycles – and the dire need to diversify away from mining.

TDB is doing just that in ways that augur well for Mongolia’s post-IMF bailout future. Long known as a premier private bank, TDB has spent the last few years pivoting toward the nation’s biggest companies. For that restructuring, chief executive Orkhon Onon has relied heavily on Randolph Koppa as executive vice-chairman. Kopp has spent decades working in 11 nations around the globe for names such as ING Barings.

The bank’s battle-tested leadership has served it well during the turbulence of recent years. Even as the global trade war slams China and the commodity exports that drive Mongolia’s 6%-plus growth, TDB, the nation’s top corporate bank, has been extending credit and managing risk.

The bank’s interest revenues from corporate clients rose 4.3% in the latest fiscal year.

TDB has long put efficiency and quality over size. While it is only Mongolia’s fourth-biggest bank in terms of staff – 1,800 at the last count – it handles 58% of all trade finance and 85% of international remittances. It boasts the nation’s highest revenue per employee ratio.

Even its headquarters is a bit of local focal point, featuring a giant television screen over several stories that shows financial news in the centre of downtown Ulaanbaatar.

TDB spent much of 2019, Koppa says, expanding its already considerable relationships with foreign banks. It currently has more than 200 links with overseas correspondent institutions.

These ties have never been more vital to Mongolia as the trade war upends demand for coal and copper.

Even as TDB diversifies its portfolio, deepening its financing of companies involved in retail goods, food and construction, it is ensuring key sectors from mining to energy to transport thrive and support macroeconomic stability.

And as Ulaanbaatar’s young stock market adds more listed companies, no name seems better positioned to benefit than TDB.