Battered Mongolia looks to mining, property markets for revival

Just two short years ago, Mongolia basked in a vibrant economy with a sizzling growth rate of nearly 8 percent.

These days, the economy has all but flatlined with the slump in commodities, but some say hidden gems may be getting lost in the current bout of gloom.

Mongolia’s credit rating is considered speculative, and its battered economy is debt heavy. However, the country has vast reserves of coal and gold: International Monetary Fund data show that Mongolia ranks alongside Chile, Peru and Australia as one of the world’s most mineral-rich economies.

Those attributes haven’t helped keep the economy from falling into dire straits, with 2016 growth not expected to top 1 percent, while its debt load nearly doubled from $11.7 billion in 2012 to nearly $23 billion in 2015.

“Macroeconomic policies have been poor in recent years, which led to a very rapid debt buildup,” Nicolas Jaquier, London-based economist focusing on emerging market debt with Standard Life Investments, told CNBC in an interview.