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Today in Russian Business – April 19, 2012

‘My soul hurts for the finance ministry right now, as well as for our economic policies’: former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin tells the Wall Street Journal about his fears for the Russian economy.  The political system, he believes, is also problematic.  Russia’s second biggest mobile operator, MegaFon, plans to borrow as much as $2 billion from a group of banks, possibly with the aim of buying a stake back from tycoon Mikhail Fridman.  The Moscow Times reports that VTB will spend $385 million buying back 83.3 billion of its shares, originally sold in a ‘people’s IPO’ in 2007 marred by a subsequent decline in price.  Oleg Deripaska’s manufacturer Russian Machines is looking for as $3 billion by selling a minority stake in overseas markets, says Bloomberg.  Flash automaker Lamborghini is preparing for a speedy entrance into the Russian market.  In its annual presentation, computer services association Russoft has found that whilst salaries are increasing in the sector, the government is still little inclined to create IT-friendly policies.  In signs that the economy may be weakening, in March capital investment grew at the slowest pace in 10 months and retail sales missed forecasts.