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Today in Russian Business – April 15, 2008

The Moscow District Arbitration Court has rejected a second appeal by PricewaterhouseCoopers‘s Russian unit against a $16 million back tax claim. Steel maker Severstal is splitting its business into three divisions and considering further acquisitions in North America, Europe and Africa. Alexei Mordashov will retain control over the company. Wal-Mart to expand into Russia? Kazkommertsbank has signed an agreement with Russia’s Export-Import Bank to guarantee the supply of capital equipment from Russia to Kazakhstan. Real estate developers blame the disparity between construction costs and sale prices for Moscow apartments on a range of “administrative expenses“. The “huge disparity” is said to be the result of a combination of official fees and unofficial payments – “a euphemism for bribes”.