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Today in Russian Business – April 23, 2008

The St Petersburg International Economic Forum, attended by up to 8,000 participants, will be held in early June. Aeroflot, the state-owned airline, would benefit from a takeover of Italy’s Alitalia as its lack of planes currently prevents it from operating direct flights on many routes. Food retailer X5 Retail has launched a London offering of global depository receipts aimed at raising $1bn to fund the acquisition of the Karusel hypermarket chain. Alrosa has obtained a $225 million license to develop four iron ore deposits in the country’s northeast. National Mediagroup is buying the majority stake in National Telecommunications, Russia’s largest cable television operator, in a deal worth $1 billion. The International Monetary Fund believes that Russia’s Central Bank needs to raise interest rates further as “there are strong signals that the Russian economy is overheating”. The country may allow its currency to appreciate by as much as 5% this year in a move to contain inflation.