Today in Russian Business – Dec 10th, 2008

Economic growth is at its lowest rate for three years, and many expect next year’s growth to be even lower.  Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works and Oskol Electric Steel Works are under investigation by the Federal Anti-Monopoly Services for ‘setting monopolistically high prices,‘ cutting prices by 2% against a market drop of 30%.  How will moves such as suspending mortgage payments for the unemployed, doubling the minimum wage and increasing state employees’ salaries affect Russia?  The crisis could force one third of Russia’s sugar refineries to close in the next two years.  The significant deposit outflows experienced by Sberbank in October have begun to reverse.  Archangel Diamond Corp may scrap its plans to buy a stake in the Verkhotina diamond project from Lukoil.  MDM-Bank has suspended credit lines to large and medium companies.  Could a spike in attempted suicides in Novosibirsk this week have anything to do with the economic crisis?