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Today in Russian Business – Dec 24th, 2008

Russia is facing its first budget deficit in a decade, which it intends to cover with the remains of its reserve fund.  The ruble has been devalued three times this week, and seven times this month. ‘As long as oil remains depressed and at many year lows the central bank has no other choice but to carry on with its devaluation.‘  Analysts suspect that Vneshekonombank could take advantage of the low trading volume on the MICEX and RTS exchanges to prop up prices.  To help cut company expenses, the board members of Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works will forfeit their salaries until their contracts expire.  On the trials of Novokuznetsk, a Russian city dependent on steel.