In the New York Times, a special report examines the motivations behind the closure of the ‘hell-hole’, as one official described Cherkizovsky market: health and safety regulations, a crackdown on vice or revenge for owner Telman Ismailov’s lavish opening of the Mardan Palace hotel? An op-ed piece in the Moscow Times suggests that of the ‘conflicting interpretations’, the threat the market posed to Russia’s light industry is the most convincing. The Central Bank is considering closing non-bank office located currency exchanges, as an attempt to reduce fraud in independent kiosks. Moscow real estate prices have continued to plummet, to less than $4,000 a square meter last week. The Finance Ministry says it will sell $20 billion of eurobonds in 2010 in its first international sale since 1998. The world’s largest construction company, Vinci, has signed a $2 billion deal to build and control the first part of a major toll road from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Russia may provide Cuba with a $150 million loan to fund deliveries of Russian construction and agricultural machinery. Diamond giant Alrosa says it is planning to sell $2 billion’s worth of diamonds in 2009.