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Today in Russian Business – June 23, 2008

At a White House meeting, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin praised Deutsche Bank‘s operations in Russia, fuelling speculation that “Russian tycoons are building a stake in the bank.” President Dmitry Medvedev said about half of the textiles sold in Russia are counterfeit or contraband, and intends to take measures to reduce illegal imports. Georgia has accused MegaFon, the Russian mobile operator, of illegally expanding its network into the breakaway region of South Ossetia. A Russian billionaire is trying to set up a $10 million bet with Polyus Gold owner Mikhail Prokhorov, believing that the latter will fail as a property developer. Morgan Stanley estimates that sovereign wealth fund assets could rise to $12 trillion by 2015, a total “likely to be swelled by China and Russia”. Silver producer Polymetal is spending $219 million on a gold project in Russia’s Far East. A Russian fertilizer tycoon has bought Donald Trump’s $100 million Florida mansion.