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Today in Russian Business – June 3, 2008

It is being reported that a new law will give Vladimir Putin the last word on foreign bids to buy Russian companies in 42 “strategic” sectors including oil, gas, media and telecoms. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said the law was the result of a “political consensus,” but had hoped the list of sectors designated as strategic would contain fewer industries. The head of the International Monetary Fund says Russia’s inflation rate could reach 14% by the end of the year. Russia’s “landmark” children’s store Detsky Mir will soon close for a two-year refit. Shares of Polyus, the country’s leading gold producer, jumped after Onexim Group, Mikhail Prokhorov’s holding company, offered to boost his stake in the company. Metalloinvest, founded by Alisher Usmanov, plans to quadruple its iron output “with the aim of supplying over one-fifth of world output by 2015.” Russian fashion designer Denis Simachev plans to open four US outlets within a year. Russia’s biggest gambling companies, Storm International and Ritzio Entertainment Group, are threatening to move their casinos, “and the taxes they generate,” if anti-gambling rules aren’t relaxed.