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Today in Russian Business – June 8, 2010

The ruble has dropped to its lowest level in nine months after oil fell below $72 per barrel.  Sberbank has announced a considerable rise in quarterly profit as bad loans have eased and cost cutting measures become effective.  The bank may reconsider its yearly forecast given its stellar performance in Q1.  It is reportedly considering buying one of Ukraine’s top 10 banks.   Housing developer PIK saw its portfolio value slump 13% at the end of 2009.  Fast-food parent company Yum Brands Inc plans to buy out Russian partner Rostik Group from their joint venture, Rostik’s-KFC.  Another $3.5 billion has been set aside for technology hub Skolkovo, principally for construction purposes.  Digital Sky Technologies has reportedly bought online chat service ICQ from AOL for $187 million.  How the financial crisis has effected Russia’s infrastructure development plans, by Charles Clover.  Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called on regulators to create plans for a national metals exchange by August 1.  Russia’s only tin producer, debt-addled Novosibirsk Integrated Tin Works, is looking to be declared bankrupt.  Serbia and Russia have reached an initial accord on two railway projects valued at $561 million.    Russia’s wheat abundance: a mixed blessing?