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Today in Russian Business – March 24, 2009

Announcements of state plans to place orders worth 4 trillion rubles ($120 billion) with domestic companies this year to boost the economy have been warmly received.  Alexander Lebedev’s National Reserve Corporation has called the government’s move to unseat Aeroflot’s chief executive in the middle of the financial crisis madness. It’s like putting out a fire with kerosene’.  The government has formed a new state grain-trading company to develop export volumes and storage capacity, transferring stakes in 31 other companies to its balance sheet.  The government is planning to prioritize residential construction with the aim of creating jobs and improving existing housing.  Commerce rental rates have plunged as vacancy rates increase.  Renaissance Capital, half owned by Mikhail Prokhorov, has offered to bail out the indebted financial news provider RBC.  Echoing earlier calls from Russia, China has put forward the idea of creating a new international currency reserve to replace the dollar.  Norwegian telecom Telenor said that its motion to delay the implementation of a Russian court ruling has been rejected, but that it had no intention of paying the $1.7 billion claim.