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Today in Russian Business – Nov 20, 2008

Over $146 million is currently owed in overdue wages to Russian employees, as the financial crisis makes its way into the real economy.  Inflation for 2008 has hit 12%.  Yesterday’s surprise halting of the MICEX ‘scared investors‘.  A new deal with Cyprus could see the MICEX listing Cypriot companies.  As of last year, Cypriot FDI in Russia was at $49.6 billion.  A Russian unit of US-based Alcoa could be fined as much as 2% of its revenue by the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service for setting ‘monopoly-high‘ aluminum prices.  A $4.6 billion bailout fund from the IMF means that Iceland is now attempting to secure just $500 million from Russia – $3.5 billion less than it had originally hoped for.  Norilsk Nickel wants the government to purchase a 25% blocking stake owned by Rusal, over fears that Russia could lose control of the company.  Two new Russian banks have been added to the nine that have lost their licenses since August.