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Today in Russian Business – Nov 20, 2009

PricewaterhouseCoopers has released its latest survey of economic crime, and Russia topped the bill, with results ‘well above‘ the global figures.  On that note, Kuban Commercial Bank has had its license withdrawn for scheming to steal $43.5 million from the Pension Fund, and state-owned Rosagroleasing has been accused of ‘squandering funds on parties and bonuses‘. The OECD has released its forecast for Russia’s 2010 economy.  Reports say that state bank VEB is planning to use the profits it made from investing government money to buy up to 3% of the shares offered at RusAl’s upcoming IPO, but the company says that information on any possible participation is ‘under embargo‘.  Polyus Gold has cancelled its share sale after failing to drum up enough investor interest.  A bad week for the Federal Tax Service: first the British Council, and now it’s British Airways’ turn to be cleared of tax evasion, in a ruling that could have repercussions for other foreign airlines operating in Russia.  Japanese trading house Sojitz Corp has signed a strategic partnership with the Russian Grain Union to help expand its sales of Russian wheat throughout Asia.  Central Bank rhetoric has reportedly eased the rise of the ruble.  Vladimir Putin wants Russia to ‘think about how we can support the trend of lowering the rate on mortgage lending‘.