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Today in Russian Business – Nov 27th, 2008

The deputy head of the Federal Labor and Employment Service says Russian companies will cut 200,000 jobs over the next two months.  Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has spoken in favor of upholding anti-monopoly laws to protect businesses from being sidelined, saying that state support has preserved ‘ineffective, uncompetitive production‘, although his affirmation that violators should be dealt with on an ‘individual, targeted’ basis may remind investors of his July attack on Mechel.  A government initiative to relocate the gambling industry is struggling with infrastructure problems and investor concerns.  It is estimated that the government will need to spend a third of its Reserve Fund next year – around $36 billion – to cover budget shortfalls.  $3.6 billion Russia’s international reserves was spent last week alone.  A former Kremlin administration chief will join the new board of Norilsk Nickel.  The judge in the Russian government’s $22.5 billion lawsuit against the Bank of New York suggested that an out of court settlement would be ‘wise‘, given current economic conditions.