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Today in Russian Business – Oct 13, 2008

Russia’s Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin says that the government is planning to invest money from its pensions fund in the stock market, and has called for the IMF to take action to help developing economies ‘caught in the whirlwind of the global financial crisis’, and warned against suspending trading on Russia’s stock exchanges for too long. Kudrin also warned that growth for 2009 could be low. ‘The International Monetary Fund‘s forecast for 5.5% growth next year is the optimistic one,’ he said. CIS leaders have decided to create a working group of finance ministers to coordinate their responses to the crisis. It is thought that former coal-mine electrician and majority shareholder in Novolipetsk Steel , Vladimir Lisin, has lost the most money of all Russia’s oligarchs, with an estimated $22 billion drop. ‘The Kremlin thinks that now is the time to buy [foreign] assets cheaply.Norway’s government is reportedly seeking a loan from Russia. Is Vladimir Putin facing a threat to his legacy of bringing growth and stability to Russia?