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Today in Russian Business – October 9, 2009

VEB, which holds a blocking state in Vimpelcom, will apparently agree to the merger of the mobile operator with Ukrainian company Kyivstar.  Car sales in Russia fell 52% in September year-on-year, a slight improvement on August’s drop of 54%.  State-controlled VEB bank has extended loans for six companies, including Gazprom’s oil unit Gazpromneft.  Reuters reports that Italian automaker Fiat is interested in launching its SUV in Russia.  Fiat SpA has said that its CNH unit has signed a letter of intent with truck-maker Kamaz for a joint agricultural and construction equipment project.  The government will provide around $170 million in financial assistance to state-controlled defense industry corporation Oboronprom and titanium producer Vsmpo-Avisma.  Russian Railways has reported that 2008 net income dropped 47% from a year earlier to $2.6 billion.  Russia has placed Hermitage Capital Management chief William Browder on its international wanted list for tax evasion charges, seeking for his arrest abroad.