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Today in Russian Business – Sept 16, 2008

Lehman Brothersfiling for bankruptcy has affected Russian markets, but President Dmitry Medvedev has insisted that Russia is not in crisis and announced that the government will provide liquidity to the banking sector. The markets, however, aren’t listening. Russia’s currency and foreign exchange levels are not suffering, but stock market troubles have been ongoing since July – do global oil markets have anything to do with the current situation? Bigger Russian companies may be buffered by their lower levels of debt, and six of Russia’s largest may use surplus cash to buy back shares in an attempt to ease the market slump. Merrill Lynch and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development are planning a venture with billionaire Viktor Vekselberg to build Russian hotels. Moscow apartment prices are falling. Russia’s S7 is one of three companies shortlisted for buying a stake in Austrian Airlines. This year’s Russian harvest is a substantial increase on 2007.