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Today in Russian Business – September 30, 2009

In advance of a meeting with the heads of some of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, Putin has defended Russia’s crisis management, reiterated a commitment to a liberal market economy and emphasized that when the crisis has passed, the government will diminish its intervention in the economy.  The central bank has made an unexpected cut in its key re-financing rate to 10% from 10.5% as a result of dwindling industrial production.  Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina has apparently cautiously suggested that the country’s GDP decline could be lower than the official forecast.  A Standard & Poor’s analyst has said that Russia is already caught in the second wave of the financial crisis.  Sberbank will provide a loan to Rusal to help it pay back its debt to Alfa Group.  VEB may acquire a stake in Avtovaz by purchasing an issue of its infrastructure bonds and converting them into equity.  Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has said that Russia plans to decrease its stake in state-run firms such as VTB.  Telenor’s hearing has been adjourned to March 2010.  According to the Moscow Times, the Regional Development Ministry has dramatic plans for depressed monogrody.