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"There can be no question of seizing property abroad," a Russian Finance Ministry statement said after the Kremlin missed a payment to foreign commercial banks on debt left over from the Soviet era. Moscow newspapers reported the default could lead to the seizure of government assets abroad as well as the foreign holdings of Russian citizens. The government said it shouldn't be considered in default because 70 percent of the lenders had agreed to restructure the loans. The lenders' group, known as the London Club, said 95 percent agreement is needed, and member banks were consulting on what action to take.

A brand-new billionaire joined the ranks of the world's business tycoons over the weekend when his company went public and its shares instantly became the highest-priced on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Lin Pai-li, founder of Quanta Computer Inc., holds 24 percent of the company's shares, worth $1.24 billion. Quanta produces 8 percent of the world's notebook computers. Its shares were trading at $12.45 at the close of business Friday, and analysts said they expected the price to rise this week.

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