Today in Russian Business – April 21, 2009

The number of unemployed in Russia has reached an eight-year high.  Vladimir Potanin has reduced his stake in Norilsk Nickel to 25%.  Potanin’s Rosa Khutor Sochi ski resort development has borrowed $94 million from state bank VEB.  Chrome maker RosSpetsSplav is optimistic that output will revive after summer.  Gold miner Peter Hambro has announced a 53% increase in earnings.  Steel manufacturer Severstal says it expects demand for steel to fall by 25% on last year’s rate.  Developer LSR Group lost $238 million last year.  Czech authorities have left Aeroflot out of a tender for Czech Airlines, due to what Russia called ‘politicized and artificial’ security issues.  VSMPO-Avisma has made a $4 billion deal to supply Airbus with titanium parts up until 2020.  Alfa Bank’s profit dropped 9.2% last year, due to soaring costs of bad loans.  Reuters features a Factbox on this issue affecting Russian banks.  The Chairman of Barclays Capital has told Russian financal institutions to stop talk of ‘war’ between companies and their creditor banks, and instead focus upon solutions, reports the FT.  Over the next three years, Microsoft will invest $300 million in Russia.