Today in Russian Business – August 25, 2009

After a second consecutive month of growth in July, when GDP increased by 0.5%, government ministers Igor Shuvalov and Andrei Klepach have felt optimistic enough to suggest Russia’s recession may be over – ‘but the crisis has yet to be overcome’.  Sberbanks’s profits fell by 93% in the first seven months of the year.  The bank will provide Rushydro with up to 20 billion rubles to fund the rebuilding of the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant.  ITAR-TASS reports that mortgage loan interest rates may decrease to pre-recession levels in 2-3 years.  Opel unions will put pressure on GM to accept the Magna bid for the car maker’s European unit, promising spectacular measures‘ to push a deal through.  Apparently joblessness continues to rise in 47 of Russia’s regions.  Following a chorus of criticism joined by Oleg Deripaska, President Medvedev has said that the Forest Code may be revised once more.  Deripaska’s building unit Transstroi has apparently lost a competition for a St. Petersburg highway contract.  VTB has won a $101 million lawsuit against Shalva Chigirinsky in a London court.