Today in Russian Business – August 5, 2009

An article in Reuters looks at the impact the war in Georgia had on the stock market, as a marker of what could potentially happen in the volatile post-Soviet region as a whole.  Fitch ratings has raised its forecast for the fall in Russia’s GDP next from 0 to 7%, but the economy is likely to grow by 5%.  Russia’s grain harvest may amount to 85 million metric tons in 2009 compared with 108 million metric tons last year, following droughts.  Regions that have suffered from droughts this year will receive up to $3.2 billion in state aid.  GM’s opposition to Magna as a buyer for Opel is apparently wavering, as Chancellor Angela Merkel may intervene and step up the pressure to seal a deal.  Sberbank has said it has signed agreements with steel maker Evraz to provide $281.7 million in loans to some of its domestic units.  The Moscow Times reports upon the challenges the new governor of Chukotka faces, as he steps into the shoes of billionaire Roman Abramavoich, who invested ‘about $2.5 billion’ in the region.  ‘Since the millennium some $300bn has been spent in the west by Russian citizens alone most of it in Britain‘: but are the spending habits of Russian’s super rich actually doing Britain’s economy any good? asks Stewart Lansley in the Guardian.