Today in Russian Business – July 2, 2010

As the government seeks to attract foreign investment, Russian lawmakers have announced they intend to transform the law on economic crimes, which would result in the early release of as many as 100,000 imprisoned businesspeople.  A senior United Russia party official has said that Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin’s proposal to raise the retirement age is an ‘an active play against the party’.  Technology entrepreneur Sergei Belousov has praised President Medvedev’s modernization drive and told the Moscow Times that he believes it is paying off.  Construction costs for Skolkovo could reach $2 billion, says Viktor Vekselberg.  Top Kremlin ideologue Vladislav Surkov is joining in the wooing of foreign investors to Russia, advocating an ‘import of brains’ to the country.  Car sales in June were up 77% on a year prior.  Quarter one net exports are up by 38% from the same period last year and Russian companies are borrowing as much as $2.5 billion in the international bond market for the first time in two years, Bloomberg reports, reflecting healthier times for the economy.  The Central Bank has said it will ditch collateral-free loans by the end of 2010 as the economic situation stabilizes.