Russia’s budget deficit widened last month to the equivalent of 3.6% of gross domestic product, increasing by $4.5 billion in May. Growth of bad bank loans is apparently slowing for the first time since the start of the crisis. Reuters considers whether the recession will lead to reform. Aeroflot may lose some of its annual $300 million overflight royalties if a new proposal to the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service is accepted. In a new bill, Russian holdings may be allowed to protect their overseas assets in the event of bankruptcy. Grain firm Rosinteragroservis has asked that the 56,000 tons of wheat held in Egypt for quality checks be returned to Russia so it can be sold to Indonesia. Reports abound on the opening of HSBC’s first retail bank in Russia, which hopes to target the Russian middle class who are ‘relatively undamaged’ by the recession. Food retailer Magnit has said that its sales rose 31% in May as it opened 46 new stores. The government has delayed the approving of the purchase of Russneft oil company by Oleg Deripaska. Reuters looks at the economic future of the BRIC nations.