The World bank has suggested that Russia’s economy will be one of the motors driving improvements in the economic climate across the whole of Europe and Central Asia this year. ‘One country where forecasts are moving in the right direction is Russia’, says the FT. The government has decided to increase spending by 3% this year as the rebounding economy and high oil prices fill the state coffers. Apparently Russia’s 2009 budget deficit was 25% less than originally predicted. Whilst in Paris Vladimir Putin will open the Russian National Exhibition, part of Russia’s new drive to improve its image to foreign investors, on which the BBC reports. Reuters says that Russia’s TGK-1 2009 profit rose eightfold. Boeing Co. may help Russia recommence production of the world’s largest mass-produced cargo airplane, the Soviet-era Antonov An-124, or Ruslan. Russian airline Transaero may sell up to 18% of its shares in an IPO by the end of the year. The Moscow Times reports that companies may raise $9 billion through IPOs this year if the situation on markets is favorable. Senator Sergei Pugachyov’s indebted United Industrial Corporation may sell companies Severnaya Verf and Baltiisky Zavod to the state-run United Shipbuilding Corporation. Swiss bank UBS has hired former Nomura banker Nick Jordan to lead its operations in Russia.