The IMF has said Russia ‘urgently’ needs a plan to deal with bad loans and has cut its forecast for growth from 6.5% to 6%. Russian banks may need around $41 billion for recapitalization in 2009. Renaissance Group CEO Stephen Jennings is positive on the recession: ‘I think in a year’s time for Russia it’s going to be like this crisis never happened‘. Russian stocks have surged as UBS predicts a 30% rally for shares. The Times scrutinizes the powers that lie behind Sberbank and GAZ. GAZ could begin production of Opel cars in as little as nine months. Changes are underway at Rosneft, which imply that current President Sergei Bogdanchikov may be on the way out. China has begun a probe into imports from Novolipetsk Steel, suggesting that the company may be practicing dumping. Krasair flight attendants have ended their hunger strike, but vow to take the case to court. Dmitry Medvedev has decided to ask the Duma to extend the powers of Sergei Ignatiev as president of the Bank of Russia. The Russian government has approved a plan to reorganize Svyazinvest by merging the operators with Rostelecom.