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Today in Russian Business – March 25, 2010

The World Bank has suggested that Russia’s economy will enjoy a more robust recovery than previously predicted, up to 5.5% from 3.2%, with higher wages and pensions encouraging a surge in spending.  Unemployment will reportedly remain high, at around 9%.  Moody’s predicts that Russian banks’ bad loans will reach a peak in the second half of the year and decline in 2011.  A pre-IPO valuation of Russian Railways puts the company at around $5 billion, says Reuters.  An interesting piece in the Moscow Times on Glencore’s investment in Russia; the outcome of which could reflect considerably on the investment conditions in the country.  The US Justice Department believes that German automaker Daimler paid more than $4 million in bribes to Russian government officials.  ‘Chaotic reality’: the former head of IKEA Russia recounts his experiences in a new book.  Apparently Alexander Lebedev will buy the Independent ‘within the next 24 hours’.  Russia’s Silicon Valley project is receiving considerable interest, but is it of the kind officials are hoping for?