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Today in Russian Business – September 23, 2009

Bloomberg reports that GDP will apparently shrink 8.5% this year, but the government hopes to see a return to growth in 2010.  The IMF says that Russia’s economy will enjoy a fairly rapid recovery’ in the second half of the year as a result of the government’s anti-crisis measures.  The Cabinet will review final budget figures for next year that suggest spending will stay the same as this year in spite of the crisis.  The government plans to use the last of the Reserve Fund and resume borrowing for the first time in 11 years to fulfill its projections.  Not ‘possible, or even beneficial’ – Anders Aslund gets real about the ruble as reserve currency in the Moscow Times.  Sberbank has posted a $243.7 million net profit for January-August 2009, a 92% drop on the same period last year.  Mikhail Prokhorov has made a takeover bid for US basketball team the New Jersey Nets; if his bid is successful, it would be the first time an NBA club has been owned by a foreigner.