Today in Russian Business – September 2, 2009

A government source has suggested that Russia may reach pre-crisis levels in 2012.  Budget revenues in 2010 are expected to exceed expectations with predictions of oil trading at $57 a barrel as opposed to $54.  Despite the optimism, the government does not plan to increase spending.  VEB has agreed to a $917.3 million subordinated loan to Alfa Bank.  Payless ShoeSource will expand into Russia in 2010, with a plan to open 90 stores in about 5 years.  Fast retailing, which runs international clothing chain Uniqlo, also plans to open stores in Russia in spring 2010.  Reuters has a useful breakdown of what rival bidders Magna and RHJ have in mind for Opel if their bid is successful.  Steel-maker Evraz, which posted major losses yesterday, says that it imagines an upturn in domestic demand to be slow.  Russia’s lubricants markets may face a drop this year, as a result of poor car sales and exports decreasing.  Russia should ‘adopt a more flexible stance vis-à-vis the exchange rate’, suggests an analyst at Standard & Poor’s, as well as orienting the economy away from raw materials.  A Chinese corporation is planning to invest $1 billion in redeveloping the space that formerly housed the Cherkizovsky market.