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.