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Articles by Howard Amos


Howard Amos joined The Moscow Times' business desk as a reporter in November 2010 and writes on a variety of topics, including macroeconomics, finance and banking, and energy. He lived in Russia for a year before joining the paper. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @howardamos.


Russian Tycoon and Activist Fetisov in Poor Health Before Trial

The health of billionaire and political activist Gleb Fetisov, the wealthiest man behind bars in Russia, is deteriorating as he enters his second year in pretrial detention.

Political Pressure Fears as Russia's Central Bank Set to Cut Rates

Fears of political interference with Russia's Central Bank are being stoked by an apparent change of approach as policymakers look set to cut interest rates on Friday.

Russian Tycoon Fridman Should Make U.K. Feel Nervous

A weeklong window for Soviet-born billionaire Mikhail Fridman to persuade the British government to sell him North Sea energy assets closes on Wednesday.

Russia Mulls Lifting European Food Import Ban for Greece

Officials in Moscow are considering exempting Greek fruits from a Russian food import ban imposed on European Union countries last year in retaliation against Western sanctions.

Foreign Russia Investors Warn Over Nemtsov Killing

Businessmen and investors said Monday that the killing of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov by the walls of the Kremlin last week will further worsen Russia's battered investment climate.

Russia's Ruble Rebounds in Biggest Monthly Gain Since 1990s

The Russian ruble has recorded its biggest monthly gain since the early 1990s amid higher oil prices, an easing of the fighting in eastern Ukraine and a less intensive foreign debt repayment schedule.

5 Russian Food Producers Winning From Economic Crisis and Import Ban

Recession, rising inflation and a currency collapse have combined with Western sanctions and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine to cast a pall of gloom over Russian business.

Spy-Linked Bank Put Into Administration as Russia's Banking Crisis Spreads

Mid-sized Russian lender FundServisBank was put into administration Wednesday by the financial authorities as a crisis in Russia's banking sector grows amid a stagnating economy and high interest rates.

Russia Dumps $22 Billion in U.S. Bonds to Slow Economy's Slide

Russia dumped $22 billion worth of U.S. treasury bonds in December as the Kremlin scrambled for cash to battle a plunging ruble and fund a crisis spending program amid an emerging recession.

A Year After Being Freed, Khodorkovsky Associate Still Trapped in Russia

Platon Lebedev, the one-time business partner of former Yukos owner Khodorkovsky, said that more than a year since he was released from prison he still cannot leave Russia.

Russia Signals End to Crimea Property Grab, But Investors Unlikely to Bite

The head of the Crimea region has called time on much-criticized "nationalizations" across the peninsula even as analysts warn that the questionable legality of the seizures will have damaging long-term consequences.

Ex-Finance Minister Kudrin Steps Into Spotlight as Russia's Crisis Grows

Alexei Kudrin took part in an anti-crisis meeting on Friday in the latest sign that the Kremlin insider turned government critic is playing a more prominent role in economic decision making.

Would a Ukraine Peace Deal in Minsk Save the Russian Economy?

U.S. President Barack Obama has claimed the Kremlin's role in the Ukraine crisis brought the Russian economy to its knees. So, if a peace accord is reached in Minsk on Wednesday will it reboot the Russian economy?

Markets Alert as Russia's Rosneft Readies $7 Billion Debt Payment

Ruble traders are closely watching a $7 billion repayment by state-owned Rosneft due this week as the oil giant grapples with mountainous debt amid Western sanctions and depressed oil prices.

'Are You Mad?' Putin Orders Government to Restore Train Services

President Putin castigated the Russian government as he intervened in a struggle between state-owned Russian Railways and regional authorities by ordering scrapped suburban train routes to be reinstated.

Sanctions Send Russia's Gazprom East to Find Financing

Russia's Gazprom is boosting efforts to woo Asian investors as the state-owned gas giant remains restricted in European and U.S. capital markets because of sanctions over Ukraine.

Top Executive Attacked for Ukraine Links Quits Moscow Exchange

A senior executive of Ukrainian origin at the Moscow Exchange resigned Friday after being accused of currency speculation and extremism by a senior nationalist lawmaker.

Russian Central Bank Set to Keep Growth-Stifling 17% Rate

Anton Titov, head of mid-sized Russian footwear retailer Obuv Rossii, has halted his firm's 2015 investment program, frozen planned shop openings and is looking at production cuts.

What Would Exclusion From Payment System SWIFT Mean For Russia?

Discussions among European leaders about new sanctions have again raised fears that the SWIFT payment system might be cut off, a move that experts warn would wreak financial havoc on Russia.

Warnings of Russian Financial Crisis Spread as Banks Start Failing

"It's obvious that the banking crisis will be massive," the head of Russia's largest bank told an agenda-setting economc forum, as Western sanctions, currency crisis and recession bear down on the financial sector.

Russian Central Bank Reshuffle Sign of New Approach to Ruble Crisis

The appointment of a new deputy governor to the Central Bank has raised the prospect of shifts in Russian monetary policy as the country continues to grapple with a currency crisis.

What a 'Junk' Rating Would Mean for Russia

Russian officials warned that an expected decision by Standard and Poor's to deprive Russia of its investment-grade credit rating could drain more money from an economy that is already entering recession.

Russian Currency Collapse Accelerates Despite Central Bank Rate Hike

The Russian currency crashed to 100 against the euro Tuesday, the latest milestone in a currency rout that has rapidly gained momentum despite a huge emergency rate hike from the Central Bank.

Russian Media Downplay Extent of Ruble Crisis

While the ruble pinballed erratically between 58 and 80 per U.S. dollar on Tuesday, making headlines around the world, Russia's state-run media have attempted to take a soft and conciliatory stance on the home currency's woes.

Fears of Capital Controls Grow as Russia's Economy Goes Haywire

The possible implementation of capital controls in Russia came a step closer Tuesday as the authorities appeared to be running out of options to stem the country's dramatic currency collapse.

Russian State Media Downplays Extent of Ruble Crisis

While the ruble collapsed 10 percent on Monday, making headlines around the world, some Russians may have been unaware of the recent intensification of their currency's woes.

Ruble Collapse Stokes Russian Mortgage Boom

One real estate developer and mortgage provider is eager to highlight the collapse of the Russian currency.

Russian Ruble Crashes to World's Worst-Performing Currency

The ruble collapsed by 10 percent against the U.S. dollar Monday earning the Russian currency the dubious laurels of the world's worst-performing currency this year.

RussiaТs Ruble Speeds Past 58 to U.S. Dollar as Devaluation Accelerates

The ruble passed 58 against the U.S. dollar on Friday for the first time since the country’s 1998 crisis as global oil prices declined, extending this week's plunge against the greenback to 10 percent.

Central Bank Interest Rate Hike Sends Ruble Spinning to Fresh Lows

The Russian ruble plunged to fresh historic lows Thursday despite a Central Bank decision to raise interest rates in a bid to support the weakening currency and tame rising inflation.