Press digest

2020 March 24

Russia's VTB buys 50% of Taman grain terminal from Ukraine's Kernel

Russian state-controlled VTB bank, which has been expanding its grain business, has bought a half of the Taman grain terminal in the Russian part of the Black Sea from Ukraine's Kernel, it said on Monday.

Global trade giant Glencore, which owns the other half of the terminal, remains VTB's partner in it, VTB added. Russia is the world's largest wheat exporter, which has only a limited number of grain terminals in deep-water ports. Taman is one of the key terminals.

Kernel sold the stake for 61 million euros ($65 million) paid in cash, it said in its statement. It has not been involved in grain marketing in Russia since 2017, assigning its transshipment quota in the terminal to Glencore.

VTB, Russia's second-largest lender, which aims to become a national grains champion, became the largest operator of Russia's grain export infrastructure and a grain trader after a series of acquisitions in 2019.

"As part of VTB's grain market strategy, the deal will allow us to achieve significant synergies with VTB Group's existing assets in infrastructure, logistics and grain export," Yuri Soloviev, VTB's first deputy chief executive, said in the statement.

In November, VTB and Russian vegetable oil producer EFKO agreed to build another grain terminal in Taman, close to the one in which it purchased the stake on Monday.

VTB has been also looking at other options to expand grain export capacity in the Russian part of the Black and Azov Seas.