AgriCensus Report

VTB to buy Russian grain trader to expand state-control in grains: sources

Russian state-owned bank VTB has continued its grain acquisition spree, picking up trader Mirogroup for an undisclosed fee, sources close to the deal said Friday.

Mirogroup is among Russia’s biggest domestic grain traders, handling almost 2 million mt of grain in the 2017/18 marketing year.

Agricensus contacted VTB and Mirogroup for comment, but had received none at the time of press.

The acquisition is the latest example of the bank making inroads into the grain export industry, with Russia the world’s biggest exporter of wheat.

VTB has been on a buying run in the grains market this year, picking up logistics and storage assets since acquiring half of trader OZK from Summa Group as part of a bankruptcy settlement.

Last week it was confirmed the bank had bought a controlling stake in the country’s main grain-handling railway company.

And it is currently mulling buying into the grain handling hub at Taman, which would add to its control of two terminals at Russia’s main grain export hub in Novorossiysk.

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