VTB Bank continues to create the largest operator in the grain market in Russia

Over the past year, 173 wheat exporters left the Russian grain export market under pressure from competition.

Many of them have failed to keep up with the rules set by the big players entering the market.

One of the recently appeared grain traders was VTB Bank, which, having secured state support, in 2019-2020. has significantly increased its assets.

Demetra-Holding LLC became a subsidiary structure of the bank, which combines the grain assets of VTB Bank.

It is to this structure that blocks of shares in agro-industrial companies that belonged to VTB Bank have been transferred.

Thus, the holding included: the United Grain Company (UGC) with 50% minus 1 share, PJSC Novorossiysk Kombinat Khleboproduktov — 35.36% of shares, as well as 100% of shares in Novorossiysk Grain Terminal.

In addition, the holding owns 50% minus one share of the Rustranskom Group of Companies, which includes Rusagrotrans JSC, which owns the largest grain carrier operator.

The latter in March 2020 acquired from Fesco the company «Trans — Grain», which is engaged in the transportation of grain.

And the holding itself has already added to its assets 50% of the Cypriot Taman Grain Terminal Holdings Ltd, the owner of the grain transshipment terminal in Taman.

Now the share of Demetra-Holding LLC, taking into account control over the Novorossiysk grain terminal and the terminal in Taman, accounts for 18% of all transshipment capacities in the Azov — Black Sea basin.


And finally, the last replenishment of assets — the consolidation of 100% of shares of Mirogroup Resources LLC.

70% of the company’s shares were acquired by VTB Bank in August 2019, 30% remained to belong to Andrei Dolude, who previously was the full owner of the company.

At the time of purchase in 2019, the company was in the TOP-7 exporters, but for the 2019/2020 agricultural season it took second place.

The company explained such significant growth by the maximum fulfillment of the tasks set by the new owner.

Although market participants talk about significant preferences that the company received by entering the VTB grain holding.

In the process of increasing its grain assets, Demetra-Holding LLC is selling almost 50% of its shares.

The co-owners are Agronova JSC, which is engaged in the development of projects in agriculture — 25%, and the investment company Marathon Group, which received 24.99%.

Control over the holding’s work remained with VTB Bank.

VTB Bank has already interacted with new partners in other projects, therefore, believes that their involvement in the holding will provide an opportunity to consider strategies for further development from different points of view to determine the most efficient path.

In addition to grain assets and assets related to logistics for the movement and transshipment of goods, VTB Bank entered into a partnership agreement with SmartContract, which brought an IT component to the holding.

Thus, VTB Bank is creating the largest grain infrastructure in Russia.

The main task of the holding is to increase the transparency of all main processes from the elevator to the side of the vessel, to reduce the logistics component, which, in turn, should reduce the cost of production from manufacturers and increase their income.

Market participants hope that VTB Bank will continue its expansion in the grain market in a fair competition without attracting administrative resources.