VTB Buys 50% of Taman Port Terminal to Expand Further in Grain Business

Continuing a string of investments in grain transport infrastructure, Russia’s state-controlled bank VTB has bought 50% of the Taman grain terminal in the Russian part of the Black Sea from Ukraine’s Kernel, Reuters reports.

Commodity trade giant Glencore, which owns the other half of the terminal, remains VTB’s partner in it, the Russian bank 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.