Russian state bank buys controlling interest in RTC railway group

Russian state bank VTB has reached an agreement to buy a controlling interest in railway holding company RusTransCom (RTC group).

RTC was one of the largest carriers of agricultural and forest cargo in Russia, with 68,000 rolling stock units including tanks for vegetable oils, hoppers cars, gondola cars and universal platforms, World Grain wrote.

VTB said on 3 June that it would buy 50% plus one share of RTC.

The bank said railway transport provided about 50% of grain deliveries to deep-water ports and was the most effective way of delivering grain from remote regions of Russia for redistribution to export shipments in ports.

World Grain said VTB had acquired other grain assets recently.

Last August, it also acquired a 10.93% stake in Novorossiysk Grain Plant, one of the largest grain terminals in Russia.

In February, it agreed to buy Novorossiysk Grain Terminal, one of the Russia’s largest port terminals for the transshipment of grains and oilseeds.

In June, it had considered purchasing a stake in Taman port grain terminal to further expand its investment in the grain market, World Grain wrote.

First deputy chief executive Yuri Soloviev said VTB wanted to create a vertically integrated player in the grain market.

The company said its objectives in the grain market included providing synergies by combining assets in transport export logistics and trade.

This would increase efficiency of supply chains within the country, make pricing transparent and improve the speed and efficiency of supply, eventually making Russia more competitive, World Grain wrote.