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Russia's VTB to Stay in Grain Business for Now

Bank has become largest operator of domestic grain infrastructure in Russia

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Russia's VTB bank, which has transformed itself into a major grain trader within a year, plans to remain in the grain business for the next three to five years, Andrey Kostin, the chief executive of the state-controlled lender, told Reuters.

VTB, Russia’s second biggest bank, has become the largest operator of domestic grain infrastructure after it snapped up a number of assets last year. In April, it sold nearly a half of its grain unit, the Demetra Holding, to two other Russian firms.

A year ago, VTB told Reuters that it planned to expand its grain business and then exit it. But Kostin said grain infrastructure, such as roads and railway hubs, need to be improved.

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