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MOSCOW, March 28 VTB Capital, the investment
banking arm of Russia's second largest bank VTB, has
moved into the agricultural commodities business, with a focus
on the Black Sea and Central Europe, its head of global
commodities Atanas Djumaliev told Reuters.
Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters with
customers mainly in North Africa and the Middle East, harvested
a record grain crop in 2016 and prospects for this year's crop
are also bright.
"With Russia being one of the largest exporters of wheat in
the world, it is a natural fit to expand VTB Capital's client
franchise business in agriculture trading," Djumaliev said in an
emailed reply to Reuters questions.
Leading grain trader Hans Stoldt recently joined VTB Capital
as its director of agricultural trade in Switzerland.
"This area of our business is headed by Hans-Herman Stoldt,
who has recently joined VTB Capital and will be based in Zug,
Switzerland," Djumaliev said.
"Currently, the agriculture trading is focused on the Black
Sea and Central Europe region with plans to extend into other
geographic areas in line with our strategy. The driving force
behind expected trading volumes for 2017 will be client demand
and market opportunities".
Russian agricultural exports are currently dominated by
global and local trading houses. In the agricultural markets
Russia competes with its Black Sea neighbours like Ukraine and
Romania as well as other countries including France and
Stoldt was previously director of the Black Sea, central
Europe and Adriatic division of international grain trading
(Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Writing by Polina Devitt;
Editing by Greg Mahlich)