MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Russian state bank VTB Bank said on June 3 that it has reached an agreement to purchase a controlling interest in RTC Group, a Russian railway holding company that transports a large amount of grain.

For an undisclosed price, VTB will buy 50% plus one share of RTC. VTB has purchased other grain assets in the recent past, including the Novorossiysk Grain Terminal and shares in the Novorossiysk Kombinat Khleboproduktov terminal and United Grain Company.

VTB said its objectives in the grain market include providing synergies by combing assets in transport export logistics and trade. This will increase the efficiency of supply chains within the country, make pricing transparent and improve the speed and efficiency of supply, which will eventually make Russia more competitive, it said.

Russia has significantly increased the volume of production and export of wheat and other cereals.

Railway transport provides about 50% of grain deliveries to deep-water ports, and is also the most effective way of delivering grain from remote regions of Russia for subsequent redistribution to export shipments in ports, VTB said.

The RTC group of companies is a diversified railway holding, and one of the largest carriers of agricultural and forest cargo in Russia.

It has 68,000 rolling stock units, including hopper cars, gondola cars, timber transport platforms, fitting and universal platforms and tanks for vegetable oils

VTB Bank (PJSC), its subsidiary banks and financial institutions (VTB Group) is an international financial group that provides a wide range of financial and banking services in Russia, the CIS countries, Western Europe, Asia and Africa.

RTC and the VTB Group intend to continue the development of other business segments, including the transportation of timber and bulk cargo, mineral fertilizers.