Hlib Investbud emerged last summer from the restructuring of Ukraine’s main grain company, which was fully state-owned. It is now owned 49 percent by the state and 51 percent by private investors who have never been identified.
The company has moved into the lucrative export market as well as making grain purchases for a state-run intervention fund that is responsible for ensuring domestic food price stability.
Last year, a severe drought threw the Black Sea grain market into turmoil. Russia banned all grain exports, and Ukraine – previously the world’s largest barley exporter and one of the top five for wheat and maize – in October imposed export quotas.