BNP Paribas Sues Russian Grain Trader Rias, Seeking $20 Million

ZAO BNP Paribas Bank sued Russian grain trader OOO Rosinteragroservis and its subsidiary OAO Kubankhlebprodukt, claiming $20 million in debts and penalties.

The loans are dated in April, May and July last year along with a contract of guarantee in October 2009, according to the Arbitration Court of Moscow. ZAO BNP’s spokeswoman Yulia Panyovina declined to comment. Rias General Director Andrei Samoilenko didn’t return e-mails and calls today by Bloomberg seeking comment. A hearing is set for March 14, the court said.

Rias grain stored in warehouses in Russia is a guarantee against its loans, according to Robert Danvers, managing director of Geneva-based Control Union International Commodity Services SA. Control Union auditors were denied access to Rias storage facilities in December through Jan. 12, Danvers said by e-mail last week. He was not available to comment today.

Rias is Russia’s second-largest grain exporter, shipping 2.6 million metric tons in 2008-09, and 2.1 million tons from July 2009 until May 2010, according to its website. The company owns warehouses with a capacity of more than 455,000 tons in Russia’s Southern Federal District and has more than 4,000 employees, the company said.