Black Earth Rises on Taking Adviser

Black Earth Farming's shares rose after it moved to appoint an associate of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, whose rebuke of Mechel has sent the coal and steel producer's shares tumbling.

Black Earth, an owner and developer of agricultural land, hired Vasily Shestakov, co-author of a judo book with Putin, as an adviser, company spokesman Dmitry Lgovsky confirmed. The shares closed up 2.6 percent in Stockholm, their first gain in five days.

Shestakov said his job would be to keep bureaucrats from "putting sticks in the wheels" of the company's progress, Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

Black Earth shares through Tuesday declined 18 percent since Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev said July 14 that his ministry would "look into foreign capital buying up farmland."

Shestakov and Putin are co-authors of "Learning Judo With Vladimir Putin," Vedomosti reported. It is listed at Amazon.com as "Judo: History, Theory, Practice."