* Deripaska to step down as Rusal president from March 15
* He was included on U.S. “oligarch’s list”
* CEO Vladislav Soloviev to become new president
HONG KONG, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska plans to step down as the president of aluminium giant Rusal, the company said in a statement on Friday.
The change comes less than a month after the inclusion of Deripaska and dozens of tycoons on a U.S. government list of Russian oligarchs. While it is not a sanctions list, Western banks may be reluctant to deal with companies whose owners are included.
Deripaska also plans to quit the same role in En+ Group , another company he controls, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Feb. 19.
Hong Kong-listed Rusal is one of the world’s largest aluminium producers. Deripaska’s En+ owns a 48 percent stake in Rusal, which is a big consumer of hydroelectricity produced by En+’s power companies.
As part of the management re-shuffle, Vladislav Soloviev, Rusal’s chief executive officer, will become president of Rusal. Current chief financial officer, Alexandra Bouriko, will be appointed Rusal CEO.
All changes will come into effect from March 15.
Most metal sector analysts saw the news as neutral for Rusal and En+ earlier this week because the succession plan is drawing on existing company managers, which should ensure continuity. (Reporting by Donny Kwok in Hong Kong and Polina Devitt in Moscow)