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Last Updated: Monday, 9 October 2006, 11:59 GMT 12:59 UK
Russia dethrones US metals king
Aluminium production line
Aluminium producers have a new leader of the pack
Veteran US aluminium producer Alcoa has been ejected from its number one slot in the world aluminium industry by a Russian-dominated metals triumvirate.

Russian rivals Rusal and Sual have joined forces with Swiss group Glencore to create a market leader.

Rusal owns 66% of the expanded firm, which hopes to list shares in London within 18 months.

Alcoa is now number two in the aluminium pecking order, ahead of Canadian Alcan.

Metal legacy

Alcan CEO Richard Evans told BBC News that he welcomed the probability that the Rusal deal and proposed London listing would spell improved corporate governance at the new giant.

He also claimed that in terms of primary metal production and smelting Alcoa and Alcan were still stronger than Rusal.

"You have think of the whole process," he said.

Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska controls Rusal. Brian Gilbertson, currently head of Sual, will chair the board of the merged Rusal.

Glencore's alumina business will be acquired by the new company, which will now produce four million tons of aluminium per annum.

Alcoa was founded as the Aluminium Company of America in 1886 by Charles Martin. It went on to supply the aluminium for the engine of the world's first aeroplane, the Wright Brothers Flyer, and is seen as an iconic American corporation.

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