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Vedanta picks new CEO

London, March 6 (Reuters): Vedanta Resources Plc has appointed Tom Albanese as chief executive, pinning its hopes on the former Rio Tinto Plc head to transform the India-focused miner into a global resources giant.

Shares in the London-listed company rose as much as 4 per cent on Thursday morning, making the stock one of the top percentage gainers on the FTSE-250 Midcap Index.

Albanese will take the helm on April 1. He will replace Mahendra Singh Mehta, whose departure had already been announced.

The 56-year old mining honcho has been with Vedanta since September as chairman of its subsidiary Vedanta Resources Holdings Ltd, the holding company of Sesa Sterlite and Konkola Copper Mines.

“Vedanta has been perceived by the market as an Indian-centric company,” Citi Research analyst Jatinder Goel wrote in a note.

“The appointment of Albanese, in our view, should help to globalise the business and remove this perception.”

Albanese was one of several top mining executives to shoulder the blame for the relentless pursuit of growth during the boom years that ended in 2011, when acquisitions soured and turned into billions of dollars of writedowns.

He held the top job at Rio Tinto for almost six years, leaving in January 2013 after the company revealed a $14-billion writedown almost entirely on the value of his two most significant buys: Alcan and Mozambican coal company Riversdale.