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MOSCOW, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Russian stocks eased lower on Tuesday after the United States named major Russian businessmen on a list of oligarchs close to the Kremlin, increasing the risk that some of the country's largest companies could be hurt by future sanctions.
The list, drawn up as part of a sanctions package signed into law in August last year, does not mean those included will be subject to sanctions. But it casts a potential shadow of sanctions risk over a wide circle of wealthy Russians close to President Vladimir Putin.
It included the heads of Russia's two biggest banks, Sberbank and VTB, metals magnates and the boss of state gas monopoly Gazprom.
At 0745 GMT, Russia's dollar-denominated RTS index was down 0.24 percent at 1,272.45 points.
The rouble-based MOEX Russian index, previously known as MICEX, was 0.48 percent lower at 2,274.51 points, slightly down from an all-time high of 2,328.48 hit on Jan. 25.
ATON analysts said Russian stocks had come under pressure from the uncertainty about potential future U.S. sanctions, as well as lower oil prices.
Among the biggest fallers was Norilsk Nickel, whose shares fell 1.2 percent after its co-owner Vladimir Potanin was included on the U.S. list.
Rusal, the world's second biggest producer of aluminum, whose co-owner Oleg Deripaska was also on the list, saw its shares ease 1.4 percent in Hong Kong.
Some analysts, however, played down the market impact. "(The list) does not automatically lead to any further action. Therefore, we do not expect any market reaction," VTB analysts said in a note.
But a report detailing potential U.S. sanctions on the holding of Russian state debt has yet to be released, VTB added, "so overall uncertainty remains intact."
ING analyst Dmitry Polevoy said the impact would depend on the response from Western investors and businesses.
"It will be important how Western, European businesses react since they do, in one way or another, work with the companies whose owners are now on this list," he told Reuters.
"Whether or not there's some real effect from this list depends on their reaction."
The Russian rouble appeared to shrug off the report. It was 0.13 percent stronger against the dollar at 56.24 and had gained 0.25 percent to trade at 69.55 versus the euro
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For Russian equities guide see
For Russian treasury bonds see
Russia in graphics: http://link.reuters.com/dun63s (Writing by Jack Stubbs and Polina Ivanova; Editing by Andrey Ostroukh and Peter Graff)