Ryanair bids farewell to London Stock Exchange

·Business reporter
·2 min read
Ryanair bids farewell to London Stock Exchange
The company, which is Europe’s largest budget carrier, has a primary listing on the Euronext Dublin exchange. Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Ryanair (RYA.L) has bid farewell to the London Stock Exchange (LSEG.L) after earlier confirming plans to delist its shares due to EU rules on ownership post-Brexit.

The airline applied to authorities to cancel its listing on the main market in London as “the volume of trading of the shares on the LSE does not justify the costs related to such listing and admission to trading”.

It added that trading in the City had “reduced materially” as a percentage of its overall shares activity during the year.

The company, which is Europe’s largest budget carrier, has a primary listing on the Euronext Dublin exchange, and has already made some of its investors in the UK sell shares to ensure it complies with the mandate since Brexit.

While UK holders have been barred from buying Ryanair shares for some months, delisting will take effect in London from 20 December, with the last day of trading on 17 December.

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“The migration away from the London Stock Exchange is consistent with a general trend for trading in shares of EU corporates post-Brexit and is, potentially, more acute for Ryanair as a result of the long-standing prohibition on non-EU citizens purchasing Ryanair's ordinary shares being extended to UK nationals following Brexit,” the company said when it first announced the news.

Russ Mould, AJ Bell investment director, said earlier this month: “For a business with a razor sharp focus on costs it seems the expense of maintaining a UK listing just doesn’t stack up any more given a decline in trading volumes and so Ryanair is planning a pre-Christmas getaway.

“If Shell’s decision to pivot to London was chalked up as a Brexit win, this is likely to be characterised as a Brexit loss in some quarters, coming after restrictions were introduced on UK investors buying its shares at the start of the year.”

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On Thursday, Ryanair said it expects to fly around 10% fewer passengers in December and January due to customer concerns around the Omicron variant.

It forecasts that it will fly around 10 million people this month rather than the forecast 11 million, and plans to cut about 10% of its capacity in January.

"Where it really hit us has been the early weeks of December, bookings in and out of Ireland and the UK … The rest of the continent is still travelling for business and for leisure," group chief executive Michael O'Leary told the Guardian in an interview.

“The panic is largely confined to the UK and Ireland. Across the continent there's been a much more reasoned approach" to Omicron."

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