Ryanair plans to drop London listing as trading volumes fall after Brexit

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General view of the Ryanair logo at their headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, September 16, 2021. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

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DUBLIN, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Ryanair (RYA.I) is considering pulling out of the London Stock Exchange in coming months due to falling trading volumes, executives said on Monday, dealing a further blow London’s status as a global market. financial center after Brexit.

The Irish airline’s move comes after its UK shareholders’ voting rights were curtailed post-Brexit and follows miner BHP (BHP.AX) which said in August it would scrap its dual-listing structure and would make Sydney its primary listing. Read more

“I think we’ll probably drop off the list over the next six months,” Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said on a conference call.

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The LSE had no immediate comment.

Brexit had pushed the company’s European shareholding below 50% – given that the UK is no longer part of the bloc – and the “European Commission wants us to be seen taking action”, said O’Leary.

Ryanair said in 2020 that UK nationals, like other third-country nationals, would no longer be allowed to acquire its ordinary shares from January 2021 – a move taken to ensure the airline remained majority EU-owned and retains full licenses and flight rights in the bloc after Brexit. Read more

Ryanair has a primary listing on Euronext (ENX.PA) Dublin and its American Depository Receipts (ADR) are listed on the US Nasdaq (NDAQ.O). In 2012 it downgraded its listing on the LSE from premium to standard – reaching daily turnover on the LSE, with most volume already migrating to European stock exchanges.

Monthly trading volume in London-listed Ryanair shares averaged 20.5 million in the 10 months to the end of October, down nearly 68% from average revenue in 2020, according to Reuters calculations based on Refinitiv data.

TRADE VOLUME

Ryanair’s trade volumes in Dublin have also fallen this year, but to a lesser extent. In the 10 months to the end of October, monthly volume there averaged 35.5 million, down 44% from 2020.

Another high-profile delisting would come as quotes on the LSE slumped and its main market underperformed. European stocks (.STOXX) have outperformed the UK blue chip index (.FTSE100) by nearly 9 percentage points this year, according to data from Refinitiv.

“Many companies can look at the FTSE and the sheer underperformance and high costs involved in listing here,” said a trader at a local brokerage.

Having two equity trading platforms, one in the UK and one in the EU, is seen as costly and particularly onerous for airlines, whose operating licenses to fly between destinations in the bloc are reserved operators majority owned and effectively controlled by the EU, EEA or Switzerland. nationals.

“The migration out of the LSE is consistent with a general trend towards trading in shares of European companies post-Brexit,” the airline said in a statement accompanying its half-year results.

Britain is scrambling to maintain the City of London as a global financial center in the wake of Brexit, which has largely cut off Britain’s financial sector from clients in the bloc.

The bulk of euro-denominated equity trading shifted overnight from London to Amsterdam after Britain left the EU completely on December 31, 2020.

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Reporting by Conor Humphries in Dublin and Danilo Masoni in Milan; Additional reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan in London; Editing by Susan Fenton and David Holmes

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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