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Ryanair confirms intent to delist from the London Stock Exchange

Ryanair to delist from LSE

Ryanair has confirmed its intent to delist from the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The airline’s final LSE trading day will be Friday 17 December, at which point the company will be listed in Ireland only, on the Euronext Dublin exchange.

The move has been expected ever since the company indicated its intentions to do so in its half-year results for 2021.

The airline blames admission fees and post-Brexit ownership rules for the departure, saying that the low level of share trading on the LSE does not justify the costs that come with such a listing.

Russ Mould, an investment director at AJ Bell, says: “Ryanair is desperate to be majority EU-owned in order to retain full licensing and flight rights in the bloc”.

EU rules require a European airline to be held primarily by investors within the EU in order for the company to maintain their full licensing rights.

As such, non-EU individuals have been barred from buying Ryanair shares for 20 years, a ban that was extended to UK citizens upon the official departure from the European Union in January 2021.

Experts don’t expect a long-term blow to Ryanair shares

Ryanair is valued at about £18.4 billion, making it one of the largest airlines currently registered on the LSE. Upon the announcement of its departure, shares in Ryanair fell by 2.6%.

However, Sophie Lund-Yates, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, believes that there’s no reason to panic yet. Despite the short-term challenges facing the travel industry at the tail end of the pandemic, she remains optimistic about Ryanair and its post-Covid recovery.

She says: “There are some signs that Ryanair will emerge from the pandemic stronger than it went in.” She gives the examples of more efficient planes, new flight routes, and strong balance sheets.

She adds: “Ryanair’s always operated on a volume-led approach, which gives the group power when it comes to negotiating new routes and breaking into hard-to-reach airports.”

While the industry will remain under pressure, Lund-Yates concludes: “Ryanair’s an early mover in the recovery, snapping up market share, and that could be a reason for long-term optimism.”

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