Ashtead joins FTSE 100 index

INTERNATIONAL equipment rental company Ashtead will join the FTSE 100 for the first time at close of trading on 20 December.

The news comes as natural resources company Vedanta Resources and Croda International, a specialist chemical company both drop out of the index. Ashtead has seen its share price rise 66 per cent this year, peaking at 759 pence earlier this week. It will be joined in the FTSE 100 by Royal Mail, whose shares closed at 586p yesterday.