EASYJET is poised to join the FTSE 100 for the first time this week, capping a record year for the airline in which its share price has more than doubled.
The budget carrier’s market capitalisation on Friday was £4.03bn, which puts it in pole position to join the index in FTSE Group’s quarterly reshuffle on Wednesday.
EasyJet’s share price has risen from 429p a year ago to 1,017p on Friday, helped by chief executive Carolyn McCall’s plan to target more lucrative business passengers and a run of record profits.
The share surge makes EasyJet more valuable than a string of blue-chips including John Wood and Serco, which are both at risk of demotion on Wednesday.
The London Stock Exchange Group also stands a chance of rejoining the FTSE 100.
While management have said that joining the FTSE 100 has never been a target, inclusion in the index will attract investment from tracker funds and further raise EasyJet’s profile.
The company’s looming promotion has been a bone of contention with founder and major shareholder Sir Stelios Haji-Ionnaou. He has argued that outgoing chairman Sir Mike Rake cannot hold prominent board positions at two FTSE 100 firms.
Sir Mike, who also chairs BT, is due to step down in the summer after narrowly surviving a shareholder vote last month.