Ryanair has delisted from the London Stock Exchange (LSE) amid concerns over admission fees and post-Brexit ownership rules.
The budget airline said the volume of trading of its shares on the London market “does not justify the costs related to such listing and admission to trading”.
It will instead remain listed solely in Ireland.
The company will have its LSE trading day on December 17.
The decision is a blow to LSE’s main market, as Ryanair is one of the biggest London-listed airlines valued at £18.4bn.
However, it was widely expected and followed indications in its half-year results and shareholder discussions.
EU rules require airlines to be owned primarily by countries within the bloc, or with more integrated arrangements than the UK, to maintain full licensing rights.
Ryanair has barred non-EU individuals from buying shares in the company for nearly 20 years, and in January extended this to institutions and individuals in the UK after the country left the bloc.
It consequently sold around one million shares bought by non-EU nationals, who were mainly British investors.
Russ Mould, AJ Bell investment director, argued the decision was likely driven by the airline’s “razor sharp” focus on costs and its desire to remain majority-EU owned.
He said: “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. Ryanair is desperate to be majority EU-owned in order to retain full licensing and flight rights in the bloc following the UK’s exit from the EU.”
Sophie Lund-Yates, senior equity analyst believes the de-listing does not undermine Ryanair’s investment case.
She noted that UK investors barred from buying the shares for some months already, with previous warnings a de-listing “may be coming down the pipes”.
She said: “The decision was arrived at based on the fact the low volume of trades in London simply didn’t justify the extra cost or admin, with Brexit rules muddying the water. The relatively lacklustre trading activity garnered by Ryanair on the LSE means its loss isn’t an enormous blow, but the sentimental impact could be a little harsher.”
The company will continue to have a primary listing on Euronext Dublin.