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EasyJet ejected from the UK’s list of top companies

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EasyJet and cruise firm Carnival are to lose their place on the prestigious FTSE 100 after the coronavirus impact hit their share prices.

The airline lost up to two-thirds of its value this year, and despite a recent recovery it remains well below the threshold to stay on the index.

A full list of FTSE movers will not be known until Wednesday, but British Gas-owner Centrica is also out.

Companies known to be promoted from the FTSE 250 include gambling firm GVC.

As well as enhancing a company’s reputation, being on the FTSE 100 is significant because some investment funds only buy shares in the UK top companies.

Tourism and travel firms have been among the hardest hit during the coronavirus pandemic, as airlines grounded aircraft and people stayed at home.

EasyJet, which plans to cut up to 4,500 jobs and shrink its fleet, had returned to the FTSE 100 only last December after a fall in its shares had triggered a demotion to the FTSE 250.

“EasyJet would need a big rally, but it could come back in September,” at the time of the next reshuffle, said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

British Airways owner IAG and InterContinental Hotels Group will continue to fly the travel industry flag on the FTSE 100 after Wednesday’s reshuffle.

Promotions

GVC, owner of Ladbrokes and Bwin, has seen its share price rise as business improved during lockdown, despite the cancellation of many sporting events.

“Unlike some other operators GVC has multiple strings to its bow, and its online casino business has seen a modest rise in activity”, Nicholas Hyett, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, wrote in a note to clients.

Cybersecurity firm Avast is another firm whose share price rise is likely to see it propelled from the FTSE 250 into the blue-chip index.

And Kingfisher, the group that owns B&Q and Screwfix, could also make a surprise re-entry to the FTSE 100. Its share price has been recovering since April on expectation that lockdown has encouraged more DIY trade, albeit through click and collect sales.

However, Helal Miah, investment analyst at The Share Centre, said: “We fear [Kingfisher] will be another yo-yo stock as the retail sector still grapples with its pre-existing challenges as well as the impact of Covid-19.”



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