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FTSE 100 set for shake-up as easyJet faces drop

By Sean Farrell

Date: Wednesday 27 May 2020

FTSE 100 set for shake-up as easyJet faces drop

(Sharecast News) - The FTSE 100 could be in for its biggest shake-up in more than a decade as the Covid-19 crisis looks set to eject easyJet and Carnival from the index of leading shares.

EasyJet and Carnival have staged recent rallies as tourism shows signs of opening up after the coronavirus lockdown but the airline and cruise operator still look likely to leave the FTSE 100.

British Gas owner Centrica and Meggitt, the aerospace parts maker, also look set for the drop into the FTSE 250. For Centrica it would be its first demotion since the company was formed from a demerger in 1997.

That would mean four companies leaving the FTSE 100 for the first time in more than four years. But there could be a bigger shake-up with fairly small increases or reductions in values deciding the status of several additional companies before the calculation date of 2 June.

Five companies have been demoted on one occasion in March 2009 in the turmoil of the financial crisis. If that happens the companies at risk of demotion are ITV and M&G, according to AJ Bell.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: "Eight changes are likely - four names in, four names out - but that number could go higher. It will only take a small percentage change in a few other firms' respective market capitalisations to trigger further changes and investors will be watching these changes closely."

Mould said the most likely FTSE 250 candidates to move up to the FTSE 100 are cybersecurity specialist Avast; domestic repair company Homeserve; gambling operator GVC; and medical equipment maker Convatec. Kingfisher, Foreign & Colonial, B&M and Direct Line are all in the running as well.

The members of the UK's share indexes are reviewed each quarter to reflect changes in their values. The reshuffles are managed so that companies do not move in and out too often.

To be relegated a FTSE 100 company's market value must be below that of the top 10 companies beneath it and to gain promotion a FTSE 250 company's valuation must exceed that of the bottom 10 in the FTSE 100.

EasyJet and Carnival shares have been battered by the Covid-19 crisis as investors have worried the companies will be left permanently damaged. Centrica's problems have been longer running. The company, with one of the biggest individual shareholder bases in the UK, cut its dividend twice in 2019.







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