UK investors no longer able to buy Ryanair shares
UK investors can no longer buy shares in budget airline Ryanair (RYA) as it looks to stay compliant with EU rules for airlines after Brexit.
EU operating airlines require a minimum of 50% of shares to be held by EU nationals and it’s believed Ireland-headquartered Ryanair is below this threshold.
This has resulted in significant changes for UK shareholders, which came into effect on 1 January. Trading in Ryanair shares is now restricted for UK shareholders – they will still be able sell their shares but buys will be blocked.
Ryanair UK National shares will be converted into ‘Restricted Shares’, meaning shareholders cannot attend, speak or vote at general meetings. Currently, UK shareholders will not be forced to sell their shares.
It comes as fellow budget airline Wizz Air (WIZZ), which is based in Hungary, also said from 1 January that UK shareholders will no longer be treated as ‘qualifying nationals’ and will lose the right to attend or vote at general meetings.
Both firms have enacted their long-held plans to ensure they retain their EU flying rights post-Brexit, with Ryanair’s prohibition on non-EU nationals buying shares dating back to 5 February 2002.
Shareholders in UK-based rival EasyJet (EZJ) and the Anglo-Spanish owner of British Airways, International Consolidated Airlines (IAG), are as yet unaffected, along with investors in tour operators TUI (TUI) and Jet2 (JET2). [YF]