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BUZZ-Ryanair: buybacks could help ease Brexit fears as spreads widen

** Fears over Brexit have seen spreads between Ryanair's shares and its ADRs widen to multi-year highs

** Current European Union rules mean airlines must be majority-owned by investors inside the bloc

** In June 2017 Ryanair was 53.6 percent owned by EU nationals, comprising around 20 percent UK investors, according to the company

** The premium paid for Ryanair's US ADRs versus its Irish-listed shares - a proxy for fears non-EU nationals will be forced to sell or have their voting rights suspended - broke 25 percent in April, its highest level since 2012


** The company has sought to mitigate fears by announcing a 750 million euro buyback in February

** In order to maintain majority EU ownership, Ryanair may have to buy back or suspend around 16 percent of share capital - a total of around 2.8 billion euros at current market prices, according to a merger-arb trader

** Trader sees additional buybacks, rather than suspensions or forced sales, as the most likely outcome, with any widening of the spread from current levels a buying opportunity