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Ryanair drops London listing, citing costs

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FILE PHOTO: Ryanair in Dublin
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DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ryanair gave notice on Friday of its intention to delist from the London Stock Exchange next month, saying the volume of trading did not justify the costs related to retaining an additional listing.

The Irish airline said on Nov.1 that it was planning to drop the listing due to a fall in trading volumes there, dealing a blow to London's status as a global financial centre after Brexit.

The move comes after its British shareholders' voting rights were restricted post-Brexit and followed miner BHP saying in August it would do away with its dual-listed structure and make Sydney its main listing.

Royal Dutch Shell's decision on Monday to scrap its dual share structure and move its head office to Britain from the Netherlands has also renewed focus on dual listings, which are often criticised as both complex and expensive.

Ryanair said the last day of trading of its shares on the LSE would be Dec. 17.

Ryanair said it will continue to hold a primary listing on Euronext Dublin and list its American Depository Receipts (ADRs) on the U.S. Nasdaq. In 2012 it downgraded its listing on the LSE from premium to standard.

Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said last month that Brexit had pushed EU stock ownership of the company below 50% - given the Britain is no longer part of the bloc - and that the European Commission wanted it "to be seen to be taking action."

Ryanair had said in 2020 that UK nationals, like other non-EU nationals, would from January 2021 no longer be permitted to acquire its ordinary shares - a decision taken to ensure the airline remains majority EU-owned and retains full licensing and flight rights in the bloc after Brexit.

(This story has been refiled to fix the headline)

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin in Dublin and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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