BA and Yell set for Footsie promotion

British Airways and directories business Yell were preparing to win promotion to London’s blue-chip FTSE 100 Index today, with the latest quarterly reshuffle set to be announced later this week.

British Airways and directories business Yell were preparing to win promotion to London’s blue-chip FTSE 100 Index today, with the latest quarterly reshuffle set to be announced later this week.

Both have seen their share prices rise in recent months, putting them in pole position to move into the upper echelon of UK listed companies.

Since July, when Yell became the UK’s biggest share flotation for two years, the stock has gained 10% in value to around 310p.

If successful, Yell’s promotion would see it become the second former British Telecom unit to join its parent in the top flight. Mobile phone division mmO2 is also a FTSE-listed company.

Yell has already told shareholders it is on track to meet full-year targets after posting solid maiden interim results as a public company.

BA, meanwhile, has battled through a tough period which included an impromptu strike by check-in staff at Heathrow airport over a swipe card clocking-on system.

Its shares have more than doubled in value in the past six months to around 195p. The flag carrier was ejected from the top flight as international air travel slumped because of fears of terrorism and global economic slowdown.

BA has also overcome the Sars outbreak, which dented air travel to Asia. Its market value, based on Friday’s closing share price, is £2.2 billion.

The FTSE reshuffles its benchmark index every three months to ensure that only Britain’s biggest companies are included in the prestigious club.

Favourites for relegation from the Footsie include All Bar One and Harvester owner Mitchells & Butlers, which has been at risk of dropping out since the last reshuffle in June.

The group entered the top flight only in April after its demerger from InterContinental Hotels owner Six Continents.

Others likely to drop down into the FTSE 250 this time include financial stocks Provident Financial and Foreign & Colonial, water utility group Kelda and drugs distributor Alliance UniChem.

The next quarterly update will be announced on Wednesday, based on Tuesday night’s closing share prices.

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