Royal Mail joined the stock market’s list of elite companies yesterday after a privatisation that has seen its value soar by 80 per cent.
The delivery firm entered the FTSE 100 index with a market value of just under £6bn, having initially been worth £3.3bn at its flotation in October. The surge in its value led to accusations that it had been sold off on the cheap, although this was dismissed by Business Secretary Vince Cable.
The other newcomer in the FTSE 100 is construction and industrial equipment rental firm Ashtead, with chemicals group Croda International and miner Vedanta Resources relegated from the shares premier league. The reshuffle was based on the closing prices of companies on December 13.
Royal Mail’s life as a top-flight company began in lacklustre fashion though as its shares opened slightly lower at 589p amid thin pre-Christmas trading.
The promotion of the mail company means another female chief executive in the FTSE 100 Index as Moya Greene joins easyJet’s Carolyn McCall and Imperial Tobacco’s Alison Cooper.
A fourth, Angela Ahrendts of Burberry, is leaving next year but BT executive Liv Garfield will make up the number when she takes over at Severn Trent.
Newly promoted to the second-tier FTSE 250 are Madame Tussauds and Alton Towers owner Merlin Entertainments and estate agency Foxtons, following their own flotations.
Merlin has climbed since its impressive stock market debut in September while London-focused Foxtons has banked a surge in value thanks to the boom in the capital’s property market.