Your MoneyStocktake

Travel giant Tui the latest stock to quit struggling UK market

London’s main problem is the same as Dublin’s – the greater liquidity and higher valuations on offer in the US

The exodus from the London Stock Exchange continues, with travel operator Tui announcing last week it is quitting the UK in favour of a Frankfurt listing. Management argued that leaving offered “clear advantages” – greater liquidity, indexation, simplified structures – and shareholders overwhelmingly agreed, with 98 per cent voting to quit the UK market.

A former FTSE 100 company now worth only a fifth of its pre-pandemic value, Tui is not in itself a big loss to London. Nevertheless, this latest departure adds to the sense that the UK is a “backwater” in today’s global markets, as high-profile UK fund manager Nick Train complained last year.

Paddy Power owner Flutter plans to quit the FTSE 100 and move its main listing to the US. Last year, CRH and Smurfit Kappa moved their main listings to the US. British American Tobacco resisted pressure to do the same, after one of the company’s biggest shareholders said it made “no sense” to remain a FTSE company.

Meanwhile, UK listings are drying up. Only 22 UK companies went public in 2023, down from 45 in 2022 and 119 in 2021.


Most painfully, British technology giant Arm snubbed the UK in favour of the Nasdaq when it went public last year. Shares have since soared, more than doubling recently following blowout earnings.

London investment bank Peel Hunt is calling on the UK government to scrap stamp duty on shares. This might help when it comes to companies considering listings in Frankfurt or Amsterdam, but London’s main problem is the same one afflicting the Irish market – the greater liquidity and higher valuations on offer in the US.

Proinsias O'Mahony

Proinsias O'Mahony

Proinsias O’Mahony, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes the weekly Stocktake column