January 17, 2020 / 9:07 AM / a month ago

British Airways-owner IAG lifts ownership restrictions, boosting shares

FILE PHOTO: British Airways aircraft are seen at Heathrow Airport in west London, Britain, February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British Airways-owner IAG (ICAG.L) lifted a restriction on non-EU investors’ ability to buy its stock, helping boost its share price by more than 5%.

Last February, IAG, which also owns Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus, set the maximum level for ownership of its shares by non-Europeans at 47.5% in a bid to maintain its status as a European-owned airline.

IAG said on Friday that non-EU ownership had dropped to 39.5% and as such it was removing the cap which had been in effect for 11 months.

Shares in the company rose 5.3% to 672 pence at 0858 GMT, their highest level since September 2018.

Bernstein analyst Daniel Roeska said the change meant a large overhang had now gone. “We view this news very positively,” he said.

Reporting by Sarah Young, Editing by Paul Sandle

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