Morrisons likely to drop out of FTSE 100 as groceries boom wanes

Morrisons is expected to drop out of the FTSE 100 for the first time in five years as analysts predict the groceries spending spree during the pandemic will wane.

The quarterly reshuffle of the UK’s blue-chip stocks index is likely to result in the supermarket chain being relegated to the FTSE 250, along with the owner of South West Water, Pennon Group, while the newly listed footwear brand Dr Martens is expected to stride into the mid-cap 250 rankings.

As well as the reputational sheen offered by FTSE 100 status, promotion or demotion can prompt significant turnover in shares as investors who follow indices are obliged to adjust their portfolios.

Morrisons and Pennon are expected to be replaced by two engineering companies, Weir Group and Renishaw, according to analysis by Susannah Streeter of the investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown.

FTSE Russell, a subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange, will confirm the results of the review after trading closes on Wednesday. These will be based on its calculations of the companies’ market values on Tuesday.

Dr Martens will become one of the largest FTSE 250 members. The company – which is identified with a “DOCS” ticker since it listed in late January – was worth £4.82bn on Tuesday evening, according to the LSE publicly available data.

Russ Mould, the investment director of the investor platform AJ Bell, said Dr Martens’ success was “indicative of strong demand for new floats”.

Dr Martens narrowly missed out on inclusion on the FTSE 100, after Renishaw’s share price surged on Tuesday when the engineering company in effect put itself up for sale.

Weir Group, which was a member of the FTSE 100 until 2015, has gained ground in recent months thanks to booming metals prices that help its mining customers.

For Morrisons a demotion, if confirmed, would come despite recent market share gains, as analysts predict retreating sales amid continued pandemic-related costs. Streeter said the supermarket chain had been seen by investors as an “underdog snapping at the heels of Tesco, J Sainsbury and Asda”, and could climb back quickly.


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