Yell, the Yellow Pages directory business which floated this summer, is to join the FTSE 100 after pipping British Airways at the post. It will replace the water company Kelda in the blue-chip index.
At the close of share trading last night, Yell was ranked as the country's 92nd-biggest company, with a market capitalisation of £2.12bn, while Kelda was in 115th position, with a valuation of £1.6bn.
BA had for a long time looked the candidate most likely to replace Kelda and regain its place in the index of leading companies. But its shares lost further ground yesterday after Monday's gloomy comments from its chief executive, Rod Eddington, about the trading outlook.
BA closed another 6p down last night at 184.25p, having fallen by 5 per cent on Monday, giving it a market capitalisation of just under £2bn.
Yell, which floated in early July at 285p a share, also fell back with its shares closing 8p lower at 305p.
For a company to be automatically demoted from the FTSE 100 it has to be in 111th position or below by market capitalisation. For a company to gain automatic entry it has to be placed in 90th position or above.
The changes in the composition of the index are due to be confirmed today by FTSE, the body which operates the index. London shares came off their 13-month high yesterday after the FTSE 100 lost some ground and closed 28.2 points lower at 4,263.9.