Travel firms’ shares hammered amid Ebola crisis

Travel firms' shares hammered amid Ebola crisisImage via Shutterstock

Travel and tourism shares took a hammering yesterday after a Spanish nurse became the first European to test positive for the Ebola virus.

Airlines, tour operators and hotels were marked sharply lower on the London Stock Exchange in reaction to the news that the deadly virus which has killed 3,400 in west Africa had reached Europe.

British Airways, Iberia and Vueling parent International Airlines Group was hit hardest, with shares plunging by 25¾p to 345½p.

EasyJet lost 78p to £13.89 following a period of improved stock market performance.

Carnival Corporation, the world’s biggest cruise ship operator, fell 167p to £23.28 and InterContinental Hotels slid 85p to £22.44.

Shares in Royal Caribbean and Norwegian also slumped on the New York Stock Exchange.

Thomson and First Choice owner Tui Travel was marked 15¼p lower to 382p and Thomas Cook dropped 6½p to 112½p.

Investors took fright despite reassurance from JP Morgan analysts that Ebola, which is spread through contact with infected body fluids, was not a “material risk” unless it became airborne, theTelegraph reported.

The SARS outbreak in 2003 shook airline shares, but investors should not expect Ebola to have the same impact, according to the broker’s experts.

“Any comparisons with SARS are misplaced, in our view, given that SARS was an airborne illness relatively easy to contract, and balance sheets were considerably weaker at that time from the aftermath of 9/11,” the analysts said.

Sourced from Travel Weekly


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