Summer shorts

As always, we like to keep an eye on what’s happening with short positions in UK companies. To reiterate, short sellers do not always get it right, but given the risks involved it’s useful to see if there are any trends.
Some might not be surprised to hear that large shorts in troubled construction and outsourcing firm Kier Group are on the up. Large 0.5%+ shorts in Kier now total almost 10% and, given that there are likely to be others below the 0.5% disclosure threshold, the total short could be pretty chunky. What’s more, a number of the shorts have increased since the company’s 17 June announcement on the results of its strategic review, including likely job losses. That suggests they think it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
Thomas Cook Group is another popular stock with the shorts, with large positions totalling just over 10% at the time of writing and a couple of large single positions – Whitebox Advisors with 3.22% and TT International at 2.89%.
AA still tops the list though, with 10.5% in disclosed shorts and more than half of that accounted for by Blackrock’s massive 5.94% position.

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