UK Short Selling

UK Short Selling

TL; DR: Kier Group and Thomas Cook Group top our list of most shorted UK stocks. TT International holds the biggest short positions in both these stocks.*

Two UK stocks with the highest short interest in our records are: Kier Group (short 11.4%, split among 6 HFs) and Thomas Cook Group (short 10.33%, split among 6 HFs). Both stocks declined more than 85% vs one year ago. Especially profitable were shorts by three persistent Kier short-sellers that are continuously holding a short > 0.5% in Kier for more than a year. These are: Marshall Wace, BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Ltd and Kuvari Partners, a HF that also pitched this short at Sohn Conference in 2018.

Interestingly, TT International is a HF that is betting the most against both: Kier (3.56% short position) and Thomas Cook (3.7% short position). We noted a particular build-up in these two negative bets since Q2-2019.

Top 20 UK stocks with highest short interest in our records (Note: % short interest is given in brackets):


Most notable short interest increases vs one year ago (for top 20):

  • Thomas Cook Group, short interest from 0.6% to 10.33%,
  • Jupiter Fund Management, short interest from 2.11% to 7.41%, and
  • NMC Health, short interest from 0% to 6.05%.

Most notable short interest decreases vs one year ago (for top 20):

  • Marks and Spencer Group, short interest from 10.46% to 6.01%,
  • Greencore Group, short interest from 9.38% to 6.96%, and 
  • IQE, short interest from 11.04% to 8.32%.

Gladstone Capital holds a 1.03% short in Burford Capital. This is the only short position above 0.5% in Burford Capital, company that was in focus of recent activist shorts reports by ShadowFall (July) and Muddy Waters (August).    

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* Note: Presented short selling data is based on European net short position data which is disclosed to the public when short positions at least equal to 0.5% of company issued share capital. Presented data and analytics is as of available on 20:00 UTC on 2019-09-02.

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