New analysis reveals top 10 most shorted UK stocks

New analysis from ETF provider GraniteShares, which offers a range of 3x short and 3x leveraged ETPs on popular UK and US stocks, reveals that as of 15 April 2021, Cineworld Group, the world's second-largest cinema chain, was the most shorted UK listed company.  

Some 7.1 per cent of its stock was held short by six investment firms, with New Holland Capital LLC the largest short position with 2.42 per cent of the company’s shares.

The next most shorted UK listed companies were Sainsbury (J) Plc, Tullow Oil Plc, Hammerson Plc and Echo Energy Plc where the respective short positions were 7 per cent, 6.9 per cent, 6.7 per cent and 6.1 per cent respectively.  The table shows the largest ten short positions in companies that are listed and trading on London Stock Exchange.  

Among the stocks tracked by GraniteShares ETPs, Vodafone Group is the 30th most shorted stock, with two fund managers holding short positions representing 2.1 per cent of the outstanding stock. 
In terms of which fund managers had the most short positions on UK listed companies, the analysis reveals GLG Partners LP had the highest number with 21. This was followed by BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited, Marshall Wace LLP, AQR Capital Management LLC and Jupiter Investment Management Limited with 14, 13, 11 and 11 short positions respectively.

Will Rhind, Founder and CEO of GraniteShares, says: “Over the past 12 months, we have seen some of the highest levels of market volatility for years, with continuation of the Covid-19 crisis and investors betting against companies with business models most at risk. The recent activity in Gamestop and other shorted names captures the current trend for democratisation of finance with individual investors being able to pursue similar strategies as hedge funds and other professional investors.

“As such, we have seen a significant increase in sophisticated investors looking to short popular UK and US stocks. In the first quarter of this year, USD295 million was traded through our products, which represents approximately a 40 per cent increase on the USD209 million traded in the last quarter of last year.” 

GraniteShares offers a number of 3x leveraged, 1x short and 3x short ETPs on FTSE 100 and S&P 500 stocks listed on the London Stock Exchange. They cover popular US tech stocks, but also a selection of FTSE 100 companies.