The Short Report

Weekly Reports | Mar 16 2017


The Short Report draws upon data provided by the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) to highlight significant weekly moves in short positions registered on stocks listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Short positions in exchange-traded funds (ETF) and non-ordinary shares are not included. Short positions below 5% are not included in the table below but may be noted in the accompanying text if deemed significant.

Please take note of the Important Information provided at the end of this report. Percentage amounts in this report refer to percentage of ordinary shares on issue.

Stock codes highlighted in green have seen their short positions reduce in the week by an amount sufficient to move them into a lower percentage bracket. Stocks highlighted in red have seen their short positions increase in the week by an amount sufficient to move them into a higher percentage bracket. Moves in excess of one percentage point or more are discussed in the Movers & Shakers report below.


Week ending March 9, 2017

Last week saw the ASX200 bounce off 5700 after a fairly sharp pullback before beginning a choppy rally back towards the 5800 resistance level. The prominent feature of the bounce was a swing from resource sector selling back to resource sector buying, as investors decided post result season profit-taking had run far enough.

In last week’s Report I highlighted a sea of red, as short positions were built predominantly amongst the miners. This week sees a lot more green than red, and indeed a notable reduction in the total number of stocks shorted by 5% or more, but very few of the short position reductions involve miners.

On the contrary, two of the biggest movers up the table last week were Western Areas ((WSA)) and Independence Group ((IGO)), while Perseus Mining ((PRU)) also ticked higher.

I have extensively covered the issues dominating nickel mining in recent Reports, and specifically the delay to Independence’ Nova project last week, so no need to go over all of that again. Western Areas shorts have increased to 15.8% from 14.1% and Independence has jumped to 11.1% from 8.7%.

Despite all the green below, only one short reduction reflected anything more than bracket creep, that is a full percentage point or more. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank ((BEN)) shorts dropped to 6.8% from 8.3%.

On the red side, troubled SaaS company iSentia ((ISD)) saw its shorts climb to 9.5% from 7.7% and dietary supplements supplier Blackmores ((BKL)) jumped to 7.0% from 5.7%.

While not a big move, it’s worth noting Woolworths ((WOW)) shorts fell to 4.6% from 5.2%, taking the stock out our table after a long incumbency. That just leaves Rio Tinto ((RIO)) as the only ASX20 stock shorted by 5% or more.

Weekly short positions as a percentage of market cap:


ACX   17.2
WSA   15.8
ORE    15.6
MYR   15.5
TFC     13.8
SYR    12.1
VOC   11.7
NEC    11.7
IGO     11.1
MTS    10.2

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