The Short Report

Weekly Reports | Mar 22 2018


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 15, 2018

Last week saw the ASX200 fall from over 6000 to above 5900 on both offshore and domestic issues. As Wall Street fretted about trade policy, White House deck chairs, Russia probes and data breaches, Australia was up in arms over Labor’s plans to scrap franking cash-backs.

The index has nevertheless entered a period of aimless wandering, without any strong catalysts in either direction. This is reflected in the fact the shorters have gone quiet. Movements below reflect little more than minor bracket creep.

One exception is Retail Food Group ((RFG)), which has continued in a downward trajectory in the wake of franchisee revelations and the planned closure of a couple of hundred of its various stores. RFG shorts fell to 11.2% from 12.9% last week, suggesting some profit-taking.

Another retailer struggling against the tide is Myer ((MYR)), but here the shorters appear happy to hang around a bit longer. Myer shorts ticked up again last week to 10.3% from 9.8%.

Otherwise we might note that while nickel miner Independence Group ((IGO)) retains its place near the top of the most shorted table, peer Western Areas ((WSA)), which at one point sat right up there as well, last week dropped off the 5% plus table altogether.

Hence when once we might have considered the big shorts in both stocks to be a play against the nickel price, now it looks more like playing one miner off against the other.

That’s about all for this week. No Movers & Shakers.

Weekly short positions as a percentage of market cap:


SYR    21.3
DMP   17.3
JBH     16.0
IGO     16.0
GXY   14.2
HSO    13.5
HT1     11.6
VOC   11.5
FLT     11.3
RFG    11.2
MYX   10.8
MYR   10.3

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