The Short Report

Weekly Reports | May 30 2019


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 May 23, 2019

Last week saw the ASX200 rocket to 6500 on the Coalition’s election victory, an easing of mortgage restrictions from APRA and a big hint that RBA was set to cut. It’s been a different story since.

As the sea of red on the table below suggest, short traders took the opportunity provided by the rally to increase positions. No less than four stocks saw short position increases of one percentage point or more last week, with only one going the other way.

See below.

Of particular note last week was movement in big bank short positions, given the election/APRA/RBA news was worth about 10% in gains for the Big Four last week. The banks were not carrying major short positions in relative terms but their significant market caps mean any small move can have a big impact.

Last week saw ANZ Bank ((ANZ)) shorts fall to 0.8% from 1.1%, Commonwealth Bank ((CBA)) fall to 1.4% from 1.7%, National Bank ((NAB)) fall to 0.8% from 1.2%, and Westpac ((WBC)) fall to 1.8% from 2.5%. As was suspected, the big bank bounce had a lot to do with short-covering.

See table below. 

Weekly short positions as a percentage of market cap:

ING     17.4
SYR    16.0
NUF    15.6
JBH     15.4
NXT    15.1
GXY   14.0
BAL    14.0
ORE    12.5
BWX   11.9
MTS    11.6
BIN     11.1
SDA    10.5
IFL      10.1

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