The most shorted FTSE stocks

The list of companies with the largest short positions can reveal some interesting names, and can provide useful insight for those looking to initiate positions.

Sainsbury's external
Source: Bloomberg

Data from Bloomberg reveals which companies are most heavily shorted by institutional investors. The reasons can be many and varied, and includes those that have enjoyed a good run and those that are continuing to suffer share price falls.

Two names that stand out from the above list are Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. The latter has been a dire performer this year, as it struggles to turnaround its business in the face of stiff competition. Sainsbury’s has suffered too, although it is only down 15% versus Morrison’s 34% loss.

Carillion is another interesting one – it appears that many institutional investors had expected the attempted deal with Balfour Beatty to fail and were waiting for the share price to drop once the news was announced.

WH Smith is also one to watch – the shares faltered this year after hitting all-time highs, but since then they have recovered and are bouncing off the 200-DMA once again.

Name % on shares on loan as shorts
WH Smith 11.05
Sainsbury’s 8.7
Monitise 8.45
Ashmore 7.27
Quindell 7.09
AMEC 6.42
Hansteen Holdings 5.99
Ocado 5.78
Weir 5.43
Petropavlovsk 5.37
Morrisons 5.21
Dialight 5.06
Aggreko 5.05
Carillion 4.88
Serco 4.85

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