Hedge funds forced to reveal most shorted stocks by FSA

HEDGE funds have had their short selling activities made public for the first time, as regulations enacted this week expose some of the massive bets made by firms involved in the secretive industry.

The Financial Services Authority will now force all funds to declare any short position that represents more than 0.5 per cent of a target company’s total share capital. The data is collected every 24 hours and published on a daily basis.

In a short sale, traders borrow shares in the hope that share prices will fall, enabling them to buy them back at a lower price and profit from the difference.

Yesterday’s release showed BlackRock, the world’s biggest hedge fund, dominating the top 10 biggest short positions with bets against firms such as Ocado and Mears.

But Maverick Capital tops the table after taking a substantial position on Home Retail Group, the parent company of Argos and Homebase stores.

The data also reveals that Greenlight Capital, run by legendary fund manager David Einhorn, has borrowed against almost 1-in-20 of the shares in publisher Daily Mail & General Trust.