Short sellers target high street firms

BIG-NAME high street chains and consumer-driven firms currently account for eight out of the top ten most shorted stocks in the FTSE All Share index, according to DataExplorers.

Short sellers have targeted the troubled firms, as high street chains struggle to battle tough market conditions and a slump in consumer spending.

Troubled electrical goods retailer Dixons leads the list of most shorted stocks from the high street, with 18.41 per cent of its shares out on loan.

Meanwhile, the percentage of shares held short in troubled entertainment retailer HMV has fallen.

Short sellers have covered their positions in the music retailer, with it now just having 12.6 per cent of its shares out on loan, down from 19.39 per cent a month earlier.

Will Duff Gordon, research director, DataExplorers said: “The tough retailing environment continues to fuel interest amongst short sellers.”

Rank. Firm. Shares out on loan %
1 Yell. 19.39
2 Dixons. 18.41
3 Home Retail Group. 17.89
4 Provident Financial.17.87
5 HMV 12.60
6 Carpetright. 11.44
7 Lonrho. 11.12
8 Betfair. 10.10
9 Kesa. 9.88
10 Next. 9.69

Source: DataExplorers