International energy services company Petrofac was the most shorted UK listed company as of 5 February 2024, with 11.49% of its stock held in short positions, according to new analysis by global exchange traded product provider GraniteShares.
Of the seven investment firms with a short position in the company, Helikon Investments held the largest position at 3.52%.
The second and third most shorted UK companies were Kingfisher and Hargreaves Lansdown, with 6.76% and 6.14% respectively of their stock held short by seven fund managers each, according to a GraniteShares’s analysis.
The analysis also revealed GLG Partners held the highest number of short positions on UK listed companies of any investment firms, with 47 active shorts. This was followed by Marshall Wace and BlackRock Investment Management (UK), which held 29 and 16 active shorts respectively.
Will Rhind, Founder and CEO of GraniteShares, said: “The UK’s prolonged period of economic stagnation is fuelling short exposures, with our analysis highlighting investors’ concerns regarding a wide range of companies.
“As we enter an election year, the UK is facing heightened market volatility amid uncertain macroeconomic conditions, which we anticipate with drive further interest in shorting beyond the large institutions. Shorting isn’t right for all investors, but there is clear demand from sophisticated investors for short ETPs like ours to protect their portfolio or profit from falling markets.”