In Short & CaughtStockhead recaps the ASX stocks that are the most shorted and have had the greatest increase in short interest right now.

 

How does shorting work?

Shorting works by selling stocks you do not actually own in the hope of buying them back at a lower price. Investors are in effect betting they will fall.

Because shorting is restricted under Australian law, any substantial shorting of stocks is worth knowing about, even if you only trade long.

Stockhead has utilised the number of short positions as a percentage of total shares on issue. The most shorted ASX stocks all have 5.5 per cent or more.

 

Here are the top 20 most shorted ASX stocks

The company with the greatest increase in short interest was travel agent Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) – a company which has increased substantially in recent weeks as Australia’s border re-opening beckons.

But Flight Centre’s 6.79% increase in short interest was nothing compared to oil and gas producer Santos (ASX:STO).

This company is up nearly 50% in the last 12 months.

Oil prices recovering from negative territory to seven-year highs have inevitably helped but a sweetener on the cake of shareholders has been its forthcoming merger with Oil Search (ASX:OSH).

The company with the next largest increase in short interest in the past month – with a 44.66% spike – was litigation funder Omni Bridgeway (ASX:OML).

About a month ago it was hit when one of the legal cases it had funded went against the applicants.

Queensland dam manager Seqwater was sued alleging that during the Queensland floods in 2011, it negligibly managed Wivenhoe Dam in not making substantial releases before the heaviest of the forecast rain.

The initial case was successful but was overturned on appeal and barring a successful appeal to the High Court it will likely have to pay Seqwater’s legal bills.

Another was Redbubble (ASX:RBL), an ecommerce outlet focused on independent outlets.

Redbubble was one of the biggest beneficiaries from the COVID-19 ecommerce boom but is off its all-time highs as vaccine rollouts increase and momentum has slowed from its 2020 peak.