• After a short reprieve Flight Centre starts 2023 back on top of ASX most likely to crash bet
  • Betmakers climbs again to become second most shorted ASX stock
  • Several lithium and resources stocks start year in top 50

How does shorting work?

Short sellers effectively borrow a stock from a broker, and go wager it (sell it) on the open market. The plan is to then buy the same stock back later after it’s made a hefty drop in price. That done, the short seller buys it back at the lower price and returns it to the lender.

The difference between the sell price and the buy price is the short seller’s profit. Investors are in effect betting they will fall.

Because shorting is restricted under Australian law (and because it’s an all or nothing bloodsport) any substantial shorting of stocks is worth knowing about, even if you only trade long.

And perhaps there’s method in the madness.

Stockhead has utilised the number of short positions as a percentage of total shares on issue. The most ASX shorted stocks  (excluding CDIs) all have 5% or more.


The most shorted stocks on ASX

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

Code Company Short positions Shares on issue % short positions
FLT FLIGHT CENTRE TRAVEL ORDINARY 29,529,300 200,154,524 15%
BET BETMAKERS TECH GROUP ORDINARY 122,678,904 942,052,401 13%
PPT PERPETUAL LIMITED ORDINARY 7,451,571 57,308,133 13%
MP1 MEGAPORT LIMITED ORDINARY 17,734,218 158,165,115 11%
SYA SAYONA MINING LTD ORDINARY 911,572,102 8,685,742,009 10%
CXO CORE LITHIUM ORDINARY 158,433,544 1,841,844,522 9%
BRG BREVILLE GROUP LTD ORDINARY 10,990,322 142,781,365 8%
CHN CHALICE MINING LTD ORDINARY 27,603,503 376,447,194 7%
ZIP ZIP CO LTD.. ORDINARY 55,882,330 765,365,865 7%
LKE LAKE RESOURCES ORDINARY 100,489,797 1,391,670,546 7%
NXT NEXTDC LIMITED ORDINARY 32,190,044 456,699,580 7%
PBH POINTSBET HOLDINGS ORDINARY 21,372,191 305,679,271 7%
TPW TEMPLE & WEBSTER LTD ORDINARY 8,242,234 122,949,702 7%
VUL VULCAN ENERGY ORDINARY 9,480,258 143,435,301 7%
ABB AUSSIE BROADBAND ORDINARY 15,562,574 237,665,276 7%
NAN NANOSONICS LIMITED ORDINARY 19,440,374 302,029,520 6%
BRN BRAINCHIP LTD ORDINARY 107,078,459 1,726,862,144 6%
JBH JB HI-FI LIMITED ORDINARY 6,610,601 109,333,981 6%
ARB ARB CORPORATION. ORDINARY 4,822,345 81,971,722 6%
AMA AMA GROUP LIMITED ORDINARY 62,631,444 1,073,070,217 6%
MTS METCASH LIMITED ORDINARY 54,323,037 965,541,602 6%
SGM SIMS LIMITED ORDINARY 10,849,307 193,147,649 6%
NIC NICKEL INDUSTRIES ORDINARY 153,222,197 2,731,273,497 6%
29M 29METALSLIMITED ORDINARY 26,529,608 481,356,099 6%
PNI PINNACLE INVESTMENT ORDINARY 11,067,896 201,264,056 5%
IEL IDP EDUCATION LTD ORDINARY 15,241,822 278,336,211 5%
AMI AURELIA METALS LTD ORDINARY 67,143,428 1,237,437,216 5%
NVX NOVONIX LIMITED ORDINARY 26,079,817 486,774,622 5%
CGC COSTA GROUP HOLDINGS ORDINARY 24,287,419 464,546,466 5%
AWC ALUMINA LIMITED ORDINARY 150,514,430 2,901,681,417 5%
FFX FIREFINCH LTD ORDINARY 60,828,759 1,181,243,221 5%
BLD BORAL LIMITED. ORDINARY 56,246,837 1,103,088,419 5%
BOQ BANK OF QUEENSLAND. ORDINARY 32,963,309 652,485,010 5%
UMG UNITED MALT GROUP ORDINARY 15,109,129 299,179,135 5%
PME PRO MEDICUS LIMITED ORDINARY 5,150,756 104,432,253 5%
WEB WEBJET LIMITED ORDINARY 18,666,654 382,536,484 5%
PDN PALADIN ENERGY LTD ORDINARY 141,873,248 2,979,970,830 5%
SHV SELECT HARVESTS ORDINARY 5,755,539 120,950,818 5%
MYX MAYNE PHARMA LTD ORDINARY 82,762,997 1,739,815,508 5%
IMU IMUGENE LIMITED ORDINARY 304,554,289 6,421,715,706 5%
ING INGHAMS GROUP ORDINARY 17,587,418 371,679,601 5%
LTR LIONTOWN RESOURCES ORDINARY 103,916,551 2,196,435,350 5%
GUD G.U.D. HOLDINGS ORDINARY 6,663,638 140,894,696 5%
MFG MAGELLAN FIN GRP LTD ORDINARY 8,447,052 181,509,883 5%
ACL AU CLINICAL LABS ORDINARY 9,348,818 201,834,015 5%
GOR GOLD ROAD RES LTD ORDINARY 48,509,898 1,075,932,298 5%
CXL CALIX LIMITED ORDINARY 8,022,351 180,450,691 4%
CIA CHAMPION IRON LTD ORDINARY 22,351,277 517,193,126 4%
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Flight Centre starts 2023 as ASX’s most shorted stock

Well. That was a short flight.

Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) ended 2022 as the ASX’s most shorted stock after staying there comfily throughout much of the year. And now FLT is starting 2023 on top as well.

Adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the badly knocked about ASX travel sector – and FLT – were recovering throughout quietly in the corner of the bourse last year as Australia’s borders creaked open for domestic and international voyagers.

But the short selling mind, ever not-so-secretly yearning to be front seat when the next Boeing slides off the runway, still hope there may be turbulence en route for FLT in 2023, despite its share price rising ~2.4% in the past month.


Betmakers moves to 2nd most shorted stock

Always a good contrary bet, Betmakers Technology Group (ASX:BET), which overtook FLT as the most shorted ASX stock in November,  was enjoying its own Christmas reprieve as its short position almost cleft in twain in December to 8%.

That was a short break too.

BET’s short position has once again risen and is now in equal second with perpetual short bet, the fund manager aptly called Perpetual (ASX:PPT) at 13%.

BET operates a platform model providing the back-end technology for bookmakers primarily in horse racing.

The ASX’s compliance unit sent a list of questions to BET in December about what’s now being referred to as the “Tripp payment” – a $15 million award to entrepreneur Matthew Tripp who holds stakes in BetMakers and the online bookmaker Betr.

The gambling tech company has seen its shares fall ~10% in the past month and 26% in the past six months.

The PPT short position has risen 1% into January. On December 23 shareholders of former rival fund manager Pendal (ASX:PDL) supported the company’s takeover by PPT in a $2 billion deal.

The PPT share price has risen 5.72% in the past month.


The FLT, BET & PPT share price today:


Resources stocks in the top 50

Several resources stocks have found themselves in the top 50 most shorted ASX stocks heading into 2023.

Among lithium stocks on the ASX most shorted list is Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA)Core Lithium (ASX:CXO) and Lake Resources (ASX:LKE).

Weak investor sentiment has continued to impact lithium stocks over the past few months along with a softening of lithium prices from their record highs.

Nickel Industries (ASX:NIC) has a short position of 6%. As Stockhead’s Josh Not as Short as Gregor Chiat reported, Nickel is one of a host of commodities currently running at very low global stock levels.

Demand out of the EV battery world has also supported prices for the metal it’s up some ~50% across 2022, but took a tumble last week.

The NIC share price has risen ~11% in the past month and more than 19% in the past six months.


The SYA, CXO, LKE & NIC share price today: