• Flight Centre remains most shorted stock on ASX despite its share price rising on news of key acquisition
  • Short sellers continue to punt against BetMakers which cancels bonus for gambling mogul Matthew Trip
  • Several of the ASX small cap market’s hottest commodity lithium stocks among most shorted ASX stocks

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 28,469,538 200,185,143 14%
BET BETMAKERS TECH GROUP ORDINARY 119,661,715 942,052,401 13%
MP1 MEGAPORT LIMITED ORDINARY 15,516,682 158,165,115 10%
SYA SAYONA MINING LTD ORDINARY 794,504,190 8,686,735,090 9%
CXO CORE LITHIUM ORDINARY 166,798,613 1,848,367,088 9%
LTR LIONTOWN RESOURCES ORDINARY 170,923,039 2,196,435,350 8%
LKE LAKE RESOURCES ORDINARY 99,683,607 1,392,670,546 7%
ZIP ZIP CO LTD ORDINARY 52,436,086 765,365,865 7%
ARB ARB CORPORATION ORDINARY 5,612,814 81,971,722 7%
BRN BRAINCHIP LTD ORDINARY 118,317,154 1,756,956,651 7%
NXT NEXTDC LIMITED ORDINARY 30,681,300 456,699,580 7%
PBH POINTSBET HOLDINGS ORDINARY 20,311,025 305,771,816 7%
BRG BREVILLE GROUP LTD ORDINARY 9,145,305 142,781,365 6%
AMA AMA GROUP LIMITED ORDINARY 67,746,171 1,073,070,217 6%
VUL VULCAN ENERGY ORDINARY 8,634,774 143,435,301 6%
NVX NOVONIX LIMITED ORDINARY 28,716,882 486,774,622 6%
JBH JB HI-FI LIMITED ORDINARY 6,447,253 109,333,981 6%
29M 29METALS LIMITED ORDINARY 27,533,156 481,356,099 6%
AWC ALUMINA LIMITED ORDINARY 165,452,902 2,901,681,417 6%
NAN NANOSONICS LIMITED ORDINARY 17,195,477 302,034,340 6%
ABB AUSSIE BROADBAND ORDINARY 13,338,896 237,665,276 6%
CCX CITY CHIC COLLECTIVE ORDINARY 12,558,539 231,920,086 5%
WEB WEBJET LIMITED ORDINARY 20,134,475 382,536,484 5%
IEL IDP EDUCATION LTD ORDINARY 14,621,162 278,336,211 5%
UMG UNITED MALT GROUP ORDINARY 15,475,380 299,179,135 5%
SGM SIMS LIMITED ORDINARY 9,675,288 193,149,284 5%
PME PRO MEDICUS LIMITED ORDINARY 5,191,572 104,432,253 5%
TPW TEMPLE & WEBSTER LTD ORDINARY 6,054,851 122,949,702 5%
BLD BORAL LIMITED. ORDINARY 54,293,357 1,103,088,419 5%
SHV SELECT HARVESTS ORDINARY 5,950,353 120,950,818 5%
MTS METCASH LIMITED ORDINARY 47,293,070 965,541,602 5%
CGC COSTA GROUP HOLDINGS ORDINARY 22,610,398 464,546,466 5%
FFX FIREFINCH LTD ORDINARY 56,805,060 1,181,243,221 5%
IMU IMUGENE LIMITED ORDINARY 299,144,327 6,421,715,706 5%
ACL AU CLINICAL LABS ORDINARY 9,354,971 201,834,015 5%
ING INGHAMS GROUP ORDINARY 17,042,119 371,679,601 5%
CHN CHALICE MINING LTD ORDINARY 17,163,143 376,447,194 5%
MYX MAYNE PHARMA LTD ORDINARY 3,897,504 85,776,451 5%
MFG MAGELLAN FIN GRP LTD ORDINARY 8,210,652 181,509,883 5%
AMI AURELIA METALS LTD ORDINARY 54,763,829 1,237,437,216 4%
HLS HEALIUS ORDINARY 24,787,447 580,812,791 4%
GUD G.U.D. HOLDINGS ORDINARY 5,879,800 140,894,696 4%
BOQ BANK OF QUEENSLAND. ORDINARY 27,111,522 652,485,010 4%
AVZ AVZ MINERALS LTD ORDINARY 146,263,384 3,528,729,748 4%
EML EML PAYMENTS LTD ORDINARY 15,055,753 373,984,129 4%
CXL CALIX LIMITED ORDINARY 7,180,831 180,974,434 4%
MSB MESOBLAST LIMITED ORDINARY 29,230,916 737,121,218 4%
GOR GOLD ROAD RES LTD ORDINARY 42,026,886 1,076,120,855 4%
PDN PALADIN ENERGY LTD ORDINARY 114,476,530 2,979,970,830 4%
CCP CREDIT CORP GROUP ORDINARY 2,614,177 68,066,856 4%
KGN KOGAN.COM LTD ORDINARY 3,977,606 107,044,098 4%
NIC NICKEL INDUSTRIES ORDINARY 108,332,040 2,990,377,138 4%
NMT NEOMETALS LTD ORDINARY 19,970,390 552,741,176 4%
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Flight Centre remains ASX’s most shorted stock despite positive news

Short sellers still think there might be turbulence ahead for Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) which remains the ASX’s most shorted stock despite rising more than 17.5% in the past month after a successful cap raise and news of an acquisition.

FLT last week exited a trading halt and announced a $180m share placement to buy Scott Dunn, a leading UK-based luxury travel brand specialising in tailor-made luxury holidays, for an enterprise value of £121 million ($211 million).

Commenting on the acquisition and placement FLT CEO Graham Turner said the support shown by new and existing institutional investors for the placement was very pleasing.

“The acquisition of Scott Dunn will enable us to grow our leisure presence in the attractive US and UK luxury markets, complementing our existing footprint,” he said.


The FLT share price today:


Short sellers punt against Betmakers

Short sellers continue to punt against Betmakers Technology Group (ASX:BET) which has seen no change in its short position over the month, remaining the second most shorted stock on the ASX.

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

BET was required to answer a list of questions from the ASX’s compliance unit in December about a $15 million payment to gambling mogul Matthew Tripp who holds stakes in BetMakers and online bookie Betr.

Last week BET announced that it had cancelled 32 million unquoted options and 32 million unquoted class B performance rights issued to Tripp Investments Pty Ltd as trustee for the Tripp Investment Trust, an entity associated with Tripp.

The company said the securities have been cancelled following vesting conditions associated with the delivery of a
“transformational deal” before February 1 2023 not being satisfied. BET said there are no further securities due to Tripp.

The gambling tech company also announced a board and management restructure including moving former CEO Todd Buckingham to a new role of chief growth officer, which also saw him stepping down from the board.

BET has seen its shares fall ~18% in the past month and 50% in the past six months.

Short interest in online sports betting company Pointsbet Holdings (ASX:PBH)  remains  at 7%. PointsBet recently announced it had extended its service agreement with NBC Universal Media to target live betting states in the US. Pointsbet also reported a record group Total Net Win of $103.4m for Q2, up 34% on pcp.

The PBH share price is up slightly 0.31% in the past months but remains down 54.38% in the past six months.


The BET &PBH  share price today:


Lithium stocks in the top 50

Several of  the ASX small cap market’s hottest commodity lithium stocks have found themselves in the top 50 most shorted ASX stocks.

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

LTR has realised a $350m blowout in costs at its Kathleen Valley lithium mine, however it is making progress on new operations commencing open pit mining at Kathleen Valley in WA’s Northern Goldfields last week.

And while short sellers are still betting against the lithium plays, battery metals experts at Benchmark last year estimated that at least 384 new graphite, lithium, nickel, and cobalt mines are needed in the next 12 years to feed a 500% increase in global battery demand.


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


Consumer discretionary stocks on list amidst rising inflation

As interest rates continue to rise on surging inflation, consumer discretionary stocks are also on the list of short sellers including Kogan (ASX:KGN), Temple & Webster (ASX:TPW),  JB HiFi (ASX:JBH) and City Chic Collective (ASX:CCX).

But as Tim Boreham told Stockhead readers “a slew of ASX discretionary retailers”, including some of the above names, have reported sales numbers during the latest reporting season that largely defy a downturn and lingering supply chain disruptions.


The KGN, TPW, JBH & CCX share price today: