• Flight Centre remains the most shorted ASX stock but its short position… hasn’t worsened
  • Several BNPL, health, resources and consumer discretionary stocks have also been heavily shorted
  • Reports Regal Funds Management may have moved from short seller to long-term holder in City Chic Collective

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 ASX shorted stocks all have 5% or more.

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 30,103,252 200,092,794 15%
BET BETMAKERS TECH GROUP ORDINARY 135,094,846 939,337,520 14%
SQ2 BLOCK CDI 1:1 NYSE 4,320,804 37,158,772 12%
MP1 MEGAPORT LIMITED ORDINARY 17,447,635 158,165,115 11%
DMP DOMINO PIZZA ENTERPR ORDINARY 9,293,265 86,592,390 11%
LKE LAKE RESOURCES ORDINARY 138,956,501 1,389,973,709 10%
PPT PERPETUAL LIMITED ORDINARY 5,575,103 57,308,133 10%
NAN NANOSONICS LIMITED ORDINARY 24,920,192 302,004,220 8%
BRG BREVILLE GROUP LTD ORDINARY 11,586,348 142,781,365 8%
ZIP ZIP CO LTD.. ORDINARY 55,391,375 705,679,653 8%
MFG MAGELLAN FIN GRP LTD ORDINARY 14,299,575 183,482,796 8%
SYA SAYONA MINING LTD ORDINARY 642,848,436 8,310,503,078 8%
KGN KOGAN.COM LTD ORDINARY 7,910,332 107,044,098 7%
IEL IDP EDUCATION LTD ORDINARY 20,101,421 278,336,211 7%
92E 92ENERGY ORDINARY 5,891,891 81,878,696 7%
TPW TEMPLE & WEBSTER LTD ORDINARY 8,658,906 120,893,504 7%
ING INGHAMS GROUP ORDINARY 26,607,998 371,679,601 7%
PNV POLYNOVO LIMITED ORDINARY 47,001,114 661,688,044 7%
VUL VULCAN ENERGY ORDINARY 9,892,637 143,335,301 7%
BRN BRAINCHIP LTD ORDINARY 113,948,921 1,719,362,144 7%
APX APPEN LIMITED ORDINARY 8,172,506 123,446,356 7%
NXT NEXTDC LIMITED ORDINARY 29,797,350 456,699,580 7%
WEB WEBJET LIMITED ORDINARY 24,588,109 380,851,484 6%
BGL BELLEVUE GOLD LTD ORDINARY 66,124,561 1,047,527,354 6%
PBH POINTSBET HOLDINGS ORDINARY 19,087,087 305,679,271 6%
CCX CITY CHIC COLLECTIVE ORDINARY 14,409,685 231,920,086 6%
AWC ALUMINA LIMITED ORDINARY 179,423,173 2,901,681,417 6%
BOQ BANK OF QUEENSLAND. ORDINARY 38,630,471 647,357,479 6%
ASM AUSSTRAT MATERIALS ORDINARY 8,528,164 142,956,062 6%
DEG DE GREY MINING ORDINARY 90,612,913 1,540,795,915 6%
JBH JB HI-FI LIMITED ORDINARY 6,104,564 109,333,981 6%
RRL REGIS RESOURCES ORDINARY 41,919,682 755,025,925 6%
GOR GOLD ROAD RES LTD ORDINARY 58,430,964 1,075,932,298 5%
ADH ADAIRS LIMITED ORDINARY 9,197,480 171,316,433 5%
EVN EVOLUTION MINING LTD ORDINARY 98,340,030 1,834,914,135 5%
NVX NOVONIX LIMITED ORDINARY 25,700,689 486,679,904 5%
PDN PALADIN ENERGY LTD ORDINARY 157,123,184 2,978,079,002 5%
PNI PINNACLE INVESTMENT ORDINARY 10,540,689 200,863,178 5%
TYR TYRO PAYMENTS ORDINARY 26,845,274 517,930,801 5%
CHN CHALICE MINING LTD ORDINARY 18,683,521 376,297,194 5%
29M 29METALS LIMITED ORDINARY 23,889,145 481,329,528 5%
FFX FIREFINCH LTD ORDINARY 58,619,064 1,181,243,221 5%
PME PRO MEDICUS LIMITED ORDINARY 5,111,618 104,432,253 5%
BLD BORAL LIMITED. ORDINARY 52,905,905 1,103,088,419 5%
MTS METCASH LIMITED ORDINARY 45,478,712 965,541,602 5%
GUD G.U.D. HOLDINGS ORDINARY 6,558,505 140,894,696 5%
UMG UNITED MALT GROUP ORDINARY 13,923,153 299,179,135 5%
JHG JANUS HENDERSON CDI 1:1 740,048 15,920,196 5%
RWC RELIANCE WORLDWIDE ORDINARY 36,219,280 790,094,765 5%
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Flight Centre continues to face headwinds

Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) continues to lead as the most ASX shorted stock with its position the same at 15% since September.

It’s been a tough gig for ASX travel stocks since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic more than two years ago. Now with rising inflation, interest rate hikes pushing up living costs, a likely pullback on discretionary spending combined with rising energy prices pushing up air travel prices, you might say the sector faces more turbulence.

Qantas (ASX:QAN) saw its share price surge 12% last Thursday on a bullish quarterly update that forecast H1 FY23 underlying profit before tax of between $1.2-$1.3 billion and back to around pre-Covid-19 service levels in the first half of October.

However, analysts are still saying approach the sector with caution.    We may find out what the year ahead may have in store for FLT at its AGM, scheduled for November 14. The FLT share price is down ~18% year to date.


Another travel stock remaining on the short seller list is Webjet (ASX:WEB) but it has seen its position relatively unchanged.

Short sellers reverse views on City Chic

Plus-sized clothing and lingerie chain City Chic Collective (ASX:CCX) has seen its short selling position improve in October, down from more than 9% in September to 6%.

The Australian reported that Regal Funds Management appears to have moved from a short seller in City Chic to a long-term holder, saying a noticed lodged to the ASX shows Regal bought 18.5 million shares recently and retains ~13.2 million, equating to a 5.51% stake in the company (a substantial holding).

Like the Oz reported, the difference in shares purchased to current holdings seems like Regal may have been covering a short position.  We recently got into the ins and outs of short selling if you want to know more.

(Update 1500hrs, 21 October – Since this article was published, City Chic put out an announcement saying Regal Funds Management and its associates have ceased to be a substantial shareholder. We’ll look into this and report back in our Trading Places column next week.)

The CCX share price is down more than 78% year to date.


Consumer discretionary stocks on list amid economic volatility

Perhaps no surprise 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) and JB HiFi (ASX:JBH).

JBH is due to hold its AGM on October 27. Australia’s largest home entertainment retailer was a great beneficiary of the Covid-19 lockdowns with more people working and staying at home.

However, with rising inflation, interest rates and costs of living pressures JBH is facing headwinds as consumers are forecast to tighten their spending.


BNPL and health stocks on list

While the short position of BNPL play Block Inc (ASX:SQ2) improved in September it is back up in October.  However, short sellers have decreased the position in Zip Co (ASX:ZIP) from ~10% last month.

Nanosonics (ASX:NAN)Polynovo (ASX:PNV), Promedicus (ASX: PMD)and Clinuvel  Pharmaceutical (ASX:CUV)  are among health names heavily shorted.

Gold and lithium stocks among most ASX shorted stocks

On the resources side short sellers are also looking at lithium and and gold stocks. Gold miner De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG) has seen its short position improve from more than 9% in September.

Other gold stocks  shorted included Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN), Bellevue Gold (ASX:BGL),  Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR) and Regis Resources (ASX:RRL).

As Stockhead’s Reuben Adams reported yesterday, Evolution Mining reckons it’s on track to hit production and cost guidance in FY23  but the boffins at RBC don’t agree.

Lithium stocks Lake Resources (ASX:LKE), Vulcan Energy (ASX:VUL) and Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) are also among the ASX’s most heavily shorted stocks.

Short sellers not feeling racing vibe

And while we enter the Spring Racing Carnival in Australia and are just weeks away from the Melbourne Cup, short sellers still aren’t feeling the vibe.

Wagering tech company Betmakers Technology Group (ASX:BET) is continuing to see its short position increase, up slightly from 13% in September.

It was slightly better news for online sports betting company Pointsbet (ASX:PBH) which has seen its short position fall from more than 7% in September.

Pointsbet (ASX:PBH) last week announced a partnership with 1/ST Technology, a business division of The Stronach Group, North America’s dominant thoroughbred horse racing company.

While you would think the partnership was a positive for PBH, as Stockhead’s Gregor Stronach noted, weirdly its share price fell 5.7% on the morning of the announcement.  The PBH share price is down ~67% year to date.

Disclosure: The journalist held shares in Regis Resources at the time of writing this article.