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Graniteshares: European short sellers target the consumer goods sector

Analysis by Graniteshares shows that as of May 1, the consumer sector in Europe had the largest losses.

At the beginning of May, almost a quarter of the 100 companies with the most shares traded on major European stock exchanges were in this sector, including Scandic Hotels Group, whose shares were 14.4% short.

The industrials sector had the second largest short exposure in Europe, with 18 net short positions in the sector. Irish paper packaging maker Smurfit Kappa recorded the highest level of short interest in the industry with 14.9%, up from 2.54% a year ago.

Will Rhind, founder and CEO of Graniteshares, said: “European listed companies face numerous challenges related to the current geopolitical and macroeconomic environment. This creates greater interest in shorting, both for tactical investing and portfolio hedging.

“While bearish sentiment was highest among investors in consumer stocks, our research showed that institutional investors are betting on a wide range of sectors.”

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The third largest representation was the energy sector, with short sales targeting eight alternative energy companies and eight oil, gas and coal companies.

However, the weakest individual company was the French technology company Atos SE. At the beginning of May, 16.8% of the company’s shares were in a short position.

By region, the UK had 22 of the 100 most shorted companies, ahead of Germany at 21. Petrofac was the UK company with the most short position, with a short position of 10.1%.