Tesla, Ford among the most shorted stocks in 2023 – Hazeltree

By Nell Mackenzie

LONDON (Reuters) -Hedge funds took the most bets against auto companies Tesla, Ford, and communications company Charter Communications in the United States last year, a report by data firm Hazeltree said on Thursday.

A short bet expects a company’s stock price to decline.

These three firms, the most shorted U.S. large cap stocks, also featured in the top three spots in 2022, though the number of funds betting against Ford was lower in 2023, Hazeltree said. It did not give the size of the short bets.

In terms of industry sectors, tech firms attracted the most short positions in the United States, while consumer products and healthcare companies were the most shorted mid and small-cap stocks, respectively.

“High inflation and interest rates could be behind short sellers’ focus on consumer cyclical stocks,” Tim Smith, managing director, data insights at Hazeltree, said in a statement.

Companies on the list from Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) included German medical equipment maker Siemens Healthineers, Universal Music Group and Swedish private equity firm EQT, said Hazeltree.

The only name from EMEA to reappear from 2022 was German online takeaway food company Delivery Hero, the top shorted mid-cap stock in the region in 2023, said Hazeltree.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Japanese chip testing equipment company Advantest Corporation and tech conglomerate SoftBank Group were the top shorted large cap companies in the Asia-Pacific region, the report said.

The data in the report comes from Hazeltree’s securities finance platform, which covers 15,000 company stocks, globally.

The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Nell MackenzieEditing by Dhara Ranasinghe and Mark Potter)