Top ten short sellers: little cheer for Greene King

Pub landlord Greene King has become the most shorted UK-listed share after reporting poor results from the Christmas period.

This is a list of the ten most despised shares on the London market, judged by the percentage of stock being shorted. Short sellers hope to profit from falling stock prices, so it can be useful to see what they are betting against.

The list is also a good indicator of stocks with the potential to bounce strongly on unexpected good news 'short squeezes' occur when short sellers are forced out of their positions, which can send share prices surging.

Britain's biggest pub landlord, Greene King, has jumped to the top after poor trading over Christmas. Emerging-markets- focused fund manager Ashmore has been hit by outflows from its funds. Oil firm Afren, squeezed by a cash shortage, is a new entrant this month.

CompanyWhat it does% of stock being shorted
Greene KingPubs13.34%
J SainsburySupermarket11.06%
Wm MorrisonSupermarket10.23%
WH SmithRetailer10.13%
Ashmore GroupEM specialist fund group8.93%
AsosClothing retailer8.91%
Serco GroupOutsourcing8.23%
AfrenOil producer7.94%
Nanoco GroupNanotech/semiconductors7.82%
CarillionConstruction/outsourcing7.45%

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