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  • Copyright & Statement on Short Selling Data
  • © Australian Securities & Investments Commission. Reproduced with permission.
  • The short selling position raw data, derived data, and any derived charts on this webpage are sourced from the ASIC. No responsibility is accepted for any inaccuracies contained in the matter published.
  • It is important to note that ASIC’s aggregated short position reports are reliant on the accuracy of reports that ASIC receive from individual short sellers. While ASIC monitors compliance with short position reporting and provide additional guidance where necessary, ASIC is unable to verify the accuracy of all individual reports submitted, nor to verify that all short sellers in the market (both in Australia and overseas) are lodging reports.
  • The ASIC short selling position data is published four trading days after reported (i.e. T+4), therefore, the information contained at this webpage is dated at least 4 trading days ago (it will be updated after being published by the ASIC).
  • This webpage contains factual information and is for general information purposes only. It should not be considered as general or personal financial advice and shall not be used for the basis of any financial decisions. Website viewers are suggested to obtain professional financial advice before making any investment decisions.
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Education - Short Selling

What is short selling?

The short seller enters a position where the person sells a share which the short seller does not own and plans to buy the share back in future to close the position.

How short selling works?

Short seller can profit from a share price falling by borrowing shares to sell at a high price and buy back those shares in future at a lower price to close the position. The profit is the gap between the sell price and the future buyback price.

Types of short selling

  • Covered short selling
    • Short seller executes a short sale based on an existing securities lending arrangement, the sale of shares is a covered short sale.
  • Naked short selling
    • Short seller executes a short sale without existing a securities lending arrangement, the sale of shares is a naked short sale.

Advantages of short selling

  • Short seller does not require a large initial capital to invest in shares. The person only needs to borrow shares from a third party and profit from selling at a high price and buying back in a lower price later. However, the stockbrokers will charge fees for those shares lending and transactions.
  • When facing a bear market, short selling is one of the few trading methods which can make profit.
  • It is a way for long-term investors to hedge a short-term price fall.

Disadvantages of short selling

  • Difficult for individuals to participate - there are few Australian stockbrokers providing short selling services; those who provide related services usually require additional paperwork, trading threshold, etc.
  • Much higher risk compared with the traditional long - the worst situation of a traditional long could be the loss of all the initial capital. However, the potential loss in short selling can be infinite.
  • For example, a short seller sold the APT shares at $9.42 in July 2018. One month later (in August), the share price jumped to $23.00, increasing dramatically by 144% (which the short seller may need to buy back with a loss). If he/she sold the APT shares earlier in April 2018 at $5.6, then the price would have increased by 311% by August, exposing the short seller to a greater loss if required to buy back the shares by then.

Content descriptions

Short Position

    the total number of the ASIC reported shorts of financial products under an individual ASX code.

% of Shorts

    the proportion of the total number of short selling products to total issued shares under an individual ASX code.

Days to Cover

    the number of days required to close out all the short positions.

    The calculation of the days to cover:

    SP
    AV
    =DTC

    SP = The latest short position of the security

    AV = The average trading volume of the security in the past 20 trading days

    DTC = Days to Cover, the number derived is then rounded up to the ceil (to reflect the number of days needed.)

Calculation of Weekly Movement %:

    SP-SP1
    SP1
    *100%=WM%

    SP = The latest short positions of the security

    SP1 = The short positions of the 7 days prior to the reporting date

    WM% = Calculation of Weekly Movement %

Calculation of Monthly Movement %:

    SP-SP2
    SP2
    *100%=MM%

    SP = The latest short positions of the security

    SP2 = The short positions of the 30 days prior to the reporting date

    MM% = Calculation of Monthly Movement %

The frequency of ASIC data update

The short selling data is published by the ASIC four days after the reporting day (T+4).

Overview of the ASIC RG196
  • In Australia, covered short sales are permitted.
  • Naked short selling is prohibited in Australia under s1020B of the Corporations Act, subject to limited exceptions (RG 196.42).
  • In accordance with the short selling disclosure requirements, the short position reporting obligation applies to any seller who meets the following threshold test.
  • The threshold test of the short position reporting is as below (RG 196.127 – RG 196.132): If the short position as of 7pm (Sydney time) meets the following two tests, there is no need to submit a short position report for that reporting date, by relying on the ASIC relief:
    • Test 1 - The value of the short position is less than or equal to A$100,000; and
    • Test 2 - The short position is less than or equal to 0.01% of the total quantity of securities or products in the relevant class of securities or products.

Please refer to the ASIC RG196 for further details at:https://asic.gov.au/regulatory-resources/find-a-document/regulatory-guides/rg-196-short-selling/

Data source link to the ASIC short position reports table:https://asic.gov.au/regulatory-resources/markets/short-selling/short-position-reports-table/

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