We present the most shorted French stocks. We focus on Oil Services & Equipment industry, the most targeted French industry by short sellers. Also, we address recent shorts declines in Air France-KLM.


Overview: Most Shorted in France

Table 1: Most Shorted in France

Table 1 depicts aggregated significant shorts for 5 most shorted French stocks as of November 24th disclosures.(*) In the past three months short interest more than doubled in Technip and rose about 15% in CGG. On the other hand, it declined in Air France-KLM, Vallourec and Casino Guichard-Perrachon.

The most shorted CAC 40 stock is Technip (12.29%) and is followed by Peugeot with considerably lower significant short interest (3.9%).

Interestingly, 3 of 5 most shorted components from Table 1 belong to Oil Services & Equipment industry (i.e. CGG, Technip and Vallourec). This industry is also most shorted French industry in our records. In the following, we consider these three shorts in more detail.


Oil Services & Equipment Shorts

Significant short interest in CGG is dominated by a single short position. UBS Asset Management holds around 8% short in CGG. According to MostShorted record, this is also the largest European individual short position in terms of short %.

Compared to dominant UBS Asset Management short in CGG, Technip shorts are more evenly distributed among 12 position holders. Since August, both the Technip stock price as well as the short interest have risen considerably. The short interest above 12% also marks the highest level of short interest in Technip since public short disclosures exist.

Vallourec’s decline in short interest is mainly attributable to a drop in AQR’s short from 4.31% (Sep 1st) to below 1% as of the latest disclosure. Note that AQR has been holder of the largest Vallourec short until recently. However, the recent drop in short interest is not as rapid as the decline witnessed at start of May 2016, just prior to Vallourec’s earnings results.


Air France-KLM Short

Finally, we focus on shorts in Air France-KLM. Significant shorts declined from 2016 high of 10.18% to about 7%. The 2016 high in short interest coincides with a multi-year price low achieved in the first half of October. Two largest shorts (Blackrock Investment Management and Marshall Wace) got reduced in this period. We noted a similar trend in Deutsche Lufthansa, where shorts declined from 11.88% in October to under 7%.

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(*) Data presented in this note is limited to significant short positions which at least equal 0.5% of company issued capital.

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