The crackdown on Chinese companies in a host of sectors by authorities there represented an obvious opportunity for short sellers to make bets against them.
But according to an analysis from S3 Partners, short sellers have largely stayed away, preferring to ride out existing bets against these companies rather than initiate new shorts.
Ihor Dusaniwsky, managing director of predictive analytics at S3 Partners, finds there was a “meager” $94 million of new short selling in U.S.-listed Chinese stocks over the last 30 days.
That’s during a period in which the Invesco Golden Dragon China
exchange-traded fund fell as much as 29%, though it has retraced some 10% of its losses as some investors eyed opportunities.
“While shorts were not looking to increase their exposure in these names as stock prices dropped, they may be quicker on the trigger if stock prices surge for an extended period of time in order to lock in recent mark-to-market profits,” said Dusaniwsky.
“We’ve already seen nearly a third of their July profits get eaten up by the recent rebound rally, and if the rally continues, we should see a flurry of short covering as experienced short sellers look to be at the head of the line looking for exit points rather than waiting for the buy-to-covers of early short-covering to push stock prices even higher.”
Short sellers of U.S.-listed Chinese and Hong Kong stocks have made close to $8 billion this year, net of financing their positions, finds S3.