Markets

Aston Martin remains in short sellers’ sights

Aston Martin's struggling stock continues to be targeted by short sellers, with London-based Adelphi Capital raising its bet against the carmaker to £15m last week.

The manufacturer behind James Bonds vehicle of choice would have wished to slip under the radar of hedge funds after its shares crashed from an initial £19 in October to £11.49 last week.

But despite some funds cashing out, indicating they did not see Aston Martins share price falling any further, 007s car maker remained firmly in the sights of both Adelphi and French fund Carmignac Gestion.

Adelphi raised its bet to 0.53 per cent of the companys stock last week while Carmignac increased its share to 0.80 per cent – around £22.1m – in early December.

Investors short stocks when they believe a companys share price is likely to fall, borrowing the stock and selling the shares, with the intention of buying them back at a lower price to make profit.

Adelphi and Carmignacs increased positions mean both funds think the share price will continue to tumble.

George Soros-backed SFM UK Management also took up a £20m short position on the car maker last month, but the Hungarian-American financier cashed out his winnings after an initial slide in price.

Aston Martins current market price is around £2.76bn, a significant disappointment for the luxury manufacturer which set its Initial Public Offering (IPO) valuation at between £4bn and £5bn in September.

Of the £2.76bn, 1.33 per cent is held by short sellers – around £36.7m – according to disclosures made to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Aston Martin could face further pressure in the new year, when a six-month lock-up period ends and its restricted shareholders are allowed to sell their stakes.

The company was the first UK car maker to float on the London Stock Exchange since the 1980s.

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