Short sellers feel the heat from Chinese solar group Hanergy

Earlier articles on Hanergy:

A little-known Hong Kong-listed firm has come out of nowhere to become the world’s largest solar-power company by market value. A tight relationship with its parent company should give investors reason to worry whether its time in the sun will last: Link

The Convoy Financial-Finsoft-Hanergy connection and aggressive accounting: Link

January 8, 2015 12:13 am

Short sellers feel the heat from Chinese solar group Hanergy

Jennifer Hughes in Hong Kong

Short sellers are sitting on potential losses of more than $300m in a little-known Chinese solar company whose stock has soared in spite of their heavy bets to the contrary.

Shares in Hong Kong-listed Hanergy Thin Film Power Group have more than doubled in the past six months, giving the distributor of solar equipment a market capitalisation of almost $15bn — almost as much as the three biggest US solar companies combined.

But several Hong Kong brokers report that hedge funds are still clamouring to borrow the stock, to short sell it: selling borrowed shares in the market in the hope their price will fall, so they can be bought back more cheaply and returned to their original owner. By doing this, short sellers can profit from falling prices — in effect, betting against the company’s shareholders — but lose when prices rise.Bankers said the price for borrowing stock is at levels typically only seen when short selling attacks are launched publicly, as was the case with Tianhe Chemical and Olam. These two companies — a chemicals group that floated in Hong Kong last year and a Singapore-listed agribusiness trader — hit the headlines in 2014 and 2012 respectively after being attacked publicly by short sellers.

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