Further reports by posters on the LSE BB have revealed that trade D (in the original 18-8-17 Analysis), about which we expressed reservations at the time, was actually a buy by a LTH, despite being a similar round figure size to the shorting sells (LTHs note). Evidently this particular shareholder was very fast off the mark as they also accounted for the sell that followed approximately 3 minutes later (the peak between trades H and I). As shown below this revises the total suspicious sells figure down to 1.3Million and the excess of LTH buys against suspicious short sells as more than 400K rather than the 200K previous concluded.
However, this reduction in the apparent size of the short is more than offset by the appearance of yet another suspicious 200K sell first thing on the following monday morning (Trade A in the plot below) – this increases the apparent total size of the short to a round 1.5Million.
Monday, 21st Aug 2017
Whilst most of the trading goes on dutifully well inside the Bid-Ask band there are a couple of trades later in the day that seem to diverge from this pattern (B & C) – is this a subsequent attempt to test the Bid again with a heavy sell ? Did the Market Makers spot an attempted short sell and single it out for harsh treatment ? Let us look closer at them:
|Date & Time||SP||Label||Size|
The close timings of the trades and their very close size – amounting to a difference in value of only 6 pounds suggest that these are connected as a Bed&ISA or some such combined trade. How helpful of the MMs to signal this to us in the this way so that we can correctly identify one as a sell and the other as a buy, despite both being below the mid-point. Once this is done correctly the total number of buys vs sells on Monday works out at 950K vs 700K and this correlates as expected with an SP that appreciated from 8.88p to 9.25p (4.2%).
There are no obvious patterns of buying and, assuming there are no further delayed trades yet to appear, it would seem that trade A completed the first batch of short selling, making a total short size of 1.5M shares at an average of 8.55p – slightly larger than that concluded at the weekend.