Mar 6, 2020

Short positions against Cineworld at near record high

Short-sellers have pushed bets against Cineworld to a near record high, as the world's second-largest cinema operator grapples with high debt and concern about the impact of coronavirus on box office attendance. In an unscheduled update to the stock market on Friday, Cineworld said it had not seen "Any material impact" on cinema admissions since the outbreak of the disease. The proportion of Cineworld stock out on loan - a proxy for short interest in the company - has increased steadily over the past eight months and is now more than 20 per cent, according to data from IHS Markit. Cineworld announced plans to buy indebted Canadian cinema chain Cineplex in a $2bn deal last December. Meanwhile Hollywood has started to feel the effects of coronavirus with the shutdown of cinemas across China, the world's second-largest cinema market, and the postponement of the latest James Bond film until November.

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