“The Great White Short?” Canada Is the World’s #3 Destination for Activist Short Selling

Recently, Activist Insight released a report on activist short selling. Activist short selling is when investors publicly bet on a stock going down in value. Among other interesting trends, the report shows that Canada ranks number 3 in the world for activist short campaigns. The data suggest that Canadian companies should be on high alert about the possibility of an activist short play. The global number of activist short campaigns is trending downward 2015 represented a high water mark for activist short selling, with 274 campaigns globally. Since 2015, numbers have trended downward, with 263 campaigns in 2016, 186 in 2017, and 40 in Q1 2018. The reasons for this downward trend may have to do with more careful selection of targets. We have seen a similar phenomenon on the long side. The overall number of public proxy fights is generally trending downward. However, we see activists in the Canadian market being more picky about targets on the long side, and increasingly…

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