Sharp Shorts Jump to Record as Investors Doubt Survival
Bearish bets on Sharp Corp. (6753) climbed to a record high as Japan’s biggest maker of liquid-crystal panels works to complete a capital tie-up with Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group to stave off the threat of bankruptcy.
Short-interest on Sharp, an indication of bets that its share price will fall, climbed to 73.2 million shares, or 6.6 percent of stock outstanding, on September 7, the highest in more than two decades, according to weekly data compiled by Bloomberg.
Sharp President Takashi Okuda must raise funds as the company burns through cash. Total liabilities reached 2 trillion yen at the end of June, the highest since at least 2003 and more than four times sales in that quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“You can’t rule out the possibility of the company going bankrupt,” said Mitsushige Akino, who oversees the equivalent of $600 million in assets in Tokyo at Ichiyoshi Investment Management Co.