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AirAsia becomes third most shorted stock in Malaysia after price hits one year high

Bloomberg3/15/2021 12:32 PM GMT+08  • 2 min read
AirAsia becomes third most shorted stock in Malaysia after price hits one year high
AirAsia's share price has surged almost 40% so far this year.
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Short sellers are circling AirAsia Group Bhd after the stock more than doubled from recent lows.

The carrier, once the pioneer of a low-cost flying revolution in Asia, is now the third-most shorted stock by volume in Malaysia, exchange data show. Top Glove Corp. remains at the top of short sellers’ list, which includes other glove makers such as Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd. and Hartalega Holdings Bhd.

AirAsia shares have jumped amid bets the worst may be over as global vaccine rollouts boost market hopes for global reopenings. The rally has left the gap between analysts’ 12-month price target for the stock and its current value at the widest in almost three years. Its relative strength index rose to 83 on Monday, a level signaling overbought conditions.

While a revival in travel “will be exponentially rewarded in airline stocks, in the case of AirAsia there might be some concern around balance sheet,” said Nirgunan Tiruchelvam, head of consumer sector equity research at Tellimer. “Within the cohort of airline stocks, it might be looking a bit vulnerable.”

AirAsia was highlighted a month ago in the online community by Bursabets, a Malaysian version of Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum, with the title ‘Any BULLS wanna fly with AirAsia?’ The stock trades at RM1.23 ringgit (50 cents) versus the 12-month price target of 55 sen. It has surged almost 40% so far this year.

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