Burnt magnates hoping to avoid summer blues

Francesca.washtell@mailonsunday.co.uk CITY WHISPERS Contributor: Calum Muirhead



dmg media (UK)



FORGET the new school term, the City of London is awash with another season of financial results. Investors of all kinds will be hoping that their companies had a good summer. But pity, perhaps, the tycoons whose firms have burned a hole in their pockets this year as their share prices have dived. They will be tracking the results and the market’s reaction even more closely than us mere mortals, in the hope that they can recover some losses. Peter Hargreaves, the cofounder of online trading platform Hargreaves Lansdown, has lost an estimated £82 million so far on paper this year. The company thrived in the pandemic but, like rivals, it has struggled since and shares have dropped by ten per cent in 2023. Sir Martin Sorrell’s digital advertising agency, S4 Capital, will release halfyear numbers on Monday. He has lost an estimated £52million on his stake so far this year. Fingers crossed, fellas. BOOHOO and Asos may be getting the tissues out after they found themselves back at the top of the list of most-shorted stocks in London. Asos takes the top slot, with 6.4 per cent of shares out on loan to eight hedge funds, who will make money if their price falls. Some 4.8 per cent of Boohoo’s shares are being shorted by five groups. The pair have spent a fair amount of time at or near the top of the unfortunate list over the past couple of years. At least with the prices Boohoo and Asos set for their clothes, the hedgies could go on a hefty shopping spree if they made some cash from their bets.