Alibaba bears are losing billions on short bets

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s short sellers have gotten burned this year as optimism about a possible trade resolution has lifted the company’s American depositary shares.

Short interest in Alibaba BABA, -0.45% has grown faster than general short interest in Hong Kong/China names so far in 2019, according to data from S3 Partners, but these bearish calls have thus far proven a bad bet. Alibaba short sellers are down $5.49 billion in mark-to-market losses on a year-to-date basis, or 29%. These paper losses outweigh the $3.89 billion in mark-to-market profits that shorts picked up in 2018 as Alibaba shares fell, according to S3, a financial technology and analytics firm.

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