NEW YORK (Reuters) – Short sellers targeting shares of a group of U.S. regional banks, including New York Community Bancorp, were up about $1.04 billion in paper profits over the last two sessions, according to data and analytics company Ortex.
New York Community Bancorp, down about 40% since Tuesday’s close of trading after announcing a surprise loss and a 70% divided cut, accounted for about $122 million of those gains.
Short sellers aim to profit by selling borrowed shares and buying them back later at a lower price.
About 3.6% of New York Community Bancorp’s free float is sold short, according to Ortex data, little changed over the last two days and slightly below the 3-month average of 4.18%.
During last year’s regional banking crisis short sellers targeted shares of banks including First Republic Bank, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, possibly exacerbating share price declines.
(Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)