Sony (6758) today unveiled a sweeping shake-up of its businesses and radical management changes aimed at better intergrating its hardware and software operations and giving Sir Howard Stringer, CEO, more control of the group's struggling electronics business (Source: FT.com). The changes reflect heightened alarm at the inability of Sony to turn round its electronics business despite four years under the leadership of Sir Howard, according to the FT.
In the last six weeks, short interest has doubled in the electronics giant; from 1.5% of the company on loan to 3% now - noticeable for an Asian stock, especially as 22% of the available supply has been lent out. The group's share price has fallen from 2,300JPY to 1,550 since early January.
Elsewhere in the sector, with Panasonic (6752), it is the opposite story; short interest nearly halving, from 0.7% to 0.4% since November 25th. 3.5% of the available supply has been lent out. Panasonic's share price has remained around the 1,000-1,200JPY over the last six weeks, spiking up from 1,000-1,300 just before Christmas, presumably for that very reason.
On November 25th, over 6% (the high was in July - 8%) of Sanyo was on loan; this figure has now dropped to 2.5%, juxtaposed with a fall in share price from 170JPY to 135JPY in the last two months, as short investors close positions and take profits. In November, 80% of the available supply had been lent out, making it extremely difficult to borrow.