Europe's third biggest insurer Assicurazioni Generali (OTC:ARZGF) planned to report full-year results on Friday. According to Bloomberg, the company may say that profit fell to 923m euros ($1.25bn) from 2.92bn euros a year earlier. As you can see from this graph documenting the insurer's shares out on loan (red line), short investors have increased their positions in this stock since November, when the company had 4.5% of its shares on loan, to 6.4% now. This is in line with the share price halving from 20EUR to 10EUR during the same time frame.
In London, Legal & General (OTCPK:LGGNY) have also seen a rise in the amount of their shares on loan, from 0.5% to 1.5% between mid-February and now, juxtaposed with a fall in share price from 80p to 30p.
Meanwhile in New York, the Chubb Corporation (NYSE:CB) has seen a large amount of short covering; down from 1.5% of the company being on loan in November and December to just over 0.2% now, a very small short position. On Wednesday there were 3.5m shares traded compared to the half-year average of 2m. The company's shares have bounced in the last week from $35 up to $43.