On Monday, Washington Mutual (WM), the leading U.S. mortgage lender, ousted Kerry Killinger, its long-time chief executive, and replaced him with an outsider - a move that suggests the bank might be up for sale (Source: FT). A victim of the U.S. Real Estate market, WaMu's share price has dropped from $40 to $3 since mid-2007.
Short interest remains high in WaMu, with 24.7% of its Market Cap out on loan (%MCOL) to short sellers. At one stage in late July, WaMu's %MCOL peaked at 52%, in line with a 50M shares traded, compared to the six-month average of 20M. Utilization is at 73%, and there are 58 Days to Cover. Long-only institutions have also been selling their stock as the Lendable Quantity has gone from 300M shares in March, to 450M now.
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