Investors bet on Uber by shorting Taxi

|By:, SA News Editor

Medallion Financial (TAXI +0.3%) - a financier originating and servicing loans (mostly in NYC) to purchase city-issued "medallions" required to operate yellow cabs - has lost about one-third of its value since November as short-sellers have rushed in. The decline in the stock also comes alongside booming interest in Uber.

The percentage of Medallion shares on loan hit an all-time high of 5% of the float last week, according to Markit.

“The medallion’s monopoly on gaining entry to the New York taxi market looks set to weaken in the coming years as companies such as Uber and Lyft start to provide digital competition to their old-school peers for their share of the taxi world," says Markit analyst Simon Colvin. He notes NYC prices remain near their all-time highs (over $1M vs. $600K in 2008, $195K in 2001, and $10 in 1937), but prices are falling in Chicago and lower revenues from medallion leasing have hit San Francisco.

Previously: Old meets new: Hertz considers partnering with Uber

Previously: Uber raises $1.2B at $17B valuation; GSV Capital rises