The number of shares sold short in Capitec has remained the same, proving resistance to the bank’s detailed responses to Viceroy Research’s allegations that its books were not in order and setting them right would require that the Reserve Bank place it under curatorship. By Friday morning, between 1% and just less than 5% of Capitec’s 115.6-million issued shares were out on loan to investors who then sold them on, betting on a plunge in the bank’s share price. At the top end of this range, the short positions were worth R4.8bn at Friday’s market prices. Capitec financial director André du Plessis said the short positions were normal and did not necessarily originate from Viceroy’s report. "Short positions can be taken at any moment and will always be present in the market. People differ in their outlook on the future and [on] market players." Juan Breytenbach, a trader at Capilis Asset Managers in Johannesburg, said not every market participant bought shares in the hope they would i...

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