Monitoring Stock Loan Availability

Overview: 

Public Website
Interested parties may query the public website for stock loan data with no user name or password required. To start, click here and select the country in which the stock is listed. If the number of available issues exceeds that which can be reasonably presented on a single page, results will be organized by symbol in groups, with hypertext links allowing further drill-down. A quick search box allowing direct query for a given symbol is also provided. Query results include the product description, currency of denomination and a link titled “Check Availability” which displays the quantity of shares available to borrow.

 

Public FTP
The public FTP site also requires no user name or password to access and provides stock borrow data in bulk form via a pipe delimited text file. The URL necessary to request files varies by browser type as outlined below:

1. Mozilla Firefox
ftp://shortstock: @ftp3.interactivebrokers.com (Note there is a space between shortstock: and @ which represents the password).
You will get a message stating that you are about to connect to a website that does not require authentication. Select "Yes"

2. Internet Explorer
ftp://shortstock: @ftp3.interactivebrokers.com (Note there is a space between shortstock: and @ which represents the password).
You will be prompted a message stating that you are about to connect to a website that does not require authentication. Select "Yes"

3. Google Chrome
ftp://ftp3.interactivebrokers.com
Username:shortstock
Password: blank (n/a)
Within the site, individual files will be organized by country of listing with checkboxes provided to specify those desired which can then be downloaded into a single file by selecting the Submit button.
 

 

Outlined below is a snapshot of the sample file output which includes the stock symbol, currency of denomination, name, contract identifiers (IB’s and the ISIN), rebate & fee rates and shares available. This file may be also imported into applications such as Excel for sorting, filtering and analytical purposes.

 

Short Stock Availability (SLB) Tool
The SLB tool is made available to IB account holders through Account Management. Login and select the Support section followed by Short Stock (SLB) Availability. This tool allows one to query information on a single stock as well as at a bulk level. Single stock searches can be performed by symbol/exchange, ISIN or CUSIP numbers. At the single security level, query results include the quantity available, number of lenders and indicative rebate rate (which if negative, infers a borrowing cost expressed as an annual percentage rate and, if positive, the interest rebate paid on cash proceeds securing the loan in excess of the minimum threshold). Information regarding the quantity of shares available to borrow throughout the day for the most current and past half hour increments is also made available.

 

In addition, borrowers interested in the trend of rates over the prior 10 day period can view the minimum, maximum and mean rates for each day.

This tool also allows one to upload a text file (with symbol/exchange or ISIN detail) and search for availability of multiple stocks in bulk within a single query. These bulk requests will then generate a .CSV file similar to the sample file output made available through the public FTP site.

Background: 

IB provides a variety of methods to assist account holders engaged in short selling with monitoring inventory levels and borrow costs/rebates. The level of detail available, the time frame covered and the manner in which the information is accessed vary by method and a brief overview of each is provided below.