QuantRocket Blog

If you're a short seller exploring global markets, a good first question to ask is: are there shares available to borrow? This post looks at the percentage of stocks that are shortable through Interactive Brokers in each of 17 countries.

Data source

Interactive Brokers provides an FTP site with a list of all shortable stocks and the number of shortable shares available for each, organized by country. The list is updated every 15 minutes throughout the day. QuantRocket maintains a historical archive of the data going back to April 2018.


I compare the number of stocks that were shortable in the previous 90 days with the total number of stocks listed. I analyze liquid and illiquid stocks separately, defining liquid stocks as having average daily dollar volume above $1M USD over the 90 day period.

I count stocks as shortable if they had any shares available at any time in the 90-day period, regardless of the quantity of shares and regardless if there were times when no shares were available.

Shorting liquid stocks

The news is good for shorting liquid stocks. In most countries the percentage of shortable stocks is above 80-90%. Singapore is the only country with no shortable shares, while Mexico and Australia are the only other countries where less than 80% of liquid stocks are shortable.

Shorting illiquid stocks

Shorting illiquid stocks is considerably harder. As these stocks trade less, it's understandable that Interactive Brokers has fewer shares to lend out. The United States stands out as the best bet for strategies that short illiquid stocks. The next best bet is Japan, a large exchange where more than 60% of illiquid stocks are shortable. In Switzerland a comparable percentage of illiquid stocks is shortable, though Switzerland has considerably fewer listings than the US or Japan.


For shorting liquid stocks, traders should ignore Singapore but will otherwise find that Interactive Brokers has a reasonably good inventory of shares to lend out in most countries. For shorting illiquid stocks, traders should focus on the United States and Japan.

Explore this research on your own

This research was created with QuantRocket. Clone the global-market-profiles repository to get the code and perform your own analysis.

quantrocket codeload clone 'global-market-profiles'

QuantRocket LLC is not a financial advisor and nothing on this website or in any materials created by QuantRocket LLC should be construed as investment advice. All results are hypothetical unless otherwise noted. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

The material on this website and any other materials created by QuantRocket LLC is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell, a solicitation to buy, or a recommendation or endorsement for any security or strategy, nor does it constitute an offer to provide investment advisory services by QuantRocket LLC.

In addition, the material offers no opinion with respect to the suitability of any security or specific investment. No information contained herein should be regarded as a suggestion to engage in or refrain from any investment-related course of action. Neither QuantRocket LLC nor any of its affiliates is undertaking to provide investment advice, act as an adviser to any plan or entity subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, individual retirement account or individual retirement annuity, or give advice in a fiduciary capacity with respect to the materials presented herein. If you are an individual retirement or other investor, contact your financial advisor or other fiduciary unrelated to QuantRocket LLC about whether any given investment idea, strategy, product or service described herein may be appropriate for your circumstances. All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. QuantRocket LLC makes no guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of the views expressed in the website. The views are subject to change, and may have become unreliable for various reasons, including changes in market conditions or economic circumstances. Past performance is not indicative of future results.