STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-Short interest high on Logitech,Nokia- Markit

Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:11am EST

Short-selling interest -- or bets that a stock price will fall in the future - has risen to all-time highs on the shares of computer mouse-maker Logitech , according to data from Markit, which adds that short-sellers are also continuing to target phone handset maker Nokia.

Markit says Logitech is the most "shorted" company in the pan-European STOXX 600 index.

It adds that Logitech has 27.6 percent of its shares out on loan, as the company struggles to cope with a market increasingly dominated by dominated by tablets and devices such as Apple's iPad, which tend not to rely on computer mice devices to be operated.

Markit adds in a research note that Nokia has 18.6 percent of its shares out on loan -- unchanged from last month even though Nokia reported earlier this month that strong sales of Lumia smartphones helped its mobile phone business achieve underlying profitability in the fourth quarter.

"Despite better than expected sales and backing from Microsoft which has raised the prospects of the company being taken over; short sellers have borrowed more than 15 percent of the company's shares for over three months," writes Markit.

Stock lending is a proxy for demand to sell a stock short, where a share is borrowed and sold on before being bought back at a cheaper price, and then returned to the original holder.

Reuters messaging rm://sudip.kargupta.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net