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Business News

Caught short: Facebook's £68bn float


Hedge funds and speculators are queuing up to bet against struggling Facebook in the wake of the social networking giant's calamitous stock-market launch two weeks ago, new figures show.

Facebook's shares have plunged more than a quarter since its float, hammering investors and wiping billions off the value of founder Mark Zuckerberg's personal 28 per cent stake in the behemoth. Research firm Data Explorers says around 33m shares – 8 per cent of the stock sold in the group's $104bn (£68 bn) initial public offering – are on loan to short-sellers banking on further falls in the share price. Shorters borrow shares to sell them in the market, hoping to buy them back more cheaply later and bank the difference as profit.

Despite Facebook's network of almost 1 billion users, concerns have mounted over growth and how the firm can make money out of smartphone users. US giant General Motors also pulled its advertising from the site, claiming it was ineffective.