Monitoring Stock Loan Availability

Overview: 

IBKR 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.

Public Website
Interested parties may query the IBKR website for stock loan data. To start, click here and scroll down to the section titled "Stocks Available". Click the section to expand it 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 upon entering your login credentials. 

 

Public FTP

Windows

Windows Explorer

  1. Open windows explorer (Start > Computer)
  2. With "Computer" selected on the left, right click an empty space on the right side of the window and choose “Add a network location”
  3. When the wizard prompts for a network address, enter “ftp://shortstock: @ftp3.interactivebrokers.com” and press next
  4. Give the connection a name of your choosing and press next
  5. File explorer should now open and display all of the files in the ftp location.

Command Prompt

  1. Go to Start > Windows System > Command Prompt
  2. Type "ftp" and press enter (the prompt will change to an ftp> prompt)
  3. Type “open ftp3.interactivebrokers.com”
  4. When prompted, enter the username “shortstock” and leave the password empty.
  5. Use the “dir” command to show the files in the directory
  6. Use the “get filename.txt” to retrieve the desired file

MacOS

  1. Open Finder
  2. From the “Go” menu choose “Connect to Server”
  3. Enter “ftp://shortstock: @ftp3.interactivebrokers.com” and press the + button to add to your favorites.
  4. Click “Connect”
  5. If prompted, the username should be “shortstock” and the password should be left empty.
  6. Click "Connect"
  7. If all steps were done correctly the finder window should display all of the files in the ftp location.

Linux

Terminal

  1. Open a Terminal window
  2. Type “ftp shortstock@ftp3.interactivebrokers.com”
  3. When prompted for a password, press enter
  4. Type “ls” to list the contents of the ftp location
  5. Type “get filename.txt” to get the desired file.
  6. Type “bye” to end the ftp session

Outlined below is a snapshot of the sample file output which includes the stock symbol, currency of denomination, name, contract identifiers (IBKR’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 IBKR account holders through Client Portal. 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.