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Carillion short seller targets Welsh Apple supplier IQE

James Titcomb
IQE's technology is central to the iPhone X's facial recognition - AP

The hedge fund that made millions from Carillion’s collapse has made a big bet against a Welsh technology company whose technology is used in the latest iPhone.

Marshall Wace has taken a 3.8pc short position in IQE, whose laser technology forms the basis of the iPhone X’s three-dimensional sensing system.

While the launch of the £999 mobile has seen Aim-listed IQE’s share price rocket in the last year, it has become one of the UK’s most shorted stocks, with 10.7pc of the company’s shares out on loan, according to data from the Financial Conduct Authority.

IQE one-year

Marshall Wace is one of the UK’s most prolific short sellers and made over £19m in just three days from shorting Carillion before the construction giant went into liquidation last week. It has been steadily building a short position since last July, and now has 3.8pc of the company’s shares shorted, a position worth £37m.

IQE’s success is seen as inextricably tied to that of the iPhone X, and that disappointing sales when Apple reports quarterly results next month could hit the company’s share price. “That’s the one element that will move the dial,” said Dan Ridsdale, an analyst at Edison.

Apple’s results for the last three months of 2017 will be the first indication of demand for the iPhone X, which went on sale in November.