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Short interest in Chemical Financial and WesBanco declines as deals close

Two banksthat recently completed acquisitions experienced the largest declines in shortinterest among SNL-covered U.S. banks and thrifts in the first half ofSeptember.

ForChemical FinancialCorp., which completed its acquisition of on Aug. 31, thepercentage of shares held short relative to shares outstanding dropped 252 basispoints to 4.12% as of Sept. 15. Midland, Mich.-based Chemical Financial's stockclosed at $45.55 on Sept. 15 and had decreased to $43.62 at the close oftrading Sept. 29.

, which its acquisition ofYour Community BanksharesInc. on Sept. 9, saw a 184-basis-point decrease in short interest.Shares of Wheeling, W.Va.-based WesBanco closed at $32.44 on Sept. 15 and wasdown to $32.34 at the close of trading Sept. 29.

posted the biggest jump in short interest relative to shares outstandingbetween Aug. 31 and Sept. 15. The New Orleans-based company saw short interestincrease 174 basis points to 4.73% of shares outstanding at the end of theperiod. Shares in the company closed at $11.27 on Sept. 15, andwere down to $9.21 at the close of trading Sept. 29.

remains themost shorted stock. The San Diego-based company saw short interest slip 129basis points to 35.66% of shares outstanding. Shares of BofI closed at $22.21on Sept. 15 and slid to $22.20 at the close of trading Sept. 29.