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Short interest in BofI slips

San Diego-based BofIHolding Inc. remained the most shorted stock among U.S. banks and thriftsmidway through April, and the thrift recently spoke out against what it called "anonymous short-sellerhit pieces."

BofI made those comments April 18 in response to a sharpdecline in its stock price that followed media reports of a lawsuit against thecompany. BofI noted that it was not a new suit, but an amendment to one previouslyfiled that "failed to raise any credible or systemic problems."

As of April 15, 36.63% of shares in BofI were sold short,down from 36.86% as of March 31.

The stock opened the month at $21.13, closing at $17.25on April 15. Since management's comments, shares have rebounded somewhat, closingat $19.34 on May 3.

ServisFirstBancshares Inc. saw the biggest jump in short interest during the periodbetween March 31 and April 15, with an increase of 366 basis points to 6.92% ofshares outstanding.

Shares of the company closed at $47.30 on April 15, upfrom $44.00 to open the month. Shares had climbed to $49.05 at the close of tradingon May 3.

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