Interactive Brokers adds new Short Selling column for stocks and ETFs in TWS platform

Maria Nikolova

The new “Utilization” column displays a ratio that provides insight into the potential value of shares a trader owns and may be particularly useful for participants in Interactive Brokers’ Stock Yield Enhancement Program.

Electronic trading major Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:IBKR) keeps adding more functionalities to its proprietary TWS platform. The latest (beta) version of the platform introduces a new Short Selling column for stocks and ETFs, called Utilization.

“Utilization” displays a percentage, the ratio of “shares lent” to “shares available,” and provides an insight into the general level of demand for an asset. The bigger the Utilization percentage, the greater the demand for the asset. The Utilization percentage is calculated as:

Number of shares loaned (across all outstanding loans) ÷ number of shares available to loan (from lending agents)

The utilization offers traders information about the potential value of shares they own, and may be especially useful to IB clients who participate in the Stock Yield Enhancement Program, or are considering doing so.

Interactive Brokers’ Stock Yield Enhancement Program offers traders to get extra income on the fully-paid shares of stock held in their account. This plan allows the company to borrow shares from the trader in exchange for cash collateral, and then lend the shares to traders who want to sell them short and are willing to pay interest to borrow them. Each day that a trader’s stock is on loan, he/she will be paid interest on the cash collateral posted to his/her account for the loan based on market rates.

Talking of recent enhancements to the TWS platform, let’s note other precision improvements too, such as making more useful data available by displaying the “Volatility Products” tab in IB Risk Navigator. Among the improvements introduced in one of the preceding versions of the TWS platform are the editable Order Quantity fields. Traders can view and edit order quantity in two fields. The “Total Quantity” field which always displays the orders’s original size, and the “Quantity” field, also labeled “Outstanding Quantity”, which updates as the order fills to reflect the shares remaining to fill.

Interactive Brokers’ TWS platform now also offers TipRanks fundamental analysis for US stocks. TipRanks aims to bring the general public accurate and accountable financial advice, provided by analysts, hedge fund managers, financial bloggers, and corporate insiders. The technology uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms to aggregate and analyze financial data online. The TipRanks data is available on TWS through new tabs in the Analyst Ratings (Summary) and Analyst Ratings (Details) windows.

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