The short position in Fifth Third Bancorp tripled during the 30 days ended March 15, an increase that analysts attributed to arbitrage activity.

Fifth Third's short interest rose 202.2%, to 2.36 million shares, pushing the bank's short position into second place among financial stocks traded over Nasdaq. Only Olympic Financial Ltd.'s 4.7 million-share short position was larger. (See tables this page and page 28.)

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