Jon Hunt, the founder of the Foxtons estate agents chain, looks set to pocket a profit of several million pounds after short selling shares in the troubled property developer Hammerson.

It has emerged that Mr Hunt, who founded Foxtons and then sold the estate agency for £370m near the top of the housing market in 2007, short-sold shares in Hammerson.

His dealings were revealed in regulatory filings in the wake of Monday’s £584m rights issue from Hammerson, whose shares have slumped more than 50% in the last six months.

Mr Hunt borrowed a 0.45% holding in Hammerson – the equivalent of 1.3m shares – and sold the shares, hoping to replace them at a later date with shares bought at a lower price.

Daily Telegraph, The Independent