European Regulators Remove Temporary Short-Selling Bans

The measures will expire on the 18th or 19th of May 2020.

A number of European regulators have announced this Monday that they will be reversing their emergency short-selling measures which prohibited the creation or increase of net short positions on shares.

The three regulators in question are the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) of Belgium, the Financial Market Authority (FMA) of Austria and the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) of France, which have all decided to lift their restrictive short-selling measures.

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In particular, the FSMA of Belgium said that as of the 19th of May 2020 the ban, which was imposed on the 18th of March 2020, will be suspended. The initial measure applied to any transaction which created, or related to, a financial instrument, and was extended on the 15th of April 2020.

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Austria’s regulator, as Finance Magnates reported, also implemented similar emergency measures in March and extended them in April. However, in consultation with the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) the FMA will relax the restrictions imposed when the temporary restriction expires today, 18 May 2020 at 24:00, the regulator said.

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Commenting on the measures, FMA’s Executive Directors, Helmut Ettl and Eduard Müller said in the statement: “The restrictions on short selling have paid an important contribution to absorb the irrational overreactions of the markets as well as to maintain investor confidence in the stability of the Austrian financial market. The ending of the restrictive measures marks a step towards returning to normality and is a positive signal for retail investors and professional investors.”

In its own statement, France’s AMF said that in consultation with ESMA and the Austrian, Belgian, Spanish, Greek and Italian national authorities all having taken similar measures, it decided not to renew the ban on net short positions, which expires this Monday.

ESMA also released its own statement today, alerting that multiple regulators have decided to not renew the restrictive measures, and highlighting that it contributed to today’s decision.

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