The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) last night published an opinion agreeing with Greek regulator HCMC that a short selling ban on shares in five Greek banks should be extended.
The previous ban, which covered shares in Alpha Bank A.E., Attica Bank S.A., National Bank of Greece S.A., Eurobank Ergasias S.A., and Piraeus Bank S.A., expired on November 9, 2015. The temporary prohibition includes sales of shares covered by subsequent intraday purchases. The temporary prohibition of short selling applies to all depository receipts (ADRs, GDRs) and warrants representing shares of such credit institutions admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and comprising the FTSE/Athex Banks Index.
The renewal concerns exactly the same instruments as the original measure, foreseeing an exemption for market making activities in the affected financial instruments.
ESMA considers that the renewal of the emergency measure is appropriate and proportionate to address the persisting threats in the Greek financial markets. Short sales in the shares of the five Greek credit institutions admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and comprising the FTSE/Athex Banks Index could still exacerbate the threats to financial stability, especially given the re-capitalisation of the Greek banking system. Market volatility might render the re-capitalisation more difficult and more costly, ESMA says.
The renewal of the emergency measure should be in force as of 00:00:01 hours (CET) on the 10th November 2015 until 24:00:00 (CET) on the 7th, December 2015.
To view the announcement from ESMA, click here.