ESMA approves emergency 30-day Greek short selling ban

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) today issued an official opinion agreeing to an emergency short selling ban, for a period of 30 calendar days, outlined by the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC).

The new ban is different from the one previously introduced and renewed five times.

The proposed measure consists in a ban on short selling of shares and units of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and the Multilateral Trading Facility of EN.A. It will also cover all depository receipts (ADRs, GDRs) representing shares admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and the MTF of EN.A. This ban also applies to sales which are covered with subsequent intraday purchases.

The measure will be in force until 24:00:00 (CET) on September 30, 2015.

In the notification, the HCMC explains that despite the reopening of the Athens Exchange and the MTF of EN.A on August 3, 2015, there are conditions on the Greek capital market which prevent its smooth functioning. These include:

  • the imposition of capital controls and the restrictions of transfers in the acquisition of financial instruments (i.e. restrictions on the buy side) for Greek investors based on Article 5 of Law. 3606/2007 (A 195) through regulated markets and multilateral trading facilities or professionals who have such financial instruments as UCITS;
  • the political developments namely the forthcoming parliamentary elections that will take place on the 20th of September 2015;
  • the forthcoming recapitalisation of the four Greek “systemic” credit institutions.

To view the official announcement on ESMA’s website, click here.

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