ESMA extends Greek bank share short selling ban to December 21


The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published an opinion agreeing with Greek regulator HCMC that a short selling ban on shares in five Greek banks should be extended.

The original 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, and was later extended to today, December 7. 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 extension 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 new extension expires at 24:00:00 (CET) on 21 December 2015.

To view the announcement from ESMA, click here.

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ESMA extends Greek bank share short selling ban to December 21

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