UK to end short selling ban

6 January 2009

The UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA) has said it will lift its ban on the short selling of domestic financial stocks later this month.
Under new proposals from the regulator, the restrictions will expire on January 16th.

The FSA had introduced the ban on September 23rd following severe market turbulence that led to a run on several UK financial stocks.
Similar measures were brought in by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The regulators said such moves were needed to protect the integrity of the markets and boost investor confidence during a period of exceptional volatility.

In a statement, the FSA said it would be prepared to "reintroduce the ban without consultation" if necessary.

The organization also announced plans to extend its temporary disclosure regime for short positions in financial stocks until June 30th.

A recent study by professor Ian Marsh and Norman Niemer of London's Cass Business School concluded there was "no strong evidence" to suggest that emergency short selling bans had any significant impact on stock returns.

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