Stock short-selling banned in European countries

15 August 2011

A number of European countries have placed bans on stocks short-selling in an effort to halt a fall in financial holdings.

France, Italy, Spain and Belgium have each adopted the practice, but lawyers, academics and investors have suggested the measures will not be enough to reverse the trend, Bloomberg reports.

Bank stocks across the continent fell to their lowest level in around two-and-a-half years this week, but opinion is split on how best to respond to the slide.

Alessandro Beber, a professor at Cass Business School - which is a part of City University London - said: "In contrast to the regulators' hopes, the overall evidence indicates that short-selling bans at best left stock prices unaffected and at worst may have contributed to their decline."

Meanwhile, analysts from Barclays Capital said that short-selling bans have proven to be an inefficient technique in the past as they often do not address the true underlying issues in Europe.

By Gary Cooper

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