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Greece - CMC bans short selling

Thursday, April 29, 2010
The Hellenic Capital Markets Commission (HCMC) has issued an announcement banning short selling of all shares listed on the Athens Stock Exchange.

Key Issues

Ban applies to all shares listed on the Athens Stock Exchanges Covers both on-exchange and OTC trades Applies to both naked and covered short sales In force from 28 April until 28 June 2010

The ban takes effect on 28 April 2010 and is set to remain in force until 28 June 2010. It covers transactions executed on regulated markets, multilateral trading facilities (MTFs) and over-the-counter markets, and applies to both naked and covered short sales. However, the ban is understood to be similar in scope to the previous ban on short selling imposed by the HCMC in October 2008, so it is understood that it only applies to physical short sales and does not catch derivative transactions or transactions in other instruments which are not listed on or cleared through ATHEX (e.g., ADRs).

There is a limited exemption for registered market makers on the spot equity market of the regulated market (and in limited circumstances for market makers on the derivatives market or of exchange traded funds listed in the regulated market, which are, for hedging purposes, short selling shares which are underlying instruments or constitute the underlying index of the derivative instruments for which they carry out the market making duties).

An English version of the press release is available at: Source.

This gives a little more detail about what the HCMC intends as compared with the terse announcement put out when the HCMC previously banned short selling on 10 October 2008. That ban remained in force until 15 May 2009, when the ban was lifted, leaving in place an uptick rule, the requirement to flag short sales through the Athens Stock Exchange and a public disclosure requirement for net short positions greater than 0.10% of the issued shares.

Clifford Chance LLP, London, UK


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