COVID-19 Implications on Short-Selling Restrictions
Since March, financial market participants have witnessed a storm of extreme volatility that has forced regulatory bodies to bring significant changes to the short-selling rules across global equity markets. While a majority of the jurisdictions in the European Union have decided to reduce the threshold from 0.2% to 0.1%, jurisdictions hit hard with the current pandemic like France, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Austria have decided to ban short selling for a brief period of one month. In Asia and the Middle East, jurisdictions like South Korea and the UAE have also decided to ban short selling in an effort to combat the virus’ negative impact. Jurisdictions across other continents in less threatening situations have explicitly highlighted that they are keeping a close watch on the current status of the pandemic and would not shy away from taking requisite actions in order to maintain sanity in the financial system.
|1||Austria||On March 18th, short selling was banned for a period of one month.|
|2||Belgium||On March 17th, shorting of index-related instruments was banned for a period of one month only if the shares represent more than 20% of the index weight on Euronext Brussels.|
|3||France||On March 18th, the regulatory body banned the short selling of shares for a period of one month. The ban applies to transactions executed on a trading venue or over the counter. The measure applies to any natural or legal person domiciled or established within the European Union or in a third country.|
|4||Spain||On March 18th, short selling was banned for a period of one month.|
|17||Italy||For the next three months, the threshold for a net short position is decreased from 0.2% to 0.1%.|
|28||South Korea||Ban on shares listed on KOSPI, KOSDAQ and KONEX for six months.|
|29||UAE||Short selling restricted in UAE financial markets.|
|30||UK||No ban on short selling for now, but the FCA is monitoring short- selling activity closely.|
|31||India||Instead of restricting short selling, SEBI has increased the margin of stocks, and derivative market position limits are restricted to 50%. If it reaches 50%, then a new position can’t be created.|
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