Following a succession of one-day short-selling bans, European regulators are implementing more extensive prohibitions designed to curb downward pressure on their markets.
Italy’s market regulator, the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (Consob), is implementing a three-month ban on short-selling, through to June 18.
Spain’s Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores introduced a one-month ban, which it may extend for up to three months. France’s Autorité des marchés financiers has also imposed a one-month ban on short-selling.
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued an opinion signing off on the Consob ban agreeing to an emergency short-selling prohibition for shares traded on the Italian market.
The Consob ban applies to over-the-counter (OTC) transactions and transactions on regulated exchanges, and it includes index securities that are composed of at least 20% of affected shares.
ESMA said that the ban “is justified by the adverse events or developments which constitute a serious threat to market confidence and financial stability in Italy and that it is appropriate and proportionate to address the existing threat to market confidence in the Italian market.”
The CNMV said that its ban is being implemented “due to the extreme volatility taking hold of European securities markets,” caused by the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak “and the risk of disorderly trading taking place in the following weeks.”
The CNMV also cited the fact that Spain has declared a state of emergency.
“The ban covers any transaction on shares or indexes, including cash transactions, derivatives traded on trading venues or OTC derivatives which create or increase a net short position, even intra-day,” the CNMV said.