Greek securities regulator bans short-selling of bank shares

Greek securities regulator bans short-selling of bank shares

Greece’s securities regulator, the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC), announced on Wednesday it is banning short-selling of Greek bank shares to protect the lenders from additional pressure on their prices, ahead of their recapitalization.

The prohibition concerns the shares of the country's five lenders: National Bank, Alpha Bank, Eurobank, Piraeus Bank and Attica Bank.

“The Board of Directors … taking into account the recent political developments not justifying the continuation of the general short selling prohibition and the fact that the re-capitalization procedure of the listed credit institutions is ongoing without any specific information on how and by whom the relevant capitals will be covered, has decided to prohibit only the short selling of shares of the credit institutions admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange and comprising the FTSE/Athex Banks Index,” the HCMC said in a press release.

The measure will apply from October 1 until November 9, 2015, the announcement said.