From the FT: France, Italy, Spain and Belgium said overnight that they would move to stop the short selling of hundreds of stocks listed on their markets. European markets staged a brief rebound in early morning trade in Europe, before giving up the gains by lunch time.
From ESMA on Italy’s short selling ban: The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued an official opinion agreeing to an emergency short selling prohibition, for a period of three months, by the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) on all transactions which might constitute or increase net short positions on all shares traded on the Italian MTA regulated market, for which CONSOB is the relevant competent authority as well as to all related instruments relevant for the calculation of the net short position.
From France’s Autorite des Marches Financiers: The AMF announces a short selling ban for one month
In the light of the outbreak of Coronavirus and its consequences on the economy and financial market in France, the Autorité des marchés financiers has decided to ban the creation or increase of short net positions with immediate effect.
Given that the current exceptional circumstances represent a serious threat to market confidence, the AMF Chairman has decided this ban pursuant to Article L 421-16 II of the code monétaire et financier and Article 20 of the European Short Selling Regulation, for an initial period of 20 days. The AMF Board has already decided to extend this period for a further 10 days, which leads to a ban for 30 days in all. This decision has been forwarded to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). It will be the subject of an opinion from ESMA, which will be published on its website.
Update March 19: ESMA approves Greek, Belgian short selling bans