European regulators have lifted short-selling bans across six countries, which were put in place in March to combat the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on certain stocks.
Austria's Finanzmarktaufsicht, Belgium's Financial Securities and Markets Authority, France's Autorite des Marches Financiers, Greece's Hellenic Capital Market Commission and Spain's Comision Nacional del Mercado de Valores said Monday they would not renew restrictions. Further, Italy's Commissione Nazionale per le Societa e la Borsa said it had terminated its short-selling ban, which had been due to expire June 18. The bans will lift effective Tuesday.
The regulators of each country issued statements detailing their decisions not to renew or to cancel the bans.
Austria's temporary restriction, which was put in place on certain stocks listed on the Wiener Borse on March 18, "was essential, appropriate and effective for the purpose of investor protection in light of the difficult situation due to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to an exceptionally volatile market environment, both nationally in Austria and globally," said Helmut Ettl and Eduard Muller, executive directors at the FMA, said in the statement. The restrictions have "paid an important contribution to absorb the irrational overreactions of the markets as well as to maintain investor confidence in the stability of the Austrian financial market."
Belgium's FSMA said the ban, which was put in place March 18, said the "exceptional measure was taken because (it) observed large price movements in the market."
It said the decision was taken not to renew the ban as many companies have a better view of the impact of the coronavirus on their businesses and have communicated with the market; market volatility has fallen sharply to pre-COVID-19 levels; and that net short positions have declined since the introduction of the ban.