Ireland’s financial regulator said on Tuesday its ban on short-selling bank shares remained in place, and asked traders to disregard information to the contrary.
“The Financial Regulator has cautioned market participants not to rely on incorrect information on Bloomberg screens regarding short selling in Irish Bank shares,” the regulator said in a statement, without giving further details.
A Bloomberg spokeswoman said the Bloomberg data was correct. “Bloomberg accurately shows the companies placed on the Irish Regulator’s restricted list, namely Allied Irish Banks PLC, Anglo Irish Bank Corp PLC, the Governor & Co of the Bank of Ireland, and Irish Life & Permanent PLC,” she added.
On Friday Britain ended its ban on short selling -- which is selling borrowed stock in the hope of repaying the loan at a profit by buying the shares back at a cheaper price -- for financial stocks. “The Financial Regulator confirmed that the ban remains in place on taking short selling positions, whether through shares or ADRs of Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks and Irish Life and Permanent in London and other international trading venues as well as in Dublin,” the Irish regulator said.
Shares in Allied Irish Banks and Bank of Ireland hit fresh record lows on Tuesday, adding to Monday’s heavy losses, over investor concerns after last week’s decision to nationalize Anglo Irish Bank. Allied Irish Banks traded 50% weaker at €0.30 by 1211 GMT, while Bank of Ireland was down 7.7% at €0.314.
“The Financial Regulator continues to monitor the short selling ban,” its spokeswoman added. (Reuters)