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US firms oppose proposed short-selling rules

Vanguard Group Inc and Goldman Sachs Group Inc are among US companies objecting to new rules to limit short selling that are under consideration by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Wall Street Journal reported, citing letters filed last week.

The objections come on the heels of an SEC request for comments on a proposal for reinstating a short-selling restriction called the “uptick” rule, where investors can only short a stock after it rose or ticked higher, the paper said.

Last month, the SEC sought comment on a revised approach to limit short selling, an investment strategy blamed by some lawmakers and company executives for worsening the financial crisis and driving down share prices.

“We've always felt that short-sellers enhance liquidity and provide a positive impact on the marketplace,” the paper quoted Gus Sauter, chief investment officer at Vanguard, as saying.

Vanguard, Goldman Sachs, and the SEC were not available for comment. (Reuters)