The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA), in consultation with the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and in harmony with five other EU Member States, will relax the restrictions imposed in a Regulation on short selling in certain financial instruments listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange (Wiener Börse) when the temporary restriction expires today, 18 May 2020 at 24:00. The general EU-wide legal ban on naked short selling of shares, naturally remains unaffected by this measure.
“The temporary ban on speculative short selling 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,” remarked the FMA’s Executive Directors, Helmut Ettl and Eduard Müller. “The restrictions on short selling 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. The ending of the restrictive measures marks a step towards returning to normality and is a positive signal for retail investors and professional investors.” The FMA’s Executive Directors remarked that particularly in such extraordinary times of crisis the stability of the financial markets and the maintaining of investor confidence in the orderly functioning of the markets must have absolute priority.
A review of the now expired restrictions on short selling
On 18 March 2020, the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) temporarily banned the short selling of certain financial instruments by means of a Regulation, initially for a period of four weeks. On 15 April, the FMA extended the Regulation in amended form until 18 May.
Journalists may address further enquiries to:
Klaus Grubelnik (FMA Media Spokesperson)