Belgian market regulator bans short selling until April 17

BRUSSELS, March 17 (Reuters) – Belgian financial supervisor FSMA said on Tuesday it had prohibited short selling on all stocks until April 17, to avoid “downward price spirals” that would prejudice market confidence, after Belgium announced a three-week lockdown.

“Considering the severe losses observed, the incertitude as regards the spreading of the COVID-19 contagion and the possible consequent further volatility and downward price spirals having the effect of prejudicing market confidence,” FSMA said in a statement the prohibition of short-selling would apply to all companies on Euronext Brussels.

The ban will also apply “to index-related instruments only if the restricted shares represent more than 20% of the index weight,” regardless of where transaction takes place. (Reporting by Marine Strauss; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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