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ESMA issues favourable opinion extending Greek HCMC short selling ban

21 December 2015

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued its official opinion agreeing to an extension of the emergency short selling prohibition by the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) on the shares of certain credit institutions under the Short Selling Regulation that expires at 24:00:00 (CET) on Monday 21 December 2015.

The measure will remain in place until 24:00:00 (CET) on 11 January 2016 and temporarily prohibits short sales in any shares of Attica Bank S.A. (ISIN GRS001003011) admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange, irrespective of the venue where the transaction is executed. The temporary prohibition would include sales of shares covered by subsequent intraday purchases. The temporary prohibition of short selling would apply to all depository receipts (ADRs, GDRs) and warrants representing shares of Attica Bank S.A. (ISIN GRS001003011) admitted to trading on the Athens Exchange. As for previous bans, an exemption for market making activities in the affected financial instruments would be foreseen.

The short selling measure applies to any natural or legal person, irrespective of their country of residence, but would be subject to the exemption for market making activities, provided that short selling transactions are conducted for hedging purposes.

ESMA considers that adverse developments which constitute a serious threat to market confidence in the Greek market still persist and that the proposed measure is appropriate and proportionate to address those threats.