British Short Ban To End Jan. 16

Jan 6 2009 | 3:22am ET

Months after similar restrictions in the U.S. lapsed, the British ban on short-selling financial stocks will come to an end later this month.

The U.K. Financial Services Authority rejected calls to extend the temporary restrictions, saying it will allow them to expire on Jan. 16. The regulator warned that it was extended disclosure requirements on significant short positions until June 30, and that it would reimpose a ban on short sales if such a move became necessary.

The FSA instituted the ban in September in an effort to prop up financial firms. Similar moves were made by financial regulators around the world, including the U.S., which expired in October, less than a month after their implementation. The British prime minister, Gordon Brown, had at times intimated that the ban might be made permanent.

The shorting ban hit many hedge funds hard, and hedge fund managers and lobbyists have been extremely vocal in calling for the ban to end. In October, the Alternative Investment Management Association sought an early end to the restrictions, noting that financial stocks continued to lose ground despite the bar on shorting.

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