ESMA – Short Selling Ban Extensions

ESMA – Short Selling Ban Extensions

On 15 April 2020, ESMA issued positive opinions on ban extensions.

  • ESMA issued positive opinions on short selling bans by national competent authorities.
  • Follows FR AMF March 2020 announced one month ban on short selling.
  • Follows AUT FMA March 2020 banned short selling on Vienna exchange.
  • Follows ESMA Mach 2020 positive opinions on BEL FSMA, HCMC bans.

Positive Opinions

  • ESMA, the EU’s securities markets regulator, has issued opinions agreeing to the renewal of the emergency restrictions on short selling and similar transactions.
  • Covers restrictions imposed by the Finanzmarktaufsicht (FMA) of Austria, the Financial Securities and Markets Authority (FSMA) of Belgium, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) of France, the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) of Greece and the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) of Spain.
  • All five national competent authorities (NCAs) had imposed restrictions in March 2020 which were due to expire in April, and all five decided to renew those restrictions.
  • Following coordination by ESMA, renewal process has been aligned and the renewal decisions will all be in place until May 18 with the possibility of a further renewal.

Alignment of Exemptions

  • ESMA also aimed for further alignment of exemptions applicable to restrictions which should facilitate coherent implementation of the restrictions by market participants.
  • The restrictions apply to all shares admitted to trading on relevant venues for which NCA is relevant NCA, as well as to all related instruments relevant for calculation.


  • The measures will enter into force on 16 April 2020 for FMA; 17 April 2020 for AMF and FSMA; 18 April 2020 for CNMV; and 25 April 2020 for HCMC.
  • All of the restrictions are set to remain in place until 18 May 2020, 11:59 PM.
  • Measures may be lifted before deadline if the risks of a loss of market confidence are reduced or may be further extended after the deadline considering market conditions.
  • Prohibitions apply to transactions executed both on a trading venue / over the counter.
  • Do not apply to market making activities; and index-related instruments or baskets of financial instruments if shares covered by the ban represent 50% or less of the index.
  • ESMA considers that proposed measures are justified by current adverse events or developments which constitute a serious threat to market confidence and financial stability, and that they are appropriate and proportionate to address existing threat.

BEL FSMA Statement

  • On 15 April 2020, BEL FSMA formally announced the extension of their prohibition.