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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

SEC to consider New Short Sale Curbs Next Week


Date: Monday, February 22, 2010
Author: Reuters

U.S. securities regulators will consider new short sale restrictions at an open meeting next week, a person familiar with regulators' plans said on Friday [Feb. 19].

The Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to meet on Wednesday [Feb. 24] to vote on rules that would restrict short selling in a company's stock if that stock fell by more than a certain percentage, such as 10%, another person familiar with the SEC plan said.

Lawmakers and bank executives blamed short selling for contributing to the downfall of now-defunct investment banks Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, and the SEC proposed a number of measures last year to rein in short selling, where investors bet the stock's price will fall. The agency proposed restrictions that would apply across equity markets as well as curbs that would only apply if a stock fell precipitously.

One proposal was to bring back a version of the uptick rule a curb that was first adopted after the 1929 market crash. The SEC abolished the uptick rule in 2007 after concluding that it was no longer effective in modern markets.

The SEC is expected to consider a "circuit breaker" measure that would trigger a so-called passive bid test, which would only allow short selling above the national best bid, one of the sources said. The sources requested anonymity because the meeting has not been made public.

The SEC had no immediate comment.

Any new rule needs the support of the majority of the five SEC commissioners. The two Republican commissioners are not expected to vote in favor of the short sale restrictions.