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Cesr chairman prefers disclosure for shorting

Short sellers should privately disclose positions as low as 0.1%. And local regulators should aggregate the information and publicly disclose at slightly higher levels according to Eddy Wymeersch, chairman of the Committee of European Securities Regulators (Cesr).

(This article appears courtesy of International Financial Law Review, sign up for a free trial on their site

Wymeersch was at the IBA’s International Financial Law Conference in Rome last week when he made his comments.

“The politicians tell us we should do something, but it is hard to find what is negative in short selling,” he said. “Most agree that naked short selling is wrong though.

“A disclosure regime would help: somewhere between 0.1% and 0.5%. It should be fixed at a national level as short selling is different in different countries.”

The panel (and audience) generally agreed with Wymeersch’s opinion and added more detail as to how a successful scheme should operate.

“It would be best for people to disclose anonymously and then the local market release the aggregate position publicly. For example, ‘shares fell X%, but Y% of that was short selling,’” said Rowan Russell, partner at Mallesons Stephen Jaques in London.

This would help ease concerns of copycat shorting that were expressed at last month’s IFLR Financial Regulation and Capital Markets Forum as the names of short selling parties would not be disclosed.

The percentage at which regulators should disclose was not fully discussed, but Wymeersch said that it could be as low as 0.5%.

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