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Alternative investments round up: Shorting bans lifted in UK but are maintained in Australia

As the ban on shorting 34 financial stocks lifted in the UK on January 16, shares at first rose but then fell sharply the following week after more bad news from banks. The Financial Services Authority is forcing hedge funds to disclose short sales of financials. Lansdowne Partners admitted to shorting Barclays Bank on one day that the bank lost 25% of its value. There were only six reports of short sales of more than 0.25% of a company. Barclays and RBS, however, saw much of their value wiped out in January as stock was sold off. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission extended its ban on shorting financials that it imposed last September. The ban will remain in place until March 6.

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