Germany wants reports of bank-stock short positions

By Reuters Staff
March 4, 2010

FRANKFURT, March 4 (Reuters) – German financial watchdog Bafin will introduce new rules this month requiring reporting of short sale positions in major German financial stocks.

The new rules, which come into effect on March 25, will let Bafin intervene effectively if it determines that short positions may threaten financial stability, the watchdog said in a statement.

Short-sellers are investors who borrow shares and sell them on in the hope of buying them back at a lower price to make a profit.

Bafin’s new rules will require the seller to report to Bafin net positions that exceed 0.2 percent of shares issued and make further reports for each 0.1 percentage point change from that level.

Positions from 0.5 percent and above will be published in anonymous form on Bafin’s website.

At the end of January, Germany ended a partial ban on the short-selling of financial stocks, letting a measure designed to reduce trading volatility lapse, but the coalition government in Berlin indicated that tougher regulation was being prepared.

Bafin’s new rules affect shares in the following companies:

- Aareal Bank

- Allianz

- Generali Holding

- Deutsche Bank

- Commerzbank

- Deutsche Boerse

- Deutsche Postbank

- Hannover Rueckversicherung

- MLP

- Munich Re

((Reporting by Jonathan Gould; Reuters Messaging: jonathan.gould.reuters.com@reuters.net; +49 69 7565 1242))

No comments so far

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/