Home Knowledge COVID-19 Update: Shorting Bans Introduced Across Europe

COVID-19 Update: Shorting Bans Introduced Across Europe


Since 17 March 2020, ESMA has approved the adoption of measures under the Short Selling Regulation (SSR) by the French, Spanish, Italian, Belgian, Greek and Austrian regulatory authorities to ban the creation of any new or further net short positions in shares admitted to trading on trading venues under their respective jurisdictions.  

What shares are impacted?

Shares listed on:   

  • France: Euronext Paris, Euronext Growth Paris or Euronext Access
  • Italy: Specified shares on MTA regulated market
  • Spain: BOLSA DE MADRID, S.A., BOLSA DE BARCELONA, S.A., BOLSA DE VALENCIA, S.A., BOLSA DE BILBAO, S.A. and Mercado Alternativo Bursátil, S.A.
  • Belgium: Euronext Brussels and Euronext Growth
  • Austria: Vienna Stock Exchange (Amtlicher Handel; WBAH)
  • Greece: Athens Stock Exchange

When do the measures take effect and how long will they be in place?

All measures are currently effective and, unless amended, are scheduled to expire as follows:

  • France: 16 April 2020
  • Spain & Belgium: 17 April 2020
  • Austria: 18 April 2020
  • Greece: 24 April 2020
  • Italy: 18 June 2020 

Intention of measures 

As set out in the Opinions, the principal aim of each measure is to prevent a growth of net short position betting further destabilising markets, which are already adversely impact by the Covid-19 pandemic, in a way that could be self-reinforcing, with downward price spirals.

To whom and to which trades do the measures apply?

The measures adopted apply to:

  • on exchange and OTC trades; and
  • all investors (natural and corporate) whether in the EU or a third country.

Each measure excludes particular instruments, activities and transactions from the ban on net short positions e.g. market-making activities, trading in index-related instruments or short positions entered into to hedge positions on convertible bond or subscription rights.  

Contact Us

For advice on the above or any related matter please contact a member of the Asset Management & Investment Funds team. 


Contributed by: Nessa Joyce