Canadian regulator places ban on short-selling

Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:13pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's largest provincial securities watchdog said late on Friday that it will follow other international authorities with a temporary ban on short-selling certain financial stocks.

The Ontario Securities Commission said the ban, coming on the heels of similar orders in the United States, Britain and other countries, will be in effect until October 3.

Short-selling involves a bet that a security will fall in value.

International regulators reined in short-selling of financial stocks this week in a bid to smooth volatility in financial markets.

The largest Canadian financial stocks that trade in both New York and Toronto had already been put on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's list of about 800 stocks in which short-selling was temporarily banned, including Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO and Manulife Financial MFC.TO.

The Ontario Securities Commission, which is the lead regulator of the Toronto Stock Exchange, said it was prohibiting short-selling of certain securities issued by financial companies that are listed on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and on a U.S. exchange.

These include the country's largest banks and insurers, and a few smaller financial players such as Thomas Weisel Partners Group Inc TWPG.O and Kingsway Financial Services Inc KFS.TO.

In a separate statement, Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said he supported the move.

"We are confident that our financial markets are strong and well positioned to withstand the current economic challenges," Duncan said.   Continued...