In the face of increasing short sales and concern about hedge funds the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”), acting in concert with the UK Financial Services Authority (“FSA”), issued an emergency order on Friday, 19 September 2008, temporarily halting the short selling of securities of 799 financial companies to protect the integrity and quality of the securities market and strengthen investor confidence.
The Commission may extend the order beyond 10 business days if it deems an extension necessary in the public interest and for the protection of investors, but will not extend the order for more than 30 calendar days in total duration.
The Commission also has taken the following steps to address the recent market conditions:
· Temporarily requiring that institutional money managers report their new short sales of certain publicly traded securities. These money managers are already required to report their long positions in these securities.
· Temporarily easing restrictions on the ability of securities issuers to re-purchase their securities. This change will give issuers more flexibility to buy back their securities, and help restore liquidity during this period of unusual and extraordinary market volatility.
The Commission has announced that it may consider additional steps as necessary to protect the integrity and quality of the securities markets and strengthen investor confidence. The Commission and the FSA are also consulting on an ongoing basis with regard to short selling matters and will continue to cooperate in carrying out regulatory actions.
Please see the Commission’s release at: http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2008/2008-211.htm. Please also see additional materials at the following links:
SEC Order Halting Short Selling in Financial Stocks http://www.sec.gov/rules/other/2008/34-58592.pdf
SEC Order Requiring Institutional Money Managers to Report New Short Sales http://www.sec.gov/rules/other/2008/34-58591.pdf
SEC Order Easing Restrictions on Issuers to Re-Purchase Their Securities http://www.sec.gov/rules/other/2008/34-58588.pdf
Form SH http://www.sec.gov/about/forms/formsh.pdf
Form SH Instructions http://www.sec.gov/about/forms/formsh_instructions.pdf