(Recasts with confirmation)
ATHENS, April 30 Greece's securities regulator
has extended a short-selling ban on bank shares to the end of
July to protect investors while the recapitalisation of the
country's cash-strapped lenders is completed.
Short-selling involves investors borrowing shares to sell on
the market and later buying them back at a lower price to make a
profit. Greek banking stocks have been heavily shorted as
investors bet that stock prices would fall further during the
country's sovereign debt crisis.
"The board took into consideration the ongoing bank
recapitalisation process," the Capital Markets Commission said
in a statement, confirming an earlier Reuters story.
A short-selling ban on all stocks was introduced in August
2011 to protect investors from the fallout of the country's debt
crisis. Greece scrapped the ban on short selling non-banking
stocks in January as market confidence grew after the country
averted bankruptcy last year.
The regulator said that the three-month extension has been
approved by the European Securities and Markets Association
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; editing by Keiron Henderson
and Louise Heavens)