September 29, 2011 / 4:25 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-Greece extends short-selling ban to Dec. 9

* Greece extends short selling ban to Dec. 9

* Decision in line with other EU regulators

ATHENS, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Greece's securities regulator on Thursday extended a short-selling ban on shares traded on the Athens stock exchange for another two months to Dec. 9, in line with similar moves by other European regulators.

A previous ban that went into effect on Aug. 9 was due to expire on Oct. 9.

"The capital market commission's board in consultation with the regulatory authorities in Belgium, France, Italy and Spain, and after taking into consideration the conditions prevailing in the Greek market, decided to ban short sale until Dec. 9," the regulator said.

Greek shares have lost 42.7 percent in the year-to-date, as the country's debt crisis has deepened.

Italy and France on Wednesday extended their bans on short selling until Nov. 11 while Spain kept curbs in place until market conditions change.

Belgium also banned short selling in August with no expiry date and the ban remains in place.

Short selling is a common way for hedge funds and other investors to bet on falling share prices, whereby traders borrow stocks to sell them in the hope of scooping them up later at a lower price and pocketing the difference.

The ban by Greece, however, failed to stop a rout in Greek shares, which have fallen nearly 8 percent in the past month as fears that Athens could default on its debt have escalated. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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