ATHENS Short-selling will be banned on the Athens bourse for two months starting August 9, Greece's stock market regulator said on Monday.
The Athens bourse index closed down 6 percent on Monday, a fall nearly twice as steep as that of European peers, dropping to a new 14-year low after the U.S. credit rating downgrade late on Friday and on concerns over the impact of an upcoming bond swap on Greek banks.
"The board of the capital market commission, after considering the urgent circumstances on the Greek market, has decided to ban short selling in listed stocks on the Athens bourse," the capital market commission said.
"The ban will be implemented tomorrow August 9 and for two months."
Analysts said the move could help reduce volatility in a market hit hard by the debt crisis.
"It was a necessary decision in a very difficult environment on the Greek stock market," said Costas Boukas, head of asset management at Beta Securities. "This decision will help the market by separating 'real investors' from speculators that invest short-term," he said.
The Athens bourse has dropped nearly 30 percent since the beginning of the year.
The Italian stock market regulator has no plans to ban short-selling, a source at the regulator said.
(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Will Waterman)