September 22, 2008 / 2:26 PM / 11 years ago

SEC short ban list now covers more than 900 firms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq on Monday added more than 130 stocks of companies involved in financial services to a temporary ban on short-selling ordered last week by U.S. regulators.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange September 22, 2008. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NYSE Euronext NYX.N added about 70 companies, including shares of General Electric Co (GE.N), M&T Bank Corp (MTB.N), Ford Motor Company (F.N) and General Motors Corp (GM.N). Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ.O) added more than 60 companies, including California First National Bancorp CFNB.O.

“We have been hearing from other companies and will update the list as necessary,” said NYSE spokesman Scott Peterson.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, besieged by complaints that its initial list of 799 stocks issued on Friday had missed companies with major financial operations, decided over the weekend to let exchanges add to its list.

On Sunday, the NYSE asked its listed companies to inform the exchange if they fell in any of the categories listed by the SEC. Categories include banks, savings associations, broker-dealers, investment advisers and insurance companies.

The SEC emergency order against short sales in financial stocks will last through October 2. It may be extended further if the agency deems it necessary, but it can only last a total of 30 calendar days.

The SEC order followed similar action by the U.K. Financial Services Authority, which imposed a four-month ban on short-selling of financial stocks.

Other companies on the NYSE list include Capital One Financial Corp (COF.N), Discover Financial Services (DFS.N) and U.S.-traded shares of several Canadian banks, including Toronto Dominion Bank (TD.TO).

Earlier on Monday, the SEC granted limited relief to options market makers, who provide liquidity and ensure fair and orderly markets by continually posting prices at which they will buy and sell options.

Market makers will not be banned from short-selling stock covered under the emergency ban.

However, for new positions, market makers may not sell short when they know a customer is boosting a short position in shares of the financial companies covered under the emergency order.

Reporting by Rachelle Younglai; Editing by Tim Dobbyn, Gerald E. McCormick and Carol Bishopric

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