ASIC lifts ban on shorting financials

Investors welcome easing of restrictions but say damage already done

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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Asic) lifted its restrictions on covered short selling of financial securities on May 25, after an eight-month ban on the practice that stemmed from concerns over political systemic risk.

"The balance between market efficiency and political systemic concern has now moved in favour of the ban being lifted," Asic said in a statement, but it stressed it would not hesitate to reimpose the ban if it considers market conditions warrant such action.

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