Several European regulatory authorities have imposed temporary bans on short selling in their respective countries. In particular, Greece introduced a ban on short selling effective August 8, 2011, and Belgium, France, Italy and Spain implemented bans on short selling or short positions effective August 12, 2011. Greece’s ban will remain in force until October 7, 2011 and Belgium’s rules will apply for an indefinite period. France, Italy and Spain originally imposed 15-day bans, which were extended until September 30, 2011 for Italy and Spain and until November 11, 2011 for France. The European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”) reported that the measures are intended to restrict the benefits that can be achieved from spreading false rumors and to achieve a regulatory level playing field. ESMA also stated that these regulations have been aligned to the extent possible in the absence of a common EU legal framework in the area of short selling. More information regarding the temporary bans is available here.