Investors have been banned from short selling shares in Italy's third largest bank Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena after the company's share price fell this week to its lowest level since it went public in 1999.
The Financial Conduct Authority this morning said it had imposed a temporary ban on shorting the stock with immediate effect, following the same move by the Italian Securities and Exchange Commission Consob. The block will last until the end of trading today.
The ban affects all UK trading venues on which the instrument is traded, and extends to any person irrespective of their country of residence, the FCA said. Certain market makers are exempt.
Consob has effected the ban after Monte dei Paschi's share price fell above the 10 per cent threshold – at one point, its share price had dropped more than 14 per cent from the open.
Monte dei Paschi had seen its shares drop three days in a row, and is down more than 25 per cent over the year, leaving the Siena-based bank with a market value of €4.2bn.
Its share price was up 1.4 per cent at pixel time, at 0.83 euro cents. A year ago shares were trading at 24.2 euros.