WHOLESALE BANKING | Jason Oliver, Australia

Hedge funds ready to short the Aussie banks again

Regulators have lifted the ban on short selling bank stocks in Australia, and not surprisingly the prices fell.The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said, "ASIC has reviewed market conditions and considers that the balance between market efficiency and potential systemic concern has now moved in favor of the ban being lifted."ASIC added it would watch short selling activity by all market players, including hedge funds, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The securities regulator also expressed the possibility of reinstating the ban -- lifted following signs of stabilisation in the global financial system -- once stability in the sector is threatened by trading activity.

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