Friday, 9 January 2009

Splits in the investor camp over shorting

Just a quickie, but I couldn't help noticing quite a difference in opinion about the disclosure of short positions between, broadly, investment managers and insurers. Here's what the ABI says:
“We support the moves outlined by the FSA today. Short-selling usually provides a useful role in the market, but there is a need for transparency. It is important to know who is taking a short position.”

But here's what the IMA says:
We are opposed to public disclosure of short selling information, which has the potential to increase downward selling pressure, facilitate the frontrunning of a fund's security positions and reduce the incentive for proprietary research. While it is critical that market regulators have access to trading information of individual market participants to protect against market abuse, public disclosure should be designed to promote market confidence and not to facilitate trading strategies. We believe that if any public disclosure regime is to be established effectively, this is best achieved by a market or regulator publishing a single aggregated net short-interest position for each stock on a periodic, but sufficiently delayed, basis.

It's a bit odd, as there's quite a bit of overlap between the ABI and IMA membership (because many insurers have fund management arms). My initial thought is that presumably the FSA disclosure rule doesn't really hit ABI members, whereas the broader IMA membership might be caught. Or maybe the ABI is trying to be a bit more politically savvy (it's a very FSA-friendly statement).

1 comment:

CharlieMcMenamin said...

This is not really a comment in response to this particular post- just a quick note to let you know that Robin Blackburn has an article in the current Red Pepper i think you'll find of interest. Here it is: