UPDATE 1-Greek SEC watchdog bans short-selling in stocks

* Ban follows investor sell-off on Tuesday

* Rule effective April 28 to June 28

* Second short-selling ban during global crisis

(Adds background, details)

ATHENS, April 28 (BestGrowthStock) – Greece’s securities regulator
on Wednesday banned short-selling in shares on the Athens bourse
until June 28 after investors responding to the country’s
deepening debt crisis ditched Greek assets a day earlier.

“The Capital Market Commission, having considered the
extraordinary conditions in the Greek market, has decided to ban
short selling on the Athens stock exchange. The rule will be in
effect from April 28 until June 28,” it said.

Greek shares (.ATG: ) fell 6 percent on Tuesday, with banks
(.FTATBNK: ) plunging 9 percent. After the close Standard & Poor’s
cut Greece’s credit rating to speculative grade.

It was the second time during the global economic crisis for
the securities regulator to ban short sales on the Athens
bourse. The first was in October, 2008 and was lifted in June
last year.

Subsequent rules required that short-selling on the Athens
bourse be flagged and meet an uptick rule.

Greek shares are down 22.7 percent year to date with banks
nursing deeper losses of 36.9 percent.

S&P cut its rating of Greek government debt by a full three
notches to BB-plus, the first level of speculative status. The
outlook is negative, meaning the agency could downgrade Greece
again. [ID:nLDE63P1EG].

Stock Analysis

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Hans Peters)

UPDATE 1-Greek SEC watchdog bans short-selling in stocks