The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday edition that securities watchdogs in North America are taking a closer look at the practices of short-sellers amid pressure from the business, legal and investment communities for a response to a series of high-profile attacks against public companies.
The Globe's Christina Pellegrini writes that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been meeting with companies that allege they have been victimized by the practice.
"I can tell you that the SEC is taking the issue more seriously," said Joshua Mitts, a professor at Columbia Law School who is advising several companies that have met with the U.S. regulator about the issue. "It's taken them a while to ramp up, but I wouldn't be surprised if we saw more enforcement cases related to short-and-distort."
In Canada, the Ontario Securities Commission is in talks with companies that complain about abusive short-selling, an OSC official said. Short-selling is not illegal, but abusive short-selling, however, involves deliberately spreading false or misleading claims about a company or engaging in manipulative trading strategies to spark a sell-off that could end up costing companies and their investors millions.
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