AIMA to research extent of UK short-selling

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UK – The London-based Alternative Investment Association (AIMA) has welcomed the news that the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the UK’s financial industry watchdog, has called for greater disclosure on short- selling.

AIMA says it is conducting its own research into the practice, particularly hedge funds short-selling, following allegations from asset managers recently that this is having a detrimental impact on already depressed markets and should be regulated.

“Enough has been said in the abstract about hedge funds short-selling, now it’s time to determine the facts. The problem is simple: nobody keeps a track of short-selling and we hope our survey and the FSA’s consultation process will lead to some form of tracking and measurement of short-selling being introduced,” says a spokeswoman for AIMA.

She believes there has been too much criticism of hedge funds and the industry needs to consider the wider picture.

“Short selling isn’t exclusive to hedge funds, other parts of the markets short-sell as well. Whilst we neither support or refute the claims that hedge funds in particular are causing problems, we felt it was time to find out. The data we are collecting is designed to give a broad image of short-selling in the UK overall. Only then we will be able to look at hedge funds in isolation,” she explains.

AIMA expects to publish its findings in the next few days. “We have gathered everything we need apart from information from a couple of our largest members. But it hasn’t been easy,” she says.

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