SEC Adopts Rule to Increase Transparency Into Short Selling and Amendment to CAT NMS Plan for Purposes of Short Sale Data Collection

The Securities and Exchange Commission today adopted new Rule 13f-2 to provide greater transparency to investors and other market participants by increasing the public availability of short sale related data. Congress directed the SEC in Section 929X of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 to promulgate rules to make certain short sale data publicly available.

“In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Congress directed the SEC to enhance the transparency of short selling of equity securities,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “Today’s adoption will promote greater transparency about short selling both to regulators and the public. This rule addresses Congress’s mandate and improves upon existing sources of short sale-related data in the equity markets. Given past market events, it’s important for the Commission and the public to know more about short sale activity in the equity markets, especially in times of stress or volatility.”

Specifically, Rule 13f-2 will require institutional investment managers that meet or exceed certain thresholds to report on Form SHO specified short position data and short activity data for equity securities. The Commission will aggregate the resulting data by security, thereby maintaining the confidentiality of the reporting managers, and publicly disseminate the aggregated data via EDGAR on a delayed basis. This new data will supplement the short sale data that is currently publicly available.

Relatedly, the Commission today also adopted an amendment to the National Market System Plan (NMS Plan) governing the consolidated audit trail (CAT). The amendment to the NMS Plan governing the CAT (CAT NMS Plan) will require each CAT reporting firm that is reporting short sales to indicate when it is asserting use of the bona fide market making exception in Rule 203(b)(2)(iii) of Regulation SHO.

The adopting release for Rule 13f-2 and related Form SHO, as well as the notice of the amendment to the CAT NMS Plan, will be published in the Federal Register. The final rule, Form SHO, and the amendment to the CAT NMS Plan will become effective 60 days after publication of the adopting release in the Federal Register. The compliance date for Rule 13f-2 and Form SHO will be 12 months after the effective date of the adopting release, with public aggregated reporting to follow three months later, and the compliance date for the amendment to the CAT NMS Plan will be 18 months after the effective date of the adopting release.


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