Celltrion Pharm was the biggest target for short-selling last year, according to data.
Short selling refers to selling of securities upfront to buy back at lower prices. It is often blamed for exacerbating a slide in stock prices especially in a down market.
Under the current regulation, any stock designated as an excessively short-sold stock is prohibited on the following one day to stop a crash.
According to the Korea Exchange on Sunday, a total of 170 stocks were designated as excessively short-sold stocks from Mar. 27, 2017, when the regulation went effective, to the end of last year. Celltrion Pharm was the most frequently short-sold stock as it was designated seven times. The price of Kosdaq bluechip nevertheless climbed 156.07 percent throughout 2017 even as it was the main target of short selling. Celltrion from investors’ plea is moving to the main Kospi next month to become freer of speculative selling practices.
Those listed for scrutiny for excessive short sales for more than three times also included Leaders Cosmetics, Loen Entertainment, Osstem Implant, Doubleu Games, Hy-Lok Korea, Medytox, GemVax and ATGen.
A net number of such stocks excluding redundancy reached 135. Under the system introduced last March, a stock whose price falls 5 percent and short-selling increases more than twice on the same day with a specific threshold of percentage is subject to the designation and prohibition of short selling on the following day.
By Shin Heon-chul and Minu Kim
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