Market regulator bans short-selling of Finmeccanica shares

Move follows slump on Milan exchange over CEO corruption probe

Market regulator bans short-selling of Finmeccanica shares

Milan, February 12 - Italian market regulator Consob banned short selling on shares of state-controlled Italian defense and aerospace group Finmeccanica on Tuesday and Wednesday after the sale price slumped over 13% following the arrest of company CEO Giuseppe Orsi as part of a probe into alleged international corruption involving the sale of helicopters to India. Trading resumed after a brief suspension around 1.30 pm local time with shares dropping 7.6% to 4.40 euros. Orsi was at the helm of Finmeccanica subsidiary AgustaWestland in 2010 when it won the contract to supply the helicopters. The CEO has denied any wrongdoing and said he would only resign his post if asked to do so by the Italian government. Prosecutors suspect around 50 million euros of the over-500-million-euro deal were ploughed back into kickbacks to ensure AgustaWestland won the contract.

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