An Empirical Investigation of Short‐Selling Activity Prior to Seasoned Equity Offerings

  • Published: Apr 30, 2012
  • Pages: 729-749
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.1996.tb02701.x


We investigate the nature and magnitude of short‐selling activity around seasoned equity offerings, the relation between short‐selling activity and issue discounts, and the consequences of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC's) adoption of Rule 10b‐21 in response to concerns about manipulative short‐selling practices. Seasoned offerings are characterized by abnormally high levels of short selling and option open interest. Higher levels of such activity are related to lower expected proceeds from the issuance of new shares. Where it could not be circumvented, Rule 10b‐21 appears to have curbed short‐selling activity and reduced issue discounts.

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