ASC Issues Amended Temporary Order Prohibiting Certain Short Selling

    CALGARY, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) has
issued an amended order under the Securities Act (Alberta), temporarily
prohibiting short sales of certain financial sector securities listed on the
Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). The amended order prohibits, with certain
exceptions, short selling of common shares in 13 financial sector issuers
until October 3, 2008.
    On September 18, 2008, the United States Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) temporarily banned short selling of securities in numerous
financial firms, including some that are listed on stock exchanges in both the
United States and Canada. On September 19, 2008, the Ontario Securities
Commission (OSC) in its role as the lead regulator of the TSX, along with the
ASC and other members of the CSA, issued parallel orders imposing similar
restrictions regarding these 13 listed financial issuers.
    The SEC amended its order on September 21, 2008. The amendments address
technical and operational matters, and clarify certain situations in which the
prohibition does not apply. The OSC made corresponding amendments by an order
issued September 22, 2008, and the ASC issued its amending order on
September 23, 2008.
    The Canadian temporary bans prevent the possibility of Canadian markets
being used to avoid the SEC order by banning the short selling of Canadian
securities that are also listed on a U.S. stock exchange. The issuers affected
by the ASC order are: Aberdeen Asia-Pacific Income Investment Company Ltd.,
Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce,
Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, Kingsway Financial Services Inc., Manulife
Financial Corporation, Quest Capital Corp., Royal Bank of Canada, Sun Life
Financial Inc., Thomas Weisel Partners Group Inc., Toronto-Dominion Bank, and
Merrill Lynch & Co., Canada Ltd.
    The amended ASC order will be in effect until October 3, 2008, unless
extended by further order. It is available for review on the ASC website:

    The ASC is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the
province's securities laws. It is entrusted to foster a fair and efficient
capital market in Alberta and to protect investors. As a member of the
Canadian Securities Administrators, the ASC works to improve, coordinate and
harmonize the regulation of Canada's capital markets.

For further information:

For further information: For Media Inquiries: Mark Dickey, Senior
Communications Advisor, (403) 297-4481; For Investor Inquiries: ASC Public
Inquiries, Toll Free 1-877-355-4488

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