16 Mar 2020
UniSuper, the $85 billion superannuation fund for the higher education and research sector, has instructed its custodian, BNP Paribas Securities Services, to suspend its stock lending program effective immediately.
UniSuper has instructed its custodian, BNP Paribas, to recall all shares currently out on loan, without exception.
UniSuper’s Chief Investment Officer, John Pearce said: “In a normally functioning market we’re comfortable lending our shares as we genuinely believe that it adds to market efficiency.
"The ability to short-sell adds to liquidity and price discovery in an orderly market. However, we are now in a market gripped by panic and we believe that restricting the ability to short-sell is in the best interest of promoting a more orderly market."
Pearce added, "We are only one fund and the efficacy of our actions will depend on how many other funds follow a similar path. Of course, we are not privy to the thinking of other funds who lend their stock."
The program will be suspended indefinitely.