UK depository CrestCo is to introduce a new information service providing daily data on UK and Irish stock lending and borrowing activity on Monday.
The initiative comes in response to the conclusions of the April 2003 review of short selling by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), and is designed to provide greater transparency in the securities lending market.
Available via the CrestCo Web site, the numbers will cover each security in the FTSE 350 index, as well as Irish stocks with equivalent market capitalisation and will comprise daily and monthly stock loan data and monthly settlement failure statistics.
All data will be made available free of charge for a trial period of three weeks beginning on 29 September. From 20 October, daily stock lending data will be accessible to paying subscribers only, for an annual fee of £840. 'On distribution' licences, for use by firms wishing to repackage the data for onward sale, will be charged at £17,625 per annum.
Hugh Simpson, CrestCo's chief executive, belives the new service will contribute to a better informed public debate on issues such as short selling and the impact of stock borrowing on shareholder voting.
He says: "We are lifting the veil on a sector of the market that has previously relied on guesswork and estimation. As a result, we believe that investors will be better able to understand liquidity and trading patterns, while enabling issuers to gauge levels of lending and borrowing in their own shares."