German financial regulator BaFin has taken the extraordinary step of banning short positions in troubled payment processor Wirecard in an attempt to shore up market confidence.
BaFin's actions follow weeks of negative publicity for Wirecard following allegation of financial improprieties in its Asian operations.
Wirecard, which is currently aiding Singaporean police in an investigation of the claims, has denied the allegations and threatened to sue the Financial Times, which has been leading reporting on the issue.
The company's shares have taken a hammering on the back of the FT reports, forcing BaFin to step in.
The two-month halt has been approved by supra-regional regulator Esma.
In statement, Esma says: "Esma considers that the current circumstances related to Wirecard are adverse events or developments which constitute a serious threat to market confidence in Germany, and that the proposed measure is appropriate and proportionate to address the threat to German financial markets."