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Praised by Elon Musk, Japan fund move fuels short-selling debate

GPIF halts stock lending from $1.5tn portfolio, reducing ammo for negative bets

People pose with the Wall Street Bull in New York's financial district. Lending shares for short selling is a long-established market practice.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan's public pension fund, one of the largest institutional investors in the world, has stirred a international debate with its decision to stop lending shares for negative bets on stocks.

The Government Pension Investment Fund, which had 161 trillion yen ($1.48 trillion) in assets under management as of September, said last Tuesday that share lending risks "creating a de facto vacuum in the fund's holdings."

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