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Home » Learning Centre » Investments & Stock Broking » Stock Market of India

Stock Market of India

Stock markets refer to a market place where investors can buy and sell stocks. The price at which each buying and selling transaction takes is determined by the market forces (i.e. demand and supply for a particular stock).

Let us take an example for a better understanding of how market forces determine stock prices. ABC Co. Ltd. enjoys high investor confidence and there is an anticipation of an upward movement in its stock price. More and more people would want to buy this stock (i.e. high demand) and very few people will want to sell this stock at current market price (i.e. less supply). Therefore, buyers will have to bid a higher price for this stock to match the ask price from the seller which will increase the stock price of ABC Co. Ltd. On the contrary, if there are more sellers than buyers (i.e. high supply and low demand) for the stock of ABC Co. Ltd. in the market, its price will fall down.

In earlier times, buyers and sellers used to assemble at stock exchanges to make a transaction but now with the dawn of IT, most of the operations are done electronically and the stock markets have become almost paperless. Now investors dont have to gather at the Exchanges, and can trade freely from their home or office over the phone or through Internet.

History of the Indian Stock Market - The Origin
One of the oldest stock markets in Asia, the Indian Stock Markets have a 200 years old history.

18th Century East India Company was the dominant institution and by end of the century, busuness in its loan securities gained full momentum
1830's Business on corporate stocks and shares in Bank and Cotton presses started in Bombay. Trading list by the end of 1839 got broader
1840's Recognition from banks and merchants to about half a dozen brokers
1850's Rapid development of commercial enterprise saw brokerage business attracting more people into the business
1860's The number of brokers increased to 60
1860-61 The American Civil War broke out which caused a stoppage of cotton supply from United States of America; marking the beginning of the "Share Mania" in India
1862-63 The number of brokers increased to about 200 to 250
1865 A disastrous slump began at the end of the American Civil War (as an example, Bank of Bombay Share which had touched Rs. 2850 could only be sold at Rs. 87)

Pre-Independance Scenario - Establishment of Different Stock Exchanges

1874 With the rapidly developing share trading business, brokers used to gather at a street (now well known as "Dalal Street") for the purpose of transacting business.
1875 "The Native Share and Stock Brokers' Association" (also known as "The Bombay Stock Exchange") was established in Bombay
1880's Development of cotton mills industry and set up of many others
1894 Establishment of "The Ahmedabad Share and Stock Brokers' Association"
1880 - 90's Sharp increase in share prices of jute industries in 1870's was followed by a boom in tea stocks and coal
1908 "The Calcutta Stock Exchange Association" was formed
1920 Madras witnessed boom and business at "The Madras Stock Exchange" was transacted with 100 brokers.
1923 When recession followed, number of brokers came down to 3 and the Exchange was closed down
1934 Establishment of the Lahore Stock Exchange
1936 Merger of the Lahoe Stock Exchange with the Punjab Stock Exchange
1937 Re-organisation and set up of the Madras Stock Exchange Limited (Pvt.) Limited led by improvement in stock market activities in South India with establishment of new textile mills and plantation companies
1940 Uttar Pradesh Stock Exchange Limited and Nagpur Stock Exchange Limited was established
1944 Establishment of "The Hyderabad Stock Exchange Limited"
1947 "Delhi Stock and Share Brokers' Association Limited" and "The Delhi Stocks and Shares Exchange Limited" were established and later on merged into "The Delhi Stock Exchange Association Limited"

Post Independance Scenario
The depression witnessed after the Independance led to closure of a lot of exchanges in the country. Lahore Estock Exchange was closed down after the partition of India, and later on merged with the Delhi Stock Exchange. Bnagalore Stock Exchange Limited was registered in 1957 and got recognition only by 1963. Most of the other Exchanges were in a miserable state till 1957 when they applied for recognition under Securities Contracts (Regulations) Act, 1956. The Exchanges that were recognized under the Act were:
  1. Bombay
  2. Calcutta
  3. Madras
  4. Ahmedabad
  5. Delhi
  6. Hyderabad
  7. Bangalore
  8. Indore
Many more stock exchanges were established during 1980's, namely:
  1. Cochin Stock Exchange (1980)
  2. Uttar Pradesh Stock Exchange Association Limited (at Kanpur, 1982)
  3. Pune Stock Exchange Limited (1982)
  4. Ludhiana Stock Exchange Association Limited (1983)
  5. Gauhati Stock Exchange Limited (1984)
  6. Kanara Stock Exchange Limited (at Mangalore, 1985)
  7. Magadh Stock Exchange Association (at Patna, 1986)
  8. Jaipur Stock Exchange Limited (1989)
  9. Bhubaneswar Stock Exchange Association Limited (1989)
  10. Saurashtra Kutch Stock Exchange Limited (at Rajkot, 1989)
  11. Vadodara Stock Exchange Limited (at Baroda, 1990)
  12. Coimbatore Stock Exchange
  13. Meerut Stock Exchange
At present, there are twenty one recognized stock exchanges in India which does not include the Over The Counter Exchange of India Limited (OTCEI) and the National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSEIL).

Government policies during 1980's also played a vital role in the development of the Indian Stock Markets. There was a sharp increase in number of Exchanges, listed companies as well as their capital, which is visible from the following table:

S. No. As on 31st December 1946 1961 1971 1975 1980 1985 1991 1995
1 No. of Stock Exchanges 7 7 8 8 9 14 20 22
2 No. of Listed Cos. 1125 1203 1599 1552 2265 4344 6229 8593
3 No. of Stock Issues of Listed Cos. 1506 2111 2838 3230 3697 6174 8967 11784
4 Capital of Listed Cos. (Cr. Rs.) 270 753 1812 2614 3973 9723 32041 59583
5 Market value of Capital of Listed Cos. (Cr. Rs.) 971 1292 2675 3273 6750 25302 110279 478121
6 Capital per Listed Cos. (4/2)(Lakh Rs.) 24 63 113 168 175 224 514 693
7 Market Value of Capital per Listed Cos. (Lakh Rs.) (5/2) 86 107 167 211 298 582 1770 5564
8 Appreciated value of Capital per Listed Cos. (Lak Rs.) 358 170 148 126 170 260 344 803

Trading Pattern of the Indian Stock Market
Indian Stock Exchanges allow trading of securities of only those public limited companies that are listed on the Exchange(s). They are divided into two categories:

Types of Transactions
The flowchart below describes the types of transactions that can be carried out on the Indian stock exchanges:

Indian stock exchange allows a member broker to perform following activities:
  1. Act as an agent,
  2. Buy and sell securities for his clients and charge commission for the same,
  3. Act as a trader or dealer as a principal,
  4. Buy and sell securities on his own account and risk.

Over The Counter Exchange of India (OTCEI)
Traditionally, trading in Stock Exchanges in India followed a conventional style where people used to gather at the Exchange and bids and offers were made by open outcry.

This age-old trading mechanism in the Indian stock markets used to create many functional inefficiencies. Lack of liquidity and transparency, long settlement periods and benami transactions are a few examples that adversely affected investors. In order to overcome these inefficiencies, OTCEI was incorporated in 1990 under the Companies Act 1956. OTCEI is the first screen based nationwide stock exchange in India created by Unit Trust of India, Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India, Industrial Development Bank of India, SBI Capital Markets, Industrial Finance Corporation of India, General Insurance Corporation and its subsidiaries and CanBank Financial Services.

Advantages of OTCEI
  1. Greater liquidity and lesser risk of intermediary charges due to widely spread trading mechanism across India
  2. The screen-based scripless trading ensures transparency and accuracy of prices
  3. Faster settlement and transfer process as compared to other exchanges
  4. Shorter allotment procedure (in case of a new issue) than other exchanges
National Stock Exchange
In order to lift the Indian stock market trading system on par with the international standards. On the basis of the recommendations of high powered Pherwani Committee, the National Stock Exchange was incorporated in 1992 by Industrial Development Bank of India, Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India, Industrial Finance Corporation of India, all Insurance Corporations, selected commercial banks and others.

NSE provides exposure to investors in two types of markets, namely:
  1. Wholesale debt market
  2. Capital market
Wholesale Debt Market - Similar to money market operations, debt market operations involve institutional investors and corporate bodies entering into transactions of high value in financial instrumets like treasury bills, government securities, commercial papers etc.

Trading at NSE
  1. Fully automated screen-based trading mechanism
  2. Strictly follows the principle of an order-driven market
  3. Trading members are linked through a communication network
  4. This network allows them to execute trade from their offices
  5. The prices at which the buyer and seller are willing to transact will appear on the screen
  6. When the prices match the transaction will be completed
  7. A confirmation slip will be printed at the office of the trading member
Advantages of trading at NSE
  1. Integrated network for trading in stock market of India
  2. Fully automated screen based system that provides higher degree of transparency
  3. Investors can transact from any part of the country at uniform prices
  4. Greater functional efficiency supported by totally computerized network

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