A stock market is a platform where investors come to trade in financial instruments like shares, bonds, and derivatives. The stock exchange works as a facilitator of this transaction and enables the buying and selling of shares. This article covers the following:
  1. Introduction to the Indian Stock Market
  2. Regulation of the Indian Stock Markets
  3. Types of Share Markets
  4. How do the Share Markets work

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1. Introduction to the Indian Stock Market

Stock markets form the largest avenues for investments. There are primarily two stock exchanges in India, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE). Companies list their shares for the first time in the primary market and in the secondary markets investors can buy and sell their shares during an Initial Public Offering. The two stock exchanges in India have on some occasions witnessed stocks worth INR 6,00,000 crores being traded. The uninitiated in India often consider investing in stocks markets gambling, but a basic understanding of the share market can change that perception.

2. Regulation of the Indian Stock Markets

The regulation and supervision of the stocks markets in India rest with the Securities and Exchange Board of India. SEBI was formed as an independent identity under the SEBI Act of 1992 and has the power to conduct inspections of the stock exchanges. The inspections review the operations of the market and the organizational structure along with aspects of administrative control.  

The main role of SEBI includes:

  • Ensuring a fair and equitable market for investors to grow in
  • Compliance of the exchange organization, the system its practices in accordance with the rules framed under the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act (SC(R) Act), 1956
  • Ensure implementation of the guidelines and directions issued by the SEBI
  • Check if the exchange has complied with all the conditions and has renewed the grants, if needed, under Section 4 of the SC(R) Act of 1956.

3. Types of Share Markets

There are two kinds of share markets namely the Primary and the Secondary Markets.

a. Primary Share Market

It is in the primary market that companies register themselves to issue their shares and raise money. This process is also known as listing on the stock exchange. The purpose of entering into the primary market is to raise money and if the company is selling their shares for the very first time it is referred to as the Initial Public Offering (IPO). Through this process, the company becomes a public entity.

b. Secondary Market

The shares of a company are traded in the secondary market once the new securities are sold in the primary market. This way investors can exit by selling their shares. These transactions that take place in the secondary market are called trades. It involves the activity of investors buying from each other and selling amongst themselves at an agreed upon price. A broker is the intermediary that facilitates these transactions.

4. How do the Share Markets work

  1. Understanding the Stock Exchange Platform
  2. Listing of the Company in the Primary Market
  3. Trading in the Secondary Market
  4. Stock Brokers

 Stock Market

a. Understanding the Stock Exchange Platform

A  stock exchange is precisely a platform that conducts the trading of financial instruments like stocks and derivatives. The activities on this platform are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India.The participants have to register with SEBI and the stock exchange in order to conduct trades. Trading activities include brokering, issuing of shares by companies, etc.

b. Listing of the Company in the Primary Market

A new company is listed in the primary market through the process of an Initial Public Offering, where the company lists details about itself, the stocks it is issuing, etc. The allotment of stocks take place during the process of listing and investors who bid for the stocks get their share.

c. Trading in the Secondary Market

Once the company has been listed and issued stocks, these can be traded in the secondary market by the investors. This is the marketplace for the buyers and sellers to transact and make profits or incur losses.

d. Stock Brokers

Because of the magnitude of investors who number in thousands, it is difficult to have them assemble in one location. Therefore, to conduct trade, stock brokers and  brokerage firms come in the picture. These are entities that are registered with the Stock Exchange and act as intermediaries between the investors and the exchange it self. When you place an order to buy any share at a given rate, the broker processes it at the exchange where there are multiple parties involved.

e. Passing of your order

Your buy order is passed on to the exchange by the broker, where it is matched for a sell order for the same. The exchange takes place when the seller and the buyer agree upon a price and finalize it; the order is then considered confirmed.

f. Settlement

Once you finalize on a price, the exchange confirms the details to ensure that there is no default in the transaction. The exchange then facilitates the transfer of ownership of the shares which is known as Settlement. You receive a message once this takes place. This communication of this message involves multiple parties like the brokerage order department, the exchange floor traders, etc. The settlement time earlier took weeks to materialize which now is  done in T+2 days. This means that if you trade today, the shares are reflected in your demat account in two working days time. Investing in the share market is subject to market risks. It is recommended you seek expert guidance before investing. Visit ClearTax to browse through our handpicked mutual funds and pick one based on your suitability.

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