Financial Markets


Financial Market’s Introduction

A business needs finance from the time an entrepreneur makes the decision to start it. It needs finance both for working capital requirements such as payments for raw materials and salaries to its employees, and fixed capital expenditure such as the purchase of machinery or building or to expand its production capacity.


Idea Seeks To Capitalise On Market Momentum

With the explosive growth of their subscriber base, telecom companies are all looking at capital markets to raise funds to fuel their expansion plan. Idea Cellular, the fifth largest operator in the country and the flagship telecom venture of AV Birla Group, has decided to enter the capital market to raise between Rs. 1,700 and Rs. 2,000 crore.

The company has appointed J.M. Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch among other as book-runners for the proposed Initial Public Offer (IPO), which is expected to be ready by January end.

Since, under SEBI norms, the minimum float size is 10 per cent, the company will divest between 10 and 12 per cent, “The last private placement made by the promoters is at a market capitalisation of Rs. 15,000 crore. The proposed float is expected to be at 10 to 20 per cent premium of the private placement price,” AV Birla Group recently divested 35 per cent stake in the company to a clutch of private equity firms. However, this is a fresh issue of shares, where the proceeds will be utilised by Ideal Cellular for capital expenditure. After the proposed issues, the promoters stake will come down to around 58 per cent.


The above news story gives a fair picture of how companies need to raise funds from the capital markets. Idea Cellular decided to enter the Indian capital market for its needs of expansion. Business can raise these funds from various sources and in different ways through financial markets.

Concept Of Financial Market

A business is a part of an economic system that consists of two main sectors –

  • households which save funds and
  • business firms which invest these funds.

A financial market helps to link the savers and the investors by mobilizing funds between them. In doing so it performs what is known as an allocative function. It allocates or directs funds available for investment into their most productive investment opportunity. When the allocative function is performed well, two consequences follow –

  • The rate of return offered to households would be higher
  • Scarce resources are allocated to those firms which have the highest productivity for the economy.

There are two major alternative mechanisms through which allocation of funds can be done –

  • via banks or
  • via financial markets.

Households can deposit their surplus funds with banks, who in turn could lend these funds to business firms. Alternately, households can buy the shares and debentures offered by a business using financial markets. The process by which allocation of funds is done is called financial intermediation. Banks and financial markets are competing intermediaries in the financial system, and give households a choice of where they want to place their savings.

A financial market is a market for the creation and exchange of financial assets. Financial markets exist wherever a financial transaction occurs. Financial transactions could be in the form of –

  • creation of financial assets such as the initial issue of shares and debentures by a firm or
  • purchase and sale of existing financial assets like equity shares, debentures and bonds.

Functions Of Financial Market

Financial markets play an important role in the allocation of scarce resources in an economy by performing the following four important functions.

  1. Mobilisation of Savings and Channelling them into the most Productive Uses
    A financial market facilitates the transfer of savings from savers to investors. It gives savers the choice of different investments and thus helps to channelise surplus funds into the most productive use.
  2. Facilitate Price Discovery
    You all know that the forces of demand and supply help to establish a price for a commodity or service in the market. In the financial market, the households are suppliers of funds and business firms represent the demand. The interaction between them helps to establish a price for the financial asset which is being traded in that particular market.
  3. Provide Liquidity to Financial Assets
    Financial markets facilitate easy purchase and sale of financial assets. In doing so they provide liquidity to financial assets, so that they can be easily converted into cash whenever required. Holders of assets can readily sell their financial assets through the mechanism of the financial market.
  4. Reduce the Cost of Transactions
    Financial markets provide valuable information about securities being traded in the market. It helps to save time, effort and money that both buyers and sellers of a financial asset would have to otherwise spend in trying to find each other. The financial market is thus, a common platform where buyers and sellers can meet for fulfilment of their individual needs.

Classification Of Financial Market

Financial markets are classified on the basis of the maturity of financial instruments traded in them.

  • Instruments with maturity of less than one year are traded in the money market.
  • Instruments with longer maturity are traded in the capital market.


Money Market

The money market is a market for short-term funds which deals in monetary assets whose period of maturity is up to one year.

  • These assets are close substitutes for money.
  • It is a market where low risk, unsecured and short-term debt instruments that are highly liquid are issued and actively traded everyday.
  • It has no physical location, but is an activity conducted over the telephone and through the internet.
  • It enables the raising of short-term funds for meeting the temporary shortages of cash and obligations and the temporary deployment of excess funds for earning returns.
  • The major participants in the market are the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Commercial Banks, Non-Banking Finance Companies, State Governments, Large Corporate Houses and Mutual Funds.

Money Market Instruments

  1. Treasury Bill
    A Treasury bill is basically an instrument of short-term borrowing by the Government of India maturing in less than one year.
    • They are also known as Zero Coupon Bonds issued by the Reserve Bank of India on behalf of the Central Government to meet its short-term requirement of funds.
    • Treasury bills are issued in the form of a promissory note.
    • They are highly liquid and have assured yield and negligible risk of default.
    • They are issued at a price which is lower than their face value and repaid at par.
    • The difference between the price at which the treasury bills are issued and their redemption value is the interest receivable on them and is called discount.
    • Treasury bills are available for a minimum amount of Rs 25,000 and in multiples thereof.

    Example: Suppose an investor purchases a 91 days Treasury bill with a face value of Rs. 1,00,000 for Rs. 96,000. By holding the bill until the maturity date, the investor receives Rs. 1,00,000. The difference of Rs. 4,000 between the proceeds received at maturity and the amount paid to purchase the bill represents the interest received by him.

  2. Commercial Paper
    Commercial paper is a short-term unsecured promissory note, negotiable and transferable by endorsement and delivery with a fixed maturity period.
    • It is issued by large and creditworthy companies to raise short-term funds at lower rates of interest than market rates.
    • It usually has a maturity period of 15 days to one year.
    • The issuance of commercial paper is an alternative to bank borrowing for large companies that are generally considered to be financially strong.
    • It is sold at a discount and redeemed at par.
    • The original purpose of commercial paper was to provide short-terms funds for seasonal and working capital needs. For example companies use this instrument for purposes such as bridge financing.

    Example: Suppose a company needs long-term finance to buy some machinery. In order to raise the long-term funds in the capital market the company will have to incur floatation costs (costs associated with floating of an issue are brokerage, commission, printing of applications and advertising etc.). Funds raised through commercial paper are used to meet the floatation costs. This is known as Bridge Financing.

  3. Call Money
    Call money is short-term finance repayable on demand, with a maturity period of one day to fifteen days, used for inter-bank transactions. Commercial banks have to maintain a minimum cash balance known as cash reserve ratio. The Reserve Bank of India changes the cash reserve ratio from time to time which in turn affects the amount of funds available to be given as loans by commercial banks. Call money is a method by which banks borrow from each other to be able to maintain the cash reserve ratio.
    • The interest rate paid on call money loans is known as the call rate. It is a highly volatile rate that varies from day-to-day and sometimes even from hour-to-hour.
    • There is an inverse relationship between call rates and other short-term money market instruments such as certificates of deposit and commercial paper.
      • A rise in call money rates makes other sources of finance such as commercial paper and certificates of deposit cheaper in comparison for banks raise funds from these sources.
  4. Certificate of Deposit
    Certificates of deposit (CD) are unsecured, negotiable, short-term instruments in bearer form, issued by commercial banks and development financial institutions. They can be issued to individuals, corporations and companies during periods of tight liquidity when the deposit growth of banks is slow but the demand for credit is high. They help to mobilise a large amount of money for short periods.
  5. Commercial Bill
    A commercial bill is a bill of exchange used to finance the working capital requirements of business firms. It is a short-term, negotiable, self-liquidating instrument which is used to finance the credit sales of firms.
    • When goods are sold on credit, the buyer becomes liable to make payment on a specific date in future. The seller could wait till the specified date or make use of a bill of exchange. The seller (drawer) of the goods draws the bill and the buyer (drawee) accepts it. On being accepted, the bill becomes a marketable instrument and is called a trade bill.
    • These bills can be discounted with a bank if the seller needs funds before the bill matures. When a trade bill is accepted by a commercial bank it is known as a commercial bill.


Capital Market

The term capital market refers to facilities and institutional arrangements through which long-term funds, both debt and equity are raised and invested.

It consists of a series of channels through which savings of the community are made available for industrial and commercial enterprises and for the public in general. It directs these savings into their most productive use leading to growth and development of the economy. The capital market consists of development banks, commercial banks and stock exchanges.

An ideal capital market is one where finance is available at reasonable cost. The process of economic development is facilitated by the existence of a well-functioning capital market. In fact, development of the financial system is seen as a necessary condition for economic growth. It is essential that financial institutions are sufficiently developed and that market operations are free, fair, competitive and transparent. The capital market should also be efficient in respect of the information that it delivers, minimise transaction costs and allocate capital most productively.

The Capital Market can be divided into two parts –

  • a. Primary Market
  • b. Secondary Market

Primary Market

The primary market is also known as the new issues market. It deals with new securities being issued for the first time.

The essential function of a primary market is to facilitate the transfer of investable funds from savers to entrepreneurs seeking to establish new enterprises or to expand existing ones through the issue of securities for the first time.

The investors in this market are banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, mutual funds and individuals.

A company can raise capital through the primary market in the form of equity shares, preference shares, debentures, loans and deposits.

Funds raised may be for setting up new projects, expansion, diversification, modernisation of existing projects, mergers and takeovers etc.

Methods of Floatation

There are various methods of floating new issues in the primary market –

  1. Offer through Prospectus
    Offer through prospectus is the most popular method of raising funds by public companies in the primary market. This involves inviting subscription from the public through issue of prospectus.
    • A prospectus makes a direct appeal to investors to raise capital, through an advertisement in newspapers and magazines.
    • The issues may be underwritten and also are required to be listed on at least one stock exchange.
    • The contents of the prospectus have to be in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act and SEBI disclosure and investor protection guidelines.
  2. Offer for Sale
    Under this method securities are not issued directly to the public but are offered for sale through intermediaries like issuing houses or stock brokers. In this case, a company sells securities en-bloc at an agreed price to brokers who, in turn, resell them to the investing public.
  3. Private Placement
    Private placement is the allotment of securities by a company to institutional investors and some selected individuals.
    • It helps to raise capital more quickly than a public issue.
    • Access to the primary market can be expensive on account of various mandatory and non-mandatory expenses. Some companies, therefore, cannot afford a public issue and choose to use private placement.
  4. Rights Issue
    This is a privilege given to existing shareholders to subscribe to a new issue of shares according to the terms and conditions of the company.
    • The shareholders are offered the ‘right’ to buy new shares in proportion to the number of shares they already possess.
  5. e-IPOs
    A company proposing to issue capital to the public through the on-line system of the stock exchange has to enter into an agreement with the stock exchange. This is called an Initial Public Offer (IPO).
    • SEBI registered brokers have to be appointed for the purpose of accepting applications and placing orders with the company.
    • The issuer company should also appoint a registrar to the issue having electronic connectivity with the exchange.
    • The issuer company can apply for listing of its securities on any exchange other than the exchange through which it has offered its securities.
    • The lead manager coordinates all the activities amongst intermediaries connected with the issue.

Secondary Market

The secondary market is also known as the stock market or stock exchange.

  • It is a market for the purchase and sale of existing securities.
  • It helps existing investors to disinvest and fresh investors to enter the market.
  • It also provides liquidity and marketability to existing securities.
  • It also contributes to economic growth by channelising funds towards the most productive investments through the process of disinvestment and reinvestment.
  • Securities are traded, cleared and settled within the regulatory framework prescribed by SEBI.

Advances in information technology have made trading through stock exchanges accessible from anywhere in the country through trading terminals. Along with the growth of the primary market in the country, the secondary market has also grown significantly during the last 2 decades.


Stock Exchange

A stock exchange is an institution which provides a platform for buying and selling of existing securities. As a market, the stock exchange facilitates the exchange of a security (shares, debentures etc.) into money and vice versa. Stock exchanges help companies raise finance, provide liquidity and safety of investment to the investors and enhance the credit worthiness of individual companies.


Meaning Of Stock Exchange

According to Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act 1956, stock exchange means any body of individuals, whether incorporated or not, constituted for the purpose of assisting, regulating or controlling the business of buying and selling or dealing in securities.


Functions Of A Stock Exchange

The efficient functioning of a stock exchange creates a conducive climate for an active and growing primary market for new issues. An active and healthy secondary market in existing securities leads to positive environment among investors. The following are some of the important functions of a stock exchange –

  1. Providing Liquidity and Marketability to Existing Securities
    The basic function of a stock exchange is the creation of a continuous market where securities are bought and sold. It gives investors the chance to disinvest and reinvest. This provides both liquidity and easy marketability to already existing securities in the market.
  2. Pricing of Securities
    Share prices on a stock exchange are determined by the forces of demand and supply. A stock exchange is a mechanism of constant valuation through which the prices of securities are determined. Such a valuation provides important instant information to both buyers and sellers in the market.
  3. Safety of Transaction
    The membership of a stock exchange is well-regulated and its dealings are well-defined according to the existing legal framework. This ensures that the investing public gets a safe and fair deal on the market.
  4. Contributes to Economic Growth
    A stock exchange is a market in which existing securities are resold or traded. Through this process of disinvestment and reinvestment savings get channelized into their most productive investment avenues. This leads to capital formation and economic growth.
  5. Spreading of Equity Cult
    The stock exchange can play a vital role in ensuring wider share ownership by regulating new issues, better trading practices and taking effective steps in educating the public about investments.
  6. Providing Scope for Speculation
    The stock exchange provides sufficient scope within the provisions of law for speculative activity in a restricted and controlled manner. It is generally accepted that a certain degree of healthy speculation is necessary to ensure liquidity and price continuity in the stock market.


History Of The Stock Market In India

The history of the stock market in India goes back to the end of the eighteenth century when long-term negotiable securities were first issued. In 1850 the companies Act was introduced for the first time bringing with it the feature of limited liability and generating investor interest in corporate securities.

The first stock exchange in India was set-up in 1875 as The Native Share and Stock Brokers Association in Bombay. Today it is known as the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

This was followed by the development of exchanges in Ahmedabad (1894), Calcutta(1908) and Madras(1937). It is interesting to note that stock exchanges were first set up in major centres of trade and commerce.

Until the early 1990s, the Indian secondary market comprised regional stock exchanges with BSE heading the list. After the reforms of 1991, the Indian secondary market acquired a three-tier form. This consists of –

  • Regional Stock Exchanges
  • National Stock Exchange (NSE)
  • Over the Counter Exchange of India (OTCEI)


Trading Procedure On A Stock Exchange

Till a few years ago trading on a stock exchange took place through a public outcry or auction system. This has been replaced by an online screen based electronic trading system as almost all exchanges have become electronic.

Trading has, therefore, shifted from the stock market floor to the brokers’ office where trades are executed through a computer. Brokers are members of a stock exchange through whom trading of securities is done.

Brokers may be individuals, partnership firms or corporate bodies. They are the intermediaries between the buyers and sellers.

Earlier these members owned, controlled and managed the exchanges. The ownership and management of stock exchanges by brokers often led to a conflict of interest between the brokers and their clients. This led to ‘demutualisation’ of stock exchanges.

Demutualisation separates the ownership and control of stock exchanges from the trading rights of members. This reduces the conflict of interest between the exchange and the brokers and the chances of brokers using stock exchanges for personal gains.

A company’s securities can be traded on a stock exchange only if they are listed or quoted on it. Companies have to fulfil a stringent set of requirements to get their securities listed on a stock exchange. This ensures that the interest of the shareholders is adequately looked after.

Transactions on a stock exchange may be carried out on either cash basis or a carry over basis. The carry over basis is also called badla and is a unique feature of Indian stock markets, particularly the BSE.

A stock exchange year is divided into periods called ‘accounts’ which vary from a fortnight to a month. All transactions made during one account are to be settled by payment for purchases and by delivery of share certificates in the case of sales on notified days of the clearing programme of a given stock exchange.

A share certificate is proof of ownership of securities by an individual. Purchase and sale transactions in securities involved the exchange of money in return for the share certificate. This led to problems of theft, forgery, transfer delays and time involved in paperwork. To eliminate these problems an electronic book entry form of holding and transferring securities has been introduced. This is referred to as ‘dematerialization of securities’.


Stock Market Index

A stock market index is a barometer of market behaviour.

  • It measures overall market sentiment through a set of stocks that are representative of the market.
  • It reflects market direction and indicates day-to-day fluctuations in stock prices.
  • An ideal index must represent changes in the prices of securities and reflect price movements of typical shares for better market representation.
  • In the Indian markets the BSE, SENSEX and NSE, NIFTY are important indices.

Some important global stock market indices are –

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average is among the oldest quoted stock market index in the US.
  • NASDAQ Composite Index is the market capitalisation weightage of prices for stocks listed in the NASDAQ stock market.
  • S and P 500 Index is made up of 500 biggest publicly traded companies in the US. The S and P 500 is often treated as a proxy for the US stock market.
  • FTSE 100 consists of the largest 100 companies by full market value listed on the London Stock Exchange. The FTSE 100 is the benchmark index of the European market.


SENSEX — The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index

The SENSEX is the benchmark index of the BSE. Since the BSE has been the leading exchange of the Indian secondary market, the SENSEX has been an important indicator of the Indian stock market. It is the most frequently used indicator while reporting on the state of the market. An index has just one job: to capture the price movement. So a stock index will reflect the price movements of shares while a bond index captures the manner in which bond prices go up or down. If the SENSEX rises, it indicates the market is doing well. Since stocks are supposed to reflect what companies expect to earn in the future, a rising index indicates that investors expect better earnings from companies. It is also a measure of the state of the Indian economy. If Indian companies are expected to do well, obviously the economy should do well too.

The SENSEX, launched in 1986 is made up of 30 of the most actively traded stocks in the market. In fact, they account for half the BSE’s market capitalisation. They represent 13 sectors of the economy and are leaders in their respective industries.


Some Common Stock Market Terms

  • BOURSES is another word for the stock market.
  • BULLS and BEARS – The term does not refer to animals but to market sentiment of the investors.
    • A Bullish phase refers to a period of optimism and
    • A Bearish phase to a period of pessimism on the Bourses.
  • BADLA – This refers to a carry forward system of settlement, particularly at the BSE. It is a facility that allows the postponement of the delivery or payment of a transaction from one settlement period to another.
  • ODD LOT TRADING – Trading in multiples of 100 stocks or less.
  • PENNY STOCKS – These are securities that have no value on the stock exchange but whose trading contributes to speculation.


National Stock Exchange Of India

The National Stock Exchange is the latest, most modern and technology driven exchange. It was incorporated in 1992 and was recognised as a stock exchange in April 1993. It started operations in 1994, with trading on the wholesale debt market segment. Subsequently, it launched the capital market segment in November 1994 as a trading platform for equities and the futures and options segment in June 2000 for various derivative instruments. NSE has set up a nationwide fully automated screen based trading system.

The NSE was setup by leading financial institutions, banks, insurance companies and other financial intermediaries. It is managed by professionals, who do not directly or indirectly trade on the exchange. The trading rights are with the trading members who offer their services to the investors. The board of NSE comprises of senior executives from promoter institutions and eminent professionals, without having any representation from trading members.


Objectives Of NSE

NSE was set up with the following objectives –

  • a. Establishing a nationwide trading facility for all types of securities.
  • b. Ensuring equal access to investors all over the country through an appropriate communication network.
  • c. Providing a fair, efficient and transparent securities market using electronic trading system.
  • d. Enabling shorter settlement cycles and book entry settlements.
  • e. Meeting international benchmarks and standards.

Within a span of ten years, NSE has been able to achieve its objectives for which it was set up. It has been playing a leading role as a change agent in transforming the Indian capital market. NSE has been able to take the stock market to the door step of the investors. It has ensured that technology has been harnessed to deliver the services to the investors across the country at the lowest cost. It has provided a nation wide-screen based automated trading system with a high degree of transparency and equal access to investors irrespective of geographical location.


Market Segments Of NSE

The Exchange provides trading in the following two segments –

  1. Whole Sale Debt Market Segment
    This segment provides a trading platform for a wide range of fixed income securities that include central government securities, treasury bills, state development loans, bonds issued by public sector undertakings, floating rate bonds, zero coupon bonds, index bonds, commercial paper, certificate of deposit, corporate debentures and mutual funds.
  2. Capital Market Segment
    The capital market segment of NSE provides an efficient and transparent platform for trading in equity, preference, debentures, exchange traded funds as well as retail Government securities.


Over The Counter Exchange Of India

The OTCEI is a company incorporated under the Companies Act 1956.

  • It was set-up to provide small and medium companies an access to the capital market for raising finance in a cost-effective manner.
  • It was also meant to provide investors with a convenient, transparent and efficient avenue for capital market investment.
  • It is fully computerised, transparent, single window exchange which commenced trading in 1992.
  • This exchange is established on the lines of NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) the OTC exchange in USA.
  • It has been promoted by UTI, ICICI, IDBI, IFCI, LIC, GIC, SBI Capital markets and Canbank Financial Services.

Over the counter market may be defined as a place where buyers seek sellers and vice-versa and then attempt to arrange terms and conditions for purchase/sale acceptable to both the parties. It is a negotiated market place that exists anywhere as opposed to the auction market place, represented by the activity on securities exchanges.

Thus, in the OTC exchange, trading takes place when a buyer or seller walks up to an OTCEI counter, taps on the computer screen, finds quotes and effects a purchase or sale depending on whether the prices meet their targets. There is no particular market place in the geographical sense.

The objectives of OTCEI are to provide quicker liquidity to securities at a fixed and fair price, liquidity for less traded securities or that of small companies, a simplified process of buying and selling and easy and cheaper means of making public sale of new issues.


Advantages Of OTC Market

  1. It provides a trading platform to smaller and less liquid companies as they are not eligible for listing on a regular exchange.
  2. It is a cost-effective method for corporates as there is a lower cost of new issues and lower expenses of servicing the investors.
  3. Family concerns and closely held companies can go public through OTC.
  4. Dealers can operate both in new issues and secondary market at their option.
  5. It gives greater freedom of choice to investors to choose stocks by dealers for market making in both primary and secondary markets.
  6. It is a transparent system of trading with no problem of bad or short deliveries.
  7. Information flows are free and more direct from market makers to customers since there is close contact between them.


Securities And Exchange Board Of India

The Securities and Exchange Board of India was established by the Government of India on 12 April 1988 as an interim administrative body to promote orderly and healthy growth of securities market and for investor protection. It was to function under the overall administrative control of the Ministry of Finance of the Government of India. The SEBI was given a statutory status on 30 January 1992 through an ordinance. The ordinance was later replaced by an Act of Parliament known as the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992.


Reasons For The Establishment Of SEBI

The capital market has witnessed a tremendous growth during 1980’s, characterised particularly by the increasing participation of the public.

This ever-expanding investors population and market capitalisation led to a variety of malpractices on the part of companies, brokers, merchant bankers, investment consultants and others involved in the securities market.

The glaring examples of these malpractices include –

  • existence of self-styled merchant bankers’ unofficial private placements,
  • rigging of prices,
  • unofficial premium on new issues,
  • non-adherence of provisions of the Companies Act,
  • violation of rules and regulations of stock exchanges and listing requirements,
  • delay in delivery of shares etc.

These malpractices and unfair trading practices have eroded investor confidence and multiplied investor grievances. The Government and the stock exchanges were rather helpless in redressing the investor’s problems because of lack of proper penal provisions in the existing legislation.

In view of the above, the Government of India decided to set-up a separate regulatory body known as Securities and Exchange Board of India.


Purpose And Role Of SEBI

The basic purpose of SEBI is to create an environment to facilitate efficient mobilisation and allocation of resources through the securities markets. It also aims to stimulate competition and encourage innovation.

This environment includes rules and regulations, institutions and their interrelationships, instruments, practices, infrastructure and policy framework.

This environment aims at meeting the needs of the three groups which basically constitute the market, viz, the issuers of securities (Companies), the investors and the market intermediaries.

  • To the issuers, it aims to provide a market place in which they can confidently look forward to raising finances they need in an easy, fair and efficient manner.
  • To the investors, it should provide protection of their rights and interests through adequate, accurate and authentic information and disclosure of information on a continuous basis.
  • To the intermediaries, it should offer a competitive, professionalised and expanding market with adequate and efficient infrastructure so that they are able to render better service to the investors and issuers.


Objectives Of SEBI

The overall objective of SEBI is to protect the interests of investors and to promote the development of, and regulate the securities market. This may be elaborated as follows –

  1. To regulate stock exchanges and the securities industry to promote their orderly functioning.
  2. To protect the rights and interests of investors, particularly individual investors and to guide and educate them.
  3. To prevent trading malpractices and achieve a balance between self-regulation by the securities industry and its statutory regulation.
  4. To regulate and develop a code of conduct and fair practices by intermediaries like brokers, merchant bankers etc., with a view to making them competitive and professional.


Functions Of SEBI

Keeping in mind the emerging nature of the securities market in India, SEBI was entrusted with the twin task of both regulation and development of the securities market.

Regulatory Functions

  1. Registration of brokers and sub-brokers and other players in the market.
  2. Registration of collective investment schemes and Mutual Funds.
  3. Regulation of Stock Bankers and portfolio exchanges, and merchant bankers.
  4. Prohibition of fraudulent and unfair trade practices.
  5. Controlling insider trading and takeover bids and imposing penalties for such practices.
  6. Calling for information by undertaking inspection, conducting enquiries and audits of stock exchanges and intermediaries.
  7. Levying fee or other charges for carrying out the purposes of the Act.
  8. Performing and exercising such power under Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act 1956, as may be delegated by the Government of India.

Development Functions

  1. Investor education
  2. Training of intermediaries
  3. Promotion of fair practices and code of conduct of all SRO’s.
  4. Conducting research and publishing information useful to all market participants.


The Organisation Structure Of SEBI

As SEBI is a statutory body there has been a considerable expansion in the range and scope of its activities. Each of the activities of the SEBI now demands more careful, closer, coordinated and intensive attention to enable it to attain its objectives.

Accordingly, SEBI has been restructured and rationalised in tune with its expanded scope. It has decided its activities into five operational departments. Each department is headed by an executive director. Apart from its head office at Mumbai, SEBI has opened regional offices in Kolkalta, Chennai, and Delhi to attend to investor complaints and liaise with the issuers, intermediaries and stock exchanges in the concerned region.

The SEBI also formed two advisory committees. They are the Primary Market Advisory Committee and the Secondary Market Advisory Committee. These committees consist of the market players, the investors associations recognised by the SEBI and the eminent persons in the capital market. They provide important inputs to the SEBI’S policies.

The objectives of the two Committees are as follows –

  1. To advise SEBI on matters relating to the regulation of intermediaries for ensuring investors protection in the primary market.
  2. To advise SEBI on issues related to the development of primary market in India.
  3. To advise SEBI on disclosure requirements for companies.
  4. To advise for changes in legal framework to introduce simplification and transparency in the primary market.
  5. To advice the board in matters relating to the development and regulation of the secondary market in the country.

The committees are however non-statutory in nature and the SEBI is not bound by the advise of the committee. These committees are a part of SEBI’s constant endeavour to obtain a feedback from the market players on various issues relating to the regulations and development of the market.


SEBI Violations

SEBI on Thursday unearthed yet another abuse of IPO norms in the IDFC’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) where a few investors opened over 14,000 dematerialized accounts to corner large number of shares of the company.

This is the second such incident, after a similar such violations were detected in the YES Bank’s IPO.

SEBI said in IDFC’s IPO too four investors opened as many as 14,807 dematerialized accounts with Karvy-DP and ‘Strangely’, all these account holders have their bank accounts with Bharat Overseas Bank Ltd., Ahmedabad.

SEBI order said: “Further probe is required for examining the systemic fault, if any, of the registrar Karvy-RTI, i.e., Karvy Computer Shares P Ltd., and the lead managers Kotak Mahindra Capital Company Ltd., DSP Merrill Lynch Ltd. and SBI Capital Markets Ltd. in identifying and weeding out the benami applications.”

Reference is being made to the RBI to examine the role of BOB, HDFC Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, ING Vysya Bank and Vijaya Bank in opening the bank accounts of these benami entities and apparently funding them.

Source: The Economic Times



Bibliography : NCERT – Business Studies



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