Bombay Stock Exchange is the oldest stock exchange in Asia with a rich heritage, now spanning three centuries in its 133 years of existence. What is now popularly known as BSE was established as "The Native Share & Stock Brokers' Association" in 1875.
BSE is the first stock exchange in the country which obtained permanent recognition (in 1956) from the Government of India under the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act 1956. BSE's pivotal and pre-eminent role in the development of the Indian capital market is widely recognized. It migrated from the open outcry system to an online screen-based order driven trading system in 1995. Earlier an Association Of Persons (AOP), BSE is now a corporatised and demutualised entity incorporated under the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956, pursuant to the BSE (Corporatisation and Demutualisation) Scheme, 2005 notified by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). With demutualisation, BSE has two of world's best exchanges, Deutsche Börse and Singapore Exchange, as its strategic partners.
Over the past 133 years, BSE has facilitated the growth of the Indian corporate sector by providing it with an efficient access to resources. There is perhaps no major corporate in India which has not sourced BSE's services in raising resources from the capital market.
Today, BSE is the world's number 1 exchange in terms of the number of listed companies and the world's 5th in transaction numbers. The market capitalisation as on December 31, 2007 stood at USD 1.79 trillion . An investor can choose from more than 4,700 listed companies, which for easy reference, are classified into A, B, S, T and Z groups.
The BSE Index, S&P BSE SENSEX, is India's first stock market index that enjoys an iconic stature and is tracked worldwide. It is an index of 30 stocks representing 12 major sectors. The S&P BSE SENSEX is constructed on a 'free-float' methodology, and is sensitive to market sentiments and market realities. Apart from the S&P BSE SENSEX, BSE offers 21 indices, including 12 sectoral indices. BSE has entered into an index cooperation agreement with Deutsche Börse. This agreement has made S&P BSE SENSEX and other BSE indices available to investors in Europe and America. Moreover, Barclays Global Investors (BGI), the global leader in ETFs through its iSharesÂ® brand, has created the 'iSharesÂ® S&P BSE SENSEX India Tracker' which tracks the S&P BSE SENSEX. The ETF enables investors in Hong Kong to take an exposure to the Indian equity market.
The first Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) on S&P BSE SENSEX, called "SPIcE" is listed on BSE. It brings to the investors a trading tool that can be easily used for the purposes of investment, trading, hedging and arbitrage. SPIcE allows small investors to take a long-term view of the market.
BSE provides an efficient and transparent market for trading in equity, debt instruments and derivatives. It has a nation-wide reach with a presence in more than 359 cities and towns of India. BSE has always been at par with the international standards. The systems and processes are designed to safeguard market integrity and enhance transparency in operations. BSE is the first exchange in India and the second in the world to obtain an ISO 9001:2000 certification. It is also the first exchange in the country and second in the world to receive Information Security Management System Standard BS 7799-2-2002 certification for its BSE On-line Trading System (BOLT).
BSE continues to innovate. In recent times, it has become the first national level stock exchange to launch its website in Gujarati and Hindi to reach out to a larger number of investors. It has successfully launched a reporting platform for corporate bonds in India christened the ICDM or Indian Corporate Debt Market and a unique ticker-cum-screen aptly named 'BSE Broadcast' which enables information dissemination to the common man on the street.
In 2006, BSE launched the Directors Database and ICERS (Indian Corporate Electronic Reporting System) to facilitate information flow and increase transparency in the Indian capital market. While the Directors Database provides a single-point access to information on the boards of directors of listed companies, the ICERS facilitates the corporates in sharing with BSE their corporate announcements.
BSE also has a wide range of services to empower investors and facilitate smooth transactions:
- Investor Services: The Department of Investor Services redresses grievances of investors. BSE was the first exchange in the country to provide an amount of Rs.1 million towards the investor protection fund; it is an amount higher than that of any exchange in the country. BSE launched a nationwide investor awareness programme- 'Safe Investing in the Stock Market' under which 264 programmes were held in more than 200 cities.
- The BSE On-line Trading (BOLT): BSE On-line Trading (BOLT) facilitates on-line screen based trading in securities. BOLT is currently operating in 25,000 Trader Workstations located across over 359 cities in India.
- BSEWEBX.com: In February 2001, BSE introduced the world's first centralized exchange-based Internet trading system, BSEWEBX.com. This initiative enables investors anywhere in the world to trade on the BSE platform.
- Surveillance: BSE's On-Line Surveillance System (BOSS) monitors on a real-time basis the price movements, volume positions and members' positions and real-time measurement of default risk, market reconstruction and generation of cross market alerts.
- BSE Training Institute: BTI imparts capital market training and certification, in collaboration with reputed management institutes and universities. It offers over 40 courses on various aspects of the capital market and financial sector. More than 20,000 people have attended the BTI programmes
- The World Council of Corporate Governance has awarded the Golden Peacock Global CSR Award for BSE's initiatives in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
- The Annual Reports and Accounts of BSE for the year ended March 31, 2006 and March 31 2007 have been awarded the ICAI awards for excellence in financial reporting.
- The Human Resource Management at BSE has won the Asia - Pacific HRM awards for its efforts in employer branding through talent management at work, health management at work and excellence in HR through technology
Drawing from its rich past and its equally robust performance in the recent times, BSE will continue to remain an icon in the Indian capital market.