How hollow is the Indian Stock Market? - II

The best kept secret about the Indian capital market is that in 20 years of economic liberalisation and market development, we have reduced it to a mere casino

How wide is the public participation in the shining new India's financially successful stock exchanges? Here are some startling facts disclosed by minister of state for finance, Namo Narain Meena, in response to a question (1692) asked by Mohammed Adeeb, a Member of the Rajya Sabha.

On 10th August, the Minister said that trading in the top 10 companies accounted for nearly a quarter (24%) of the cash equity market turnover on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in the April-June 2010 period. In the derivatives segment (equity futures and options) trading in top 10 companies rose to a massive 38% of all turnover. The NSE is a near-monopoly. It has a market share of 96% (cash and derivatives combined) and has absolutely no competition in the derivatives trading segment. Trading in derivatives is seven times that of the cash segment, accounts for the bulk of its profits and therefore fat salaries of the very few at the top.

The Minister also said in his response that 67% of all transactions in the derivatives markets are by day-traders who square off their transactions on an intraday basis. In the cash segment, only 36% of the transactions lead to delivery, the rest are squared off. The NSE has 1987 securities available for trading in the cash market and 203 stocks trading in the derivatives segment, including four indices.

The data shows that the market has neither depth nor diversity and only a small segment of Indians are involved in the market - that too in the form of speculation by day traders in a few select products including the main index, Nifty, one of the largest traded products. Currently, index futures account for 11% of daily turnover while index options account for a massive 55% of daily turnover. Interestingly, futures and options trading on the 200-odd stocks account for just 34% of its daily derivatives turnover.

Also, contrary to perception, institutional investors do not dominate the market. In fact, 52% of the turnover in the cash market as well as derivatives comes from retail investors, high net worth individuals and corporate investors. This is hardly a market that can hope to support a big disinvestment programme by the government or even the fund-raising plans of large Indian companies. No wonder, retail subscriptions to public issues have dwindled.

In its zeal to add more and more stocks to drum up more and more volume, NSE has added dozens of stocks that have no trading interest and therefore no liquidity in the derivatives segment. Just 106 contracts of India's largest paint company, Asian Paints, were traded on 17th August. Container Corporation, a giant public sector company, does not trade more than 10-12 contracts a day. Recently NSE added a scrip called Samruddhi Cement - the erstwhile cement business of Grasim. On 17th just three contracts of the scrip were traded.

BHT Thoughs
5 years ago
Good and informative article..
Thanks for sharing ..
1 decade ago
the revelations are really startling. the regulators can really reduce the transaction costs and make non participants more knowledgeable. there are people spreading rumours on stock markets mere out of desperation than on any real grounds. if you make the stock market operations as "professional", with a professional body, the confidence of the people at large might return. this should be done like ICWAI / CA/ DOCTOR/LAW professions.
1 decade ago
The article is a eye opener to those who think it as a heaven for money making but the real face is that it is a HELL full of demons,these money sucking DRACULAS have sucked lot of money from retail investors-these facts given in this article are proving that these brokerage houses are biggest players in wiping out retails by driving the markets against retail positions-they monitor ''retail positions''through their special softwares which makes them enable to drive the markets against retails in futures and cash segment-they make scrips to move up when retail participation is negligible-the scrip moves 5-10 times,then they ''make''it to correct to 40% or more-so people try to ''invest'' in this scrip-when retail participation gets fully involved they make it to further get corrected to 30-40%,so people wait to get it to prices they purchased-but that day never comes-bcos this scrip has been ''garlanded''to retail investors's neck-retail has no guts or money power to again move up this scrip to better levels except keep on waiting-
this all drama is performed very intelligently-
my guess has been fully proved by facts in this article-thanks Sucheta madam for such bold and eye opening article-
I am sure this article is ""REAL INVESTORS EDUCATION""
Tony Joe
1 decade ago

Nice numbers you have arranged. So, what do you suggest? Ban the market? Also, I was dumbfounded by the logic that even 52% of the cash & derivative markets being controlled by retail investors, HNIs, & corporates, is not enough to ensure retail participation in public issues! What do you suggest? People should gobble up pizzas like SKS that comes with a price tag of 35 P/E? Please don't contradict yourself.
Replied to Tony Joe comment 1 decade ago
boss, cool down. moneylife has not "arranged" any numbers (i dont know what you mean by that word). Its what the minister has said. these numbers came out because of the question asked. NSe does not give out these numbers. It dodges RTI. Do some homework before ranting in an incoherent manner
Tony Joe
Replied to rakesh comment 1 decade ago
Hi Rakesh,

What can I do if a simple contradiction in the story that I pointed out seems 'incoherent' to you? I mentioned the numbers as 'arranged' only because this was no original research and just restating a newspaper report in a totally -ve light, obviously omitting the apparent fact that some 500 odd brokerages dominate the show. Doesn't all of us know this pool-account arrangement that brokerages run for their millions of clients? And lastly, who needs to cool down here really? Me or you? Don't be upset with views not matching yours. Come up with facts like I have done and don't get personal over this. Still, I respect your good intent in supporting this story, as well as the intent of the Moneylife writers.

smruti gokhale
Replied to Tony Joe comment 1 decade ago
I seem to be reading these comments well after another later report where the same Tony Joe is carrying on a tirade on behalf of NSE.

I am a little confused about his charge about arranging facts etc. The question in parliament and the minister's reply is posted in the comments to that article.
So is our Joe saying the Minister "arranged" data provided by the NSE?
How would he know that unless he is an NSE official.
In any case, why doesnt the NSE take that up with the Minister? IMr Narain's letter to the government has said nothing of that sort.
Maybe Joe will have a response to this too (he certainly seems to be spending a lot of time on Moneylife -- take a bow guys), but I dont understand the point of his chatterl...
by the way I trade occassionally and was quite thrilled to know that i am part of a tiny club of just around 1,92,200 or something. cheers
Replied to Tony Joe comment 1 decade ago
again the pool account bullshit.
its unique Ids, the minister was referring to boss!
a pool account cannot trade on one id. the broker will end up violating 20 diff. laws. get some market education
1 decade ago
Moneylife could intimate through an article the names of these top ten companies as well as the Top Ten Dividend paying companies for the benefit of retail investors
1 decade ago
Investigative Journlism worth its salt would go into this reality and expose who is really benefitting from the Casino. In the name of the "Small Investor" the Market regulators propose and impliment changes without taking into effect the consequences. The only thing that this dows is to drive out the remaining RETAIL Participation of the Actual Investor (stop calling him a Small Investor - he is the actual investor who should be driving the stock market - And there are enough of them in our country to out number any FII or institutional investor)

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