What is Stock Exchange? Meaning
Stock Exchange (also called Stock Market or Share Market) is one important constituent of capital market. Stock Exchange is an organized market for the purchase and sale of industrial and financial security. It is convenient place where trading in securities is conducted in systematic manner i.e. as per certain rules and regulations.
It performs various functions and offers useful services to investors and borrowing companies. It is an investment intermediary and facilitates economic and industrial development of a country.
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Stock exchange is an organized market for buying and selling corporate and other securities. Here, securities are purchased and sold out as per certain well-defined rules and regulations. It provides a convenient and secured mechanism or platform for transactions in different securities. Such securities include shares and debentures issued by public companies which are duly listed at the stock exchange, and bonds and debentures issued by government, public corporations and municipal and port trust bodies.
Stock exchanges are indispensable for the smooth and orderly functioning of corporate sector in a free market economy. A stock exchange need not be treated as a place for speculation or a gambling den. It should act as a place for safe and profitable investment, for this, effective control on the working of stock exchange is necessary. This will avoid misuse of this platform for excessive speculation, scams and other undesirable and anti-social activities.
London stock exchange (LSE) is the oldest stock exchange in the world. While Bombay stock exchange (BSE) is the oldest in India. Similar Stock exchanges exist and operate in large majority of countries of the world.
Definitions of Stock Exchange
According to Husband and Dockerary,
"Stock exchanges are privately organized markets which are used to facilitate trading in securities."
The Indian Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act of 1956, defines Stock Exchange as,
"An association, organization or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not, established for the purpose of assisting, regulating and controlling business in buying, selling and dealing in securities."
Features of Stock Exchange
Characteristics or features of stock exchange are:-
- Market for securities : Stock exchange is a market, where securities of corporate bodies, government and semi-government bodies are bought and sold.
- Deals in second hand securities : It deals with shares, debentures bonds and such securities already issued by the companies. In short it deals with existing or second hand securities and hence it is called secondary market.
- Regulates trade in securities : Stock exchange does not buy or sell any securities on its own account. It merely provides the necessary infrastructure and facilities for trade in securities to its members and brokers who trade in securities. It regulates the trade activities so as to ensure free and fair trade
- Allows dealings only in listed securities : In fact, stock exchanges maintain an official list of securities that could be purchased and sold on its floor. Securities which do not figure in the official list of stock exchange are called unlisted securities. Such unlisted securities cannot be traded in the stock exchange.
- Transactions effected only through members : All the transactions in securities at the stock exchange are effected only through its authorised brokers and members. Outsiders or direct investors are not allowed to enter in the trading circles of the stock exchange. Investors have to buy or sell the securities at the stock exchange through the authorised brokers only.
- Association of persons : A stock exchange is an association of persons or body of individuals which may be registered or unregistered.
- Recognition from Central Government : Stock exchange is an organised market. It requires recognition from the Central Government.
- Working as per rules : Buying and selling transactions in securities at the stock exchange are governed by the rules and regulations of stock exchange as well as SEBI Guidelines. No deviation from the rules and guidelines is allowed in any case.
- Specific location : Stock exchange is a particular market place where authorised brokers come together daily (i.e. on working days) on the floor of market called trading circles and conduct trading activities. The prices of different securities traded are shown on electronic boards. After the working hours market is closed. All the working of stock exchanges is conducted and controlled through computers and electronic system.
- Financial Barometers : Stock exchanges are the financial barometers and development indicators of national economy of the country. Industrial growth and stability is reflected in the index of stock exchange.
Articles on Stock Exchange
Read more related articles on stock exchange:-
- Functions of stock exchange.
- Services of stock exchange.
- Stock exchange transactions terms.
- Various stock exchanges in India.
- Role of stock exchanges in capital market.
- Role functions of SEBI in monitoring stock exchange.