Sunday, 13 January 2013



              -   Dr. S. Vijay Kumar

   Capital market means the market for all the financial instruments - commercial, industrial and government securities. It deals in both debt and equity. The Central and State governments raise money in the capital market, through the issue of government securities. It refers to all the institutes and mechanisms of raising medium and long-term funds, through various instruments available like shares, debentures, bonds etc.

      Corporates both in the private sector as well as in the public sector raise thousands of crores of rupees in these markets. The government, through Reserve Bank of India, as well as financial institutions also raises a lot of money from these markets.  Examples of well-developed markets are – The Global depository and American depository.

There are two important operation carried on in these markets:

1. The raising the new capital 
2. Trading in securities already issued by the companies.

The important constituents of the capital market are:

1. The stock exchanges 
2. Banks
3. The investment trusts and companies 
4. Specialized financial institutions or development banks. 
5. Mutual funds 
6. Post office saving banks
7. Non banking financial institutions 
8. International financial investors and institutions.

The supply in this market comes from saving from different sectors of the economy. These come from the following sources: 

1. Individuals 
2. Corporates
3. Governments 
4. Foreign countries 
5. Banks
6. Provident funds 
7. Financial institutions.

         Moreover the establishment of National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange has been turning point in the working of capital markets. The RBI has allowed participation of individuals in the government securities markets. This move is likely to open new avenues for investment to individuals.

The history of the capital market in India dates back to the eighteenth century when East India Company securities were traded in the country. Until the end of the nineteenth century, securities trading were unorganized and the main trading centers were Bombay (now Mumbai) and Calcutta (now Kolkata). Of the two, Bombay was the chief trading centre wherein bank shares were the major trading stock. During the American Civil War (1860-61), Bombay was an important source of supply for cotton.  Hence, trading activities flourished during the period, resulting in a boom in share prices. This boom, the first in the history of the Indian capital market, lasted for a half a decade. The bubble burst on July 1, 1865, when there was tremendous slump in share prices.

Trading was at that time limited to a dozen brokers: their trading place was under a banyan tree in front of the Town Hall in Bombay. These stockbrokers organized an informal association in 1875-Native Shares and Stock Brokers Association, Bombay. The stock exchanges in Calcutta and Ahmadabad, also industrial and trading centers, came up later. The Bombay Stock Exchange was recognized in May 1927 under the Bombay Securities Contracts Control Act, 1925.

The capital market was not well organized and developed during the British rule because the British government was not interested in the economic growth of the country. As a result, many foreign companies depended on the London capital market for funds rather than on the Indian capital market.

In the post-independence period also, the size of the capital market remained small. During the first and second five-year plans, the government's emphasis was on the development of the agricultural sector and public sector undertakings. The public sector undertakings were healthier than the private undertakings in terms of paid-up capital but their shares were not listed on the stock exchanges. Moreover, the Controller of Capital Issues (CCI) closely supervised and controlled the timing, composition, interest rates, pricing, allotment, and flotation costs of new issues. These strict regulations demotivated many companies from going public for almost four and a half decades.

In the 1950s, Century Textiles, Tata Steel, Bombay Dyeing, National Rayon, and Kohinoor Mills were the favorite scrips of speculators. As speculation became rampant, the stock market came to be known as 'Satta Bazaar'. Despite speculation, non-payment or defaults were not very frequent. The government enacted the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act in 1956s was also characterized by the establishment of a network for the development of financial institutions and state financial corporations.

The 1960s was characterized by wars and droughts in the country which led to bearish trends. These trends were aggravated by the ban in 1969 on forward trading and 'badla', technically called 'contracts for clearing.' 'Badla' provided a mechanism for carrying forward positions as well as borrowing funds. Financial institutions such as LIC and GIC helped to revive the sentiment by emerging as the most important group of investors. The first mutual fund of India, the Unit Trust of India (UTI) came into existence in 1964.

In the 1970s, badla trading was resumed under the disguised form of 'hand-delivery contracts-A group.' This revived the market. However, the capital market received another severe setback on July 6, 1974, when the government promulgated the Dividend Restriction Ordinance, restricting the payment of dividend by companies to 12 per cent of the face value or one-third of the profits of the companies that can be distributed as computed under section 369 of the Companies Act, whichever was lower. This led to a slump in market capitalization at the BSE by about 20 per cent overnight and the stock market did not open for nearly a fortnight. Later came buoyancy in the stock markets when the multinational companies (MNCs) were forced to dilute their majority stocks in their Indian ventures in favor of the Indian public under FERA, 1973. Several MNCs opted out of India. One hundred and twenty-three MNCs offered shares were lower than their intrinsic worth. Hence, for the first time, the FERA dilution created an equity cult in India. It was the spate of FERA issues that gave a real fillip to the Indian stock markets. For the first time, many investors got an opportunity to invest in the stocks of such MNCs as Colgate, and Hindustan Liver Limited. Then, in 1977, a little-known entrepreneur, Dhirubhai Ambani, tapped the capital market. The scrip, Reliance Textiles, is still a hot favorite and dominates trading at all stock exchanges.

The 1980s witnessed an explosive growth of the securities market in India, with millions of investors suddenly discovering lucrative opportunities. Many investors jumped into the stock markets for the first time. The government's liberalization process initiated during the mid-1980s, spurred this growth. Participation by small investors, speculation, defaults, ban on badla, and resumption of badla continued. Convertible debentures emerged as a popular instrument of resource mobilization in the primary market. The introduction of public sector bonds and the successful mega issues of Reliance Petrochemicals and Larsen and Toubro gave a new lease of life to the primary market. This, in turn, enlarged volumes in the secondary market. The decade of the 1980s was characterized by an increase in the number of stock exchanges, listed companies, paid up-capital, and market capitalization.

The 1990s will go down as the most important decade in the history of the capital market of India. Liberalization and globalization were the new terms coined and marketed during this decade. The Capital Issues (Control) Act, 1947 was repealed in May 1992. The decade was characterized by a new industrial policy, emergence of SEBI as a regulator of capital market, advent of foreign institutional investors, euro-issues, free pricing, new trading practices, new stock exchanges, entry of new players such as private sector mutual funds and private sector banks, and primary market boom and bust.

Major capital market scams took place in the 1990s. These shook the capital market and drove away small investors from the market. The securities scam of March 1992 involving brokers as well as bankers was on of the biggest scams in the history of the capital market. In the subsequent years owing to free pricing, many unscrupulous promoters, who raised money from the capital market, proved to be fly-by-night operators. This led to erosion in the investors' confidence. The M S Shoes case, one such scam which took place in March 1995, put a break on new issue activity.

The 1991-92 securities scam revealed the inadequacies of and inefficiencies in the financial system. It was the scam, which prompted a reform of the equity market. The Indian stock market witnessed a sea change in terms of technology and market prices. Technology brought radical changes in the trading mechanism. The Bombay Stock Exchange was subject to nationwide competition by two new stock exchanges-the National Stock Exchange, set up in 1994, and Over the Counter Exchange of India, set up in 1992. The National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC) and National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) were set up in April 1995 and November 1996 respectively form improved clearing and settlement and dematerialized trading. The Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 was amended in 1995-96 for introduction of options trading. Moreover, rolling settlement was introduced in January 1998 for the dematerialized segment of all companies. With automation and geographical spread, stock market participation increased.

In the late 1990s, the Information Technology (IT) scrips were dominant on the Indian bourses. These scrips included Infosys, Wipro, and Satyam. They were a part of the favorite scrips of the period, also known as 'New Economy' scrips, along with telecommunications and media scrips. The new economy companies are knowledge intensive unlike the old economy companies that were asset intensive.

The Indian capital market entered the twenty-first century with the Ketan Parekh scam. As a result of this scam, badla was discontinued from July 2001 and rolling settlement was introduced in all scrips. Trading of futures commenced from June 2000, and Internet trading was permitted in February 2000. On July 2, 2001, the Unit Trust of India announced suspension of the sale and repurchase of its flagship US-64 scheme due to heavy redemption leading to panic on the bourses. The government's decision to privatize oil PSUs in 2003 fuelled stock prices. One big divestment of international telephony major VSNL took place in early February 2002. Foreign institutional investors have emerged as major players on the Indian bourses. NSE has an upper hand over its rival BSE in terms of volumes not only in the equity markets but also in the derivatives market.

It has been a long journey for the Indian capital market. Now the capital market is organized, fairly integrated, mature, more global and modernized. The Indian equity market is one of the best in the world in terms of technology. Advances in computer and communications technology, coming together on Internet are shattering geographic boundaries and enlarging the investor class. Internet trading has become a global phenomenon. The Indian stock markets are now getting integrated with global markets.

Thus, we can say that capital markets play crucial role in economic development of a nation. A sound and efficient capital market is one of the most instrumental factors in the development a nation. 

1 comment: