Bombay Stock Exchange

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) is the oldest securities market in Asia and one of the largest in the world with more than 5000 company listings. This guide outlines how the Bombay Stock Exchange works and how UK investors can choose the best broker to trade BSE stocks, with trading hours, listing requirements, and details on the biggest companies.

Best Bombay Stock Exchange Brokers UK

  1. XTB

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    Founded in 2002 in Poland, XTB now serves more than 935,000 clients. The forex and CFD broker combines a heavily regulated trading environment with an extensive selection of 5,600+ assets and a commitment to trader satisfaction, featuring an intuitive in-house platform with superb tools to support aspiring traders.

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    Founded in 2009, Vantage offers trading on 1000+ short-term CFD products to over 900,000 clients. You can trade Forex CFDs from 0.0 pips on the RAW account through TradingView, MT4 or MT5. Vantage is ASIC-regulated and client funds are segregated. Copy traders will also appreciate the range of social trading tools.

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    Founded in 1974, IG is part of IG Group Holdings Plc, a publicly traded (LSE: IGG) brokerage. The brand offers spread betting, CFD and forex trading across an almost unrivalled selection of 17,000+ markets, with a range of user-friendly platforms and investing apps. For 50 years, IG has maintained its position as an industry leader, excelling in all key areas for traders.

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    Established in 2013, SuperForex is an offshore CFD and forex broker offering highly leveraged trades on 400+ instruments via the popular MetaTrader 4 platform. The broker has gained clients in over 150 countries and is regulated by the Belize IFSC. With a range of STP/ECN account types, including swap-free, micro and zero spread, this broker continues to suit traders with different styles and setups. SuperForex also offers a range of welcome bonuses and trading contests.

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    Admirals is an FCA- and ASIC-regulated broker with an excellent range of leveraged instruments, including forex, stocks, indices, ETFs, commodities, cryptos and more. The broker supports the MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and TradingCentral platforms. With both spread betting and CFDs available and thousands of instruments, this broker provides more flexibility than most rivals.

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    Capital.com offer CFDs on a range of markets with competitive spreads and zero commissions. The broker also offers the Investmate app, negative balance protection and leveraged trading.

Choosing Bombay Stock Exchange Brokers

Access

There are several paths that UK-based retail traders can take to trade stocks of companies listed on the BSE.

The first path is open only to institutional investors or individuals who have ties to India – mainly non-resident Indians or people of Indian origin. This involves opening a type of Indian digital securities account called a ‘demat account’ and also opening a Portfolio Investment Scheme.

Investing in this way is a complicated bureaucratic process, and some stocks may be unavailable as the Indian regulator limits the number of shares that can be assigned to traders outside India. Moreover, traders who do not have strong ties to the country may not be able to trade in this way at all.

Fortunately, foreign traders with no connection to India can access some of the top BSE stocks on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) or its affiliated Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

Some of the BSE’s largest companies are also listed on other exchanges such as Nasdaq. Alternatively, they can invest in ETFs that offer exposure to BSE stocks, such as the iShares Core S&P BSE SENSEX India ETF, which trades on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Regulation

Brokers who provide direct trading on the Bombay Stock Exchange will be regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). SEBI registered brokers can be found by navigating to the regulatory authority’s official website search bar and selecting ’intermediaries’.

If you’re trading a BSE stock through the LSE or AIM, it’s more likely that your broker will be regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. FCA-regulated brokers provide clients with negative balance protection, segregate client funds from business money, and are tied to compensation schemes in the case of business failure.

Whichever path you take to trade the BSE stocks, it is recommended that you choose a BSE broker that is overseen by a top regulator.

Fees

BSE brokers have different pricing structures which may also vary depending on the assets you are trading; some brokerages charge a flat commission per trade, while others charge a percentage of the value of each trade.

Trading the BSE directly may also incur the relevant charges for trading Indian stocks. These include a 0.0001% SEBI turnover charge per cash, futures, and options trade, a securities transaction tax of 0.01% for futures sell positions and a 0.053% exchange transaction charge for options trading.

BSE brokers may levy additional charges for using their services, such as account maintenance or inactivity fees, withdrawal fees, or charges for analysis tools.

Platform

Select BSE brokers that offer a good trading platform as these are the terminal through which you plan and execute trades. Consider the trading features, data, and software that are required to execute your strategy successfully. The trading portal offered by BSE brokers should be easy to use regardless of your experience.

There are some popular third-party trading portals such as MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 which are offered by BSE brokers as well as proprietary trading solutions. Choose the trading terminal that supports your preferred features, such as copy trading or automated bots.

It is also useful to use a platform that can support a demo account, as these can be set up as BSE trading simulators which allow you to test out strategies without risking real funds. eToro, for example, provides a demo trading session with access to £100,000 virtual funds to practise trading several instruments, including Nasdaq-listed BSE companies such as HDFC Bank.

Instruments & Trading Vehicles

The top BSE brokers in the UK provide several instruments including ETFs, stocks, indices, futures, and options.

Different instruments often work better for certain trading strategies and timeframes. For instance, the iShares Core S&P BSE SENSEX India ETF tracks the performance of the 30 largest companies across key sectors of the BSE, and this could be a good option for longer-term investments.

Derivatives such as contracts for difference (CFDs) and spread betting are also popular among retail traders as they are easy to set up and can be traded with leverage, boosting the trading power of relatively small amounts of capital.

What Is The Bombay Stock Exchange?

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) was established in 1875, meaning it is the oldest stock exchange in Asia. The BSE’s market capitalisation reached around $3.5 trillion in 2022, making it India’s largest exchange and the 7th largest in the world by this measure.

Though the BSE closed its physical trading floor and changed to a fully online system in 1995, the firm still maintains a head office location in Mumbai.

The BSE is known for its focus on India’s financial sector, though it includes listings from numerous sectors including tech, fast-moving consumer goods, energy, manufacturing and telecommunications.

The performance of the Bombay Stock Exchange is measured by the SENSEX index, a benchmark of the 30 largest and most liquid company stocks whose performance reflects the general health of the Indian economy and market sentiment.

History

The establishment of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) was in the 1850s, when a group of stockbrokers used to meet under the banyan tree in front of Mumbai Town Hall.

Dalal Street was formally selected as the official meeting point in 1874 and became the registered location for what was then the ‘Native Share and Stockbrokers’ Association’.

The Bombay Stock Exchange was the exchange in India to be authorised under the 1956 Securities Contract Regulation Act.

Other historical highlights include:

  • 1986 – The BSE Sensex index is introduced as a tool to measure the performance of the exchange
  • 1995 – The BSE On-Line Trading (BOLT) system is introduced before being expanded nationwide in 1997, allowing the stock exchange to provide trading activities to 118 cities across the country
  • 2003 – T+2 settlement procedures introduced
  • 2011 – The exchange changes its name to ‘BSE Limited’
  • 2017 – The BSE becomes India’s first listed stock exchange
  • 2018 – The BSE becomes the first exchange in India to introduce commodity derivatives contracts in gold and silver

Listing Requirements

Companies must meet several requirements to be listed on the BSE. The approval application process is extensive, and authorisation is only granted by the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act issued by SEBI.

Requirements include:

  • A minimum issue size of 10 crore
  • A listing fee payment of INR 20,000
  • The minimum market cap of the firm is 25 crore

Indices

The main stock index measuring the Bombay Stock Exchange’s performance is SENSEX. This is a free-floating, market-weighted index operated by S&P that monitors the performance of the top 30 companies registered on the exchange.

As of 2023, the SENSEX index includes companies across 18 industry sectors, the largest being oil and gas firms making up over 31% of the weighting.

Other major indices to look out for include:

  • BSE 100 – Tracks the performance of the 100 largest and most liquid Indian organisations within the S&P BSE LargeMidCap
  • BSE 500 – An expansive picture of the Indian economic health across major industries, tracking the top 500 firms in the S&P BSE AllCap

The BSE also operates an SME exchange which allows small and medium enterprises to raise capital via investor trading in a separate platform from the main exchange board with fewer entry and compliance rules. There are currently 430 companies listed on the BSE SME, and 164 have already successfully migrated onto the main board.

BSE 100 Index Chart

Major Stocks

The largest companies by market capitalisation as of 2023 include:

  • Reliance Industries Ltd
  • Tata Consultancy Services Ltd
  • HFDC Bank Ltd
  • ICICI Bank Ltd
  • Hindustan Unilever Ltd
  • Infosys Ltd
  • Housing Development Finance Corp Ltd
  • ITC Ltd
  • State Bank of India
  • Bharti Airtel Ltd

Trading Hours

The BSE trades Monday to Friday during the following hours with no breaks:

  • Standard Trading Hours – 9:15 AM to 3:30 PM India Standard Time (GMT +05:30)
  • Opening Session – 9:00 AM to 9:15 AM India Standard Time (GMT +05:30)
  • Post-Trading Session – 3:40 PM to 4:00 PM India Standard Time (GMT +05:30)

The best Bombay Stock Exchange brokers will publish a calendar of trading holidays plus a schedule of key dates that may cause changes to trading operations.

Trading Tips

Indian Numbering System

Investments via online BSE brokers are normally executed in Indian Rupees (INR), therefore you may be liable for currency conversion fees if your trading account is denominated in GBP.

The Bombay Stock Exchange also operates following the Indian numbering system, to which most brokers will adhere. For example, 100,000 is referred to as 1 lakh, and one crore equals 10 million.

Ensure you are aware of the number schedule before trading as this can cause confusion.

Educational & Other Resources

Leading Bombay Stock Exchange brokers provide online trading resources for both beginner and experienced retail investors. Look out for guides categorised by instrument so you can determine what is most suitable for your strategy and create a robust trading plan.

Live news streams are great for staying up to date with the latest events related to the Indian economy and getting a head start on events and company announcements that could trigger volatility.

Demo Accounts

Sign up with a BSE broker that offers a demo account so you can practice trading Bombay Stock Exchange stocks without risking real capital.

The BSE includes companies from various sectors with many different price determinants, so it is worth taking the time to test how the stocks you want to trade react to different market conditions using these risk-free trading tools.

Mobile Apps

Traders who need to check markets and execute trades while they’re on the move should look for Bombay Stock Exchange brokers with a good mobile app.

The best apps will include all of the most important features of the full-size trading terminal, from instant and pending orders to technical indicators and automated trading tools.

Bottom Line On The Bombay Stock Exchange

Traders in the UK can sign up with Bombay Stock Exchange brokers to trade one of the world’s oldest and largest exchanges. Spend some time comparing the tools offered by brands before opening a live account, and check the SENSEX index to keep an eye on the overall market’s performance. Alternatively, refer to our list of the top BSE brokers.

FAQ

Where Is The Bombay Stock Exchange Located?

The Bombay Stock Exchange office is located on Dalal Street in Mumbai, India. However, most trading operations are executed via online brokers rather than on a physical trading floor.

Is The Bombay Stock Exchange A Listed Company?

Yes, BSE Limited shares are listed on the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE). Incorporation was completed in February 2017.

Which Year Did The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Start Trading In Securities?

The Bombay Stock Exchange was established in 1875 when a group of stockbrokers would regularly meet under a banyan tree in front of the Mumbai Town Hall. It is now the oldest stock exchange in Asia with the corporate entity listing established in 2005.

What Is The Difference Between The Bombay Stock Exchange And The Nifty Index?

The Nifty 50 is a benchmark index used to measure the performance of the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE). The Bombay Stock Exchange is the second largest exchange in India, and home to the SENSEX index which is a similar benchmark index but for the BSE.

What Is The Difference Between The National Stock Exchange Of India Vs The Bombay Stock Exchange?

There are several differences between the BSE vs the NSE. Firstly, the Bombay Stock Exchange is significantly older, established in 1875 whereas the National Stock Exchange of India was not recognised by SEBI until 1993. The BSE is also home to more listed companies at over 5000 vs 1700 on the NSE.

Article Sources

Bombay Stock Exchange history

Bombay Stock Exchange listed companies

Bombay Stock Exchange market data