What is BSE India? Understanding the Bombay Stock Exchange and Its Role in Online Trading

Listen to our Podcast: Grow your wealth and keep it secure.

0:00 / 0:00


The Bombay Stock Exchange, also called BSE India, is perhaps India's most respectable financial institution. It was established in 1875 and today stands as the oldest stock exchange in Asia, ranking at number ten among the world's oldest exchanges. Phrases such as "BSE stock exchange" or "BSE stocks” may especially ring a bell for you if you are someone who is interested in trading. The BSE is where traders purchase and sell company shares that are available to the public market within India.

The BSE may be thought of as a big market that links businesses seeking expansionary capital (by selling equity) with investors who want to increase their wealth (by purchasing these shares). Although you might hear phrases such as "stock futures" when talking about investments, we should concentrate first on grasping what the BSE mainly does – it helps with the buying and selling of stocks in India.

Key Features of BSE India

The BSE is not only a platform that facilitates the trading of shares. It has important characteristics that make it an essential element of the financial system in India.

Additional Read: S&P BSE 100

Multiple Investment Options: The BSE provides a variety of investment options apart from trading shares. It covers investment outlets like options, derivatives, and mutual funds as well. Such a wide variety of options helps investors build a portfolio suited to their risk appetite and financial aims.

Trading Platform: The BSE’s trading mechanism has adapted to changing times. The traditional “outcry method”, where traders physically gather on the trading floor to buy and sell securities through verbal communication, has since been replaced by a modern computer-based trading system. This makes trades quicker, easier and more accessible for investors all over India.

Regulation and Transparency: The Bombay Stock Exchange operates following the guidelines laid down by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). This guarantees that trading is conducted fairly, providing safeguards to those who invest money.

Market Indices: The BSE Sensex is a standard index that follows the performance of the top 30 listed businesses on the stock market. It is closely monitored by financial analysts and experts across the globe, as it is an indicator of the nation’s economic health.

Additional Read: Understanding the U.S. Stock Market: Key Indices & Global Impact

History of BSE India

The story of BSE shows its strong adaptability. Back in 1875, some ingenious stockbrokers led by Premchand Roychand met under a banyan tree in Mumbai (Bombay, at the time). That moment started the journey for Asia's very first stock exchange and set up what has gone on to become the liveliest capital market of India.

Initially, the Bombay Stock Exchange was called "The Native Share & Stock Brokers' Association." The exchange expanded quickly. By 1957, they had reorganised themselves and became known as the Bombay Stock Exchange. As time passed, the BSE took new technology in its stride, ushering in its evolution from the traditional “outcry” method to the current electronic trading system. This innovative methodology has ensured the BSE’s relevance in the constantly changing financial industry.

While practising paper stock trading is a good way to get started, knowing the history of the BSE serves to give traders important background for its role in the formation of India's formidable financial sector.

How BSE India Works

BSE India serves as a place where investors and companies come together.

Listing: Companies must follow a strict procedure to be able to list themselves on the BSE. Such regulatory measures provide investors with greater clarity and safety.

Trading Orders: Investors place buy or sell orders for company stocks using licensed agents or intermediaries. These agents serve as middlemen connecting investors with the stock market.

Matching Orders: The BSE’s electronic system pairs buy orders with sell orders according to their price and volume, thereby ensuring trades are carried out effectively.

Settlement: When an order finds a match, the Bombay Stock Exchange helps with completing the transaction. It does this by facilitating the movement of shares and money between those who buy and those who sell.

Market Information: The BSE provides current data on the market, such as share prices, trading volume and different indexes like the Sensex. This helps investors to make informed decisions.

Advantages of Investing in BSE India

The BSE offers several advantages for Indian investors:

Wide Range of Investment Options: BSE India allows investors to think beyond just stocks (equities). It allows trading in derivatives, mutual funds, and debt instruments, enabling you to craft a diversified portfolio suited to your goals.

Transparency and Regulation: SEBI regulations ensure fair trading practices and protect investor interests, fostering a secure investment environment as far as investing in BSE stocks is concerned.

Market Access and Liquidity: The BSE's vast network and electronic platform provide easy access to a plethora of investment options and ensure high liquidity, meaning you can easily buy and sell your holdings.

Hassle-free Capital Generation

Here's how the BSE empowers you to invest with confidence and generate capital hassle-free:

User-Friendly Platform: The BSE's electronic platform (BOLT- Bombay Online trading platform) is designed with accessibility in mind. Its intuitive interface allows you to place orders, track your portfolio, and access real-time market data effortlessly, minimising technical complexities.

Widespread Network of Brokers: The BSE is well-connected with a vast network of registered brokers. These brokers can guide you through the trading process, answer your questions, and ensure your transactions are executed smoothly.

Reliable Infrastructure: The BSE's robust infrastructure ensures high system uptime and efficient trade execution. This translates to fewer technical glitches and a smoother overall trading experience.

Legal Supervision

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) functions with the close supervision of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). This organisation is very important for protecting the rights of investors and making sure that trading happens in an honest and clear manner. Regulations from SEBI cover many parts of how the BSE works, such as what companies need to do to list their shares, how brokers should behave and the way trades are settled. This kind of supervision reduces cheating and keeps investors safe from practices that are unfair. Remember, despite the regulations in place, it is important to do your research and speak with a financial advisor before you trade BSE stocks.

Timely Information Display

The BSE knows it is important for investors to have recent and correct information when they make choices about where to invest their hard-earned money.

Live Market Display: The BSE system offers immediate information on the prices of stocks, trade volumes, and market indicators such as the Sensex. You can keep an eye on how the market changes all the time and change your investment plans when it's necessary.

Company Filings and Announcements: Listed businesses must share important details on the BSE system, such as their financial reports, news articles, and other significant updates that could affect the price of their shares. With easy ways to get this information, you can do deep research and make smart choices about investing in the BSE. This is different from paper stock trading, where you might not have access to current data.

Adequate Pricing Rules

The Bombay Stock Exchange prioritises fair and transparent pricing mechanisms. This means investors can be confident that the prices they see on the platform reflect genuine market forces. Here's how the BSE ensures a level playing field:

Price Discovery Through Matching Orders: The BSE's electronic platform matches buy and sell orders based on price and quantity. This transparent price discovery process helps ensure that stock prices accurately reflect supply and demand.

SEBI Regulations: The Securities and Exchange Board of India lays down regulations to prevent market manipulation and insider trading. This helps maintain fair pricing and protects investors from unfair practices.

Major Indices at the Bombay Stock Exchange

The BSE provides valuable insights into the Indian stock market's health through a variety of market indices. These indices track the performance of a basket of stocks, offering a quick and comprehensive glimpse into specific sectors or the overall market sentiment.

BSE Sensex: This is the most widely recognized benchmark index of the BSE. It tracks the performance of the top 30 companies by market capitalization listed on the exchange. The Sensex's fluctuations are closely monitored by investors and financial institutions as they reflect the overall health of the Indian stock market.

BSE Sectoral Indices: The exchange offers a range of sectoral indices that track the performance of BSE stocks within specific industries. These indices allow investors to gain insights into the performance of sectors like banking (BSE Bankex), information technology (BSE IT), or healthcare (BSE Healthcare).

BSE MidCap and SmallCap Indices: These indices track the performance of mid-sized and small-sized companies listed on the BSE, respectively. While these companies might be less established than those in the Sensex, they often offer higher growth potential. The BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices can be valuable tools for investors seeking higher returns and willing to tolerate a greater degree of risk.

Broader Market Indices: The BSE also offers broader market indices like the S&P BSE AllCap, which tracks the performance of all companies listed on the exchange. This index provides an overall view of the Indian stock market's performance.

What Are The Various Investment Methods?

The BSE facilitates a diverse range of investment methods. Some of them are listed below:

Equity Investment: This traditional method involves buying shares of publicly traded companies on the BSE. The value of your investment fluctuates with the company's stock price, offering the potential for capital appreciation but also carrying inherent risk.

Mutual Funds: These investment tools pool funds from multiple investors and invest them in stocks, bonds, or other securities. Mutual funds offer diversification and potentially lower risk compared to investing in individual stocks.

Derivatives: Experienced investors can utilise derivative instruments like options and futures to potentially magnify returns or hedge against existing holdings. However, derivatives involve a higher degree of risk and require a strong understanding of the market.

Debt Instruments: The BSE also allows trading in government and corporate bonds. These instruments offer investors a fixed income stream, making them suitable for those seeking a more conservative investment approach.

How does BSE differ from NSE?





Older (1875)

Younger (1992)

Trading Platform

Primarily electronic, transitioned from an open outcry system

Fully electronic from inception

Benchmark Index

Sensex (Top 30 companies)

Nifty 50 (Top 50 companies)

Number of Listed Companies



Trading Volume

Generally lower

Generally higher

Functions of BSE

The following is a concise list of the various functions served by BSE India:

Platform for Trading: The BSE acts as a marketplace where investors can buy and sell shares of publicly listed companies. This electronic platform ensures efficient trade execution, transparency, and wider accessibility for investors across India.

Capital Formation: By enabling companies to raise capital through issuing stocks, the BSE plays a vital role in financing business growth and economic development. Companies can access the vast pool of investors on the BSE to fund their expansion plans.

Market Regulation: The Bombay Stock Exchange functions under the regulations of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). This ensures fair trading practices, protects investor interests, and fosters a healthy investment environment.

Price Discovery: The BSE stock exchange electronic platform facilitates an efficient price discovery process. Buy and sell orders are matched based on price and quantity, ensuring stock prices reflect genuine market forces of supply and demand.

Market Information: The BSE gives out real-time market data, including stock prices, trading volumes, and indices like the Sensex. This empowers investors to make informed investment decisions and stay abreast of market movements.


Therefore, the BSE stands as a testament to India's financial prowess. It allows investors to participate in India’s growth story. Whether you're a seasoned investor or just beginning your investment journey, the BSE provides a platform for informed decision-making through a user-friendly interface marked by live data. Do remember that understanding the Bombay Stock Exchange’s functionalities and conducting thorough research is crucial before venturing out of paper stock trading into real-world trading.


Disclaimer: Investments in the securities market are subject to market risk, read all related documents carefully before investing.

This content is for educational purposes only. Securities quoted are exemplary and not recommendatory.

For All Disclaimers Click Here: https://bit.ly/3Tcsfuc

Share this article: 

Read More Blogs

Our Secure Trading Platforms

Level up your stock market experience: Download the Bajaj Broking App for effortless investing and trading

Bajaj Broking App Download

7.5 Lacs+ Users


4.3+ App Rating


4 Languages


₹4300 Cr MTF Book