Friday, December 24, 2010

To List or not to List..

The fact that, India is on the verge of a great Economic boom is well known and acknowledged by the world. If such is the scenario, the future of its Capital Markets can definitely not be bleak. Hence, it brings into cynosure the MII’s like Stock Exchanges, Depositories, Clearing Corporations etc. Business has grown manifold, from a single exchange dealing only in Cash & Forward we now have many exchanges dealing in several segments- Cash/Futures in Equites/Commodities/ Currencies etc, all functioning in a competitive environment and getting the best deal for investors (especially the small investors). From a paltry volume of Rs.500 crores daily, our exchanges now turnover Rs.2,00,000/- crores and the same is expected to grow exponentially.

As the markets expand and deepen, herein, lies the opportunity for the small investors. They should be allowed to participate in this process by way of being allowed to invest in shares of Stock Exchanges viz NSE, BSE, MCX, USE etc. This is possible only if these exchanges are allowed to be listed. This would be no different than investing in Stocks belonging to the PSU basket.

There are misgivings that certain speculative tendencies will emerge and upset the independent working of such institutions/companies. It is noteworthy that there are already enough checks and balances in the system to detect/prevent such occurrences.

While there may be some merit in the argument that profit should not be the sole motive..

There are already examples of listed companies whose profits earned/distributed are regulated viz. Listed Power Companies.

The NSE was founded on the basis of a ‘Model Stock Exchange’. It was formed as

A ‘For Profit’ Corporate entity. It has made Road Shows to investor abroad. This had increased the hope of local small investors that the exchange would be listed some time in the near future giving them an opportunity to invest and be a part of its success.

The BSE & other regional exchanges which were ‘Not for Profit’ , Association of Persons were corporatised into ‘For Profit’ Corporate entities. This sent a signal to the small investors that they would be listed some time in the future.

Internationally, too, the scene is no different. There are several leading exchanges that

Not only self listed but are examples and models of successful running of exchanges and they too play the role of regulating themselves.

Given our strong regulatory system, we should be able to overcome and cope with whatever challenge that may arise. Another issues is raised with respect to “Monitoring Mechanism’ but should the small investor be deprived of this Golden Opportunity to invest just because of lack of forming appropriate mechanisms and it also gives rise to the question that are monitoring mechanisms not already adequate and do the small investors desist from entering a system which is inadequate?