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The origination of the Indian securities market may be traced back to 1875, when 22 enterprising brokers under a Banyan tree established the Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE). Over the last 125 years, the Indian securities market has evolved continuously to become one of the most dynamic, modern and efficient securities markets in Asia. Today, Indian markets conform to international standards both in terms of structure and in terms of operating efficiency.

Structure and size of the markets
Today India has two national exchanges, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE). Each has fully electronic trading platforms with around 9400 participating broking outfits. Foreign brokers account for 29 of these.

There are some 9600 companies listed on the respective exchanges with a combined market capitalisation near $125.5bn.

Any market that has experienced this sort of growth has an equally substantial demand for highly efficient settlement procedures. In India 99.9% of the trades, according to the National Securities Depository, are settled in dematerialised form in a T+2 rolling settlement environment. In addition, trades are guaranteed by the National Clearing Corporation of India Ltd (NSCCL) and Bank of India Shareholding Ltd (BOISL), Clearing Corporation houses of NSE and BSE respectively. The main functions of the Clearing Corporation are to work out

(a) what counter parties owe and
(b) whatcounter parties are due to receive on the settlement date.

Furthermore, each exchange has a Settlement Guarantee Fund to meet with any unpredictable situation and a negligible trade failure of 0.003%. The Clearing Corporation of the exchanges assumes the counter-party risk of each member and guarantees settlement through a fine-tuned risk management system and an innovative method of online position monitoring. It also ensures the financial settlement of trades on the appointed day and time irrespective of default by members to deliver the required funds and/or securities with the help of a settlement guarantee fund.

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