Difference Between NSE and BSE

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  • 03 Jul 2023

In financial markets, stock exchanges facilitate the buying and selling of securities. India, one of the fastest-growing economies, has two prominent stock exchanges: the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). While both exchanges operate within the Indian capital market, they differ in various aspects.

Difference Between NSE and BSE

  • Establishment and History

BSE, established in 1875, is the oldest stock exchange in Asia. Initially, it operated as a floor-based exchange, where traders conducted transactions through open outcry. On the other hand, the NSE was established in 1992 as a technologically advanced exchange. It introduced electronic trading, replacing the traditional floor-based trading system.

  • Ownership and Governance

The BSE operates as a corporate entity, with its ownership distributed among various stakeholders, including brokers and financial institutions. It is governed by a board of directors and managed by professional executives. In contrast, the NSE is also a corporate entity but follows a different ownership and governance structure. It operates as a public limited company with an extensive shareholding by various financial institutions, including banks, insurance companies, and foreign investors.

  • Index

Both the NSE and BSE have their benchmark indices. The BSE's primary index is the Sensex, which comprises 30 actively traded stocks across various sectors. The Sensex is widely regarded as a barometer of the Indian stock market. On the other hand, the NSE's primary index is the Nifty 50, which consists of the top 50 companies listed on the exchange, representing various sectors of the economy. The Nifty 50 is often used as a benchmark for evaluating the performance of the Indian equity market.

  • Market Capitalization

Market capitalization refers to the total value of a company's outstanding shares. When comparing the market capitalization of the BSE and NSE, it is evident that the NSE holds a higher market capitalization than the BSE. As of March 2023, the NSE boasted a market capitalization of around $3.2 trillion, positioning it as the third-largest stock exchange globally. Conversely, the BSE's market capitalization stood at approximately $2.6 trillion during the same period.

  • Trading Volume and Liquidity

The NSE has consistently maintained higher trading volumes and liquidity than the BSE. This can be attributed to factors such as its electronic trading system, broader participation from institutional investors, and the popularity of its benchmark index, the Nifty 50. The NSE's higher trading volumes and liquidity make it more attractive to traders and investors.

  • Trading Timings

The trading hours for the BSE and NSE are from 9:15 am to 3:30 pm. However, there are slight differences in their pre-open sessions.

The BSE conducts a 15-minute pre-open session from 9:00 am to 9:15 am. This session allows traders to place their orders before the market officially opens, allowing them to prepare and strategize.

Similarly, the NSE has a pre-open session from 9:00 am to 9:15 am. However, this session is divided into three parts: order entry, order matching, and a buffer period. During the order entry phase, traders can enter their buy or sell orders into the system. Following that, the order matching phase occurs, where the system matches the buy and sell orders based on predetermined matching criteria. Finally, a buffer period ensures a smooth transition from the pre-open session to the regular trading session.

By dividing the pre-open session into these three parts, the NSE aims to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of order processing, ensuring a fair and orderly market opening. These pre-open sessions in both exchanges provide valuable time for traders to plan their trades, enter orders, and adjust their strategies based on market conditions before the official trading session begins.

Determining which exchange is better, the BSE or the NSE, depends on various factors and individual preferences. It is important to note that both exchanges have unique advantages and considerations, such as benchmark indices, trading mechanisms, and market capitalization.

Determining which exchange is better depends on your investment goals, trading style, and preferences. It is recommended to evaluate the factors mentioned above, consult with financial advisors, and conduct thorough research to make an informed decision that aligns with your investment strategy.


NSE and BSE differ in terms of establishment, ownership, and index, among others. While NSE came into existence in 1992, BSE came to the fore in 1875. The NSE has its index Nifty 50 while BSE’s index is the BSE 30.

Yes, there could be a slight difference between the same stock's NSE and BSE share prices. The difference is because of the stock’s liquidity on both exchanges.

Yes, you can trade on both exchanges using a single trading account.

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