What is NSE: National Stock Exchange of India

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  • 01 Jun 2023

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) is one of India's leading stock exchanges and one of the largest in the world. Established in 1992, it has played a pivotal role in transforming the Indian capital market by introducing technological advancements, promoting transparency, and providing a robust trading platform.

NSE's establishment marked a significant milestone in modernizing India's capital market. Incorporated in 1992, its trading operations began in 1994. The primary objective of the NSE was to provide an efficient and transparent market for securities trading, moving away from the traditional outcry system prevalent at that time.

NSE operates a fully automated, screen-based trading system known as the National Exchange for Automated Trading (NEAT). The NEAT system enables seamless trading of various financial instruments, including equities, derivatives, currencies, bonds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The trading platform provides real-time market data, robust risk management mechanisms, and efficient order matching systems, ensuring fairness and transparency in the trading process.

Now that you know what is NSE and how it came into existence, let’s look at its various functions:

  • Facilitating Securities Trading: NSE provides a robust and technologically advanced trading platform where various financial instruments, including equities, derivatives, currencies, bonds, and ETFs, can be bought and sold. Its automated trading system offers a seamless trading experience, ensuring transparency, efficiency, and fairness.

  • Price Discovery: NSE plays a crucial role in price discovery by providing a transparent and efficient marketplace for securities. The exchange brings together buyers and sellers, allowing them to execute trades at prevailing market prices, thereby reflecting the true value of securities.

  • Listing and Initial Public Offerings (IPOs): NSE provides a platform for companies to list their securities and raise capital through initial public offerings (IPOs). The exchange establishes listing norms and compliance requirements that companies must meet to get listed. By offering a listing avenue, NSE enables companies to access a broader investor base and enhance their visibility in the market.

  • Market Indices and Benchmarking: NSE manages and calculates various market indices that serve as benchmarks for the Indian equity market. The most notable index is the Nifty 50, which represents the performance of the 50 most liquid and financially sound stocks listed on the NSE. These indices give investors, fund managers, and analysts a reference point to gauge market performance and make investment decisions.

  • Derivatives Market: NSE has played a significant role in introducing and popularizing derivatives trading in India. It offers various derivative instruments, such as futures, options, and currency futures. These derivatives provide risk management tools for market participants and facilitate efficient price discovery based on underlying assets.

  • Investor Education and Awareness: NSE actively promotes investor education and awareness initiatives. It conducts seminars, workshops, and educational programs to enhance investors' knowledge and understanding of financial markets, investment instruments, and risk management strategies. NSE aims to empower investors and promote a healthy and informed investment culture.

Market participants can place orders on NSE through their registered brokers or authorized trading terminals. They can enter various types of orders, such as market orders, limit orders, stop-loss orders, and iceberg orders, based on their desired execution strategy.

NSE operates on a price-time priority basis, where orders are matched based on the best available price and the order's timestamp. The trading system continuously matches buy and sell orders, taking into account the price, quantity, and priority. The order matching-algorithm ensures fairness and transparency in the execution process.

A trade is executed on NSE when a buy and sell order match. The trading system automatically generates trade confirmations with details such as the traded price, quantity, trade number, and time of execution.

Now that you know about the National Stock Exchange meaning, its features, and the trading process, let’s look at the various benefits of getting listed with the NSE.

  • Enhanced Market Visibility: NSE is one of the largest stock exchanges in India and enjoys significant credibility and recognition. By listing on NSE, companies gain increased market visibility and exposure to a broader investor base. This visibility can attract investors, analysts, and potential stakeholders, enhancing the company's reputation and market standing.

  • Access to Capital: Listing on NSE provides companies a platform to raise capital through primary market offerings, such as IPOs. By tapping into the capital market, companies can secure funds for expansion, research and development, acquisitions, debt repayment, and other business objectives. NSE's robust listing framework and regulations offer a transparent and regulated capital-raising environment.

  • Liquidity and Exit Options: NSE provides a secondary market where listed securities can be freely traded. This liquidity allows existing shareholders, including founders, venture capitalists, and private equity investors, to exit their investments by selling their shares. The availability of an active and liquid market gives investors the confidence that they can easily buy and sell shares, thereby enhancing the attractiveness of the company's stock.

  • Brand Value and Investor Confidence: Listing on NSE can enhance a company's brand value and reputation. It signals to investors, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders that the company has met the stringent listing requirements and complies with regulatory standards. Being listed on a reputable exchange like NSE enhances investor confidence and can attract long-term institutional investors.

  • Access to Institutional Investors: NSE listing opens up opportunities for companies to attract institutional investors, including mutual funds, insurance companies, pension funds, and other financial institutions. These institutional investors typically have large pools of capital and can bring stability, long-term investment, and credibility to a company's shareholder base.

  • Benchmarking and Valuation: NSE's market indices, such as the Nifty 50, are widely recognized benchmarks for the Indian equity market. Being listed on NSE allows companies to be part of these indices, which can positively impact their valuation. Inclusion in market indices can attract additional investor interest and potentially lead to improved stock performance.

  • Regulatory Framework and Investor Protection: NSE operates within a robust regulatory framework and imposes listing requirements, compliance norms, and corporate governance standards. By listing on NSE, companies are subject to increased transparency, disclosure requirements, and regulatory oversight, which enhances investor protection and confidence.

  • Investor Relations and Market Support: NSE provides guidance and support to listed companies regarding investor relations, corporate governance practices, and compliance. The exchange conducts workshops, seminars, and educational programs to enhance companies' understanding of market dynamics and regulatory obligations. NSE's initiatives help companies maintain good corporate governance practices and effectively communicate with shareholders.

To Sum Up

NSE has revolutionized the Indian capital market by embracing technology, promoting transparency, and providing a robust trading platform. Over the years, NSE has emerged as a key driver of India's economic growth, fostering investor confidence and enhancing market efficiency. As India's premier stock exchange, NSE continues to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the country's financial landscape, paving the way for further advancements and developments in the years to come.


The NSE is one of the premier stock exchanges in India. It provides a platform for trading various financial instruments, including equities, derivatives, currencies, bonds, and ETFs.

The NSE manages several key market indices, with the Nifty 50 being the most widely recognized. Other notable indices include Nifty Bank, Nifty IT, and Nifty Next 50.

The timings on all weekdays (except Saturday, Sunday and holidays) are:

  • Pre-opening session from 9:00 hours to 9:08 hours
  • Regular trading session is from 9:15 hours to 15:30 hours
  • Closing session is from 15:40 hours to 16:00 hours
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