Indian Capital Market

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History of Indian Capital Markets
S.Sowdeesram

The history of the Indian capital markets and the stock market, in particular can be traced back to 1861 when the American Civil War began. The opening of the Suez Canal during the 1860s led to a tremendous increase in exports to the United Kingdom and United States. Several companies were formed during this period and many banks came to the fore to handle the finances relating to these trades. With many of these registered under the British Companies Act, the Stock Exchange, Mumbai, came into existence in 1875. It was an unincorporated body of stockbrokers, which started doing business in the city under a banyan tree. Business was essentially confined to company owners and brokers, with very little interest evinced by the general public. There had been much fluctuation in the stock market on account of the American war and the battles in Europe. Sir Premchand Roychand remained a kingpin for many years. Sir Phiroze Jeejeebhoy was another who dominated the stock market scene from 1946 to 1980. His word was law and he had a great deal of influence over both brokers and the government. He was a good regulator and many crises were averted due to his wisdom and practicality. The BSE building, icon of the Indian capital markets, is called P.J. Tower in his memory. The planning process started in India in 1951, with importance being given to the formation of institutions and markets The Securities Contract Regulation Act 1956 became the parent regulation after the Indian Contract Act 1872, a basic law to be followed by security markets in India. To regulate the issue of share prices, the Controller of Capital Issues Act (CCI) was passed in 1947. The stock markets have had many turbulent times in the last 140 years of their existence. The imposition of wealth and expenditure tax in 1957 by Mr. T.T. Krishnamachari, the then finance minister, led to a huge fall in the markets. The dividend freeze and tax on bonus issues in...
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