| | |The term Demat, in India, refers to a dematerialised account. For individual Indian citizens to trade in listed stocks or debentures. The Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) requires the investor to maintain a Demat account. In a demat account shares and securities are held in electronic form instead of taking actual possession of certificates. A Demat Account is opened by the investor while registering with an investment broker (or sub broker). The Demat account number which is quoted for all transactions to enable electronic settlements of trades to take place. Access to the demat account requires an internet password and a transaction password as well as initiating and confirming transfers or purchases of securities. Purchases and sales of securities on the Demat account are automatically made once transactions are executed and completed. | |
Advantages of Demat
The demat account reduces brokerage charges, makes pledging/hypothecation of shares easier, enables quick ownership of securities on settlement resulting in increased liquidity, avoids confusion in the ownership title of securities, and provides easy receipt of public issue allotments. It also helps you avoid bad deliveries caused by signature mismatch, postal delays and loss of certificates in transit. Further, it eliminates risks associated with forgery, counterfeiting and loss due to fire, theft or mutilation. Demat account holders can also avoid stamp duty (as against 0.5 per cent payable on physical shares), avoid filling up of transfer deeds, and obtain quick receipt of such benefits as stock splits and bonuses.
Indian Market Scenario
Indian capital market has seen unprecedented boom in its activity in the last 15 years in terms of number of stock exchanges, listed companies, trade volumes, market intermediaries, investor population, etc. However, this surge in activity has brought with it numerous problems that threaten the very survival of the capital markets in the long run, most of which are due to the large volume of paper work involved and paper based trading, clearing and settlement. Until the late eighties, the common man kept away from capital market and thus the quantum of funds mobilized through the market was meager. A major problem, however, continued to plague the market. The Indian markets were drowned in shares in the form of paper and hence it was problematic to handle them. Fake and stolen shares, fake signatures and signature mismatch, duplication and mutilation of shares, transfer problems, etc. The investors were scared and were under compensated for the risk borne by them. The century old system of trading and settlement requires handling of huge volumes of paper work. This has made the investors, both retail and institutional, wary of entering the capital market. However, lack of modernization become a hindrance to growth and resulted in creation of cumbersome procedures and paper work. However, the real growth and change occurred from mid-eighties in the wake of liberalization initiatives of the Government. The reforms in the financial sector were envisaged in the banking sector, capital market, securities market regulation, mutual funds, foreign investments and Government control. These institutions and stock exchanges experienced that the certificates are the main cause of investors` disputes and arbitration cases. Since the paper work was not matching the rapid growth so there was a need for a better system to ensure removal of these impediments. Government of India decided to set up a fully automated and high technology based model exchange that could offer screen-based trading and depositories as the ultimate answer to all such reforms and eliminate various bottlenecks in the capital market, particularly, the clearing and settlement system in stock exchanges. A depository in very simple terms is a pool of pre-verified shares held in electronic mode which offers settlement of transactions in an efficient...
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