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Asia's oldest exchange gets cheaper

Last updated on: June 9, 2011 12:45 IST

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Mehul Shah in Mumbai

As volumes dip, BSE's shares slump 38 per cent in 6 months; trade in kerb deals at Rs 190-200 a share.

Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) shares have lost more than a third of their value in the last six months, as a lacklustre market has hurt volumes in the exchange's cash segment and several efforts to revive its derivatives segment are yet to show results.

The Bimal Jalan panel's recommendation to not allow listing of stock exchanges and cap their profits has also created uncertainly among investors, resulting in a lower valuation of BSE, brokers say.

Shares of Asia's oldest stock exchange are changing hands at Rs 190-200 a share in the unofficial market, about 38 per cent lower than six months before, according to brokers dealing in shares of unlisted companies.

In December last year, deals were happening in BSE shares around Rs 325 a share.

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Image: The Bombay Stock Exchange
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters
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Going by trades in the unofficial market, BSE's valuation has fallen about 47 per cent in less than a year.

In August last year, billionaire investor George Soros's Quantum hedge fund had picked up a 4 per cent stake in BSE for around Rs 375-380 a share, valuing the bourse at Rs 3,965.54 crore ($881 million). At Rs 200 a share, the bourse is now valued at Rs 2,114.95 crore ($470 million).

In contrast, shares of BSE's larger rival National Stock Exchange (NSE) have been relatively stable in the unofficial market and are available at around Rs 4,000 a share at present, according to brokers.

However, unlike BSE, where its broker-members own 44 per cent stake in the exchange, NSE shares are largely held by institutions and are not frequently traded in the unofficial market.

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At Rs 4,000 a share, NSE is valued at Rs 18,000 crore ($4 billion). In November last year, the Jignesh Shah-promoted Financial Technologies had sold 4,40,000 NSE shares at Rs 3,800 a share, which valued the exchange at Rs 17,100 crore ($3.8 billion).

Both BSE and NSE declined to comment.

The aggregate monthly turnover in BSE's cash segment has declined 27.14 per cent to Rs 59,389.80 crore in May from Rs 81,519.92 crore in December 2010, according to data compiled by BS Research Bureau.

The exchange's market share in the cash segment has fallen to 20.31 per cent in May from 21.65 per cent in December last year.

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Lack of interest from market participants has reduced the turnover in the cash segment of BSE's larger rival NSE, too.

The aggregate monthly turnover in NSE's cash segment has dropped nearly 21 per cent to Rs 2,33,015.72 crore in May from Rs 2,94,942.93 crore in December 2010.

BSE's efforts to infuse life in its moribund derivatives segment have also not yielded results so far. In the last two years, the exchange has taken several steps like changing the expiry schedule for stock and index derivatives, slashing membership fee and introducing delivery-based settlement, among others.

The exchange's derivatives segment clocked an aggregate monthly turnover of Rs 44.05 crore in May compared with Rs 12.92 crore in December last year.

The aggregate monthly turnover in NSE's derivatives segment increased 10.52 per cent to Rs 26,05,137.81 crore in May from Rs 23,57,108.95 crore in December 2010.



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