BSE Ltd, the first ever stock exchange in Asia established in 1875 and the first in the country to be granted permanent recognition under the Securities Contract Regulation Act, 1956, has had an interesting rise to prominence over the past 140 years.
While BSE Ltd is now synonymous with Dalal Street, it was not always so. The first venue of the earliest stock broker meetings in the 1850s was in rather natural environs - under banyan trees - in front of the Town Hall, where Horniman Circle is now situated. A decade later, the brokers moved their venue to another set of foliage, this time under banyan trees at the junction of Meadows Street and what is now called Mahatma Gandhi Road. As the number of brokers increased, they had to shift from place to place, but they always overflowed to the streets. At last, in 1874, the brokers found a permanent place, and one that they could, quite literally, call their own. The new place was, aptly, called Dalal Street (Brokers' Street).
The journey of BSE Ltd. is as eventful and interesting as the history of India's securities market. In fact, as India's biggest bourse in terms of listed companies and market capitalisation, almost every leading corporate in India has sourced BSE Ltd. services in raising capital and is listed with BSE Ltd.
Even in terms of an orderly growth, much before the actual legislations were enacted, BSE Ltd. had formulated a comprehensive set of Rules and Regulations for the securities market. It had also laid down best practices which were adopted subsequently by 23 stock exchanges which were set up after India gained its independence.
BSE Ltd., as a institutional brand, has been and is synonymous with the capital market in India. Its S&P BSE SENSEX is the benchmark equity index that reflects the health of the Indian economy.