Lead Story

Perilous Monopoly

The country’s biggest stock exchange is going through a tumultuous phase. Will the new CEO help NSE regain its lost reputation?

Soumik Kar

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) building ensconced in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex feels pretty much like a fortress as you make your way through a narrow iron-gated entrance and are subjected to multiple security checks. It’s not without reason. Since its inception a quarter of a century ago, NSE has emerged as a premier market institution and the de facto stock exchange of the country given that it commands 85% of the cash market and 94% of the derivatives market turnover (see: Ruling the roost). Not surprising then that an enviable moat, lip-smacking margins and a meaty cash pile have made the for-profit unlisted enterprise the cynosure of marquee private investors (see: Centre of attraction). Of late though, despite its engineering and IT prowess, the exchange has encountered technical and governance glitches that have cast a shadow on its halo.