New Delhi: Indian stock exchanges need to further reconcile their regulatory functions with market interests in order to protect and promote the interest of retail depositors, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE)'s silver jubilee celebrations here at which the NSE unveiled its new logo, Kumar also urged domestic capital markets to bring about better reconciliation between the Indian spot and derivative markets so as to win the confidence of small investors.
"Our exchanges perform regulatory functions and here they need to consider if there is a trade-off between that and profit maximisation," he said.
"This is required to protect the interests of retail depositors, so that the markets can go ahead with the work of inorganic growth."
The NITI Aayog Vice Chairman said that a reflection of the situation is seen in the fact that despite best efforts of the NSE, only two per cent of Indian households have come into the capital market.
"In the common Indian mind, the stock market is still a 'satta' (gambling) bazaar over which they have no control ... a place controlled only by the big players," Kumar said.
"The NSE should aim like it is in the US, for instance, where 40 per cent of the households are involved in the capital market."
Kumar noted in this regard that the size of derivatives trading in India is more than 40 times the "underlying equity trading" and called for better reconciliation between the two to boost retail investors' confidence in the stock markets.
"While the stock exchanges have done a great deal to bring the SME segment of the economy into the capital markets, the bourses need to do more to integrate more small and medium enterprises with the capital market," Kumar said.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was the Finance Minister when the NSE was established in 1994, was also present on the occasion, along with Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.
As per the World Federation of Exchanges, the NSE is 3rd largest exchange in the world in terms of volume of trades, while it is ranked No. 1 on index options contracts and No. 2 on currency derivatives contracts.
The NSE's new logo is a reworking of its earlier one with the addition of marigold, yellow, red and blue, symbolising integrity, excellence, trust and commitment.
"The multiple colours capture the multifaceted nature of the business, with red denoting NSE's strong foundation, yellow and orange being inspired by the marigold flower that signifies prosperity and auspicious ventures, and the blue triangle is a compass, always future-oriented and helping us find our true North," an exchange statement said.
"The new brand identity reflects NSE's multi-dimensional nature: multiple asset classes, multiple customer segments and its multiple roles including that of an exchange, regulator, educator and market developer," it added.