The BSE is Asia’s first stock exchange and claims to be the world’s fastest, with a median trade speed of 6 microseconds. It is also the world’s 11th largest stock exchange with an overall market capitalisation (value of all the stocks traded) of more than $2 trillion as of July 2017. More than 5,500 companies are publicly listed on the BSE.
The BSE was founded by Premchand Roychand, an influential businessman in 19th century Bombay. Its history dates back to 1855, when 22 stockbrokers would gather under banyan trees in front of Bombay’s Town Hall. The location of these meetings changed many times to accommodate an increasing number of brokers. The group moved to Dalal Street in 1874 and became an official organisation, The Native Share & Stock Brokers’ Association, in 1875. On August 31, 1957, the BSE became the first stock exchange to be recognised by the Indian government under the Securities Contracts Regulation Act.
Historically an open outcry floor-trading exchange, the BSE switched to an electronic trading system in 1995. The automated trading platform, called BSE OnLine Trading (BOLT), could take 8 million orders per day. A centralised exchange-based internet trading system has been introduced to enable investors worldwide to trade on the BSE platform.