Millennium Post

Stock brokers count in cash segment slips

The total number of stock brokers in the cash segment of the country’s bourses has declined to 7,350, one of the lowest levels in recent years. Increasing automation at the exchanges and lesser participation of retail investors are among the factors for the decline, experts said.

Latest data from capital market regulator Sebi shows that total number of registered brokers in the cash segment stood at 7,350 as on December 31, 2014. In comparison, their numbers stood at 9,414 at the end of December 2013. The count was much higher at 10,128 as on December 2012, which was slightly lower than 10,263 seen in the year-ago period. Besides, the number of sub-brokers available for trading in the cash segment has also declined sharply to 44,540 at end of December last year 2014, down from 54,871 in the same period a year ago.

“Computed trades (algorithm trades) are taking over which is causing loss to jobs for brokers,” CNI Research CMD Kishor Ostwal said. High frequency trading, also known as Algorithmic Trading (Algo Trading), provides for automated execution of trades on stock exchanges. Further, Ostwal said excessive regulations with respect to shares with high liquidity is diverting retail investors towards derivative trading.

With a majority of the retail investors out of the markets, experts said it is largely the Foreign
Portfolio Investors (FPIs) which are trading in the cash segment.

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