Saturday, October 13, 2007

Over The Counter Exchange of India (OTCEI)

Over The Counter Exchange of India (OTCEI)

The traditional trading mechanism prevailed in the Indian stock markets gave way to many functional inefficiencies, such as, absence of liquidity, lack of transparency, unduly long settlement periods and benami transactions, which affected the small investors to a great extent. To provide improved services to investors, the country's first ringless, scripless, electronic stock exchange - OTCEI - was created in 1992 by country's premier financial institutions - Unit Trust of India, Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India, Industrial Development Bank of India, SBI Capital Markets, Industrial Finance Corporation of India, General Insurance Corporation and its subsidiaries and CanBank Financial Services.

Trading at OTCEI is done over the centres spread across the country. Securities traded on the OTCEI are classified into:

Listed Securities - The shares and debentures of the companies listed on the OTC can be bought or sold at any OTC counter all over the country and they should not be listed anywhere else

Permitted Securities - Certain shares and debentures listed on other exchanges and units of mutual funds are allowed to be traded

Initiated debentures - Any equity holding atleast one lakh debentures of a particular scrip can offer them for trading on the OTC.

OTC has a unique feature of trading compared to other traditional exchanges. That is, certificates of listed securities and initiated debentures are not traded at OTC. The original certificate will be safely with the custodian. But, a counter receipt is generated out at the counter which substitutes the share certificate and is used for all transactions.

In the case of permitted securities, the system is similar to a traditional stock exchange. The difference is that the delivery and payment procedure will be completed within 14 days.
Compared to the traditional Exchanges, OTC Exchange network has the following advantages:
OTCEI has widely dispersed trading mechanism across the country which provides greater liquidity and lesser risk of intermediary charges.

Greater transparency and accuracy of prices is obtained due to the screen-based scripless
trading.

Since the exact price of the transaction is shown on the computer screen, the investor gets to know the exact price at which s/he is trading.

Faster settlement and transfer process compared to other exchanges.

In the case of an OTC issue (new issue), the allotment procedure is completed in a month and trading commences after a month of the issue closure, whereas it takes a longer period for the same with respect to other exchanges.

Thus, with the superior trading mechanism coupled with information transparency investors are gradually becoming aware of the manifold advantages of the OTCEI.

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