India at 75: 12 landmarks for Indian markets between 2015 and 2020
1. June 11, 2015: India’s financial market regulatory framework, with RBI and Sebi, gets top-most ratings from global bodies of banking and capital market regulators. The global “assessment study” of the regulatory framework shows only six countries, including India, got the highest score of “4” for all eight parameters on a scale of one to four.
2. February 3, 2017: The BSE becomes India’s first stock exchange to list. Since rules don’t permit self-listing, the BSE has to get listed on the NSE. Many hope that a successful listing of the BSE will pave the way for the bigger rival, NSE, to also list. But regulatory issues would hold back the latter’s IPO.
3. July 10, 2017: A little over 10 years after it hit the Rs 1-trillion mark, India’s market capitalisation doubles to $2 trillion. At a rupee value of 64.5 a dollar, it is Rs 129.61 trillion in rupee terms. Around the time, only seven other countries, mostly developed ines, are part of the elite $2-trillion m-cap club.
4. April 23, 2018: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) becomes the first Indian company to top $100-billion market capitalisation. In less than three months, RIL would also hit this milestone. And so would HDFC Bank a year later. Only these three Indian companies have managed to achieve this milestone so far.
5. August 28 – September 4, 2018: IL&FS defaults on loan repayments, triggering a crisis that would hit the NBFC industry hard, drying up liquidity for the sector. The ripple effect would also be felt on the stock market and the economy. Investors and lenders turn risk-averse when it comes to investing in NBFC papers or lending to NBFCs.
6. April 30, 2019: Sebi directs the NSE to disgorge Rs 625 crore, along with an interest of 12 per cent a year since 2014, for lapses at its colocation (colo) facility that allowed unfair access to certain brokers. Sebi also directs NSE’s former MDs and CEOs Ravi Narain and Chitra Ramkrishna — who were at the helm when the exchange servers were exploited — to pay a fourth of their salaries. Sebi orders are challenged before the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), where the matter is pending. Government agencies investigating the matter would arrest Ramkrishna in March 2022. The issue dates back to January 2015, following a whistle-blower writing to Sebi alleging that a few brokers/traders got undue advantage through unfair and faster access to NSE’s servers while conducting algorithmic trading during 2012-2014, helping them earn huge gains. This is famously referred to as the colo scam
7. December 31, 2019: The NSE becomes the largest derivatives exchange globally (in terms of contracts traded), surpassing The US’ CME Group. It would retain its number one position in 2020 and 2021 as well. The NSE also ranks third in the world in the cash equities segment in terms of number of trades.
8. September 20, 2019: The Sensex registers its biggest gain of 5.03 per cent in 10 years and the Nifty surges 569 points (5.3 per cent), after the government cuts corporation tax rate from 30 per cent to 22 per cent without incentives and from 25 per cent to 15 per cent for new manufacturing entities, in order to boost the economy and investments. The move is seen boosting corporate earnings.
9. March 23, 2020: The Sensex and Nifty close at their lowest level in four years, at 25,981 and 7,610, respectively, after nosediving 33 per cent in just 13 trading sessions amid the Covid-19 pandemic scare. India’s market cap plunges to Rs 102 trillion. A day later, the government would announce a nationwide lockdown.
10. September 10, 2020: RIL becomes the first Indian company to top $200-billion market capitalisation. The Mukesh Ambani-led firm is also ranked 40th most valuable firm globally, ahead of America’s Exxon Mobil, PepsiCo, SAP and Oracle. In a few months, amid pandemic, RIL would raise over $22 billion by selling stakes in its digital and retail arms to large investors like KKR, ADIA, Silver Lakes, GIC, TPG, Mubadala, General Atlantic and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and slash net debt on its own books.
11. November 5, 2020: Indian markets reclaim their pre-Covid levels. The aggressive stimulus measures taken by central banks in the developed world, particularly the US Federal Reserve, help not just stem the fall in the markets but also lead to their resurrection. Not just India, most global markets climb even as their economies nosedive.
12. November 30, 2020: Domestic mutual funds’ total AUM crosses the Rs 30-trillion mark for the first time. Sustained inflows through the systematic investment plan (SIP) route and a sharp recovery in markets after Covid-19 lows help the industry achieve this milestone.
Contributed by Samie Modak, Krishna Kant, Ram Prasad Sahu and Sundar Sethuraman