Difference between BSE & NSE

National Stock Exchange (NSE) is India's largest stock exchange whereas Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) is the oldest one.
Difference between BSE & NSE
3 mins
7 August 2023

In India, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) are the main platforms for trading securities. They operate as marketplaces where investors and traders buy and sell stocks and other financial assets with the assistance of brokers or stockbroking firms.

These exchanges serve as vital platforms for companies to raise capital, investors to trade securities, and the overall functioning of the Indian capital market. While both NSE and BSE share similar goals, they have distinct differences that set them apart.

What is NSE?

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) is a leading stock exchange in India, playing a crucial role in the country's financial landscape. Established in 1992, the NSE has rapidly grown to become one of the largest and one of the most technologically advanced stock exchanges in the world. It serves as a platform for buying and selling various financial instruments, including equities, derivatives, currencies, and debt securities. The NSE's impact on India's economy, investment landscape, and financial markets is profound, making it an integral institution in the nation's journey towards economic growth and development.

What is BSE?

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), often referred to as the BSE Limited, is one of the oldest and most significant stock exchanges in India and globally. Founded in 1875, it has played a pivotal role in shaping India's financial landscape and has evolved into a key platform for trading securities and facilitating capital formation.

BSE vs. NSE - What are the key differences

Here are the key differences between the two primary stock exchanges in India:

Foundation and history:

The Bombay Stock Exchange, established in 1875, is the oldest stock exchange in Asia and holds a rich history. It has been a witness to India's economic evolution and played a significant role in shaping the country's financial landscape. The BSE provides a platform for trading equity, debt instruments, and derivatives. It has around 5284 listed companies.

On the other hand, the National Stock Exchange, founded in 1992, is a relatively new entrant but quickly rose to prominence due to its technological advancements and innovative practices. NSE introduced electronic trading in India, revolutionising the way trading was conducted and contributing to the modernisation of the Indian stock market.

Index dominance:

Both NSE & BSE are known for their benchmark stock indices. NSE's Nifty 50 and BSE's Sensex are widely followed indices that reflect the performance of the Indian stock market. Nifty 50 includes 50 large-cap stocks across various sectors, while Sensex comprises 30 large and well-established companies. Both indices are crucial indicators of market sentiment and economic health.

Product offerings:

Both exchanges offer a range of products, including equities, derivatives, debt securities, and mutual funds. Both the exchanges have been innovative in introducing new products like index derivatives, stock lending and borrowing, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Regulatory framework:

Both NSE and BSE operate under the regulatory oversight of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), which ensures fair and transparent trading practices, investor protection, and compliance with regulations.

SEBI plays a crucial role in shaping the rules and regulations that govern the functioning of these exchanges, including listing norms, trading practices, and market surveillance.

Market capitalisation:

NSE has a higher market capitalisation than BSE. As of March 2023, NSE's market capitalisation was approximately $3.2 trillion, BSE's market capitalisation, on the other hand, was approximately $2.6 trillion.

Trading volume:

In the context of the Indian capital market, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) has consistently exhibited a higher trading volume than its counterpart, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)

Derivatives contracts:

NSE has a significant advantage in the derivatives contracts segment. It leads this area with significantly liquid indices like NIFTY 50 and Bank NIFTY, making them the most traded contracts in India. In contrast, BSE experiences lower trading volumes and popularity among investors and traders in derivatives trading.

Number of listed companies:

BSE has a substantial lead over NSE in terms of the number of listed companies. NSE features over 1600 listed companies, while BSE has more than 5000 companies listed. This difference is mainly because BSE has been in operation for a longer duration than NSE, allowing it to accumulate a more extensive list of listed companies.

Electronic trading:

NSE has consistently been a fully electronic stock exchange since its inception, promoting a paperless trading system. On the other hand, BSE used a paper-based system for an extended period and only transitioned to electronic trading in 1995 with the introduction of BSE On-Line Trading (BOLT).

NSE and BSE: Similarities

Despite the numerous differences, NSE and BSE have a lot of features in common. Let us take a look at a few such similarities.

Listing and trading

The first similarity is that both NSE and BSE are platforms that enable company shares to be listed for trading. Companies that get their shares listed have to comply with the regulatory framework and the transparency norms set by the exchanges.

Regulatory oversight

Both exchanges are overseen by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), which controls the securities market in the country. SEBI is tasked with ensuring that fair trade practices, investor protection regulations, and market integrity are upheld at both NSE and BSE,

Financial instruments

Both exchanges offer a broad range of financial instruments for trading. These include securities, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), derivatives, and mutual funds, giving investors a wide range of options to craft customised trading strategies.

Electronic trading

Electronic trading systems have been adopted by NSE and BSE to promote transparent and efficient trading.


Both BSE and NSE are accessible and popular exchanges for trading in India.

Trading hours

NSE and BSE have similar operational hours. They open for trading at approximately 9:15 A.M. every day from Monday to Friday and close at 3:30 P.M. Both exchanges also remain closed on market holidays.

How has NSE become more popular than BSE?

While the ultimate choice of a preferred trading exchange depends on individual investors, many have crowned NSE the winner. In India, NSE was the first exchange to implement the electronic trading system in 1994. Additionally, NSE’s wide range of products, like the Nifty derivatives, are quite popular among traders. This investor-friendly approach, with a focus on technological innovation, has paved the way for NSE to gain prominence in the Indian stock market.

What is the difference between Nifty and Sensex?

Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of NSE and BSE, their features, similarities, and differences, let's examine the differences between Nifty and Sensex.

Nifty, also called the Nifty 50, tracks the top 50 companies from the NSE, providing a broader perspective of the market. On the other hand, Sensex represents the 30 largest and most prominent firms listed on the BSE. While both these indices provide insights into the Indian stock market, they vary in terms of their constituent companies and areas of focus.


In conclusion, while both the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) serve as critical components of India's capital market infrastructure, they exhibit distinct characteristics that set them apart. NSE's technological prowess and innovation have propelled it to the forefront of the Indian stock market, while BSE's historical significance and evolving practices contribute to its unique position. Together, these two exchanges play an integral role in shaping the trajectory of India's financial future.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the key differences between NSE and BSE?

Key differences between NSE (National Stock Exchange) and BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) include:

  • NSE (National Stock Exchange) and BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) are key stock exchanges in India.
  • NSE holds the title of the largest stock exchange in India, whereas BSE is recognised as the oldest one.
  • Notably, NSE boasts a higher trading volume compared to BSE.
Which is better, NSE or BSE?

Determining whether the National Stock Exchange (NSE) or the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) is better depends on various factors and individual preferences. Both exchanges have their strengths and cater to different types of investors. NSE is known for its advanced technology, high-speed trading, and institutional focus. BSE, with its historical significance, appealing to a diverse range of participants. The choice between NSE and BSE should be based on an investor's trading style, risk tolerance, and investment objectives.

What is BSE's Sensex, and NSE's Nifty?

BSE's Sensex (Sensitivity Index) and NSE's Nifty (National Stock Exchange Fifty) are benchmark stock indices that reflect the performance of the Indian stock market. Sensex comprises 30 large and well-established companies, representing various sectors. Nifty consists of 50 actively traded large-cap stocks, offering a broader perspective on the market's health. These indices serve as indicators of market sentiment and provide insights into the overall performance of the Indian economy.

Does the trading mechanism between NSE and BSE affect the price of the stocks?

The trading mechanism does not affect the stock's price, but the volume of trade and liquidity of the stocks on each exchange can affect prices to a certain extent.

How can an investor choose between NSE and BSE?

Investors can make an informed choice between NSE and BSE by considering the following factors:

  1. Investment Objectives: Consider the types of securities and market segments each exchange specialises in. Both the stock exchanges offer a broad range of products, including derivatives and ETFs.
  2. Market Research: Conduct thorough research on both exchanges' historical performance, trading volumes, and market trends to align with your investment goals.
  3. Accessibility: Assess ease of access, online trading platforms, and account opening processes offered by brokers associated with each exchange.
  4. Diversification: Consider diversifying investments across both exchanges to benefit from the strengths of each.
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