Mumbai, Jan. 15: At the click of a button on Thursday, finance minister Jaswant Singh will launch screen-based trading of government securities for retail investors on the Bombay and National stock exchanges. Chances are he will buy some securities himself.
This will be a red-letter day in the annals of the markets, where small investors can trade in gilts, like they do in shares, by placing orders with brokers. However, it is not clear if the sovereign paper, which offers extremely low rates of return, will be lapped up now.
On Thursday, trading screens on two key bourses will flash gilt quotes. Deals will be order-driven, matched electronically and investors guaranteed anonymity. “We have 700 brokers who are eligible to trade in gilts. They have the requisite net-worth of Rs 1 crore,” NSE’s official spokesperson, Joseph Bosco, said.
At the moment, NSE is still collating the number of brokers keen on trading in gilts. On the Bombay Stock Exchange, government bonds will be traded through its extensive network covering 7000 trading terminals in 400 cities.