Sucheta Dalal :BSE steals a march over NSE in mutual fund volumes
Sucheta Dalal

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BSE steals a march over NSE in mutual fund volumes  

May 14, 2010

 Bitter exchange rivals Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE) have been at each others’ throats for grabbing a larger share of the cash and derivatives segment in equity trading. It seems another battle is playing out on the newly-promoted mutual fund platforms of both exchanges.

However, the BSE appears to have hit the road running while its bigger rival is desperately trying to play catch-up. BSE has witnessed a sharp spike in trading volumes over the past few months. NSE, on the other hand, has remained mostly stagnant during this period. For the month of December 2009, when BSE StAR MF was launched, subscriptions touched Rs11.61 crore, with net inflows of around Rs4.43 crore. Comparatively, NSE’s MFSS platform registered a turnover of only Rs2.77 crore, with net inflows amounting to Rs1.85 crore.

Volumes on BSE StAR MF have surged by 82%, touching Rs21.19 crore by the end of April this year. On the other hand, volumes on NSE MFSS have witnessed a dip of 13%, touching Rs2.42 crore in April. While net inflows on BSE have jumped 268% to Rs16.30 crore during this period, NSE has barely managed an 18% rise amounting to Rs2.19 crore.

While the NSE was the first to jump into the fray when it launched its NEAT system based MF platform—Mutual Fund Service System (MFSS) on 30th November last year, the BSE followed closely on its heels by opening its Web-based trading platform—BSE StAR MF—on 4th December.

Why is it that NSE is so far behind its smaller competitor in this segment, when it enjoys an enviable market share in the equity derivatives segment?

Lack of adequate participation from brokers has probably hurt the NSE in its new venture. Some technical and operational issues have tipped the scales in favour of the BSE platform.

Chandrashekhar Layane, vice president, Fairwealth Financial Services, revealed that brokers prefer the BSE platform due to its comparative ease of use and flexibility. “Brokers favour the BSE platform because it is much more user friendly, not only in terms of technology but also in relation to operations.”

Deena Mehta, managing director, Asit C Mehta, believes that BSE enjoys a first-mover advantage in terms of providing a Web-based Internet platform. “When BSE launched its service, it started with a Web-based Internet platform straight away. Brokers could log in from anywhere and put in the trade. On the other hand, NSE started with its NEAT system. Hardly any broker now has NEAT terminals. We have shifted to Orion terminals. So having a direct connectivity with NSE was not workable.”

Ms Mehta also pointed out that BSE also offers a back-office solution, which facilitates billing and other tasks. “Otherwise, we would have to develop our own back-office software, which takes a lot of time and involves costs. Since BSE has already provided for technological compatibility, it is a lot more convenient for us,” added Ms Mehta.  —
Sanket Dhanorkar





-- Sucheta Dalal