Meaning: - Stock exchange is a specific place where trading of the securities is arranged in an organised method. In simple words it is a place where shares, debentures and bonds (securities) are purchased and sold. The term securities include equity shares, preference shares, debentures, government bonds, etc. including mutual funds.

Presence and vibrant functioning of a stock exchange is necessary for developing economy. It reflects a healthy financial and investment conducive atmosphere in the economy.

The Indian securities market is considered as one of the most promising emerging markets. It is one of the top eight markets of the world.

1.      Liquidity: -It is the Stock Exchange that provides liquidity to private investment in corporate enterprises. The stock exchange provides marketability along with liquidity to the product called securities.

2.      Fair Evaluation of Securities: -Stock exchanges like any other market provide a mechanism (instrument) for evaluating the prices of securities through the basic law of demand and supply. Stock exchange prices help to check the real worth of the securities in the market.

3.      Promotes capital Formation: -Stock exchange motivates the investors to invest their savings in the securities of the reputed companies. As stock exchange is the creation of continuous market where buying and selling of securities continuously goes on. As a result, capital flows continuously into business field. Thus formation of capital goes on.

4.      Protects investors’ interest: -All the transactions in the stock exchanges are effected and controlled by the securities control (regulation) Act 1956. The stock exchanges protect the interest through the strict enforcement of their rules and regulations.

5.      Economic Barometer: -A stock exchange serves as a reliable barometer of a country’s economic status. ‘Stock exchanges support and promote industrial development. It stimulates investment in productive sector which accelerates the process of economic development of the nation.

6.      Motivation to the management to improve its performance: -An exchange allows the trading of listed securities only. While getting the shares listed on exchange, a company is required to follow certain guidelines for protecting the interest of shareholders.

7.      Regulation of speculative transaction: - Speculation is an important part of stock exchange operations. The stock exchange enables speculators to speculate and secure adequate profits through fluctuation in security prices. 

Best utilisation of capital: -The Stock exchange regulates and controls the flow of investment from unproductive to productive, uneconomic to economic, unprofitable to profitable enterprises. Thus, savings of the people are channelized into industry yielding good return and underutilisation of capital is avoided