With the equity market on a song, the words ‘stock market’, ‘share’ and ‘investment’ can be heard in every nook and corner of the country. Be it the cold calls on phones offering investment research, the sure-shot tips via SMSes, the chai pe charchas outside offices or the banal conversation in public transport, India is warming up to its equity culture like never before.
India has over 4 crore stock market investors. Bull markets attract a lot of investors because everyone loves to invest when the share prices rise (similarly, investors tend to stay away during market downturns). Historically, Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Rajkot have been hotbeds for stock trading. Has the situation changed over the years? Let us find out.
Movers and Shakers
The states with the highest number of registered investors are still the old ones. Maharashtra, with Mumbai, is the Mecca of Indian markets. As on August 31, Maharashtra has 89 lakh investors. It is followed by the ‘Dhandho’ investors in Gujarat with 59.36 lakh investors. The third largest state in terms of equity investors is Uttar Pradesh with 26.78 lakh investors.
The 4th is surprisingly West Bengal with a similar number (26.77 lakh), which has a high share of Marwaris and trading communities with more than a passing interest in shares. The 5th ranked state is Tamil Nadu (26.73 lakh), home to Chennai (Madras) and its group of educated investors. Notice that after the top 3, the rest are quite close by in terms of investor headcount. As a city, Delhi is quite big in terms of investors with an overall 6th rank (24.85 lakh), higher than even tech-savvy Karnataka (24.18 lakh) and Andhra Pradesh (22.46 lakh).
Four key states – Kerala, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan – each has between 10-18 lakh investors each. The states of Jharkhand, Odisha, Telangana, Bihar and Punjab have between 5-8 lakh investors each.
In terms of investor growth, small is beautiful. While places like Lakshwadeep and Mizoram may have much less number of investors, the small states/UTs with at least 10,000 investors, like Meghalaya (14.3% year on year growth), Dadra & Nagar Haveli (20.6%), Manipur (30.35%), and Pondicherry (28.4%) show promise.
Jammu & Kashmir, mostly in news for terrorist attacks and bad news, seems to have scripted its own equity trading culture. The border Indian state has 1.3 lakh investors, with the headcount rising by 14% in the last one year.
Among the larger states, Bihar and Odisha have shown faster than national average growth numbers. Bihar has 6.5 lakh investors today after it grew by close to 20% in the last one year. Odisha’s investor count appreciated by nearly 22% to 5.4 lakh, as investors from the Land of Lord Jagannath seem to be bitten by the equity bug.
Telangana has also shown a large rise in numbers, but that can be partly explained by the creation of a new state after separation from undivided Andhra Pradesh.
Interestingly, the Army Post Office seems to have beaten states like Mizoram in investor count. The Army Post Office has 2,157 registered investors as against Mizoram’s 2,075 investors.
Find the full data here: All india investor summary