Have you ever come across the two-letter code that appears next to a stock or any other capital market instrument when you search for it on a trading terminal on NSE? Yes, we are talking about NSE stock series: EQ, BE, BL, BT, GC, IL and IQ. These suffixes for stocks are more than just codes.
Though it may seem all daunting at first, decoding these codes will make trading a lot simpler for you as it takes away certain doubts that may be troubling you. So, let’s understand what the NSE stock series means in this article.
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Why NSE stock series?
The National Stock Exchange (NSE) is known to have recorded the highest volume traded on any exchange in India. The bourse not only allows trading in equities but a host of other capital market instruments such as preference shares, debentures, government securities, Indian Depository Receipts (IDR), close-ended mutual funds, and ETFs.
Since these investments are transacted in high volume on NSE, the bourse has established several series/categories for a stock under which you can trade. Likewise, NSE stock series: EQ, BE, BL, BT, GC, IL and IQ indicate whether you can invest in a stock or not. So, as an investor already trading or looking to invest in stocks listed on NSE, familiarizing yourself with these terminologies used on NSE would help you to get a better understanding of stock trading.
NSE stock series decoded
The National Stock Exchange (NSE) has categorised its scrips into 7 series. Here’s the NSE series list and what the categories mean.
EQ NSE series
This series stands for equity and only permits intra-day transactions and equity delivery. Meaning, the series is only meant for intra-day traders and retail equity investors.
Intraday trading means buying and selling stocks on the same trading day. The aim is not to invest, but make a profit out of the fluctuation of stock prices.
Equity delivery, on the other hand, means you buy a stock for investment purposes. Meaning, you hold the stock for a while in your demat account before selling it to make a profit.
BE NSE series
It stands for Book Entry and facilitates equity delivery, Trade for Trade or T segment trading. In case of Trade for Trade or T2T settlement, you can only trade stocks for compulsory delivery. Meaning, intra-day trading is not allowed.
BL NSE series
This series is solely meant for trading block deals or placing bulk orders for shares. These are massive deals that are required to have at least 5,00,000 shares in one bundle. Else, the value of the deal has to be Rs 5 crore. Transactions under the BL series happen on ‘Block Deal window’ and are executed in a single instance. You can only trade BL stock series from 9:15 to 9:50 am, after which the Block Window is shut.
BT NSE series
This NSE stock series is an exit route for small investors who are looking to sell physical shares. However, investors are only allowed to sell a maximum of 500 shares.
GC NSE series
This series is specifically meant for trading Government Securities (G-Sec) and Treasury Bills
IL NSE series
This series is only meant for Foreign Institutional Investors (FII). Also, such investors can only trade in securities of companies whose maximum limit for investment by FII is not reached.
IQ NSE series
This NSE stock series only permits Qualified Foreign Investors (QFI) to trade in stocks without the approval of the depositories. As per FII rules, only foreign institutional investors were allowed to invest in domestic companies. Individual investors couldn’t invest in India without having a sub-account with an FII. This limited the scope of foreign investment in the country, which is why the concept of QFI was introduced in 2002.
QFIs didn’t need to have a sub-account with the FII to invest in India however, they were mandated to have a demat account and a trade account with a depositor. A QFI needed to take prior approval from a depository if their investment breaches 8% of the company’s equity paid-up capital.
The transition from QFI to FPI
Notably, QFIs have now been merged with Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) since 2014 to simplify and attract foreign portfolio investments in India. Vide the FPI Regulations 2014, FII, sub-accounts, and QFIs are now merged with Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI).
The FPI was, in turn, divided into three categories depending on the investor’s risk profile. Here’s the list:
- Category I: government and related foreign investors
- Category II: regulated broad-based funds (BBF), persons, pension funds, university funds, and unregulated BBFs with regulated investment managers registered as an FPI
- Category III: those who don’t fall under the above
By default, the existing QFIs fell under the Category III of FPI. However, they could also be categorised as Category I or Category II if they met the respective eligibility. Also, the existing QFIs at the time were allowed to continue transacting till 6th Jan 2015 or until the QFI got an FPI registration certificate, whichever was earlier.
Now that we have decoded the NSE equity series, you will be in a better position to understand whether or not you can invest in a particular stock listed on the bourse.
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