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SEBI’s Rs 165 Crore Bill to BSE: What it Means for Investors

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SEBI's Rs 165 Crore Bill to BSE: What it Means for Investors

Have you ever received an unexpected bill for a service you already thought you’d covered? Well, that’s precisely the situation the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) found itself in recently. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) handed them a whopping Rs 165 crore invoice. This unexpected development has left many investors wondering: What does this mean for them?

On Monday, SEBI demanded regulatory fees based on notional turnover rather than premium turnover. The market regulator, Initial estimates from the stock exchange indicate that this could translate to an extra payout of Rs 165 crore, plus GST. The impact was immediately reflected in the share price of BSE, which took a major hit, falling from Rs. 3210.35 on 26th April to Rs. 2771.25 on 29th April.

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Source: NSE India

Let’s break down the situation and understand the details:

Why the Bill?

SEBI, the watchdog of the Indian stock market, charges stock exchanges like BSE a fee based on the value of securities traded on their platform. This fee is meant to cover the costs associated with SEBI’s regulatory activities, which ensure fair and transparent markets. In BSE’s case, SEBI determined that the exchange had underpaid these fees for several years. This led to a hefty bill of Rs 165 crore to rectify the shortfall.

Sebi’s proposed changes in regulatory fees mean significant differences for BSE. They estimate a total of approximately Rs 68.64 crore plus GST, including interest, for the years FY 2006-07 to FY 2022-23. Additionally, for FY24, they anticipate around Rs 96.30 crore plus GST. BSE is assessing Sebi’s claim, with analysts suggesting they’ll likely comply. Unlike NSE, which already calculates fees based on notional turnover, BSE and MCX use premium turnover. SEBI has urged both exchanges to adopt the notional turnover method.

What is the difference between notional turnover and premium turnover?

BSE will face higher expenses because the notional turnover, which they’ll use to calculate fees, is consistently greater than the premium turnover.

Let’s understand this with an example. 

Imagine you’re trading options on a stock with a strike price of Rs 50, and each contract involves 20 shares.

For premium turnover: If you buy and sell 5 call options at Rs 2 each, the premium turnover would be Rs 200 (Rs 2 x 20 shares x 5 contracts) for both buying and selling.

For notional turnover: You calculate it by multiplying the strike price (Rs 50) by the number of shares per contract (20) and the number of contracts (5). So, buying and selling would be Rs 5,000 (Rs 50 x 20 shares x 5 contracts).

In this example, the notional turnover (Rs 5,000) is higher than the premium turnover (Rs 200). This is because notional turnover accounts for the value of the underlying assets in each contract, while premium turnover only considers the premiums paid.

Impact on BSE

While the bill won’t immediately impact BSE’s day-to-day operations, it will certainly affect its profits. BSE will have to absorb this cost, which could lead to a decline in their net income. Additionally, SEBI has revised the calculation method for these fees, which might result in even higher charges in the coming years. Analysts predict a potential 22-25% decrease in BSE’s profit estimates for the next few financial years.

How Does This Affect Investors?

Now, the good news is that the direct impact on investors is likely to be minimal. Stock market transactions should continue as usual, and there shouldn’t be any immediate changes in trading fees or processes. However, there are potential indirect consequences:

  1. Reduced Dividends: BSE might choose to distribute lower dividends to its shareholders (which could include some investors) to manage the financial burden of the bill.
  2. Slower Growth: If BSE’s profits decline significantly, it could limit its ability to invest in new technology, infrastructure, or growth initiatives, potentially slowing down the exchange’s overall development.
  3. Market Sentiment: The bill’s news might create a sense of uncertainty among investors, potentially impacting market sentiment. However, this will likely be a temporary effect unless further developments exist.

The Takeaway

While the Rs 165 crore bill is a significant financial setback for BSE, it’s important to remember that SEBI’s role is to ensure a fair and efficient market. This includes collecting the appropriate regulatory fees to fund its activities. The potential impact on investors is likely to be indirect and, hopefully, minimal. However, it serves as a reminder of the financial system’s interconnectedness and how even seemingly internal issues within market institutions can have broader implications.


  1. Will my trading experience be affected by this bill?

    No, your day-to-day trading activities are unlikely to be impacted. Trading fees and processes should remain unchanged.

  2. Will I receive less money from my BSE investments?

    It's possible. BSE might distribute lower dividends to shareholders due to the bill, which could indirectly affect some investors.

  3. Will the stock market crash because of this?

    Highly unlikely. While the news might create temporary uncertainty, it's not a major event that would trigger a market crash.

  4. Will my trading costs directly increase due to this bill?

    It's unlikely that your trading costs will significantly increase immediately. However, the BSE might adjust its fees in the future, which could marginally impact your trading expenses.

  5. What can I do as an investor? 

    Stay informed about developments and monitor any potential changes in trading fees. Diversifying your investments across different exchanges can also help mitigate any exchange-specific risks.

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I’m Archana R. Chettiar, an experienced content creator with
an affinity for writing on personal finance and other financial content. I
love to write on equity investing, retirement, managing money, and more.

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