Mumbai: The BSE and the National Stock Exchange on Tuesday launched the much-delayed and much-talked about SME exchange platforms in their bid to give alternative platforms to raise capital for the small and medium enterprises.
While the premier bourse kick-started its SME platform under the brand name of BSE SME Exchange with listing of BCB Finance, the NSE followed suit with a soft-launch of its platform called 'Emerge', with an online version of the bourse going active.
"Our SME Exchange hopes to list 10 companies by the end of the fiscal and nearly 100 in the next 18 months," BSE managing director and chief executive Madhu Kannan told after inaugurating the BSE SME Exchange this morning.
The exchange will provide opportunity to SME entrepreneurs to raise equity capital for growth and expansion. It will also provide immense opportunity for investors to identify and invest in good SMEs at early stage, Kannan said.
The exchanges have been working on SME platforms since early year. The markets regulator Sebi had, in September 2011, granted permission to the BSE, to launch its SME exchange, NSE received the approval in October.
The government has been taking a number of steps for SMEs as they are facing the challenges of globalisation, higher cost of funds, IT upgrade, infrastructure constraints, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) secretary R K Mathur said, while launching the BSE platform.
SMEs have huge listing potential. So far, there have been only debt-financing options, without any access to alternative equity options. There is a general lack of awareness among SMEs about equity capital, stock markets and funding options, other than banks, BSE SME Exchange chief executive Lakshman Gugulothu said.
"The Emerge (of NSE) will provide investors with opportunities to invest in growing businesses. It has the potential to significantly improve access to risk capital for emerging economies," the country's largest bourse said in a statement.