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NEW DELHI : According to data released by the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the number of stock investors (Unique Client Codes) has risen by 10 million over the past three months from 6 June to 21 September. This is the fastest pace of addition in its history. The number of stock investors registered with the exchange has risen from 70 million  in June 2021 to 80 million  at present. By way of comparison, its last addition of 10 million  investors took six months from January to June 2021. The number of demat accounts used to hold stocks has also surged to a record high at 62.2 million at the end of June 2021, as per the latest data released by market regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

“Equity investments, whether directly or through mutual funds, have been gaining ground over the past 1.5 years for a variety of reasons across the world. India is also following the world trend. It is important for every investor to be careful and understand in detail the companies, processes, and instruments in which they plan to invest or trade," said Ashish Chauhan, chief executive officer of BSE.

By way of comparison, the number of mutual fund investors has grown at a slower pace than direct stock investors. There were 2.39 crore mutual fund investors as defined by unique PAN numbers at the end of June 2021, according to data released by the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi). Discount brokers and fintech platforms such as Smallcase and Wealthdesk have enhanced the appeal of directly investing in stocks.

BSE had 10 million investors in February 2008. This grew to 40 million  after another 10 years, by August 2018. However, the addition of the next 40 million  stock investors took just three years. Typically, stock investors register on multiple exchanges and hence the BSE numbers are likely to be representative of most stock investors in India.

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