Role of Stock Exchange

Written By All Video Subscribers on Sunday, June 20, 2010 | 9:58 AM

Role of Stock Exchange:

Raising capital for businesses

The Stock Exchange provides companies with the facility to raise capital for expansion through selling shares to the investing public.

Mobilizing savings for investment

When people draw their savings and invest in shares, it leads to a more rational allocation of resources because funds, which could have been consumed, or kept in idle deposits with banks, are mobilized and redirected to promote business activity with benefits for several economic sectors such as agriculture, commerce and industry, resulting in a stronger economic growth and higher productivity levels.

Facilitate company growth

Companies view acquisitions as an opportunity to expand product lines, increase distribution channels, hedge against volatility, increase its market share, or acquire other necessary business assets. A takeover bid or a merger agreement through the stock market is one of the simplest and most common ways to company growing by acquisition or fusion.

Redistribution of wealth

By giving a wide spectrum of people a chance to buy shares and therefore become part-owners (shareholders) of profitable enterprises, the stock market helps to reduce large income inequalities. Both casual and professional stock investors through stock price rise and dividends get a chance to share in the profits of promising business that were set up by other people.

Corporate governance

By having a wide and varied scope of owners, companies generally tend to improve on their management standards and efficiency in order to satisfy the demands of these shareholders and the more stringent rules for public corporations by public stock exchanges and the government. Consequently, it is alleged that public companies (companies that are owned by shareholders who are members of the general public and trade shares on public exchanges) tend to have better management records than privately-held companies (those companies where shares are not publicly traded, often owned by the company founders and/or their families and heirs, or otherwise by a small group of investors). However, some well-documented cases are known where it is alleged that there has been considerable slippage in corporate governance on the part of some public companies (e.g. Enron Corporation, MCI WorldCom,, Webvan, or Parmalat).

Creates investment opportunities for small investors

As opposed to other businesses that require huge capital outlay, investing in shares is open to both the large and small stock investors because a person buys the number of shares they can afford. Therefore the Stock Exchange provides an extra source of income to small savers.

Government raises capital for development projects

Governments at various levels may decide to borrow money in order to finance infrastructure projects such as sewage and water treatment works or housing estates by selling another category of securities known as bonds. These bonds can be raised through the Stock Exchange whereby members of the public buy them, thus loaning money to the government. The issuance of such municipal bonds can obviate the need to directly tax the citizens in order to finance development, although by securing such bonds with the full faith and credit of the government instead of with collateral, the result is that the government must tax the citizens or otherwise raise additional funds to make any regular coupon payments and refund the principal when the bonds mature.
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