Most tourists and indeed, Mumbaikars themselves, see the soaring Bombay Stock Exchange Building (BSE) as the embodiment of the city's financial clout. However, for those who care to remember, it is also an enduring symbol of the grit that has made Mumbai urbs prima in Indis.
On the Black Friday of March 12, 1993, a bomb left in the BSE's parking lot exploded, leaving behind a mangled mess and more than 80 people dead. That bomb was one of 13 detonated all over the city, intending to paralyse it. But on the next trading day, Monday, the BSE opened as usual at 9.30 am. There was deep sadness, but also, a resilience that has kept Asia's oldest stock exchange, which started off in 1875 as 'The Native Share & Stock Brokers' Association', going for more than 134 years now.
Today, it is the world's No: 1 exchange in terms of the number of listed companies, and the world's fifth largest in handling of transactions. The BSE reaches out to over 400 cities and towns nationwide and has around??? Or exactly??? 4,937 listed companies, and more than 7,745 scrips being traded on it. Indeed, there is perhaps no major corporate in India that has not sourced the BSE's services to raise resources from the capital market. Here is where the money is.