MUMBAI: The iconic 28-storey PJ Towers, which houses the BSE, the oldest stock exchange in all of Asia, may become an official tourist destination in the megapolis, catapulting to the league of the Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal Palace hotel nearby.
If declared an official tourist destination, that will mark yet another historic milestone for the nation's oldest bourse that began to function under a banyan trees way back in 1855 unofficially and officially from 1875.
"It has been proposed that BSE be made one of the tourist spots in the city and I think it's a good idea. There is huge interest among people to see the BSE," Fadnavis said at event organised by the exchange here.
"I think its a very good proposal. We've started a tourism initiative in Mumbai and I think its best spot to add," he added in a response to a proposal from the BSE chief Ashishkumar Chauhan.
The 142-year-old BSE was founded in 1875 by Premchand Roychand, who was an influential businessmen in the 19thcentury Bombay, as the Native Share & Stock Brokers Association, and began to function from under a banyan tree on Dalal Street in the Kala Khoda area of south Bombay and shifted the present Phiroze Jeejeebhoy Towers in 1980.
Roychand made a fortune in stockbroking and was known as the cotton king, bullion king or just the Big Bull.
While BSE is now synonymous with Dalal Street (Broker's Street), it was not always so. The first venue of the earliest stock broker meetings in the 1850s was in rather natural environs - under banyan trees - in front of the Town Hall, where the Horniman Circle is now situated.
In fact, history of BSE dates back to 1855, when 22 stockbrokers gathered under banyan trees in front of the Town Hall. A decade later, the brokers moved their venue to another set of foliage, this time under banyan trees at the junction of the Meadows Street which is now called the MG Road.
As the number of brokers increased, they had to shift from place to place, but they always overflowed to the streets. In 1874, the brokers found a permanent place, which was aptly called Dalal Street and became an official organisation known as The Native Share & Stock Brokers Association in 1875.
In August 1957, the BSE became the first stock exchange to be recognised by the government under the Securities Contracts Regulation Act.
In 1980, BSE moved to the Phiroze Jeejeebhoy Towers on the Dalal Street. In 1986, it developed the 30-share Sensex, the national benchmark index, giving the BSE a means to measure the overall performance of the exchange.
In 2000, the BSE used this index to open its
derivatives market, trading Sensex futures. Options and equity derivatives followed in 2001 and 2002 respectively.
Moving on from the historically an open outcry floor trading, the Bse switched to electronic trading in 1995.
With over 7,800 listed companies listed on its platform BSE, which went public in May 2017, is the world's largest exchange in terms of the numbers of stocks listed and also the world's fastest exchange with a median trade speed of 6 microseconds. In terms of market capitalisation, BSE is the world's 11th largest with an overall mcap of over Rs 134.41 trillion as of today.
A bomb had gone off at the basement of the BSE towers in the March 1993 serial blasts. The 28-storey tower and surrounding structures were badly damaged and nearly 50 people were killed.
Among various milestones, including being the fastest bourse in the world for trading, BSE also became the first stock exchange to be listed in the country. PTI SSM BEN NSK BAS