The two big stock exchanges in the country are the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange. More popularly these are known as the BSE and the NSE.
All of the listed companies in India are listed either on the BSE or the NSE.
Take a look at how many companies are listed on the NSE and BSE
On the Bombay Stock exchange, which is the oldest stock exchange in the country, there are approximately 5000 companies listed. This is the highest number of companies. The BSE has a record of being the only bourse with highest number of listed companies in the world.
But, we must mention here that the exchange is the biggest in the country in terms of daily turnover. While, the number of companies listed is far lesser than BSE, in terms of share volumes and value of turnover it remains much bigger than the BSE.
What if shares are listed on the BSE and NSE, but not traded?
Out of the 5000 listed share on the BSE, only around 2000 could be actively traded. Most companies are hardly traded and some have been wound down and become sick units.
There are others that are thinly traded and you might even struggle to sell these shares due to lack of volumes in the counter.
In case you do not find the shares traded on the BSE and the NSE, you can contact the corporate directly. However, there could be many companies that have been referred to the Board of Industrial and Financial reconstruction.
Should you buy shares on the BSE or the NSE?
There is always a price difference in the share prices of the BSE and NSE. If you are buying you should check the rates at both the exchanges before buying. For example, if Reliance Industries is traded at Rs 970 on the BSE and Rs 971 on the NSE, you are better-off buying the share from the BSE. And, if you are holding shares and want to sell, you can sell on the NSE as the price is better in the above example.
Listed companies on the BSE and the NSE are high, but, the shares traded are a few thousands. NSE has far lesser number of companies traded. Generally, you can buy on the NSE or the BSE and a broker who has membership for both, provides you with the same brokerage charges. Most brokers are listed on the BSE and the NSE.
However, there maybe some brokers who are not listed on one of the exchanges. So, if you have an account with such a broker, you might lose out the opportunity of buying in another exchange, which offers cheaper rates.
But the diference is very insignificant.