Indian Financial Market: Capital Market: Primary and Secondary Market (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Capital Market

  • Capital Market may be defined as a market dealing in medium and long-term funds. It is an institutional arrangement for borrowing medium and long-term funds and which provides facilities for marketing and trading of securities. So, it constitutes all long-term borrowings from banks and financial institutions, borrowings from foreign markets and raising of capital by issue various securities such as shares debentures, bonds, etc. In the present chapter let us discuss about the market for trading of securities.
  • The market where securities are traded known as Securities market. It consists of two different segments namely primary and secondary market. The primary market deals with new or fresh issue of securities and is, therefore, also known as new issue market; whereas the secondary market provides a place for purchase and sale of existing securities and is often termed as stock market or stock exchange.

Primary Market

The Primary Market consists of arrangements, which facilitate the procurement of long-term funds by companies by making fresh issue of shares and debentures. You know that companies make fresh issue of shares and/or debentures at their formation stage and, if necessary, subsequently for the expansion of business. It is usually done through private placement to friends, relatives and financial institutions or by making public issue. In any case, the companies have to follow a well-established legal procedure and involve a number of intermediaries such as underwriters, brokers, etc. who form an integral part of the primary market.

Secondary Market

The secondary market known as stock market or stock exchange plays an equally important role in mobilising long-term funds by providing the necessary liquidity to holdings in shares and debentures. It provides a place where these securities can be encashed without any difficulty and delay. It is an organised market where shares, and debentures are traded regularly with high degree of transparency and security. In fact, an active secondary market facilitates the growth of primary market as the investors in the primary market are assured of a continuous market for liquidity of their holdings. The major players in the primary market are merchant bankers, mutual funds, financial institutions, and the individual investors; and in the secondary market you have all these and the stockbrokers who are members of the stock exchange who facilitate the trading.

Distinction between Primary Market and Secondary Market

The main points of distinction between the primary market and secondary market are as follows:

Distinction between Primary and Secondary Market


While the main function of primary market is to raise long-term funds through fresh issue of securities, the main function of secondary market is to provide continuous and ready market for the existing long-term securities.


While the major players in the primary market are financial institutions, mutual funds, underwriters and individual investors, the major players in secondary market are all of these and the stockbrokers who are members of the stock exchange.

Listing Requirement

While only those securities can be dealt with in the secondary market, which have been approved for the purpose (listed) , there is no such requirement in case of primary market.

Determination of Prices

In case of primary market, the prices are determined by the management with due compliance with SEBI requirement for new issue of securities. But in case of secondary market, the price of the securities is determined by forces of demand and supply of the market and keeps on fluctuating.

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