Overview of Capital Markets
Capital market is a type of financial market which provides a platform for exchange of financial instruments. They are governed by respective regulatory authorities and have exchanges in place where price determination of the financial instruments take place through trading. They mobilize funds from areas of surplus by providing investment opportunities by way of financial instruments and capitalise these funds so that individuals and corporate can raise money for business purposes. It refers to long term borrowing and lending of funds.
Capital Markets can be broadly classified on the basis of how the funds are being raised irrespective of the underlying financial instrument as Primary and Secondary Markets. When securities are issued for the first time it is said to have been raised via the Initial public offering route in the Primary markets. The secondary market refers to already listed securities. During an Initial Public Offer, the funds are directly collected from investors and company allocates shares to them. In the secondary market the company is not directly involved but shares are sold and purchased through the exchange and other intermediaries. Money and shared are directly transferred between the seller and the buyer by way of stock market intermediaries.
Debt Markets are also an important component of the capital markets where funds are raised. In developed nations debt markets are many times bigger than the equity markets. Debt refers to long term borrowing of capital on a fixed rate of interest or coupon on a pre-determined interval such as yearly or half yearly payments. Companies raising fund by way of debt have to issue debt securities and pay regularly to investors of such instruments during the tenure of the instrument. Government is also a major participant in the debt markets for meeting its fund requirement as well as building its reserves.
Overview of Equity Markets
Corporation around the world require huge amount of capital for undertaking business activities such as expansions and setting up of new lines of businesses. Capital markets can be broadly classified as equity markets and debt markets depending on the nature of financial instruments available. The equity market refers to the owner's capital. They can be classified as preference shares and common shares. Typically companies which are in need of funds raise them by way of primary markets when it is their first time on the stock exchanges. Once they are listed, these shares become listed on that stock exchange and are open to public and financial institutional for trading and investment purposes. It means they can be bought and sold in the secondary markets. Investors in such securities make money by way of dividend pay-outs as well as capital appreciation.
The notable stock exchanges around the world are The New York Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, Shanghai Stock Exchange, National Stock Exchange, India and Bombay Stock Exchange.
Companies wanting to list on these exchanges have to follow the prescribed procedure of the regulatory bodies and the laws governing them. After listing too the stock exchanges and Company Laws around the world require publicly listed companies to follow norms related to disclosures, financial reporting, corporate governance etc.
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