At the end of October, the total number of investor accounts, as maintained with the country's two depositories NSDL and CDSL, stood at little over 1.97 crore, up from about 1.86 crore as on December 31, 2010.
However, the rate of increase in the number of accounts seems to have slowed down drastically from the recent years.
While the number of total accounts has increased by about 11 lakh so far in 2011, the increase was of about 20 lakh accounts during 2010 with both NSDL and CDSL accounting for addition of 10 lakh accounts each.
The number of investor accounts had swelled even faster in previous years, especially between 2006-2009, on the back of growing investor interest in the stock market as markets were rallying smartly and a number of high-profile IPOs.
A sluggish trend prevailing in the market for many months now and absence of any major IPOs seems to have adversely affected the interest of new investors in the market.
The total number of investors could be, however, somewhat lower as some of the people or entities could have more than one accounts.
As per the latest data available, the total number of investor accounts in demat or electronic format, which have been made mandatory to trade in the capital markets, maintained with NSDL ( National Securities Depository Ltd) currently stands at about 1.20 crore.
On the other hand, Central Depository Services (India) Ltd (CDSL) currently maintains about 77.7 lakh demat investor accounts.
These exclude the invalid accounts that have been closed or frozen due to unavailability of investor identification details like PAN (Permanent Account Number). Lakhs of investor accounts have been frozen or closed in the recent years after PAN was made mandatory for these accounts in 2006.
At the end of 2010, NSDL had a total of 1.13 crore investor accounts, while CDSL had 73.4 lakh accounts.