Mumbai: The total number of stock brokers operating in the cash segment of the country's stock exchanges has dipped below 10,000-mark for the first time in at least four years, amid continuing lacklustre trends in the market.
As per the latest data compiled by market regulator Sebi, the total number of registered brokers in the cash segment stood at 9,643 as on May 31, 2013.
In comparison, their numbers stood at 10,128 at the end of last fiscal 2012-13. Prior to that, the numbers of cash segment brokers were 10,203 and 10,268 at the end of financial years 2010-11 and 2011-12, respectively.
Besides, the number of sub-brokers available for trading in the cash segment has also declined marginally to 69,335 at May-end 2013, down from 70,242 at the end of March, 2013.
As per market experts, majority of the retail investors are not participating in securities trading causing a number of brokers to shut their shops.
"The retail investor is not coming to markets and if retail investor does not come, then how will the small brokers run their business " Religare Securities EVP and Head Retail Research Rajesh Jain said.
Meanwhile, the Sebi data showed that number of brokers in the equity derivative segment has been consistently climbing since fiscal 2010-11. At the end of May 2013, the brokers in this category have grown to 3,023 from 2,957 in 2012-13.
In the currency derivative too, brokers have grown from 2,330 to 2,349 at the end of May.
As per Jain " the volumes have shifted from cash to derivatives, the retail investor has shifted to big brokers who offer research and other services as small brokers are not able to set up research desks".
"When 80 percent plus volume is there in derivative segment, obviously all brokers will have to offer derivatives," Jain said.
CNI Research CMD Kishor Ostwal noted that with nearly 90 percent of the retail investors out of the markets, it is largely the Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) which are trading in the cash segment.
These FIIs are not seeking the services of the brokers but are directly trading through algorithm trading on the stock exchanges, he added.
Ostwal also noted that many of the listed companies on exchanges like BSE are either suspended are under derivative segment.
According to Jain "the global mood is a big reason to set the sentiment but overall is it a changing face in the industry where big brokers are becoming bigger as they can give better services to their clients".