Definition: Capital Market, is used to mean the market for long term investments, that have explicit or implicit claims to capital. Long term investments refers to those investments whose lock-in period is greater than one year.
In the capital market, both equity and debt instruments, such as equity shares, preference shares, debentures, zero-coupon bonds, secured premium notes and the like are bought and sold, as well as it covers all forms of lending and borrowing.
Capital Market is composed of those institutions and mechanisms with the help of which medium and long term funds are combined and made available to individuals, businesses and government. Both private placement sources and organized market like securities exchange are included in it.
Functions of Capital Market
- Mobilization of savings to finance long term investments.
- Facilitates trading of securities.
- Minimization of transaction and information cost.
- Encourage wide range of ownership of productive assets.
- Quick valuation of financial instruments like shares and debentures.
- Facilitates transaction settlement, as per the definite time schedules.
- Offering insurance against market or price risk, through derivative trading.
- Improvement in the effectiveness of capital allocation, with the help of competitive price mechanism.
Capital market is a measure of inherent strength of the economy. It is one of the best source of finance, for the companies, and offers a spectrum of investment avenues to the investors, which in turn encourages capital creation in the economy.
Types of Capital Market
The capital market is bifurcated in two segments, primary market and secondary market:
- Primary Market: Otherwise called as New Issues Market, it is the market for the trading of new securities, for the first time. It embraces both initial public offering and further public offering. In the primary market, the mobilisation of funds takes place through prospectus, right issue and private placement of securities.
- Secondary Market: Secondary Market can be described as the market for old securities, in the sense that securities which are previously issued in the primary market are traded here. The trading takes place between investors, that follows the original issue in the primary market. It covers both stock exchange and over-the-counter market.
Capital market improves the quality of information available to the investor regarding the investment. Add to that, it plays a crucial role in encouraging the adoption of rules of corporate governance, which backs the trading environment. It includes all the processes that help in the transfer of already existing securities.