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Over-the-Counter Exchange of India (OTCEI)


The Over-the-Counter Exchange of India (OTCEI) is a Mumbai-based electronic trading platform established in 1992 to facilitate small- and medium-sized businesses in gaining access to public funding. Unlike regular stock exchanges, it allows for direct trade between parties without the involvement of a broker or intermediary. The exchange also provides increased transparency, improved liquidity, and better risk management.


“Over-the-Counter Exchange of India (OTCEI)” phonetically can be stated as:Oh-ver-thuh-koun-ter Ex-change ov In-dia (O.T.C.E.I)

Key Takeaways

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  1. OTCEI was introduced in 1990 in India with the intention of providing a trading platform for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are unable to list on the main stock exchanges.
  2. OTCEI allows buying and selling of shares of both listed and unlisted companies. It serves as a beneficial platform for SMEs to raise capital, while also providing investors with a more diversified portfolio.
  3. Unlike conventional stock exchanges, the OTCEI operates on a decentralized model, providing more flexibility and convenience to investors and enabling nationwide trading.



The Over-the-Counter Exchange of India (OTCEI) is crucial as it provides a platform for smaller companies to raise capital, supporting entrepreneurship and promoting economic growth. It operates differently from traditional exchanges, executing trades through a dealer network rather than a centralized location. Investors can engage in seamless nationwide trading, which enhances market transparency, liquidity, and accessibility. Moreover, OTCEI encourages less established enterprises that might ordinarily struggle to meet stringent listing requirements on larger exchanges. Overall, OTCEI is vital in fostering a more inclusive financial environment, enabling a broader range of businesses to access the capital markets in India.


The Over-the-Counter Exchange of India (OTCEI) serves a crucial purpose in the Indian financial sector by providing a transparent and organized marketplace for smaller and medium companies to raise capital. The OTCEI’s establishment was designed to encourage these companies to go public and access the investment resources necessary to fuel their growth. In essence, it’s a platform that helps drive economic expansion by facilitating the mobilization and distribution of capital.In terms of usage, the OTCEI operates as a nationwide electronic trading platform. Its structure enables wide-reaching participation from multiple investor categories, promoting a wider dissemination of a company’s shares. The entire platform is computerized, thus ensuring quick trade execution, greater transparency, and the prevention of malpractices that can occur in physical trading environments. Furthermore, the OTCEI uses the ‘market maker’ concept, where designated members provide buy and sell quotes ensuring liquidity for the listed securities, which benefits both the investors by enabling easy transactions and the companies by ensuring a market for their securities.


The Over-the-Counter Exchange of India (OTCEI) is an Indian electronic trading platform that was set up in 1992 to deal with stocks and securities which are not listed on major stock exchanges. Here are three real-world examples where OTCEI has been used:1. Wipro Ltd.: One of the leading IT companies in India, Wipro Ltd., was listed on the OTCEI. This provided the company with the necessary capital for its expansion, and investors also received a handy return on their investment when Wipro subsequently performed well in the market.2. Essar Gujarat: Essar Gujarat, now known as Essar Steel, a fully integrated flat carbon steel manufacturer, is another example. The company used OTCEI as a platform to raise capital.3. OTCEI also played a significant role in launching Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) for many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). For instance, many companies in the software sector during the IT boom of the late 1990s used OTCEI for their Initial Public Offerings. They wanted to take advantage of the growing investor interest in this sector, and OTCEI provided an accessible and more flexible platform for them. Please note that OTCEI ceased to operate in 2015 due to a lack of trading.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Over-the-Counter Exchange of India (OTCEI)?

The Over-the-Counter Exchange of India (OTCEI) is a fully automated, nationwide, electronic stock exchange in India. Established in 1990, it was designed to improve stock market efficiency by providing smaller, often unlisted companies, a platform for trading shares.

Who can trade on the OTCEI?

Both retail and institutional investors can trade on the OTCEI. This includes individual traders, brokerage firms, and financial institutions.

How does trading on the OTCEI differ from trading on a traditional stock exchange?

The primary difference is that the OTCEI is a fully electronic, over-the-counter market, meaning that trading is conducted electronically rather than in a physical location. This allows for greater transparency, faster transactions, and extended trading hours.

What kinds of companies are listed on the OTCEI?

The OTCEI primarily features smaller and medium enterprises (SMEs). Many of these companies are new and innovative businesses that may not meet the requirements for listing on larger, more traditional exchanges.

How does OTCEI benefit smaller companies?

The OTCEI gives smaller, less established companies the opportunity to raise capital and gain exposure. It has more relaxed eligibility requirements for listing than larger exchanges, making it easier for these companies to go public.

What types of securities can be traded on the OTCEI?

A variety of financial instruments can be traded on the OTCEI, including shares, debentures, bonds, and mutual funds.

What is the governance structure of the OTCEI?

The OTCEI is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Its operations are managed by a core team of professional executives.

Is investing in the OTCEI risky?

Like all investments, trading on the OTCEI comes with a degree of risk. It’s important for investors to thoroughly research any company before investing and to spread their investments across a diversified portfolio.

Where can I find more information about the OTCEI?

You can find information about the OTCEI, including current listings and recent news, on the official OTCEI website.

Related Finance Terms

  • OTCEI Listing: This refers to the process of a company’s shares being admitted for trading on the Over-the-Counter Exchange of India. Companies that meet the minimum requirements set by the OTCEI can get themselves listed.
  • OTCEI Dealers: These are the authorized participants who are permitted to trade on the OTCEI. They may include brokers, financial institutions, and other market intermediaries.
  • OTCEI Securities: These are the financial instruments that are traded on the OTCEI. They may include shares, bonds, and other types of securities issued by the listed companies.
  • OTCEI Trading System: This is the electronic trading system through which orders for the purchase and sale of securities are placed, matched, and executed on the OTCEI.
  • Sponsored Company: This term refers to the process where an established company (sponsor) supports a smaller company (new/young/small & medium enterprise) to get them listed in the OTC market. The sponsored company shares are traded on the OTCEI.

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