What Is Dalal Street?

Dalal Street is a street in downtown Mumbai, India, that houses the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the largest stock exchange in India, and other reputable financial institutions. It received the name Dalal Street after the Bombay Stock Exchange moved there in 1874 and became the first stock exchange recognized by the Indian government.

The literal translation of Dalal in Marathi is a broker or intermediary. Today, Dalal Street is a metonym for the entire Indian financial sector, much like Wall Street is in the United States.

Key Takeaways

  • Dalal Street is a street in downtown Mumbai, India, that is home to the Bombay Stock Exchange and other financial institutions.
  • Much like Wall Street in the United States, Dalal Street has become a metonym for the entire Indian financial sector.
  • The Bombay Stock Exchange has facilitated the financial growth of Dalal Street by creating an efficient marketplace in which to raise capital.
  • The Nihonbashi district in Japan, Canary Wharf in London, are all similar financial hubs to Dalal Street and Wall Street.

Understanding Dalal Street

Dalal Street is used by Indian investors in the same way as Wall Street is referenced in the United States. It's the location of a major stock exchange where large amounts of money flow through each day. On days the Indian market closes lower or above the previous day, the media will cite turmoil or growth on Dalal Street.

The Bombay Stock Exchange is the best known and most important exchange located on Dalal Street. It is one of the first exchanges in Asia to address latency in the era of electronic trading. In the 141 years of existence, the BSE has facilitated the growth of the corporate sector by creating an efficient marketplace to raise capital. Other products and services available to market participants include risk management, clearing and settlement procedures, market data services, and investor education.

The Bombay Stock Exchange's most popular equity index, the S&P BSE Sensex, is a widely recognized benchmark in India and around the world. It tracks the performance of the 30 largest stocks in 12 different sectors on the exchange. It is the equivalent of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) in the United States. Investors can gain exposure to the Sensex through the EUREX as well as leading exchanges in Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa. Other assets listed on the BSE include stocks, futures, and options. 

Dalal Street and Other Major Financial Hubs

Dalal Street is a central location for most financial activities in India and is one of many such hubs around the world. The equivalent of this in the United States is Wall Street, where on the street and the surrounding area is located the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Federal Reserve, and other financial institutions. For London, Canary Wharf sits at the center of banking and finance. The financial district is home to the London Stock Exchange and the headquarters of major international banks like Barclays and HSBC.

Most financial activity in Japan funnels through the Nihonbashi district. Here you can find the Bank of Japan, the Tokyo Stock Exchange, major financial institutions, and popular shopping centers. Other areas with financial districts like Dalal Street include Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, and Zurich.