What Is Dalal Street?

Dalal Street is an area 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 to the area 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 in the United States.  

Dalal Street Explained

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 for the day the media will cite turmoil 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, 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. 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 Stock Exchanges

Dalal Street is a central location for most financial activity in India. The equivalent of this in the United States is Wall Street, where the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Federal Reserve, and every major bank is located. For London, Canary Wharf sits at the center of banking and finance. The financial district is home to the London Stock Exchange and 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, 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.