Module 1   Introduction to Stock MarketsChapter 10

Clearing and Settlement Process

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10.1 – Overview

While the topic of clearing and settlement is quite theoretical it is important to understand the mechanics behind it. As a trader or an investor, you need not actually worry about how the trades are cleared and settled as there are professional intermediaries to carry out this function seamlessly for you.

However, the lack of understanding of the clearing and settlement process could leave a void, and would not give a sense of completeness to the learning process. Hence, for this reason, we will explore what happens behind the scene from the time you buy a stock to the time it hits your DEMAT account.

We will keep this very practical with a clear emphasis on what you as a market participant should really know.

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10.2 – What happens when you buy a stock?

Day 1 – The trade (T Day), Monday

Assume on 23rd June 2014 (Monday) you buy 100 shares of Reliance Industries at Rs.1,000/- per share. The total buy value is Rs.100,000/- (100 * 1000). The day you make the transaction is referred to as the trade date, represented as ‘T Day’.

By the end of trade day, your broker will debit Rs.100,000/- and the applicable charges towards your purchase. Assuming the trade is executed through Zerodha, the applicable charges would be as follows:

Sl No Chargeable Item Applicable Charges Amount
01 Brokerage Zero charges on Equity Delivery or 0.01% or Rs.20/- whichever is lower for intraday trades Zero
02 Security Transaction Charges 0.1% of the turnover 100/-
03 Transaction Charges 0.00325% of the turnover 3.25/-
04 GST 18% of Brokerage + Transaction charges 0.585/-
07 SEBI Charges Rs.10 per crore of transaction 0.1/
Total 103.93/-

So an amount of Rs.100,000/- plus Rs.103.93/- (which includes all the applicable charges) totaling Rs.100,103.93/- will be debited from your trading account the day you make the transaction. Do remember, the money goes out of your account but the stock has not come into your DEMAT account yet.

Also, on the same day, the broker generates a ‘contract note’ and sends you a copy of the same. A contract note is like a bill generated detailing every transaction you made. This is an important document that is worth saving for future reference. A contract note typically shows a break up of all transactions done during the day along with the trade reference number. It also shows the breakup of charges charged by the broker.

Day 2 – Trade Day + 1 (T+ day, Tuesday)

The day after you made the transaction is called the T+1 day. On T+1 day you can sell the stock that you purchased the previous day.  If you do so, you are basically doing a quick trade called “Buy Today, Sell Tomorrow” (BTST) or “Acquire Today, Sell Tomorrow” (ATST). Remember the stock is not in your DEMAT account yet. Hence, there is a risk involved, and you could be in trouble for selling a stock that you don’t really own. This doesn’t mean, every time you do a BTST trade you end up in trouble, but it does once in a way especially when you trade B group and illiquid stocks. The reason why this happens is a little convoluted, and we deliberately will not touch this topic now.

If you are starting fresh in the markets, I would suggest you do not do BTST trades unless you understand the risk involved.

From your perspective, nothing happens on T+1 day. However, in the background, the money required to purchase the shares is collected by the exchange along with the exchange transaction charges and Security transaction tax.

Day 3 – Trade Day + 2 (T+2 day, Wednesday)

On day 3 or the T+2 day, around 11 AM shares are debited from the person who sold you the shares and credited to the brokerage with whom you are trading, who will in turn credit it to your DEMAT account by end of the day. Similarly, money that was debited from you is credited to the person who sold the shares. 

The shares will now start reflecting in the DEMAT account indicating that you own 100 shares of Reliance.

So for all practical purposes, if you buy a share on day T Day, you can expect to receive the shares in your DEMAT account only by end of T+2 day. The shares are available for a transaction on T+3day.

10.3 – What happens when you sell a stock?

The day you sell the stocks is again called the trade day, represented as ‘T Day’. The moment you sell the stock from your DEMAT account, the stock gets blocked. Before the T+2 day, the blocked shares are given to the exchange. On T+2 day you would receive the funds from the sale which will be credited to your trading account after deduction of all applicable charges.


Key takeaways from this chapter

  1. The day you make a transaction, it is called the trade date, represented as ‘T Day’
  2. The broker is required to issue you a contract note for all the transactions carried out by end of T day
  3. When you buy a share, the same will be reflected in your DEMAT account by end of T+2 day
  4. All equity/stock settlements in India happen on a T+2 basis
  5. When you sell shares, the shares are blocked immediately and the sale proceeds credited again on T +2 day

1,577 comments

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  1. Praveen says:

    In case of there is a bank/DP holiday on T+2 day, will the shares still shown under T1 holdings?

    • Suchetha says:

      Yes. If there is a bank/DP holiday on T+2 day, the shares will still show up in the T1 holdings in day 1 and 2.
      For example : If shares are bought on 8th November and 10th November is a settlement holiday, the shares will reflect in the T1 holdings on 9th and 10th November and the client can sell after the 13th November.

      • Vijay says:

        I have question if I sell one share after it got credited in Demat account. What are the charges I need to pay for it. Thanks.

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          Hi Vijay, there is no brokerage for the sell transaction. However you will have to have to pay DP charges of Rs.13.5/- irrespective of the quantity sold. I’d suggest you take a look at this – https://zerodha.com/charges.

          • Diptiranjan Parida says:

            When the DP charges are debited from the trading account?

          • Karthik Rangappa says:

            When you sell shares from DP.

          • Sumit Kumar Pandit says:

            Hi Karthik,
            I am confused about selling an instrument and settlement. Following is my understanding:
            1. If we buy an equity today we can sell on the same day and it will be called intraday trade. In this trade the equity never actually hits the demat account but we only trade the price difference.
            2. If we sell an equity on T+1 day, since buy orders are already sent to the exchange on T day-end, it is out of broker’s control and cannot be treated as intraday. Also, equities don’t hit demat on T+1 day and we sell equity that we don’t yet own resulting in shorting.
            3. This will lead to two different trades in portfolio viz., T day long trade and T+1 day short trade.
            4. If we sell equity on T+2 or beyond, we essentially sell the equity that we own in our demat.
            5. Regarding our profits, all profits are available only on the next day of settlement except for intraday which is made available on the same day end. And our T+1 trade was not a settlement at all.
            Kindly correct if I am wrong in above understanding. Now following are my questions:
            A. Are these same rules applicable on futures/options also?
            B. Are futures/options being just contracts can be bought and sold anytime i.e., intraday, T+1 and T+2 and beyond?
            C. If they have different rules, please explain.
            Thanks,
            Sumit Kumar Pandit

          • Karthik Rangappa says:

            1) Yes, this is correct
            2) Yes, this is correct as well
            3) This will be a BTST trade, suggest you read this – https://zerodha.com/z-connect/queries/stock-and-fo-queries/btstatst-buyacquire-today-sell-tomorrow
            4) Yes, sell would be from DEMAT
            5) Yes

            A) The settlement is slightly different. I’d suggest you read the Futures module – https://zerodha.com/varsity/module/futures-trading/
            B) Yes, these can be bought and sold anytime. Your holding period can be as small as 30 Seconds.
            C) Please go through the module on derivatives.

          • Prateek Lal says:

            Hi Karthik, thanks for curating such great and educative content @varsity. Could you please refer me to the Derivatives section where I could read all about CO and BO. I couldn’t find the derivatives module.

          • Karthik Rangappa says:

            Glad you liked it, Prateek. We have divided the derivative across 3 modules –

            1) Futures – https://zerodha.com/varsity/module/futures-trading/
            2) Options Theory – https://zerodha.com/varsity/module/option-theory/
            3) Option Stratergies – https://zerodha.com/varsity/module/option-strategies/

            BO/CO is a part of the Futures module.

    • karan agrawal says:

      hello sir i am karan . i am not able to sell my stocks…i am trying to sell my stocks from over 1month but some other user ADMINSQF1 is buying it …whats that …..what should i do????

    • Dharmveer Choudhary says:

      If i sell my shares on Thursday when i will able to transfer money in my bank account from Trading account?

    • Avinash says:

      I want to ask one question I am using Zerodha So what happen in the case where I sold X company shares and amount is reflected immediately as free cash with same figure as -minus in margins and if I used this same amount shown in -margins for purchasing Y company shares do it deduct some charges for it apart from normal brokerage charges…???

      • Karthik Rangappa says:

        All applicable charges will be deducted, Avinash. You should buffer for this before buying Y to avoid any -ve balance in your trading account. Check this to know about all the charges – https://zerodha.com/charges

        • Kunal Kothari says:

          I have the same question.
          1) If I sell “Stock/Bond/InvIT/FMP X” for Rs 1000 today, and want to buy “Company Y” shares the same day for Rs 950, is it possible, or do I have to wait for T+2 after the sale before I can buy with the Rs 1000?
          2) What if I have units worth Rs 1000 of Liquid Bees/ETF of Reliance/DSP? Do I have to sell the units before or after I buy “Company Y” stock? (I assume at least in this case I don’t need to wait for T+2 before buying)
          Thanks in advance!

          • Karthik Rangappa says:

            1) We provide you credit to the extent of the shares sold on the same day. So you can buy Y shares the same day. But do account for the applicable charges
            2) Its the same, you get credit to the extent of sale. So you can buy shares of Y the same day.

    • Sandeep says:

      I sold shares at 5000/- profit still my free cash and margin used are same
      When will it get changed

      • Karthik Rangappa says:

        The settlement is on a T+2 basis, but you will have the margins available on your dashboard. I’d suggest you call the support desk to check this once. Thanks.

    • Arvind kumar singh says:

      Sir main 20/12/2018(Thursday) ko intraday me 185/- profit earned kiya but abhi tk profit hmare Demat account me nhi credit kiya gya hai.

    • Ankit Chandra says:

      If i am buying one share on MIS option and after buying rate is going down and wish to take delivery then how to retain that share and stop selling on market rate at the end of the day?

      • Karthik Rangappa says:

        Ankit, you can do a simple position conversion here. Doing so the MIS position will be converted to a CNC buy and you can carry forward the position overnight.

  2. Surya says:

    How does the intraday buy and sell work in this case? Does it mean in case of intraday trading we are essentially selling the shares that are not with us?

  3. udit says:

    if i buy share om friday ,what will be t+1 day and t+2 day??

  4. udit says:

    if i by share in CNC and sell on same day ,which brokerage i have to pay intraday or delivery ?

  5. Harish says:

    How to transfer money from bank to trading account and vice versa?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      You can do this by clicking on the ‘Fund Transfer’ option. Through this you can bring money into your trading account or take money out of your trading account (back to your bank account).

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