Last Updated on Dec 6, 2022 by Aradhana Gotur

Have you ever come across the two-letter code that appears next to a stock or any other capital market instrument on a trading terminal on a stock exchange? We are talking about the stock market series.

Though it may seem daunting to decipher these at first, decoding these codes will simply make trading a lot simpler for you as it takes away certain doubts that you may have. So, let’s understand what each of the NSE stock series means in this article.

NSE stock series

EQ, BE, BL, BT, GC, IL and IQ are the NSE stock series. These suffixes for stocks are more than just codes. They help you understand which stocks of which series you can trade.

Why NSE stock series?

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) is known to be the largest stock exchange in India based on the volume traded. The bourse not only allows trading in equities, but a host of other capital market instruments such as preference shares, debentures, government securities, Indian Depository Receipts (IDR), close-ended mutual funds, and ETFs.

Since these investments are transacted in high volume on NSE, the bourse has established several series/categories for stocks. NSE stock series – EQ, BE, BL, BT, GC, IL and IQ indicate whether you, as a retail investor, can invest in a stock or not. So, as an investor already trading or looking to invest in stocks listed on NSE, familiarising yourself with these terminologies used on NSE would help you to get a better understanding of stock trading.

What do the NSE stock series mean?

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) has categorised its scrips into 7 series. Here’s the NSE series list and what the categories mean.

1. EQ NSE series

This series stands for equity and only permits intra-day transactions and equity delivery. Meaning, the series is only meant for intra-day traders and retail equity investors.

Intraday trading means buying and selling stocks on the same trading day. The aim is not to invest, but to make a profit out of the fluctuation of stock prices.

Equity delivery, on the other hand, means you buy a stock for investment purposes. Meaning, you hold the stock for a while in your demat account before selling it to make a profit.

2. BE NSE series

It stands for Book Entry and facilitates equity delivery, Trade for Trade or T segment trading. In other words, you can only trade such stocks as equity delivery. Intra-day trading is not allowed.

3. BL NSE series

This series is solely meant for trading block deals or placing bulk orders for shares. These are massive deals that are required to have at least 5,00,000 shares in one bundle. Else, the value of the deal has to be Rs. 5 cr. Transactions under the BL series happen on the ‘Block Deal window’ and are executed in a single instance. You can only trade BL stock series from 9:15 am to 9:50 am, after which the Block Window is shut.

4. BT NSE series

This NSE stock series is an exit route for small investors who are looking to sell physical shares. However, investors are only allowed to sell a maximum of 500 shares.

5. GC NSE series

This series is specifically meant for trading Government Securities (G-Sec) and Treasury Bills.

6. IL NSE series

This series is only meant for Foreign Institutional Investors (FII). Also, such investors can only trade in securities of companies whose maximum limit for investment by FII is not reached.

7. IQ NSE series

This NSE stock series only permits Qualified Foreign Investors (QFI) to trade in stocks without the approval of the depositories.


  • Retail investors mostly trade under NSE – EQ and BE categories only.
  • Intraday trading is mostly done under NSE EQ.
  • The ‘delivery percentage’ under BE category is 100%.

Who are Qualified Foreign Investors (QFI)?

As per FII rules, only foreign institutional investors were allowed to invest in domestic companies. Individual investors couldn’t invest in India without having a sub-account with an FII. This limited the scope of foreign investment in the country, which is why the concept of QFI was introduced in 2002.

QFIs didn’t need to have a sub-account with the FII to invest in India. However, they were mandated to have a demat account and a trade account with a depositor. A QFI needed to take prior approval from a depository if their investment breaches 8% of the company’s equity paid-up capital.

The transition from QFI to FPI

Notably, QFIs have now been merged with Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) since 2014 to simplify and attract foreign portfolio investments in India. Vide the FPI Regulations 2014, FII, sub-accounts, and QFIs are now merged with Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI).

The FPI was, in turn, divided into three categories depending on the investor’s risk profile. Here’s the list:

  1. Category I: government and related foreign investors
  2. Category II: regulated broad-based funds (BBF), persons, pension funds, university funds, and unregulated BBFs with regulated investment managers registered as an FPI
  3. Category III: those who don’t fall under the above

By default, the existing QFIs fell under the Category III of FPI. However, they could also be categorised as Category I or Category II if they met the respective eligibility. Also, the existing QFIs at the time were allowed to continue transacting till 6th Jan 2015 or until the QFI got an FPI registration certificate, whichever was earlier.

Now that we have decoded the NSE equity series, you will be in a better position to understand whether or not you can invest in a particular stock listed on the bourse.


What is BE in the stock market?

BE in NSE stands for Book Entry and facilitates equity delivery, Trade for Trade or T segment trading. You can not only trade such stocks as equity delivery; intra-day trading is not allowed.

What NSE means?

NSE stands for the National Stock Exchange. It is the largest bourse in India based on the volume traded.

What is BL in the share market?

The BL series is meant to trade block deals or to place bulk orders for shares. These deals are required to have at least 5,00,000 shares in a bundle or the value of the deal has to be Rs. 5 cr. Trading under this series is open from 9:15 am to 9:50 am.

Aradhana Gotur
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