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Stock Lending and Borrowing: How It Works?

Stock Lending and Borrowing

Stock Lending and Borrowing: How It Works?

Investors look for all the possible ways to make the most of the profit in their trading journey. The one way for such traders is the SLB or Stock Lending and Borrowing. To know how SLB is beneficial it’s important to know what SLB is exactly, so let’s understand.  

What is Stock Lending and Borrowing(SLB)?

Stock Lending and Borrowing is also known as Securities Lending and Borrowing. In this process, Investors having securities can lend them to other investors who want to use these shares for short-selling.

Stock lending is just like a loan where investors get interest rates on their shares at a fixed tenure by both parties. Investors holding long-term shares lend them to borrowers who use to short-sell the securities.

This process is regulated by SEBI and there is a separate segment in NSE & BSE to operate stock lending. It assures less risk and you get a chance of getting a regular dividend as you hold the ownership of the shares.    

Interest Rates on Stock Lending

The interest rate of stock lending isn’t fixed, it varies from stock to stock and is also dependent on the market conditions. SEBI has fixed 12 months as the maximum tenure time.  

How does Stock Lending Work?

Let's break down the process of stock lending and borrowing into four key steps:

1. Agreement: The lender (usually an institutional investor) and the borrower (typically a broker or financial institution) enter into a stock lending agreement. This agreement outlines the terms and conditions, including the duration of the loan, fees, collateral requirements, and any restrictions on the use of the borrowed shares.

2. Transfer of Shares: Once the agreement is in place, the lender transfers the shares to the borrower's account. The borrower can then use these shares for various purposes, such as short selling or covering existing short positions.

3. Collateral: To mitigate counterparty risk, borrowers are usually required to provide collateral to lenders. This collateral can be in the form of cash, government securities, or other acceptable assets. The value of the collateral is typically higher than the value of the borrowed shares.

4. Fee and Return: In exchange for lending their shares, the lender receives a fee or interest payment from the borrower. The fee is usually a percentage of the value of the borrowed shares and is determined by market demand and supply dynamics. At the end of the loan term, the borrower returns the shares to the lender, and any collateral provided is released.

Documents Required for Stock Lending 

To get into Stock lending you first require documents before starting the lending and borrowing of the securities, the required documents are as follows:

  • Pan Card
  • Identity Proof ( Aadhaar Card, Passport, Voter ID Card, and Driving License )
  • Additional documents required are mentioned by your broker) 

Benefits of Stock Lending

  • Increased market efficiency: SLB provides liquidity and depth to the market which increases the efficiency of the market.
  • Price discovery: Investors take advantage of the short market movements and also discover the price of the securities in the current market.
  • Risk management: It gives an opportunity to the traders to manage the risk and reduce the cost of trading.
  • Revenue Generation: Investors who hold long-term securities get an additional source of revenue generation.   

Stock lending is beneficial for both the lender and borrower in some ways, Here are the benefits for the lenders and borrowers involved in the stock lending process:


SLB offers an additional return on a dormant portfolio. As a result, if one has 1000 shares of XYZ that are intended to be held for a long time, they can be lent anytime there is a need. As the guarantor in this case, NSCCL, the lender receives loan fees.


A borrower is likely considering one of the following opportunities: 

  • stock price arbitrage between two exchanges
  • reverse arbitrage when futures are priced below the stock
  • covering short positions to prevent settlement failure
  • option mispricing
  • Other F&O arbitrage or hedging strategies call for stocks. Here, SLB could be used to borrow stocks from a lender in exchange for a charge.

Risks of Stock Lending

There are risks involved in stock lending and borrowing

  • Lenders face counterparty risk, where the borrower may fail to return the shares or provide sufficient collateral in case of default. 
  • Borrowers may also face risks if the price of the borrowed shares rises significantly, resulting in potential losses when repurchasing them.

Important Terminologies and Their Meaning





A lender refers to a person who deposits securities with an authorised intermediary for the purpose of lending under the program, whether they are registered in their name or the name of another person who has been properly authorised to act on their behalf.



The borrower is the person who borrows the securities from the lender under an SLB platform  


Lending Fees

The price at which the transaction is executed is known as the lending fee and is determined as per the market price.


First Trade Day

The day when lenders and borrowers can enter the transactions is First Trade Day.


Stock Return Day

Stock Return Day is the day when the contract comes to an end and the borrower returns the stocks to the lender. 


Last Trade Day

The third business day previous to any given stock return day will serve as the final day to borrow and lend.



The term "recall" denotes the lender's desire to take back the security that was lent before the contract's stock return day.


Early Return 

When the borrower is interested in returning the securities before the expiration day.



Stock lending and borrowing serve as essential mechanisms in the financial markets, facilitating short selling, enhancing liquidity, and supporting various investment strategies. 

By understanding how it works, investors can make informed decisions regarding their lending or borrowing activities. However, it is crucial to carefully evaluate the associated risks and work with reputable counterparties to ensure a smooth and secure stock lending and borrowing experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do stock lending and borrowing work?
Ans: When a borrower requests securities, the owner of the shares or bonds temporarily transfers them to the borrower. In exchange, the borrower gives the lender other shares, bonds, or cash as collateral in addition to paying a borrowing cost. Therefore, securities lending can be employed to gradually boost investor fund returns.

2. What is the income from lending stocks?
Ans: To calculate your income from the lending stocks you can use this equation:

Daily interest earned= Number of shares on loan *Stock Price* Annualized Interest Rate/360*15%

3. How long can you borrow a stock?
Ans: There is no set time that how long you borrow stocks, investors can hold it for a short or long time.

4. What is the position limit in SLB?
Ans: The market-wide position restrictions for SLB transactions are 10% of the company's share count for the free-float capital. There should be no Clearing Member/Participant with open positions exceeding 10% of the market's position limits. The position restrictions for an FII/MF are the same as those for Participants.

5. Does SLB pay monthly dividends?
Ans: SLB’s regular payouts are paid quarterly.



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