Recommended for traders and investors focusing on the Indian market
Sharekhan is an India-based stockbroker founded in 2000. It is a subsidiary of French banking group BNP Paribas, which is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange. Sharekhan is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
Sharekhan is considered safe because its parent company has a banking background with a stock exchange listing; it has a long track record; and it is regulated by a top-tier regulator.
Sharekhan pros and cons
Sharekhan's mobile trading platform is user-friendly and well-equipped. The compay offers some solid research to assist your trading decisions, while its customer support team gives quick and useful answers.
On the other hand, Sharekhan gives you access only to Indian markets; and its stock and forex fees, while not excessive, are not very competitive on this market. Among other negatives, you can use only bank transfer for deposit and withdrawal.
|• Great mobile trading platform||• Average to high trading fees|
|• Strong research||• Only Indian markets available|
|• Reliable customer service||• Funding only via bank transfer|
|🗺️ Country of regulation||India|
|💰 Trading fees class||High|
|💰 Inactivity fee charged||No|
|💰 Withdrawal fee amount||$0|
|💰 Minimum deposit||$0|
|🕖 Time to open an account||1-3 days|
|💳 Deposit with bank card||Not available|
|👛 Depositing with electronic wallet||Not available|
|💱 Number of base currencies supported||1|
|🎮 Demo account provided||No|
|🛍️ Products offered||Stock, ETF, Forex, Fund, Bond, Options, Futures|
Sharekhan charges no withdrawal fee or inactivity fee, but its stock and forex trading fees are not very competitive, and an account fee kicks in starting your second year.
|• Low non-trading fees||• High trading fees|
|• No withdrawal fee||• Not transparent fee structure|
|• Account fee after one year|
|Assets||Fee level||Fee terms|
|US stock||-||Not available|
|Mutual fund||-||Not available|
|Inactivity fee||Low||No inactivity fee|
How we ranked fees
We ranked Sharekhan's fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.
To get things rolling, let's go over some lingo related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees, and non-trading fees.
- Trading fees occur when you trade. These can be commissions, spreads, financing rates and conversion fees.
- Non-trading fees include charges not directly related to trading, like withdrawal fees or inactivity fees.
In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of Sharekhan for each asset class. For example, in the case of stock investing the most important fees are commissions.
We also compared Sharekhan's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, Zerodha and Interactive Brokers. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of Sharekhan alternatives.
To have a clear overview of Sharekhan, let's start with the trading fees.
Sharekhan trading fees may not appear particularly high in a global comparison, but they're significantly higher than the fees charged by the company's closest competitors on the Indian market.
In another negative, the fee structure is not transparent at all. In what is a quite unusual practice among brokers, Sharekhan's website contains no official information about fees. It is possible to get this information only by contacting the customer support team, or by actually opening an account, after which you will receive some documents about pricing.
As Indian brokers usually offer only a few products, we compare these brokers by calculating all fees of a typical trade for selected popular products. We chose the following assets:
- Reliance, one of the biggest Indian stocks by market cap
- USDINR, a popular currency pair
We compared the fees for equity delivery trading in the case of Reliance, and currency futures trading in the case of USDINR. In our review, a typical trade means buying a position, holding it for one week, and then selling it. For the volume, we chose a $2,000 position for our stock trade, and $20,000 for the USDINR transaction.
This catch-all benchmark includes spreads, commissions and financing costs for all brokers.
According to this comparison, Sharekhan has relatively high stock fees and currency futures fees, especially when matched against Zerodha's commission-free Indian stock offer.
|USDINR benchmark fee||$4.0||$0.6||-|
Sharekhan has average non-trading fees. There is no inactivity fee or withdrawal fee. However, from the second year onward, you will be charged a maintenance fee of INR 400.
Sharekhan doesn’t charge any fees for Depository Participant (DP) transactions. The transfer of shares to and from a DP account is free.
Account opening is fully digital and there is no minimum account balance. On the negative side, only Indian residents and non-resident Indians can open an account.
|• Fully digital||• Only Indian residents and non-resident Indians can open an account|
|• No minimum deposit|
Can you open an account?
Only Indian residents and non-resident Indians (NRI) can open an account.
What is the minimum deposit at Sharekhan?
The required Sharekhan minimum deposit is $0.
When opening an account at Sharekhan, the first step is to decide whether to open a Trading Account or an InstaMf Account. A Trading Account is for trading various assets from stocks to options, while InstaMF is for investing in mutual funds.
If you choose the Trading Account, you can pick one of the following four sub-account types.
- First Step (for beginners)
- Investor Classic (for investors)
- Trade Tiger (for active traders)
- Advisory (for high net worth individuals)
How to open your account
The account opening process is quite simple and efficient, and took two days in total. The process is as follows:
- Enter your name, phone number and email address on an online registration form.
- Next, you get a call or an email from a customer service agent, specifying the documents needed to open a trading account.
- The final step is verification, where you have to upload the required documents.
You have to upload the following documents (all documents should be self-attested):
- A copy of your PAN card
- Proof of residence - a copy of your aadhaar card, ration card, passport, driver's license, or a bank statement from the past 2 months
- Savings account details - cheque leaf with name printed on it; or 2 copies of passbook first page and latest transaction entry; or latest bank statement
- A recent passport-sized photograph - 2 copies
If you want to trade futures or options, you need to go through another registration process, which also involves uploading any of the following documents:
- Acknowledged copy of Income Tax Return (ITR)
- Bank statements for the last 6 months
- Latest salary slip
- Copy of Form 16 for salaried individuals
- Net worth certificate, duly certified by a chartered accountant
Deposit and withdrawal
Deposit and withdrawal at Sharekhan are free, but they're also somewhat limited, as there is only one base currency, and you can only use bank transfer.
|• Free withdrawal||• Credit/Debit card not available|
|• No deposit fee||• Only one account base currency|
At Sharekhan, you can only open an account in INR. This, while matching the offer of Indian rivals Zerodha, puts Sharekhan at a disadvantage compared with global competitors such as Interactive Brokers.
|Number of base currencies||1||1||19|
Why does this matter? For two reasons. If you fund your trading account in the same currency as your bank account or you trade assets in the same currency as your trading account base currency, you don't have to pay a conversion fee.
A convenient way to save on currency conversion fees is by opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. They both offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone.
Deposit fees and options
Sharekhan charges no deposit fees. However, you can use only bank transfer.
A bank transfer can take several business days, while payment with a credit/debit card would be instant.
You can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name.
Sharekhan withdrawal fees and options
Sharekhan charges no withdrawal fees, but you can only use bank transfer, a common setup in this segment of the market.
How long does it take to withdraw money from Sharekhan? We tested the bank transfer withdrawal and it took 1 business day.
You can only withdraw money to accounts that are in your name.
How do you withdraw money from Sharekhan? You can withdraw money from Sharekhan by following these steps:
- Log in to your account
- Click 'Accounts'
- Choose 'Equity to bank'
- Specify your withdrawal request
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Web trading platform
Sharekhan's web trading platform is user-friendly and looks really simple yet sophisticated. However, it lacks customization options and a clear fee report.
|• User-friendly||• No clear fee report available|
|• Two-step (safer) login||• Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)|
|• Good search function|
Sharekhan has an in-house developed web trading platform, called Sharekhan Website.
The web trading platform is available only in English.
Look and feel
The Sharekhan web trading platform is user-friendly and has many great features.
On the negative side, the platform is not customizable.
Login and security
Sharekhan offers a two-step login procedure, which is safer than one-step login. You can set this feature if you unlock 2FA in your settings.
The platform's search functions are good. If you start typing the name of a stock or any other product, you will be offered a list of auto-suggestions.
You can use the following order types:
- Bracket and Trailing
If you are not familiar with the basic order types, read this overview.
There are also order time limits you can use:
- Good 'til Day (GTD)
- Good 'til Time (GTT)
- Immediate or Cancel (IOC)
You can set alerts or notifications for stock prices, news, board meetings/AGMs or the latest company announcements, among others.
Portfolio and fee reports
Sharekhan has a clear portfolio report, but no fee report; in other words, you can't see how much commission you paid to the broker.
Mobile trading platform
Sharekhan's mobile trading platform has the same clean look and user-friendly handling, and offers most of the same functionalities as the web trading platform.
|• Two-step (safer) login|
|• Modern design|
Sharekhan's mobile trading platform is available in English. The mobile application comes in two versions:
- Sharekhan App is for Android and IOS users with access to a high-speed broadband network connection
- Sharekhan Mini is for users with 2G connections, and is a more basic and lite version
In this review, we tested the Sharekhan App on IOS.
The mobile trading platform has the same search, order and login functions as the web platform.
Although Sharekhan's web and mobile trading platforms are very similar to each other, we assign a higher weight to simplicity and ease-of-use in the case of mobile trading platforms. That's why the Sharekhan mobile trading platform received a higher score than the web trading platform.
Desktop trading platform
Sharekhan's desktop trading platform offers great customizability, many order types and convenient search, but it's not well-designed, and lacks two-step login or a fee report.
|• Good customizability (for charts, workspace)||• No clear fee report available|
|• Good variety of order types||• No two-step (safer) login|
|• Good search function||• Poor design|
Sharekhan has an in-house developed desktop trading platform, called TradeTiger.
The desktop trading platform is available in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and Tamil.
Look and feel
On the Sharekhan desktop trading platform, you can easily find all the important features, but the platform is also highly customizable. However, we didn't like the design, as it felt outdated.
Login and security
TradeTiger requires only one-step login. A two-step login procedure would be more secure.
The platform's search functions are good. If you start typing, an auto-suggestion list will appear with relevant equities or other assets.
You can use the same order types as on the web trading platform, but there are more order time limits:
- Good 'til Canceled (GTC)
- Good 'til Day (GTD)
- Immediate or Cancel (IOC)
- Fill or Kill (FOK)
- All or Nothing (AON)
Alerts and notifications
You can set the same alerts as on the web trading platform.
Portfolio and fee reports
Sharekhan has a clear portfolio report, but no similar fee report.
Markets and products
At Sharekhan, you can trade almost all asset classes, except CFDs and cryptos. On the negative side, only Indian markets are available.
At Sharekhan, you can trade many asset classes, but the product selection within each asset class is often not very competitive.
Stocks and ETFs
Sharkehan gives access to two Indian stock exchanges, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). It is the same selection as that offered by Zerodha, but lags behind other rivals such as Interactive Brokers, where you have access to many stock exchanges globally, including also minor ones.
|Stock markets (#)||2||2||78|
At Sharekhan, you can trade currencies only as futures. There are only a few currency pairs available: EURINR, USDINR, JPYINR, EURUSD, GBPUSD and USDJPY. While its closest global competitor Interactive Brokers has a much wider forex offer, it doesn't offer currency pairs that include INR.
|Currency pairs (#)||6||4||105|
Sharekhan offers a decent selection of mutual fund providers.
|Fund providers (#)||50||39||260|
Most of these are local fund providers, such as ICICI Prudential, but you will also find international fund providers like Goldman Sachs.
Sharekhan also offers bonds, but there is no clear information on how many or what type of bonds you can trade.
You can trade options on the NSE and MCX exchanges.
|Options markets (#)||2||2||33|
You can trade futures on the same exchanges that are available for options trading.
|Futures markets (#)||2||2||32|
Sharekhan offers some great research, including trading recommendations, fundamental data and a useful interactive chart. However, its news flow could be improved.
|• Good interactive chart||• Poor quality news|
|• Trading ideas|
|• Data on asset fundamentals|
You can find research tools on both the web trading platform and the desktop trading platform.
Sharekhan offers trading ideas. These can be found in research notes and reports, and are based largely on the asset's fundamentals.
Sharekhan also offers fundamental data. This includes information such as financial statements, balance sheets and various kinds of earnings ratios.
Sharekhan has good charting tools. You can easily edit the charts. There are also 70 technical indicators you can use, giving you fairly good options for analysis.
You can find news items under the 'Market' tab, including market wraps, corporate news or macro data. You can also find relevant news under specific assets. The news flow is not very high quality, as most items are little more than brief snippets, with few details and no charts or visuals.
Customer support at Sharekhan is very good, offering fast responses in many languages. However, there is no 24/7 availability.
|• Live chat||• No 24/7 support|
|• Fast response time|
|• Available in local languages|
You can contact Sharekhan via:
- live chat
Sharekhan operates a live chat. The relevancy of the answers was impressive. However, before asking any questions, you need to enter your personal information such as your name, phone number and email address.
Sharekhan phone support works well. Responses were accurate and we were connected quickly.
Via email, we received answers within a day most of the time, which is considered pretty fast. However, the answers were sometimes not the most relevant.
Sharekhan offers many ways to help you improve your financial knowledge, including platform tutorials, webinars or educational videos. We missed a demo account, however.
|• Trading platform tutorial||• No demo account|
|• Educational videos|
|• Good production quality|
At Sharekhan you can learn in the following ways:
- Platform tutorial videos
- General educational videos
- Quality educational articles
- Free workshops
You can find educational tools under the 'Education First' tab.
Among others, we liked the clear categorization of educational videos and articles: Mutual Funds, Personal Finance, Stock Investing and Trading.
The only feature we missed was a demo account, which would be a great way to familiarize yourself with the platform and market basics before starting to trade live.
Sharekhan is regulated by the SEBI and is one of the oldest online stockbrokers in India. It is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a banking background and is publicly listed.
|• Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority||• No investor protection|
|• Banking background||• No negative balance protection|
|• Parent company listed on stock exchange|
Is Sharekhan regulated?
Yes, it is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
Sharekhan is based in India and was founded in 2000.
Is Sharekhan safe?
To be certain, it is best to check two things: how you are protected if something goes wrong, and what the background of the broker is.
How you are protected
This is important for you because the investor protection amount and the regulator differ from entity to entity. This is not an issue in our case, though, as all Sharekhan customers are covered by Sharekhan BNP Paribas Financial Services Limited. Because of Sharekhan's status as a broker regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), clients are not eligible for any investor protection amount.
Sharekhan does not provide negative balance protection.
Sharekhan was established in 2000 and is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas. The longer the track record of a broker, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises.
Parent company BNP Paribas has a banking background; as such, it is facing tougher regulation than brokers.
Furthermore, BNP Paribas is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange. It is a big plus for safety as the company releases financial statements regularly and transparently.
Having a parent company with a banking background and stock exchange listing, being in operation for a long time, and being regulated by a top-tier financial authority are all great signs for Sharekhan's safety.
Sharekhan is a decent stockbroker in India with a long history.
On the plus side, it has low non-trading fees, the mobile trading app is great, and the company offers superb customer service and useful research tools.
There are some drawbacks though. You can only access Indian markets, trading fees are not the best, and you can use only bank transfer to deposit or withdraw money.
As there is no inactivity fee, no account fee in the first year, and the mobile app is easy to use, we encourage you to give Sharekhan a try.