Banking stocks lead market rally

Kathmandu, December 26

Positive news on the political front coupled with dividends and rights shares issuance of commercial banks and reports of mergers propelled the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index to record a weekly gain of 26.35 points or 2.37 per cent to land at 1,137.03 points, from December 20 to 24.

Starting the trading week at 1,110.68 points on Sunday, the benchmark index had climbed 8.27 points by the day’s closing. The local bourse was northbound on Monday and Tuesday, adding 12.57 points and 6.66 points, respectively.

However, Nepse shed 4.84 points on Wednesday, but managed to recover some of the loss of the earlier day by edging up 3.69 points on Thursday.

Altogether 3.48 million shares worth Rs 2.24 billion were traded through 21,812 transactions during the week. In comparison, 15,612 transactions of 3.33 million shares of 159 companies that amounted to Rs 1.90 billion had been undertaken the previous week.

The sensitive index, which gauges the performance of class ‘A’ stocks, rose 2.53 per cent to 243.96 points.

Likewise, the float index that measures the performance of shares actually traded also went up 2.98 per cent to 81.18 points, during the review period.

Among the subgroups, trading remained constant at 207.97 points. As for the rest of the subgroups, hotels, manufacturing and finance landed in the red.

Banking, the subgroup with the most weightage on Nepse index, led the gainers surging by 3.27 per cent to 1,036.56 points.

As news of the merger of Bank of Kathmandu (BoK) and Lumbini Bank started circulating in mid-week, the two banks recorded massive transactions. Hence, BoK’s share value went up by Rs 10 to Rs 585 and Lumbini Bank’s by

Rs 21 to Rs 401. Standard Chartered gained Rs 110 to close at Rs 2,510, and NIC Asia rose Rs 97 to Rs 1,012, among others.

The insurance sub-index trailed close behind, adding 3.14 per cent to 5,150.63 points. Stock price of

Siddhartha Insurance went up by Rs 116 to Rs 885, that of Neco Insurance by Rs 90 to Rs 720 and Lumbini

General Insurance by Rs 93 to Rs 520.

With development banks like Nagbeli ascending by Rs 348 to Rs 2,805 and Chhimek adding Rs 44 to Rs 1,535, the subgroup recorded a gain of 2.79 per cent to 1,047.61 points.

Hydropower nearly recovered the previous week’s drop of 1.97 per cent by adding 1.41 per cent to rest at 1,931.58 points this time around. Sanima Mai’s share value went up by Rs 23 to Rs 755 and Butwal Power Co’s by Rs 31 to Rs 552.

Nepal Telecom’s stock price went up by one rupee to Rs 656, which in turn helped the others subgroup inch up 0.15 per cent to 770.69 points.

Conversely, the hotels subgroup plunged by 6.16 per cent to 1,697.11 points. Soaltee lost Rs 24 to Rs 316, Taragaon dropped Rs 27 to Rs 208 and Oriental shed one rupee to close at Rs 440.

Unilever slumped by Rs 400 to Rs 25,700 and dragged the manufacturing subgroup down 1.10 per cent to 1,859.08 points.

Finance, meanwhile, managed to limit its loss to 0.04 per cent to close at 574.13 points for the week.