Benchmark index closes in on 1,900-point threshold

Kathmandu, July 30

Increased attraction to stocks of commercial and development banks fuelled the market rally in the week of July 25 to 28, with the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index clocking a weekly gain of 4.39 per cent or 79.1 points to rest at 1,877.93 points.

Stock analysts had expected the trading volume to surge in the week, as the securities market regulator had reduced the stock brokers’ fees starting this week.

However, as stock brokers’ system had not yet been updated, no transactions were undertaken in the share market on Sunday — the first day of the trading week. Hence, the market opened on Monday at 1,798.83 points and had surged by 39.66 points to breach the 1,800-point threshold by the day’s closing. The local bourse set new records on Tuesday and Wednesday by advancing 28.01 points and 14.95 points, respectively. On Thursday, however, Nepse witnessed slight correction and dipped by a marginal 3.52 points.

Altogether, 25.72 million shares worth Rs 9.56 billion were traded through 42,801 transactions in the week. In comparison, 42,649 transactions of 14.63 million scrips that amounted to Rs 9.04 billion had been undertaken the previous week.

It has to be noted though that the market had remained opened for normal five days in the preceding week. Share investors have been increasingly attracted to the country’s only secondary market owing to reduction in stock brokers’ fees, impressive quarterly reports of commercial banks and the overall bullish market sentiment.

The sensitive index, which gauges the performance of class ‘A’ stocks, gained 4.36 per cent or 16.89 points to 404.54 points. The float index that measures the performance of shares actually traded also rose by 5.33 per cent or 7.07 points to 139.69 points.

Trading was the only subgroup to remain constant at 202.79 points.

Banking — the share market heavyweight — surged by 4.84 per cent or 82.09 points to 1,776.33 points. This was on the back of commercial banks like Standard Chartered soaring by Rs 185 to Rs 3,825, Himalayan up Rs 48 to Rs 1,673, and Nepal Investment up Rs 21 to Rs 1,151, among others.

Development banks rebounded strongly following the previous week’s dip of 0.19 per cent by soaring 10.41 per cent or 184.25 points to 1,953.55 points. Share value of Nagbeli rocketed by Rs 440 to Rs 4,300, that of Chhimek by Rs 130 to Rs 2,230, Swabhalamban by Rs 202 to Rs 2,713 and Sana Kisan by Rs 125 to Rs 2,255.

Hotels topped the list in terms of gain in the week by posting an impressive rise of 15.45 per cent or 314.32 points to 2,348.63 points. Soaltee rose by Rs 57 to Rs 437, Oriental gained Rs 75 to Rs 615 and Taragaon Regency went up by Rs 88 to Rs 353.

Adding to the previous week’s ascent of 2.20 per cent, finance climbed 6.36 per cent or 54.51 points to 910.79 points. Stock price of Citizens Investment Trust advanced by Rs 51 to Rs 5,301, Goodwill surged by Rs 169 to Rs 551, and United went up by Rs 99 to Rs 509, among others.

Hydropower recovered previous week’s drop of 1.58 per cent as the sub-index went up by 2.04 per cent or 53.99 points to 2,701.54 points. While share value of Chilime remained constant at Rs 1,394, stock price of Sanima Mai rose by Rs 47 to Rs 1,080, that of Barun by Rs 44 to Rs 540, and of Api by Rs 20 to Rs 855.

Insurance subgroup’s rise of 1.06 per cent or 96.06 points to 9,148.15 points was muted compared to the previous week’s gain of 3.78 per cent.

Meanwhile, manufacturing reversed course this week and shed some of the gains made in the past week by dropping 4.76 per cent or 134.6 points to 2,694.13 points. Bottlers Nepal (Tarai) Ltd’s share price plummeted by Rs 1,438 to Rs 7,964 and Unilever Nepal’s stock value plunged by Rs 704 to Rs 34,526.

Others dipped 0.21 per cent to 1.73 points to 833.22 points. Even though Hydroelectricity Investment and Development Company inched up six rupees to Rs 416, the sub-index was weighed down by Nepal Telecom shedding six rupees to Rs 683.