Benchmark index sheds 1.44 per cent

Kathmandu, August 19

With nearly all the subgroups in the secondary market splattered in red, the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index fell by 1.44 per cent or 23.78 points to land at 1,629.75 points in the trading week between August 13 and 17.

In line with the main index, sensitive and float indices also dropped. Sensitive index closed at 342.34 points, declining by 4.69 points or 1.35 per cent. Similarly float index dipped by 1.7 points or 1.41 per cent to 118.44 points in the week.

The secondary market was open for trading for only four days in the review period against the normal five days. The market had remained closed on August 14 due to holiday of Shree Krishna Janmasthami.

As per Pravin Raman Parajuli, chief executive officer at Nabil Investment, the secondary market has been reeling under credit crunch since last few months, which has also affected the psychology of investors. “Even as the credit situation has eased a bit, its effects can still be seen in the share market.”

As per him, even as the financial sector reported huge profit in the last fiscal, the base of returns to the investors has failed to keep pace, which has hit investor sentiment as well. “Return on equity has not gone up much because of the huge capital base, which has been discouraging the market players,” he said. “Supply of share is another reason that is not supporting the growth of benchmark index.”

Sub-index of manufacturing sector fell by 4.51 per cent or 124.2 points in week to land at 2,628.71 points. Himalayan Distillery slumped by 23.63 per cent to Rs 1,512  and share price of Unilever Nepal also fell by 0.17 per cent to Rs 29,950, which dragged sub-index down.

Following it, sub-index of class ‘A’ financial institutions also declined by 1.15 per cent or 16.54 points to 1,416.60 points. Share price of commercial banks like Nabil closed at Rs 1,737, dropping 1.19 per cent, while that of Everest slipped by 1.92 per cent to Rs 1,374.

Sub-indices of hydropower and hotels dropped by more than two percentage points. Hydropower sector rested at 1,865.9 points by declining 2.68 per cent or 51.33 points. Shareholders of Chilime saw their share value go down by Rs 15 or 1.88 per cent to Rs 785 in the week.

Likewise, hotels also fell by 2.06 per cent or 51.85 points to 2,455.85 points. Following it, others sector also fell to 713.5 points, descending by 8.96 points or 1.24 per cent. The sub-index of development banks also declined by 1.65 per cent to 2,029.51 points. Likewise, insurance sector fell by 1.65 per cent or 155.5 points to 9,241.98 points.

Finance was the only subgroup to land in the green in the review period, clocking a gain of 1.09 points or 0.13 per cent to advance to 823.6 points. The sub-index of trading remained unchanged at 214.11 points.

In the week, shares of 178 firms were traded at Nepse against that of 168 companies in previous week. However, total turnover slumped by 19.95 per cent to Rs 3.05 billion, with 8.46 million shares traded through 27,466 transactions.

Nepal Life Insurance Company was the forerunner in terms of turnover with Rs 144.86 million, followed by National Hydro Power Company with Rs 141.05 million, Standard Chartered Bank with Rs 116.89 million, Prudential Insurance Company with Rs 73.13 million and Forward Community Microfinance Company with Rs 72.78 million.

Nabil Balance Fund 1 topped the chart in terms of number of shares traded with 1.49 million units of its scrips changing hands and Nepal Life Insurance Company secured top position  also in terms of number of transactions — 1,477.