Benchmark index surges past 1,560-point mark

Kathmandu, June 11

Bullish investor sentiment helped the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index to record a weekly gain of 48.58 points or 3.2 per cent to overcome the threshold of 1,560 points for the first time.

Starting the week at 1,518.12 points on Sunday, the benchmark index had plunged by nearly 35 points by the day’s closing on the news that the central bank was

introducing stern policy on market lending.

Following the clarification of the central bank against the hearsay, investor confidence got a major boost, which helped the Nepse index recover nearly all the loss of the previous day and surged by 33.66 points on Monday.

Thereafter, the local bourse continued on the upward trajectory — up 14.69 points on Tuesday and 15.31 points on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Nepse surged by 19.9 points to end the week at a fresh all-time high of 1,566.7 points.

The market also recorded its highest ever single-day transaction of nearly Rs 1.90 billion that day, breaking its previous record of Rs 1.65 billion set on May 24.

All in all, 9.24 million shares of 149 companies worth Rs 6.86 billion were traded through 29,812 transactions in the week.

The traded amount was 15.29 per cent higher than the previous week when 27,634 transactions of 10.03 million scrips of 148 firms that amounted to Rs 5.95 billion had been undertaken.

The sensitive index, which gauges the performance of class ‘A’ stocks, rose by 3.3 per cent to 338.82 points. Likewise, the float index that measures the performance of shares actually traded also gained 3.03 per cent to land at 113.71 points during the review period.

Whereas trading remained constant at 201.38 points, hydropower was the only

subgroup to land in the red in the week.

After leading the market rally the previous week, the sub-index of hydropower companies shed 1.89 per cent to 2,453.24 points owing to profit-taking.

Even as share value of Api advanced by Rs 62 to Rs 772, the subgroup was weighed down by stock price of Chilime dropping by Rs 25 to Rs 1,394, and that of Sanima Mai by Rs 24 to Rs 871.

The week’s market rally was led by the insurance subgroup, as the sub-index surged by a whopping 13.47 per cent to 8,654.32 points.

Stock investors have been scooping up the shares of insurance companies in the expectation that the sector regulator will soon require the insurance firms to raise their paid-up capital in the near future.

The share price of Life Insurance Co Nepal went up by Rs 337 to Rs 3,630, that of National Life by Rs 255 to Rs 3,215, and of Shikar Life by Rs 284 to Rs 2,999, among others.

Banking — the heavyweight subgroup — advanced by 1.54 per cent to 1,418.35 points. Stock value of Standard Chartered rose by Rs 50 to Rs 2,950, that of Nabil by Rs 31 to

Rs 2,239 and of Himalayan Bank by Rs 18 to Rs 1,450.

Finance advanced by 1.65 per cent to land at 735.81 points, hotels rose by 1.35 per cent to 1,946.55 points, development banks gained 1.13 per cent to 1,530.49 points, manufacturing climbed 1.12 per cent to 2,339.33 points and others edged up by 1.06 per cent to 785.96 points.

Meanwhile, Nepal Bangladesh Bank topped the chart in terms of all three categories — turnover, number of shares traded and transactions. Altogether 1.02 million of its

scrips changed hands during the week through 2,669 transactions that amounted to

Rs 794.12 million.

Other listed firms that made it to the top five in terms of turnover were Sanima Bank with Rs 538.82 million, Nepal Life Insurance Co with Rs 441.55 million, Citizens Bank International with Rs 322.95 million and Himalayan General Insurance Co with Rs 233.55 million.