Good week for insurance companies

Kathmandu, December 19

The country’s politics continue to overshadow trading in the country’s only secondary market. However, the news about insurance companies to be required to raise their capital in the near future resulted in investors swarming to buy stocks of insurance firms in the trading week of December 13 to 17.

This helped the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index limit its loss to 8.67 points or 0.77 per cent week-on-week to rest at 1,110.68 points.

Beginning the trading week at 1,119.35 points, the benchmark index had shed 0.78 point by the day’s closing. Nepse added 1.61 points on Monday and inched up 0.84 point on Tuesday. However, local bourse fell 4.83 and 5.51 points on Wednesday and Thursday.

In total, 3.33 million shares of 159 companies worth Rs 1.90 billion were traded through 15,612 transactions during the week. The traded amount was 2.98 per cent higher than previous week when 14,253 transactions of 2.98 million scrips of 154 firms that amounted to Rs 1.86 billion had been undertaken.

The sensitive index, which gauges the performance of class ‘A’ stocks, dropped 1.44 per cent to 237.94 points. Likewise, the float index that measures the performance of shares actually traded also dipped 1.25 per cent to 78.83 points, during the review period.

Among the subgroups, trading held steady at 207.97 points. For the rest of the subgroups, the results were mixed — four sub-indices rose and four fell.

Insurance subgroup knocked back development banks to lead the gainers, recording an impressive rise of 4.97 per cent to 4,993.57 points. Life Insurance Co Nepal surged by Rs 234 to Rs 3,599, Nepal Life Insurance by Rs 102 to Rs 3,312 and National Life Insurance by Rs 49 to Rs 2,311, among others.

Development banks gained 1.96 per cent to land at 1,019.15 points. Nerude’s share price went up by Rs 399 to Rs 2,389, that of Swabalamban by Rs 77 to Rs 2,392 and that of Miteri by Rs 73 to Rs 633.

Nepal Telecom’s share price went up by Rs 10 to Rs 655, and consequently pulled the others subgroup up 1.55 per cent to 769.51 points.

Adding to previous week’s gain of 1.72 per cent, hotels sub-index inched up 1.16 per cent to 1,808.55 points this time around. Although Soaltee lost Rs 85 to close at Rs 340, Oriental gained Rs 40 to Rs 441.

On the flip side, banking — the subgroup with the highest weightage on Nepse index — slid 2.95 per cent to 1,003.68 points. Everest Bank was down Rs 110 to Rs 2,000, Standard Chartered dropped by Rs 50 to Rs 2,400 and Nabil by Rs 58 to Rs 1,842.

Hydropower reversed the previous week’s gain of 1.64 per cent to dip 1.97 per cent to 1,904.7 points. Chilime’s share value declined by Rs 30 to Rs 1,340, Barun’s by Rs 28 to Rs 289 and Butwal Power Co’s by Rs 12 to Rs 521, among others.

Finance shed 1.19 per cent to 574.39 points, primarily because stock price of Citizens Investment Trust plunged by Rs 251 to Rs 4,249.

With Bottlers Nepal (Tarai) Ltd’s share value dropping by Rs 49 to Rs 2,401, the manufacturing subgroup slipped 0.18 per cent to 1,879.84 points.

National Life Insurance topped the chart with the highest turnover of Rs 124.92 million, followed by Nepal Life Insurance with Rs 109.48 million, Prime Life Insurance with Rs 89.81 million, Chilime Hydropower with Rs 83.30 million and Swabalamban Bikas Bank with Rs 81.28 million.

Arun Finance secured the top position in terms of number of shares traded with 279,000 of its scrips changing hands. Similar to the previous week, Api Power Co was the forerunner among firms in terms of most number of transactions, clocking 3,644 dealings.