Nepse index crosses 1500 mark; record trading witnessed

Kathmandu, May 22

The domestic stock market index sailed past 1500-point mark today to close at an all-time high of 1509.39 points, as shares of banking and insurance sectors booked heavy profit.

Also, intraday trading at Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse), the country’s only share market, hit an all-time high of Rs 1.25 billion today.

The benchmark index today opened at 1499.32 points and rose 10.07 points, or 0.67 per cent, as demand for shares of commercial and development banks, and insurance companies surged.

“Demand for banking and insurance stocks is lately going up as third-quarter balance sheets of banking institutions and insurance companies proved trade disruptions (that extended for over four months from September to February) did not affect their businesses,” said Stockbroker Anjan Poudel.

“Also, the directive issued by the central bank to banks and financial institutions to raise paid-up capital and talks of jacking up minimum paid-up capital of microfinance institutions have played a positive role in raising demand for banking shares.”

Besides, lack of investment opportunities in other areas is compelling investors to turn towards the stock market. This has been fuelled by easier access to credit.

“Many financial institutions that previously showed reluctance to extend credit against security of dematerialised shares have started offering loans against the electronic stocks.

So, easy availability of credit, which has become quite cheaper lately because of excess liquidity in the banking sector, is also attracting investors towards the stock market,” Poudel said.

Today, the biggest gainer was Prudential Insurance, whose share price surged by 10 per cent to Rs 1,100. Also, share price of Siddhartha Insurance jumped by 10 per cent to Rs 1,815.

Another biggest gainer was Reliable Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha, whose share value increased by 9.98 per cent to Rs 507. Also, share price of Shikhar Insurance went up by 9.98 per cent to Rs 2,657, while share price of Lumbini General Insurance increased by 9.95 per cent to Rs 1,006.

As demand for banking and insurance stocks is rising, allure for shares of other sectors has started to decline. As a result, hydro, manufacturing and production, and hotels sub-indices ended the day in red today.