Kathmandu, January 2

Buoyant share investors bid farewell to a tumultuous 2020 by taking Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index to a new high, with the benchmark index advancing by 2.39 per cent or 48.65 points week-on-week in the trading period between December 27 and 31.

While the country’s sole secondary market has come under pressure due to the approaching end to the second quarter of 2020-21 fiscal year, many investors are also in wait-and-watch mode because of the recent developments in the political front.

“Nevertheless, lack of other investment avenues, ample liquidity in the market which has slashed the interest rates in the banking sector and the bull run continue to attract investors to the share market,” Radha Pokharel, chairperson of Nepal Pujibazar Laganikarta Sangh, recently told The Himalayan Times.

The benchmark index that had opened at 2,038.63 points on Sunday had slumped by 39.90 points to retreat below the threshold of 2,000 points by the time the market closed for the day.

However, the local bourse reversed course and remained northbound thereafter. Nepse index rose by 8.59 points on Monday, added 5.57 points on Tuesday, jumped by 49.17 points on Wednesday and climbed 25.21 points on Thursday to close the last trading week of the year 2020 at a fresh all-time high of 2,087.28 points.

The previous record was set on December 2, when Nepse had closed at 2,071.03 points.

The sensitive index, which measures the performance of class ‘A’ stocks, rose by 3.09 per cent or 11.94 points to 398.71 points. The float index that gauges the performance of shares actually traded went up by 1.63 per cent or 2.27 points to 141.92 points.

Altogether 45.13 million shares were traded through 207,324 transactions that totalled Rs 22.76 billion in the review week. The weekly turnover was, however, 34.44 per cent less than the preceding week when 299,904 transactions of 61.03 million shares worth Rs 34.72 billion had been undertaken.

In terms of weightage in the weekly turnover, banking sector continued to take the lead with Rs 8.76 billion or more than 38 per cent. In the past week, the sector’s weightage in the weekly traded amount had stood at over 34 per cent or Rs 12 billion.

Majority of the subgroups landed in the green zone, but five of them recorded losses during the review week.

Trading led the pack of gainers, with its sub-index soaring by a whopping 16.21 per cent or 320.68 points to 2,299.11 points.

It was however the manufacturing subgroup that gained most number of p o i n t s. T h e s u b - i n d e x advanced by 598.54 points or 12.35 per cent to rest at 5,446.25 points.

Conversely, hotels landed at the bottom of the pile, with the sub-index plunging by 5.62 per cent or 112.19 points to 1,884.14 points.

Life insurance lost most number of points, down 232.64 points or 1.70 per cent to 13,471.54 points.

Meanwhile, Nepal Life Insurance Co Ltd (NLIC) retained its top position in terms of weekly turnover, with nearly Rs 1.87 billion. It was followed by Nabil Bank with Rs 1.58 billion, NIC Asia Bank (NICAB) with Rs 1.31 billion, Shivam Cements with Rs 1.24 billion and Himalayan Distillery with Rs 1.14 billion.

Global IME Bank (GIMEB) topped the chart in the category of trading volume with 2.04 million of its shares changing hands. Nepal Credit and Commerce Bank came in second with 1.69 million shares, NICB was third with 1.54 million shares, Prabhu Bank was fourth with 1.27 million shares and Nabil Bank was fifth with 1.21 million shares traded.

Nabil Bank recorded most number of transactions — 10,801. NLIC with 8,194 transactions, Nepal Reinsurance Co Ltd with 8,045 transactions, GIMEB with 6,800 transactions and NICAB with 6,609 transactions rounded up the top-five in this category.