Kathmandu, January 16

The government’s positive stance on promoting the secondary market propelled the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index by 2.02 per cent today to breach the psychological threshold of 1,300 points after nearly eight months.

The last time the local bourse had closed above the 1,300-point mark was on May 30.

Share investors’ recent optimism can be attributed to numerous reasons — including easy availability of margin loans and seasonal factors. But today’s surge of 26 points that led to the benchmark index to settle at 1,310.23 points was due to the comments by Chairperson of Securities Board of Nepal (SEBON), Bhisma Raj Dhungana.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, SEBON Chairperson Dhungana had assured to implement all the necessary measures to lift the secondary market and said the board would soon issue licence to open another stock exchange.

“We are currently studying the documents submitted by five companies to establish another stock exchange in the country,” he had said.

Consequently, the sensitive index, which measures the performance of class ‘A’ stocks, today rose by 1.4 per cent or 3.9 points to 282.87 points. The float index that measures the performance of shares actually traded also went up by 1.97 per cent or 1.8 points to 92.86 points.

The share investors’ sentiment had earlier been boosted after Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada had also hinted that the government would support the secondary market.

Prakash Rajhaure, an independent analyst of stock market, said the sentiment had turned positive following the finance minister’s statement and got a further boost from the SEBON chair’s address yesterday.

According to him, the market movement is expected to be northbound for the next couple of weeks.

“Should the government implement the earlier 58-point secondary market reform plan, the share market will rise further,” he added.

Apart from others, all the subgroups recorded gains today. Among the gainers, two subgroups surged by more than four per cent, five ascended by more than three per cent, two went up by more than two per cent, while the remaining two rose by less than two per cent.

Finance subgroup soared by 4.16 per cent or 26.55 points to 665.01 points, followed closely by manufacturing, which advanced by 4.03 per cent or 97.31 points to 2,509.81 points.

Microfinance subgroup rose by 3.82 per cent or 76.18 points to 2,069.38 points.

Life insurance sub-index inclined by 3.76 per cent or 242.58 points to 6,700.76 points. Hotels subgroup went up by 3.74 per cent or 74.55 points to 2,066.99 points. The trading subgroup ascended by 3.4 per cent or 28.59 points to 868.38 points and mutual funds sub-index jumped by 3.25 per cent or 0.32 point to 10.05 points.

While non-life insurance and development banks rose by more than two per cent, banking and hydropower subgroups went up by 1.69 per cent and 0.78 per cent, respectively.

However, others subgroup shed 0.25 per cent or 1.7 points to 684.9 points.

Altogether, 5.05 million shares of 181 companies were traded through 17,295 transactions that amounted to Rs 1.69 billion today.

The firms that surged by the daily limit of 10 per cent today included NIBL Pragati Fund, whose share price closed at Rs 7.99, Multipurpose Finance Company at Rs 121, ICFC Finance at Rs 187, Global IME Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha at Rs 1,320 and Tinau Mission Development Bank at Rs 187.

Among the top losers were Mahila Sahayatra Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha, which was down by 2.67 per cent to Rs 760 and Himalayan Power Partner that dropped by 1.91 per cent to Rs 154.