While the news of change in government had dampened investor sentiment in the previous week, the secondary market returned to bullish phase in the trading week of May 8 to 12, with the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index clocking a weekly gain of 18.81 points or 1.28 per cent to rest at 1,481.94 points.
“We are seeing that stock investors have relatively matured in recent days and thus, even though political developments do influence market movement, its impact is not as severe nowadays,” opined Dipak Kafle, a stock market analyst.
He also cited the example of the investor sentiment not taking a major hit even after the devastating earthquake and added, “Moreover, the listed companies reporting relatively good income despite the adversities has boosted the confidence of share investors.”
With the third quarterly reports of commercial banks also showing good profits, investors are now awaiting the fourth quarterly reports and the country’s sole share market will likely continue northbound, with limited corrections, according to Kafle.
Opening at 1,463.13 points on Sunday, the benchmark index rose by 9.56 points by the day’s closing. It advanced by 10.21 points on Monday and added another 1.14 points on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the local bourse dipped by 2.86 points, but again inched up by 0.76 point on Thursday.
In total, 8.41 million shares of 149 companies that amounted to Rs 5.29 billion were traded through 23,228 transactions during the week. The traded amount was a whopping 66.11 per cent higher than the previous week. It has to be noted, however, that the share market was open for only four days in the previous week against the normal five days. Back then, 14,756 transactions of 5.06 million shares of 144 companies worth Rs 3.18 billion had been undertaken.
The sensitive index, which gauges the performance of class ‘A’ stocks, rose 1.14 per cent to 320.58 points. Likewise, the float index that measures the performance of shares actually traded also gained 1.85 per cent to 107.55 points.
Whereas trading remained constant at 201.38 points, manufacturing was only subgroup to land in red in the week. Unilever Nepal’s share value plunged by Rs 1,280 to Rs 34,000, which in turn dragged the manufacturing sub-index down 2.83 per cent to 2,284.18 points.
The insurance subgroup led the pack of gainers, surging by 7.31 per cent to 7,049.64 points. Share price of Nepal Life Insurance surged by Rs 268 to Rs 3,485, and that of National Life rose by Rs 91 to Rs 2,841, among others.
Finance climbed 1.79 per cent to 726.43 points, mostly on the back of Citizen Investment Trust gaining Rs 30 to Rs 4,250.
The rest of the gainers only saw muted rise — development banks up 0.74 per cent to 1,456.66 points; others up 0.77 per cent to 770.69 points; banking up 0.27 per cent to 1,391.13 points; hydropower up 0.09 per cent to 2,245.43 points and hotels up 0.08 per cent to 1,942.29 points.
NIC Asia Bank took the lead in terms of turnover and number of transactions — recording 2,038 transactions worth Rs 460.63 million. Other top firms in terms of turnover were Nepal Bangladesh Bank with Rs 426.69 million, Nepal Bank with Rs 354.57 million, Life Insurance Co Nepal with Rs 219.40 million and Citizens Bank International with Rs 202.05 million.
Nepal Bank was the forerunner with regards to number of shares traded, with 746,000 of its scrips changing hands.
A version of this article appears in print on May 15, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.