The trading week after the first phase of local elections saw Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index reverse the previous week’s gain of 0.33 per cent by shedding 14.71 points or 0.89 per cent between May 15 and 18.
Since the share market remained closed on Sunday for the first phase of local elections, the benchmark index had opened at 1,658.58 points on Monday and inched up 0.65 point by the day’s closing. The local bourse remained southbound for the remainder of the week, dropping by 9.99 points on Tuesday, falling 4.98 points on Wednesday and shedding 0.39 point on Thursday to close the week at 1,643.87 points.
Investors will likely be in a wait-and-see mode in the coming week for clues about the upcoming budget announcement, which is scheduled for May 29.
The sensitive index, slipped by 3.85 points or 1.09 per cent to 349.94 points. Similarly, the float index also dropped by 1.35 points or 1.10 per cent to 121.43 points.
In total, 8.33 million shares of 155 companies that amounted to Rs 2.58 billion were traded through 18,428 transactions during the week. In comparison, 24,471 transactions of 4.99 million shares of 153 firms worth Rs 2.80 billion had been undertaken in the preceding week. Analysts attribute the significant uptick in trading volume to smart investors rushing to scoop the shares of credible companies at reduced price. The traded amount was, however, 7.91 per cent lower than the past week.
Among the subgroups, trading remained steady at 212.76 points in review period. Even as manufacturing surged by 123.94 points or 5.62 per cent to 2,327.28 points and hotels rose by 37.93 points or 1.68 per cent to 2,295.99 points, the benchmark index recorded a loss owing to less weightage of these subgroups.
Nepse was primarily weighed down by the banking group retreating by 23.26 points or 1.55 per cent to 1,477.60 points.
Others saw some of the gain of 2.86 per cent of the previous week wiped out as the sub-index went down by 9.84 points or 1.41 per cent to 687.18 points.
Losses of the rest of the subgroups were limited to below one per cent. Hydropower was down 16.99 points or 0.8 per cent to 2,091.6 points, insurance lost 34.83 points or 0.39 per cent to 8,887.33 points, development banks shed 2.92 points or 0.15 per cent to 1,975.98 points and finance dipped by 0.02 point to 774.2 points.
Meanwhile, Himalayan General Insurance Co topped the chart in terms of turnover with Rs 188.24 million, followed by Life Insurance Co Nepal with Rs 113.20 million, Nepal Life Insurance Co with Rs 97.12 million, Nepal Credit and Commerce Bank with Rs 90.76 million and Standard Chartered Bank with Rs 72.95 million.
NIBL Samriddhi Fund – I was the forerunner in terms of trading volume, with 1.69 million of its scrips changing hands. Arun Kabeli Power Ltd retained its top position for yet another week with regard to most number of transactions — 959.
A version of this article appears in print on May 21, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.