Profit booking, political uncertainty dampen stock investors’ spirit

Kathmandu, August 29

Profit booking coupled with increasing political turmoil weighed on the country’s only secondary market, as the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index dropped by 17.16 points or 1.43 per cent week-on-week to close at 1,183.76 points between August 23 to 27.

Opening at 1,200.92 points on Sunday, the benchmark index plunged by 16.25 points by the day’s closing, primarily owing to selling pressure from stock investors looking to book profits. The Nepse index continued southbound on Monday (down 2.92 points), Tuesday (down 0.34 points) and Wednesday (down 5.84 points), but the slide was less severe as most traders had adopted a wait-and-see stance with the political upheaval unfolding. The local bourse recovered some of the loss on Thursday, increasing by 8.19 points.

In total, 6.42 million units of shares of 169 companies worth Rs 2.50 billion were traded in the stock exchange through 16,134 transactions. The traded amount was 37.57 per cent less compared to the preceding week when 24,635 transactions of 8.43 million scrips of 169 listed firms worth Rs four billion had been undertaken.

The sensitive index, which gauges the performance of class ‘A’ stocks, dropped 6.36 points to 255.74 points. Similarly, the float index that measures the performance of shares actually traded also dipped by 1.26 points to 84.34 points during the review period.

While trading held steady at 206.51 points, hotels, banking and others subgroups landed in the red.

Insurance took the lead among the gainers, surging by 9.07 per cent to close at 5,179.93 points. National Life Insurance’s stock price rose by Rs 164 to Rs 2,294, and Prime Life’s by Rs 265 to Rs 1,480.

Manufacturing went up by 5.46 per cent to 2,020.82 points, on the back of Unilever’s shares soaring by Rs 2,143 to rest at Rs 28,153.

Development banks gained 4.25 per cent to land at 919.81 points. Nagbeli’s stock price ascended by Rs 21 to Rs 2,121 and Chhimek’s by Rs 15 to Rs 1,580.

Hydropower and finance managed to land in the green zone, by adding a minimal 2.31 points to 2,126.68 points and 1.12 points to 553.21 points, respectively.

Conversely, banking — the subgroup with the highest stake in Nepse’s market capitalisation — retreated by 3.90 per cent to 1,122.13 points. Standard Chartered’s share value closed at Rs 2,892 (down Rs 107) and Nepal Investment lost Rs 64 to Rs 1,041.

Similarly, the stock price of Nepal Telecom diving by Rs 64 to Rs 651 pulled the others sub-index down 8.95 per cent to 764.81 points.

Hotels subgroup declined by 4.40 per cent to 2,015.09 points. Even as Taragaon’s shares inched up by four rupees to Rs 242, the sub-index was weighed down by Oriental’s share price plunging by Rs 75 to Rs 612, and Soaltee’s by Rs 20 to Rs 478.

Everest Bank recorded the highest turnover of Rs 442.17 million, followed by Prabhu Bank with Rs 160.99 million, National Life Insurance with Rs 122.72 million, Chilime Hydropower with Rs 98.12 million and Citizens Bank International with Rs 84.62 million.

Similarly, Siddhartha Investment Growth Scheme-I was the forerunner with regards to number of shares traded with 1.54 million of its scrips changing hands. Likewise, Prabhu Bank topped the chart in terms of transactions, clocking 821 deals.