Kathmandu, March 9
After weeks of being stuck in the doldrums the country’s sole secondary market finally witnessed an upward trend in the trading week between March 3 and 7 due to hints from the government of involving the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) as a market maker in the secondary market.
As a result, the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index witnessed gains of 2.01 per cent or 22.25 points in the review week.
During discussions with different investor associations earlier in the week, Rewat Bahadur Karki, chairman of the Securities Board of Nepal (SEBON), had mentioned that the government plans to bring in EPF as a market maker.
“Investor sentiment at present is positive as SEBON chairman has assured investors of bringing EPF to the local bourse as a market maker,” said Radha Pokharel, chairman of Nepal Pujibazar Laganikarta Sangh.
She further added that the government has been sending out positive messages regarding the economy recently. “This could be due to the Nepal Investment Summit, which will be held on March 29-30, and it has been having a positive impact on investors,” she said, adding that as a result the market increased in the review week.
Similar to Nepse index, the sensitive index too rose by 2.09 per cent or 4.93 points to 239.72 points and the float index went up by 2.20 per cent or 1.77 points to 82.09 points.
In the review period, weekly turnover increased by 22.48 per cent as compared to the previous week to Rs 979.16 million. In the previous week the market witnessed turnover of Rs 799.45 million. Likewise, the daily average turnover went up by Rs 244.79 million, which was an increase of 22.48 per cent in comparison to the previous week when it stood at Rs 199.86 million. It has to be noted that the market was closed on Monday due to a public holiday on the occasion of Shivaratri.
The secondary market had opened at 1,105.53 points on Sunday and went down by 4.96 points by the end of the first trading day. However, it ascended by 2.07 points on Tuesday. The market continued to rise, increasing by 9.12 points on Wednesday and 16.01 points on Thursday to close the week at 1,127.77 points.
In the review week, only trading and manufacturing subgroups witnessed losses. The trading sub-index decreased by 1.10 per cent or 2.70 points to 242.49 points. Likewise, manufacturing subgroup dipped by 0.48 per cent or 9.85 points to land at 2,005.69 points.
Meanwhile, the life insurance subgroup led the pack of gainers rising by 5.74 per cent or 320.67 points to 5,903.76 points, due to the share price of Nepal Life Insurance going up by Rs 60 to Rs 1,110.
Non-life insurance subgroup also surged by 2.78 per cent or 148.09 points to 5,465.21 points with the share price of Rastriya Beema Company ascending by Rs 320 to Rs 9,350. Moreover, the hydropower subgroup went up by 2.14 per cent or 23.81 points to 1,133.11 points.
Likewise, hotels sub-index increased by 2.04 per cent or 34.49 points to 1,718.52 points as share price of Soaltee Hotel went up by three rupees to Rs 204. Similarly, finance sub-index rose by 1.94 per cent or 11.37 points to 596.21 points and development bank subgroup rose by 1.80 per cent or 25.41 points to 1,433.14 points.
Meanwhile, the banking sub-index went up by 1.75 per cent or 16.60 points to 963.23 points. Likewise, microfinance subgroup went up by 0.19 per cent or 2.65 points to 1,375.43 points and others sub-index inched up by 0.17 per cent or 1.23 points to 704.28 points.
In the review week, Nepal Life Insurance was leader in terms of weekly turnover with Rs 76.90 million. It was followed by NCC Bank with Rs 37.02 million, NIC Asia Bank with Rs 36.37 million, Nepal Bank with Rs 35.87 million and Asian Life Insurance with Rs 35.45 million.
In terms of weekly trading volume, NCC Bank took the lead with 180,000 of its shares changing hands. Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower with 148,000 shares, Nepal Bank with 130,000 shares, Prabhu Bank with 122,000 shares and NMB Bank with 113,000 shares were the other top firms to record high trading volume.
Meanwhile, Upper Tamakoshi topped the chart in terms of number of transactions — 2,144. It was followed by Nepal Life Insurance with 1,032, Chautari Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha with 775, Asian Life Insurance with 542 and Prabhu Bank with 409 transactions.
A version of this article appears in print on March 10, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.