Share market at 22-month-high

Kathmandu, February 20

With investor sentiment boosted by positive political clues and banks and financial institutions (BFIs) declaring their bonus shares and dividends, the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index today breached the threshold of 1,430 points to close at a 22-month-high.

The benchmark index increased by 2.09 per cent or 29.32 points to end the last trading day of the week at 1,434.57 points. The last time Nepse was at this level was on April 21, 2018, when it had closed at 1,438.49 points.

In tandem with the benchmark index, the sensitive index — which measures the performance of class ‘A’ stocks — rose by 1.52 per cent or 4.5 points to 300.44 points. Similarly, the float index that measures the performance of shares actually traded also went up by 1.85 per cent or 1.84 points to 101.37 points.

The investor optimism can be attributed to the earlier statement by Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada that ‘the overall economic indicators of the country are healthy and the economy is moving ahead on the right course’. Moreover, he had publicly said that government would facilitate investors and address the hurdles they have been facing.

“The positive statement from the finance minister along with investment-friendly environment has resulted in the bull run at the share market,” explained Radha Pokharel, chairperson of Nepal Puzibazzar Laganikarta Sangh.

Against this backdrop, 10 out of 12 sub-indices of Nepse increased today. In fact, three subgroups surged by more than four per cent and two sub-indices went up by over two per cent.

At the end of the trading day, microfinance was the highest gainer, soaring by 6.35 per cent or 159.32 points to land at 2,670.21 points.

Likewise, non-life insurance gained 5.55 per cent or 374.01 points to rest at 7,108.98 points. The life insurance subgroup went up by 4.76 per cent or 385.39 points to 8,473.64 points.

Meanwhile, manufacturing subgroup rose by 3.47 per cent or 97.26 points to 2,903.49 points, which was followed by the hotels sub-index that jumped 2.58 per cent or 49.27 points to 1,961.17 points.

Moreover, hydropower went up by 1.34 per cent or 13.92 points to 1,049.93 points and others subgroup added 1.27 per cent or 9.03 points to 719.76 points. While finance, banking and development bank sub-indices also landed in the green zone, their gains were recorded at below one per cent.

Altogether, 5.82 million shares of 180 companies were traded through 23,900 transactions that amounted to Rs 2.78 billion today.

Among all subgroups, shareholders of non-life insurance, life insurance, manufacturing and microfinance companies saw their share value go up notably.

Share value of Bottlers Nepal (Tarai) soared by 9.99 per cent to Rs 8,499, First Micro Finance Development Bank increased by 9.98 per cent to Rs 562. Likewise, NMB Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha went up by 9.98 per cent to Rs 1,058, Kalika Microcredit Development Bank ascended by 9.95 per cent to Rs 928.

Mero Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha advanced by 9.94 per cent to Rs 763, Swabhimaan Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha went up by 9.93 per cent to Rs 1,295. Likewise, RSDC Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha soared by 9.90 per cent to Rs 566, Taragaon Regency Hotel went up by 9.87 per cent to Rs 334, Butwal Power Company gained 9.70 per cent to Rs 396 and Grameen Bikas Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha soared by 9.64 per cent to Rs 580.

Among the top losers, Radhi Bidyut Company’s share price was down by 4.39 per cent to Rs 174 and Samriddhi Finance Company dropped by 3.70 per cent to Rs 104.