The announcement that the government is allowing the banks to acquire loans from foreign institutions to ease the credit crunch provided the much needed boost to investor sentiment, with the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index clocking a week-on-week gain of 30.10 points or 2.47 per cent in the period between April 1 and 5.
This is the first time that the domestic share market has recorded a weekly gain after having witnessed six consecutive weekly losses since February 22.
The market had remained downbeat in the beginning of the week, with the benchmark index which had opened at 1,220.29 points on Sunday slumping by 24.05 points by the day’s closing, as the white paper unveiled by the finance minister last Friday failed to assuage share investors.
Share market analysts accredited Sunday’s market plunge to the failure of the government’s white paper to address the continuing slide in the secondary market. Through the white paper, the finance minister mostly highlighted the problems in the country’s sole secondary market and pointed at the need for institutional and policy reforms, which further weighed on sentiment of investors, who were already under pressure to sell stocks due to the hike in interest rates by banks and financial institutions.
Nepse was relatively stable for the next two days — shedding 3.28 points on Monday and adding 6.04 points on Tuesday. The local bourse rebounded strongly thereafter — surging by 27.45 points on Wednesday and jumping by 23.94 points on Thursday to close the week at 1,250.39 points. The recovery of the last two days of the trading week came following central bank’s announcement late Tuesday that it was allowing banks to avail foreign loans in convertible foreign currency.
The move is expected to not only address the current challenge of credit crunch but also help stabilise the interest rate in the domestic market.
Similar to Nepse, the other two main indices also saw gains in the trading week. Sensitive index, which gauges the performance of class ‘A’ stocks, rose by 2.30 per cent or 6.01 points to 266.89 points. Similarly, the float index that measures the performance of shares actually traded also jumped by 2.58 per cent or 2.27 points to 90.25 points.
Every single subgroup landed in the green in the review period, with microfinance leading the way — surging by a whopping 5.16 per cent or 69.15 points to 1,409.38 points.
Insurance subgroup recorded the second-biggest gain of 4.24 per cent or 236.22 points to 5,805.57 points.
With Unilever Nepal’s share value soaring by 5.39 per cent to Rs 26,500 and that of Himalayan Distillery by 7.58 per cent to Rs 1,007 the manufacturing subgroup advanced by 4.09 per cent or 88.55 points to 2,251.54 points.
Development banks, hydropower and others subgroups went up by over two per cent. Development banks jumped by 2.90 per cent or 42.28 points to 1,500.78 points, hydropower rose by 2.89 per cent or 42.06 points to 1,497.78 points and others added 2.70 per cent or 18.27 points to 695.81 points.
Meanwhile, hotels, banking, trading and finance sub-indices saw their gains capped below two per cent. Hotels rose by 1.66 per cent or 29.64 points to 1,815.91 points, banking was up 1.61 per cent or 17.72 points to 1,119.55 points, trading inched up by 1.36 per cent or 2.70 points to 201.76 points and finance edged up by 1.04 per cent or 6.69 points to 650.72 points.
Altogether, 27,633 transactions of 5.45 million shares of 181 companies were carried out during the trading week, which amounted to Rs 1.70 billion. The traded amount was 10.17 per cent less than the preceding week when 5.89 million shares of 180 listed firms had been traded through 27,522 transactions that totalled Rs 1.89 billion.
Nabil Bank topped the chart in terms of weekly turnover with Rs 76.73 million, followed by Standard Chartered Bank with Rs 68.60 million, Nepal Insurance Co with Rs 67.25 million, Nepal Life Insurance Co with Rs 62.35 million and Nepal Investment Bank with Rs 55.59 million.
Janata Bank recorded the highest trading volume, with 150,000 of its shares changing hands. With 2,115 transactions, Radhi Bidyut Company was the forerunner in this category.
Source: The Himalayan Times