KATHMANDU, April 29: Stocks started the week on a strong note as the benchmark Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index shot up by more than 10 points in the initial trading hour on Sunday. Though the index pulled back slightly at mid-day, it witnessed another surge in the afternoon to climb over 1,320 points. Following a modest retracement in the final hour, the index closed at 1,314.51 points – up 22.39 points compared to Thursday's close.
After a four-day rally, the index closed firmly above 1,300 points to reach its highest level since June last year. The bourse continued to see significant strength on the back of heavy traded volumes in the recent sessions. Despite some selling witnessed in banking sector, the index continued its winning run with gains coming from most of the other sectors. Market activity improved further as more than Rs 1.67 billion worth of shares changed hands on the day.
Life Insurance sub-index led the day's surge with a rally of almost 10 percent. Non-life Insurance sub-index also jumped up by 8.22 percent. Microfinance, Hydropower and Hotels sub-indices rallied by 6.12 percent, 5.54 percent and 4.87 percent, respectively. Manufacturing & Processing, 'Others' and Development Bank segments also closed the day higher. Meanwhile, Banking and Finance scrips edged lower.
Among active stocks, Nepal Bank Ltd witnessed the highest turnover on the day as more than Rs 231 million worth of the commercial bank's shares changed hands. The bank is due to hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) this Friday. Chhimek Laghubitta Bikas Bank Ltd's scrips were also traded actively ahead of its book closure for AGM on Monday. The microfinance company logged total turnover of over Rs 92 million. Prime Commercial Bank Ltd, Neco Insurance Co Ltd and NMB Bank Ltd registered turnover of Rs 77 million, Rs 62 million and Rs 53 million, respectively.
Insurance and microfinance stocks led the list of gainers. Share prices of seven companies, including Asian Life Insurance Company Ltd, Deprosc Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd, Kisan Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd, Vijay Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd, Rastriya Beema Company Ltd, Rastriya Beema Company Ltd Promoter Share and RMDC Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd, rallied by 10 percent on the day. Further, 16 more companies posted gains of over 9 percent.
On the other hand, share price of Sunrise Bank Ltd witnessed correction by 4 percent on the day. Similarly, Reliance Finance Ltd and Shangrila Development Bank Ltd saw their share prices go down by 3 percent each on the day. Additionally, Karnali Development Bank Ltd, Nepal Bangladesh Bank Ltd and Laxmi Bank Ltd posted declines of 2.94 percent, 2.51 percent and 2.49 percent, respectively.
On the earnings front, Nirdhan Utthan Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd reported a 32.18 percent year-on-year growth in its net profit. Meanwhile, net profit of Mirmire Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd and Miteri Development Bank Ltd also grew by 69 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
As per the ARKS technical analysis, the market formed a bullish candlestick for the fourth straight day in a row, breaking the resistance at 1,300 points. Technical indicators also suggest that the buying momentum is yet to subside in the current scenario. Further, the recent rally is also supported by substantial volume in the secondary market which makes upward movement likely in the coming sessions.