KATHMANDU, Feb 21: After opening firmly in green, the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index saw a steady decline in the morning to trade more than 18 points lower before mid-day. However, a recovery in the afternoon pushed the benchmark in the positive territory. The index plateaued in the remaining trading hours finally closing Sunday’s session with a 3.66 point’s gain at 2,640.35.
The index has continued to mark fresh highs, albeit with modest gains, in the sessions of late. Excess liquidity and lower interest rates in the economy has still been a major contributing factor for the recent surge in the Nepal’s secondary market. Turnover has remained upbeat with over Rs. 8 billion worth of securities being traded on the day.
Hydropower segment saw massive buying enthusiasm led by the sector heavyweight Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Ltd. The group’s sub-index rose 4.29%. Mutual Fund sector also rallied 6.36%. ‘Others’ index jumped 1.88% followed by Development Bank index which closed 1.07% higher. Hotels, Trading & Manufacturing & Processing sectors also ended the day in green. Life Insurance and Microfinance segments, on the other hand, were the major decliners with losses of 1.96% and 1.01%. Non-Life Insurance, Banking and Finance sectors also closed lower.
Among actives, Nepal Bank Ltd’s shares were heavily traded with turnover of Rs. 617 million. Nepal Infrastructure Development Bank Ltd and Global IME Bank Ltd followed suit with transactions of Rs. 552 million and Rs. 312 million. NIC Asia Bank Ltd, Shikhar Insurance Company Ltd, Nabil Bank Ltd and Nepal Life Insurance Company Ltd were among other actively traded shares.
Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Ltd and Shiva Shree Hydropower Ltd were the major winners with gains of 10% each. Nepal Infrastructure Development Bank Ltd, Nepal Hydro Developers Ltd, Chandragiri Hills Ltd, Samriddhi Finance Company Ltd and NIC Asia Balanced Fund also remained locked in the upper circuit limit of positive 10%.
Best Finance Company Ltd, Kisan Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd and Sabaiko Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd, on the other hand, suffered the most. Each stock tanked more than 3%. Other microfinance and banking stocks witnessed correction on the day.
As per the ARKS technical analysis, the market formed a bearish candlestick as the index closed below the opening mark. Nonetheless, the equity market managed to close at a fresh high despite a loss of momentum. Hence, the overall uptrend has still remained intact. A correction can see the index test 2,600 support level.
This column is produced by ARKS Capital Advisors Ltd.
(Views expressed in the article are those of the producer and do not necessarily reflect those of this publication)