KATHMANDU, Nov 23: The local equity market turned in range-bound trading in the last session of the week. Despite a positive start, the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index gave up its earlier gains amid choppy trading activity witnessed on Thursday. At the close, Nepse index settled at 1,181.41 points, down 1.14 points or 0.10 percent compared to the session earlier.
The overall stock market turned in a lackluster trading session in absence of significant news or events affecting the financial market. Hence, the bourse continued to add on to its spate of dismal trading activities. Only Rs 252 million worth of shares were traded in the exchange on Thursday.
Sectoral indices posted moves to either side of the spectrum. Hotels stocks registered significant move to the upside as the group’s sub index climbed 1.86 percent. Further, sub-indices of ‘Others’ and Hydropower segments added 0.49 percent and 0.44 percent, respectively. Sub-indices of Manufacturing & Processing, Finance and Non-Life Insurance stocks also edged higher. On the other hand, Life Insurance and Microfinance sub-indices dropped 0.5 percent apiece. Sub-indices of Banking and Development Bank scrips also posted marginal losses.
NMB Bank Ltd dominated the list of active stocks as the bank’s scrip posted a substantial turnover of over Rs 78 million. The commercial bank announced 30 percent total dividend to its shareholders, including 10 percent bonus shares and 20 percent cash dividend, on Thursday. Secondly, Nepal Bank Ltd registered a total transaction of Rs 17 million. Shares of Kumari Bank Ltd and Nadep Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd were also actively traded with turnovers of Rs 8 million each.
Among major advances, unit price of NIC Asia Growth Fund added 11.13 percent on Thursday. Shares of NMB Bank Ltd also surged 4.71 percent following its dividend announcement. Shares of Everest Insurance Company Ltd recouped 4.69 percent after its share price tanked in three straight sessions. Correspondingly, ICFC Finance Ltd and Butwal Power Company Ltd jumped over 4 percent each.
Suryodaya Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd, in contrast, slumped the most as it shed 4.60 percent on its share price. Likewise, Womi Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd sank almost 4 percent. Meanwhile, share price of NMB Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha slid 3.63 percent. Stocks of other micro sector lenders, including Laxmi Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd and Vijay Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd, posted declines of over 3 percent apiece.
In the news, Machhapuchhre Bank Ltd and Mahila Sahayatra Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd declared cash dividends of 10 percent and 8 percent to their respective shareholders. Meanwhile, Soaltee Hotel Ltd published its first quarterly earnings report posting a net profit of Rs 58.12 million compared to Rs 3.78 million in the year earlier. Meanwhile, Ngadi Group Power Ltd reported a net profit of Rs 27.68 million in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2018/19.
As per the ARKS technical analysis, the market posted marginal movements for two consecutive days suggesting short term consolidation. Consequently, the index has held its ground above the psychological level of 1,180 points. Nonetheless, cautious trading is suggested in the short term as indecision prevails in the equity market while the momentum still favors bears.
This column is produced by ARKS Capital Advisors Ltd www.arkscapitaladvisors.com
(Views expressed are those of the producer and do not necessarily reflect those of this publication)