KATHMANDU, Aug 18: Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) benchmark index fell 12.98 points this week to close at 1,629.75 points on Thursday, the last trading day of the week.
Though the market was on a downward trend for the last few weeks, analysts attribute recent flooding and losses in the eastern tarai of the country for further decline of stocks.
"The eastern part of the country has been facing flooding and inundation which has claimed lives of more than 100. The natural disaster has worried the investors," Bishnu Raj Ojha of Dipshikha Dhitopatra Karobar Company Ltd, a brokerage firm, told Republica.
"The fall of stocks is a reflection of immediate psychological impact of the recent flooding. Otherwise, the economy is broadly on a positive direction. Interest rates are falling, companies are publishing better annual financial results and there are expectations of higher return," he added, predicting that the stocks will rebound after few days.
However, there are also concerns that the economic losses from the flooding could also hit stocks. While the government is yet to come up with the estimated economic losses from the flooding, analysts say that the natural disaster could hit agricultural production as well as damage people's assets in a large scale in the flood-hit areas.
The trading floor remained open only for four trading days as Nepse was closed on Monday to mark the Krishna Janmastami festival.
Most of the trading groups ended in the red zone this week. Manufacturing and processing group suffered the highest loss as its sub-index tumbled 140.49 points to close at 2,628.71 points. Insurance group fell 51.13 points to finish at 9,241.98 points. Sub-indices of development bank and the Others groups also went down 15.49 points and 8.1 points, respectively, settling at 2,029.51 points and 713.5 points. Banking, the heavyweight group, ended 7.38 points lower at 1,416.6 points. The Finance group shed 7.45 points this week to close at 823.6 points. The Hotels group, however, registered a gain of 2.73 points to close at 2,455.85 points.
Nepal Life Insurance Company Ltd was the company with the highest turnover (Rs 144.86 million) in the market this week. Nabil Balance Fund-I led the list of companies in terms of the volume of traded shares (1.49 million) while Nepal Life Insurance Company Ltd remained at the top in terms of highest number of transactions (1,477).
Rights shares of Sanima Bank Ltd, Nerude Laghubitta Bikas Bank Ltd, First Microfinance Development Bank Ltd, bonus shares of Seti Finance Ltd and ordinary shares of Mahuli Samudayik Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Limited were listed in Nepse this week for trading in the secondary market.
A total of 8.46 million units of shares of 178 companies worth Rs 3.57 billion were traded in the market this week through 17,466 transactions. The turnover was 19.45 percent lower than that of the last week.