KATHMANDU, Nov 22: Stocks came under pressure in the beginning of Wednesday's session with the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index losing more than 5 points in the first trading hour. The market, however, pared its losses in the afternoon session to close the day slightly higher. At the close, the benchmark index closed at 1,182.74 points -- up by one point.
The bourse took a breather following four straight days of losses. Lack of upbeat events or news in the financial front amid interest rate worries has continued to impact the market of late. Nonetheless, the exchange witnessed a slight improvement in market activity as total turnover rose to Rs 269 million compared to Rs 175 million a day earlier.
As the broader market closed almost unchanged, sectoral indices turned in mixed performance. Sub-indices of Life Insurance and Development Bank stocks went up by 0.58 percent and 0.56 percent, respectively. 'Others', Finance and Banking sub-groups also ended slightly higher. Hotels stocks, however, suffered as the group's sub-index went up by 1.25 percent. Besides, Hydropower stocks continued their downward journey as reflected by a fall of 0.97 percent in the group's sub-index. Meanwhile, Manufacturing & Processing, Non-Life insurance and Microfinance sub-indices also edged lower.
In terms of market activity, Nabil Bank Ltd Promoter Shares and Nepal Bank Ltd were high in demand, recording turnover of Rs 32 million and Rs 31 million, respectively. Next on the list of active stocks was Prabhu Bank Ltd which registered total transaction of Rs 18 million. Similarly, shares of NMB Bank Ltd and Global IME Bank Ltd witnessed turnover of over Rs 17 million each.
Among advances, share price of Shangrila Development Bank logged the highest gain of 4.29 percent. It was followed by Shine Resunga Development Bank Ltd which saw its share price surge by 3.78 percent. Mutual fund unit of NIBL Samriddhi Fund also added 3.33 percent in the day's session. Other top gaining scrips of the day include Shree Investment Finance Co Ltd, Civil Bank Ltd and Gurans Life Insurance Company Ltd.
Everest Insurance Company Ltd, on the other hand, led the list of losers for the third straight day as its share price tanked 7.40 percent to close at Rs 788. Similarly, share price of Naya Nepal Laghubitta Bikas Bank fell by 6.62 percent, while Himalayan Power Partner Ltd and Grameen Bikas Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha also saw their share prices shed over 4 percent each. Vijaya Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd, Ngadi Group Power Ltd and Unnati Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd were among other losing scrips.
Among companies publishing earning reports for the first quarter, Tinau Bikas Bank Ltd posted a 48.91 percent year-on-year decline in its net profit to Rs 8 million. Nepal Seva Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd, which started trading in June, posted net loss of Rs 1.67 million.
ARKS technical analysis indicates the index staging a slight recovery from the support zone of around 1,180 points. However, substantial weakness persists in the market as suggested by technical indicators. Hence, long positions can only be taken if the index upholds its current range with significant improvement in trading volume.
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)