KATHMANDU, Oct 16: Stocks traded flat on Monday, despite gaining more than 14 points on Sunday. The benchmark Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index, which maintained a positive bias for most of the session, pared its mid-day gains to close modestly lower in the last trading session before Dashain holidays. The index shed a marginal 0.80 points to close the day's trading at 1,241.63 points. The bourse will remain close for remainder of the week due to Dashain holidays.
Despite slight increase in daily market activity, trading volumes continued to remain sub-par. Many investors kept on the sidelines ahead of the impending holidays. As a result, the bourse recorded a turnover of over Rs 335 million only.
Major sub-indices turned in mixed results on the day, contributing to marginal movement of the broader index. Manufacturing & Processing stocks got a lift as its sub-index added 1.1 percent. While Finance sub-index added 0.59 percent, Hotels sub-index posted a gain of 0.29 percent on the day. Sub-indices of Non-life Insurance and Life Insurance sub-groups also edged higher. Conversely, 'Others' stocks came under pressure reflected by a drop of 0.68 percent in its sub-index. Hydropower, Development Bank, Banking and Microfinance sub-indices also posted modest losses on the day.
Market participation continued to remain in favor of commercial banks. Prabhu Bank Ltd led the list of companies in terms of turnover. Shares worth Rs 25 million of the Class 'A' financial institution changed hands on the day. Similarly, Mega Bank Ltd and NMB Bank Ltd recorded turnover of Rs 22 million each. Shares of NIC Asia Bank Ltd and Machhapuchhre Bank Ltd were also actively traded on the day.
Mutual fund units logged some of the best performances on the day with unit price of NIBL Samriddhi Fund 1 rallying by 7.26 percent. Mahila Sahayatra Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd followed suit with a gain of 6.79 percent. Other mutual fund units including NIBL Pragati Fund and Laxmi Equity Fund also saw significant strength as their prices surged by 5 percent and 4 percent, respectively. IME General Insurance Ltd, Kanchan Development Bank ltd and Janaki Finance Ltd were among other advances of the day.
Share price of National Hydropower Company Ltd struggled skidded by over 3.65 percent. Similarly, Century Commercial Bank Ltd and Lumbini Bikas bank Ltd saw their share price drop by around 3 percent each. Further, share prices of Lumbini Bikas Bank Ltd, Nepal Community Development Bank Ltd and Corporate Development Bank Ltd also fell by over 2 percent each.
On announcements front, Pokhara Finance Ltd and Central Finance Ltd have called for their respective annual general meetings (AGMs) on November 6 and November 17. Pokhara Finance Ltd has declared 5 percent bonus shares and 8.68 percent cash dividend, while Central Finance Ltd has proposed to distribute 8.73 percent bonus shares to its shareholders. In other news, Kisan Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd is set to issue 50 percent right shares to its shareholders subject to approval from Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon).
As per the ARKS technical analysis, the index formed a small doji candlestick suggesting indecision prevailing in the market. As a result, the recent buying momentum has somewhat eased off in the market. Meanwhile, technical indicators slightly favor the bulls in the present context. However, with the market lacking noteworthy volumes of late, cautious trading is suggested in the forthcoming sessions.