KATHMANDU: Stocks observed a choppy session in the last trading day of the week and faltered along the opening level throughout the day. At the close, the benchmark Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index stood essentially unchanged at 1,135.95 points – adding a meager 0.75 points.
The benchmark index is yet to see any major moves toward either side of the range with the market posting a low turnover session on Thursday. Only Rs 228 million worth of securities were traded on the day. Most of the sectors, expect Microfinance, Others, Hotels and Development Bank groups, ended the week in green. On the other hand, Trading and Mutual Fund sub-indices shot up by 6.54% and 1.6% respectively. Besides, Finance, Life Insurance, Non-life insurance, Banking, Manufacturing & Processing and Hydropower sub-indices also edged higher.
NMB Bank Ltd continued to trade actively for second straight day. Stocks worth Rs 42 million of the commercial bank changed hands on the day. Nepal Bank Ltd and Himalayan Distillery Ltd shares followed suit with Rs 13 million worth of shares traded each. Likewise, NIC Asia Bank Ltd, Agricultural Development Bank Ltd, Nepal Life Insurance Co Ltd and Sabaiko Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd saw shares worth Rs 8.7 million, Rs 7.7 million, Rs 7.2 million and Rs 5 million traded respectively.
Among advances, share price of Salt Trading Corporation shot up by almost 10% for second straight day followed by Panchthar Power Company Ltd which added 9.68% on its share price. Furthermore, share prices of Goodwill Finance Ltd, Radhi Bidhyut Company Ltd and Dibyashwori Hydropower Ltd were up by over 6% each. Other gaining scrips include Himalayan Power Partner Ltd and Nadep Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd which were up by 5.93% and 4.1%, respectively.
However, Global IME Samunnat Scheme-1, Ankhu Khola Jalabidhyut Company Ltd. and Ridi Hydropower Development Company Ltd made the worst performance of the day as their unit prices tanked over 5% each. Likewise, share prices of Summit Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd and Panchakanya Mai Hydropower Company Ltd were down by 4.91% and 4.54%, respectively.
In corporate space, Everest Bank Ltd has reported a 9.08% growth in its profit in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. Its net profit in the period stands at Rs 690 million, up from Rs 633 million in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year. Himalayan Bank Ltd has declared 22% dividend –10% bonus shares and 12% cash payout – for its shareholders for FY2018/19. Likewise, ICFC Finance Ltd has also announced the 5% bonus shares and 8% cash dividend for its shareholders.
As per ARKS technical analysis, the market formed a doji candlestick on the daily timeframe suggesting indecision among investors. Likewise, the index has continued to trade range-bound with low volumes. Technical indicators also suggest lack of clear direction in the present context. Hence, investors are advised not to take any major position unless the market shows a notable breakout from its current range.