KATHMANDU, Aug 1: The Nepali equity market experienced a slightly volatile session on Wednesday as the benchmark Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index swung between positive and negative territory. Despite the weakness observed in the initial hour, stocks staged a recovery in the afternoon. Eventually, the index closed 2.40 points higher at 1,193.87 points.
As earning reports continue to come, the index has persisted to record modest moves since the beginning of the current fiscal year. Absence of any major events or news on economic and monetary fronts has also been contributing to the bland trading sessions lately. Turnover remained below par on the day as only Rs 220 million worth of shares were traded in the secondary market.
Major sub-indices also mirrored the marginal movement of the broader market. Most of the sub-indices ended the day in green except Others, Finance and Hydropower sub-indices. Hotels sub-index climbed 0.63 percent on the day, while Non-life Insurance sub-index added 0.55 percent. Sub-indices of both Microfinance and Life Insurance groups closed 0.48 percent higher each. Banking sub-index also edged 0.28 percent higher. In terms of turnover, Neco Insurance Co Ltd Promoter Shares remained active on the day with a total transaction of over Rs 44 million. Second on the list was NMB Bank Ltd as the shares worth Rs 28 million of the commercial bank were traded on the day. The bank is closing its book from Thursday to issue 15 percent bonus shares to its shareholders. Prime Life Insurance Company Ltd and Nepal Life Insurance Company Ltd followed suit with turnovers of over Rs 6 million each. Central Finance Company Ltd was the biggest gainer of the day as its share price surged over 5.45 percent. Lumbini Bikas Bank Ltd also saw its share price jump over 4.73 percent. Likewise, Siddhartha Insurance Ltd added 3.51 percent on its share price compared to Tuesday. Mahalakshmi Bikas Bank Ltd, Nerude Laghubitta Bikas Bank Ltd and Corporate Development Bank Ltd were the other top gainers of the day.
Conversely, City Express Finance Co Ltd continued its plunge, losing almost 9.48 percent. Progressive Finance Ltd also tumbled over 5.17 percent. Further, Kabeli Bikas Bank Ltd and Goodwill Finance Co Ltd shed over 3 percent each.
On earnings front, Citizen Bank International Ltd has published its financial report for the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2017/18, indicating a net profit growth of 31 percent year-on-year. Its unaudited net profit for the year stands at Rs 1,408 million. Similarly, Prime Life Insurance Co Ltd has reported a 36.26 percent rise in its net profit, amounting to Rs 216 million. Among other companies publishing their earnings reports, Sindhu Bikas Bank Ltd and Tinau Development Bank Ltd posted a decline in their net profit by 57 percent and 25.81 percent, respectively.
As per the ARKS technical analysis model, the market has prolonged its consolidation for past few weeks. Consequently, no clear indication of possible market course is evident amid a series of low turnover sessions. Moreover, the index still trends below the 1,200-point psychological level. Technical indicators like Relative strength Index (RSI) and Moving Average Convergence/Divergence (MACD) also indicate an absence of significant impetus in the stock market.
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)