KATHMANDU, Nov 16: Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) posted a loss of 3.36 points to settle at 1,205.20 points on Thursday. Though the benchmark index had begun trading session of the last week on a positive note by gaining more than 5 points in the initial trading hour, stocks struggled to hold on to the earlier gains and ended the day in red.
The index failed to add to its previous winning sessions despite an improvement in terms of market activity. The exchange posted total turnover of Rs 239 million, up 34 percent compared to Wednesday's session.
The Nepse index shed value came as most of the sectoral indices ended the day lower. Only Life Insurance and Hotels stocks managed to eke out marginal gains. On the losing front, Microfinance stocks suffered the most as its sub-index went down by almost 1 percent. Further, sub-indices of Hydropower and Non-Life Insurance sub-groups slipped 0.48 percent and 0.41 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, market heavyweight Banking sub-index posted a marginal decline of 0.33 percent.
Prabhu Bank Ltd continued to lead the table of listed companies in terms of turnover. The commercial bank saw over Rs 23 million worth of its shares change hands on Thursday. Next on the list was Mega Bank Ltd with total turnover of Rs 14 million. Shares of Nepal Investment Bank Ltd were also actively traded on the day. The commercial bank posted 17 percent growth in its net profit year-on-year to over Rs 1 billion in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2018/19. Nepal Bank Ltd, Kumari Bank Ltd and Nabil Bank Ltd were the other top companies in terms of transactions.
Among advances, Everest Insurance Company Ltd posted the highest gain of almost 10 percent on its share price on the day. Similarly, share price of Salt Trading Corporation rallied by 9.79 percent. Share prices of Guheshowori Merchant Bank & Finance Co Ltd, Tinau Development Bank Ltd and Arun Kabeli Power Ltd added also over 3 percent each on their share prices.
In contrast, share price of Mero Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd tanked 3.88 percent, while Taragaon Regency Hotel Ltd saw its share price tumble by 3.77 percent. Other microfinance scrips followed suit led by Janautthan Samudayik Laghubitta Bikas Bank Ltd and Mirmire Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd which registered declines of 3.71 percent and 2.91 percent, respectively, on their share prices. Other losing stocks on the day were United Insurance Co Ltd, Mahuli Samudayik Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd and Swarojgar Laghubitta Bikas Bank Ltd.
On the corporate space, Suryodaya Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd has scheduled its Annual General Meeting (AGM) for December 22. Distribution of 42.75 percent bonus shares and issuance of 50 percent right shares are among its key agendas.
ARKS technical analysis indicates the market failing to add to its gains with a formation of a small bearish candlestick in the last trading day of the week. Technical indicators suggest a feeble momentum prevailing in the equity market of late. Nonetheless, the index has upheld itself above the psychological level of 1,200 points making further slip less likely.