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Economic Digest: Nepal’s Business News in a Snap

13 June 2024  

Time taken to read : 6 Minute

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KATHMANDU: Economic Digest offers a concise yet comprehensive overview of significant business happenings in Nepal, presented in easily digestible summaries.

The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) inaugurated a Tier 3 international-standard data center in Syuchatar, Kathmandu, enhancing their service delivery under the ‘Digital NEA Program’ and future commercial services.

NEPSE saw modest gains, with a 6.38-point rise to 2121.62, a trading volume exceeding Rs 5.89 billion, and mixed sector performance. Gold prices surged by Rs 500 per tola, influenced by global market trends, while banks slashed loan interest rates due to economic slowdown and liquidity surplus.

Jyoti Bikas Bank’s CSR initiative provided 43 locally made baby warmers to rural hospitals, addressing hypothermia-related infant mortality.

NEA’s Advanced Data Center begins operations

The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) launched an international-standard data center in Syuchatar, Kathmandu. The three-story facility includes a control room for Kathmandu Valley’s underground power distribution on the ground floor, office and network operation rooms on the first floor, and the data center on the top floor.

Built to Tier 3 standards, this first model data center in Nepal under the ‘Digital NEA Program’ aims to modernize NEA’s service delivery and provide future services to commercial companies.

NEPSE rises by single digit; trading volume exceeds Rs 5.89 billion

The Nepal Stock Exchange (NEPSE) showed modest gains, with significant trading volume and mixed performance across sectors, indicating cautious investor sentiment.

The NEPSE rose by 6.38 points (0.30%) to 2121.62 on Wednesday, maintaining its position above the 2100 mark. Trading volume reached over Rs 5.89 billion, with 129,504,407 shares exchanged in 74,858 transactions.

Out of 312 companies, 119 saw price increases, 115 declined, and 13 remained stable. The Sensitive Index fell by 1.67 points, the Float Index by 0.52 points, and the Sensitive Float Index by 0.60 points. Nine out of 13 sectors saw price increases, with Microfinance up by 41.27 points and Non-Life Insurance down by 53.20 points.

Gold prices surge in Nepali market

The Nepali market witnessed a surge in the price of gold, which increased by Rs 500 per tola. Fine gold was priced at Rs 146,000 per tola, while standard gold was at Rs 140,900 per tola, compared to Rs 141,000 and Rs 140,300 respectively just a day prior.

Simultaneously, the price of silver also saw adjustments, settling at Rs 1,820 per tola. These price determinations by the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association were heavily influenced by global market trends, reflecting broader economic conditions and investor sentiment towards stability and inflation. Gold, being a traditional safe-haven asset, had its price movements closely scrutinized for insights into geopolitical tensions and monetary policy decisions.

With one tola equivalent to 11.66 grams, these fluctuations carried significance for consumers and investors, shaping purchasing decisions and investment strategies in the precious metals market.

Banks slash loan rates amid economic slowdown

Banks in Nepal have notably slashed loan interest rates by an average of 2.31 percentage points over the past year, a trend continuing according to the latest report by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB).

This reduction is reflected in both weighted lending rates, dropping to 10.34 percent per annum as of mid-May from 12.65 percent last year, and base interest rates of commercial banks, which fell to 8.34 percent from 10.27 percent.

Factors such as an economic slowdown, increased non-performing assets, and concerns over capital adequacy ratios have driven this decline. Deposit interest rates have also decreased, with fixed deposit rates now at a maximum of 7.06 percent.

Further drops are anticipated due to excess liquidity, prompting the NRB to introduce a standing deposit facility offering a three percent interest rate.

However, amid this financial environment, the NRB has issued warnings to banks and financial institutions (BFIs) to recover subsidized loans, amounting to Rs 140.50 billion, provided under special facilities post-COVID-19, as around seven percent of borrowers have been found to misuse the funds.

Jyoti Bikas Bank’s CSR Initiative saves newborn lives in rural Nepal

Jyoti Bikas Bank has initiated a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project aimed at addressing hypothermia-related child mortality in rural Nepal by distributing baby warmers to community hospitals.

The lack of essential equipment in these hospitals exacerbates the condition, leading to newborn deaths. Through partnerships and local innovation, the bank has provided 43 baby warmers to hospitals in remote districts, with plans to distribute more.

Recognizing the critical need, the bank opted for locally made baby warmers, promoting local skills and reducing costs.

Compiled and prepared by Srija Khanal)

Economic Digest is a daily morning economic digest, basically relatable summations of the most important business news, and happenings from Nepal into easy-to-understand summaries.

Publish Date : 13 June 2024 08:28 AM

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