Nepal's Stock Market and Economy
Nepal's Stock Exchange or Securities Exchange Center, as it was known then, began in 1937 with Nepal Bank Ltd and Biratnagar Jute Mills Ltd contributing flotation shares. The Securities Exchange Center was established in this country in an attempt to encourage growth in the capital markets. It also took the part of providing financial services, underwriting, brokering, managing public issue, developing markets for government bonds and other similar services.
It was only later in 1993 that the Securities Exchange was converted to the Nepal Stock Exchange (NEPSE) and only in 1994 when it commenced trading on the trading floor. The NEPSE assists the government and corporate securities to a large degree in providing them with liquidity, marketability, providing intermediaries like market makers and brokers and facilitating transactions on the trading floor. The top five companies that are listed on the Nepal Stock Exchange include Nabil Bank Ltd, Nepal Investment Bank Ltd, Standard Chartered Bank Ltd, Himalayan Bank Ltd and Nepal SBI Bank Limited.
Nepal is listed under developing countries and is considered the least developed and poorest out of all of those. The economy of Nepal is agriculturally based with the majority of the population using this sector as a means of providing themselves with some sort of livelihood in a country where a third of the population is living below what is considered the poverty line. A contributing factor is that there is little skilled labor in the country to work off of. The products produced out of the agriculture sector include jute, buffalo meat, sugarcane, wheat, rice, corn, root crops and milk.
Agriculture amounts to 38% of the countries total GDP with services and industry making up the rest. The industry sector is made up of processing produce like sugarcane, grain and tobacco as well as tourism, textiles, oilseed mills, brick and cement production and cigarettes. Tourism has a potential in the country but with all the concerns over security due to the Maoist conflict it doesn't look like it will increase for a while. The purchasing power of the GDP in 2006 amounted to $42.84 billion with an increase of about 2.4% that year.
A total of $822 million goods were exported during the year 2005, made up of items like leather goods, grain, carpets, jute products and clothing. These goods were exported to Germany, United States and India. On the other hand amounted to a total of $2 billion, which included gold, fertilizer, machinery and equipment and a variety of products that originate from petroleum. These products were imported from India, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and China.