Framing the Issues: Modernizing the Public Equity Market in Nepal
We explore the major priorities for–and obstacles to–developing the public equity market in Nepal, the Nepal Stock Exchange (NEPSE) partnered with the Milken Institute to organize a strategic planning roundtable in Kathmandu on May 31, 2019, during a meeting of the executive committee of the South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE). The day-long event convened government officials, NEPSE management and board members, banking executives, stockbrokers and investors, international development partners, and SAFE members. Roundtable participants discussed the options available and lessons learned from other markets for modernizing the public equity market in Nepal. This report summarizes the ideas, recommendations, and outstanding concerns of roundtable participants. It is organized into three parts:
- Foundations for Capital Market Development: Political and Macroeconomic Stability and a Strong, Stable Banking Sector.
- Developing the NEPSE: Attracting Issuers, Expanding the Investment Base, and Improving the Trading Environment.
- Ownership, Governance, and Regulation.
The report concludes with a summary of the main themes discussed by roundtable participants and a detailed table of the concrete recommendations that emerged from the discussion.
To inform the roundtable discussion, NEPSE and the Milken Institute conducted a survey earlier that month of Nepali businesses. Its purpose was to provide timely data on the current business environment and to better understand firms’ concerns about access to finance and risk exposure and their thoughts on developing the stock market. We present the results of the survey pertaining to the business environment, access to finance, and demand for new financial tools and funding sources.
We discuss the survey results from unlisted firms about their perceptions of the benefits and downsides of going public and from listed companies about their experience on the NEPSE.