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This article is an attempt to explain how NEPSE index is calculated, explain what is market capitalization of a company, and explain what is total market capitalization of an economy. In addition, it also explores on how NEPSE adjusts base period’s market capitalization in case of new listing.

Let’s first understand the concepts of market capitalization of a company and total market capitalization of economy.

What is Market Capitalization of a Company?

Market capitalization comes in two forms – individual company’s market capitalization and total market capitalization of an economy. Total market capitalization of an economy is widely used in the calculation of NEPSE index.

In simple term, market capitalization of a company is the current market value of a company. We get the market capitalization of a company by multiplying the outstanding number of shares of a company by its closing stock price. The number of outstanding shares sometimes termed as the ‘number of listed shares’. This way, we use the terms ‘number of listed shares’ and ‘number of outstanding shares’ interchangeably.

The market capitalization is an important secondary market indicator as it is compared with the indicator of the economy. Most often, it is used as leading indicator of economic situation. In terms of the mathematics, the market capitalization of an individual company is:

$$\text{Market Capitalization of a Company = Number of Outstanding Shares * Closing Stock Price} $$

Total Market Capitalization for NEPSE index

After adding market capitalization of all companies listed in the stock exchange, we will get the total market capitalization of an economy. In other terms, one can term total market capitalization as the eocomy’s market capitalization. The total market capitalization is the key concept used in the calculation of NEPSE index.

How is NEPSE index calculated?

After knowing what the market capitalization and total market capitalization of a company, let move on to the actual calculation process of NEPSE index. We get the NEPSE index by multiply the ratio of current period’s total market capitalization to base period’s total market capitalization by 100. Mathematically, the formula for calculating NEPSE index can be expressed as:

$$\text{NEPSE Index} = \frac{\text{Total Market Capitalization of Current Period}}{\text{Total Market Capitalization of Base Period}} * 100$$

This method of index calculation is called value weighted method.

Yet there are hundreds of listed companies in the stock exchange, we proceed with the three hypothetical companies – A, B and C – and generalize the concept to include comprehensive list of companies.

Now, let’s present the concept with a hypothetical example as follows:

Company NameOutstanding SharesClosing PriceMarket Capitalization
Base PeriodCurrent PeriodBase PeriodCurrent Period
A1,000400450400,000450,000
B1,200350500420,000600,000
C1,500500550750,000825,000
Total Market Capitalization (Total Market Value)15,70,00018,75,000

From the table presented above, we have:

Total Market Capitalization of Current Period = 18,75,000

Total Market Capitalization of Base Period = 15,70,000

So, placing values in the formula for calculating NEPSE index, we get:

$$\text{NEPSE Index} = \frac{\text{Total Market Capitalization of Current Period}}{\text{Total Market Capitalization of Base Period}} * 100$$

$$= \frac{\text{18,75,000}}{\text{15,70,000}} * 100$$

$$= 119.43$$

Thus, NEPSE index for the current period is 119.43 with reference to the base period. Similar analogy holds true for calculating the NEPSE index while considering the comprehensive list of companies listed on NEPSE.

For more fundamental concept on how stock price reflects available information, you may read the very famous financial theory – efficient market hypothesis.

Adjustment to Base in Case of New Listing

In reality, the number of the listed companies keeps on changing. Similarly, number of outstanding shares also keeps on changing as the company issues right shares or bonus shares or common shares at the time of capital needs. So, how base period’s adjusted market capitalization is calculated in such a dynamic real world?

The actual practice to adjust the base period’s market capitalization is as follows:

$$\text{Adjusted Base Period’s Market Capitalization} = \frac{\text{New Market Capitalization Including New Listing}}{\text{New Market Capitalization Excluding New Listing}} * \text{Base Period’s Market Capitalization}$$

Hypothetical Example: NEPSE index Base Adjustment

Let’s illustrate the concept of adjustment to base with the following hypothetical example. First, imagine that the initial conditions of the outstanding shares and its prices as under:

Company NameOutstanding SharesClosing PricesMarket Capitalization of Base Period
A1,000400400,000
B1,200350420,000
C1,500500750,000
Total Market Capitalization (Total market value) 15,70,000

Now suppose company ‘A’ offered 25 stock dividends. This corporate action of offering stock dividend has direct effect on the number of outstanding shares and stock price of company ‘A’. The changes in number of outstanding shares and stock price happen as described in this article. For the moment, lets present the final changes in outstanding shares, prices and their corresponding market values as under:

Company Name Outstanding Shares Closing Prices New Market Capitalization
Base PeriodCurrent PeriodCurrent PeriodExcluding New ListingIncluding New Listing
A1,0001,250320320,000400,000
B1,2001,200500600,000600,000
C15001,500550825,000825,000
Total Market Capitalization (Total Market Value)17,45,00018,25,000

Following the above table, we have:

New Market Capitalization Including New Listing = 18,25,000

New Market Capitalization Excluding New Listing = 17,45,000

Base Period’s Market Capitalization = 15,70,000

Now, placing the values in the following formula, we get adjusted base period’s market capitalization:

$$\text{ Adjusted Base Period’s Market Capitalization } = \frac{\text{New Market Capitalization Including New Listing}}{\text{New Market Capitalization Excluding New Listing}} * \text{Base Period’s Market Capitalization}$$

$$\text{Adjusted Base Period’s Market Capitalization} = \frac{\text{18,25,000}}{\text{17,45,000}} * \text{15,70,000}$$

$$ = \text{16,41,977.08}$$


Now the NEPSE Index for current period is,

$$\text{NEPSE Index} = \frac{\text{Total Market Capitalization of Current Period}}{\text{Total Market Capitalization of Base Period}} * 100$$

$$\text{NEPSE Index} = \frac{\text{18,25,000}}{\text{16,41,977.08}} * 100$$

$$= \text{111.15}$$

This is how the NEPSE index is calculated.

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