Wafangdian Bearing Co, in which Sweden's SKF has a 19.7 per cent stake, yesterday made the most dazzling debut of any B-share issue in months. The Shenzhen B shares closed at $5.02 - 88.7 per cent more than their issue price of $2.66 - after opening at $4.05 and hitting an intra-day high of $5.53. A total of 18.57 million shares worth $94 million changed hands yesterday. Traders and brokers said the major force fuelling the rise was 'stir-frying' or speculation by mainland investors, officially banned from trading B shares. Mainland investors have a special fondness for new shares, betting that there would be plenty of upside for new shares because of their low issue price. A J&A Securities broker said the rise was particularly sharp for recent new issues because first-day trade of new shares was free from the 10 per cent daily limits. 'As the stock was offered at a fairly low price earnings multiple [of 7.9 times last year's earnings], and with its small issue size, the rise is not surprising,' he said. Wafangdian, based in Dalian, produces bearings for railways, vehicles and metal industries. It has a 9.4 per cent share of the domestic market. The company raised $406.3 million from the B-share issue last month, including the sale of a 19.7 per cent stake to Sweden's SKF, the world's largest bearing-maker. It has agreed in principle to set up a US$15 million joint venture with SKF in China this year.