A buying surge is expected to greet the first two listing candidates on the Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) today as trading finally begins. 'There is lots of hot money in the market waiting to buy these shares,' said Ambrose Chang, chief investment officer of Daiwa SB Investment. Stocks will be available in Fuzhou-based bio-chemical firm China Agrotech Holdings and Hong Kong software developer Timeless Software. 'The counters could easily double their prices as investors chase after them,' Mr Chang said. 'Everything is supply and demand. 'The sizes of the issues of these companies are too small to meet demand from investors.' Investor interest in the new market has increased in recent weeks, brokers said. The GEM board should also receive a boost by i-Cable Communications' strong debut yesterday on the stock exchange's main board. Its shares jumped 51.58 per cent to finish at $15.75, making it the best-performing initial public offering since the stock market plunged in October 1997. So far, the first batch of seven approved GEM listing candidates have received strong support from the market. China Agrotech's $90 million initial public offering was five times subscribed by institutional investors and 58 times subscribed by retail investors. Timeless Software's $495 million issue, only on offer to institutional investors, was said to be 10 times subscribed. Pine Technology Holdings, which will list its shares on the second board tomorrow, was also warmly received, with its $247.5 million offering 9.5 times subscribed by institutional investors and 65 times subscribed by retail buyers. Other issues such as SIIC Medical Science and Technology (Group) and TS Telecom Technologies, due to close tomorrow, also expected to post record subscription rates. Brokers expected the new market would exhibit spectacular performance for a time due to the strong appetite for technology-related stocks that the GEM board is tailored for. Nonetheless, the GEM should help depress the shares of small main board companies that have recently entered the Internet market but whose core business lies outside technology. 'Firms who come out and say they have made an Internet network purchase and therefore I am a hi-tech company - those counters could be seriously affected,' said Eugene Law Ka-kin, a director at Celestial Asia Securities. More stable stocks such as Stone Electronic Technology and Founder (Hong Kong) are also expected to come under pressure in the next few weeks as funds flow to GEM. Brokers said any pressure on these counters would be temporary and their upwards trend would be resumed early next year, with investors looking for more stable technology plays. 'In the short term, investors are positive on the GEM market but early next year people may cool down,' New Century Securities head of research Alan Shum Wai-nap said.