THE $A2.45 billion (about HK$12.86 billion) float of Australian supermarket giant Woolworths - Australia's largest public share float - has exceeded all expectations, attracting up to $7 billion worth of applications. Which applications have succeeded and to what extent will be revealed on Monday morning when press advertisements will announce how many shares have been allocated to applicants. Small investors bid for minimum lots of 1,000 shares at $1.45 a share. But with estimates of the number of small investor applicants ranging up to 300,000 when the float closed on July 5 - a total that would easily give Woolworths Australia's biggest share register - there are predictions that allocations may be cut to 800 or even less, rather than refusing some applicants. Woolworths shares begin trading on the Australian Stock Exchange on Monday on a deferred delivery basis and are expected to list at $2.60 to $2.80. Allowing small investors to trade their shares without physically holding their certificates breaks new ground, aimed at speeding up trading and putting them on a more equal footing with the institutions. Also unprecedented is the stock exchange's decision to extend trading by three and a half hours on Monday. A record one billion shares are on offer and stock exchange chairman Laurie Cox said the 7.30 pm closing was in response to the strong demand. It would give Asian and European investors a better chance to trade in real time on the Australian market. The extended hours will be considered in subsequent public floats, with brokers and fund managers predicting surplus cash from the Woolworths float will flow into the planned $1.4 billion sale of 19 per cent of the Commonwealth Bank and the $600 million float of the Seven Network and into the market generally. Yesterday the All Ordinaries closed at 1,782.5 - a post-1987 crash high. Applications for the Seven Network float open on Monday as Woolworths begins trading and close on August 6. Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has taken up 15 per cent and Telecom 10 per cent - a total of $150 million in stock, with about $300 million expected to be taken up by institutions and $150 million by retail investors. There are 300 million ordinary shares on offer at $2 each, with a 1,000-share minimum application. Listing is on August 16. About 60 per cent of the Woolworths float was taken up by entitlements through shares in its ultimate owners the Adelaide Steamship and its associates Tooth and Co and David Jones (40 per cent) and placements with brokers for private clients (20 per cent). Trading in that market closed on June 25, by which time insurance giant AMP Society had grabbed 6.4 per cent. That left Woolworths executives with lead managers JB Were and Son and McIntosh securities to place the remaining 40 per cent, of which offshore institutions had been led to expect they would be allocated 10 per cent. That offer is reportedly five times oversubscribed. The Woolworths prospectus said a preference would be given to ''quality'' bids - an expression being interpreted as referring to an institution's record of holdings stock for the long term. The extraordinary demand for Woolworths shares among non-institutional investors probably will not be replicated by the Seven Network float.