MORE than 880,000 Singaporeans have committed themselves to spending over S$950 million (about HK$4.66 billion) on Singapore Telecom shares. If two further tranches are taken up, Telecom could raise $3.3 billion to $3.9 billion. Group A Telecom shares are being sold to citizens of the republic at a discounted price of $1.90. They will receive 40 bonus shares for every 100 shares they hold over six years. The heavy volume of applications - half of Singapore's adult population is involved - has prompted the Government to top up the number of shares it had originally planned to release. The utility's flotation has sparked unprecedented public interest in the stock market, with huge - and sometimes unruly - queues forming of Singaporeans wanting to set up the accounts necessary to buy certain classes of share. The excitement over the listing has prompted some observers to express concern over what Singapore's Business Times called ''a mania in the market''. With 96 per cent of the 880,000-plus applicants asking for the maximum allocation of 600 shares, more than 500 million shares have been applied for - against an initial Group A allocation of 350 million. The Finance Ministry said additional shares would be released to meet all Group A applications in full. The ministry said the Government had already far exceeded its target of doubling the number of Singaporean shareholders from 250,000 to 500,000. Citizens still have two more tranches of shares to go for. The three tranches will account for about eight per cent of the telecommunications monopoly. Group B shares, like the Group A tranche, are reserved for Singaporeans but are priced at $2. Foreigners may join Singaporeans in tendering for Group C shares, which some brokers expect to fetch up to $4 each. The Government's investment arm, Temasek, is making available 200 million Group B shares and up to 650 million Group C shares. Officials appear to have under-estimated the eagerness of Singaporeans to buy Telecom shares, although it has been encouraging them for several months to make Singapore ''a nation of shareholders'' and offering cash incentives for them to do so. Following the mayhem at the Exchange Building on Monday, when riot police were called in to control thousands of would-be shareholders, the authorities simplified procedures for applicants. But they have been faulted for acting belatedly. A Business Times columnist asked why the decision had not been taken earlier, noting that the situation had threatened to turn ugly. An editorial in the paper said reaction to the offer had been extraordinary - although not altogether surprising. ''Given the ballyhoo, a strong response was expected, but few would have predicted that riot police would be needed to control unruly crowds wanting to open accounts with the stock exchange,'' it said. It expressed concern that the listing would ''fan a mania in the market'', noting that ''manias invariably lead to grief on a massive scale''.