THE Shanghai Securities Exchange says Shanghai Petrochemical will list its A shares in batches, in a move likely to limit any possible bad effects of the sizeable issue on the market. And Petrochemical executive director and vice-president Wu Yixin has spoken out in an attempt to allay worries about differential pricing in the company's A-share issue. The Shanghai exchange said Petrochemical's first batch of 75 million shares, representing 30 per cent of its freely traded A shares, would be listed in Shanghai on November 8. Of the company's 550 million new A shares issued, only 250 million individual shares can be freely traded. The exchange said this would mean that 30 per cent of the shares owned by each individual shareholder would be listed initially. The exchange statement did not say how many batches there would be or when the next batch would be issued. Petrochemical is the first company in China to list shares in batches. This method would apply to future large-capitalised issues, the exchange said. The Shanghai A-share market has declined recently on nervousness about impending big-cap listings. Petrochemical's issue has also been troubled because of the cost difference between shares sold in Shanghai and Shenzhen, triggering controversy in China. In Hong Kong yesterday, Shanghai Petrochemical executive director and vice-president Wu Yixin sought to calm fears about the effects of issuing A shares for mainlanders in the two cities and distance the company from the dispute. ''From the company point of view, investors in Shenzhen and Shanghai are being offered the same issue price, which is three yuan. ''Cost variation in the cities, which have their own allocation system, is something beyond our control,'' he said. On the business side, Mr Wu said he aimed to reduce the frequency of the company's 45 days a year inspection and repair work on the production lines in a bid to increase operating efficiency. Mr Wu said he hoped that from next year, inspection and repair work could be cut from once a year to twice in three years, and later to once in three years. But he said the change would take place only if safety could be maintained and that machinery and equipment would be kept in good condition. Inspection work for this year had just been completed. Mr Wu claimed this would increase the utilisation rate of the machinery. Mr Wu said the third phase of the construction programme was now fully operational. This has resulted in a 300,000-tonne ethylene unit and two production units for polypropylene and other units for monoethylene glycol, low density polyethylene and polyester filaments. ''Market demand for our products continues to exceed levels of supply, which is reflected in our strong sales growth,'' he said. ''The increase in our crude oil cost was offset by the reduced allocation of our production sold as planned by the Government from 59 per cent last year to 37 per cent this year and a rise in the proportion of our products sold at market prices,'' he said. On Thursday, the company reported a 168 per cent rise in profits to 573.89 million yuan (about HK$769 million at the official rate) for the six months ended June 30.