Worries that shipping has peaked turn investors away from industry colossus With China Cosco Holdings and GST Holdings three days into their initial public offerings, it looks as if the giant container shipping firm has failed to match the retail demand for the much smaller fire safety company. According to brokers and other sources, the 10 per cent retail portion of China Cosco's up to $12.9 billion offer has received a lukewarm response, with investors concerned that the company is coming to market at a time when new shipping capacity will start to put pressure on freight rates. The institutional book was just over three times covered, although some orders have price limits. The retail tranche will close at noon tomorrow, but the flow of applications does not seem to be growing. Brokerages said they had received only margin financing orders worth millions of dollars, compared with billions for Bank of Communications, which makes its stock market debut today. Meanwhile, GST, the mainland's leading fire alarm systems maker, had seen 'surprisingly good' investor response, according to brokers. The institutional tranche was also already fully covered, sources said. GST's retail tranche will close at noon today. Morgan Stanley is the sponsor. 'We have received $4 million worth of margin financing orders of China Cosco's up to now, while GST has attracted $150 million worth of orders,' said Ronny Tang Kwan-hui, a director at Core Pacific-Yamaichi Securities. HSBC and UBS are China Cosco's share sales arrangers. Mr Tang did not believe that investors who had received their refunds from the Bocom share subscription would use the money to apply for China Cosco shares. 'Investors lack interest in China Cosco because they think the shipping sector has already peaked. It doesn't matter whether Bocom's subscription money is back or not,' he said. Phillip Securities received only $700,000 of China Cosco's margin financing orders, while the Prudential Brokerage had less than $1 million. The pair received a combined $41 million of GST orders. The week's two other listing candidates have not received much investor attention. The retail tranche of office printer maker Jolimark Holdings, which aims to raise $146 million, closes at noon today, while that of mobile handset design house SIM Technology, which is looking to raise $814 million, closes tomorrow.