THE two Chinese A-share markets gained ground last week despite a slew of new listings on the Shanghai exchange. The Credit Lyonnais Shanghai A index finished at 4,553, up from 4,394.53, and the Shenzhen A marker was at 1,891.05, a small rise from 1,857.73 the previous week. The Shanghai B index declined, ending at 1,129.65 from 1,134.58 but the Shenzhen B indicator was up marginally at 1,455.22 from 1,442.4 the week before. At mid-week the Shanghai B-share index had moved higher on the Shanghai Friendship and Overseas Chinese debut. Friendship ended the session at 79 US cents after opening at 52 cents. Its issue price was 44 cents. There were 8.35 million shares traded. A group of seven companies that came to A-share market on Monday was generally spurned by investors. But on Thursday a total of 310 million shares were listed, the biggest single block of new shares to come to the market. The issues included the first tranche of 125 million shares in the giant Maanshan Iron and Steel, representing 30 per cent of the steel-maker's planned listing. Maanshan opened at 4.10 yuan and ended the day slightly off at 3.93 yuan, which was well within market expectations, brokers said. Brokers said there had been considerable concern by investors that Maanshan would open high and be pushed down by selling from buyers on the primary market, depressing the entire A-share market. But those fears proved unfounded and investors responded with enthusiastic buying.