Shares in two listed mainland city commercial lenders surged on their debuts yesterday, defying a small decline in the A-share market, as investors flocked to the quality stocks perceived to have long-term growth potential. Their stellar first-day performances were also boosted by the shares being priced at a lower value than other comparable stocks in the market, a common practice for initial public offerings in the mainland. Shenzhen-traded Bank of Ningbo skyrocketed 140.5 per cent to 22.13 yuan, while Shanghai-listed Bank of Nanjing bounced up 7.94 yuan, 72.2 per cent, to 18.94 yuan. Though the two stocks were slightly overvalued after yesterday, analysts said that did not mean a decline would follow because of investors' expectation of their earnings growth potential. Gains in the two stocks came amid a slight decline in the broad market which was not spooked by the official releases of a worse than expected inflationary figure and faster than expected economic growth. The National Bureau of Statistics reported the consumer price index jumped 4.4 per cent last month, beating economists' already bold expectations of 4 per cent. There had been concerns that the market may suffer another blow should the economic data rise too fast, prompting more tightening measures such as a lending rate rise by the government. 'Investors were unfazed because they also saw a ray of hope in the buoyant economy,' said Dai Ming, an analyst at Kingsun Investment Management. 'Solid earnings by listed firms on the back of the fast-growing economy would offset the negative impact from higher interest rates.' Gross domestic product in the first half expanded 11.9 per cent, the fastest pace in 12 years, giving investors hope that the 1,400 or so publicly traded companies would report an overall 50 per cent profit growth, Mr Dai added. Analysts also said the market had digested inflationary worries in the past month, and investors were pinning hopes on more government measures to revitalise the current sluggish market. The Shanghai Composite Index closed at 3,912.94, down a scant 17.12 points, 0.44 per cent. The Shenzhen counterpart added 2.48 points, 0.23 per cent, to 1,082.43. However, total turnover shrank by 21.4 per cent from a day earlier to 96.8 billion yuan. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 8.4 per cent in the past month as investors were unsettled by reports of soaring consumer prices. The market is rife with speculation that the People's Bank of China would raise interest rates by 27 basis points today to keep a lid on consumer prices. However, analysts said the potential move might not drag the index further down because it would be supported by investors showing confidence in the performance of listed companies and regulators' bolstering measures.