Shares in A8 Digital Music Holdings rose 35.78 per cent on their first trading day yesterday despite a market slump as investors bet that the company's new business model would help generate decent returns. That outperformed the debut of Little Sheep Group, a Chinese hot-pot restaurant operator, whose shares closed unchanged. A8 shares gained 68 HK cents to close at HK$2.58 from the offered price of HK$1.90 each. Retail investors made a paper profit, excluding expenses, of about HK$1,360 for each board lot of 2,000 shares. That made A8 the third-best trading debut so far this year, after New Media's 111.76 per cent gain and Asia Cement China's 37.98 per cent. The Hang Seng Index fell 1.3 per cent yesterday. 'A8 has a comparatively new business model and its current position as the country's leading digital music provider both helped bolster its share price,' said Nelson Chan Kai-fung, the general manager of Bright Smart Securities. A8 promotes music content such as songs sourced from its www.a8.com platform as well as from other international and domestic record labels via wireless networks of mobile operators and the internet. Most of the company's revenue comes from selling such music content as ring tones, ring-back tones and interactive voice responses to mobile-phone users on the mainland. Meanwhile, Little Sheep's shares closed at HK$3.18, the same as its offer price. However, many investors remained bullish about the company's future performance, saying that its fundamentals were 'a lot more solid' than companies such as A8. 'We are satisfied with the company's share performance and will hold its shares for the long term,' said Anna Cheung, a partner with 3i, which invested about US$20 million in Little Sheep's offering. Little Sheep raised HK$779.7 million from an initial public offering after pricing its shares at the middle of an indicative range between HK$2.68 and HK$3.68.