China Merchant Securities made a lackluster debut on the Shanghai Stock Exchange yesterday, posting the smallest first-day gain among newly listed A-share companies this year as investors baulked at the inflated prices of the brokerage, the South China Morning Post reported. The stock closed up 8.4% to close at RMB33.61 (US$4.92). Almost all the other new company listings in Shanghai this year jumped more than 20% on their first day of trading. The Shenzhen-based brokerage floated 358.5 million shares at RMB31 each (US$4.53), 56.3 times its 2008 earnings. Guotai Junan Securities said in a report that "it would be unacceptable if the price was set above RMB25."