ASIAN companies accounted for nearly half of the 173 non-American companies that raised cash through public and private depositary receipt programmes last year, the Bank of New York said. The bank said yesterday that 74 of the companies were Asian, and it predicted continued investor interest in Asian offerings this year. India established 38 new programmes, and raised more than US$2 billion. Non-US companies raised a total of $20 billion through such programmes, up 67 per cent on the total for 1993. 'The outlook for emerging markets in 1995 remains positive, especially in China, India, Brazil and Southeast Asia, where investor interest continues to be strong,' said a spokesman for the bank's depositary receipts division. The bank said East Asian offerings included a programme for Swire Pacific and one for Shangdong Huaneng Power Development. Shangdong Huaneng Power was the first depositary receipt programme for a Chinese N share to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the bank said. Hong Kong accounted for 26 of last year's new public and private depositary programmes. China and the Philippines produced nine, while Taiwan accounted for seven. American depositary receipts (ADRs) allow foreign companies to offer US dollar-denominated securities to investors in the US. Un-sponsored ADRs allow one or more depositaries to issue securities according to market demand and without requiring the formal agreement of the foreign company concerned. The Bank of New York currently issues depositary receipts for more than 800 non-US companies from 44 countries. A key player in the industry, the bank said it acted as depositary for 57 per cent of all new public programmes and for more sponsored public depositary receipt programmes than all its competitors put together. It recently bought the ADR business of BankAmerica National Trust Co. Bank of New York said use of depositary receipts accelerated in 1994, with 265 companies from 44 countries establishing public and private sponsored ADR and global depositary receipt (GDR) programmes. The trading value of depositary receipts on US exchanges hit a record 7.3 billion shares, or $248 billion in 1994, it said. Last year, 334 new public and private sponsored programmes were established, up 114 per cent on the 156 for 1993, according to bank figures for all new depositary receipt programmes. At the end of 1994, there was a total of 1,377 depositary receipt programmes from 55 countries and the most actively traded were from Mexico, Britain and the Netherlands. These figures only represented programmes traded on NYSE, NASDAQ and the American Stock Exchange, it said, and excluded programmes traded over the counter or in private markets. It estimated another 45 billion depositary receipts traded in the over the counter or private markets.