LIPPO is applying for licences to underwrite B shares in Shanghai and Shenzhen, says managing director John Lee Luen-wai. He said the Shanghai application was ''progressing well'', while the Shenzhen application had just been submitted. Trading and underwriting Chinese securities are among the financial services the group wants to concentrate on this year, according to Mr Lee. ''This year we put our focus on the financial and banking sector including that in China,'' he said. ''China's financial industry is very active, and Hongkong people's knowledge may help it further thrive,'' said Mr Lee. The group hoped to set up joint-venture banks and investment banks in Chinese cities such as Fuzhou, Shanghai and Beijing. Besides co-operating with China on banking, Lippo would also invest in mainland property development and tourism. It is currently negotiating the redevelopment of two pieces of land in Beijing. Responding to rumours that Lippo would team up with Nanyang Commercial Bank in its bid for Overseas Trust Bank, Mr Lee said he did not know of any talks having taken place between Lippo and Nanyang.