DELAYS of up to a month in the reporting of results by Shanghai-listed companies with B shares have begun to unnerve those foreign investors who had been expecting generous share bonuses and encouraging earnings. Originally, all Shanghai-listed companies were due to release their results in early February, but so far only Shanghai Erfangji Co has managed to announce its result for the year to December 31. Understandably, foreign shareholders are less than happy with the lack of explanation for the delay, especially as directors of and financial advisers to the Shanghai B share issuers have spared no effort in the last few months updating overseas brokerages and institutional investors on their business plans and earnings projections. Apart from claiming that they would be able to meet their earnings forecasts, there were strong hints that generous bonus payouts were just around the corner. The lack of news from the companies concerned since then is not the only worry, however. The apparent lack of a set procedure for reporting results is equally unsettling. The most obvious difference between the practices in Hongkong and China is that some mainland companies hold their annual general meetings before releasing their results - the reverse of the order in Hongkong. Foreign brokers are understood to be urging the Shanghai officials to adopt the Hongkong method, rather than going through all the bureaucratic procedures before issuing their results. In this respect, the way Shanghai Erfangji issued its result was by no means reassuring. Although the company's sharp rise in earnings and the four-for-10 bonus share offer were no disappointment to shareholders, the result, which was circulated among Hongkong brokers last week, had only been audited by Chinese accounting standards. But under China's listing rules governing B stocks, financial statements are supposed to be subject to international accounting standards. Foreign brokers have been left wondering why Shanghai Erfangji did not release a qualified report audited by international standards, which would carry more weight for overseas investors. There can also be significant differences between the two accounting systems in the way that profits are booked. For instance, unrealised foreign exchange gains or losses, which are treated as such under international accounting standards, are treated differently in China, where they are booked as profits or losses. This is a consideration that should receive greater attention as the effect of yuan devaluation on the earnings of the mainland stocks has become a growing concern to overseas investors. In this light, the results of Peugeot carmaker Denway, which was listed recently in Hongkong, have done nothing to dissipate the devaluation fear. Wide exposure to currency fluctuation, because of its heavy reliance on importing raw materials, has greatly eaten into Denway's 1992 earnings. Investors fear that Denway's case will apply to other mainland stocks whose businesses are more or less sensitive to changes in overseas markets. Whether Denway should be viewed as an extreme case or the norm will only be clear when we get the formal release of the annual results by the Shanghai companies.