ORGANISERS of the inaugural East Asian Games are confident they will not suffer any losses in staging next month's multi-sport extravanganza in Shanghai although barely three weeks ago there were reports of a critical cash shortage. The China News Service sounded an alarm late last month by saying that almost half the funds needed still had to be raised, and citizens and companies would have to be ''mobilised'' to donate more and make up the shortfall. That raised the possibility of the government or workplaces forcing average citizens to donate money or labour, as occurred during preparations for the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing. But EAG officials who are in Hongkong to toast the hoped-for success of the event were at a Wan Chai hotel yesterday and they denied running into difficulties with fund raising. Jia Chengxiang, a deputy director of the EAG fund raising department, said: ''Preparation for the Games has gone very smoothly. There is no problem with money, venues, accommodation or transport arrangements. ''Reports that we are short of cash are totally untrue as we have had the full support of the Chinese government behind us right from the very beginning. ''Our budget is 400 million yuan (US$70 million) and we will be getting 150 million yuan for the television rights alone. ''There is other income from sponsorship, donations, advertising and souvenirs, so I think we can just about break even.'' The EAG delegation have been in the territory for 10 days meeting the Games' major official sponsors, who include Kodak and Coca-Cola, but Jia refuted claims they were in town on a fund-raising mission. ''We came to personally thank the sponsors and donors for their support,'' he added. More than 2,000 athletes and officials from nine countries and representing 12 sports are expected to converge on Shanghai for the Games. China, South Korea, North Korea and Japan are likely to sweep the majority of the gold medals, having shared 36 golds between them at the Barcelona Olympic Games last year. Also taking part will be Hongkong, Macau, Mongolia, Taiwan and Guam, a territory not within the East Asian zone but who will attend the event as ''specially invited guests''. Ten of the sports will be held at arenas within Shanghai city. The only two sports to be staged outside the city centre are rowing and judo, which will be at Qingpu and Jiading respectively. Other sports on the programme are athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, tenpin bowling, gymnastics, soccer, swimming, weightlifting and wushu. China is using the EAG as a vehicle to boost Beijing's bid for the 2000 Olympics, seeing it as a chance to prove to the world they have the ability to successfully host a large-scale multi-sport event. Also bidding for the 2000 Olympics are five other cities - namely Sydney in Australia, Berlin in Germany, Istanbul in Turkey, Brasilia in Brazil and Manchester in England.