More Asian companies are likely to seek listings in the United States thanks, ironically, to the spotlight cast on the region's corporates by the financial crisis. New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) vice-president of international listings for Asia-Pacific, James Shapiro, yesterday told a Trade Development Council conference on Asian finance US investors were now better informed about companies from emerging markets such as Asia. He said the Asian financial crisis had helped increase awareness of the region. At the moment, he said there were 'two or three' Hong Kong companies and possibly another three Asian companies looking to list on the exchange. He expected these to list in the next 12 months. 'There is still what I would describe as remarkable ignorance of the region in the US . . . but the good news is, it's getting better and the reason is primarily the last two years,' Mr Shapiro said. 'From Asia, we've seen a very difficult two years so there have not been a lot of new companies coming to the US. 'But now that the IPO [initial public offering] market has opened up, I think we'll see more. The end of this year will be much more active. 'We certainly hope that more Asian companies will go to the US stock exchanges.' One of the changes arising from the past two years was the perception of risk, he said. Many Asian companies were now committed to US-style disclosure, which had come about following the Asian crisis. 'Investors will be more selective . . . they're seeking out those companies that are playing by the new rules . . . these companies will be particularly attractive,' he said. Mr Shapiro said some companies would achieve a higher valuation in the US, while some might not. 'I think [the valuation in the US] does depend on the company,' he said. 'I think they can create great interest from US investors.' Hong Kong companies listed on the NYSE include APT Satellite Holdings, China Telecom and Hongkong Telecom. They are listed in the form of American Depositary Receipts (ADR). According to Bank of New York issuer services vice-president in Hong Kong, Mark Wiggin, an ADR 'Americanises' a foreign company. 'They have a security that is traded in the US and settled according to US standards and is traded in US dollars,' Mr Wiggin said. Mr Wiggin said there were between 450 and 480 listed depositary receipts on the three key US exchanges.