MORE overseas investors will float their interest in Sino-foreign joint ventures despite strict controls over offshore listings of state-owned enterprises, Arthur Andersen partner Meocre Li says. ''As foreign shareholders, they should not need the approval from the mainland authorities in floating their assets overseas,'' Mr Li said. Although he declined to name the companies, he said such listings were in the pipeline and would occur by year's end. China's policy is to restrict mainland companies from directly listing on foreign exchanges before the nominated nine state-owned enterprises succeeded in their Hongkong listings. Besides the flotation work on the overseas listings, Mr Li envisaged many more auditing jobs as mainland enterprises are transformed from state-owned to shareholding systems. Mr Li, who replaces Mr Eoghan McMillan on September 1 as the new managing director for the accounting firm, will look after its China and Hongkong business development. He said Arthur Andersen planned to set up an office in Guangzhou by the end of the year, adding to its existing ones in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing. He believed the four strategically located offices would be able to cater to the business opportunities on the mainland. Regarding China's B-share market, Mr Li expected it would become more active in the second half, with more higher quality stocks expected. However, he admitted that in the short term overseas investors would be more interested in Hongkong's red chips and the nine mainland enterprises.