SHANGHAI Haitong Securities will set up a Hongkong operation at the end of this month to trade B shares, say company officials. Chen Peili, the company's deputy general manager of international business, said yesterday the Hongkong office would be a joint venture with local financial institutions. ''We will possibly take an equity stake in the company, in concert with our Hongkong partners,'' she said. Operations could be expected to begin late this month, said Ms Chen, who refused to identify the Hongkong partner. The Hongkong office will add to the six existing offices on the mainland, in Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Ningbo, Kunming, Qingdao and Shekou. Established in September 1988, Shanghai Haitong is wholly owned by the Bank of Communications. Ms Chen said the securities house planned to seek a separate listing at a later stage. For the first five months of this year, Shanghai Haitong has issued A shares worth 7.63 billion yuan (about HK$10.3 billion at the official rate), B shares worth US$908.2 million and bonds valued at 1.64 billion yuan. Along with Shanghai Shenyin Securities and Shanghai Wanguo Securities, Shanghai Haitong is one of the largest securities houses in Shanghai.