LIPPO Ltd is seeking to launch an American depositary receipt (ADR) programme by the end of September to lure US investment. The plan was announced amid a recent rush of Hongkong firms to launch ADRs. ''By so doing, we hope to expand our shareholder base and increase (the number of) institutional investors,'' said managing director John Lee Luen-wai. ADRs make it easier for overseas investors to buy stocks traded in other markets. Lippo's ADR programme will be sponsored by the Bank of New York, which launched a promotion at the beginning of the year. It is the world's leading depositary and has been involved in other territory issues. The programme sought is level one, the cheapest, with costs of about US$10,000 to $15,000. ADRs on level one are traded on the so-called ''pink-slip'' system by US brokers, who merely advertise that they are interested in trade without quoting full prices. ''The trend is for Hongkong companies to seek ADRs now. We used to see only blue chips applying for them. But now smaller companies also follow suit,'' said Mr Lee. He realised that US investors were keen on China-concept stocks, but said the company had become cautious about its mainland investment given the uncertainties in the economy. ''But China is a good place for investment in the long term,'' he said. Mr Lee said Lippo and Chinachem had not yet met to thrash out their differences over Asia Securities International, in which Lippo now owned 57.86 per cent after its cash offer. , with Chinachem holding 25 per cent and less than 25 per cent left in public hands. A meeting would be inevitable, he said. Lippo would submit a proposed solution to the stock exchange soon, he said. But Lippo would not reduce its stake in Asia Securities to less than 50 per cent to increase the proportion of publicly-held shares, nor would new shares be placed out, he said. If there was to be any placement, the shares would be existing ones, he said.