SHANGHAI Tyre and Rubber has joined Shanghai Erfangji in the US over-the-counter market by offering American depository receipts (ADRs) on B shares yesterday. The tyre manufacturer is the second mainland-listed firm to launch a level-one ADR programme, following Erfangji's launch last week. In Shanghai yesterday, company secretary Xu Yuechun said: ''In terms of schedule, we are a little bit late. But in terms of overseas investors' perception, we are confident.'' Company officials and its adviser Citibank's offices in both Hong Kong and Shanghai expressed satisfaction with the launch, which had taken more than one year to prepare. Of the total issued B-share capital of 221 million yuan (about HK$287 million at the official rate) at one yuan per share, up to 50 per cent can be traded in the form of ADRs. Trading in Tyre and Rubber's ADRs came into effect yesterday after the go-ahead was obtained from the Shanghai Securities Administration Office. Another company planning an ADR launch is Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical. Its level-one ADR programme is expected in the first quarter of next year. Xu Dongming, officer-in-charge of Tyre and Rubber's shareholding restructuring team, stressed the importance of co-ordination in such an exercise. ''Market makers play a vital role in ADR launches in the US. Good market makers will help promote and introduce the company to US investors and support the market,'' he said. Steven Bergkamp, vice-president of ADR sales in Asia for Citibank - adviser to the issue - said yesterday that Bear Stearns and Swiss Bank Corp would be Tyre and Rubber's market makers initially. But the team could increase to include three or four brokers at a later stage, he said. Xu Chang, deputy branch manager of Citibank's Shanghai office - the custodian bank - said as market makers were very important their commitment played a key role in the success of an issue. ''Not everybody will be committed. We met lots of brokers who were interested in the issue but only a few would really put in the effort to promote the company,'' he said. ''It's not easy to find a committed market maker, and we have a long and good relationship with Bear Stearns and Swiss Bank Corp. ''They will also help to arrange roadshows in the US,'' he said. Company officials are flying to the US in January for a roadshow to meet prospective investors. Mr Xu Dongming of the shareholding restructuring team said there should be an adaptation period for such a process, which might be anywhere between one week and one month. The length of the process depended very much on how much information investors had obtained about the company and its prospects. In response to questions on competition with Erfangji, Mr Xu Chang of Citibank Shanghai said: ''We don't worry about that. More companies seeking overseas facilities will only help accelerate the growth of China's securities industry. ''Companies issuing ADRs should have attractive fundamentals,'' he said. Tyre and Rubber is reported to be the largest manufacturer of vehicle tyres in China with a market share of 10 per cent. It manufactures tyres for various motor vehicles, including radial and bias tyres for trucks, buses, passenger cars and light goods vehicles.