(Aug 15): Several Chinese companies are rethinking fundraising plans in Hong Kong as anti-government protests rock the city, an ominous sign for its future as a financial gateway between Asia’s largest economy and the rest of the world.

One company scrapped preliminary preparations for a US$500 million ($694 million) initial public offering in Hong Kong partly because of the unrest and will instead pursue a US listing, according to a senior banker on the deal, who asked not to be named discussing private information. Another banker said at least two companies are considering the same move for IPOs worth a combined US$1 billion, adding that final decisions will depend on market conditions and whether the turmoil in Hong Kong eases.

While the deals represent a small portion of the money raised by Chinese businesses in Hong Kong in recent years, they bode ill for the city’s status as one of the world’s premier financial hubs. Two senior bankers said Chinese clients are worried about more than just this week’s shutdown of Hong Kong’s airport and other logistical headaches caused by the protests; they’re also questioning whether the city will remain a stable place to do business over the long term.

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