(May 29): China’s decision to impose a national security law on Hong Kong has spurred speculation of capital flight and an erosion of the city’s status as an international financial centre. As a venue for share offerings, at least, the near-term future is looking bright. For that, the territory can thank worsening US-China relations.

US-listed Chinese technology companies are lining up to sell stock in Hong Kong, seeking refuge from an environment that has become increasingly less hospitable. Nasdaq-traded JD.com and NetEase are planning secondary listings in the city next month, following a trail blazed by Alibaba Group Holding in November. Optimism that more companies will join them drove shares of Hong Kong’s exchange operator up more than 6% on May 25.

There is every reason to expect these stock offerings to do well, and push Hong Kong back up the rankings of the world’s largest fundraising centres. So far this year, the city is the sixth-largest market by capital raised. It topped the table for the whole of 2019 when New York-listed Alibaba sold US$13 billion ($18.5 billion) of stock, underscoring the existence of a strong local investor base for China’s most successful companies.

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