When it comes to raising capital, the much-dreaded Sino-American decoupling may prove to be a gold mine for Hong Kong’s financial markets. Despite or rather because of rising geopolitical tensions, the city is in the right place at the right time to reap the benefits. Hawkish American politicians and Chinese regulators are, ironically, both taking a tough line on mainland companies seeking initial public offerings (IPOs) in the United States, especially those in strategic sectors such as technology. Meanwhile, the status of those already listed in the US is unclear because of an ongoing lack of bilateral agreements over audit standards and data security management. After the debacle of Didi Chuxing’s IPO in New York this month, Beijing has especially made it clear that the data management of mainland companies is now considered part of national security that must obtain prior regulatory approval before any IPO in a foreign country. Hong Kong is excluded. Capital, like any liquidity, follows the path of least resistance. And Hong Kong’s stock exchange reforms since 2018 have made raising capital and listing much easier and faster. New-economy companies can now list with multiple classes of voting rights while pre-revenue biotechnology firms may also seek IPOs in the city. The “homecoming” reforms have greatly encouraged secondary listings or dual primary listings in Hong Kong. A remarkable 146 new-economy companies have listed in Hong Kong since the start of the reform until this March, having raised HK$682.2 billion (US$87.8 billion) or 61 per cent of all IPOs during this period. To make sure everyone knows it is laser-focused on the China market, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX)’s new expatriate chief executive, Nicolas Aguzin, has formed a high-powered advisory group to help develop its China strategy. Headed by HKEX chairwoman Laura Cha May-Lung, the committee includes such financial luminaries as Fred Hu Zuliu, Primavera Capital Group’s founding chairman, Ma Weihua, China Merchants Bank’s former president, and Zhang Lei, founder of Hillhouse Capital Management. Meanwhile, the new Fast Interface for New Issuance (FINI) will greatly speed up IPOs from pricing to listing. Tensions between Washington and Beijing will not ease any time soon. However, the overhauls in regulations on the mainland, and in the US and Hong Kong, will differentiate the capital markets in favour of the city. The city’s financial markets are robust, despite the recent recession and pandemic. China’s reforms will enhance corporate governance and bring sustainable growth and development to key strategic sectors. Already, Hong Kong is benefiting from the slew of IPOs coming our way which might otherwise have gone to New York.