Vietnam’s “chaebols”: The rich and mysterious family of Vingroup

Pham Thu Huong and Pham Thuy Hang have never appeared publicly. Information and images of these women remain a secret.

VietNamNet Bridge - Holding the most important posts in Vingroup, the family of Pham Nhat Vuong is currently the richest on the Vietnam Stock Exchange. Related news Vietnamese "chaebols": Tu Huong ‘Empire' and Nam A Bank Vuong is the richest man in Vietnam, but there is little information about his private life and his family. Currently, Vuong is the Chairman of Vingroup while his wife, Pham Thu Huong, and Huong’s younger sister, Pham Thuy Hang, are Vice Chairs. As of October 2014, Vuong owned 423 million shares of Vingroup, equivalent to VND20.4 trillion (29.8%). On the list of the 10 richest people in the Vietnam Stock Exchange in 2014, Vuong ranked first and the gap between him and others in the list was very wide. The second and third richest men, Doan Nguyen Duc (Chairman of Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group) and Tran Dinh Long (Chairman of Hoa Phat Group), had VND7.781 billion and VND6,101 billion, respectively. Vuong is currently the only Vietnamese dollar billionaire in … [Read more...]

Pham Nhat Vuong still in the world’s billionaires list

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VietNamNet Bridge - Pham Nhat Vuong, founder and chairman of conglomerate Vingroup, remains the sole Vietnamese cited in Forbes magazine's annual list of the world's richest people. With an anonymous source worth at least US$1.6 billion, Vuong ranked 1.092 out of a record setting 1.645 billionaires who made the list released on March 3. Forbes estimates that in 2013, Vuong netted US$1 billion through a mix of investments and private equity and real estate deals. He also participated in a high profile venture to construct Vincom Mega Mall Royal City in Hanoi, touted as Asia's largest underground retail and entertainment complex, which contributed to increasing Vingroup's shares by 15% in the past year. Vuong was born in 1968 in Hanoi and earned his first billion dollars entrepreneuring an international food export company in Ukraine named LLC Technocom. He returned to Vietnam in early 2000 and began heavily investing in the country's real estate market. Additionally, he … [Read more...]

Pham Nhat Vuong in the world’s billionaires list

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(VOV) - Pham Nhat Vuong, founder and chairman of conglomerate Vingroup, remains the sole Vietnamese cited in Forbes magazine's annual list of the world's richest people. With an anonymous source worth at least US$1.6 billion,Vuong ranked 1.092 out of a record setting 1.645 billionaires who made the list released on March 3. Forbes estimates that in 2013, Vuong netted US$1 billion through a mix of investments and private equity and real estate deals. He also participated in a high profile venture to construct Vincom Mega Mall Royal City in Hanoi, touted as Asia's largest underground retail and entertainment complex, which contributed to increasing Vingroup's shares by 15% in the past year. Vuong was born in 1968 in Hanoi and earned his first billion dollars entrepreneuring an international food export company in Ukraine named LLC Technocom. He returned to Vietnam in early 2000 and began heavily investing in the country's real estate market. Additionally, he founded … [Read more...]

Richest families earn money from property, finance sectors

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VietNamNet Bridge - Though the real estate market has been cool for a long time with the prices bottoming down, it remains a profitable business which helps a lot of Vietnamese families get rich. The most brilliant businessmen in real estate sector While the cash flow to the stock market on the last days of 2013 was so weak, it made a lot of stocks fall in price. VIC shares of Pham Nhat Vuong, a real estate billionaire, were still traded at VND70,000 per share, a high price level. HAG shares of Doan Nguyen Duc were traded at VND21,000, while HPG shares of Tran Dinh Long at VND41,000. As such, Vuong, Duc and Long, have been staying firmly at the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 positions in the list of the 2013 stock millionaires. And they are all the big real estate developers. It seems that the richest families in Vietnam are the ones in the real estate sector. Vuong's family, for example, holds 400 million VIC, of which 285 million shares belong to Vuong, 49 million shares to his wife … [Read more...]

Foreign funds withdraw more money than pour into PE firms

Mekong Capital's ownership ratio in The Gioi Di Dong has reduced to 25.8 percent

VietNamNet Bridge - A lot of foreign funds have withdrawn their capital from private equity firms (PE), which is attributed to the fewer good investment opportunities. Mekong Capital and VinaCapital have withdrawn the investments with the incomes or dividends higher by 10-20 times than the initial investment capital. It would be a growing tendency in 12 more months, according to 67 percent of the businesses Grant Thornton polled in the fourth quarter of 2013. Cash outflow… Beginning to pour money into Vietnam in 2001--Mekong Capital, the typical investment fund in PEs, has made 26 investment deals so far in many different business fields. The fund has withdrawn a part of its capital in The Gioi Di Dong, the biggest mobile phone distribution chain in Vietnam, reducing its ownership ratio from 32.5 percent to 25.8 percent, and all of its capital in Digiworld, MK Smart and Ngo Han. The investment deal in The Gioi Di Dong proves to be the most effective one. The incomes from the … [Read more...]

Time of huge-capital investments

The Vietnamese market once witnessed the investment wave 6-7 years ago, when investment funds like IDG Ventures, Mekong Capital, Dragon Capital, VinaCapital, BankInvest poured money into private businesses

VietNamNet Bridge - Very few investment deals in Vietnam have been announced over the last three years. Only the news about the capital withdrawals appear on local newspapers. Meanwhile, very few investment deals have been announced over the last three years, except the ones in the technology or Internet sectors. Mekong Capital, for example, has transferred 13 its investment deals since 2008. In September 2013, the fund sold 100 percent of stakes in Thong Minh MK and The Gioi So JSCs. There has been no announcement about its next affairs. In 2012, VinaCapital's funds withdrew capital from at least four projects, totaling $85 million. These included Savico Vinaland, Prime Group, Legend hotel and Long An seaport projects. It is inevitable for investment funds to withdraw capital, if considering their mode of operation. In general, a fund has the operation duration of five years and the extension time of two years at maximum. As for Mekong Capital, an investment fund has the "life … [Read more...]

How to solve workplace culture shock

One common issue that Vietnamese and foreigners often disagree on in the workplace is bringing relatives to business affairs.

Tips that help foreigners and Vietnamese overcome culture shock in the workplace were discussed at the seminar named "Tay - Ta in the business: How to get win - win solutions for expected results," organized by Vietnamese Language Studies (VLS) on September 26th. While relationship-oriented Vietnamese are more comfortable working with someone they already know, foreigners think it is unprofessional to involve someone's family or friend in business, said Oliver H. Meeker, Senior Investment Analyst at Vietnam Investments Group. The second difference is about time management and conflict management. Besides being unable to meet a deadline or coming to the office late, Vietnamese employees tend to keep silent instead of speaking up if a disagreement occurs in order to avoid direct conflict. On the other hand, disagreeing, speaking up, or challenging other ideas is welcomed in the foreign working style. Foreigners expect their staff to be more pro-active, ask questions and be … [Read more...]

R9+ Alliance makes its debut

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(VEN) - The R9+ Real Estate Exchange Alliance (R9+ Alliance) officially made its debut in Hanoi on September 9. The alliance consists of nine real estate exchanges and was established based on the cooperation between the Vietnam Investment Management and Urban Development Joint Stock Company, the Thai Minh Quang Investment Joint Stock Company, the Vietnam Investment Group Joint Stock Company (VIC), the Hoang Vuong Trading Joint Stock Company, the Bac Son Investment and Development Joint Stock Company, the Kim Viet Investment and Development Joint Stock Company, the Hop Long Real Estate Investment and Construction Joint Stock Company, the THT Real Estate Investment and Trading Joint Stock Company, and the Thang Long Investment and Real Estate Trading Services Joint Stock Company. The R9+ Alliance provides customers with services such as real estate market research and report, consultancy for making product and project marketing strategies, marketing and distribution of project … [Read more...]

Foreigners still hesitant on stock market

Thanh Thuong Last month, foreign buying value stood at over VND3.2 trillion on the Hochiminh Stock Exchange (HOSE) while their selling value was VND1.8 trillion. However, large transactions of Vingroup Company (VIC) in the final days of the month soared to over VND1 trillion. If VIC transactions were netted off, foreigners were net buyers to the tune of just VND338 billion, which was equivalent to previous months. VIC on November 30 announced that South Hanoi Urban Development Joint Stock Company and Vietnam Investment Group Joint Stock Company completed block deals of eight million and 5.4 million VIC shares respectively. These trades were pre-registered with the southern stock watchdog a couple of days ago with the total value of over VND1 trillion. … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 22/9

Dong Nai receives $1bn FDI The southern province of Đong Nai has attracted more than US$1 billion from foreign direct investment (FDI) despite the economic downturn, said Bo Ngoc Thu, director of the province's planning and investment department. The figures places the southern province third nationally in attracting FDI after Binh Dương Province, also in the South, and the northern city of Hai Phong. In the past eight months, Đong Nai has granted investment licences to 34 enterprises with registered capital of about $600 million. … [Read more...]

Grant Thornton puts investors first

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The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and Grant Thornton today in Hanoi co-hosted a roundtable introducing the report entitled putting investors at the heart of the financial system. The latest report by it (ACCA) and Grant Thornton revealed that investors want to see new and improved accounting, auditing and corporate governance standards developed in a more integrated manner, and that any reform proposals be based on solid understanding of investors' needs and priorities. … [Read more...]

Internal audits are necessary: experts

Thanh Thuong He was speaking at ‘Putting investors at the heart of the financial system’ workshop held by UK-based Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Grant Thornton in HCMC on Monday. Participants at the workshop shared the view that in the future, accounting and auditing standards should be revised, or financial information disclosure should focus more on what investors need. Andy Ho, managing director of VinaCapital Investment Fund, said investors need clear and specific information, which should be disclosed on a monthly basis. … [Read more...]

Low labor quality hinders investments in Mekong

This view was shared by local businesses and foreign investors at a seminar on investment promotion for Can Tho City and the Mekong Delta co-organized by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the 2030 Business Club under the Saigon Times Club and Can Tho Promotion last Friday in HCMC. Ha Xuan Anh, chairman of Son Viet Garment Corporation, known for the fashion brand Relax, said the Mekong Delta, with around 18 million people, 22% of the national population, is considered a large market for the garments industry and many others. Consumers here, Anh noted, have disposable incomes and many of them are willing to spend up to 90% of their incomes. However, the biggest headache Anh will face when he plans to open a factory in this area is labor. Although the region has an abundant workforce, the educational level of locals is generally low, he said. What worries him more is the lack of labor skills and of discipline, so it is hard to ensure production efficiency. … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 2/4

Foreign businesses seek opportunities in Vietnam A number of foreign business organisations and associations took part in a trade and investment promotion conference held in Ho Chi Minh City on March. 29 to seek partners and opportunities in Vietnam. The businesses come from such countries and territories as Thailand , Canada , Germany , Indonesia , Malaysia , Singapore and Hong Kong ( China ). The annual event this year focused on the city's economic restructuring in 2012, the development of industrial clusters, mechanism and policies to attract investors in the high-tech industry, monetary policy and solutions to support businesses. Vietnam 's consumption market in 2012 is forecast to develop faster than that of regional countries such as Thailand , the Philippines and Malaysia and thus remaining attractive to foreign investors, the seminar was heard. Experts said the country's retail market is forecast to keep its high growth rate of about 23 percent during the 2012-2014 … [Read more...]

Golden Opportunity For Venture Funds

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Representatives of venture funds see the current economic crisis as an opportunity to pump capital into the market whereas potential enterprises find it hard to access bank loans The venture funds have set up a strategy for this year, continuing investment in profitable enterprises and having no intention to divest capital from enterprises. Information technology firms are still atractive to venture funds: Viet Union Co. in HCMC … [Read more...]

ICT firms getting more attractive in the eyes of venture funds

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Venture funds believe that it is now the right time for them to pour capital into the market. As businesses cannot access bank loans, they would seek the investments from venture funds. Information technology and Internet are believed as the business fields which do not bear influences from the economic recession. Therefore, experts have forecast a strong investment wave in ICT sector this year. The golden opportunities Nguyen Manh Dung, Chief Representative of CyberAgent Ventures in Vietnam, said that 2012 would be a favorable year for venture funds which focus on ICT and Internet to push up their investments in Vietnam. David Do, Managing Director of VIG (Vietnam Investments Group), a fund which pours capital into different business fields, has also said that there are big opportunities to invest in the ICT sector in Vietnam at this moment. He said that in developed countries in Europe or the US, the sector accounts for 7 percent of GDP, while the figure is less than 2 … [Read more...]

Funds find opportunities in crisis

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Despite the current economic downturn, venture funds say they will continue to invest in profitable enterprises and have no intention of divesting capital from existing projects. Nguyen Manh Dung, chief representative of Japan's CyberAgent Ventures Fund in Vietnam, said this year would be a good time for hedge funds that specialize in technology and Internet to inject capital into Vietnam. "While the economy is facing many challenges and enterprises, including those working in IT and Internet, are struggling to mobilize capital, venture funds will enjoy advantages in speeding up investment in the sector," Dung said. Dung said venture funds usually had long-term investment strategy so they weren't much interested in daily events influencing the economy. David Do, managing director of Vietnam Investments Group (VIG), a fund that pours capital into different business fields, also sees a big investment opportunity in the local IT industry. "In developed countries in Europe or … [Read more...]

IT Continues Attracting Investors

As IT applications in the areas of finance-banking, health and other sectors have not developed as rapidly as in many other countries, there is much room for IT development in Vietnam

(VEN) - Vietnam's information technology (IT) sector is making the most of many opportunities to strongly attract domestic and foreign investors through its advantages in market size, low labor costs, dynamic workforce, and sound development policies. Chu Tien Dung, the Chairman of the Members' Council of the Quang Trung Software City Development One-Member Co., Ltd. (QTSC), said that the IT sector was growing by 15-20 percent annually. Software outsourcing businesses in particular had attained an annual revenue growth rate of 20-40 percent, and profits accounted for 20-40 percent of their revenue. The IT sector has a bright future, following economic restructuring across the board. Businesses are paying more attention to reducing production costs and increasing security, social utilities, online services, e-commerce and smart phone applications. These factors will together provide a strong basis for the sector to boom. Dr. Alan Phan, the Chairman of the Viasa Fund, said that … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 25/2

Perenco upstages giants Independent oil and gas company Perenco has snapped up the Vietnam-based assets of ConocoPhillips, beating heavy-duty competitors including PetroVietnam and TNK-BP to the punch. US-backed ConocoPhillips announced that it had reached a billion-dollar plus agreement to offload its assets in Vietnam to Perenco, an oil and gas company with operations in 16 countries across the globe. In its statement, ConocoPhillips said the sale of assets in Vietnam was a part of ConocoPhillips's ongoing strategy to create shareholder value. The company said that the Vietnam business unit was sold at a total of $1.29 billion plus customary working capital adjustments. However, previously ConocoPhillips expected that those assets would have total valued at up to $1.5 billion. ConocoPhillips will now sell its three wholly-owned subsidiaries that separately hold a 23.25 per cent participating interest in Block 15-1, a 36 per cent participating interest in Block 15-2, and a … [Read more...]