Number of VN Forbes billionaires doubles

Wednesday, Mar 07, 2018 18:12

Viet Nam’s four billionaires (from left to right): Tran Ba Duong, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Pham Nhat Vuong, Tran Dinh Long. — Photo

Viet Nam now has four billionaires named in the annual Forbes list released on Tuesday. This is double the number in last year’s rankings.

Besides Pham Nhat Vuong and Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Thaco chairman Tran Ba Duong and Hoa Phat chairman Tran Dinh Long feature in the Forbes 2018 list.

Vượng, owner of real estate conglomerate Vingroup and Việt Nam’s first billionaire, has been named for the sixth consecutive time. He is currently the world’s 499th richest person. Vượng also retained his position as Việt Nam’s richest man, with a net worth of US$4.3 billion, a $1.9 billion increase compared to last year.

Thao, world’s 766th richest person, is the chief executive officer of budget carrier VietJet Air. She has assets worth $3.1 billion. Vietjet Air operates more than 40 per cent of the flights in Viet Nam. According to Forbes, besides investing in the airline, Thao also invests in HDBank and real estate, including three beach resorts.

Duong, 57, founded Thaco, the leading automotive manufacturer, assembler and distributor in Việt Nam, in 1997. He ranks world no. 1,339 on the Forbeslist, with a net worth of $1.8 billion. Thaco has recently become a distributor of two luxury cars - BMW and MINI - in the Vietnamese market. By 2016, it had become the largest car company in Việt Nam, with a 32 per cent share in the automobile market, according to Forbes.

Long, 57, ranks 1,756th in the world in the list of richest persons, with a net worth of $1.3 billion. He founded the Hoa Phat steel corporation in 1992. Hoa Phat has had the largest market share for steel in the country. It achieved impressive business results in 2017, earning a profit of VND8 trillion ($351 million), the highest in its history, and raising the price of its shares three times. Long holds 25 per cent of the group’s shares.

On Wednesday, Long told Viet Nam News that Hoa Phat had a positive outlook for future and expressed hope that the barriers protecting the local steel sector would be removed by 2020. As soon as the Hoa Phat Dung Quat Steel Complex becomes operational, the group’s construction steel capacity would reach four million tonnes per year, double the current amount.

“Hoa Phat will reach a new level of development, with a revenue of VND100 trillion in the next three years,” Long said.

Topping the Forbes list this year is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who became world’s first centi-billionaire with a net worth of $112 billion, up $39.2 billion from 2017. Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder and last year’s richest person, dropped to second place with a net worth of $90 billion.

This year saw an 18 per cent increase in the number of billionaires around the world and set a record with a total of 2,208 billionaires, with total assets worth $9.1 trillion.

The US had the most billionaires at 585, followed by China at 476.

Viet Nam only had its first billionaire in terms of the US dollar in 2013. — VNS

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