Forbes’ billionaire list highlights mixed fortunes for Vietnamese

Khmer Times Staff

As of March 5, Forbes recorded the fluctuation in the asset value of Vietnam’s five dollar billionaires.

Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, the only female billionaire on the list. Supplied

As of March 5, Forbes recorded the fluctuation in the asset value of Vietnam’s five dollar billionaires. There was only good news for the one and only female on the list: Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, whose total asset value grew compared with the same period last year.

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Everyone else on the billionaire’s list, however, experienced a slide.

Chairman of Vingroup Pham Nhat Vuong’s asset value stood at $6.6 billion on March 5, a drop of $1.2 billion year-on-year. Despite experiencing the biggest dip amongst all of the Vietnamese billionaires, Pham is still Vietnam’s highest ranking billionaire on the latest Forbes’ list.

Chairman of the Truong Hai Auto Corp Tran Ba Duong’s assets declined by $0.2 billion to $1.5 billion. The stock asset of Ho Hung Anh, chairman of Techcombank, also slid $0.6 billion to $1.1 billion. The real-time total assets of Masan Group founder Nguyen Dang Quang and his family also slid below $1 billion.

However, bucking this downward trend, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao’s assets rose by $0.2 billion compared with March 2019 to reach US $2.5 billion.

Nguyen’s assets gained in spite of the significant impact that the COVID-19 outbreak has had on the global stock markets. Although Nguyen is the owner of significant amounts of assets on the stock market, Southeast Asia’s first self-made female billionaire’s asset resource proved to be solid. Forbes’ billionaire rankings also take into account other assets when assessing the total value of an individual’s worth.

According to Forbes, Vietnam is one of six Asean countries with multiple names on the global list of dollar billionaires. However, the dollar billionaires of Vietnam are collectively ranked the lowest of these six Asean countries in terms of both the quantity and value of their assets. The total assets of five billionaires in 2019 was recorded at $13.6 billion.

Looking to its neighbours, Thailand has 31 billionaires with a total asset value of $94.8 billion (nearly seven times more than Vietnam). Malaysia has 13 billionaires with a total assets of $61.6 billion, while the Philippines has 17 billionaires with total assets of $47.7 billion and so on.

As one of the world’s fastest growing economies in recent years, many observers believe Vietnam would soon have more dollar billionaires. This rise of billionaires with their top enterprises will undoubtedly contribute to the development and growth of domestic business system.

Although each billionaire has followed a different path to build up their fortunes, according to Dr Tran Dinh Thien, a leading economics analyst in Vietnam, it is necessary to have a broader view because “looking at this side, it is dark. But looking at the other side, it is dawn”.

Previously Tran appreciated that the intangible assets of Vietnam’s one and only female billionaire, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, were “honesty and kindness”.

Tran also noted that as Vietnam has gone through a process of transformation, many modern businesses have exploited numerous opportunities. From a positive viewpoint, these large corporations and private enterprises have contributed greatly to promoting the development of the country’s economy.

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