|From left: Tran Dinh Long, Pham Nhat Vuong, Tran Ba Duong
The list released by Forbes days ago includes four Vietnamese – Pham Nhat Vuong, chair of Vingroup; Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, CEO of Vietjet, Tran Dinh Long, chair of Hoa Phat Group, a steel manufacturer, and Tran Ba Duong, chair of Thaco, an automobile manufacturer.
When the list of stock billionaires was released by a local newspaper, analysts noted that most of the names in top 10 were operating in real estate or fields with close relations with real estate.
Vuong, for example, became rich with real estate projects developed by his Vingroup. In Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires released in 2013, Vuong’s name was accompanied by ‘real estate’.
Thao, the only Vietnamese female dollar billionaire, is well known for her role in Vietjet Air and HD Bank, but she is also the major shareholder of Sovico Holdings, which owns many valuable real estate assets, including the 5-star Furama Resort Da Nang, the high-end ecotourism complex on Phu Quoc Island, and the 65 hectare Phu Long urban area.
According to Pham Chi Lan, a renowned economist, real estate is the starting point of many rich people and is considered the core business field of many wealthy people.
Some analysts say that Vietnam needs more billionaires in technology or industry, rather than real estate. The US’s richest billionaire is a technology billionaire.
New industry billionaires
Pham Nhat Vuong’s assets in the past were reported as coming from real estate. But Vuong, with his Vingroup, has diversified investments as seen in the Forbes’ list.
Vingroup is not only a real estate developer, but a retailer, education and healthcare service provider, and automobile manufacturer.
“I am glad that the largest private Vietnamese group and the richest Vietnamese man have a long-term vision and make good decisions by diversifying their business fields,” Lan said.
Duong and Long, the two new names on Forbes’ 2018 list, were recognized as billionaires in industry, though they also made money in real estate. Duong’s Thaco is an automobile manufacturer, while Long is the chair of a steel manufacturing group.
Vietnam has one more industry billionaire, Nguyen Dang Quang, chair of Masan Group, a food and animal feed manufacturer, recognized by Bloomberg News.
Lawyer Truong Thanh Duc, Chairman of BASICO Law Company and arbitrator of the Vietnam International Arbitration Center, said the one who impresses him the most is billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong, who is associated with the Vingroup ecosystem, with three different aspects that lead the market.