Property investors dominate rich-list

TN News

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Most of the ten richest people on the Vietnamese stock market are real estate moguls.

Doan Nguyen Duc, chairman of Hoang Anh Gia Lai, reclaimed his top position on the list after falling to number two last year. As of Monday, his stockholdings were valued at more than VND10.5 trillion (US$541 million), according to data compiled by Thanh Nien.

Duc was followed by Pham Nhat Vuong, board member of both Vinpearl JSC and Vincom JSC, and Dang Thanh Tam, chairman of Kinh Bac Urban Development.

Three new investors who made their debut in this year's top ten are also leaders of large real estate firms: chairman of Ocean Group Ha Van Tham, chairman of Phat Dat Real Estate Development Nguyen Van Dat, and chairwoman of Quoc Cuong Gia Lai JSC Nguyen Thi Nhu Loan.

Dat told Thanh Nien that he was happy to make the top ten. This meant his efforts so far have paid off and he is now recognized by shareholders and investors, he said. The goal for his company was to continue to expand its business and generate more profit, Dat added.

Analysts said the domination of property stock investors in the top ten meant that the sector still remains attractive. Meanwhile, some bank and technology stockholders lost their places in the list due to stock transfers and sharp declines in these stocks.

Together, the ten richest investors by stockholdings owned more than VND45 trillion ($2.3 billion) worth of stock, up 10 percent from last year. This is equivalent to 6.5 percent of the total capitalization of Vietnam's stock market.

Two people in the top ten, Duc and chairman of Hoa Phat Group Tran Dinh Long (ranked fourth on the list), are the first private aircraft owners in Vietnam.

Economist Le Dang Doanh said it was normal to rank people based on their wealth in other countries, but it is a new trend in Vietnam, and hence some people were still uneasy about the practice.

"But I think it's necessary to promote transparency," he said. "Rich people should be acknowledged by society."

Doanh said information disclosure will also improve the reputation of a company and give investors more confidence.

Vietnam has around 600 listed companies on two stock exchanges in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The exchanges' total capitalization is equal to 40 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

Economic growth accelerated in the third quarter, expanding 7.16 percent compared to 6.4 percent in the second quarter, according to figures released on Tuesday by the General Statistics Office.

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