Vietnam property giant HAGL dismisses bankruptcy rumors

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HAGL Joint-Stock Co., Vietnam's second-largest listed property developer by market value, has rejected rumors that it is on the verge of collapse, saying they have been spread by competitors it has left in its wake.

"There is no problem with our finance, and in fact we are very strong," chairman Doan Nguyen Duc said.

"I think this is unhealthy competition. Some companies have tried to spread rumors to hurt us." 

The media said earlier this month that the company had a high debt-to-asset ratio of 63 percent last year, with total debts topping VND15.5 trillion (US$744.5 million), 75 percent of it interest bearing.

Duc said the high debt figure also included components that are not actually debts such as advance payments from apartment buyers and tax arrears of VND747 billion that the company has already paid.

The company also holds cash worth VND3 trillion and bonds worth VND2.3 trillion, which means its consolidated debt is only VND6.4 trillion and hence a debt ratio of 25 percent, Duc said.

It is a violation of business ethics for other competitors to spread rumors that HAGL would go bankrupt, he said.

"I'm not very sure but our business strategies may have affected them," Duc said. "For instance, our policy to lower apartment prices can bring market prices down because we have a large number of units. So it may upset them."

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