The chairman of technology giant FPT was just stripped of his title of Vietnam’s richest man following his company’s share price nose dive.
Investors have continued to speculate about FPT’s plans for 2008
Vietnamese online newspaper VnExpress last week announced the 2007 list of the 100 richest people in terms of stock assets in Vietnam, revealed that FPT general director and chairman Truong Gia Binh had fallen from his first spot in 2006 to seventh a year later.
“Binh owns stock assets of only around VND1,702 billion ($106 million), down from VND2,400 billion ($150 million) in 2006,” the newspaper said. Binh only holds FPT stock.
Binh’s lower ranking was blamed by the fact that FPT’s share price recently plunged after his company expanded into other businesses such as banking, finance and securities, which experts said were not the core business dealings of a technologies firm.
FPT shares debuted on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange in December, 2006 at the surprising price of VND400,000 per share, compared to VND160,000 set by its listing adviser. In March 2007, FPT shares peaked at VND672,000 though it was all downhill from there.
Recent FPT share woes were also due to investors’ negative response to FPT directors’ non-transparent decision that these seniors had the right to buy shares in FPT’s newly-established companies at face value prices.
FPT share prices plunged further in late 2007 after many directors announced they would sell off large volumes of shares, leading investors to believe that bad things were about to happen. Later, all FPT directors had to commit to not sell shares until 2008, but this failed to calm investors.
FPT shares on January 24 closed at VND170,000 each, the lowest since their debut. The rich list illustrates how stock assets largely contribute to the wealth of many Vietnamese.
The net assets of the 100 richest stockholders for 2007 in Vietnam were much higher than those for 2006, as the holders now own more shares. The list’s stock assets totalled VND72,000 billion ($4.5 billion), of which 63 males hold VND49,000 billion ($3.1 billion) and 37 females hold VND21,000 billion ($1.4 billion).
Dang Thanh Tam, chairman and general director of KBC and a director at ITA, jumped to the top of the list from 35th spot in 2006, with stocks by market value worth VND6,300 billion ($394 million), up from VND371 billion ($23 million) in 2006.
Pham Nhat Vuong, a major Vincom shareholder, was second on the 2007 list with VND3,700 billion ($231 million), followed by Hoa Phat Group chairman Tran Dinh Long with VND3,500 billion ($218 million), and Saigon Securities Incorporated chairman Nguyen Duy Hung with VND2,800 billion ($175 million).
At the bottom of the list was Vu Duong Hien, chairman of HAP and HPC, with VND127 billion ($7.9 million).