- Vietnam EV maker VinFast’s shares jumped over 200% on its Tuesday debut on Nasdaq.
- The share surge boosted the fortune of major shareholder Pham Nhat Vuong.
- Vuong is now worth $44.3 billion — that’s $39 billion more than what he was worth just a day prior.
Vietnam’s richest person, Pham Nhat Vuong, got eightfold richer on Tuesday after shares of his electric vehicle company soared on its Nasdaq debut.
The 55-year-old is now worth $44.3 billion — that’s $39 billion more than his net worth just a day prior, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The billionaire was worth $5.3 billion before the bonanza.
That’s thanks to VinFast’s stock opening at $22 apiece on the Nasdaq stock exchange — a surge of over 200% from the $10 per share price agreed with Black Spade Acquisition, the EV maker’s SPAC partner.
Its shares ended the session at $37.06 apiece and were 14% lower during after-hours trade.
Bloomberg derives Vuong’s net worth from his 61% stake in Vingroup, a Hanoi-based conglomerate and the parent company of VinFast. He also controls 99% of VinFast directly or indirectly — limiting the number of shares available for open-market trading.
The low volume of shares floated means the stock is thinly traded, and its gains — including the jump in the tycoon’s fortune — may not last. Hence, Bloomberg will only update Vuong’s net worth once trading in VinFast’s trade stabilizes.
Still, Vuong’s rise to billionaire status isn’t a fluke. The Hanoi native studied geo-economic engineering at a Russian university and started a business during his third year in college, Vuong told state-run Tuoi Tre News in 2019.
He didn’t specify what the business was, but said it suffered losses.
Vuong then opened a restaurant in Moscow and a Vietnamese imports business — but he “eventually lost everything and went bankrupt” as he responded “poorly” to changes in market trends, he told the media outlet.
In fact, he was $40,000 in debt when he left for Kharkiv city in Ukraine, he added to Tuoi Tre News.
Despite the setback, he started an instant noodle-making business in Ukraine in the 1990s, per Bloomberg. He then returned to Vietnam in 2001 and sold his instant noodle venture to food giant Nestle in 2010 for an undisclosed sum.
By then, Vuong had already founded Vingroup, a conglomerate focused on real estate. The firm booked revenue of 130.5 trillion Vietnamese dong, or $5.4 billion, last year — 1% higher than the year before.
He told Tuoi Tre News in a 2019 interview that he aims to put Vietnam on the world’s corporate map.
“Hyundai and Toyota can do that. Why can’t Vietnam? The US has Microsoft and Apple. Why doesn’t Vietnam have anything similar?” he told the news outlet.