Fish sauce magnate becomes Vietnam’s third billionaire

By Minh Nga   January 18, 2018 | 11:36 pm PT
Fish sauce magnate becomes Vietnam’s third billionaire
Nguyen Dang Quang, chairman of Masan Group. Photo courtesy of Masan
Masan Group founder Nguyen Dang Quang is now worth an estimated $1.2 billion.

It's well known that Vietnamese people cannot live without fish sauce or instant noodles, and this insatiable appetite has helped create the country's third dollar billionaire.

Nguyen Dang Quang, chairman and founder of Masan Group, now has total assets of $1.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

"Masan serves consumers with ‘must-have’ ones like fish sauce, instant noodles, to ‘nice-to-have’ items like chili sauce, rice soup or sausage," David Anjoubault, general manager at Kantar Worldpanel Vietnam, was quoted as saying in a Friday report by Bloomberg.

Quang, 64, enters the elite group thanks to shares in Masan Group more than doubling to VND92,000 ($4) in the past six months.

Quang personally only holds 10 shares in the group but is considered the owner given his role as chairman of Masan Corp, the biggest shareholder with a 32.28 percent stake.

According to Kantar, a global expert in shoppers’ behavior, an estimated 95 percent of households in the country use at least one Masan consumer product.

Aside from fish sauce and packaged food, Masan Group also owns more than a third of the Vietnam Technological & Commercial Joint-Stock Bank, or Techcombank.

The first two people in Vietnam to become dollar billionaires were Pham Nhat Vuong, owner of giant conglomerate Vingroup, and Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, founder and CEO of the founder of Vietnam’s rising budget carrier VietJet, as calculated by Forbes.

According to the magazine, Vuong is worth up to $4 billion, making him the 543rd richest person in the world, while Thao had an estimated net worth of $1.93 billion as of November last year.

Vietnam’s ultra-rich population is growing faster than any other economy in the world, and is on track to continue leading that growth in the next decade, based on international research released last year.

The Wealth Report by the U.K.’s independent real estate consultancy Knight Frank found there are 200 ultra high net worth individuals in Vietnam, who are defined as people with investable assets of at least $30 million, excluding personal assets and property such as a primary residence, collectibles and consumer durables.

In Vietnam, this group grew by 320 percent between 2000 and 2016, the fastest in the world, compared to India’s 290 percent and China’s 281 percent, the report said.

The number is expected to continue rising to 540, or by 170 percent, in 2026, the highest growth rate in the world. Millionaires in Vietnam are expected to jump to 38,600 from 14,300 over the same period.

Vietnam’s per capita income stood at $2,385 last year, up $170 against 2016.

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