Vietnam's billionaire count doubles to 4 on Forbes' rich list

By Ha Thu, Anh Tu   March 7, 2018 | 08:44 am GMT+7

Chairmen of steel and automotive corporations are the latest Vietnamese to crack into Forbes' list of world's billionaires.

The number of billionaires in Vietnam has doubled from last year to four on Forbes magazine's recently released 2018 list of the world's richest people.

Pham Nhat Vuong, owner of real estate conglomerate Vingroup and Vietnam's first billionaire, enjoyed his sixth consecutive appearance on the list, ranked as the world's 499th richest person this year. Vuong also retained his position as Vietnam's richest man with a net worth of $4.3 billion, a $1.9 billion increase compared to last year.

CEO of budget carrier VietJet Air Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao also made her second appearance on the list as the 766th richest person in the world. Vietnam's richest woman has an estimated net worth of $3.1 billion, nearly three times her wealth when she made her debut appearance last year with $1.2 billion.

Forbes magazine's list this year also includes Tran Ba Duong, chairman of Truong Hai Auto Corporation (Thaco), and Tran Dinh Long, chairman of Hoa Phat Corporation.

From left to right: VietJet Air CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Vingroup chairman Pham Nhat Vuong, Hoa Phat chairman Tran Dinh Long, Thaco chairman Tran Ba Duong. Photo by VnExpress.

From left to right: VietJet Air CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Vingroup chairman Pham Nhat Vuong, Hoa Phat chairman Tran Dinh Long, Thaco chairman Tran Ba Duong. Photo by VnExpress.

Duong, 57, was ranked 1339th on the list with a net worth of $1.8 billion. He founded Thaco in 1997 and the company later started assembling cars for foreign brands such as Kia, Mazda and Peugeot, as well as producing its own buses and trucks. Thaco became the biggest car company in Vietnam with a 32 percent share in the automobile market in 2016, according to Forbes.

Long, 57, has been named the world's 1756th richest person with a net worth of $1.3 billion. He founded Hoa Phat as an equipment and parts distributor in Hanoi in 1992. The company is currently considered the biggest steel maker in Vietnam, providing the market with office equipment, steel pipes and construction steel.

Fish sauce magnet Nguyen Dang Quang, who was named Vietnam's third billionaire in January by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, didn't make the Forbes list. Bloombeg estimated the chairman and founder of Masan Group's total assets at $1.2 billion.

Topping the Forbes list this year was Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who became world's first centi-billionaire with a net worth of $112 billion, up $39.2 billion from 2017. Bill Gates, Microsoft's co-founder and last year's richest person, dropped to second place with a net worth of $90 billion.

Gates is followed by Berkshire Hathaway chief Warren Buffett ($84 billion), CEO and chairman of luxury goods empire LVMH Bernard Arnault ($72 billion) and Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg ($71 billion) rounded out the top five.

This is the 32nd year Forbes magazine has compiled its list of the world's billionaires. This year's list sees a record 2,208 billionaires with a combined wealth of $9.1 trillion, an 18 percent increase from last year.

The U.S. still has the most billionaires with 585, followed by China with 476.

 
 
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