FLC chairman manipulated stock prices by creating fake demand: investigators

By Pham Du   March 29, 2022 | 09:16 pm PT
FLC chairman manipulated stock prices by creating fake demand: investigators
Police are seen in front of the headquarters of FLC in Hanoi, March 29, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Trinh Van Quyet, chairman of property company FLC, manipulated his company’s stock price by using 20 different trading accounts to create fake demand, investigators have said.

Between December 1 and January 10, the company’s employees, acting on Quyet’s orders, traded back and forth nearly VND1.69 trillion ($73.93 million) worth of FLC shares, driving its price up from VND14,650 to a new high of VND24,000 on January 7.

Quyet was arrested Tuesday, officers from the Ministry of Public Security said.

When the prices peaked, he told his family members to sell 175 million FLC shares, of which 74.8 million were matched at a price of VND22,586.

Quyet only disclosed the information to the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange only after the sale, while regulations require advance notice of three days.

The shares fetched VND1.69 trillion, of which over VND530 billion was "illegally gained", the investigators said.

Quyet was fined VND1.5 billion on January 18 and prohibited from trading for five months.

FLC has interests in real estate, stock, tourism, and aviation. Quyet owns a 30.34 percent stake in it. Its shares have dropped 19 percent since Monday after rumors of his arrest surfaced.

Quyet, 47, has a large stock portfolio and was once one of the wealthiest people on the Vietnamese stock exchange.

He began his career as a lawyer in 2001, when he and his associates established the SMiC Law Office, which later became the SMiC Law Firm. He also established a number of businesses and the FLC brand was formed in early 2010 after merging all of them.

Bamboo Airways, founded by FLC, entered the aviation market in 2019. FLC's charter capital stood at VND10.5 trillion (over $459 million) in early 2021, after more than 10 years of operation.

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