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Vietnam’s real estate tycoon catapulted into world's 500 richest list

By Minh Son   November 25, 2017 | 12:17 am PT
Pham Nhat Vuong has become the first Vietnamese to crack the list of the world's 500 wealthiest people.

Vietnam's richest man Pham Nhat Vuong has become the first Vietnamese to crack the list of the world's 500 wealthiest people as increased asset value shot him to the world's 489th-richest person in just a matter of four days.

Vuong is currently worth around $4.2 billion, almost twice the value from March this year, according to the real time billionaires list updated by Forbes magazine on Saturday morning.

Just on Tuesday, Vuong, 49, was the 543rd richest man in the world, which was already up 97 positions in less than a fortnight.

The owner of Vietnam’s real estate conglomerate Vingroup is now richer than the Italian media mogul and former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who ranks 502.

His rise came following the IPO of Vingroup’s retail unit Vincom early this month, which was hailed as the biggest IPO debut ever in the country after raising nearly $709 million and valuing the mall operator at around $3.4 billion.

Vingroup’s shares have also gained almost twice in the past six months, closing at VND74,500 ($3.28) on Tuesday.

According to Vingroup’s first-half report, Vuong was directly holding 27.45 percent stake in the group.

He also owns 93 percent of the Hanoi-based Vietnam Investment Group JSC, which holds a 33.37 percent stake of Vingroup.

Vingroup is one of Vietnam’s largest real estate conglomerates, and has been expanding rapidly into retail, logistics, agriculture, education and healthcare. As of the end of September, its subsidiary Vincom Retail was managing, operating and renting 41 shopping malls with a total area of over 1.1 million square meters (272 acres). It also has 22 projects under construction and another 50 in early development.

The Forbes list updates on Saturday also saw the rise of Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, owner of Vietnamese budget carrier Vietjet, from position 1,177 on Tuesday to 1,131, with assets worth $2.1 billion.

At the top of the list are Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos with a net worth of $99.6 billion, followed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates with $89.4 billion and Warren Buffet with $78.6 billion.

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