Chairmen of steel and automotive corporations are the latest Vietnamese to crack into Forbes’ list of world’s billionaires.
Vietnam has doubled its number of billionaires from last year to four in Forbes magazine’s recently released 2018 list of 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, being 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 had her second appearance on the list as the 766th richest person in the world. Vietnam’s richest woman had 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 sees the debut appearance of two other Vietnamese: Tran Ba Duong, chairman of Truong Hai Auto Corporation (Thaco) and Tran Dinh Long, chairman of Hoa Phat Corporation.
Duong, 57, was ranked 1339th in the list with a net worth of $1.8 billion. He founded Thaco to sell cars in 1997 and the company later started assembling cars for foreign brands such as Kia, Mazda, 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 by 2016, according to Forbes.
Meanwhile Long, 57, was listed as 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 steelmaker in Vietnam, providing the market with office equipment, steel pipes and construction steel.
Vietnam’s fish sauce magnet Nguyen Dang Quang, who was named Vietnam’s third billionaire in January by Bloomberg Billionaires Index, didn’t make the Forbes list. Bloomberg 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 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 had the most billionaires with 585, followed by China with 476.
Source: Ha Thu, Anh Tu