Vietnam: Manipulative Banker Arrested
The General Police Department of Crime Prevention under the Ministry of Public Security has confirmed that Nguyen Duc Kien – Vice President of Asia Commercial Bank (HSX: ACB) was arrested (Tuoi tre, Aug. 21).
Nguoi lao dong also reported that Ly Xuan Hai – CEO of ACB – was arrested this morning. However, the newspaper later removed the arrest news of the CEO while keeping the article URL unchanged (click to see).
Kien is reportedly accused of manipulating banks’ stocks for hostile acquisitions.
Kien is considered a mystery investor who quietly builds large fortune for a group of powerful investors and his own. Although Kien is a large and influential shareholder of a number of commercial banks and companies, he has never chaired any. In 2011, Kien was ranked 14th in the Top100 Richest People of the Vietnamese Stock Markets.
Kien’s portfolio includes (VF, Aug. 21):
- Asia Commercial Bank (HNX: ACB): Co-founder (1994). Kien, his wife and family members own approximately 10 percent equity stake of the bank. Currently, Kien is reported to hold 3.75 percent.
- Kien Long Commercial Bank: large shareholder
- Dai A Commercial Bank: large shareholder
- VietBank: large shareholder
- Eximbank (HSX: EIB): large shareholder
- Sacombank (HSX: STB): large shareholder
- Caltex Vietnam Joint Venture: member of BOD
- KFC Vietnam Joint Venture: member of BOD
- Cho Lon Tourist JSC.: member of BOD
- Thien Minh Tourist JSC: member of BOD
- Viet Football Professional (VFP) JSC: Co-founder, Vice President
- Hanoi Football Club
In light of this shaking arrest, we managed to reach Mr. Dang Le Nguyen Vu (the oft called Vietnam’s King of Coffee) – Chairman of Trung Nguyen Coffee Group, one of the most successful business firms in Vietnam – for his opinion. “The situation is intense and the evolution is clearly worrisome,” said Mr. Vu. “Apparently, lots of ‘housekeeping’ will be taking place, but what people still find missing in the picture is the strategy to get out of the troublesome downward spiraling of the economy and political instability.”
Vietnamese stock indexes plunged to hit almost day’s lower limit on both exchanges, dragged down by bank stocks and related-companies’ stocks. At 1:12 PM local time, VNIndex lost 4.71% to 416.70. Most blue chips in VN30 are trading at their lower day limit.