Vietnam property, bank stocks fall after arrest of real estate tycoon


Bloomberg | | Posted by Yagya Sharma

A fall in property and bank shares helped push Vietnam’s stock benchmark to a near two-year low Monday, after police detained the head of one of the nations biggest real estate conglomerates, who was believed to have links to a local lender.

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Vinhomes JSC fell close to 4% while shares of Vietcombank — the Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam JCB — dropped by a similar amount. The benchmark VN Index declined more than 2% to its lowest since January 2021.

Vietnam Police Detain Chairwoman of Property Firm in Fraud Probe

Police on Saturday announced the detention of Truong My Lan, chairwoman of Van Thinh Phat Holdings Group and other company officials for allegedly obtaining property through fraudulent means. The move was in relation to an ongoing investigation into the issuance and trading of bonds of some companies where trillions of dong were allegedly appropriated in 2018 and 2019, the public security ministry said in a statement on its website.

The police probe of a real estate tycoon believed to have ties to Saigon Commercial Bank led panicked depositors to begin withdrawing their money from the bank last week. Bank branches opened this morning to hundreds of customers lining up to withdraw money.

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The State Bank of Vietnam on Saturday worked to calm bank customers, saying in a statement posted on the regulator’s website that it will closely monitor the situation to ensure the rights of depositors. The central bank recommended depositors refrain from withdrawing money ahead of maturity dates as it would affect their interest earnings.

Vietnam Central Bank Vows to Ensure ‘Stable’ Operations at SCB

The impact of the detention adds to recent pressures on Vietnam’s benchmark — the world’s second-worst performing primary index over the last month — according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The gauge has lost over 18% over that period amid a wave of forced selling due to concerns about rising interest rates.

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