Vietnamese Tycoon Arrested For 'Illegal Business,' Country's Stock Market Drops 5%
Nguyen Duc Kien, "one of Vietnam's most prominent and aggressive tycoons" and investor in the country's football league was arrested by police at his luxury villa in the upmarket West Lake district of Hanoi on Monday night, according to Ben Bland of the FINANCIAL TIMES. As the year of the dragon, it was "meant to be fortuitous" for Nguyen. Before things "took a turn for the worse," Nguyen successfully launched his breakaway football league after a bitter clash with the state football federation. Now he is being charged with conducting "illegal business" by failing to obtain the appropriate licenses and registration for three small investment companies that he chairs (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/21). In London, Ian MacKinnon noted Nguyen is founder of the Asia Commercial Bank, as well as a shareholder in a number of other Vietnamese banks. He also serves as Hanoi FC Chair and chair of a business that runs the country's professional football association, the V-League (TELEGRAPH, 8/21). Also in London, Robinson & Bland wrote Nguyen's arrest has "sent shock waves through the country's stock market and further shaken confidence in its economic and financial management." The country's stock market fell more than 5%, as investors "feared" that Nguyen's arrest "was a sign of elite-level tensions in a Communist-ruled country where businessmen rely on close connections to senior politicians" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/21). VIETNAMNET's Dam De noted Nguyen was named in the list of the top 100 richest men in the stock market of Vietnam, with around VND 805.9B ($38.7M) worth of his shares at ACB. Furthermore, the total value of ACB shares held by Nguyen's family was estimated at VND 2T by the end of '10 (VIETNAMNET.vn, 8/20).