Vietnam’s major automotive player, VinFast, has made a significant impact with its Wall Street debut, pushing its market capitalization above industry giants like Volkswagen and Ford. The electric vehicle manufacturer enjoyed a remarkable launch in New York after merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Black Spade Acquisition Co.
Shares of the newly merged entity surged by 270% on the Nasdaq during its inaugural trading day. The shares opened at $22, more than doubling the initial price of $10, and closed at $37 per share. This surge propelled VinFast’s market capitalization to over $85 billion, surpassing both Volkswagen (VLKAF) and Ford (F) with valuations of $69.7 billion and $48 billion, respectively, as per Refinitiv data.
Despite this impressive rally, it’s important to note that VinFast remains 99% owned by Vietnam’s wealthiest individual, Pham Nhat Vuong. As indicated in a regulatory filing, the majority of shares are held through his other company, Vingroup, and other business entities. This surge in VinFast’s value also substantially increased Vuong’s personal wealth, elevating him by around $39 billion on the Bloomberg Billionaires index to an estimated $44.3 billion.
VinFast, established in 2017 as a subsidiary of Vingroup, a major Vietnamese conglomerate, produces electric SUVs, scooters, and buses marketed in both Vietnam and North America. The company’s strong performance on its debut has positioned VinFast as the largest US-listed Vietnamese firm in market capitalization.
CEO Thuy Le expressed hope that VinFast’s listing would inspire other Vietnamese brands to actively engage in the global market. Despite its success in Vietnam, where it’s a household name with an extensive charging network, VinFast faced challenges in the United States. Its electric SUV, the VF 8, received mixed reviews from US reporters after test drives.
While the company has aspirations for global expansion, it’s important to note that VinFast is not yet profitable. It reported a loss of $1.4 billion for the nine months up to September, coupled with approximately $2.5 billion in debt. The funds raised through its listing are expected to fuel the company’s expansion plans, particularly in the US and potentially in Europe.