The hidden rich – who are they?


VietNamNet Bridge – Forbes has recognized two Vietnamese dollar billionaires, while Knight Frank’s 2016 report says Vietnam has 14,300 millionaires with assets of over $1 million.

The manager of a bank which is creating a banking product targeting the rich in Vietnam commented that the community of ‘real rich people’ in Vietnam has expanded rapidly.

The phrase ‘real rich people’ doesn’t mean people who ‘look rich’ with properties, cars and businesses, but owe big money or their businesses have incurred big losses.

In the eyes of bank administrators, real rich people are those who have net assets of hundreds of billions of dong, and don’t owe money to others.

In Vietnam, a primarily cash economy, there are many hidden super rich people. They are not recognized by the public as they lead quiet lives. 

The banker said he knows a man who runs several companies that are not too big and too famous, but bring in stable income.

“He leads a simple life. He drives a motorbike and drinks coffee at pavement shop. His children go to state-owned schools. But he has several hundred of billions of dong in assets,” he said, adding that there are many such people in HCMC.

Another man never sees his name appear in newspapers, but he is well known to bankers, who have tried to persuade him to deposit his idle money at their banks. The man owns tens of land plots in advantageous positions in the central area of the city.

All analysts and experts agree that the number of rich people has been increasing rapidly.

The UK-based Knight Frank, in 2017 reports, shows that Vietnam had 14,300 millionaires with net asset value of at least $1 million dollars in 2016. 

It is expected that the figure would be 38,600 by 2026, while it was 3,400 in 2006.

As for multi-millionaires, the figure was 150 in 2006 and rose to 610 in 2016, while it would be 1,650 by 2026. About 50 Vietnamese had assets of over $30 million in 2006, and 200 people in 2016, while the figure is expected to be 540 by 2026.

The group of people with over $100 million comprised five members in 2006, 21 in 2016 and 57 members by 2026.

In 2016, one Vietnamese national was reported with asset value of over $1 billion, while there would be three by 2026.


Photo: CBR Investment AG