Trump’s decision expected to hurt Vietnamese billionaires


The changes in policies being pursued by US President Donald Trump will have an impact on the pockets of Vietnamese billionaires.

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Chair of Hoa Phat Group Tran Dinh Long

The Trump administration has decided to impose anti-dumping duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports.  This was the latest move by Trump following his commitments made during the race for the White House under the “America First” policy. Steel manufacturers in Europe, Canada, China and Vietnam will be the first to suffer from the decision. 

In Vietnam, Hoa Phat Group of Tran Dinh Long, Hoa Sen Group of Le Phuoc Vu and Nam Kim are the biggest steel companies.

In Vietnam, Hoa Phat Group of Tran Dinh Long, Hoa Sen Group of Le Phuoc Vu and Nam Kim are the biggest steel companies. Hoa Phat has been setting records in business performance in the last few years. The manufacturer reported record high post-tax profits of VND8 trillion in 2017, a 21 percent increase over the year before. HPG shares of Hoa Phat Group soared to an all-time record high of VND66,700 on March 1.  Meanwhile, in 2017, Hoa Phat’s chair Tran Dinh Long unexpectedly became the Vietnamese fifth dollar billionaire, together with four others – Pham Nhat Vuong (Vingroup), Trinh Van Quyet (FLC), Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao (Vietjet) and Nguyen Dang Quang (Masan). However, HPG shares saw price decreases in two trading sessions after the news about the anti-dumping duty on steel was released.  On March 5, HPG shares dropped to VND61,700 per share, and the shock caused Long’s stock assets to fall by VND1.8 trillion.  The shares of other steel enterprises have also decreased. HSG of Hoa Sen Group on March 5 fell by 4.9 percent in price, Nam Kim by 5.5 percent, Dana Steel 9.2 percent and POM 5.7 percent. Analysts give different forecasts about the impact of the anti-dumping duty on Vietnamese steel mills. In 2017, Hoa Phat Group exported 160,000 tons of bar and rolled steel products to some countries. If exports to the US accounted for 30 percent, the value would be just 2 percent. According to Rong Viet Securities, exports to the US account for a small proportion of enterprises’ total exports, so taxation will not have a negative impact on listed steel companies. ASEAN remains the biggest export market. Nevertheless, this is still bad news for domestic steel manufacturers in the long term.  Hoa Phat, with large production capacity in the Hoa Phat Steel Complex in Dung Quat Industrial Zone, targets VND100 trillion in revenue. It may try to boost exports to the US, the world’s biggest steel import market, and one of the countries with high steel production costs.  The US’s high tax imposition means that Vietnamese manufacturers will lose a vast market in the future.
Nam Hai

Source: VietNamNet

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