VinFast shares rise in the Nasdaq debut of the Vietnamese electric car maker

  • VinFast debuts after merging with a special purpose vehicle
  • The stock opens at $22 for a $10 deal agreed with partner SPAC
  • CFO sees capital increase in next 18 months ‘for sure’
  • VinFast to change the distribution model – CEO

HANOI/SINGAPORE, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Shares of VinFast Inc (VFS.O) rose in thin trading in its Nasdaq debut on Tuesday after the $23 billion back listing of the Vietnamese electric car maker as the startup said it was Likely to collect money from global investors within. 18 months.

The stock opened at $22, more than double the $10 per share agreed with VinFast’s SPAC partner Black Spade Acquisition (BSAQ.A) that valued VinFast at $23 billion.

It rose further during the session, ending at $37.06 and valuing the non-dividend EV company, at $85 billion, more than Ford (FN)’s $48 billion market capitalization, and General Motors’ (GMN) stock’s $46 billion value. vulgarity.

According to Refinitiv data, $185 million worth of the company’s shares were traded.

The merger with SPAC gave Vinfast a market entry as founder Pham Nhat Vuong hopes to acquire industry leader Tesla (TSLA.O) with a $4 billion factory under construction and a fresh approach to sales to bring. in merchants.

The richest man in Vietnam, Vuong is the beneficial owner of 99% of the 2.3 billion post-merger VinFast common shares through his parent company and its subsidiaries.

“We have a number of strategic investors and institutional investors. We expect to formulate some type of capital raise over the next 18 months, for sure,” David Mansfield, CFO of Finfast, told Reuters.

VinFast has shipped nearly 3,000 vehicles to North America since late last year, but initial sales have been slow. S&P Global Mobility says only 137 Vinfast EVs have been registered in the US through June.

“The Street has all its eyes on the leaders in this next frontier with several winners, along with Tesla, in this green tidal wave over the coming years,” said Dan Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities.

VinFast CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy said the company is working to change its distribution model, which was based on Tesla’s direct-to-consumer approach, and is expected to engage dealers in overseas markets.

“We are moving to a hybrid model where we have our own showrooms and also talk to dealers to open dealer showrooms,” Thuy said in an interview with Reuters.

VinFast was formed as a unit of Vietnam’s largest conglomerate Vingroup (VIC.HM). Vuong, Vingroup and its affiliates have invested $9.3 billion in the EV maker, according to a June filing. Vuong pledged $2.5 billion in April to support the electric car maker, including $1 billion from his personal fortune.

VinFast’s first-quarter revenue decreased 49% from a year earlier, and posted a net loss of $598 million. In 2022, the company posted a loss of $2.1 billion.

I started building a $4 billion plant in North Carolina.

VinFast is entering the US and European markets at a time when electric vehicle prices are under pressure, led by market leader Tesla and a group of Chinese companies.

VinFast’s VF8 starts at $46,000 in California, compared to $47,740 for the Tesla Model Y before a $7,500 federal tax credit on Tesla is taken into account.

Thuy said VinFast is moving toward “cutting costs in the future.”

Thuy said VinFast expects to bring its larger VF9 EV to the US market at the end of the year and was in the process of getting its cars certified by the safety regulator in Europe.

(Reporting by Phuong Nguyen, Yantoltra Ngoy and Javier Singh Shekhawat; additional reporting by Ben Kleiman in Detroit and Noel Randewich in Oakland. CA; Editing by Kevin Krulicki, Connor Humphreys, Mark Potter, Jonathan Otis and Sonali Paul

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Francesco leads a team of reporters in Vietnam covering top financial and political news in the fast-growing Southeast Asian nation with a focus on supply chain and manufacturing investments in several sectors, including electronics, semiconductors, automotive and renewables. Prior to Hanoi, Francesco worked in Brussels on European Union affairs. He was also part of the core global team for Reuters that covered the COVID-19 pandemic and was involved in investigations into money laundering and corruption in Europe. He is an avid traveler, always eager to pack a backpack to explore new places.

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