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Shares of Vietnamese electric vehicle maker VinFast have tumbled, days after its stock market valuation soared above Ford and General Motors (GM) as it debuted on the Nasdaq. Image Credit: AFP

Hanoi: VinFast Auto’s wild debut as a publicly traded company brought its founder along for the ride.

The Vietnamese electric-vehicle maker’s shares closed at $15.40 Friday, ending a roller-coaster week that saw the stock spike 255 per cent to $37.06 on Tuesday, its first day of trading on the Nasdaq after merging with a blank-check company. That was followed by three days of declines.

Chairman and founder Pham Nhat Vuong, who controls all but a few shares of the company, saw his net worth tumble roughly 52 per cent to $21.2 billion over the same three-day stretch, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Still, Vuong isn’t hurting. Because Bloomberg’s index hadn’t accounted for his stake in VinFast until the company completed its SPAC merger this week, he remains significantly richer than before the listing.

On paper, he gained almost $40 billion in the first trading day - one of the biggest wealth jumps ever recorded by the index.

Big share-price swings were to be expected. Vuong controls 99 per cent of VinFast’s stock, mostly through his business conglomerate, Vingroup JSC. That leaves a small fraction for other investors to trade, meaning that even relatively small transactions can have a big impact on the price.

VinFast’s market capitalization peaked on Tuesday at $85 billion, when it was briefly ahead of General Motors despite being on pace to make fewer sales this year than GM does in a week. It ended the week around $36 billion, still ahead of EV competitors like Rivian Automotive, Nio and Lucid Group.