Vietnam’s only female billionaire, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, ranks 1,111th globally
Vietjet’s President and CEO, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, has secured her billion-dollar fortune remark on the annual Forbes’s world billionaires list for the fifth consecutive year, despite the grave impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation industry.
With her fortune estimated at US$2.8 billion, Nguyen is the only Vietnamese female entrepreneur who makes it onto this year’s list, placing No 1,111 in the world overall. She is President-cum-CEO of Vietjet Air and Vice President of HDBank. Nguyen has been hailed as one of the top 100 persons transforming the world of business in Asia, according to Business Insider, and is also the first and only self-made female billionaire in Southeast Asia.
Stricken hard by the pandemic, Vietjet under the leadership of CEO Nguyen, nevertheless managed to be one of the few airlines in the world to stay aloft and turn a profit while keeping all staff employed. Now the carrier is ready to resume its full range of domestic and international flights as soon as possible.
Nguyen’s fortune comes from a diversified portfolio that includes Vietjet Air, HDBank, real estate and several energy and technology projects.
Forbes’ only female billionaire from Vietnam this year is also listed among the 110 most influential persons in Asia in terms of philanthropy, according to Tatler magazine. Nguyen is particularly well-known for her dedication to anti-COVID programmes and the national COVID-19 Vaccine Fund. She also initiated the solution to the technical glitch that caused trading outages at the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HOSE).
Besides Nguyen, five other Vietnamese making it onto the Forbes billionaire list in 2021, are Pham Nhat Vuong, Tran Dinh Long, Ho Hung Anh, Tran Ba Duong and Nguyen Dang Quang.
While the pandemic continues to undermine the global economy, the number of billionaires this year has rocketed to an all-time high of 2,755 persons as of July 9, 2021. That’s an increase of 660 persons year-on-year, with the number of newcomers setting a new record of 493 billionaires.
The U.S. is home to as many as 724 billionaires, closely followed by China (including Hong Kong and Macau) with 698 persons. The top two richest men on Earth now are both American: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos at No. 1 whose fortune is estimated at US$177 billion, and SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk at No. 2 with a total net worth around US$151 billion.