Vietnam’s Vingroup reportedly seeking to raise $1 billion in funding from BlackRock and Qatar’s sovereign fund for its electric cars
Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest conglomerate founded by Vietnam’s richest man Phạm Nhật Vượng, is in talks with global investors including the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock and Qatar’s sovereign fund to raise about $1 billion in equity for its automotive arm, according to a report from Reuters, citing three sources familiar with the matter.
The sources told Reuters that Vingroup is in advanced talks with Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the country’s $300 billion sovereign wealth fund, which has been diversifying its investments from its core European and U.S. markets towards Asia.
Founded 28 years ago on August 8, 1993, Vingroup focuses on technology, industry, real estate development, retail, and services ranging from healthcare to hospitality. Four years ago, Vượng decided to start building and selling cars through the company’s automotive group called VinFast.
In December, Vượng announced that VinFast would develop an electric vehicle and export it to the U.S. by 2021. Vuong is pledging $2 billion of his own money to make the improbable feat happen.
The latest fundraising exercise comes as VinFast is betting big on the U.S. market, where it hopes that its electric SUVs and a battery leasing model will be enough to woo consumers away from the likes of Tesla and General Motors.
If it were to be successful, it would become Vietnam’s largest private fundraising, underscoring heightened investor interest in Southeast Asia, a region where ride-hailing and delivery giants Grab and GoTo have raised billions of dollars.
The fundraising move also shows electric vehicle projects remain a major draw for investors. “Electric vehicles are the topic of the year and there’s huge investor interest,” one of the sources told Reuters.
Phạm Nhật Vượng is a Vietnamese property developer and Vietnam’s first billionaire and richest person. He attended Hanoi University of Mining and Geology before going to Russia to study at the Moscow Geological Prospecting Institute. He returned back to Vietnam to start the Vingroup.