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Vietnam’s EV firm VinFast slides for third session after debut boom


(Reuters) – VinFast shares slumped for third straight session on Friday, with the Vietnamese electric automaker losing nearly half of its market value in the past two session after a blowout Nasdaq listing this week.

The stock was down 24% at $15.53 in early trading, slipping below the debut price of $22 on Tuesday when it had surged up to $38.78.

With about 99% of the firm controlled by founder Pham Nhat Vuong, the small amount of publicly available shares makes the stock prone to volatility.

The loss-making firm was valued at $85 billion in its Wall Street debut on Tuesday, which was followed by a 46% slump in two days that brought down its value to $46.4 billion, closer to that of legacy automakers Ford and General Motors.

The company, which has struggled to retain senior executives and has an ambitious target of selling 50,000 electric vehicles this year, is shifting to a new “hybrid model” for sales, bringing in distributors and dealers for overseas markets.

Several U.S. dealers contacted by Reuters have said they are open to the idea, but some analysts remain skeptical.

“It may be hard to successfully market and sell vehicles in the U.S. that are produced and sold in an emerging market like Vietnam, where the features and functionality demanded by consumers are typically very different,” said Jason Benowitz, senior portfolio manager at The Roosevelt Investment Group.

The company said it intends to raise capital from global investors over the next 18 months, which could put at risk its lofty valuation.

“Founder Pham Nhat Vuong brought a portion of VinFast to the public markets because he may seek to further monetize his stake over time. That may be a material overhang for VinFast shares for some time to come,” Benowitz said.

Shares of Vietnam’s largest conglomerate and VinFast parent Vingroup closed down 7% in Ho Chi Minh trading.

(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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