Vietnamese tycoon arrested, banks fear backlash

Featured - August 22nd, 2012

The arrest of Vietnamese tycoon raised fears from within of a backlash against the Communist country’s banking system, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Founder of Asia Commercial Bank and chairman of Hanoi’s professional soccer club, Nguyen Duc Kien, was arrested by police at his villa in West Lake district of Hanoi, over charges of conducting “illegal business”.  According to the Vietnamese government, the tycoon is operating three small investment companies without appropriate licenses and registration. He faces a maximum of up to two years in prison if found guilty by a Vietnamese court.

Vietnam’s main stock market index fell 5% on Tuesday as soon as the news broke out, reports the Financial Times. Analysts and foreign diplomats said that Vietnam is rooting out business elites “who have profited from an economic boom that has lined the pockets of many businesspeople and politicians but left the country racked by economic stability and bad debts”. Dang Thi Hoang Yen, one of the country’s richest businesswomen, was removed from parliament only months ago and analysts are beginning to spot a pattern.