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Manipulated: The rise and rise and ultimate fall of FLC, subsidiaries’ stocks

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The former chairman of property developer FLC, who is being charged with stock manipulation and fraudulent appropriation of assets, established the company in 2009 and grew it into a conglomerate with 15 subsidiaries over the next few years.

FLC and five other are listed on the stock market. But he wanted more.

He instructed his sister Trinh Thi Minh Hue to set up 20 more companies in the names of 45 family members.

She used this network to open 500 stock accounts in preparation for manipulating stock prices.

Between May 2017 and January 2022 she used 190 stock accounts to trade back and forth the shares of FLC and five other companies.

But obviously no real transfer of shares occurred, according to the police.

She would also often place large orders at the opening and closing of sessions and then cancel them to create the illusion there was high demand for FLC-related stocks.

Over 562 trading sessions, Quyet, Hue and their accomplices placed 27,200 orders to buy 5.7 million shares, but only 1.3 million of them were matched for VND15 trillion ($608.52 million).

Hue placed another 5,000 orders to buy 1.6 million shares and 11,900 orders to sell 1.4 million shares, but canceled all of them before they could be matched.

To ensure there was enough money for each order, Quyet instructed the management of BOS Securities, an FLC subsidiary, to pump up the margin1,500 times for 79 stock accounts with a total value of VND170.5 trillion.

Hue used the money to buy 463 million shares. The six FLC-related stocks rose by 70-1,700% during the period. Quyet then ordered his subordinates to sell out, pocketing a cool VND723 billion.

The prices of the stocks collapsed, needless to say.

Ballooning Faros’ capital

Another crime Quyet is charged with is falsely inflating the charter capital of Faros Construction, a defunct former entertainment firm, by falsifying documents.

He and accomplices used fake invoices to create the illusion the company had received large investments from investors.

Seven officials at the State Securities Commission of Vietnam and the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange allegedly condoned this when it came to their notice that there was not enough evidence to prove that the company had raised VND4.3 trillion from investors on top of the original capital of VND1.5 billion.

They also approved the listing of the company.

In August 2016 Faros registered 430 million shares with the Vietnam Securities Depository, and a month later listed on HoSE at VND10,500 (face value VND10,000).

After Faros was listed, Quyet ordered his subordinates to pumped up the company’s charter capital to VND5.6(already said it was 4.3+1.5) trillion to attract even more investors to buy ROS shares.

Between September 2016 and March 2022 Hue sold 400 million shares of the company, and Quyet pocketed VND3.6 trillion this time, the police said.

Investigation of the activities of once one of the richest people on Vietnam’s stock market began in January 2022 when he sold 74.8 million FLC shares without making an advance disclosure to the exchange.

The transaction was cancelled the next day, an unprecedented occurrence in Vietnam’s market history. Many buyers received their money back.

During the investigation, the Ministry of Public Security received 685 complaints from investors against Quyet.

Nguyen Truong Le of Hanoi who had shelled out a lot of money on FLC-related stocks, still owns 100,000 of them, but cannot sell them as they have been delisted.

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