Earlier yesterday, videos and reports spammed social media among locals in Vietnam where the Chairman of Bamboo Airways was arrested for manipulating the stock market. The founder of Bamboo Airways Trinh Van Quyet was arrested on Tuesday for investigations related to stock market manipulation within the FLC group, the mother group of the airline.
On Tuesday 29th March, videos surfaced on social media showing police officers walking into the head office of the FLC group for Quyet’s arrest. Rumours have been speculating last week about the Ministry of Public Security imposing a one-month travel ban on Mr Trinh Van Quyet for the investigation of the alleged stock manipulation incident that happened in late January this year. Quyet sold 74.8 million of his share in the FLC Group in January, only to submit the notification to the State Securities Commission (SCC) the same evening where the regulations required him to do it three days in advance.
One week after the incident, Quyet was fined USD 65,800 and received a five-month ban from the trading securities market for the inability to submit prior plans before selling shares of his company. This was the second time Quyet was penalised for the same reason; back in 2017, he sold 57millions FLC shares without timely notice to the SCC.
FLC Group and Bamboo Airways
FLC Group Joint Stock Company is a multi-functional Vietnamese company that involves real estate, resorts, education, and aviation. Established in 2011, the company experienced exponential growth with investments in resort and real estate projects throughout Vietnam, with a focus on smaller cities like Quy Nhon. In 2017, FLC Group established Bamboo Airways as they see the potential of the soaring Vietnamese aviation market despite the saturating duopoly between Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet.
Bamboo Airways began operations in 2019 with their Airbus A320 family fleet and later acquired the Boeing 787 to expand their international network. The company also introduced several Embraer E190s in order to compete with Vietnam Airlines for flights to Con Dao Island, a newfound favourite attraction among locals, as the airport only has a limited runway length and was formerly only operated by Vietnam Airlines with their ATR 72 fleet.
Shortly after the news went viral, FLC Group and its subsidiary Bamboo Airways issued separate statements acknowledging their Chairman’s arrest but ensured that their operations will not be affected.
“For any avoidance of doubt, Bamboo Airways Joint Stock Company is not involved and /or has no relevant activities to the case.”- Letter to Shareholders – Bamboo Airways
However, to minimize misunderstanding and risks, Mr Trinh Van Quyet has appointed Mrs Vu Dang Hai Yen, Deputy Director of FLC Group as acting chairman with immediate effect for Bamboo Airways Joint Stock Company. The stock of the FLC group plummeted as the videos and news justified the speculations of Quyet’s arrest last week. The airline continues to operate scheduled flights unaffected. What to know more about aviation in Asia from our team? Click here