– VinFast, a Vietnam-based electric vehicle company, saw its shares soar 830% after going public via a SPAC IPO, making it the third most valuable car company on paper.
– The surge in stock prices was due to a limited number of available shares causing an imbalance in supply and demand, rather than the company’s performance or sales figures.
Imagine this. You’re a new kid on the block, and on your first day, you topple the school’s big guns. That’s what VinFast, a Vietnam-based electric vehicle company, did when its shares soared a staggering 830% after going public via a SPAC IPO earlier this month. Despite modest sales figures and unfavorable reviews, VinFast was riding a financial high, making it the third most valuable car company on paper, only trailing Tesla and Toyota. Poor Ford and General Motors were left in the dust, wondering how the new kid got so popular so quickly.
But here’s the catch. The surge wasn’t because they had a shiny new line-up of vehicles or overwhelming sales. Oh no, they expect to sell a paltry 50,000 vehicles this year, and let’s just say the reviews of their cars wouldn’t be winning them any awards. MotorTrend kindly suggested they “return to sender.” VinFast’s success was not due to any spectacular performance but a limited number of available shares causing an imbalance in supply and demand. You see, the founder, Pham Nhat Vuong, holds 99% of VinFast, having issued a mere 1% of the shares to the public.
So, we have the float of just 7.2 million shares available for the public to trade, causing stock prices to skyrocket. It’s a bit like a rare coin gaining value because there aren’t enough of them to go around—a classic case of scarcity increasing value. But one mustn’t forget, the coin’s real value is only what someone is willing to pay for it.
Now, this is where it gets interesting. The stock, like any commodity with a low float, is prone to high volatility. And it’s also more susceptible to drastic price changes because it doesn’t take much buying or selling pressure to shift the scales. In fact, VinFast experienced a 26% fall Tuesday, and the stock could continue its downward spiral as more shares enter the market. This is especially likely with several lockup agreements with insiders and the SPAC sponsor set to expire, which would result in selling off millions of shares.
And let’s not forget VinFast’s expansion plans. They need fuel to power their journey into the US market, and by fuel, I mean cold hard cash. The company had reported having about $160 million at the end of March, so they might just be tempted to take advantage of the recent spike in their stock by selling shares at current prices.
Short-seller Jim Chanos, however, isn’t biting the VinFast bait. He labeled it a “$200 billion meme stock,” suggesting VinFast’s luck would run out before they hit 40K units. But given the low float and high volatility, it seems unlikely that short-sellers are queuing up to bet against the company just yet. So, for now, it seems VinFast is enjoying its time in the sun. But as we all know, the weather can change pretty quickly on Wall Street. Only time will tell if VinFast is a one-hit-wonder or if it has the stamina to run with the big dogs.