By Medha Singh
(Reuters) -VinFast shares slumped for a third consecutive session on Friday, with the Vietnamese electric car maker losing nearly half of its market value in the past two days following a blowout of its Nasdaq listing this week.
The stock fell 23% to $15.40 and fell below its opening price of $22 on Tuesday, when it had risen to $38.78.
It is now on track to fall about 60% from its peak, taking the loss-making company’s value to $35.7 billion from $85 billion when it debuted on Wall Street.
With about 99% of the company controlled by founder Pham Nhat Vuong, the small number of publicly available shares makes the stock prone to volatility.
The company, which has struggled to retain senior executives and has an ambitious goal of selling 50,000 electric vehicles this year, is switching to a new “hybrid model” for sales, bringing in distributors and dealers for overseas markets.
Several US dealers contacted by Reuters have said they are open to the idea, but some analysts remain skeptical.
“It can be difficult to successfully market and sell cars in the U.S. that are manufactured and sold in an emerging market like Vietnam, where the features and functionality demanded by consumers are typically very different,” says Jason Benowitz, senior portfolio manager at The Roosevelt Investment Group.
The company said it plans to raise capital from global investors in the next 18 months, which could jeopardize its high valuation.
“Founder Pham Nhat Vuong has put a portion of VinFast on the public market as he may seek to further monetize his stake over time. That could provide material overhang for VinFast stock going forward,” said Benowitz.
VinFast’s listing follows that of other EV companies, including Faraday Future, Nikola and Lucid, which have come under increased scrutiny from US regulations.
Shares of Vietnam’s largest conglomerate and VinFast parent company Vingroup closed 7% in Ho Chi Minh trading.
(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)