Once upon a time… nostalgia of first stocks

QCG - Victim of unsubstantiated rumours

SGI

Even after ten years of listing on HOSE, investors holding shares of Quoc Cuong Gia Lai Joint Stock Company (QCG) are confused because of unsubstantiated and ambiguous information being sent out by the company. In the current real estate market, QCG is now on a downhill trend and expectations from the company are almost defunct.

Phuoc Kieng project with a beautiful position and good price has created QCG brand name, but also made the leader of the transfer unit get in trouble.

Phuoc Kieng project with a beautiful position and good price has created QCG brand name, but also made the leader of the transfer unit get in trouble.

Impressive start

QCG was originally established in 1994 as the Quoc Cuong Private Enterprise, with more than 500 employees. The main businesses of the enterprise were to exploit and process wood for exports, trade and export agricultural and forestry products and coffee, and import and export fertilizer.

In 2005, the enterprise cooperated with the Hoang Anh Private Enterprise to establish the Hoang Anh Housing Development and Construction Co., Ltd. From this joint venture, QCG jumped into the real estate business in Ho Chi Minh City with two high-end apartment projects, Hoang Anh 1 and Hoang Anh 2, and turned this field into a key business segment.

In 2007, QCG converted into a Joint Stock Company with charter capital of VND 259 bn. Soon after becoming a Joint Stock Company, QCG received capital from financial institutions such as SSI Securities Corporation. With this newly added capital, QCG poured more money into several real estate businesses, such as the Quoc Cuong Housing Development Investment Co., Ltd; Hung Thinh Housing Co., Ltd; Hiep Phu Real Estate JSC; Green Saigon Real Estate Development Investment JSC; and Giai Viet JSC. Besides these projects, QCG also invested in the Phuoc Kien project phase 1 covering 19 ha, street villas in district 8, and some high-end apartments in Ho Chi Minh City.

In 2010, QCG officially listed on HOSE at a closing price of VND 45,500 per share. At this time, QCG was the most expected real estate stock code on the stock market. After an impressive launch, QCG began to face difficult sessions due to negative impact of its business results. On the trading session on 26 June 2012, for the first time, QCG stocks dropped below face value to VND 10,000 per share. However, this was only the beginning of a long slide and rumours related to QCG continued in the following years.

Unsubstantiated Information

In early 2017, from about VND 3,000 per share, QCG suddenly saw a vertical increase after information spread that the company had sold the Phuoc Kien project to Sunny Land for USD 50 mn. In the session on 29 June 2017, QCG reached a peak of VND 31,000 per share. When QCG reached VND 30,000 per share, securities companies recommended investors to buy, because the Phuoc Kien deal did not only help in bringing in a large amount of profit, but also helped improve the financial potential of QCG. After recording an approximate ten-time increase, investors raced to collect shares and waited for official information from Ms. Nguyen Thi Nhu Loan, Chairwoman, at the 2017 annual shareholders meeting.

The Phuoc Kien project was being implemented by QCG since 2010, which included villas, townhouses, and high-rise apartments, over a total planned area of about 91 ha in Nha Be district in Ho Chi Minh City. By the end of the first quarter of 2017, the unfinished construction cost of this project had exceeded VND 4,300 bn.
Contrary to previous rumours, the official information announced by Ms. Loan at the meeting was that the Phuoc Kien project was still under negotiation. The reason being that the partner was offering an excessive amount as compensation hence the contract had not been signed. Almost immediately, QCG stocks fell sharply to VND 27,000 per share. In the session on 30 June, when the information that QCG had not sold Phuoc Kien project was announced to all shareholders, QCG fell into a state of “no buyers”.

An uncertain future

It is worth mentioning that the information transparency issues continue to be an obsession for investors holding onto QCG shares. In 2018, this enterprise was reminded by HOSE of violations in the market. The reason was that QCG violated the obligation to disclose information as required in the case of violations in the market. These were reminders related to non-disclosure of information about capital contribution and divestment transactions that took place from 2013-2017 of value upto VND 3,200 bn. In 2019, QCG was again fined VND 70 mn by the SSC inspector for failing to disclose information on time and in full accordance of the law on a series of published documents.

After the above violations, QCG ceased to be a favorite real estate stock of investors. Currently QCG is trading at a very low price of VND 3,500 per share, with very weak demand. In early 2020, the Standing Committee of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee requested the Tan Thuan Company to cancel the contract for transferring the land area of 31 ha to QCG. The reason was that the signing of the contract between the Tan Thuan Company and QCG was not in accordance with the Regulations on management. All the properties including houses and land which were used by the Tan Thuan one member limited company were attached by the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee.

Translated by Francis

Kim Giang

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