US embassy cable - 06HOCHIMINHCITY1492

ALL HIS (PRIME MINISTER DZUNG'S) CHILDREN

Identifier: 06HOCHIMINHCITY1492
Wikileaks: View 06HOCHIMINHCITY1492 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Ho Chi Minh City
Created: 2006-12-26 09:36:00
Classification: SECRET//NOFORN
Tags: PINR ECON EFIN PGOV PREL VM
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXRO4217
RR RUEHHM
DE RUEHHM #1492/01 3600936
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 260936Z DEC 06
FM AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1922
INFO RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 1408
RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 2081
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 HO CHI MINH CITY 001492 
 
SIPDIS 
 
C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (MISSING TEXT) 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  12/25/2016 
TAGS: PINR, ECON, EFIN, PGOV, PREL, VM 
SUBJECT: ALL HIS (PRIME MINISTER DZUNG'S) CHILDREN 
 
REF: A. SILBERSTEIN - INR/B EMAILS OF DECEMBER 16 AND 
 
     B. PREVIOUS; B) HCMC 1404 
 
HO CHI MIN 00001492  001.3 OF 002 
 
 
Classified By: Consul General Seth Winnick for reasons 1.5 
b/d. 
 
1. (S/NF) Summary and Introduction: ConGen has been seeking 
additional information on the biographies of the three 
children of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dzung.  We understand 
that Dzung, in his meeting with the President during the 
APEC Leaders' Summit, sought to deflect or downplay the 
ties of his children to the United States.  Per ref B, 
according to a well-placed HCMC contact, Prime Minister 
Dzung was caught off guard by President Bush's query to him 
about the educational and other links of his adult children 
to the United States.  Biodata and information on the 
activities of the families of high-ranking officials is 
considered very sensitive in Vietnam.  The following 
information on the three children of Nguyen Tan Dzung was 
gleaned from conversations with a number of our HCMC 
contacts as well as with Nguyen Thanh Phuong, Dzung's 
daughter, who came into the Consulate for a visa interview 
on December 19.  End Summary and Introduction. 
 
All His Children 
---------------- 
 
 
 
 
2. (S/NF) Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dzung has three 
children: eldest son Nguyen Thanh Nghi, born in 1977, 
daughter Nguyen Thanh Phuong, born March 20, 1980, and 
second son Nguyen Minh Triet, born in 1990.  HCMC contacts 
say that Nghi received his PhD in structural engineering 
from George Washington University.  He has since returned 
to and is teaching at the Construction Faculty of the HCMC 
University of Architecture, where he also received his BA. 
 
3. (S/NF) Nghi met his wife -- a Vietnamese national from 
Hanoi (NFI) -- while studying at GW.  They were married 
after their return from the United States.  Some HCMC 
contacts report that Nghi is likely to receive a position 
in one of the government's state-owned construction 
corporations in HCMC.  Nghi is also connected to a growing 
private Vietnamese construction company, Bitexco, which is 
building a number of high-rise buildings in Hanoi and 
HCMC.  Bitexco also has interests in bottled water, 
textiles and hydropower.  According to one HCMC contact, in 
2001 and 2002 Nghi was a "public relations manager" and 
"project manager" for Bitexco. 
 
4. (S/NF) Nguyen Thanh Phuong was born in Kien Giang 
province in the Mekong Delta -- PM Dzung's home province. 
She currently resides in downtown HCMC.  Phuong went to 
primary and secondary school in Kien Giang until 
transferring to the prestigious Marie Curie High School in 
HCMC in 1995.  She then went to the National Economics 
University in Hanoi, and graduated with a BA in finance in 
2001.  From 2002 to 2004, she worked towards her MBA at the 
International University in Geneva, in a program affiliated 
with Michigan State University.  Phuong's only travel to 
the United States was for two weeks in late 2004 to receive 
her diploma from MSU. 
 
5. (S/NF) Phuong began working part-time while in Hanoi. 
She worked in the Stock Trading Department of Bao Viet 
Securities Company -- an arm of the state-owned insurance 
corporation -- from January to August 2000.  She then 
worked for the State Securities Commission from October 
2000 to August 2001.  After she returned to Vietnam from 
Switzerland, she joined the Swiss cement producer, Holcim, 
in HCMC as Deputy Finance Director.  In January 2006, 
Phuong left Holcim to become Investment Director of Vietnam 
Holding Asset Mangement in HCMC, a USD 112 million Swiss- 
linked investment fund.  In November 2006, she became 
Chairperson of the Viet Capital Fund Management (VCFM) 
joint stock company.  In early 2007, Phuong plans to travel 
to the U.S. to pitch the VCFM to major New York investment 
banks. 
 
6. (C) VCFM was founded in August 2006 with a chartered 
capital of VND 8 billion (USD 50 million) as an operational 
arm of the Viet Capital Fund to manage companies controlled 
by the fund.  The Viet Capital Fund was established by 
wealthy Vietnamese entrepreneurs, largely based in HCMC. 
It runs two portfolios, a domestic Vietnamese fund and an 
off-shore fund.  Its chairman is Huynh Van Thien, the CEO 
and founder of Vietnam Lubricants and Chemicals joint stock 
corporation (VILUBE) and owner of Capital Land, a real 
estate development company. 
 
HO CHI MIN 00001492  002.3 OF 002 
 
 
 
7. (S/NF) Our conversation with Phuong supported reporting 
from another HCMC source that she is dating a Vietnamese 
American who also works in Vietnam's growing financial 
sector.  Phuong confirmed that her younger brother Triet is 
in high school in England and plans to study media at the 
university level there. 
 
8. (S/NF) Comment: Phuong is the spitting image of her 
father, and also appears to be the most dynamic and 
accomplished of the Prime Minister's three children.  In 
her conversation with us she was open, inquisitive and 
engaging.  There is no doubt that she is talented. 
However, her rapid advance, and the many doors that opened 
for her and her two brothers are indicative of how the 
Vietnamese political elite ensures that their progeny are 
well placed educationally, politically and economically. 
What is different about Phuong's story is that, unlike 
other offspring of senior Party members who obtain 
sinecures in state-owned corporations, Phuong's career path 
focused on the private sector.  Clearly it makes good 
political sense to hire the Prime Minister's daughter to 
manage an investment fund, especially if that fund is 
seeking to focus on investment in government-controlled 
sectors such as oil and gas, banking and information 
technology.  End Comment. 
WINNICK 

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