While more than half of Thailand’s 50 richest billionaires saw their fortunes shrink in 2016, the clans at the very top of the list all managed to increase their wealth in the past 12 months.
As in 2015, the four Chearavanont brothers, who control agribusiness conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group (CP), again took the top spot in the latest Thailand’s 50 Richest list, published Wednesday by American business magazine Forbes. The four siblings were also the biggest gainers this year, seeing their combined wealth increase by US$4.1 billion to $18.5 billion.
The CP group is Thailand’s largest private company and one of Asia’s largest conglomerates. It consists of three core businesses that operate in the agribusiness and food industry, retail and distribution (7-Eleven, Siam Makro), and the telecommunications industries (True Corporation) with investment in over 20 countries.
Coming in second was self-made spirits tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, best known for his Chang Beer, with a net worth of $13.7 billion, up from $13 billion last year. Charoen has been on a shopping spree both in his home market and overseas. Aside from purchasing the Vietnamese unit of German cash-and-carry firm Metro the self-made billionaire also secured a 59% stake in hypermarket operator Big C Thailand.
The Central Group’s Chirathivat family, the kingdom’s leading retail clan and biggest mall developer with a net worth of $13 billion (up from $12.3 billion in 2015), recently bought a stake in Big C Supercenter Vietnam and remained in third place in the Thailand’s 50 Richest list.
Coming in fourth place was once again Chalerm Yoovidhya of the Yoovidhya family that owns 51% of energy drink company Red Bull. While Santi Bhirombhakdi of the Bhirombhakdi family, best known for its Singha Beer, dropped from seventh to ninth place in the latest Forbes list, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra remained Thailand’s tenth richest citizen.
Here are the top 10 richest Thai billionaires in 2016. For the complete Thailand’s 50 Richest list, please see Forbes.
1) Chearavanont brothers; US$18.5 billion (food, 7-Eleven stores, TrueVisions, True Move, Siam Makro etc.)
2) Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi; $13.7 billion (Chang Beer, beverages)
3) Chirathivat family; $13 billion (retail, real estate)
4) Chalerm Yoovidhya; $9.7 billion (Red Bull, drinks)
5) Vanich Chaiyawan; $4 billion (insurance, beverages)
6) Krit Ratanarak; $43.3 billion (media, real estate)
7) Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha; $3.25 billion (King Power duty-free)
8) Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth; $3.2 billion (hospitals)
9) Santi Bhirombhakdi; $2.4 billion (Singha Beer, energy drinks etc.)
10) Thaksin Shinawatra; $1.65 billion (investments)