Thailand’s Richest 2019: Half Of Nation’s Wealthiest See Fortunes Decline This Year

10-May-2019 Intellasia | Forbes | 6:00 AM Print This Post

After enjoying a surge in their wealth a year ago, Thailand’s richest hit a speed bump in 2019. Uncertainty ahead of the country’s March elections and a slow economy dampened sentiment, sapped the Thai baht and sent the country’s benchmark stock index down roughly 7 percent since we last measured fortunes. The combined net worth of the listees was slightly lower at $160.5 billion from last year’s total of $162.5 billion.

Half of the nation’s richest saw their fortunes decline, including each of the top four. The Chearavanont brothers of the Charoen Pokphand group retained the No.1 spot with a net worth of $29.5 billion. Dhanin Chearavanont, the group’s senior chair, stepped down in April as chair of flagship Charoen Pokphand Foods after 25 years in that position. (He remains chair of CP All, the listed operator of 7-Eleven stores.)

But a fortunate third of the list members ended up better off than a year ago. The biggest gainer was energy tycoon Sarath Ratanavadi, whose fortune surged by $1.8 billion, earning him a spot in the top five for the first time. Shares of his Gulf Energy Development soared 57 percent in the past 12 months as new power projects came online and the company’s 2018 revenue more than doubled, to $628 million.

Another gainer was the Osathanugrah family, which got a boost from the October 2018 listing of Osotspa, their 128-year-old energy drink maker. Run by the colorful Petch Osathanugrah, an art collector and former pop singer, Osotspa was founded by his great-grandparents as a small pharmacy selling herbal medicines.


Category: Thailand

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