Thailand’s Top 50 Richest On Forbes List Hit Speed Bump

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 as half of the top 50 saw their fortunes decline, including each of the top four. The complete Forbes Thailand Rich list is available at and as well as in the May/June issue of Forbes Asia and in the May issue of Forbes Thailand.

Uncertainty ahead of Thailand’s March elections partly dampened sentiment, sapped the Thai baht and sent the country’s benchmark stock index down 7 percent as compared to a year ago. The combined net worth of listees was marginally lower at $160.5 billion from last year’s total of $162.5 billion.

The Chearavanont brothers of the Charoen Pokphand group retained the No. 1 spot with a net worth of $29.5 billion, down slightly from $30 billion last year. Dhanin Chearavanont, the group’s senior chair, stepped down in April as chair of the flagship Charoen Pokphand Foods after 25 years. He remains chair of CP All, the listed operator of 7-Eleven stores.

Taking the second spot is the Chirathivat family of Central Group with a net worth of $21 billion, almost unchanged from $21.2 billion last year. Red Bull owner Chalerm Yoovidhya remains in the No. 3 spot even as his wealth fell to $19.9 billion from $21 billion previously. Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi of Thai Beverage ranks No. 4 with a fortune of $16.2 billion, down $1.2 billion from $17.4 billion in 2018.

On the other hand, a third of the list members saw their wealth grow from a year ago. The biggest gainer this year is energy tycoon Sarath Ratanavadi, whose fortune surged by $1.8 billion to $5.2 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 notable gainer, the Osathanugrah family (No. 8, $3 billion), saw their net worth rise from $2.3 billion last year following the October 2018 listing of Osotspa, their 128-year-old energy drink maker. Run by Petch Osathanugrah, an avid art collector and former pop singer, Osotspa was founded by his great-grandparents as a small pharmacy selling herbal medicines.

There are four newcomers on this year’s list, including Chaivat Taepaisitphongse (No. 23, $1.8 billion), chair of agrifoods outfit Betagro Group. Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha (No. 6, $4.7 billion), the youngest on the list at age 33, took over from his late father, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, as CEO of duty-free giant King Power. Bangkok Bank president Chartsiri Sophonpanich (No. 29, $1.1 billion), appears for the first time after his late father Chatri Sophonpanich passed away last June. The Maleenont family (No. 47, $600 million) of media company BEC World round out the new faces on the list.

Among the four returnees is Prachai Leophairatana (No. 45, $640 million), who made a comeback after a five-year hiatus. His cement and concrete maker TPI Polene returned to the black in 2018 with a $45 million profit, helping send its stock up 14 percent in the past year.

The minimum to make the list was $565 million, down from $600 million last year.

The top 10 richest in Thailand are:

1. Chearavanont brothers; $29.5 billion

2. Chirathivat family; $21 billion

3. Chalerm Yoovidhya; $19.9 billion

4. Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi; $16.2 billion

5. Sarath Ratanavadi; $5.2 billion

6. Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha; $4.7 billion

7. Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth; $3.4 billion

8. Osathanugrah family; $3 billion

9. Vanich Chaiyawan; $2.85 billion

10. Somphote Ahunai; $2.83 billion

This list was compiled using shareholding and financial information obtained from the families and individuals, stock exchanges and analysts, the Stock Exchange of Thailand and regulatory agencies. This list encompasses family fortunes, including those shared among extended families of multiple generations. Public fortunes were calculated based on stock prices and exchange rates as of April 26. Private companies were valued based on comparisons with similar companies that are publicly traded.


Category: Thailand

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