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Thailand’s 50 Richest Billionaires Get Even Richer Despite Pandemic



Forbes. Thailand’s 50 Richest Billionaires Get Even Richer Despite Pandemic

Billionaires on the 2021 Forbes list of Thailand’s 50 richest added nearly US$28 billion to their combined wealth despite Covid-19’s impact on the tourism-dependent economy.

Buoyed by the prospect of an economic recovery and an uptick in exports, the benchmark stock index surged 43% since fortunes were last measured 15 months ago. That jump helped boost the combined wealth of the country’s 50 richest by more than 20% to $160 billion.

The complete list can be found here as well as in the July issue of Forbes Asia and the August issue of Forbes Thailand.

The ranking of the top five on the list, whose net worth gains made up nearly half of the total increase, remains unchanged. The Chearavanont brothers of Charoen Pokphand Group retain their top spot with a net worth of $30.2 billion, up from $27.3 billion last year.

Red Bull Billionaire

Chalerm Yoovidhya, who shares a $24.5 billion Red Bull fortune with his family, is this year’s biggest dollar gainer. He added $4.3 billion to his wealth and holds onto his position as the second richest. Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi of Thai Beverage remains at the third spot, with his fortune rising to $12.7 billion from $10.5 billion last year.

In the fourth place is the Chirathivat family (No. 4, $11.6 billion), whose fortune was up by $2.1 billion. At No. 5 is energy tycoon Sarath Ratanavadi, who made headlines in April with a $17 billion bid for Intouch Holdings and its wireless firm Advanced Info Services, Thailand’s biggest mobile operator by revenue. His wealth was up by nearly a third to $8.9 billion.

Overall, 38 of the 50 listees saw wealth gains, including eight who added more than $1 billion each. Energy drinks magnates Sathien Setthasit (No. 20, $1.9 billion) and Nutchamai Thanombooncharoen (No. 28, $1.3 billion), cofounders of SET-listed Carabao Group, are the biggest percentage gainers this year after more than doubling their respective fortunes.

President of Bangkok Bank

Chartsiri Sophonpanich (No. 32, $1.15 billion), president of Bangkok Bank, saw his fortune, which he shares with his family, rise by $430 million from last year. Sophonpanich, the third-generation head of Thailand’s largest bank by assets, is featured on the cover of the latest issue of Forbes Asia.

The wealth of all five healthcare tycoons on the list was up, including that of Pongsak Viddayakorn (No. 43, $870 million), whose son Satit acquired a significant stake in Bumrungrad Hospital for close to $600 million.

There are three newcomers on this year’s list, each hailing from a different sector. They are husband and wife Adisak and Nattaya Tangmitrphracha (No. 29, $1.27 billion), who cofounded construction materials and home decor chain Dohome.

Also new to the list are R&B Food Supply founder Somchai Ratanapoompinyo (No. 41, $875 million) and Somwang and Viyavood Sincharoenkul (No. 44, $865 million), the father and son pair behind Sri Trang Group, whose Thailand and Singapore-listed Sri Trang Gloves (Thailand) makes rubber gloves.

In addition, three return to the ranks, including Bancha Ongkosit (No. 35, $970 million) whose KCE Electronics, a maker of printed circuit boards mainly for the automotive sector is benefiting from the electric vehicles boom. Half a dozen listees, however, saw their fortunes drop, notably King Power’s Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha (No. 16, $2.15 billion), whose duty-free fortune, which he shares with his family, took a hit as travel froze.

The minimum net worth to make the list this year was $737 million, up from $460 million last year.

The top 10 richest in Thailand are:

  1. Chearavanont Brothers; US$30.2 billion

  2. Chalerm Yoovidhya; $24.5 billion

  3. Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi; $12.7 billion

  4. Chirathivat Family; $11.6 billion

  5. Sarath Ratanavadi; $8.9 billion

  6. Osathanugrah Family; $3.5 billion

  7. Somphote Ahunai; $3.3 billion

  8. Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth; $3.25 billion

  9. Prachak Tangkaravakoon; $3.2 billion

  10. Chuchat Petaumpai & Daonapa Petampai; $3 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. Unlike Forbes’ Billionaire rankings, 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 on June 18. Private companies were valued based on comparisons with similar companies that are publicly traded. The list can also include foreign citizens with business, residential or other ties to the country, or citizens who don’t reside in the country but have significant business or other ties to the country.

Source: Forbes Asia

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