The Richest Men in Thailand


The Southeast Asian country of Thailand is usually not included among the most dramatic success stories of other Asian economies. However despite being troubled by political problems and natural disasters, the Thai economy appears to be resilient in its own way. In fact the collective wealth of the richest people in the country is up by better than 20% for a second straight year in 2012, according to a Forbes report1 . Here are some of the names that are sure to figure on the list of richest men in Thailand.

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Dhanin Chearavanont

with an estimated net worth of $ 9 billion, Dhanin Chearavanont makes it to the top of Thailand’s Rich List2 besides being reigning FORBES ASIA Businessman of the Year for his interests in China. Chearavanont heads the agribusiness conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group, which father founded as small Bangkok seed shop. He also controls CP ALL which is the world’s third-biggest operator of 7-Eleven stores; over the past year the stock price of CP ALL has shot up 27% which in turn has added on to Chearavanont’s already considerable fortunes. Other food producing companies owned by the business magnate are Charoen Pokphand Foods and PT Charoen Pokphand which are also faring well. Chearavanon’s recent moves make it clear that he is in the mood for expansion. He has been reportedly Looking for cheap assets abroad and possible targets include France's Carrefour and U.S.' Smithfield Foods. Other than this he is also in favor of development of casinos in Thailand.

The 73 year old billionaire comes from a Thai-Chinese family originated from Shantou, China. Chearavanont is married and has five children. He also shares fortune with 3 brothers. A well known Philanthropist of Thailand, Chearavanont has undertaken the restoration of several Buddhist temples in his country apart from sponsoring schools and orphanages.

Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi

The second richest in Thailand is the Thirativat family with a net worth of $6.9 billion; the family includes Descendants of Central Group's founder, Tiang Chirathivat, including families of his 3 wives and 25 children. However Thailand’s second richest individual male could well be beverages tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi who enjoys a net worth of $6.2 billion. He owns popular drinks company Thai Bev that has been aggressively bidding for Asia Pacific Breweries against Heineken, which in turn has an existing stake and is trying to expand into Asian markets to counter weak European consumer demand. In keeping with its expansion policy, Thai Bev acquired a 26% stake, in dominant APB holder Fraser and Neave in the past few months. Apart from his beverages company, Sirivadhanabhakdi also owns large scale properties in many upscale parts of the world; among these are Bangkok's famous tech-mall Pantip Plaza, Hotel Plaza Athenee in Manhattan as well as hotels in Asia, the United States and Australia besides residential, commercial and retail buildings in Singapore and Thailand.

Krit Ratnarak

After the passing away of Chaleo Yoovidhya, founder of the Red Bull energy drinks company, the next individual to figure on list of Thailand’s richest men is Krit Ratnarak with a net worth of $3.1 billion as of August 2012. Ratnarak is the CEO and chairman of Bangkok broadcasting and TV, which operates market leader, Channel 7.  And even though the fortunes from the broadcasting company are shared with family, including mom, son and five sisters, Ratnarak’s individual shareholding in family fortune has enabled him to join the FORBES billionaires list for the first time in 2012. Apart from the TV network, Ratnarak also has substantial investments in real estate as well as some stakes on Siam City Cement and Bank of Ayudhya whose stock price is up over 30% and has added on to his fortunes.
The 66 year old media tycoon is divorced and has one child; he lives in Bangkok.

Chamnong Bhirombhakdi

Yet another Thai billionaire to come from the lucrative beverages segment is Chamnong Bhirombhakdi with a net worth of $2.4 billion. he is currently as a chairman of Boon Rawd Brewery which is also the oldest in the country, having been founded as early as 1933 by his father when it was known primarily known as the maker of Singha beer. Other than this, brands which now belong to the Boon Rawd Brewery include Thai and Leo beer which are gaining market share and are thus pitted against ThaiBev owned by another Thai billionaire, Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi. Bhirombhakdi’s company also sells non-alcoholic beverages like soda water and iced green tea.

Bhirombhakdi is married and father of three children; he also shares his fortune with families of two late brothers. The beverages baron is believed to be an avid soccer fan and is known to sponsor Premier League teams Manchester United and Chelsea.

Vichai Maleenont

With a net worth of $1.8 billion, media magnate Vichai Maleenont is one of Thailand’s richest men. He is cofounder and presently the chairman of BEC World, the largest media group in the country. This group has 23 subsidiaries focusing on radio broadcasting and television. In 2011, the media group has benefited from higher Revenues brought in by shows and concerts, the most famous of which was one by Lady Gaga. Higher ads rates have also buoyed up the company whose stock price increased 33% over the past year. While Maleenont continues to act as chairman and CEP of BEC World, transferred shares among his eight children of whom, son Prasan is the current COO.

Ashok Lohia

Indian-origin textile tycoon firmly belongs to Thailand’s rich list on the strength of personal fortune pegged at 1.6 billion, as of August 2012. He heads the integrated polyester company Indorama Ventures which though has suffered from low prices in Asia because of which its stock has been pulled down 19% since 2011. Son of successful Indian entrepreneur, Ashok Lohia gets the credit of taking the company public in Thailand in 2010 and benefiting from expansion. He is also the younger brother of prominent Indonesian billionaire, Sri Prakash Lohia. Ashok Has lived in Thailand for over 20 years and is now a Permanent Resident