Top 10 Richest Billionaires in Thailand 2021

Thailand's 50 richest on the 2021 Forbes list, led by the Chearavanont brothers, did well during the Covid-19 pandemic, with $28 billion added to their combined wealth over the past 15 months.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand index jumped 43% during the period, driven by the prospect of an economic recovery and an uptick in exports. The increase helped boost the combined wealth of the country’s 50 richest by more than 20% to $160 billion.

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.

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, with $11.6 billion, up by $2.1 billion.

At the 5th 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.

List of top 10 richest billionaires in Thailand 2021

10. Chuchat Petaumpai & Daonapa Petampai; $3 billion

9. Prachak Tangkaravakoon; $3.2 billion

8. Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth; $3.25 billion

7. Somphote Ahunai; $3.3 billion

6. Osathanugrah Family; $3.5 billion

5. Sarath Ratanavadi; $8.9 billion

4. Chirathivat family; $11.6 billion

3. Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi; $12.7 billion

2. Chalerm Yoovidhya; $24.5 billion

1. Chearavanont Brothers; $30.2 billion

Detailed information on top 10 richest billionaires in Thailand 2021

10. Chuchat Petaumpai & Daonapa Petampai; $3 billion

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Billionaire husband-and-wife team Chuchat Petaumpai and Daonapa Petampai built a fortune by providing small loans in Thailand. They now face a major test as a slowing economy crimps earnings growth.

Their micro-lender Muangthai Capital Pcl is on course for the weakest profit growth since its listing in 2014, stoking a 6.3% share-price drop in the past three months that exceeded the 1.7% decline in the benchmark SET index.

“We’re watching the economic situation carefully to see how it impacts repayment ability,” Chuchat said in an investor presentation Thursday. “A drought affected farmers’ incomes, and they are our biggest customers. That problem has eased, but we still need to assess the situation.”

Muangthai Capital grew rapidly by tapping into the demand for small loans among the millions of Thais, like farmers and blue-collar workers, who lack the credit history required by commercial banks. But an economic slowdown is squeezing incomes, debt serviceability and potentially demand for credit -- a problem faced by major banks too.

“The company will find it hard to replicate the same exponential earnings growth as in past years because of more limited branch expansion,” said Chalie Kueyen, an analyst at KGI Securities (Thailand) Pcl in Bangkok.

9. Prachak Tangkaravakoon; $3.2 billion

Photo: Bangkok post
Photo: Bangkok post

Prachak Tangkaravakoon chairs $566 million (revenue) TOA Paint (Thailand), the country's biggest paintcompany with a market share of 49%.

TOA Paint has three plants in Thailand, plus factories in Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia and Indonesia.

The company's IPO in 2017 raised $360 million to ramp up regional expansion, including in Myanmar and Cambodia.

His son Vonnarat became a billionaire after the backdoor listing of his cable and wire firm Stark Corporation, in 2019.

Son Jatuphat is in charge of TOA Paint and Erawan Sugar. Son Nattavuth runs the family's investment arm, TOA Venture Holding.

8. Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth; $3.25 billion

Dr Prasert is 11th on the Forbes Thailand 50 rich list for 2020. His business empire includes hospital group Bangkok Dusit Medical Services, which also owns the Movenpick, BDMS hotel and BDMS Wellness Clinic at Nai Lert Park. The medical doctor turned businessman also founded Bangkok Airways boutique airline and PPTV digital television company. He and his wife Vanli have five children.

Former surgeon Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth cofounded Bangkok Dusit Medical Services, Thailand's largest private hospital operator, in 1972.

Bangkok Dusit has a $370 million luxury healthcare complex in Bangkok that includes a 290-room Movenpick hotel.

Prasert also also owns and runs regional airline, Bangkok Airways, which he took public in 2014.

In June 2020, Bangkok Dusit dropped its plan to acquire listed rival Bumrungrad International Hospital and eventually sold all its shares.

His daughter, Poramaporn, is the president of Bangkok Dusit.

7. Somphote Ahunai; $3.3 billion

Photo: Bangkok Post
Photo: Bangkok Post

Somphote Ahunai is a Thai billionaire. He made his fortune from his founding of the renewable energy firm Energy Absolute. He has overseen the expansion of the firm into the electric car (Mine Mobility) and a gigafactory. He graduated from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, and began his career in security trading. He resides primarily in Bangkok. His firm has been likened to the "Tesla of Asia."

Former securities trader Somphote Ahunai started renewable energy outfit Energy Absolute in 2006.

He took the company public in 2013.

Energy Absolute is expanding into energy storage with a $3 billion battery gigafactory project to make lithium-ion batteries.

Its subsidiary, Energy Mahanakorn, will build 1,000 charge stations for electric vehicles across the country.

Its subsidiary Mine Mobility's first electric car is a five-seat hatchback. It has secured an order for 3,500 vehicles from a taxi union.

6. Osathanugrah Family; $3.5 billion

Photo: Bangkok Post
Photo: Bangkok Post

The Osathanugrah family owns 130-year-old Osotspa, among Thailand's oldest companies and maker of the popular M-150 energy drink.

The origins of Osotspa date back to 1891. Founded by Chinese immigrants in Bangkok's Chinatown, the business was originally named Teck Heng Yoo before changing its name to Osotspa after World War II. King Vajiravudh granted the honorary surname of Osathanugrah, which means "provider of medicine" in Thai, to the founding family after one of their products helped end an outbreak of dysentery in the Thai army. The business is still family-owned.

In 2000, SHARK Cool Bite was launched, globally under the name SHARK Energy. Hang was introduced in 2003 as a cure for hangovers. M-150 was also introduced in powdered form, with sales reaching 10 million sachets per month. M-Max was launched in 2004 and is only sold in Thailand. The following year SHARK Up and SHARK Lite were launched. In 2007, M-150 was launched to new markets in Europe and South America. This drink sold over 700 million units per year by 2008. This makes Osotspa the leading energy drink producer in Thailand, and one of the leading in the world.

As of 2010, Osotspa has offices in Innsbruck, Larnaca, Santiago de Compostela, Harlow, Essex and Torrance, California. The company also plans to invest in Burma.

The company was listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) in October 2018, helping boost the Osathanugrah family's net worth to $3 billion

The family's wealth got a boost from the October 2018 IPO of Osotspa, which is run by Petch Osathanugrah, grandson of the founder.

Osotspa has about 55% of Thailand's energy drink market.

An avid art collector, Petch has built a contemporary art museum in Bangkok.

5. Sarath Ratanavadi; $8.9 billion

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Sarath Ratanavadi is the CEO of Gulf Energy Development, one of Thailand's largest power producers.

He took the company public in 2017 raising more than $700 million, in what was the country's biggest IPO in a decade.

In 2020, revenue was up 7% to $1.2 billion, fueled in part by a German wind power project in which the company acquired a 50% stake.

In April 2021, Sarath made a $17 billion bid to take control of telecom giant InTouch Holdings and its wireless unit, Advanced Info Service (AIS).

Gulf Energy has a 70:30 joint venture with state-owned oil and gas firm PTT to build a $1.3 billion LNG terminal and port on Thailand's east coast.

4. Chirathivat family; $11.6 billion

Photo: Alchetron
Photo: Alchetron

The Chirathivat family (Thai: จิราธิวัฒน์, pronounced [tɕìrāːtʰíwát]) is a Thai family of Chinese descent. The family was headed by Tiang Chirathivat (simplified Chinese: 郑心平; traditional Chinese: 鄭心平; pinyin: Zhèng Xīnpíng; 1905–1968), who migrated to Siam from Hainan and settled in Bangkok in 1927. Tiang's original Chinese surname was Cheng. He had 26 children with three wives that resulted in roughly 220 descendants today. Fifty-one are currently involved in the business. His descendants jointly own and manage the Central Group, and are ranked third on Forbes' list of Thailand's fifty richest.

The Central Group owns more than 60 department stores and shopping malls. It also operates hotels and restaurants, with a total of 5,000 outlets. The Chirathivat family bought the upscale Italian department store chain, La Rinascente, for a reputed US$291 million. The purchase was announced in May 2011 by Tos Chirathivat, a Central Group executive. In 2020, the Central Group announced the purchase of the Swiss luxury department store Globus alongside other assets for more than US$1 billion in a joint venture with the Austrian Signa.

3. Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi; $12.7 billion

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi (Thai: เจริญ สิริวัฒนภักดี; Chinese: 苏旭明; pinyin: Sū Xùmíng; RTGS: Charoen Siriwatthanaphakdi; born 2 May 1944) is a Thai business magnate and investor.

He is the founder of Thai Beverage, and the chairman of conglomerates TCC Group and Fraser and Neave, Ltd (F&N). The Sirivadhanabhakdi family is now Thailand's largest property developer and landlord of 630,000 rai (100,800 hectares), plus commercial and retail buildings in Singapore. He also owns 50 hotels in Asia, the US, UK, and Australia, including Plaza Athénée in Manhattan, New York City, US, and The Okura Prestige Bangkok. As of 2020, Forbes estimates his net worth at US$10.5 billion.

In 1988, King Bhumibol of Thailand granted the family the Thai surname "Sirivadhanabhakdi".

2. Chalerm Yoovidhya; $24.5 billion

Photo: imago images
Photo: imago images

Chalerm Yoovidhya heads a sprawling clan that co-owns Red Bull, the iconic energy drink, which sold 7.9 billion cans across 171 countries in 2020.

The family's stake includes a small stake owned personally by Chalerm, eldest son of Red Bull cofounder, the late Chaleo.

In December 2020, Red Bull Thailand won a trademark fight it had been embroiled in with Red Bull in China for some years.

1. Chearavanont Brothers; $30.2 billion

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Four siblings draw their wealth from Charoen Pokphand Group, one of the world's largest producers of animal feed and livestock.

Their father Chia Ek Chor, along with his brother Choncharoen Chiaravanont, opened a shop selling seeds imported from China to Thai farmers in 1921.

Dhanin Chearavanont, the youngest (pictured), was CP's chairman and CEO for 48 years until he stepped down in 2017 but remains senior chairman.

Dhanin's eldest son, Soopakij, and the youngest, Suphachai, are CP's chairman and CEO, respectively.

In March 2020, CP Group made a successful $10.6 billion bid to acquire Tesco's operations in Thailand and Malaysia.

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