Bangkok Post – Red Bull family now richest in Thailand

CP Group’s Chearavanont brothers drop to 2nd after years on top

Chalerm Yoovidhya and his family are now Thailand's richest, according to the latest Forbes list. (Photo: Bangkok Post)
Chalerm Yoovidhya and his family are now Thailand’s richest, according to the latest Forbes list. (Photo: Bangkok Post)

Red Bull co-owner Chalerm Yoovidhya heads Thailand’s richest family according to the latest Forbes list, surpassing the Chearavanont brothers – but the combined wealth of Thailand’s 50 richest fell by 15%.

Forbes Asia said on Wednesday that Mr Chalerm’s family increased their wealth by US$2.6 billion (95.8 billion baht) to $36 billion (1.3 trillion baht). It said Red Bull’s revenue exceeded $11 billion (405.5 billion baht) last year with global sales of more than 12 billion bottles and cans.

The Chearavanont brothers, of Charoen Pokphand Group fame, dropped to second after topping the Thailand’s 50 Richest list for nearly a decade. Their wealth dropped from $34 billion (1.2 trillion baht) last year to $29 billion (1.1 trillion baht) this year. Forbes Asia attributed the drop partly on the falling fortunes of one of their holdings, Ping An Insurance in China. The company posted a $2.7 billion (99.5 billion baht) loss last year.

Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi of Thai Beverage remains in third position, with estimated wealth of $10 billion (368.6 billion baht), down $3.6 billion (132.7 billion baht) from last year.

The Chirathivat family retains fourth spot with $9.9 billion (364.9 billion baht), down 20% from $12.4 billion (457.1 billion baht) last year. The family’s Central Group raised its shareholding in Selfridges department store in London in November and became the major shareholder.

Energy-and-telecom tycoon Sarath Ratanavadi retains fifth position with $9.2 billion (339.1 billion baht), down from $11.3 billion (416.5 billion baht).

Energy Absolute chief executive Somphote Ahunai’s wealth plunged two-thirds to $995 million (36.7 billion baht), taking him out of the  top 10, down  to 32nd place. His shares in the renewable energy and electric vehicle company fell due to its debt concerns.

The combined wealth of “Thailand’s 50 Richest” fell by nearly 12% to $153 billion (5.6 trillion baht) due to the declining Stock Exchange of Thailand index and that baht’s depreciation, Forbes Asia said. The complete list is available at www.forbes.com/thailand.

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