Thai billionaires have seen their wealth skyrocket in a year, with 10 making it into Forbes' list of the wealthy, compared with just five last year.
Leading the Thai billionaires is Dhanin Chearvanont, chairman of Charoen Pokphand Group. He and his family were worth US$14.3 billion (Bt426 billion) as of this month. Ranked as the 58th-richest person in the world, Dhanin saw his net worth increase by $7 billion from the same month last year.
Trailing is liquor and property tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, who has just completed the $11-billion acquisition of Singapore’s Fraser and Neave. His net worth of $11.7 billion put him at 82nd, up from 184th last year with $5.5 billion.
Others are as follows:
_ Krit Ratanarak, $1.95 billion ($1.2 billion as of March 2012). Krit’s family is a major shareholder of Bangkok Broadcasting and TV, which operates Channel 7.
_ Aloke Lohia, chief executive officer of Indorama Venture, $1.3 billion ($1.9 billion).
_ Thongma Vijitpongpun, CEO of Pruksa Real Estate, $2 billion.
_ Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth, founder and CEO of Bangkok Airways, $1.85 billion.
_ Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and family, $1.7 billion.
_ Vanich Chaiyawan, chairman of Thai Life Insurance, $1.4 billion.
_ Keeree Kanjanapas, CEO of BTS Group Holdings, $1.3 billion.
_ Wichai Thongtang, lawyer turned investor, $1.1 billion.
Dhanin, Charoen, Aloke, Krit and Chaleo Yoovidhya were the five Thai billionaires on the Forbes list last year.
For the fourth year in a row, Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim Helu tops Forbes’ 27th annual world’s billionaires list, with net worth of $73 billion, up from $69 billion last year.
Bill Gates retains the No 2 spot with net worth of $67 billion. Zara fashion firm’s Amancio Ortega moves up two spots to third with net worth of $57 billion, ahead of Warren Buffett with net worth of $53.5 billion.
This marks the first year Buffett has not been in the top three since 2000, in spite of being the second-biggest gainer this year, up $9.5 billion. Forbes said that worldwide, 1,426 billionaires made up the 2013 List of the World’s Richest People. Rebounding equity markets and strong consumer brands lifted a rash of newcomers into the billionaire ranks. In 2012, 1,226 billionaires were counted with combined net worth of $4.6 trillion or $3.7 billion on average. The average increased to $3.79 billion in 2013, when the combined net worth hit a new record at $5.4 trillion.
The 2013 Forbes billionaires list now boasts 1,426 names, with an aggregate net worth of $5.4 trillion, up from $4.6 trillion. It found 210 new 10-figure fortunes. Once again the United States leads the list with 442 billionaires, followed by the Asia-Pacific region (386), Europe (366), the Americas (129) and the Middle East and Africa (103).
According to Forbes, resurgent asset prices are the driving force behind the rising wealth of the super-rich around the globe.