Thai billionaires pour more money into Vietnam


While football fans know the trio strikers B-B-C of Real Madrid Club and M-S-N of Barcelona, who have been ruling the roost on European football grounds, businesses know the three Thai billionaires C-S-C who have been expanding their business in Vietnam.

These are the three richest families in Thailand: Chearavanont (CP Group), Sirivadhanabhakdi (TCC Holdings) and Chirathivat (Central Group). The total asset value of the three businessmen is estimated at $40 billion.

With the investments the three richest have made in Vietnam, analysts believe that they would earn no less than $4 billion from the market.

The Thai names are difficult for Vietnamese to remember, but they have become quite familiar. Two of the three have spent $1.7 billion within a short time to take over two leading retail chains in Vietnam – Big C and Metro.

The third one, Dhanin Chearavanont, has been making direct investment in Vietnam over the last 20 years. He is the owner of CP Vietnam, the biggest agricultural company.

After cementing its firm position in the animal feed market, CP Vietnam has been expanding its animal husbandry and processing products from meat, fish and poultry. 

CP Vietnam reported revenue of $2.1 billion in 2015, which was nearly double the revenue of both Big C and Metro.

The trio C-S-C, after a long period of investment, now has in their hands an extremely valuable investment portfolio, which includes Metro, Big C, CP Vietnam, Nguyen Kim and Phu Thai Group with total revenue of $4 billion, or 2 percent of Vietnam’s GDP.

Analysts said they were sure that theThai billionaires are still eyeing more Vietnamese conglomerates. 

Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, through his subsidiary F&N in Singapore, now holds an 11 percent of stake of Vinamilk, the Vietnamese leading dairy producer, worth $800 million. 

Once the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) divests from Vinamilk as planned, F&N would be one of the most likely candidates to buy more Vinamilk shares.

The analysts commented that the presence of C-S-C in Vietnam shows strong investment by Thais in Vietnam, not just separate investment deals.

Some months ago, Santi Bhirombhakdi, Thailand’s seventh richest billionaire, poured $650 million out of the committed capital of $1.1 billion into Masan Consumer Holdings.

As such, though Thai still do not hold a controlling stake, they have made heavy investments in two Vietnamese leading consumer goods manufacturers – Masan and Vinamilk.

Thailand’s fourth richest billionaire Chalerm Yoovidhya is also well known in Vietnam as the owner of the company that makes Red Bull, an energy drink.