Thai bil­lion­aire eyes China & In­dia ex­pan­sion

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Thai bil­lion­aire Dhanin Chear­a­vanont’s re­tail sub­sidiary CP All Pcl is known to have con­sid­ered an ex­pan­sion of whole­sale op­er­a­tions in China and In­dia to tap the might of con­sumers in the world’s most-pop­u­lous na­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer Kriengchai Boon­poapichart, the firm’s cash-and-carry unit Siam Makro Pcl is study­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the two coun­tries, as well as the pos­si­bil­ity of set­ting up a store in Myan­mar, hav­ing al­ready opened an out­let in Cam­bo­dia.

“Siam Makro is on a new jour­ney of ex­pand­ing in over­seas mar­kets,” Kriengchai was quoted. “It will be a tough and chal­leng­ing road, but it’s a good op­por­tu­nity with large pop­u­la­tions to tap, com­pared with Thai­land’s ma­ture mar­ket.”

Thai­land’s bil­lion­aire busi­ness ty­coons have stepped up ac­qui­si­tions and in­vest­ments abroad as an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion and in­creased com­pe­ti­tion dim the long-term do­mes­tic growth out­look. Ear­lier this year, Siam Makro said it had set up LOTS Whole­sale So­lu­tions in In­dia and planned to in­vest more than $145 mil­lion over five years.

Siam Makro in­tends to open its first store in In­dia soon and a sec­ond out­let in Cam­bo­dia, ac­cord­ing to Kriengchai. CP All ac­quired Siam Makro for about $6.1 bil­lion in the coun­try’s big­gest ever takeover.

“It’s a risky and large in­vest­ment for Siam Makro to ex­pand into new foreign ter­ri­tory,” said Sasikorn Charoen­suwan, the head of re­search at Phillip Se­cu­ri­ties (Thai­land) Pcl. “It will take some time to break even as economies of scale come when many more stores are opened.”

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