Thai billionaire eyes China & India expansion
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.”