Thailand’s Central Group earmarks $663m for overseas investment

Image from Central Pattana's website

Thailand’s top retailer Central Group said on Monday it plans to invest over 20 billion baht ($663.13 million) in Vienna, Osaka and Turin, capitalising on a strong local currency.

The investment plans can be partly attributed to the strong baht <THB=TH>, which has strengthened against most major currencies, the company said.

The Thai baht has been Asia’s best performing currency so far this year, firming over 7% against the dollar.

Central Group’s investments include a joint venture with Austria’s Signa Group in a 58,000-sqare-metre luxury mixed-used project in Vienna, which will comprise a hotel, restaurants and retail shops.

“Central Group continues to embark on our strategy to ride on global tourism trend by developing high-quality flagship projects in major tourist cities,” Chief Executive Tos Chirathivat said.

The company, owned by the billionaire Chirathivat family, said other parts of the investment include a 9 billion baht joint investment with Japanese firms, Taisei Corp <1801.T> and Kanden Realty & Development in a 515-room hotel in Osaka, Japan and the re-launch of its Rinascente department store in Italy.

Its overseas expansion plans came in weeks after the retailer announced its decision to invest 22 billion baht in new malls and store renovations in Thailand, with a focus on cities outside Bangkok.

Central Group, the family conglomerate with a seven-decade history, was among the first to introduce shopping malls to Bangkok.

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.