Given that Covid19 still keeps foreign tourists away from Thailand’s pristine beaches and bustling cities, and more than 80% of hotel rooms are unoccupied, one expects the CEO of one of the country’s largest hotel, retail and real estate developers to remain intact.

Down. In contrast, Wallapa Traisorat, CEO of Asset World Corporation (AWC), formulated a 100 billion baht ($3.2 billion) five-year growth plan to position her company in In the tourism boom after the pandemic. “This is the short-term shock we are facing now,” he said. “We see great potential for growth and strength in Thailand’s tourism industry.”

Wallapa’s optimism is supported by financial strength and vision. On the one hand, AWC is a family affair. The president is his father, Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, who ranks third among the 50 richest people in Thailand this year, with a net worth of US$12.7 billion. Other members of the board include her mother (vice president) and her husband (director).

Family-controlled entities jointly own most of the business. Wallapa is also one of the few female CEOs leading a large Thai company.
Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, Thailand’s second richest man…
Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi (right) and his daughter Wallapa Sirivadhanabhakdi appeared at an event in Bangkok in 2016.

PITI A SAHAKORN / LIGHTROCKET VIA GETTY IMAGES, due to the possession of another A444WC In October 2019, just a few months before the pandemic broke out, the initial public offering was $1.6 billion. Led by Wallapa, this is the highest listing of a real estate company on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. The company’s current market value is approximately 146 billion baht, and its share price is approximately 4.5 baht, which is lower than the issue price of 6 baht.

Since the IPO, Wallapa has further strengthened AWC’s financing, saying the company has also secured 50 billion baht lines of credit from two Thai banks, including 30 billion baht from Siam Commercial Bank, to contribute to the “growth and investment”. Prepare yourself. In the first quarter report, AWC’s property value was 72 billion baht, closer to 1 billion baht in cash and accounts receivable, but long-term debt was only 44 billion baht. baht.

Strong financial condition helped AWC cope with an 83% drop in tourist numbers last year from a record of around 40 million in 2019. In 2020, revenue fell 54% to 6.1 billion baht , which caused the company to lose money and a further decline in the first quarter, which increased 56% year-on-year, with a net loss of 594 million baht.

However, these numbers did not stop Wallapa from planning four new hotels with 1,600 rooms, adding AWC to 17 hotels with almost 5,000 rooms. In February, it also bought the 287-room Sigma Jomtien Pattaya hotel for 550 million baht.

However, AWC’s more ambitious projects reflect Wallapa’s background in architecture and land planning. Approximately 30 billion baht will be used to rebuild Bangkok’s historic Chinatown and waterfront, and transform Pattaya, a notorious coastal city in the southern part of the Thai capital, into a conference and exhibition destination.

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