Thailand’s top retail and hospitality group invests $662 million on overseas projects

Encouraged by the strong local currency, which is by far the best performing in Asia

Aerial view of Vienna, Austria during the Autumn season. NokLek/Shutterstock

Central Group, the top retail and hospitality group in Thailand, announced their decision to allocate over THB20 billion (USD662 million) of their funds on several projects in Vienna, Turin, and Osaka, reported The Business Times.

The company, owned by billionaire Chirathivat family, wanted to exploit the current strength of the Thai baht, which is now the best performing in Asia, soaring more than seven percent against the US dollar.

Among the investments is a strategic alliance with Signa Group from Austria for a luxury mixed-use project including retail shops, restaurants, and a hotel in Vienna, encompassing 58,000 square metres.

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

The company also has a joint venture lined up worth THB9 billion with Japanese firms Taisei Corp and Kanden Realty & Development for a 515-room hotel in Osaka. In Turin, Italy, they are also planning the remodelling and re-launch of the Rinascente department store.

The decision on overseas investments came shortly after the company revealed their intent to spend THB22 billion to renovate stores and open new malls in Thailand, particularly focusing on the cities outside Bangkok.

Family-owned conglomerate Central Group has 70 years worth of experience in the industry and was the first to build a shopping mall in Bangkok.