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Thailand’s richest man to build Bangkok’s tallest skyscraper

Standing at 318 metres, the Magnolias Waterfront Residences at IconSiam is Thailand's tallest building. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

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Thailand’s richest man wants to set another record.

Billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, via his recently listed property unit Asset World Corp, has his sights on building the nation’s tallest skyscraper.

Details are scant -- no official height has been set and completion isn’t expected until 2025 -- but the tower, at the centre of another $948 million project on the banks of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya river, is emblematic of Asset World’s aggressive growth strategy.

“It embodies what our company aims to do -- set new trends and lift the benchmark,” said Asset World’s Chief Executive Officer and Charoen’s daughter, Wallapa Traisorat. The skyscraper will be a “new landmark” and draw more visitors to Thailand, she said.

Its planned construction, however, comes at a difficult time for the Southeast Asian nation’s property and tourism markets. Bangkok is facing an apartment glut, with 100,000 empty units and more to come. And Chinese investors, who for years have propped up the real estate sector, are staying away because of the travel curbs and economic havoc caused by the coronavirus.

Foreigners are set to account for as little as 10% of apartment purchases in 2020, down from a fifth two years ago, consultancy Agency for Real Estate Affairs estimates.

Tourism in Thailand, meanwhile, which comprises around 20% of gross domestic product, is also taking a hit because of the outbreak. Receipts tumbled 3.6% in January from a year earlier to 188.8 billion baht, hurt by a 10% slide in outlays from Chinese visitors, data released earlier this week showed.

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Vocabulary:

aggressive : determined to win or succeed and using forceful action to achieve victory or success - เริ่มต่อสู้ ซึ่งมีความมั่นใจสูง

benchmark (noun): a standard that other things can be compared to, for example, to calculate prices - ตัวเปรียบเทียบ; การวัดเปรียบเทียบสมรรถนะเกณฑ์มาตรฐานหมายถึง การทดสอบเพื่อวัดความสามารถในการประมวลผล หรือการทำงานของ โปรแกรมใดโปรแกรมหนึ่ง หรืออุปกรณ์คอมพิวเตอร์ชนิดใดชนิดหนึ่ง โดยเทียบเคียงกับเกณฑ์มาตรฐาน

billionaire : having more than a billion pounds, dollars (or a billion baht in Thailand) - คนที่รวยมากๆ มีทรัพย์สินพันล้านดอลล่าร์

curb (noun): something that controls and puts limits on something - สิ่งควบคุม, สิ่งจำกัด, สิ่งระงับ

emblematic (adj): that represents or is a symbol of something เป็นสัญลักษณ์,เป็นสิ่งแสดง - เป็นสัญลักษณ์,เป็นสิ่งแสดง

embody (verb): to express or represent an idea or a quality - ปรากฎในรูปร่าง,ทำให้เป็นรูปร่างขึ้น

glut (noun): over-supply, when there is too much supply of a good on the market, the people who want to buy the good (demand) is much less than the amount of good available to buy in the market (supply) - ปริมาณมากเกินต้องการ, จำนวนเหลือเฟือ

gross domestic product : the total value of all goods and services produced in a country in a year, except for income received from money invested in other countries. It is often simply called GDP - ผลิตภัณฑ์มวลรวมภายในประเทศ

havoc : a situation in which there is a lot of damage or destruction, or in which something cannot continue in its normal way because of problems - ความเสียหายอย่างรุนแรง, ความหายนะ

outlay : an amount of money spent for a particular purpose - ค่าใช้จ่าย

receipts : money that a business, bank or government receives - รายรับ, รายได้

scant (adj): hardly any; not very much and not as much as there should be - มีน้อย, เกือบไม่มี, ขาดแคลน

skyscraper : a very tall building containing offices or flats - ตึกสูงมาก

trend : a gradual change or development that produces a particular result   - ทิศทาง แนวโน้ม

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