Philweb stays in Forbes’ top SME list
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) — The Philippines stayed on Forbes Asia's latest Best Under a Billion (BUB) list of top small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Asia-Pacific, but had only one firm on the roster.
Dominating China and Hong Kong listed 63 companies.
The country was represented only by online gaming technology provider PhilWeb, dropping two from its 3 listees in 2012. Philex Mining and SM Development Corp fell off the list this 2013.
Despite being the sole entry from the Philippines, PhilWeb marked its 4th time to land the list, a feat it shared with only 3 other firms: two from Malaysia and one from China. The company has recorded an income of US$27 million and a market value of $480 million.
Meanwhile, the world's second largest economy, China, dominated the group whose members were shortlisted from the initial 15,000 companies that have an annual revenue between $5 million to $1 billion.
Forbes narrowed it down to a non-ranking list of 200 based on criteria such as "rising financial performance, sufficiently broad and private share ownership, reasonable debt levels and profitability."
The success of many of these firms continues to be centered on China's growth, Tim Ferguson, editor of Forbes Asia, said. Japan was also showing strong economic rebound.
Ferguson said he was struck by how many firms kept growing regardless of their neighbors' economic performance.
Here are the Asia-Pacific countries included in the list:
|Economy||No. of Firms|
|China & HK||63|
Weak SME sector
But one standout SME from the Philippines amid a list of Asia's 200 may show that the country had an underdeveloped SME sector, which was already the case in the late 1990s.
"Where there are fewer standouts, it may mean that the economy is too concentrated in the hands of larger groups (or government)," said Ferguson in the Forbes website.
The Forbes Asia editor was quick to recognize economic growth factors such as "significant foreign direct investment," "remittances" and the efforts of the Aquino administration to "curb corruption and other impediments to honest capitalism."
But he also pointed out the country's deficit in equity markets and such financial vehicles to promote the sustainable growth of SMEs.
"A vibrant SME sector," he added, "may be the surest way to secure the national future." - Rappler.com
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