MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Henry Sy remains the country’s richest for the 8th consecutive year, according to Forbes magazine’s The Philippines 50 Richest List for 2015.
Mall magnate Sy has a net worth of $14.4 billion (from 2014’s $12.7 billion), as the value of his publicly traded conglomerates, SM Investments and SM Prime Holdings, increased by 17% and 20%, respectively over the past year.
Sy’s companies announced record income from banking and retail businesses and two new mall partnerships in 2014. The SM Group plans to build “micro cities” around some of its existing mall properties – the goal is to build 10 mixed-use townships by 2020 as part of an estimated $11-billion expansion.
Sy also has a stake in privately-owned electricity firm National Grid Corporation, the country’s national power transmission operator.
His eldest daughter, Teresita Sy-Coson, has been actively involved in expanding the firm’s retail sector and chairs BDO Unibank.
“Sy got his start at a young age working in his family’s convenience store and later opened his first business, a footwear shop,” Forbes wrote.
Sy also ranks 73rd in Forbes’ billionaires’ list for 2015.
Others in Top 5
The rest of the top 5 richest Filipinos, based on their net worth, are:
John Gokongwei Jr: $5.5 billion
From his 5th ranking in 2014 with a net worth of $4.9 billion, Gokongwei climbed to the second spot this year with $5.5 billion. He also ranked 254th in the world’s billionaires’ list.
The tycoon started a cornstarch plant in the 1950s. His JG Summit is now a conglomerate with interests in food and beverages, airlines, telecommunications, property development, banking, hotels, and power.
“John’s daughter Lisa runs Summit Media with more than 20 magazine titles including Forbes licensee Forbes Philippines, which launched in 2015,” the magazine noted.
Andrew Tan: $4.5 billion
He also owns the McDonald’s franchise in the Philippines, which plans to open its 500th store this year. His listed property firm Megaworld announced plans to break ground on 12 new office towers for $440 million. Tan’s Emperador Distillers went public in 2014 and bought scotch-maker Whyte & Mackay for $720 million.
Lucio Tan: $4.3 billion
Tan slid down to 4th in this year’s ranking, from 2nd in 2014. He holds the 369th spot among the world’s billionaires.
His LT Group has interests in banking, property development, beverages, spirits, and tobacco. Tan also owns a stake in Philippine Airlines, the country’s legacy airline, whose stock suffered a 10% dip as he retook control of the firm in September 2014. (READ: Lucio Tan group buys back PAL)
Enrique Razon Jr: $4.1 billion
From 2014’s No. 3 ranking, Razon is down to 5th spot and is 291st among billionaires in the world.
Razon is chairs the International Container Terminal Services, the largest Philippine port operator with a presence in Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Americas. His hospitality arm, Bloomberry Resorts, announced plans to buy Silmi Island and a casino operator in Jeju Island, South Korea, in an ambitious move to cash in on Chinese travelers’ passion for gambling.
The top 10 list of the Philippines’ richest includes familiar, recurring names:
George Ty: $4 billion
From No. 7 in 2014 to No. 6 this year, Ty is also the 369th billionaire in the world.
At 29, with no financial training or experience, he started Metrobank, the country’s second-largest bank to date in terms of assets. He expanded his interest in power plants, vehicles, insurance, real estate, and other ventures. His GT Capital is also looking to expand deeper into infrastructure, business process outsourcing, and retail.
Aboitiz family: $3.6 billion
The family’s ranking inched to 7th spot from 2014’s 8th. The family-run business has 19 members of the clan involved in day-to-day operations. Jon Ramon Aboitiz is current chairman.
The Aboitiz family’s fortune comes from publicly-listed holding company Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV), which exited the shipping business last year. AEV also has interests in power; banking; food and beverage; and property. Started out as hemp traders, the clan relocated from their native Spain 4 generations ago.
Jaime Zobel de Ayala and family: $3.5 billion
Zobel de Ayala ranked No. 8 in 2015’s Philippines’ richest list from last year’s No. 9. He was also the 349th billlionaire in the world in 2007.
His family’s Ayala Corporation recorded $400 million in profits last year. It is now one of the country’s largest conglomerates and holding company for publicly traded Ayala Land, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Globe Telecom, and Manila Water. In July, Ayala Corporation bought a 50% stake in drug store chain Generika for an undisclosed sum.
David Consunji: $3.2 billion
From No. 6 in 2014 to No. 9 this year, Consunji is 405th among billionaires in the world.
His DMCI firm, which started as a construction firm in 1954, now gets most of its income from power generation, real estate, and infrastructure. DMCI’s construction credits include Makati Shangri-la, Manila Hotel, and Ayala Tower One. The firm’s listed subsidiary, Semirara Mining and Power, figured in a mining accident wherein 9 of its workers were killed in July.
Tony Tan Caktiong and family: $2.2 billion
Caktiong retains his No. 10 ranking from 2014, and is listed as the 690th billionaire in the world for 2015.
His publicly-traded Jollibee Foods is the fastest-growing Asian restaurant chain in the world, “selling Filipino, Chinese, American,and European recipes adapted to a modern, quick serve, affordable format,” Forbes noted.
The following are the rest of the 50 richest Filipinos:
Forbes noted that the Philippines, blessed with one of Asia’s strongest economies in recent years, is seeing domestic wealth boosted as a result, “even as its resource industries suffer from the same market drag that is hitting the sector throughout the region.”
Thus, “the result is a mixed bunch of ups and downs among the nation’s 50 richest,” it said. – Rappler.com