How rich are the Philippines

Rich, richer, richest - billionaires in the Philippines

Mall of Asia © private

Forbes magazine lists the richest people in the world each year, including several Filipino entrepreneurs. However, in connection with the estimated wealth, there is also the question of how this wealth is accumulated. So the question of which companies belong to the respective persons or in which they are involved and which help them to this fortune. A more precise listing also brings greater transparency and a better idea of ​​capital and thus also of the power that goes with it.

What capital do the individual persons own, which companies do they either largely or wholly belong to and are there relationships between the various companies of the individual persons? The Forbes List includes 12 billionaires, of which we will focus on the top five here. Not all, but at least the most important investments and companies can be listed here in order to make it clear in which economic areas the people are active and how much and which property can be attributed to them.

The group of Filipino billionaires has been led for a decade by Henry Sy, who still has three times the capital of the second richest person in the Philippines. His fortune is estimated at 19.5 billion. He is the founder and chairman of SM Investments Corporation until May 2017. SM Investments is the largest conglomerate in the Philippines, consisting of companies that are active in the retail, real estate, banking and tourism sectors.

SM Prime Holdings, which belongs to SM Investments, is also the largest mall constructor and operator in the Philippines, which now owns 63 malls in the Philippines. In addition, SM Investments holds almost 30 percent of the shares in Atlas Consolidated Mining, which operates the copper mine in Toledo, and just over 44 percent in BDO Unibank Incorporated, which is the largest bank based in the Philippines. SM Investment also has a stake in Belle Corporation, which is a subsidiary of SM Investment, which in turn holds over 78 percent of Premium Leisure Corporation. This is 100 percent owned by Premium Leisure and Amusement Incorporated, which has a license for Entertainment City, the casino complex near Paranaque.

Through this stake in Belle Corporation, SM-Investments is also involved in the gaming industry. Belle Corporation is involved in the City of Dreams Manila Casino, which is located in the so-called Entertainment City. The casino industry in the Philippines is one of the largest in the world and, with expected gross revenues of more than 6 billion dollars in 2018, will be the fourth largest in terms of revenue. Another major branch is the office and residential real estate market, which is occupied by SM Development Corporation and has a significant share of the Philippine market (7 percent for office buildings and 14 percent for the residential market).

John Gokongwei Jr. has an estimated net worth of $ 5.8 billion, making him the second richest man in the Philippines. John Gokongwei is the founder of JG Summit. He founded Universal Corn Products, a corn starch factory in the 1950s, which was the forerunner of JG Summit. JG Summit has several shares in companies that are active in the banking, aviation, food, petrochemical and agricultural industries, as well as in the energy, media and communications sectors, among others.

Among those companies is Robinsons Land Corp., a real estate development company that is the second largest mall operator after Henry Sy's SM Prime Holdings and the largest landowner of office buildings in the Philippines. The company has additional shares in Cebu Pacific, a low-cost airline, as well as in the electricity producers MERALCO and Global Business Power. There is no majority stake in the latter two. MERALCO is the largest electricity producer and Philippines Global Business Power has several large coal and oil power plants in the Philippines.

Enrique K. Razon Jr. has an estimated net worth of approximately $ 4.9 billion, making it third on the list. He is the chairman of International Container Terminal Services, which is the largest container terminal management company in the Philippines and also has various projects in other Asian, African, European and South American countries. Other ventures include mining (Monte Oro Mining and Energy Inc.) and gambling operations by the Bloomberry Resorts Corporation. The latter also owns the Solaire Resort and Casino complex in Entertainment City.

Lucio Tan has an estimated net worth of $ 4.7 billion and is fourth on the list. He is the founder and chairman of the LT-Group, which acts as a listed holding company for various companies. He founded the tobacco company Fortune Tobacco in the 1960s. It is presumed that thanks to the nepotism under Marco and Lucio Tan's good relations with him, he got strong privileges and was allowed to occupy a monopoly position, making Fortune Tobacco the largest tobacco company in the Philippines, which it still is today. In a lengthy negotiation of Lucio Tan’s involvement in corruption under the Marcos dictatorship, he was acquitted by the anti-corruption court on the grounds that there would be no evidence that he actually received special treatment under Marcos.

In 2010 Fortune Tobacco entered into a joint venture with Phillip Morris in the Philippines, in which Fortune Tobacco and Phillip Morris each hold 50 percent and now have around 90 percent of the Philippine market share. Furthermore, Lucio Tan owns the majority stake in Philippine Airlines Inc., which is the largest airline in the Philippines and one of the largest companies in the Philippines. During the time under Marcos, Lucio Tan also acquired what was then Allied Bank, which later became one of the largest banks in the country and which finally merged with the Philippine National Bank in 2012, which is now the fifth largest bank in the country. The Lucio Tan Group is the majority shareholder in PNP. He also owns the Asian Brewery he founded in the 1980s, as well as Eton Property Inc., a large real estate company

Tony Tan Caktiong is the fifth richest person in the Philippines with an estimated net worth of $ 4 billion. He is the founder of Jollibee Foods Corporation, which includes several fast food businesses. These include Jollibee, Greenwich Pizza and Chowking. Jollibee has offices in the United States, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Brunei, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Singapore. Aside from the fast food chains, Tony Tan Caktiong also has a stake in Double Dragon Properties Corporation, a real estate development company that is also involved in City Mall Incorporated, through his Honeystar holding company.

City Mall Incorporated plans to build around a hundred malls by 2020. Henry Sy’s SM Investments also has a stake in this company with almost 34 percent, including SM Prime Holdings, which is the largest mall developer in the Philippines. (Recently the Department of Labor and Employment in the Philippines issued a warning to the Jollibee chain that nearly 4,500 workers should be enrolled in normalized employment contracts.)

Taken together, these five richest people in the Philippines have net worth nearly 12.5 percent of the Philippines' GDP in 2017. Each of these five also operate with larger companies in the real estate market, including Eton Properties, Robinsons Land Inc. and SM Development among the largest in the country. They also own some of the other largest companies in certain branches, such as the country's largest and fifth largest bank, the largest airline company, and the second largest brewery.

For further reading: