With a population of around 100 million, the Philippines is a diverse, fast rising economy with an abundant agricultural potential and rich history, envied the world over. Its socio-cultural, political and environmental stability has over the years attracted foreign direct investment making the Philippines a country worth its salt.
The Philippines covers over 300,000 square kilometers and it is a tourism marvel. The Philippines has over the years been a great place to do business, just ask the billionaires that have made it their home. The Philippines and its billionaires have a mutually beneficial relationship, and that is why the country is a nest for the super-rich to enjoy their fortunes harmoniously. Here are the 10 richest person in the Philippines as of 2018.
10. Henry Sy and Family
Billionaire investor Henry Sy is the richest individual in the Philippines. He owns several retail outlets and real estate property all over the country. SM Investment Group is the single largest retailing company in the country, with interests in financial management and property development. Mergers and acquisitions early this year led the company being converted to SM Retail, and later partnering with Lazada, a Singapore commercial and technological company.
9. John Gokongwei Jr
Well known JG Summit Company is owned by the second richest man in the Philippines. JG Summit comprises of companies with heavy influence in industries such as banking, aviation, food and hospitality, real estate and communications. Multi-format retailer company the Robinson Retail Holdings, being the second largest in the Philippines is also owned by the Gokongwei family. If you happen to dine in the Philippines, your tab will most likely go to the Gokongwei’s, them owning the country’s largest food and beverage company, the Universal Robina Group.
8. The Aboitiz family
The Aboitiz family’s fortune revolves around food, power, banking, real estate development and bio-fuel. With their public listed company the Aboitiz Equity Group, the company has managed an accumulated net worth of 5 billion dollars. In one of the most lucrative deals in Philippine history, AEV partnered with manufacturing firm CRH, and AEV being majority shareholders, took over operations related to Lafarge in the country.
7. Lucio Tan
Lucio Tan made his cash selling cigarettes and alcohol in the Philippines. He later branched out and acquired controlling stakes in real estate companies and banking firms in the Philippines, and is currently the fourth richest person in the country. LT Group’s breakthrough came late last year when they reported a 50% growth in net income. Alcoholic company Heineken, in a move to strengthen its presence in the Philippines, partnered with Tan’s Asia Brewery this year and the country’s beer industry took a major revolution since then. Tan is a Chemical engineering graduate who had to do odd jobs just to pay his school fees. He no longer mops floors; he prefers flying helicopters and hitting golf balls.
6. George Ty and family
George Ty owns GT Capital Holding, and as the name suggests, his main areas of interests include real estate development, banking, and insurance. His bank Metrobank, a publicly listed company, is the second largest in the company by asset base and presence, with 945 branches spread across the Philippines’ industrialised regions, Mr. Ty can safely say he is banking on his people. He does not stop there. He has a heavy presence in the hospitality industry owning the Marco Polo and Grand Hyatt hotels.
5. Tony Tan Catkiong & family
Tony Tan is an international businessman with investments in over 10 countries including the United States. In August 2016, thousands of customers lined up to the grand opening of one of his businesses in Skokie, Illinois. Asian restaurant Jollibee was recognised as one of the fastest growing hotels in the world, offering international cuisines. The hotel serves modern Filipino, American, Chinese and European delicacies. The futuristic-themed restaurants have earned a reputation owing to their quick-serve, cheap and affordable philosophy. Together with partner Edgar Sia II they own property development company DoubleDragon Properties Corp.
4. Jaime Zobel de Ayala and family
Jaime Zobel chaired the Ayala Corp up until 2006 when he retired from active involvement in the company’s affairs. In 2015, the company registered profits in the region of $475 million. The company started off as a small distillery in Manila. The company eventually grew, investing in banking, real estate, hospitality and communications, with further interests in education and utilities. Last year, the company acquired a third of Malaysian construction company MCT, whose business involves development of low-cost housing.
3. David Consunji
Construction is big business, and no one knows this better than billionaire investor David Consunji. His story dates back to 1954, when he started a construction company DMCI, and later branched out to take chances in real estate and large scale infrastructure. He controls the country’s largest coal mining company Semirara, a subsidiary of DMCI. The father figure to his employees shares his fortune with his children and the two companies are currently being run by his son Isidro.
2. Enrique K. Razor Jr
Billionaire investor Enrique Razor owns and chairs container terminal services company ICSTI. It happens to be the largest port operations company in the country. The company also has subsidiaries in almost every continent in the world. Recent global economic instability saw the company lose close to 65% of its operating income in 2015. The company dates back to 1916 when his grandfather started off with a port in Manila.
1. Andrew Tan
Andrew Tan knew from the onset, following in his father’s footstep, a factory worker, will not make him millions, let alone billions. He made his millions selling brandy, but he was still not a billionaire. That is why he found his way to property development and now owns several apartment complexes in Philippine capital Manila. With interests in food, beverage, real estate and gaming, Andrew gifted the Philippines with American fast food franchise McDonald’s but was still not done with brandy. He went on to make Emperor, the brandy making firm, a public traded company.
These above are the top 10 richest person in the Philippines in 2018. The Philippine billionaires have one thing in common, they started small. It seems the secret is keeping it in the family. Most of these billionaires do their business well beyond the borders, owning subsidiaries and franchises in continents including Africa! The Philippines is fast becoming a business hotspot, with heavy interests in property development and real estate. So, you want to do business in Asia, try construction.