50 Richest Filipinos in 2013 hold 1/4 of Philippine GDP

James Ryan Jonas

Here’s a statistic that some of us might find interesting / surprising / depressing / revolting: The combined wealth of the fifty (50) richest Filipinos is equivalent to roughly one-fourth or 26% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

That’s according to the latest installment of Forbes Magazine’s list of the Philippines’ 50 Richest, an annual compilation of the wealthiest Filipinos based on their net worth.

The 50 richest Filipinos and their families have a combined wealth of $65.8 billion — around one-fourth of the country’s $267 billion GDP in 2012. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) represents the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country during a certain period and is used as a measure of economic activity.

With 50 Filipinos amassing net worths equivalent to a big chunk of the country’s economic output, one can say that the rich does run the Philippines. Indeed, Henry Sy and his family, ranked No. 1 — has majority ownership in SM Prime Holdings, the biggest shopping mall operator, not just in the Philippines but in the whole of Asia, and also a controlling stake in the country’s’ largest bank (BDO).

Lucio Tan, second richest Filipino, owns the country’s flagship airline (PAL), the Philippines’ largest tobacco company (Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Co. Inc.), the country’s second largest brewer (Asia Brewery), a network of banks (Philippine National Bank and Allied Bank), a school (University of the East), and a real estate development company (Eton Properties), among others.

Scroll down to view the list of the Top 50 Richest Filipinos and to see that, in one way or another, we deal with their company’s products or services in an almost daily basis.

Top 10 Richest Persons in the Philippines

1. Henry Sy

2012 Rank: #1 (unchanged)
Networth: $12.0 billion
Age: 88
Source of Wealth: diversified, self-made

The Philippines’ richest person Henry Sy saw his fortune swell by $2.9 billion, boosted by the surge in shares of his SM Investments, the country’s most valuable company, which reported record profits of over $570 million in 2012. Putting rumors to rest, group announced in May that it would be merging its vast property assets under mall operator SM Prime Holdings, to create what could potentially be the country’s biggest developer with an estimated market cap of $14 billion. Son Henry Sy Jr will chair combined unit while son Hans will remain president.

2. Lucio Tan

2012 Rank: #2 (unchanged)
Networth: $7.5 billion
Age: 79
Source of Wealth: diversified, self-made

Lucio Tan, the Philippines’ second richest person and this year’s biggest gainer, got a $3 billion boost after consolidating his private holdings into LT Group (stock code: LT), including Asia Brewery, maker of popular “Beer na Beer”, and stake in Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco, which has an estimated 80% market share of the country’s cigarette market. Shares are up five fold since last year’s listing. Follow-on offer in April which reduced his stake to 74% , raised $920 million, in what was the country’s biggest public issue to date. After selling his 49% stake in Philippine Airlines to San Miguel last year, Tan said he may sell the remaining 51%. PAL Holdings (stock code: PAL), through which he owns most of that stake, did a private placement after trading in its shares was halted in January for failing to meet a 10% public float rule. Son Michael is president of LT Group. Also owns Hong Kong based Eton Properties.

3. Andrew Tan

2012 Rank: #6 (+3)
Networth: $4.6 billion
Age: 60
Source of Wealth: diversified, self-made

Andrew Tan doubled his fortune and climbed three spots to No. 3, as shares of his holding firm Alliance Global (stock code: AGI) zoomed. With interests in food and beverage, real estate, gaming, the company reported an 18% jump in net profits to $113 million in the last quarter. Planned IPO of Resorts World Manila, which he controls with casino operator Genting Hong Kong reportedly postponed in late June. Son of a factory worker, worked in a watch store to pay for college. Started selling kitchen appliances before making his first fortune in brandy.

4. Enrique Razon Jr.

2012 Rank: #3 (-1)
Networth: $4.5 billion
Age: 53
Source of Wealth: Ports

Shares of Enrique Razon’s International Container Terminal Services (stock code: ICT), which owns 28 ports in 19 countries, gained by a third on rising shipments. It recently snatched a $624 million contract to manage a port in the Honduras. His casino operator Bloomberry Resorts (stock code: BLOOM) opened the doors to its $1 billion Solaire Resorts & Casino in March.

5. John Gokongwei

2012 Rank: #4 (-1)
Networth: $3.4 billion
Age: 85
Source of Wealth: diversified

JG Summit (stock code: JGS), conglomerate that John Gokongwei founded, recently put off the IPO of its Robinsons Retail Group which owns the Toys R’ Us franchise, among much else. In June, group’s low cost airline Cebu Pacific caused Davao airport to close for more than 24 hours after one of its planes skidded off the runway during landing. Talks with Japanese gambling mogul Kazuo Okada to jointly develop a casino in Manila Bay fell apart in May. Go Hotels, group’s foray into no-frills accommodations, opened its sixth property recently. Brother James Go chairs JG Summit; son Lance is president.

6. Jaime Zobel de Ayala and family

2012 Rank: #7 (+1)
Networth: $3.1 billion
Age: 79
Source of Wealth: diversified

Jamie Zobel de Ayala, chairman emeritus of Ayala Corp., the Philippines’ oldest conglomerate, saw shares surge by a third in the past year on strong revenues, profits in banking, real estate and water businesses. Net income in latest quarter jumped 29% to $105 million. Group plans to invest $3 billion this year across businesses. A proposal to merge his Bank of the Philippines Islands (stock code: BPI) with Lucio Tan’s (No. 2) Philippine National Bank (stock code: PNB) unravelled. Group was recently appointed distributor for Volkswagen in the Philippines. Family stake held by his seven children. Jaime Augusto, eldest, is chairman; son Fernando is vice-chairman.

7. Aboitiz Family

2012 Rank: None (new in 2013)
Networth: $3.0 billion
Age: –
Source of Wealth: diversified

Family that controls Cebu-based conglomerate Aboitiz Equity Ventures (stock code: AEV), enters top 10 as fortune, earlier split and listed separately under patriarch Enrique who died in January, and his nephew Jon Ramon, now represents combined interest of wider clan. Cash- rich company is planning to spend $1.4 billion this year, mostly earmarked for its power business. In April, it agreed to partner with Ayala Land (stock code: ALI) to develop properties in Cebu and bid for a new airport project. Announced plans in May to venture into water treatment and distribution.

8. David Consunji

2012 Rank: #5 (-3)
Networth: $2.7 billion
Age: 91
Source of Wealth: construction, self-made

Former concrete inspector David Consunji went on to earn acclaim as country’s “father of construction” after founding DMCI (stock code: DMC) in 1954. Today, construction giant gets most of its income from power generation, water, real estate and infrastructure. Took controlling stake in London-listed nickel mining outfit Toledo Mining in April with aim of delisting it. Also controls Semirara Mining (stock code: SCC), country’s largest coal producer.

9. George Ty

2012 Rank: #8 (-1)
Networth: $2.6 billion
Age: 80
Source of Wealth: banking

Banking tycoon George Ty added $900 million to his net worth as his holding outfit GT Capital (stock code: GTCAP) saw profits nearly double to $150 million in 2012 on rising revenues in banking, car production and distribution, real estate and power operations. Company raised $350 million in a January share sale to buy more shares in Toyota Motor Philippines in which it now has 51%. Founded Metropolitan Bank (stock code: MBT), country’s second largest lender, in his twenties; stepped down as chairman in 2006 in favor of son Arthur. Son Alfred is married to Lucio Tan’s (No.2) daughter Cherry.

10. Lucio and Susan Co

2012 Rank: #13 (+3)
Networth: $1.9 billion
Age: 58
Source of Wealth: retailing, self-made

Retailing duo Lucio and Susan Co who started with one hypermarket in 1998, break into top 10 this year amid booming sales at their Puregold Price Club (stock code: PGOLD), country’s second largest retailer, after Henry Sy’s SM Group. Its network of more than 150 hypermarkets, supermarkets and discount stores, 50 of which opened in 2012, mainly targets low and middle-income consumers and “sari-sari” store owners. The Cos transferred most of their stake in Puregold, to listed holding company Cosco Capital (stock code: COSCO) last December. In May, Cosco did a $400 million offering at a 30% discount to fund expansion, driving share price down. They pocketed $100 million as part of that deal. Other interests span gaming, hotels, wine distribution, property.

Complete List of the 50 Richest Filipinos in 2013

Here’s the complete list of the 50 wealthiest individuals and families in the Philippines in 2013, as compiled by Forbes Magazine.


Source: Forbes

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James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.