Weak peso, stock market hit Filipino billionaires net worths hard

August 12, 2022

MANILA – Filipino billionaires lost a combined $7 billion – P387.1 billion under the present exchange rate – over the last year as their fortunes were pummeled by the plunging value of the peso against the US dollar and a weak stock market through which most of their assets are tallied.

Despite this, Forbes magazine said the Sy family behind the SM retail and property conglomerate remained the Philippines’ richest with an estimated combined net worth of $12.6 billion.

The net worth of the six Sy siblings – Teresita, Elizabeth, Henry Jr., Hans, Herbert, and Harley – dipped by $4 billion since last year’s tally of $16.6 billion, according to the annual listing.

The empire was started by their late father, Henry Sr., who sold shoes in 1968 at a store in Carriedo, Manila, that he called “Shoemart.” The business has since expanded to become one of Southeast Asia’s largest conglomerates covering retail (department stores and supermarkets), banking, leisure and recreation, mining, and real estate.

Villar biggest gainer “Overcoming the odds, property billionaire Manuel Villar listed his VistaREIT in June and is this year’s biggest dollar gainer,” Forbes said. “Villar, who’s revving up the development of high-rise condominiums, townships and a casino, added $1.1 billion and retained the No. 2 spot with a fortune of $7.8 billion.”

Ports tycoon Enrique Razon Jr. retained the No. 3 spot, though the magazine noted that his net worth declined slightly to $5.6 billion.

“Razon is doubling down on casinos and renewable energy with plans to build the world’s largest solar farm in the archipelago for $3 billion,” Forbes said.

Gokongwei, Aboitiz Taking the fourth spot this year is the Gokongwei family, led by Lance Gokongwei and his siblings, who are collectively worth $3.1 billion. They are the driving force behind the JG Summit conglomerate that controls the country’s largest airline, Cebu Pacific, as well as interests in food manufacturing, real estate, retail, hotels and publishing.

The diversified Aboitiz group – now led by third generation family member Sabin Aboitiz – was the country’s fifth wealthiest for 2022 with an estimated worth of $2.9 billion. It is involved in power generation, power distribution, food manufacturing and processing, real estate and banking.

Isidro Consunji and his siblings, who are into construction, engineering and real estate, are the sixth wealthiest in the Philippines with a net worth of $2.65 billion.

Tony Tan Caktiong and family, who control Jollibee Foods Corp., are worth $2.6 billion this year, landing in seventh place.

They are followed in eighth place by the Zobel family, led by patriarch Jaime Zobel, who are worth $2.55 billion, thanks to the fortune they made through Ayala Corp. The country’s oldest conglomerate is involved in real estate, retail, hotels, power generation and electronics manufacturing, among others.

In ninth place with a net worth of $2.45 billion is tycoon Ramon Ang, president and CEO of the country’s largest conglomerate by assets, San Miguel Corp. The company is also the largest food and beverage concern in Southeast Asia and produces beer and frozen food, among others. San Miguel has also diversified into power generation, infrastructure, real estate, and is building a P745-billion international airport north of Manila.

In the 10th slot is Megaworld and Alliance Global founder Andrew Tan, who is worth $2.4 billion. His empire was built on real estate concerns, but has since expanded into hotels and Emperador, the world’s largest brandy company by revenues. (See table for the Top 11 to 50.)

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