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10 Richest Billionaires in Philippines

28 April 2021

Who Has the Most Money in All of Philippines? Find Out This and a Lot More About the Richest Billionaires of Philippines.

Each year, Forbes releases an updated version of the richest people in the world. This year was the 35th edition which saw 493 new people make the coveted list. Currently there are 2,755 on the list, making the most money, including the following 10 Richest Billionaires in the Philippines.

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10

Elizabeth Sy – $2.4 Billion

The late business magnate, investor, and philanthropist from Philippines, Henry Sy, once said, “There is no such thing as overnight success or easy money. If you fail, do not be discouraged; try again. When you do well, do not change your ways. Success is not just good luck: it is a combination of hard work, good credit standing, opportunity, readiness, and timing. Success will not last if you do not take care of it.”

He was right.

His second-born, daughter Elizabeth Sy, is testament to those wise words. Elizabeth has been an advisor of SM Investments since 2012. The SM Group was founded by Henry in 1958 as a small shoe store in Carriedo, Manila. It’s now one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines, incorporating mall developments, retail, banking, real estate and tourism in its portfolio and making a ton of money.

Keeping it in the family… let’s meet another Sy family member.  

9

Teresita Sy- Coson – $2.7 Billion

This is Teresita Sy-Coson, the first-born daughter of the late Henry Sy. Henry had 6 children, so we’ll be meeting more of the “Sy-blings” as they’ve often been dubbed.

Of the 6 children, Teresita has not only worked hard in her father’s business but is a successful and wealthy businesswoman in her own rights, making the most money – that has made her her the richest woman in the Philippines.

She was 8 years old when her dad opened his shoe shop and was already learning the tricks of the trade from a young age. She had a particular love for banking, and from just 5 years old would accompany her grandfather to the bank and would absorb everything she laid her eyes on.  

Not only is she co-chairman of SM Investments but she’s also the chairperson of BDO Unibank, a retail bank.

As reported by South China Morning Post, Teresita or “Tessie” is planning on studying architecture and constructing a building.

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8

Henry Sy Jr. – $2.7 Billion

Aluxers, we cannot focus on Henry Sy Jr. without sharing the tragic news of the death of his 29-year-old daughter, Jan Catherine. She died on the 18th of March 2021 from a bacterial infection.

Henry Sy Jr. is the first son to be born to the “Sy-blings” and is co-vice chairman of SM Investments. He is chairman of SM Prime, which is the property branch of the group’s portfolio. This includes malls, residences, hotels, offices, and convention centres.

Henry Sy Jr. set up Big Boss Cement in 2017. As explained by businessinquirer.net, “Big Boss Cement Inc. boasts of a new technology that will enable the group to manufacture a stronger variety of cement at only half the cost of producing traditional cement.” And president, Gilbert S. Cruz confirmed that the cement was… “most environment-friendly cement in the world today.”

7

Harley Sy – $2.7 Billion

Meet the “baby” of the family, Harley Sy. He is the youngest of Henry Sy’s 6 children and possibly the “Sy-bling” that is in the spotlight the least.

He is the executive director of SM Investments, director of China Banking and sits as an advisor of BDO Unibank, of which sister, Teresita, is chairman.

As his sister, Teresita Sy-Coson confirmed, “We grew up in a very demanding environment. Dad expects us to prove ourselves… so my siblings and I worked hard to reach what we have today, and I guess we have to continue working hard to maintain it.”

We break away from the family and meet someone new.

6

Andrew Tan – $3 Billion

If you were after a legit rags-to-riches story, you got it. Andrew Tan was born in Fujian, China and when he was young, his family moved to Hong Kong. He and his family shared a one-bathroom tenement apartment. His father worked in a transistor radio factory.

This hustler from Philippines got a degree in accounting, using any means available to earn money to study. He ended up working at Leonard Ty and from there, formed Megaworld Corporation. Megaworld Corporation developed huge apartment complexes in and around Manila.

Now, Tan chairs Alliance Global, which is a holding company with interests in several areas, including gaming, real-estate, food and beverage. Alliance Global, owns the McDonald’s franchise in the Philippines and the listed brandy company Emperador.

Emperador brandy has been the world’s top-selling brandy since 2006, in terms of quantity. Thespiritbusiness.com confirms that despite sales dipping, it’s still the number one selling brand in Spain, Mexico and the Philippines.

5

Herbert Sy – $3 Billion

We’re back in the family business, and Herbert Sy is the 5th born “Sy bling.” Not only are the 6 children of Henry Sy all successfully running the portfolios and conglomerates he left behind, but they are all set to inherit part of his $19 billion fortune.

Herbert is director of SM Prime, which is the group’s property developer. Herbert’s focus is on the retail side of business to make money, and he is currently the vice-chairman of the boards of Super Shopping Market Inc and SM Hypermarket, according to the Philippines, Asiatattler.com.

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4

Hans Sy – $3 Billion

On par with his brother in terms of finance, Hans Sy is the last sibling to be featured on our list and is the 4th born “Sy-bling.”

Not too long ago, South China Morning Post called him “Superman,” for rescuing a baby from a trash can. It wasn’t just the new site that called him Superman, his high-school friends also nicknamed him Superman and called him a protective and courageous friend.

This art loving billionaire is also doing his best to look after the environment. As reported by SCMP, Sy… “continuously pushed for sustainability efforts in company malls, and in 2014, he made history by leading the largest solar installation in the Philippines. A whopping 5,760 solar panels were installed atop SM City North Edsa’s multilevel car park.”

Hans stepped down as president of SM Prime in 2016 but is still a director. He’s also an advisor of SM Investments, chairman of China Banking Corporation and chairman of National University.

3

Lucio Tan -$3.3 Billion

Your ears probably pricked up when you heard Tan, thinking this was another case of keeping it in the family, however, Lucio Tan is not related to Andrew Tan whom we mentioned at number 6.

Like Henry Sy Jr. Lucio Tan also lost a child not too long ago. His son, Lucio Tan Jr., died in 2019 during a basketball game. He was president of Philippine Airlines parent PAL Holdings and was 53 when he died.

This business mogul has interests in banking, airlines, liquor, tobacco, real estate industries, beverages, and education. He’s advocacy for education is well known and he’s been quoted as saying, “We cannot, as a country, improve economically, socially, and culturally without quality education.”

His first ever job was as a stevedore, loading and unloading docked ships.

Tan is the founder and chairman of LT Group, focused on tobacco, spirits, property and banking. He founded Fortune Tobacco Corp. in 1966, and established Asia Brewery in 1982, which is now a branch of LT.

Tan was accused of tax evasion in 2017, amounting to $600 million, but those charges have been dropped.

2

Enrique Razon Jr. – $5 Billion

His family have been in marine cargo handling for 3 generations. His grandfather started the business by opening a port in Manila in 1916. After WWII, Razon’s father rebuilt the port and now, Enrique Razon Jr. chairs the International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI), the country’s leading terminal operator.

His other investments include mining, oil, gas, power, hotels and casinos.

Razon is currently chairman of Bloomberry Resorts Corp., who specialize in amusement, tourist facilities, gaming, and hotel businesses, according to Wikipedia. He developed Solaire Resort and Casino, at a cost of $1.2 billion which is part of Entertainment City.

According to gamblinginsider.com, Razon is currently being sued over illegal termination of a casino contract. According to the site, “Bloomberg reported that Razon, chairman and CEO of Bloomberry Resorts Corp, a Philippine casino operator, is also accused of hiding assets in the US to avoid paying an arbitration award.”

The story is unfolding.

If this list has inspired you to become a billionaire as well, don’t forget to check out These 15 Self-Made Billionaires were Once Poor, for more motivation. 

1

Manuel Villar – $7.2 Billion

He’s come a long way from selling seafood and having little money as an impoverished child, to the richest man in the Philippines… this is Manuel Villar, fondly called Manny.

According to South China Morning Post, you’d never tell that Manny was a super-rich tycoon worth billions. He flies economy, drives a Toyota and does his business from coffee shops… well, he owns the coffee shops, Coffee Project, with 40 branches – but tomato tomayto.

Villar is chairman of Vista Mall, one of the largest mall operators in the Philippines. Other credentials include chairing Vista Land & Landscapes, and obtaining Bria Homes and changing it to Golden Bria which develops mass housing projects. He has his own home improvement chain called AllHome, which went public in 2019 and his wife Cynthia is a senator.

We leave you with apt words from this successful businessman, “Do not assume that if you are poor, you cannot be a leader. Just show sincerity, do your work well and your peers will see it and elect you as a leader.”

Question:

Aluxers, which of these business moguls can you draw inspiration from? We’d love your input in the comments below.