Philippines’ 50 Richest List: Henry Sy Sr., Manny Villar Lead Wealthiest Filipinos Of 2018

Business magazine Forbes has released their Philippines’ 50 Richest list. SM Prime Holdings founder Henry Sy Sr. still holds the top spot, with $15.3 billion net worth.

But for this year’s update, businessman and former senator Manuel Villar has climbed to the second spot with a total net worth of $5 billion, or a little over P270 billion. That’s a big jump considering the Vista Land & Lifescapes head honcho wasn’t even in the top 10 on last year’s list of Richest Filipinos.

Villar was in the 12th place with a net worth of $1.65 billion. In a span of a year, his value increased threefold.

How did this happen? Is there a success formula we can learn from this? Let’s look into his activities for the past 12 months.

The golden ticket

Vista Land’s main business relies on its residential communities like Camella Homes and numerous condominium projects under its Vista Residences subsidiary. However, one often overlooked reason for the company’s jump in revenue came from its memorial lots venture, originally called Golden Haven.

Last year, Golden Haven acquired mass housing firm Bria Homes to the tune of P3 billion via a “share-swap transaction” with the original stockholder, Cambridge Group. They renamed themselves Golden Bria and started in the real estate game earlier this year.

The Manila Standard reported a 55-percent increase in the Golden Bria’s total revenue for the first half of 2017. According to the report, Golden Bria disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange that its overall earnings leapt from P1.7 billion to P2.6 billion in merely six months.

“The company’s said real estate sales, which accounted for 97 percent of the total revenues, increased 55 percent due to the record numbers in real estate sales from both residential units and memorial lots,” said the article.

(Read: Get To Know Forbes’ New Richest Billionaires In The Philippines And In The World)

To make the original deal possible, Golden Haven issued 150 million new shares to Bria Homes stockholders with an initial price of P20.09 per share. The name was changed to Golden Bria as, according to Villar, the name would remind people that they cater “not just to the dead but also to the living.”

Since its issuance of 150 million new shares last January, stocks for Golden Bria soared in less than a year. From P22 per share on January 3, Golden Bria shares now fare at P316 apiece. To put things in perspective, that’s a 1,436 percent increase in value.

This puts the company’s market capitalization P203.5 billion today. In case you’ve forgotten, the crazy rise in their stock prices started just last January. And it doesn’t stop there.

Expanding business interests

Last April, Rappler reported that the Villar group had trained its sights beyond their current businesses. According to the article, they’re “seriously looking at” sectors such as telecommunications and casino business.

Vista Land CEO and president Paolo Villar said that they have properties that could house a casino, as well as developments all over the country that would be able to sustain telecommunications infrastructure. Unfortunately, details about their potential businesses were scarce.

“Obviously, we are optimistic about the Philippines over the next few years. That is one of the key reasons we are getting into all these things. The conditions have been set for growth. We are expecting growth and so we are planning for growth,” the younger Villar told Rappler.

Other winners (and losers)

Here’s the complete list Forbes Richest Filipinos of 2018:

Rank Name Net worth Origin of wealth
#1 Henry Sy $18.3 B SM Investments Corporation
#2 Manuel Villar $5 B Villar Group of Companies
#3 John Gokongwei, Jr. $4.4 B JG Summit Holdings
#4 Jaime Zobel de Ayala $4 B Ayala Corporation
#5 Enrique Razon Jr. $3.9 B International Container Terminal Services
#6 Tony Tan Caktiong $3.85 B Jollibee Foods Corporation
#7 Lucio Tan $3.8 B LT Group
#8 Ramon Ang $2.85 B San Miguel Corporation
#9 George Ty $2.75 B GT Capital Holdings
#10 Andrew Tan $2.6 B Alliance Global
#11 Inigo & Mercedes Zobel $2.5 B Ayala Corporation
#12 Isidro Consunji family $2.45 B DMCI Holdings
#13 Lucio and Susan Co $1.5 B Puregold Price Club
#14 Eduardo Cojuangco $1.4 B San Miguel Corporation
#15 Robert Coyiuto Jr. $1.3 B Prudential Guarantee & Assurance
#16 Roberto Ongpin $1.25 B Alphaland Corporation
#17 Mercedes Gotianun $1.15 B Filinvest Land
#18 Ricardo Po Sr. $1.05 B Century Pacific Foods
#19 Dean Lao $950 M D&L Industries
#20 Beatrice Campos $700 M United Laboratories
#21 Carlos Chan $650 M Liwayway China Company
#22 William Belo $600 M Wilcon Depot
#23 Oscar Lopez $480 M Lopez Holdings
#24 Edgar Sia $475 M DoubleDragon Properties
#25 Jose & Robbie Antonio $400 M Century Properties
#26 Frederick Dy $390 M Security Bank Corporation
#27 Alfredo Yao $380 M Macay Holdings
#28 Jorge Araneta $315 M Araneta Group
#29 Jacinto Ng $310 M Republic Biscuit Corp
#30 Mariano Tan Jr. $300 M United Laboratories
#31 Vivian Que Azcona $290 M Mercury Drug
#32 Betty Ang $270 M Monde Nissin
#33 Jon & Mikel Aboitiz $265 M Aboitiz Equity Ventures
#34 Eric Recto $260 M Bedfordbury Development
#35 Edgar Saavedra $245 M Megawide Construction
#36 Michael Cosiquien $240 M Megawide Construction
#37 Manuel Zamora $235 M Nickel Asia
#38 Wilfred Steven Uytengsu Jr. $230 M Alaska Milk Corporation
#39 Jose Ma Concepcion $215 M Concepcion Industrial Corporation
#40 Walter Brown $200 M A Brown Company
#41 Necisto Sytengco $180 M SBS Philippines Corporation
#42 Alberto Villarosa $170 M Security Bank Corporation
#43 P.J. Lhuillier $160 M PJ Lhuillier Group of Companies
#44 Rafael Simpao Jr. $155 M Security Bank Corporation
#45 Josie Natori $150 M The Natori Company
#46 Jerry Liu $145 M Camerton Holdings
#47 Juliette Romualdez $140 M Benguet Corporation
#48 Gilberto Duavit $135 M GMA Network
#49 Menardo Jimenez $130 M GMA Network
#50 Felipe Gozon $125 M GMA Network

New York-headquartered the Natori Company owner Josie Natori (#45) serves as one of the fresh names on the list because of her fashion empire.

Meanwhile, SBS Philippines Corporation owner Necisto Sytengco (#41) supplies chemicals to various sectors like food, agriculture, and pharmaceutical industries.

(Read: Bobby Murphy, Fil-Am Co-Founder Of Snapchat, Is The Second Youngest Billionaire In The World)

Isidro Consunji (#12) replaced his late father David as the head of DMCI Holdings. Other green names who made it to the top are William Belo (#22) of Wilcon Depot, Jerry Liu (#46) of Cirtek Holdings and Camerton Holdings, and Security Bank’s Rafael Simpao (#44) and Alberto Villarosa (#42).

Meanwhile, figures such as Ramon Ang, Iñigo and Mercedes Zobel, and Eduardo Cojuangco saw an uptick on their net worth due to the skyrocketing of San Miguel’s price per share.

The 70-percent hike merely happened in less than a year, prompting the corporation to invest $1 billion in the construction of new breweries here and abroad. They are joined by 16 other names who saw their net worth rise by 20 percent from last year.

No list is complete without losers, and there are a few people who didn’t enjoy the upswing. GMA Network’s Gilberto Duavit, Menardo Jimenez, and Felipe Gozon found themselves at the tail-end of the list as the shares dropped by 11 percent in the company. Monde Nissin’s Betty Ang saw a nosedive in her net worth from $880 million last year to $270 million today.

Ejected from the Philippines’ 50 Richest are mining moguls Philip Ang and Luis Virata of Nickel Asia. The mining firm still suffers from a dip in stock prices as its value plummeted from P7.60 to P5.30 per share in only a year.

With the government tightening its grip on the sector and increasing competition from other countries, it’s not surprising to see them fail to meet the $125-million barrier to make it to the top 50 Richest Filipinos of 2018.