Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#235 Henry Sy Sr $6.89B

Random fact: Visited three malls daily to check operations when he started.


Sy has about 11 percent of SM Investments, a retail, property development and banking conglomerate with revenue of $7.3 billion in 2016. He created the country's largest real estate developer by merging his assets under SM Prime Holdings and also has stakes in other retail, construction and education companies.

As of May 27, 2018:
Last change +$13.7M (+0.2%)
YTD change -$974M (-12.4%)
Industry Diversified
Biggest asset SM PM Equity
Citizenship Philippines
Age 93
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Henry Sy Sr's net worth of $6.89B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Sy family fortune comes from SM Investments, a retail, property development and banking conglomerate founded by Henry Sy. The allocation of the fortune was changed on June 6, 2017 to reflect direct ownership of the assets by the billionaire's six children and their operating roles in the business. Sy's wealth dropped by about $8 billion to reflect the allocation of the wealth to his heirs. He continues to be credited with the family's cash investments to reflect his role as founder and patriarch.

Sy stepped down as SM chairman in April 2017 and remains chairman emeritus. He controls a stake of about 11 percent which he holds directly, through his wife Felicidad and through family-owned holding companies, according to a March 31, 2017 Philippine stock exchange filing. 

Sy, through his family-owned holding companies, also owns about 6 percent of SM Prime Holdings, a property developer and mall operator. SM Investments' interest in the company is excluded to avoid double counting. Ownership details for the holding companies aren't disclosed and their values are attributed entirely to Sy to reflect his status as foudner and family patriarch.

He has a 5 percent stake in BDO Unibank and 15 percent of Manila-based China Banking. He also controls 21 percent of Belle Corp directly and through other investment vehicles, and these are included in the net worth analysis. In addition, Sy has stakes in Manila-based Far Eastern University and property developer Anchor Land.

He's collected about $539 million in dividends and had net proceeds of about $193 million from share sales and purchases through December 2017, according to company filings and an analysis of Bloomberg data. The value of his cash investments is based on these cash flows, as well as market performance and taxes.

SM Investments investor relations department confirmed Sy's equity stakes.


Birthdate: 10/15/1924
Family: Married, 6 children
Education: 1952, Far Eastern University, Associate's Degree

Sy moved from China's Fujian province to the Philippines at age 12, where he joined his father living in Manila. He worked in his father's neighborhood store, selling rice, sardines and soap. After World War II ended in 1945, he started a business selling shoes imported by U.S. soldiers. He created ShoeMart in 1958 and opened his first department store in 1972.

A decade later, Sy began opening shopping malls that sold low-priced consumer goods. He opened his biggest mall, Mall of Asia, in 2006. The shopping arena sits on a stretch of reclaimed land along Manila Bay. He's also invested in Chinese malls.

Sy bought Acme Savings Bank, which had originally been set up as a thrift bank, in 1976. He renamed the operation Banco do Oro Savings and Mortgage Bank, and sold shares in a $37 million initial public offering in May 2002. BDO became the nation’s biggest lender in 2008, following nine acquisitions totaling $1.34 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Sy's holding company, SM Investments, raised $532 million in 2005, in what was then the Philippines's biggest initial public offering.

Married to Felicidad Tan, the couple has six children helping to oversee Sy's various businesses. The two eldest children, Teresita Sy-Coson and Henry Sy Jr., are vice chairwoman and vice chairman at SM Investments.

  • 1948 Opens his first shoe store.
  • 1950 Earns associate's degree at Far Eastern University.
  • 1983 Establishes SM Foundation.
  • 1985 Opens his first shopping mall.
  • 2002 BDO Unibank raises $37 million in IPO.
  • 2005 SM Investments raises $532 million in IPO.
  • 2013 Merges real estate assets under SM Prime Holdings.
  • 2016 Partners with Rocket Internet’s Lazada to sell products online.