Conglomerates welcome inclusion in maiden Fortune Southeast Asia 500

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines —  The country’s biggest diversified conglomerates have welcomed their inclusion in the first ever list of the largest companies in Southeast Asia ranked by revenue.

The Sy family’s SM Group had three companies that made it to the Fortune Southeast Asia 500 list, which ranks the largest companies in the region in terms of total revenues.

The list included SM Investments Corp. (No. 27), BDO Unibank Inc. (No. 57) and China Banking Corp. (No. 206) which contributed $10.3 billion, $5.8 billion and $1.4 billion to revenues, respectively.

SM Investments president and chief executive officer Frederic DyBuncio said having three SM companies included in the inaugural list of Fortune’s Southeast Asia 500 is reflective of how consumers have continued to patronize and support the group’s customer-focused operations.

“More importantly, the list underscores Southeast Asia’s increasing importance in the global economy, driven by evolving supply chains and robust economic development across nations like the Philippines. It’s about time to shine the spotlight on Philippine companies and the opportunities in terms of investments and growth,” he said.

The Ayala Group, the country’s oldest conglomerate, also had three of its companies making the list. These are Ayala Corp. which came in at No. 70, Globe Telecom at No. 111 and BPI at No. 112.

Ayala chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said he is delighted that the group is part of the list.

“This recognition makes a more significant 190th anniversary for Ayala and encourages us to continuously invest in businesses that are aligned to our stakeholders’ needs,” he said in a social media post.

Ayala president and CEO Cezar Consing said the group has always aimed to add value to its stakeholders and contribute to the country’s economic growth.

“Everything goes back to our purpose of building businesses that enable people to thrive,” Consing said.

Also making the list are two companies under the Gokongwei Group.

JG Summit Holdings Inc. ranked 55th among the 500 largest companies in the region with reported revenues of $5.93 billion while Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. placed 105th with reported revenues of $3.46 billion.

The Gokongwei Group said the inclusion of the two companies on the list is a demonstration of its role in driving economic growth and development in the Philippines and the broader Southeast Asian region.

“We are capitalizing on our vast ecosystem, focusing on efficiencies and sustainability in our operations to accelerate our progress in this ever-changing business landscape,” JG Summit president and CEO Lance Gokongwei said.

“We continue to reshape our future by providing our customers with better choices and creating shared success with our stakeholders,” he said.

Tycoon Ramon Ang, whose diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) came in as the highest ranked Philippine company in the list, said that the Fortune Magazine’s inaugural Southeast Asia 500 confirms what many already know, which is “the Philippines is a powerhouse of growth and innovation.”

Coming in at No. 9, SMC was the only Philippine company that made it to the top 10 of the list.

“San Miguel Corp.’s top 9 ranking is a proud moment for all of us, as is the inclusion of 38 other Filipino companies. This is just the beginning – our country is ready to shine,” Ang said in a social media post.

A total of 38 Filipino companies have made it in the Fortune Southeast Asia 500 list, which also included major conglomerates such as GT Capital Holdings of the Ty Group and Aboitiz Equity Ventures of the Aboitiz family, among others.

“The Fortune Southeast Asia 500 reflects a dynamic and fast-changing region — one whose core economies are growing notably faster than those of Europe or the US. This is partly due to Southeast Asia taking on far greater significance in the global economy, not least because a host of Global 500 multinationals have shifted more of their supply chains to Southeast Asian nations,” said Clay Chandler, executive editor, Asia at Fortune.

“With this new list, we turn the spotlight on the impressive growth story of Southeast Asia and the largest companies driving this diverse region and its economies,” said Khoon-Fong Ang, Fortune’s chief of operations, Asia.

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