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Firms of high value

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The Filipino spirit continues to shine on the world stage as its economy remains its stellar trajectory in 2017. The tiger of Southeast Asia is roaring, and it is not showing any signs of slowing down any time soon.

Powering this upward economic momentum, the pistons behind the Philippines’ robust economic engine, are eight homegrown corporations listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange. The juggernauts of their respective industries, these firms have been recognized internationally as the biggest publicly listed entities in the world in Forbes’ 2017 Global 2000 list.

With a combined market value of $72.4 billion, the corporations bear the standard of Philippine excellence, and are led by some of the countries’ most influential people, like the Sys, the Ayalas, the Gokongweis, Zobels, Aboitizes, Tys, and Manuel V. Pangilinan. The companies are as follows:

SM Investments Corp. (SMIC), which Forbes reported to have a market value of $17.8 billion, and assets amounting to $17.3 billion, was ranked as the most valuable Philippine firm and also the only company on the list to make the top half of the list. SMIC took the 823rd spot on the rankings, with $7.3 billion in sales and $650 million in profits in 2016.

Following SMIC is BDO Unibank Inc. at the 1,018th spot with $2.6 billion in sales, $549 million in profits, and assets of $46.8 billion. The two Sy-led companies combined have their sales and profits at $9.9 billion and $1.2 billion respectively in 2016, while their assets are worth $64.1 billion.

Forbes also included SMIC founder Henry Sy, Sr. on its 2017 list of richest people on the planet, with an individual net worth of $12.7 billion.

The third Philippine company on the list was the Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings, Inc., making the 1,151st spot with sales at $4.9 billion, and profits at $634 million. The holding company, which has interests in various industries such as real estate, banking, food, air transport, and petrochemicals, also had assets amounting to $13.4 billion.

Companies that JG Summit has major investments include Universal Robina Corp., Cebu Pacific, Robinsons Land, Robinsons Bank, and JG Summit Petrochemicals. Its founder, John Gokongwei, Jr., whose individual net worth is $5.8 billion, also took a place among the 14 Filipinos included in Forbes’ 2017 list of billionaires.

At the 1,176th spot, and the fourth most valuable Philippine listed company is Ayala Corp.. One of the countries’ oldest and largest conglomerates, the company took in $4.2 billion in sales and $548 million in profits according to Forbes’ list, with assets worth $18.4 billion. Ayala Corp. has interests in real estate, telecommunications, financial services, electronics manufacturing, power, business process outsourcing, infrastructure, education, and automotive distribution and dealership.

Following Ayala Corp. is Top Frontier Investment Holdings, Inc. at the 1,228th spot. The company is the largest stakeholder of the San Miguel Corp., and cites sales and profits of $14.2 billion and $21 million, respectively, with assets at $28.8 billion. Top Frontier Investment Holdings is an investment company led by Chairman Iñigo Zobel and President Ramon S. Ang, and it is also engaged in the Philippines’ food and beverage industry, as well as mining exploration and development.

The sixth Philippine company on the list taking the 1,531st spot is Metrobank, with $2 billion in sales and $375 million in profits. The company, led by the Ty family, has assets worth $37.8 billion. The company is one of the country’s leading financial giants offering a full range banking services to large local and multinational corporations, middle market and SMEs, high net-worth individuals and the retail segment.

Metrobank is the second largest universal bank in the country in terms of total assets, loans and deposits, with a track record of more than half a century providing financial services to the Filipino-Chinese community.

“The Metrobank Group offers a wide range of banking and other financial products and services including corporate, commercial and consumer banking products and services as well as credit card, investment banking and trust services,” Metrobank told BusinessWorld.

Through the continuous maintainance of its “high standards of governance and transparency, availability of management and IR team to discuss performance with stakeholders” and a “well diversified consolidated domestic network with a strong regional (provincial) presence,” Metrobank has distinguished itself as one of the Philippines’ leading banks.

Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc., led by the Aboitiz family, took the 1,793rd place on Forbes’ list, amounting to $2.5 billion in sales, $487 million in profits, and $8.1 billion in assets. Through its subsidiaries Aboitiz Power, Pilmico, Union Bank, Aboitiz Infrastructure, and Aboitiz Land, the holding company has operations in power, food, banking, infrastructure, and real estate.

The country’s largest power distributor, Manila Electric Company or Meralco, took 1,947th place. The company, which serves Metro Manila as its only electric power distributor, holds the power distribution franchise for 22 cities and 89 municipalities in the Philippines, including the whole of the National Capital Region and the exurbs that form Mega Manila. Meralco made the list with sales and profits amounting to $5.4 billion, and $404 million respectively, with assets worth $6.3 billion.

Combined, the eight listed companies accounted for $43.1 billion (P2.2 trillion) in sales, $3.6 billion (P180 billion) in profits, and $176.6 billion (P8.8 trillion) in assets.

The Forbes 2017 Global 2000 list was compiled through a screening process for the largest public companies in terms of sales, profits, assets, and market capitalization. Each category required that companies reach minimum cut-off values to qualify: sales of $3.95 billion, profits of $257 million, assets of $9.34 billion, and market value of $5.65 billion as of April 7, 2017. Companies then received a composite score based on their rank for each category, which determined the final rankings. — Bjorn Biel M. Beltran

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