If one ever needed more proof of the lucrative nature of real estate, they need not look any further than this year’s Philippines’ 50 Richest People, a list collated and released by American business and finance magazine Forbes.
Coincidentally, all the tycoons who made it to the top 10 have diversified their portfolio by venturing into the Philippine real estate. With combined net worths of at least Php53 billion, there is no doubt that these business tycoons’ financial successes are due in part to their dealings in property development, selling, and leasing. Global real estate website Lamudi Philippines looks into the real estate businesses of Forbes’ richest Filipinos.
1. Henry Sy & family
Net worth (as of August 2016): $13.7 billion
Although primarily known for his malls (currently with 58 in the Philippines and six in China), Henry Sy has, over the years, managed to expand his empire to include real estate by venturing into residential, commercial, and office developments under SM Prime. Residential arm SM Development Corporation (SMDC) currently has 30 residential towers all over Metro Manila and Tagaytay, while commercial properties include the E-Com Centers—office buildings designed for technology-based industries—and the SM Mall of Asia Arena. Under Belle Corporation are luxury residential development Tagaytay Highlands and integrated resort and the casino City of Dreams Manila.
2. John Gokongwei, Jr.
Net worth (as of August 2016): $6.8 billion
The founder of major business conglomerate JG Summit, John Gokongwei Jr. has interests in various industries such as air transportation through Cebu Pacific, food, and beverage through Universal Robina Corp., and magazine publishing through Summit Media. JG Summit incorporated Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC) in 1980 as the conglomerate’s real estate arm. Under RLC are Robinsons Malls and the Robinsons Residential Division, the latter of which is subdivided into four brands: Robinsons Luxuria, Robinsons Residences, Robinsons Communities, and Robinsons Homes.
3. Aboitiz family
Net worth (as of August 2016): $5 billion
Through the Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV), the Aboitiz family controls businesses in various industries, including power company Aboitiz Power Corporation, finance and insurance company UnionBank, food unit Pilmico Foods Corp., and biofuel company Aseagas Corporation. AboitizLand, AEV’s real estate brand, develops residential, commercial, and industrial properties mainly in Cebu.
4. Lucio Tan & family
Net worth (as of August 2016): $4.9 billion
Chinese Filipino Lucio Tan went from mopping floors to pay for school to becoming one of the richest business moguls in the country, heading the LT Group and its various endeavors. Tan’s group includes beverage companies Asia Brewery, Inc. and Tanduay Distillers, Inc.; tobacco company Fortune Tobacco Corporation, flag carrier Philippine Airlines, and Philippine National Bank. The Group’s property arm Eton Properties Philippines, Inc. (EPPI) currently has 23 projects, which include residences, retail and office buildings, and event spaces. EPPI has a foreign counterpart: Eton Properties Ltd., an established brand in Hong Kong and China.
5. George Ty & family
Net worth (as of August 2016): $4.6 billion
George Ty chairs GT Capital Holdings, Inc., which controls such companies as Metrobank; vehicle manufacturer Toyota Motor Philippines Corp.; and Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corp., a personal and company insurance provider. GT Capital wholly owns property developer Federal Land, some of its most notable developments being the GT Tower International in Makati, the Grand Hyatt Hotel, and Grand Hyatt Manila Residences, and the Veritown Fort township in Bonifacio Global City. GT Capital is also a major stakeholder of another real estate brand, Property Company of Friends (Pro-Friends).
6. Tony Tan Caktiong & family
Net worth (as of August 2016): $4.3 billion
Tony Tan Caktiong made a name for himself as the founder of the Jollibee Foods Corporation, which operates over 750 Jollibee stores across the country, and has since expanded to international nations like the United States, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and Brunei. After buying out chicken barbecue restaurant chain Mang Inasal, Tan partnered with Mang Inasal founder Edgar “Injap” Sia II to co-chair real estate brand DoubleDragon Properties Corp., whose portfolio includes independent community mall chain CityMall and condo tower W.H. Taft Residences.
7. Jaime Zobel de Ayala & family
Net worth (as of August 2016): $4.1 billion
Chaired by Jaime Zobel de Ayala until his retirement in 2006, the Ayala Corporation is a giant corporation handling various businesses interests such as Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Globe Telecom, and Manila Water Company. Its property arm Ayala Land is divided into five brands catering to different markets: Ayala Land Premier, Alveo Land, Avida Land, Amaia Land, and BellaVita. Aside from constructing residences, Ayala Land is also a leading developer of malls, integrated estates, and office space all over the country.
8. Enrique Razon, Jr.
Net worth (as of August 2016): $3.5 billion
Enrique Razon’s made a fortune as the Chairman and CEO of the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), the largest port operator in the Philippines, which also has subsidiaries overseas. But in 1993, he ventured into the property business with the incorporation of Sureste Properties, Inc. which transformed from a property holding firm to a developer and operator of tourist facilities. Under Sureste is Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels, Inc., which operates the casino component of Solaire Resort & Casino as Sureste manages the hotel side.
9. David Consunji
Net worth (as of August 2016): $3.1 billion
David Consunji began his career as a concrete inspector, eventually establishing construction company D.M. Consunji, Inc. in 1954. Later on, DMCI was incorporated as DMCI Holdings, Inc. to consolidate all businesses of the Consunji family, which has since grown to include property development, mining, and utilities. DMCI Holdings’ real estate subsidiary DMCI Project Developers, Inc. created DMCI Homes in 1999, which focuses on developing condominiums and housing developments.
10. Andrew Tan
Net worth (as of August 2016): $3 billion
Andrew Tan’s Alliance Global Group, Inc. (AGI) handles business activities in different industries, such as food and beverage like Emperador, Inc. and the Golden Arches Development Corporation (GADC); as well as gambling through Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc., which owns and operates the casino/hotel/mall Resorts World Manila. AGI’s real estate segment, Megaworld Corporation, has three subsidiaries: Global-Estate Resorts, Inc.; Empire East Land Holdings, Inc.; and Suntrust Properties. Megaworld is considered to be a pioneering real estate brand: their township, Eastwood City, is the first-ever integrated township in the Philippines.