The 15 Filipino dollar billionaires have a combined wealth of $48.13 million ($48.13 billion—nearly a fifth or 19 percent of the $257.76 billion GDP (total value of goods and services) produced in 2012. In effect each of our dollar billionaires accounts for 1.26 percent of GDP.
In 2012, when BizNewsAsia made a partial tally of who are the Philippines’ richest individuals, there were only 10 billionaires. This year, the number of billionaires increased by 50 percent, an indicator of the furious pace of wealth creation among the country’s economic elite.
The richest Filipinos
The 15 richest Filipinos for 2013 and their estimated wealth in billion US dollars:
1. Henry Sy Sr., worth $10.4 billion;
2. Lucio Tan, $6.04 billion;
3. Jon Ramon Aboitiz, $4.9 billion;
4. Enrique K. Razon Jr., $4.7 billion;
5. John Gokongwei Jr., $4.06 billion;
6. George SK Ty, $3.08 billion;
7. Andrew Tan, $2.78 billion;
8. David Consunji, $2.19 billion;
9. Tony Tan Caktiong, $1.70 billion;
10. Iñigo Zobel, $1.66 billion;
11. Lucio L. Co, $1.65 billion;
12. Ramon S. Ang, $1.61 billion;
13. Alfonso Yuchengco, $1.15 billion;
14. Oscar Lopez, $1.08 billion;
15. Mercedes Zobel, $1.03 billion.
Meanwhile, Forbes’ 11 Filipino billionaires are: 1. Henry Sy $13.2 billion; 2. Lucio Tan $5 billion; 3. Enrique Razon $4.9 billion; 4. Andrew Tan $3.95 billion; 5. David Consunji $2.8 billion; 6. George Ty $2.6 billion; 7. Lucio Co $2 billion; 8. Robert Coyiuto $1.6 billion; 9. Tony Tan Caktiong $1.4 billion; 10. Andrew Gotianun $1.2 billion; and 11. Roberto Ongpin $1.2 billion.
The 10 richest in 2012
The 10 BizNewsAsia billionaires in 2012 were: 1. Henry Sy $6.3 billion; 2. Jon Ramon Aboitiz $4.094 billion; 3. Lucio Tan $3.64 billion; 4. John Gokongwei Jr. $2.651 billion; 5. David Consunji $2.096 billion; 6. George SK Ty $1.872 billion; 7.Andrew Tan $1.651 billion; 8.Enrique Razon $1.451 billion; 9.Tony Tan Caktiong $1.419 billion; and 10. Iñigo Zobel $1.317 billion. The combined wealth of the ten is $25.17 billion.
The 10 BNA billionaires of 2012 increased their wealth from $26.47 billion to $41.654 billion, a whopping $15.18-billion gain, or 57 percent.
RSA is a newly minted billionaire. He owns 15.5 percent of San Miguel Corp., equivalent to P42.82 billion or $1.04 billion. From 2007 to 2011, SMC revenues quadrupled, from $3.2 billion to $12 billion, and surged further to $17 billion last year.
Last year was an incredibly good year for the crème de la crème of the country’s economic elite. The economy grew by a robust 6.6 percent—the best non-election year expansion in a quarter century.
The Philippines is awash with cash—$85 billion in foreign reserves, good for a year’s worth of imports; $22 billion in remittances of Filipinos expats; $13 billion in revenues from call centers and business process outsourcing; and P1.9 trillion in excess deposits of banks parked with the central bank. The savings rate is 30 percent of GDP, equivalent to P3.15 trillion.
Despite its unprecedented pool of money, the Philippines has not become an economic tiger. Nor are jobs being created on a massive scale.
However, the companies of our Filipino billionaires became huge conglomerates registering record revenues and record profits. It helped that more than 82 percent of economic production and services comes from consumption.
Retailing, banking and property mogul Henry Sy Sr., 88, is again the richest Filipino with estimated wealth of $10.4 billion. The $10 billion represents the market value as of March 22 this year of his and his family’s 67 percent holdings in SM Investments Corp., his holding company.
Tatang Henry’s wealth increased by a spectacular $4.15 billion, or 66 percent as share price of SMIC surged to P1,033 per share on March 22, up 63.2 percent from P633 in March 2012, its 52-week low. SMIC has 46 malls, 46 department stores, 378 supermarkets, 82 SaveMore stores, and 37 hypermarkets. It has four malls in China.
Sy had only 12 centavos in his pocket when he landed in Manila by boat as a boy of 12 from China in 1936.
Second richest is tobacco, liquor, airline and banking tycoon Lucio Tan, 78. His wealth was estimated at $6.04-billion, up $2.4 billion from his 2012 wealth estimate of $3.64 billion. The $6-billion wealth represents the market value of his 67 percent ownership of publicly listed Philippine National Bank and half ownership of PAL Holdings, which owns Philippine Airlines, plus the estimated value of property holdings in Hong Kong, China, Guam and other places.
Aboitiz third richest
Jon Ramon Aboitiz, chairman of Aboitiz and Co. and of Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., has the third largest pile of wealth—$5 billion, representing the family’s 66 percent ownership in their Aboitiz Equity Ventures holding company which is mainly in power generation and distribution. AEV has market capitalization of P307 billion.
Razon fourth richest
The fourth richest is Enrique Razon Jr., chairman and president of International Container Terminal Services Inc. and of Bloomberry Resorts Corp. which has opened the $1-billion bayside Solaire casino.
Amazingly, there is no correlation at all between the wealth of these people and the amounts of taxes they pay. It seems the richer you are the less are the chances of your landing in the country’s list of leading individual taxpayers.
Among this year’s billionaires, only Oscar Lopez (No. 11 biggest individual taxpayer) and Ramon Ang (No. 16) landed in the 2010 Top 20 individual taxpayers of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
The BIR has launched a crackdown on small businessmen and professionals because they pay very little taxes. To avoid this crackdown, you must at least pay P200,000 in income taxes starting with the 2012 tax year. I say BIR is barking up the wrong tree. For same effort, BIR can probably rake in more money running after the big boys of billions.
For further details, please read the BizNewsAsia Billionaires issue available from your favorite bookstore.