From local shoe shop to global conglomerate: Henry Sy's list of companies

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 19 2019 04:00 PM

MANILA - Before his death, tycoon Henry Sy Sr. was the Philippines' richest man, expanding his shopping mall business into banking and real estate.

Here is a list of Sy's businesses, which are among the biggest in their respective industries:

 SM Prime Holdings

In 6 decades, Sy grew his humble shoe store in downtown Manila into the Philippines' biggest retail shopping center developer and operator with 72 malls in the Philippines and 7 shopping spaces in China.

Sy's retail properties have a collective span of 9.5-million square meters with a total of 18,153 tenants in the Philippines and 1,940 tenants in China.

Among its mall staples are groceries and specialty stores under the SM brand including SM Markets, The SM Store, Ace Hardware, SM Appliances, Homeworld, Our Home, Toy Kingdom, Kultura, Baby Company, Sports Central, and Miniso.


The Sy empire also owns the Philippines' largest bank with assets amounting to some P2.8 trillion.

Sy started his banking venture in the late 1960s when he bought the Acme Savings Bank and renamed it to Banco de Oro.

Some 60 years later, Sy successfully merged BDO with the Equitable PCI Bank and Mindanao's largest rural bank One Network Bank, allowing BDO to boast of some 1,200 branches nationwide and 20 international offices.

Photo from SM Investments website


Sy also invested in Chinabank, the first privately-owned commercial bank in the Philippines that catered initially to the needs of Chinese-Filipino businessmen.

It has 600 branches nationwide.

Photo from SM Investments website

SM Development Corporation (SMDC)

Sy's residential development unit has constructed at least 38 properties nationwide, while its commercial development arm has created some 481,000-sqms of office space primarily situated in the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.

Photo from SM Director's Club Cinema Facebook page

SM Lifestyle Entertainment Incorporated (SMLEI)

Sy dabbled into the entertainment business by incorporating cinemas in his malls.

Years after its initial foray into the segment, SMLEI has branched out from movie theaters to skating rinks, bowling alleys, and selling tickets to concerts and events nationwide.

Photo from SM Investments website

 SM Hotels and Conventions Corp. (SMHCC) 

Sy's portfolio in the hospitality industry includes some 1,500 rooms in 5 hotels nationwide.

Aside from the Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay, the Pico Sands in Nasugbu's Hamilo Coast, the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu, and the Park Inn by Radisson in Davao and Pampanga, SMHCC also operates convention centers and trade halls through SMX Convention Center (SMX).

Photo from National University's Facebook page

 National University

In 2008, Sy's SM Group acquired majority ownership of the National University, a century-old school in the heart of the Philippine Capital.

"The all-out support of the SM Group helped strengthen our institution as a higher [education] institution with new infrastructure, improved and upgraded laboratory, focused in academic excellence," NU said in its official website.

Other businesses

Sy's SM Group also has stakes in the following companies:

  • 2Go
  • Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation
  • Belle Corporation
  • CityMall Commercial Center, Inc 
  • Philippines Urban Living Solutions, Inc