SM Group’s Founder Mr. Henry Sy, Sr.

On January 23, 2018, the awarding ceremony of “2017 China-ASEAN Economic and Trade Cooperation Award Selection” is held in Beijing, on which Mr. Henry Sy, Sr., founder of SM Group is awarded “Outstanding Contributors for Promoting ASEAN-China Economic and Trade Cooperation” for his great contribution on China-Philippines business cooperation and his dedication on helping the promotion of China’s urbanization. This is the first time that China-ASEAN Business Council ever presented the award




SM Supermalls’ COO, Mr. Steven T. Tan received the award presented by Mr. Luo Jialiang, Ambassador of Singapore on behalf of Mr. Henry Sy, Sr. 


The award is presented by China-ASEAN Business Council (CABC) and supported by Ministry of Commerce of China, CCPIT (China Council for Promotion of International Trade), etc. More than 300 people attended the ceremony, including representatives from relevant government departments, chambers & associations, famous enterprises and media of China and ASEAN countries. After the recommendation and comprehensive evaluation, the organizer has chosen 10 ASEAN countries’ representatives from many strong competitors, they are:

  • Mr. Henry, Sy, Sr., Founder of SM Group
  •  Dhanin Chearavanont, Senior President of The Charoen Pokphand Group
  • Zaw Min Win, President of Republic of The Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry
  • Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Lim Gait Tong, Chairman of China-ASEAN Business Association Malaysia
  • Chartsiri Sophonpanich, President of Bangkok Bank (China) Company Limited
  • Francis Chua, Founding Chairman of Philippines Silk Road International Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. Haji Kamaruddin DSP Haji Talib, President of National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Brunei Darussalam
  • Neak Oknha Pung Kheav Se, President of Khmer-Chinese Association in The Kingdom of Cambodia,
  • Lucas Loh, CEO of CapitaLand China
  • Seet Poh Kim, Chairman of Singapore Chamber of Commerce & Industry in China

SM Prime Holdings, Inc. has been awarded the “Top 10 Successful ASEAN Enterprises Entering China” three times with its excellent performance in comprehensive real estate development and operations, which shows the prominent position of SM in China-ASEAN Economic Cooperation. And for the first time that China-ASEAN Business Council ever presented the award for persons, Mr. Henry Sy, Sr. is listed.

Henry Sy, Sr., is the founder of SM Group. He is the Chairman Emeritus of SM Investments Corp. and currently Chairman of SM Development and Highlands Prime Inc. He is likewise Chairman Emeritus of BDO Universal Bank, Inc., SM Prime Holdings, Inc., and Honorary Chairman of China Banking Corporation.

SM Group, composed of 5 listed companies, is one of the largest listed companies in the Philippines and one of the largest integrated property developers in Southeast Asia. SM's major business covers areas of mall operation, retail, banking, property, and hotel & convention center management and is well-known in the Philippines, now the investment of SM in China has reached nearly RMB 9 billion. All these are the reflection of the close cooperation between China and Philippines, and Mr. Sy, Sr. is surely one of the contributors.


Pioneer of Asian Super Malls

Mr. Henry Sy, Sr. has been driving the engine of Philippines’ economics——retail. As the retail king in the Philippines, he has controlled 60% of the retail market and keeps leading the industry.

He opened the first Shoemart store in 1958 and has evolved it from a shop store to a department store in 1970s. After about 10 years, SM Department Store became the pioneer of retail industry in the Philippine.

It was during that time he has foreseen the success of supermalls and believed that this is what Asian people need in the future. In 1985, the first SM supermall ——SM City North EDSA with 200 thousand square meters rental area has been built. Apart from stores, it has cinema, coffee shops, restaurants, children parks and parking lot, which still make sense after more than 30 years.

It is SM and Mr. Sy, Sr. that brought whole new idea of shopping and consumption into the Philippines, which makes Mr. Sy, Sr. the pioneer of Mall culture.


Hometown Lover

In the last 90s, Mr. Sy, Sr. came back to his hometown Fujian to invest with his great experience in international supermalls.

When Mr. Sy, Sr. chose a nearly deserted place in Xiamen as his first stop in China, people was confused. However, since the opening of SM City Xiamen in 2001, the region has become one of the most important business centers in the city, the great vision of SM is now widely recognized. Till today, SM City Xiamen still remains its record of 500 thousand foot traffic a day.       

Mr. Sy, Sr. insists on the strategy of “choose a city and then stay with it”, he has been working on “promote the local business facilities and the life qualities of citizens”.

Since the entering into Chinese market, SM Prime has invested shopping centers in Xiamen, Jinjiang, Chengdu, Suzhou, Chongqing, Zibo, Tianjin, and Yangzhou cities. Now the total GFA of operating SM China malls has reached more than 1.5 million square meters.

The masterpiece of SM China —— SM City Tianjin with a total GFA of 560 thousand square meters has been the local popular consumption place one year after its soft opening, and it will also become the largest shopping mall in the world after full launch. SM now has invested more than RMB 2 billion in Yangzhou City, and is hoping the project will become the new business landmark in the east region of the city.


Never-stopping Business Promoter

In 2016 billionaire ranking list by Forbes, Mr. Henry Sy, Sr., then 92 years old, was listed as the world’s 71st richest person with a net worth of $13.7 billion. He is also the richest person in Philippines and the only Philippine billionaire that was listed in the world billionaire list, this is his ninth time to be listed.

Now the second generation of Sy, family has taken over the responsibility of developing the family business. All SM subsidies are the leading corporations in their own industries.            

SM Prime Holdings, Inc., one of the leading integrated property companies in Southeast Asia, reaches PHP 1 Trillion market value in 2017, which makes it the first Philippine company to reach this milestone in the market. Now SM owns 74 supermalls worldwide, the total GFA reach 9.53 million square meters with daily foot traffic reach 4 million. SM Megamall, SM City North EDSA and SM Mall of Asia are now the top 10 supermalls in the world.

Mr. Sy, Sr. and his family continue to expand in China, now SM’s main business in China are supermalls, SM store and residence, the total registered capital of SM in China is RMB 5,977.3 million, the total investment is RMB 8,973.72 million, the total tax paying amount per year is RMB 706.46 million, among which, the total registered capital of SM Supermalls is RMB 5,625.43 million, the total investment is RMB 7,673.72 million,  the total tax paying amount per year is RMB 295.78 million.

As the world’s largest economy, China’s second and third tier cities are growing rapidly with more chances and challenges, SM will keep focusing on them and by cooperating closely with the government, SM hopes to grow with the cities.


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