Henry Sy, the visionary behind SM Investments Corp., has passed away at the age of 94. He was the man behind SM Investments Corp., as well as Belle Corp., which invested in Melco-owned City of Dreams Manila. Sy had been listed for the past 11 years by Forbes magazine as the richest man in the Philippines with an estimated net worth of around $19 billion at the time of his passing.
Sy got his start with a shoe store in Manila in 1958. From there, he built an empire that includes banking, real estate and retail operations. SM Investments owns SM Retail Inc., which operates the largest chain of supermarkets and department stores in the Philippines. It is also the owner of SM Prime Holdings, Inc., the biggest shopping mall operator in the country with a total of 70, and BDO Unibank.
Belle Corp. last October said that its third-quarter profit had fallen to $11.3 million, a 16.8% drop year-on-year. This was attributed to a 6.8% decrease in gaming revenue, which came in at around $12.27 million. Despite the decrease, Belle has stated that it wants to boost its gaming interests and has proposed an expansion of City of Dreams Manila. The company currently owns approximately 2.4 acres adjacent to the resort project. It said last April, “We can build our own hotel and capitalise on City of Dreams clientele but we prefer Melco [Resorts] to get involved so it can be consolidated into City of Dreams.”
Attending the funeral was Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Sy is survived by his wife and six children who help to run the family business. In a statement, his family said, “We are truly grateful for the outpouring of sympathy on the passing of our father, Henry Sy Sr. May we respectfully ask for privacy today to give the family time to reflect and to finalize arrangements.”
Going forward, Jose Sio, a long-time business associate, will be the chairman of SM Investments, having been personally selected by Sy before he passed away. Sy’s oldest daughter, Teresita Sy-Coson, and son, Henry Sy, Jr., will continue to be co-vice chairpersons of the firm.