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Henry Sy

Henry Sy
Henry sy.jpg
Henry Sy in 2009
Native name施至成
Born (1924-10-25) October 25, 1924 (age 94)
Fujian, Republic of China
ResidenceManila, Philippines
EducationFar Eastern University
Known forFounder of SM Group[1]
Net worthUS$17.1 billion (September 2018)[2]
Spouse(s)Felicidad Tan-Sy
Children6 (inc. Teresita)[3]
Parent(s)Henry H. Sy
Tan O Sia

Henry T. Chi Sieng Sy Sr. (Chinese: ; pinyin: Shī Zhìchéng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Si Chì-sêng; born October 25, 1924) is a Chinese-Filipino business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is involved in the industries of real estate, hospitality, banking, mining, education, and health care. He is responsible for the establishment of SM Malls, anchored by Shoemart Department Store and Supermarket. He is the founder of SM Prime Holdings, the holding corporation for all his business interests in his vast business empire. In 2015, Forbes magazine listed him as the richest man in the Philippines, ahead of 11 other billionaires including John Gokongwei and Lucio Tan.[4]

Early life

Henry Sy was born to a poor family in Ankhue Village, Jinjiang City Fujian, Province of China on October 25, 1924. He is the son of Henry H. Sy and Domini Magdaraog.[5]

He completed his secondary education in a school now known as Chiang Kai Shek College[6] and earned his Associate of Arts degree in Commercial Studies at Far Eastern University in 1950.[7]


In 1956, Sy established a small shoe store in Quiapo, Manila that marked the establishment of SM Prime Holdings.[8] In November 1972, the small shoe store became SM Quiapo, SM's first stand alone department store.

On November 8, 1985, he established his first SM Supermall, SM City North EDSA.[9]

Sy was named "Richest Man of the Year" by the Makati Business Club in 1999 and was conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Business Management by De La Salle University in January of that year. He organized the SM Foundation Inc., which helps underprivileged and promising young Filipinos.

In August 2005, Sy's stake in the San Miguel Corporation, Southeast Asia's largest food and beverage conglomerate, reached 11%.[10] He sold that stake in October 2007[11] for $680 million.

Sy is considered a tai-pan. The Sy group is the operator of Banco de Oro and owner of Chinabank. In 2006, he bought the remaining 66% of Equitable PCI Bank which is merged with BDO today, the Philippines' third largest lender, in which he already had a 34% stake, and merged it with Banco de Oro in 2007. The merger created the Philippines' second largest financial institution with resources of close to $17 billion.

He is the Philippines' richest man, gaining $5 billion in 2010, amid the global financial crisis. The huge gain was due to his holding company, SM Investments Corporation, which has interests in Banco de Oro, inter alia. Forbes magazine's 2008 list of 40 wealthiest Filipinos revealed the Sy family's net worth was $6.2 billion. Earlier, he was the second-wealthiest individual in the Philippines, next to Lucio Tan, and (as of 2010) 201st-wealthiest in the world.

In 2017, Sy stepped down as chairman of SM Investments Corporation.[12]


  1. ^ "Board of Directors". SM Investments Corporation webpage. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Henry Sy & family". Forbes online. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  3. ^ 王艳芳. "Top 10 richest Chinese in the world -". Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  4. ^ Leyco, Chino (March 2, 2016). "Henry Sy remains PH's richest person – Forbes". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  5. ^ "Henry Sy: Father of Philippine Retail". Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  6. ^ Stepping Up to the Big Time – Sunday Inquirer Magazine Archived 2013-03-30 at the Wayback Machine.. January 11, 2009. Retrieved on 2012-01-11.
  7. ^ Bignotia, Carmela (2007-03-10). "Henry Sy Sr.: The Man Truly Has It All". Retrieved 2007-10-16.
  8. ^ Philippines mall mogul rakes it in as crisis hits rich: Forbes Archived 2011-05-20 at the Wayback Machine.. AFP October 15, 2008
  9. ^ The mall that started it all: Celebrating 25 years of SM City North EDSA by Wilson Lee Flores – The Philippine Star » Lifestyle Features » Sunday Life[dead link]. August 15, 2010. Retrieved on 2012-01-11.
  10. ^ "SM's Henry Sy hikes stake in SMC to 11%". Philstar Global. August 13, 2005.
  11. ^ "(UPDATE 2) Henry Sy son in P45-B Meralco stake bid". ABS CBN News. October 30, 2009.
  12. ^ "Henry Sy steps down as chairman of SMIC". Retrieved 7 September 2018.