Top three companies based in Manila, Philippines

The Philippines’ capital of Manila is hard to pin down. The name is used to refer to both the City of Manila itself as well as the wider Metro Manila region. The city proper is by most measures the most densely-populated in the world. Here, Business Chief examines three of the cities leading luminaries.

Ayala Corporation

Ayala Corporation has its roots in the colonial history of the Philippines. Founded in 1834, 185 years ago, when the Philippines was under the control of the Spanish Empire, the conglomerate has interests in areas as diverse as real estate, education, financial services, utilities, energy and more. It got its start under the name of Casa Roxas, founded by Domingo Roxas and Antonio de Ayala, who invested in a distillery, growing via banking and trams before playing a role in the country’s regeneration following the second world war.

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SM Investments

Another conglomerate, SM Investments was founded by Henry Sy, an immigrant from China. The company takes the initials of Sy’s first company, a shoe store known as ShoeMart, founded in 1958. The shoe store later grew into a department store, and the company retains a focus on retail, with more than 70 SM Supermalls shopping malls across the country. The company also now has interests in banking and property development, both in the Philippines and China.

San Miguel Corporation

Perhaps the Philippines most internationally famous organisation, the San Miguel Corporation holding company operates San Miguel Brewery, makers of San Miguel Beer. Founded in 1890 by Spaniard Enrique María Barretto de Ycaza, the brewery’s produce first found success in places in Asia such as Hong Kong before becoming more internationally popular. The company has since diversified its offerings, moving also into the food and packaging industries, as well as utilities, mining and even airport operation.

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