MANILA -- Malacañang on Saturday expressed condolences to the family of SM Group founder Henry Sy Sr., who died at 94.
"Mr. Sy was a visionary and a pillar of the Philippine economy who believed in the potentials and opportunities of the country, and pursued them with dedication, passion, and hard work till their fruition," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo recognized Sy's contributions not only to the country's economy but to the Filipino culture as well.
"The landscapes of major cities in the Philippines seem unadorned and incomplete minus the imposing architectural delight. He made “malling” a delightful experience as part of the urban living in the Philippines where Filipino families and the ordinary folks bond, promenade, and create wondrous and memorable moments," he said.
Reports said Sy passed away in his sleep on Saturday morning.
Sy was the country’s richest man for 11 years in a row, according to Forbes magazine, with an estimated net worth of USD19 billion.
He established Shoe Mart in 1958, and eventually expanded into large malls and other business ventures like banking and property investments. (PNA)