GT Capital: Maximising synergies through diversity
If there is one name that could sum up the reasons why global investors should capitalise on the Philippines, it would be GT Capital Holdings. Operating in nearly all major industries that are driving the local economy, the group exemplifies not just what the country already has to offer, but the limitless possibilities it presents - given the right opportunities.
If there is one name that could sum up the reasons why global investors should capitalise on the Philippines, it would be GT Capital Holdings.
Operating in nearly all major industries that are driving the local economy, the group exemplifies not just what the country already has to offer, but the limitless possibilities it presents - given the right opportunities.
GT Capital is behind some of the country's most dynamic companies in the banking, property development, power generation, automotive and insurance industries. While each is renowned and respected in their own right, subsidiaries including Metrobank, Toyota Motor Philippines, Global Business Power Corp (GBP), Federal Land and AXA Philippines draw much strength from GT Capital's core values: integrity, competence, respect, entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to value creation.
These values have been ingrained in the group since 1962 when founder and group chairman Dr George SK Ty - then 28 years old - established Metrobank with a vision of becoming a leader in the finance industry and contributing to nation-building. Ty saw a new economic driver in the form of small businesses and budding entrepreneurs - and it is where Metrobank found a niche to cultivate and grow.
Five decades, nine subsidiaries, 10 global partners and a monumental initial public offering (IPO) later, GT Capital may have already surpassed Ty's initial vision, but it continues to diversify and collaborate with industry leaders to ensure sustainable growth.
"The strength of the group is its diversity in sectors," says GT Capital president Carmelo Maria Luza Bautista. "These are the key industries wherein investors want to be in a high-growth economy."
Apart from its subsidiaries, GT Capital's global partners have found success in the Philippines by leveraging the group's local expertise and networks. Through Metrobank alone, which is the group's main platform and the country's second-largest bank in terms of assets and total deposits, GT Capital and its partners are able to reach a nationwide market through more than 900 branches. These exclude the bank's 32 foreign branches, subsidiaries, and representative offices.
"Wherever there is a Metrobank branch, it is clear that there is the core ideal target market in that particular geographic location. These are the young upwardly mobile professionals with spending capacity - the proper target market for banking facilities, loans and mortgages, among other products," Bautista says. "It then becomes easy to add cross-selling credit cards, cars and residential projects, which then become a platform for selling more products. That is the kind of synergy we aim to maximise with our increasingly diverse portfolio."
Building a nation on strategic, mutually beneficial partnerships
While times have changed since the 1960s, the Ty family remains at the helm of GT Capital. The second generation firmly upholds the group's principles and reinforces its commitment to being a major contributor to nation-building - this time as a world-class conglomerate dominant in all the key sectors where it is invested.
Partnerships play a vital role more than ever, as do investors whose trust and confidence are reflected in GT Capital's rapidly rising stock value.
Oversubscribed by about six times, GT Capital's IPO was launched in 2012 at 455 pesos (HK$80.16) per share. Barely three years later, the group's shares are already trading nearly three times their initial value at more than 1,300 pesos apiece.
"We want long-hold investors that will stay with us over the long period of our journey," Bautista says. "The same applies to all our partners, with whom we want to grow as we have been able to for the past half century."
Among the group's longest-running partnerships have been with Toyota Motor Corp of Japan, which has grown as the country's largest automotive company with 40 per cent market share since the joint venture was formed in 1988. The partnership paved the way for the launch of the 82-hectare Toyota Santa Rosa Industrial Complex, which now hosts various automotive manufacturing and related businesses exporting to Japan, Asean markets and other parts of the world.
Another partnership that has made a direct impact on the local economy is with Formosa Heavy Industries, which manufactures equipment for petrochemical processes, power plants, heavy transport and heavy lifting. Through GBP, GT Capital's power generation subsidiary, the Taiwanese company has built three power plants in the country and is in the process of establishing its fourth plant in the Visayas region, where GBP is now one of the largest power generators.
"While GT Capital owns the majority of the companies, the group's mandate has always been to empower its partners to run the business as they have the know-how and expertise to ensure the operation's success," Bautista says. "Even with a minority stake, they are able to drive the business, apply their global strategies, transfer their technologies and implement their plans."
Through its existing and prospective partnerships, GT Capital aims to optimise the cooperation among its component companies and partners, particularly in its finance segment. It is also pursuing bigger investments in power infrastructure by expanding its power plants and exploring renewable energy sources.
"We are always open to new ideas, new sectors and new opportunities to do better business," Bautista says. "GT has a platform that has not yet been fully maximised and there are plenty of opportunities that can be explored."
The group also looks forward to public-private partnerships, particularly in developing public infrastructure that will benefit citizens while further attracting tourism and foreign investments.
"The Philippines was labelled as the 'sick man of Asia' for the longest time, but we have corrected the key illnesses which were the source of the sickness. We have instituted the correct structural reforms on the political side; we have reformed the financial sector; we have moved from deficit to surplus; and we have earned an investment grade," Bautista says. "If you have not looked at the Philippines, you should now. And if you have and you are seeking a reliable partner, consider us - because in a market where you can only be as good as your local partner, you will have the best chance banking on GT Capital."