Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Regional areas and key sectors, bright spots for SM’s continued growth

PASAY CITY, Philippines, March 25, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The SM Group sees potential for regional development and targeted high growth sectors aligned with its commitment to foster sustainable economic advancement in communities outside of the city center.

SM will continue to concentrate its efforts on identifying opportunities in various regional markets for its core businesses and portfolio investments. Recognizing the potential for growth outside the National Capital Region, the conglomerate aims to stimulate local economies and contribute to the development of many underserved regions in the country.

“We view the regions as a bright spot for growth with the diverse products and services that we offer to consumers. We believe that there’s so much more opportunities for us to be able to provide better services to the Filipino people in the regions,” SM Investments President and Chief Executive Officer Frederic C. DyBuncio said.

Logistics firm 2GO serves Visayas and Mindanao with routes in key cities in the region and through interports and strategic logistical hubs that handle cold chain requirements for food shipments. It has extended its Less than Container Load shipside services to provide MSMEs with opportunities to scale by transporting time- and temperature-sensitive goods nationwide. Its comprehensive end-to-end solutions encompass transportation through a fleet of 3,000 couriers servicing inter-VisMin transfers.

Airspeed is taking strategic steps to position its Cebu warehouse as a central point for its future growth. The company has planned to establish new hubs in key VisMin cities, along with opening more kiosks and collaborations with service providers.  

Bakeshop chain Goldilocks expanded further into the provinces with 40 percent of its new stores located in Visayas and Mindanao.

In retail, SM Investments reported that out of the total 419 new retail stores opened in 2023, about 89% are located in provincial areas.  Its property arm SM Prime Holdings, Inc. opened three new malls in 2023 in Bataan, Laguna and Batangas.  SM Development Corp. is building more residential communities with 20 projects in the provinces.

In banking, BDO Unibank’s presence in the regions is extensive with 1,101 branches in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao out of the total 1,720 branches as of end-2023. BDO Network Bank reaches remote communities through provincial branch expansion.

Out of 648 branches of China Banking Corporation, 300 are outside Metro Manila.  China Bank Savings has a provincial network of 94 branch lites and lending centers to date and continues to expand its brick-and-mortar presence in Visayas and Mindanao.

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