By James A. Loyola
SM Investments Corporation (SMIC) is adapting to changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and expects its banking, retail and property businesses to come out from this crisis stronger.
“The pandemic has made us more aware of two important things for our customer is the convenience and safety, and for ourselves, its adaptability and transformation,” SMIC Vice Chairperson Teresita T. Sy-Coson said during the firm’s virtual annual stockholders’ meeting.
She noted that, “We have been improving our online and physical experience in operations across the group. From the banking to the retail to the mall to the property businesses.”
Sy added that, “coming from this lockdown, we were able to operate a hybrid way of reaching our customers. We are excited to strengthen this new offering. And going forward, we will transform into a stronger and more adapted SM After this crisis.”
SM President Frederic C. Dybuncio said members of the SM Group have their ecommerce initiative strategies either as a direct participant or as a service provider.
“As a direct participant, we have our own online shopping sites. And then we also actually have our own stores in several of the other ecommerce platforms, just to be able to access a much wider customer base for SM products,” he said.
Dybuncio added that, “We also are working with several partners to develop a grocery delivery service, particularly at this time as a service provider. We use our physical presence of our malls and stores as pickup locations for click and collect for e-commerce.”
“We also provide logistics support such as warehousing and last mile delivery, using the different logistics companies that we actually bought within the group,” he noted.
The SM Group will also provide the digital payment network to its banks, as well as their e-wallet service to their joint ventures such as with GrabPay Philippines.
Meanwhile, SMIC Chairman Jose Sio announced a P5.12 billion cash dividend, equivalent to P4.25 per share to shareholders of record as of July 9, 2020, payable on July 23, 2020. He said this is equivalent to 50 percent of SMIC’s 2019 net income attributable to the parent company.