Ayala Corporation led Philippine companies in management’s long-term vision for the ninth consecutive year in Far Eastern Economic Review’s Review 200 survey of Asia’s leading companies in 2003.

This confidence among senior management, business owners, and other business executives and professionals who responded to the survey was earned by Ayala’s strategic directions over the years. These included the growth of its subsidiary Globe Telecom, the sale of Pure Foods Corporation, and the industry leaderships of Ayala Land, Inc. and Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).

The 11th Review 200 survey asked FEER readers to rank 153 multinational corporations and between 29 and 40 local companies in 12 countries in five leadership categories: high-quality services and products, long-term management vision, innovative response to consumer needs, financial soundness, and a company that others try to emulate.

In the Philippines, strong consumer demand buoyed Jollibee Foods Corporation in the top spot for the sixth consecutive year and pushed San Miguel Corporation to second place. They were followed closely by Ayala Corporation in third place, Globe Telecom in fourth, and BPI in sixth.

Ayala also ranked second in financial soundness and third among companies that others try to emulate. In addition, BPI ranked first in financial soundness while Globe Telecom ranked third in high quality services and products, second most innovative in responding to customer needs, and fourth among companies that others try to emulate.

Ayala Land, Inc., a new entrant to the Review 200, was considered favorably by respondents and posted strong ratings in three categories. It earned the 7th spot among company leaders in the Philippines and was third in long-term vision and fifth in financial soundness.

“Besides Globe, Ayala Land also contributes to Ayala Corp.’s bottom line, as does Bank of the Philippine Islands, the only commercial bank in the top 10, noted FEER.

Year of Optimism

The Review 200 survey noted “a mood of optimism’s despite a year that plagued regional economies with the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and conflict in Iraq. Close to the two-thirds of respondents believed that business would improve in 2004.

A similar attitude of optimism is also apparent in the Philippines with 49.3 percent of respondents believing that business prospects will be better next year and 30 percent saying that prospects will be much the same as 2003.