SY-LED conglomerate SM Investments Corp. (SMIC) is cautiously optimistic for 2024 amid challenges posed by geopolitical issues in the West Philippine Sea, according to one of its owners. 

SMIC Vice-Chair Teresita Sy-Coson told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Makati City late Wednesday that the conglomerate is “going to be okay” but should always “be watchful” of challenges.

“We’re all cautiously optimistic because there is the geopolitical [issue], there is climate change. Many things are not predictable,” she said when asked about the outlook for the conglomerate next year.   

“Left to ourselves, we’re going to do well but there is this geopolitical tension. There are these global uncertainties and the [impact of] climate change. So it’s more of that,” she added.

According to Ms. Sy-Coson, the ongoing tension in the West Philippine Sea is one of the issues being looked at by the conglomerate.  

Tensions have been rising between the Philippines and China after Manila accused Beijing of using water cannons and colliding with a Philippine supply vessel in the highly disputed area earlier this week.

“China is very close to us. We cannot be too antagonistic even though we know what is happening. I guess we have to do it through a more peaceful negotiation,” she said.

“We just have to know who our neighbor is and work peacefully together. As a business, we don’t know what will happen but we just hope there will be no more skirmishes in that area because whatever happens will affect all of us,” she added.

As of September, SMIC posted a 30% jump in its consolidated net income to P55.9 billion as its consolidated revenues increased 15% to P440.4 billion.

Shares of SMIC at the local bourse rose P43 or 5.17% to P875 apiece on Thursday. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave