MANILA — SM Investments Corp. the holding company of Philippine tycoon Henry Sy plans an initial public offering of shares in March to raise at least 17.25 billion pesos ($314 million) the biggest public offering in the Philippines in 11 years.

SM Investment holds Sy’s interests in mall developer SM Prime Holdings Inc. which is the Philippines’ largest mall developer; SM Development Corp.; and Banco de Oro Universal Bank. Sy is the owner of the Agana Shopping Center and other holdings in Guam.

Stock analysts said the IPO by SM Investments will be the biggest since Philippine oil refiner Petron Corp. sold about 10 billion pesos worth of shares in 1994.

In its application before the Securities and Exchange Commission SM Investments said it planned to sell at least 75 million shares at a minimum price of 230 pesos each.

SM Investments said the 75 million shares would comprise at least 15% of its expanded capital but that it could offer a maximum of 30%.

It said the bulk of the proceeds would be used for property development and other investments with the rest to pay a portion of its debt.

Its mall developer SM Prime has 19 shopping centers in the Philippines and is also the largest cinema operator in the Philippines with 130 movie houses in its malls.

SM Prime the crown jewel in the business empire of Chinese-Filipino tycoon Sy started the country’s mall craze in 1985 by launching SM City in Quezon City. It was the country’s largest shopping center at the time housing cinemas restaurants specialty shops and department stores under one roof.

Since then rivals including Robinsons Land Corp. residential developer Filinvest Land Inc. and the country’s largest property developer Ayala Land Inc. have stepped up mall development.

SM Prime will embark on its biggest expansion this year with the first phase of the 360 907-square-meter Mall of Asia along Manila Bay which SM said will grow into the Philippines’ largest mall complex.

It will open three other new malls in 2005 and has earmarked 5 billion pesos for the projects next year. MBJ