The biggest companies in South Africa by market cap

South African companies listed on the JSE have performed exceptionally well over the past few years, with the 25 largest companies now worth over R10 trillion, combined.

Looking at how these companies have placed since 2013, it is clear that there has not been much movement in terms of which companies make up the top 25, with the likes of British American Tobacco, BHP Billiton, Richemont and Naspers retaining their titles as SA’s biggest companies.

Reflecting the slowing global demand for commodities over the period, a number of mining and resource companies have fallen out of the top 25 – such as Exxaro, Anglo Platinum and Impala Platinum – giving way for newer entries, such as Steinhoff, Discovery and Tiger Brands.

While big mining groups such as Anglo American have made massive gains over the past year or so – with the group’s share price jumping 200% in 2016 alone – market capitalisation reveals the extent of the sector’s decline.

Anglo Platinum’s market capitalisation was at R337 billion in 2013, and has clawed its way back to a level of R248 billion in 2017.

Other companies have shown extraordinary growth – most notably Naspers, which saw its market cap breach through R1 trillion in 2016, though it is now just under that level at R954 billion. In 2013, its market cap was just R360 billion – growth of 165%.

The biggest loser in the current top 25 is mobile group MTN, which suffered a huge knock in the past 12 months in the form of a massive fine in Nigeria that wiped nearly half the value of the company.

While MTN has since recovered from the knock, it has still lost 36% of its market value since 2013, pushing it from being the 5th largest listed company on the JSE, to the 11th largest, out of the top 10.

The top 25 JSE listed companies by market cap carry a combined value of just under R10.4 trillion – this is 40% higher than the combined value of R7.4 trillion in 2013.

The biggest difference, and contributor to this change is the local listing of global beverages group, AB InBev, which replaced SABMiller on the local bourse when the latter group was acquired.

25 biggest companies on the JSE

# Company 2013 Market cap (ZAR billions) 2017 Market cap (ZAR billions) % Change
1 AB InBev 2 838
2 British American Tobacco 1 014 1 503 +48%
3 BHP Billiton 1 703 1 207 -29%
4 Naspers 360 954 +165%
5 Richemont 596 568 -5%
6 FirstRand 171 290 +70%
7 Steinhoff 285
8 Standard Bank 186 255 +37%
9 Anglo American 337 248 -26%
10 Sasol 310 236 -24%
11 MTN 366 233 -36%
12 Vodacom 174 227 +30%
13 Old Mutual 149 176 +18%
14 Sanlam 101 151 +50%
15 Mondi Plc 82 148 +81%
16 Barclays Africa (Absa) 117 128 +9%
17 Nedbank 98 128 +31%
18 Aspen Pharmacare 109 127 +17%
19 Remgro 103 125 +21%
20 Shoprite 93 117 +26%
21 Investec 92
22 Mediclinic 60 88 +47%
23 Discovery 86
24 Tiger Brands 82
25 Growthpoint Properties 79

Market cap from Bloomberg, taken 15 March 2017


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The biggest companies in South Africa by market cap