The biggest companies in South Africa

Forbes has released its annual list of the world’s 2,000 biggest publicly-traded companies, with 13 South African companies making the cut in 2015.

In last year’s ranking, 15 SA companies were listed, with the country’s biggest company – Standard Bank – making it into the top 300.

While Standard Bank remains the biggest company in the country in 2015’s list, the banking group has slipped on a global scale to 329th position.

Only four SA companies made it into the top 500 – including Sasol, mobile operator MTN and FirstRand – with Sanlam, Steinhoff and Naspers listed in the top 1,000.

Forbes’ 2,000 biggest companies listing is formulated by analyzing listed companies from across the world and ranking the top 2,000 in four categories: sales, profits, assets and market value.

Each company is given a score based on where they place on each respective list, and the final top 2,000 list is compiled based on a final, aggregated score.

Of all South African companies listed, Naspers carries the highest market value at $67.1 billion; Sasol makes the most sales and profits at $18.8 billion and $3.4 billion, respectively; and Standard Banks holds the most assets at a massive $164.5 billion.

Read: Battle to be the biggest bank in SA

As with previous years, South African-born company SAB Miller is ranked highest at 217th; however, as the company is headquartered in the UK, it is not ranked as a South African company.

South Africa’s biggest companies (US$ billions)

# Company Sales Profits Assets Market Value
329 Standard Bank $12.2 $1.7 $164.5 $23.1
366 Sasol $18.8 $3.4 $26.0 $21.9
395 MTN Group $13.5 $3.0 $21.9 $34.5
397 FirstRand $8.3 $1.9 $84.6 $26.9
602 Sanlam $8.5 $0.8 $52.5 $14.7
614 Steinhoff $11.3 $1.0 $17.9 $22.3
691 Naspers $6.5 $1.1 $13.6 $67.1
1143 Bidvest Group $15.2 $0.4 $7.4 $9.4
1436 Remgro $2.3 $0.7 $7.2 $11.6
1455 Aspen Pharmacare $3.3 $0.5 $7.4 $14.9
1471 Shoprite Holdings $10.0 $0.4 $4.0 $8.0
1625 MMI Holdings $5.0 $0.3 $36.8 $4.4
1671 RMB Holdings $2.0 $0.6 $3.0 $8.5

Looking at the global rankings, the upper reaches of the list were once again dominated by financial institutions, with China’s banks owning the top four positions.

Read: How much South Africa’s banking CEOs earn

Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway was ranked as the biggest US company in 2015, though the country still ranks the most companies, at 579, followed by China (232) and Japan (216).

According to Forbes, the top 2000 companies account for a combined $39 trillion in revenue, $3 trillion in profits, with assets totalling $162 trillion and a market value of $48 trillion.

Ten biggest companies in the world (US$ billions)

# Company Sales Profits Assets Market Value
1 ICBC $166.8 $44.8 $3,322.0 $278.3
2 China Construction Bank $130.5 $37.0 $2,698.9 $212.9
3 Agricultural Bank of China $129.2 $29.1 $2,574.8 $189.9
4 Bank of China $120.3 $27.5 $2,458.3 $199.1
5 Berkshire Hathaway $194.7 $19.9 $534.6 $354.8
6 JPMorgan Chase $97.8 $21.2 $2,593.6 $225.5
7 Exxon Mobil $376.2 $32.5 $349.5 $357.1
8 PetroChina $333.4 $17.4 $387.7 $334.6
9 General Electric $148.5 $15.2 $648.3 $253.5
10 Wells Fargo $90.4 $23.1 $1,701.4 $278.3

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The biggest companies in South Africa