SA listed companies among world’s 100 largest

PwC has released its annual listing of the world’s 100 largest companies, determined by their total market value, showing how Apple has extended its lead and dominance over other major corporations.

According to the report, the top 100 global businesses are worth a collective $16.2 trillion (R200 trillion), led by the financial ($3.2 trillion) and technology ($2.8 trillion) sectors.

Apple remains the biggest company in the world by some margin: with a market cap of $725 billion, the iPhone and Mac producer is almost double number two, Google, in value. Google had a market cap of $375 billion, at the time of PwC’s report.

Apple has shown exceptional growth since 2014, where its market cap was sitting at $469 billion over the same period.

According to PwC, the tech sector has been a ‘star performer’ since the global economic crisis of 2009. The value of the 12 technology companies in the 2015 top 100 has increased the most since then – by 177% to $2.8 trillion.

Notably, only 66 of the top 100 companies from 2009 have survived through to make the cut in 2015; of the 34 which were lost, 28 dropped off the list, and 6 were acquired, merged or separated.

29 new companies entered the list through growth and/or merger and acquisition activity, while 5 new entrants landed on the list through IPOs and spin-offs.

One of the new entrants through IPO was social media giant, Facebook, which debuted on the ranking in the top 20, listed at 17th with a market cap of $231 billion.

“Technology has two very impressive risers with Apple and Google. 17 years ago Apple was valued at a few billion USD and Google was just founded,” PwC said.

The top 20 companies account for almost 40% – or $6 trillion – of the total top 100 value.

Top 20 biggest companies in the world

# Company Market Cap (March 2015)
1 Apple $725 billion
2 Google $375 billion
3 Exxon Mobil $357 billion
4 Berkshire Hathaway $357 billion
5 Microsoft $334 billion
6 PetroChina $330 billion
7 Wells Fargo $280 billion
8 Johnson $280 billion
9 ICBC $275 billion
10 Novartis $267 billion
11 China Mobile $267 billion
12 Wal-Mart $265 billion
13 General Electric $250 billion
14 Nestlé $243 billion
15 Toyota $239 billion
16 Roche Holding $237 billion
17 Facebook $231 billion
18 JPMorgan Chase $226 billion
19 Procter & Gamble $221 billion
20 Pfizer $214 billion

Mirroring the global trend, the tech sector was dominated by US companies. Overall, the US made up 53 of the 100 companies, followed by China (10), the UK (8) and Germany (6).

No African or South African companies are featured in the top 100, but three global giants which are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange made the cut.

South African-born international brewery, SABmiller cracked the nod, inching into the top 100 in 100th position. While SABMiller has roots firmly in South Africa, the company is headquartered in the UK and is thus considered a UK company.

According to Vestact economist, Paul Theron, the SABMiller London versus Johannesburg shareholder split is 83.9% to London and 16.1% Johannesburg, showing that the group is truly out of South African hands.

The group’s market capitalization has also set the new minimum to be considered one of the biggest companies in the world: $85 billion (R1 trillion).

British American Tabacco ranked 81st with a market cap of $97 billion (R1.2 trillion), and mining giant BHP Billiton ranked 54th with a market cap of $122 billion (R1.5 trillion).

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SA listed companies among world’s 100 largest